In autumn, the radiant streets of İstanbul continue to glow with a fresh perspective on culture-art, gastronomy and shopping experiences. Featured on the “Best of” lists of numerous international publications, these famous İstanbul streets offer residents and visitors many delights.
Süleyman Seba Street, Beşiktaş
In the Akaretler neighbourhood of the Beşiktaş district, Süleyman Seba Street (Süleyman Seba Caddesi) is known for its unique architecture, hip bookstores, and stylish cafes and restaurants. Süleyman Seba, within walking distance of İstanbul’s fashionable Nişantaşı district, is defined by its Row Houses (Sıra Evler). The Row Houses, the first mass housing estates of the Ottoman Empire, were built to accommodate senior managers of the nearby Dolmabahçe Palace. Today, the picturesque Row Houses host multi-layered art projects and events such as İstanbul’s Artweeks.
Although Süleyman Seba was always a desirable address, it has risen in prominence in recent years, even outside Türkiye: The street was ranked among the “33 Coolest Streets in the World” last month by Time Out Magazine, coming in at number 27 in a survey conducted by Time Out with 20,000 city residents and local experts related to food-beverage, entertainment and culture-art activities.
Abdi İpekçi Street, Nişantaşı
The main shopping street of the fashionable Nişantaşı district, Abdi İpekçi Street (Abdi İpelçi Caddesi) is home to upscale restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Extending 600 metres from Maçka to Nişantaşı, Abdi İpekçi Street runs alongside Maçka Park at its south end, and is easily accessible from central districts such as Harbiye, Beşiktaş and Şişli, thanks to the metro connection. Wide and graceful, Abdi İpekçi Street is the location of choice for high-end international brands as well as the city’s most stylish residents and visitors.
İstiklal Street, Beyoğlu
İstiklal Street (İstiklal Caddesi), extending from Taksim Square to Tünel in Beyoğlu, is an important locale in İstanbul’s historical and social memory. Now a pedestrian street, the bustling, 1.4-kilometer-long avenue is lined with stately buildings and narrow passages that host bookstores, art galleries, theatres and cinemas, patisseries, restaurants and taverns.
İstiklal Street, home to the city’s vibrant cultural and artistic life for centuries, is a special address. Its symbol is the iconic bright red nostalgic tram that runs down the middle of the street, carrying passengers from one end to the other. İstiklal is also famous for its street food – visitors are greeted with the appetising aromas of fresh-baked simits and roasted chestnuts, among other tempting treats.
Home to numerous historical buildings, including St Antoine’s Church, Galatasaray High School and the Narmanlı Inn, İstiklal Street has served as İstanbul’s cultural and artistic hub for more than a century. The city’s leading museums, such as Salt Beyoğlu and the Pera Museum, are also on this route. The Atatürk Cultural Centre, which directs the Turkish culture and arts scene, welcomes art lovers at Taksim Square, the entrance to the famous street.
A testament to the prominence of İstiklal in the city’s cultural life is the Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival, part of the Turkish Culture Route Festivals project organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to contribute to Türkiye’s international brand value. The Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival takes place this year from October 1 to October 23 and features hundreds of artworks and events.