Separated from historic Constantinople by the Golden Horn, Beyoğlu is a district on the European side of Istanbul. It is considered the nightlife, entertainment and artistic heart of the city, with outstanding museums to explore. Beyoğlu encompasses diverse neighbourhoods that include Galata, Cihangir and Karaköy, as well as the pedestrian avenue of Istiklal and iconic Taksim Square.
Things to do in Beyoglu
Dominating the skyline of Beyoğlu is the Galata Tower, a medieval stone landmark built by the Genoese near the Golden Horn’s junction with the Bosphorus. Admire its Romanesque architecture and learn about its use as a prison in the 16th century before soaking up the views across Istanbul from the top.
For the next best thing to meeting your favourite personalities in real life, head to Madame Tussauds Istanbul where you can see realistic wax creations of big names in music, sport, film and politics. Get up close to the founder of the Turkish republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the conqueror, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, then see the life-like statues of Albert Einstein, Lady Gaga and Bruce Willis.
Contemporary Turkish artists are represented at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, which was established in 2004 based on the private collection of the Eczacıbaşı family. After browsing the abstract paintings, sculptures and photographic works on display, you can watch documentary films in the museum’s cinema. Gifts and art books are for sale at the Museum Store while freshly ground beans are served at Coffee Manifesto.
Getting around Beyoglu
Istanbul Airport is around 30 minutes’ drive from Beyoğlu while the Marmaray Sirkeci İstasyonu railway station is 10 minutes away. Subway services stop at the Şişhane and Taksim metro stations and connect to destinations across the city. Buses travel throughout Beyoğlu and nostalgic trams trundle along Istiklal Caddesi.