Taksim is a vibrant neighbourhood set in the heart of Istanbul. A hub for shopping, dining, nightlife and entertainment, it’s one of the most exciting districts in the city. Stroll along the pedestrianised boulevard, ride the famous vintage tram and take in the views from a rooftop restaurant.
Things to do in Taksim
Taksim Square is the beating heart of the neighbourhood and a symbol of the city. The Republic Monument towers over the square and pays tribute to beloved Turkish statesman Ataturk, as well as other leaders. The northern side of the square is bordered by Gezi Park, a former Ottoman military base that’s been reimagined as an urban oasis filled with trees and flowers.
Pedestrianised Istiklal Caddesi cuts through Taksim and is lined with handsome 19th-century buildings. Many have been reclaimed as shops, cinemas and cultural centres. Don’t miss SALT Beyoğlu, a modern art museum with several galleries and a sun-drenched indoor garden on the top floor.
Others house lively cafes, bars and bistros. Riding the vintage tram along Istiklal Caddesi is a signature Taksim experience. Side streets branch off Istiklal Caddesi and boast a treasure trove of independent boutiques and antique stores.
Taksim is home to some of the best rooftop restaurants in the city, where you can enjoy delicious Turkish cuisine and breathtaking views over the Bosphorus Strait. Just north of Taksim Square, you’ll find a pair of stylish neighbourhoods called Teşvikiye and Nişantaşı. Stroll along tree-lined streets dotted with upscale boutiques and enjoy lunch at an elegant sidewalk cafe.
Getting around Taksim
Taksim is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, while trams run along Istiklal Caddesi and connect Taksim Square with Tunel Square. Taksim Station is serviced by the M2 line of the Istanbul Metro. It’s also a main stop on the Kabataş-Taksim Funicular line. Kabataş Ferry Terminal is a 20-minute walk from Taksim Square and Istanbul Ataturk Airport is a 30-minute drive away.