Taksim is a cosmopolitan region, communications hub and an important commercial, entertainment & shopping area for the tourists for having a nice Istanbul city walking tour. It is the modern part and heart of Istanbul. Here you’ll find a quick guide to explore Taksim with top things to do and see plus insider advice.
Taksim means “share out” in Turkish and the name comes from a story of the water demand of the community living in this Bosphorus region in the old times. A warehouse was built to the place where Taksim square is to distribute water to the surrounding districts. And so the name comes from this fact.
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Things to Do & See
Strolling around the Taksim Square, watching the crowd and than passing to Istiklal Street and enjoying the lively atmosphere is one of the best things to do in Taksim. If you walk till the end of the long colorful pedestrian Istiklal Street, you may get very close to famous Galata Tower.
Visiting Galata Tower, having a rest at the authentic cafes and restaurants there, and than walking back to Taksim Square can be a wonderful walking route for you in Taksim.
Taksim square, with its location leading to the monument, Gezi park, domed church of Aya Triada, nostalgic tram, Huseyin Aaa Mosque and famous Istiklal Avenue, is the most popular square in Istanbul as well as in Turkey. It is just like the famous ones in the European countries. See photos of Taksim Square
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Located just by the Taksim Square, the Gezi Park is a beautiful park and the only intense green area of Taksim. You may take a good rest there by watching the liveliness of the city under the big trees and gardens.
Istiklal Street (Istiklal Avenue) is probably the most famous street and entertainment area in Istanbul. It is a long colorful pedestrian street full of all kind of shops, restaurants, cafes and street shows. You may visit the fantastic Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the amazing St. Anthony of Padua Church and Pera Museum there.
If you would like to have a dinner and night entertainment, you may spend the evening at the famous Asmalimescit dining and wining street. Read more about Istiklal Street
Cihangir and Cukurcuma
Downwards from the Siraselviler Street along Taksim Square, there it comes the famous neighborhoods of Cihangir (to the left) and Cukurcuma (to the right). Cihangir is a lovely neighborhood famous for its lively Firuzaga Coffee House. The coffee house is always full during day and night.
And Cukurcuma is a lively and authentic neighborhood located along the way down from the Siraselviler street, Taksim. It is also a very touristic place famous for its antique shops, restored lovely houses, art galleries and cafes.
We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities
Strolling along the beautiful streets of Cukurcuma is a great attraction for visitors. There are variety of nice cafes for rest.
Eating Out – Taksim’s Dining Experiences
One of the key features that set Taksim’s dining scene apart is its dynamic range of experiences. Whether you’re seated in a cozy café, enjoying a meyhane’s vibrant ambiance, or indulging in a meal at a rooftop restaurant with a panoramic view of the city, the dining experience is as memorable as the food itself.
From casual street-side grills to sophisticated dining rooms with elaborate menus, Taksim offers a venue for every taste and budget. The neighborhood is also home to several historic establishments, which have been serving loyal patrons for generations, and have played an instrumental role in shaping Taksim’s culinary identity.
While exploring the buzzing streets of Taksim, it’s evident that its food and dining scene is a direct reflection of Istanbul itself – diverse, dynamic, and deeply rooted in tradition yet embracing the new. As you embark on this gastronomic journey, you’ll find that each bite offers a unique taste of this captivating city’s culinary soul.
Taksim is live for 24 hrs. and offers wide range of dining opportunities from luxury restaurants to very famous quality restaurants and cafes where both tourists and locals go. You are able to find every kind of food & beverage, Turkish & world cuisine for your taste in Taksim. Most of the popular restaurants and cafes are gathered in the Istiklal Avenue and the tourist zone of Taksim where all hotels are gathered.
The Nevizade Street, French Street, Flower Passage and Asmalimescit are host the popular dining and wining places. The Nicole Restaurant in Tomtom street, 360Istanbul Restaurant in Istiklal street and Asmali Cavit in Asmalimecit are world class award winning restaurants and also one of the top 10 restaurants in Istanbul. Taksim also hosts a good number of veggie restaurants and markets for vegans and vegetarians in Istanbul.
Nightlife in Taksim
Nightlife in Taksim is also very lively and very popular for whole Istanbul. Taksim is also called as the neighborhood that never sleeps. The Istiklal Street and Siraselviler Street are the most popular areas of the lively nights and entertainment in Taksim.
You can find wide range of great cafes, bars, pubs, bistros, live music bars and night clubs here.
The 360Istanbul (a famous roof-top restaurant, bar and night club) is a world class award winning one and also one of the top 10 night clubs in Istanbul.
Top Selling Taksim Tours
For both first time visitors and the ones want to experience and enjoy the neighborhood life of Istanbul, we highly recommend this unique and tailor made culinary and sightseeing tours, offered by several quality agents. We only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling Istanbul culinary and food tours.
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts
Where to Stay?
Taksim are is one of the best places to stay in Istanbul. Mostly preferred with the travelers that are a true enthusiast of metropolitan city life and enjoy the city’s lively nights and vibrant streets.
The tourist zone near the Taksim Square, by the Tarlabasi boulevard, is full of quality hotels that are mostly preferred with the tourists, and they are all within easy reach of popular spots of the city, as well as variety of designer shops, bars, and restaurants.
You check out our pick of best Taksim hotels.
How to Get There?
Getting to Taksim is very easy as Taksim is one of the most popular hubs for both tourists and locals in Istanbul. For intercity transportation to Taksim, you may find many transportation options. It is possible to access Taksim;
- From Kadikoy and Uskudar; by public ferries or boats (only from Uskudar) to Besiktas
- From Besiktas, via yellow shared taxis (dolmus) or public busses,
- From Bakirkoy, Bostanci and Kadikoy, via shared taxis (dolmus),
- From Sultanahmet and Eminonu, by Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) to Kabatas (last stop) and than from Kabatas via the Taksim-Kabatas funicular (F1 line)
- Check the Istanbul Railway Network Map for the Tram stops and Istanbul Ferry Lines Map for ferries.
From Istanbul Airports
For getting to Taksim;
- from New Istanbul Airport (IST) (45 km. to Taksim and takes about 100 mins.) – you may take Havaist Airport Shuttle, or take a taxi or take a Private Shuttle which is the best of all and we recommend.
- from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) (40 km. to Taksim and takes about 90 mins.) – you may take Havabus Airport Shuttle, or take a taxi or take a Private Shuttle again which is the best of all and we recommend.
By Private Shuttle
We highly recommend Tranigo (a Turkish company operating since 1996, and partnered with renowned names like Hertz, Thrifty, Budget, and many reliable and efficient local suppliers) as we recently booked with them had a great trip to our hotel.
They offer fast, comfortable, safe and FIXED price service and have variety of different models of cars ranging from Micro for 3 passengers to Minibuses for 19 passengers and also offer child seats. They met us inside the airport, helped with our luggage, brought us in front of the hotel and there also helped us with our luggage. You may check and decide from below.