As you leave Taksim Square towards Istiklal street, it gets you wondering where all these local crowd comes from. Don’t they go to work at this hour of the day? If you intend to explore Istiklal street, start from Taksim Square as you’ll be heading downhill all the way.
Istiklal street is one of the most famous area in Istanbul visited by nearly 3 million people in the weekends. Istiklal is an elegant pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, where you’ll find boutiques, music stores, bookstores, cinemas, cafes and restaurants among other things. Around middle of Istiklal street, you will find Hard Rock Cafe.
Our walking route would start from Taksim to Tunel then onwards to Galata Tower down via the Ottoman Bank museum to the Galata Bridge. Google calculates it to be a 2.8 km walk. As said earlier, all the way is downhill so we didn’t feel tired.
If you care to wander off into the side alleys, you’ll find small markets selling well, things you would expect in a market.
Once we have walked the full length of Istiklal street and reached Tunel funicular stop, we walked further on to Galip Dede street. This street became narrower and steeper. To your left and right are musical instrument shops. We walked further until to our right pops up Galata Tower. From Galata Tower its further downhill passing the Ottoman Bank museum and down to the Galata Bridge.