Beyoğlu is a unique quarter in the heart of Istanbul, near Taksim Square. In other words, a place where history and modernity are together. All kinds of people, mainly foreigners, authors, artists, journalists and students live here. In the 1800s Beyoğlu was the most European and modern section of Istanbul.
What to do
Above all, this district is famous for its historic trams, cafes, exquisite boutiques, bookstores and art galleries. Beyoglu is perfect to enjoy a traditional coffee or tea, meanwhile watching the frenetic Turkish life. İstiklal Caddesi is a long avenue and the most popular pedestrian spot for shopping and strolling around.
Çukurcuma is the old part of Beyoğlu, with antique dealers, old furniture shops and unique pieces from the past.
Cihangir is the calm side of Beyoğlu, with historical houses and narrow lanes. Above all, this part of the city is characterised by stray cats walking around. In the streets of this area residents and business owners take care of the cats with food and water; they are considered a symbol of luck. Here travellers can find numerous souvenirs shops selling handmade organic soap, ornaments, Turkish towels, jewellery and objects made by local designers.
For an authentic culinary experience, travellers can participate to a friendly cooking class with Oguz at the Istanbul cooking school. This half a day course starts with a nice walk though the traditional food and spices bazaar. After that, participants will prepare 5 dishes based on authentic Ottoman recipes. In addition, they will learn Turkish history and traditions.
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