Istiklal Caddesi

13:41 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

Istiklal Caddesi (translated to Independence Street) is arguably one of the busiest streets in Istanbul, and with good reason. Day or night, Wednesday, or Saturday it is always full of life and people.

You can find anything here: shopping, street entertainment and lots of lots of food. Most of my favorite, albeit not-too-Turkish, foods can be found here like waffles, kumpirs and wet burgers.

With family in town this week, a visit to Istiklal was in order. So what are our favorite things to do while there with our visiting tourists?

1. Check out historic sites on the way:
There are tons of older buildings here and things tucked away just off the main street. I love this facade in front of St Anthony's Catholic Church, which is also worth checking out. It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul.

Still celebrating the Galatasaray victory - outside the St Anthony church 
which you can glimpse through the arches

2. Stroll down the Balık Pazarı
Besides the fishermen on Galatasaray bridge, this is a great place to fish shop. Here there are all kinds of fish, big ones, small ones, spotted ones, and whatever else the fare is! Even if you don't eat fish (like me) it's fun to "window shop".

3. Find a little bar and have a glass of rakı
Rakı is a popular drink in Turkey and you will see lots of people indulging in it with their dinner. A bit like Greek ouzo, it is a clear drink that clouds up once you mix it with water. And you will definitely mix it with lots of water.

4.Sample the fares from the street vendors
Here you can find mostly simits (the bagel like bread) and kestanes (roasted chestnuts), but also roasted corn. There are lots of vendors to choose from, so take your pick!

 Simit cart

 And then the kestane cart left unmanned. 

5. Enjoy the view and join in the hustle and bustle.
Some of the best views of the street are at night with the lights and still all the people walking around. Just follow along and see where the road leads you! 

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