Updated on March 21, 2023

How many millions of tourists pass on Istiklal street each month? Before the pandemic, this was one of the busiest avenues of Istanbul. İstiklal Caddesi is the Turkish for Independence Avenue.

There are good reasons why tourists flock to walk on Istiklal Avenue, whether they are on a 3-day Istanbul itinerary or just on a long layover between two flights.

Main Topics of Istiklal Street – The Busiest Street in Istanbul

Where Is Istiklal Street?

Located nearby Taksim Square, Istiklal is probably the busiest street in Istanbul, visited by both tourists and local people. It is paved with cobblestone and it has an old tramway line which is still in use. Tramways go very slowly, to allow people to step away.

Istiklal street starts in the neighborhood of Galata, at Tünel Square and it ends by Taksim Square. It is a pedestrian-only street. The red trams are the only vehicles allowed on Istiklal street.  The beautiful Otoman style buildings along both sides of this iconic street make it extremely photogenic.

Things To See on Istiklal Street

While I never had enough time in Istanbul for a proper exploration of Istiklal Street, I can name a few must-see objectives for you to look for.

The Iconic Red Tram

Vintage red trams and cobblestones are a surefire recipe for success. Just look how famous Lisbon’s Tram 28 is! Milan, Italy, has its own vintage red tram, too. Tourists do the line to jump on these slow-moving vintage carriages.

Çiçek Pasaji

This is by far my favorite architectural feature on Istiklal Street. This historic galleria reminds me of the covered passages in Paris.