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Shopping Malls Near Taksim

Taksim is one of the most beautiful areas of Istanbul with its history, culture, and architecture. It is a region that is very popular with tourists visiting Istanbul. In addition to visiting the historical spots of Taksim and participating in cultural and social trips, you can also have a good time in the modern and the most preferred shopping centers of the city.

Since Taksim is the center of Istanbul and a highly preferred location, it is very easy to reach most points. Once you have chosen a mall that suits your needs and wishes, you can easily get there and have a great time. Shopping Malls that you can easily reach from the Taksim area: Demirören İstiklal, Grand Pera, Zorlu Center, Kanyon, İstinye Park, City’s Nişantaşı, Cevahir, Akmerkez, Uniq İstanbul, ÖzdilekPark İstanbul, and other ones.

Demirören  İstiklal Shopping Mall

Demirören İstiklal, located on İstiklal Street with its fascinating history and energy, offers its visitors a pleasant shopping experience.

Demirören İstiklal Beyoğlu, which has an architecture where classical and modern lines meet with its 41 store capacity in an area that accompanies the historical buildings lined up on both sides of İstiklal Street, will carry your shopping pleasure to the next level.

Adress : İstiklal Caddesi, No: 50-54, Beyoğlu/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 249 99 99

Grand Pera Shopping Mall

One of the most important historical buildings of Istanbul, Cercle d’Orient, which has met with its visitors after its restoration, revives the spirit of a beautiful period with its “gastrocity” concept gastronomy floor and Beyoğlu culture.

Grand Pera is one of the most important centers of Istanbul with its cinema and theater halls, the historical Emek Movie Theater of 540 people with a foyer area of 1,250 square meters.

Adress : Cercle d’Orient Binası, İstiklal Street, No: 56/58, Beyoğlu Telephone Number : +90 (212) 640 73 72

Zorlu Center Shopping Mall

Zorlu Center is located in one of the most beautiful spots in Istanbul.

Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co., Balmain, Brooks Brothers, Costa, Pomellato, brands such as Stella McCartney for the first time in Turkey with its shops. You also have the opportunity to shop from leading brands such as Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Fendi, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Michael Kors, Moncler, MontBlanc, Lego, Vakkorama, Sevan Bicakci, Sponza. As Turkey’s largest H & M, Oscar Mayer, Zara, Beymen Club, GAP, Pinko, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant, Network, Silk, Abdullah Kiğılı, mangos, for brands such as Judge and Lacoste you can Zorlu Center. Serving the world’s foremost inspired by Apple’s first store in Turkey, one of the brands Apple Shopping Center, presented the iconic cube concept store in New York.

In addition to technology and fashion, Zorlu Center continues to make a difference with its gourmet concepts. Eataly coming to Turkey for the first time and Morin, as well as restaurants such as the Morning and local restaurants like the Welldone, is located in the Mall with tough new concepts.

You can reach Zorlu Center Shopping Center when you get off at Gayrettepe station by taking the Yenikapı-Hacıosman subway from Taksim.

Adress: Levazım Mahallesi, Koru Sokak No:2, 34340 Beşiktaş/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 924 0100

Astoria Shopping Mall

Astoria Shopping  Mall offers its guests privileged shopping, living, and meeting opportunities in a busy business center with a very large residential area. Astoria, which has the highest twin atriums in Europe, has spacious interiors and a very large residential area. Different cafes and restaurants spread over a wide area, bringing together the delicious menus of the world and Turkish cuisines, reveal the pleasure of eating in Astoria.

The most important feature that distinguishes Astoria from other shopping centers is that it serves at night. The outdoor terrace area, Midpoint, the kitchen of the great chefs Big Chefs Cafe & Brasserie is open to Astoria visitors from 10:00 p.m. until midnight.

When you get off at Gayrettepe stop by using the M2 Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro line, you can reach Astoria Shopping Center after a 3-minute walk from the Esentepe exit towards Mecidiyeköy.

Adress: Büyükdere Caddesi, No: 127, Astoria Kuleleri, Pk: 34394 Şişli/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 215 22 22

Kanyon Shopping Mall

  117 stores, 28 restaurants, 9 cinema halls, health and offering a unique experience to its visitors with sports clubs Kanyon Shopping Center in Turkey and shop the best brands in the world, in gourmet restaurants and cafes can have a good time, with open-air performances can found in cultural activities.

The shops are open between 10:00 and 22:00 every day of the week, but outside these hours, you can contact restaurants and cafes for early breakfast or late dinners.

You can reach Kanyon Shopping Center when you take the Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro from Taksim and get off at the Levent stop.

Adress: Levent, Büyükdere Cd. No:185, 34394 Şişli/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 317 53 00

İstinye Park Shopping Mall

Istinye Park, the address of luxury shopping, offers its visitors the comfort of indoor space and open space at the same time with its spacious architecture, glass dome, and open green areas.

With its luxury shops, restaurants with a wide selection of world cuisines, 20 small shops serving the gourmet tastes of the Market Place that carries the spirit of the old neighborhoods, watching movies in the halls equipped with the most advanced technology, being a meeting point for children and having a pleasant time promises.

You need to get on the M2 Hacıosman side metro and get off at ITU Ayazağa stop after 5 stops. You can reach İstinye Park after walking approximately 900 meters.

Adress: Katar Caddesi,No:11 Sarıyer / İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 345 55 55

City’s Nişantaşı Shopping Mall

It has become a special place for shopping enthusiasts in Nişantaşı Teşvikiye Street, one of the most prestigious spots of the city. 155 national and international brands and more than thirty gourmet taste stops are located in City’s Nişantaşı.

More than 500 events are held annually, and the fitness area equipped with the latest technology fitness equipment has become the wellness center of Nişantaşı with the Oxygen Sports Club.

From Taksim, you can get off at the Osmanbey stop with Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro and reach City’s Nişantaşı Shopping Center with a 5-minute walk.

Adress: Teşvikiye Caddesi,Teşvikiye Mahallesi No: 12 34365 Şişli/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 373 33 33

Cevahir Shopping Mall

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Mall offers its visitors a pleasant shopping environment with its two hundred and thirty stores. In addition to its store mix of strong brands, Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Center, which is an important field of activity of strong brands of organized retail, can watch movies, experience delicious tastes and themed games in addition to shopping. Park FunLab, you can have unlimited fun and pleasant moments.

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Center is located at a strategic point of Turkey’s metropolis Istanbul. In this way, transportation is very easy. Take Yenikapı-Hacıosman (M2) metro line, get off at the Mecidiyeköy-Şişli stop. Use Şişli exit. There is a direct entrance to Cevahir from the Şişli Exit.

Adress:  19 Mayıs, Büyükdere Cd. No:22, 34360 Şişli/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 368 69 00

Akmerkez Shopping Mall

Akmerkez offers its guests a wonderful experience in its exclusive shops, fashion, entertainment, dining, and event areas. Akmerkez is a highly preferred shopping center with a comfortably designed triangular terrace away from the complex. Akmerkez continues to add value to the lives of its guests with its innovative services.

Take the Hacıosman metro and get off at the Levent stop. By transferring to Hisarüstü metro, you can reach Akmerkez Shopping Center when you get off at Nispetiye stop.

Adress: Kültür, Nispetiye Cd No:56, 34337 Beşiktaş/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 282 01 70

Trump Towers Shopping Mall

 Trump Shopping Center brings together local and foreign famous brands with its visitors. You can shop from popular brands such as Mango, Network, Flo, e-Bebek, English Home, Benetton, Roman, Home Store, and you can also reach the sports complex MacFit, the electronic market Media Markt and the market Migros.

The 9000 square meter floor of Trump Shopping Center is specially designed for children. There are colorful decoration, children’s stores, special eating and drinking places for children, D & R Kids. Every day of fun activities laid out on the floor from each other, Turkey’s first children’s KidzMondo city.

Also, Turkey’s greatest escape games while waiting for adventure enthusiasts Escapist center with 6 different games.

Get off at the Mecidiyeköy-Şişli stop on the Yenikapı-Hacıosman (M2) metro line. After getting off the subway, exiting the Mecidiyeköy exit, passing the lights to the Şişli District Police Department, continue on the left and walk for 2 minutes and then reach Trump Towers Shopping Mall.

Adress: Mecidiyeköy, Mecidiyeköy Yolu Cd. No:12, 34400 Şişli/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 348 78 40

Uniq İstanbul Shopping Mall

UNIQ Istanbul, which takes its name from the word unique, is one of the new centers of Istanbul with many activities such as concerts, theater, musical, exhibition, congress, training, meeting, seminar, shops, and restaurants.

  UNIQ Istanbul, which is a large culture and arts complex, hosts important artists with its 1.156 audience capacity, New Center of Seven Arts, UNIQ Hall with a capacity of 5.800, the Volkswagen Arena with the best acoustics in Europe, and the UNIQ Open Air Stage, surrounded by the forest with a capacity of 3,000. different events are organized.

UNIQ Istanbul, which is a large culture and arts complex, hosts important artists with its 1.156 audience capacity, New Center of Seven Arts, UNIQ Hall with a capacity of 5.800, the Volkswagen Arena with the best acoustics in Europe, and the UNIQ Open Air Stage, surrounded by the forest with a capacity of 3,000. different events are organized.

Take the Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro from Taksim and get off at 4th Levent. You can reach Uniq Istanbul when you get on one of the buses 41E, 41AT, 48L from the bus stops here, and get off at the Maslak Culture Center stop.

Adress: Huzur Mah, Maslak Ayazağa Cad No:4, Sarıyer, İstanbul Telephone Number: 0850 850 8647

 ÖzdilekPark İstanbul Shopping Mall

ÖzdilekPark Istanbul, prepared with a technical infrastructure that provides great convenience to its visitors; promises a unique shopping experience with 170 exclusive stores, Özdilek Hypermarket, electronic market, and also offers the opportunity to spend a pleasant time with family and friends with its 3.200 square meters common terrace area. It consists of children’s entertainment areas, Cinetime Cinemas, and a dining area with a seating capacity of 1,500 people.

To go to the Shopping Center, get off at the Levent stop of M2 Yenikapı – Hacıosman Metro Line.

Adress: Esentepe Mah. Büyükdere Cad. No.181 34394 Şişli / İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 386 88 50 – 51 -52

Metrocity Shopping Mall

MetroCity Shopping Center offers a unique shopping and entertainment environment with its 175 stores, restaurants and cafes, entertainment areas, strong brands, and food court.

MetroCity Shopping Center MMM Migros serves its customers with large stores such as Decathlon, Boyner, Flo, Marks & Spencer, Joker, Teknosa, LC Waikiki, D&R and, e-Bebek, cafes and restaurants such as Starbucks, and a strong food court. Also, shopping turns into entertainment in MetroCity with entertainment centers that appeal to all ages such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, and children’s playgrounds.

To reach the shopping center, use the Hacıosman – Yenikapı metro line. After getting off the subway at 1. Levent subway station, you can reach the shopping center by following the escalators directed as “MetroCity Exit”.

Adress: Büyükdere Cd. No: 171,1.Levent/İstanbul Telephone Number:  +90 (212) 344 06 60

Historia Shopping Mall

Historia Fatih Shopping and Life Center offer a spacious shopping environment to its visitors with its glass ceiling, a fountain pool, and open-air cafes. It serves in a wide range of clothing, home decoration, technology, and food markets, and various restaurants.

Bowling and children’s playgrounds are located in the shopping center. Also, cultural activities such as fashion shows, concerts, children’s events, signature days are organized from time to time.

After getting on the metro from Taksim, transfer to the airport metro at Yenikapı stop. When you get off at the Aksaray stop, you can reach Historia Shopping Center.

Adress: Adnan Menderes Bulvarı No:2 Fatih/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 532 02 02

Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall

At Forum Istanbul, you can reach 286 stores and many well-known domestic and foreign brands in many different categories from fashion, technology, sports to decoration, including Ikea, MediaMarkt, Decathlon, Zara, and H&M. Also, FunLab, Legoland Discovery Center, Sea Life Istanbul There are unique entertainment centers such as Aquarium, Cinemaximum Cinemas, and Joypark.

SEA LIFE Istanbul has the longest underwater ocean tunnel in Europe at 83 meters. It hosts 61 sharks from 15 different species. The Legoland Discovery Center offers fun and educational activities for families with children aged 3-10 in an area of 3,000 square meters in Forum Istanbul. In addition to shopping and entertainment, it offers its visitors delicious dishes of Turkish and world cuisine with its stylish restaurants, various fast-food brands, and popular cafes.

Transfer from Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro line to Atatürk Airport metro. When you get off at the Kocatepe stop of the metro, you can reach Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall.

Adress: Kocatepe Mahallesi, Paşa Caddesi 34045 Bayrampaşa/İstanbul Telephone Number: +90 (212) 443 13 50

Aqua Florya Shopping Mall

Aqua Florya Shopping Center, which serves its visitors with 145 stores, an open amphitheater with a seating capacity of 900 people, 11 movie theaters, exhibition-culture areas, an Open Market place, and a wide range of brands, includes the world’s largest thematic aquarium, Istanbul Aquarium.

In addition to these experiences, it is a place frequented by cafes and restaurants with sea views that offer its visitors delicious flavors from different cuisines, and different events it will host in its large amphitheater.

Take the Yenikapı-Hacıosman subway, get off at Yenikapı and transfer to Marmaray. You can reach Aqua Florya Shopping Center when you get off at Marmaray and Florya Aquarium stop.

Adress: Şenlikköy Mahallesi Yeşilköy Halkalı Cad. No:93 34153 Florya-İstanbul Phone Number: +90 (212) 574 59 00

What to Eat in Taksim

You are visiting Taksim and have a hunger to appetize, or you want to try out some food from this beautiful land of İstanbul? There are many restaurants and flavors to try. One can choose between many options and have a tasty experience in Taksim.

There are many restaurants in Taksim where you can have a tasty dinner in a splendid ambiance with good service quality. You may reserve a table that gives a beautiful view of Istanbul, or you can go to a cafe that cooks authentic Anatolian food.

Just BBQ

Just BBQ is a smokehouse for meat-lovers. With its classy environment and service quality, it is a place where you can feel the respect for the customers and the value that they give to their jobs.

The menu consists of not only the main course options but also gives you a chance to taste its burgers and sandwiches. If you cannot decide between those tasty options, you can always order a mixed plate called “Just Combo” that includes Cherry Wood Smoked Ribs, Brisket, Hot Dog, Potatoes, Cole Slaw, and Demi-Glace Barbeque Sauce

  • Dana Brisket (Calf Brisket) 11.71 USD
  • Just Kombo XL 33.72 USD
  • Brisket Burger 6.36 USD
  • Çarkıfelek Limonata 2.28 USD

Address: Vişnezade Mah. Şair Nedim Cad. Akaretler 33/A, 34357 Beşiktaş

Phone number: +908502551378

Otantik Anadolu Yemekleri

Otantik Anadolu Yemekleri (Otantik Anatolian Food) offers its customers a taste of Turkish cuisine. With its rich menu, it attracts customers that are both new to Turkish Cuisine and that already tasted and loved it. 

You can order local Anatolian food, maybe a soup, or you can have pastries such as mantı and gözleme. Also, you can order a vegetable with olive oil. Furthermore, grills and kebabs are on the menu.

  • Otantik Yuvalama Çorba 1.78 USD
  • Keşkek 2.80 USD
  • Mantı 3.56 USD
  • Patatesli Gözleme 2.16 USD

Address: Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, No 80/A, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122938451

360 İstanbul

360 İstanbul, located in the Historical Misir Apartment in Beyoglu, is a restaurant with a unique view of İstanbul, in the middle of Taksim. It offers food from various cuisines such as Turkish, Japanese, and many more. If you have the budget for it and want to have an evening where you can watch the sunset while enjoying delicious food, this is the place for it.

A menu with much quality food and a wide range of white and red wines awaits you from 4 pm to 2 am on Sundays until Thursdays and from 4 pm to 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant also includes a bar that opens at 2 pm every day.

  • Asma Yaprağında Çupra 11.32 USD
  • 360 Kuzu Kafes Konfi 19.72 USD
  • Safranlı Risotto 7.63 USD

Address: Tomtom, İstiklal Cd. No:163 K: 8, İstiklal Cd., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone number: +90533 691 03 60


With a 23 year history, Faros Kebab is a meat restaurant in the middle of Taksim. The menu consists of various kebabs such as Adana, Urfa, Şaşlık, and Kallavi. One can also taste a steak in this restaurant. One can take a look at the menu, the place, and make a reservation through its website

  • Adana Kebap 4.58 USD
  • Urfa Kebap 4.58 USD
  • Beef Steak 5.85 USD

Address: Kocatepe Mahallesi, Cumhuriyet Caddesi, No 31/A, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122976077

Meze by Lemon Tree

Meze by Lemon Tree is a place to experience a classical İstanbul night off with authentic Turkish drink rakı. The menu consists of various savory appetizers, salads, and main courses. 

For the main course, you can either have meat such as different kebabs or lamb steak. Also, you can choose to eat seafood such as anglerfish, sea bass, shrimp, and many more.

  • Izgara Kuzu Lokum 10.85 USD
  • Kağıtta Levrek, Kayısı ve Badem ile 8.27 USD
  • Fındıklı Muhallebi, Tahin ve Dut Pekmezi ile 2.93 USD

Address: Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi, No 83/B, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122528302


Eleos Restaurant is a Greek tavern located on the 2nd floor of a historic building near İstiklal. After the cold starters, you can order a savory appetizer among shrimps, calamari, and many more.

For the main course, you can have fish depending on the season, and then you can order “ouzo” which is a traditional Greek drink. Also worth mentioning that this place offers its customers a beautiful view of the Bosphorus.

  • Midyeli Lahana Sarma 1.27 USD
  • Somon Füme 2.42 USD
  • Fish prices depend on the season

Address: Tomtom Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, Hıdivyal Palas, Kat 2, No: 231, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122449091 and +902122449090

No: 19 Dining

With its cozy design and rich menu, No: 19 Dining welcomes its customers to have a tasteful experience in a home-like atmosphere. The menu consists of different food from various cuisines.

For the main course, you can have local food like İslim Kebabı or İmam Bayıldı. If you like, you can experience dinner in faraway by picking one among the food from various cuisines of the world. If you are a vegetarian, they have many options for vegetarian food on the menu. Are you interested? You can make a reservation from

  • Kişnişli Tavuk 1.53 USD
  • İmam Bayıldı 1.91 USD
  • İslim Kebabı 2.54 USD
  • Vegetarian Option: Smoked Paprika Cured Hamachi 10$

Address: Kuloğlu Mahallesi, Faik Paşa Caddesi, No 6, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122927348


Fıccın is a tavern that takes its name from a famous Circassian dish. The restaurant is known for its Circassian food also offers its customers a dinner with Turkish drink rakı and various starters that goes well with rakı. If rakı is not your favorite, that is also fine because the menu includes wine, tequila, vodka, and many more.

For the main course you can have Circassian or Turkish food; meat, fish or vegetable cooked in olive oil. If it all sounds attractive to you, you can take a look at their menu and contact them to make a reservation through their website

  • Yaprak Ciğer 4.83 USD
  • Fırında Kaşarlı Sütlü Kabak 2.54 USD
  • Ispanak Kavurma 2.16 USD

Address: Asmalımescit Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, Kallavi Sokak, No: 13/1, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122933786


İstanbul’s gastronomic restaurant Nicole with menus that consists of fresh and authentic ingredients, chateau-style wines, and experienced staff are appealing to visitors with a taste that is selective and refined.

Nicole is a luxury restaurant that offers its customers a classy atmosphere. The menu includes contemporary Mediterranean cuisine.

The name of the restaurant comes from Agnes Marthe Nicole, who healed numerous patients in the historic building that it locates in. The building was a Franciscan monastery until the 20th century. There is also a bar alongside the restaurant where you can continue the night.

There exists 2 menus:Nicole and Celebration that worth different prices:

  • Nicole 66.16 USD
  • Celebration (Kutlama) 83.97 USD

Address: Tomtom Suites, Tomtom Mahallesi, Boğazkesen Caddesi, Tomtom Kaptan Sokak, No 18, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122924467

Pera Antakya

Here is a restaurant that serves dishes from Antakya cuisine. Antakya cuisine makes use of all ingredients that are made use of in typical Mediterranean cuisine. The fact that 200 out of 400 recipes of Antakya cuisine are original shows us that it is a significant one. 

Although tasting the food in Antakya would be the best you could do, you can try some of it at Pera Antakya. Once you appease your hunger with some delicious meal, you can give Kunefe, the famous dessert of Antakya try.

  • Meze Plate for 2 9.16 USD
  • Pera Antakya Wrap 4.45 USD

Address: Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Balyoz Sokak, No:14, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +905334341886

Sabırtaşı Restaurant

Founded in 1987, Sabırtaşı Restaurant offers its customers sincerity and warmth alongside delicious food from Kahramanmaraş cuisine. In Sabırtaşı Restaurant, you can have the menu of a local household in Kahramanmaraş.

You can try the famous İçli Köfte, the fist-sized burghul balls filled with seasoned minced meat and then you can have Ev Burması, a special kind of baklava, as a dessert.

  • Kahramanmaraş Ekşili Çorba 1.27 USD
  • Kuzu Şiş 5.34 USD
  • Izgara Köfte 4 USD

Address: Asmalımescit Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, No: 112, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122519423, +902122448226 and +905422604611

Hacı Abdullah Lokantası

Hacı Abdullah Lokantası established in 1888 in Karaköy dock. Sultan Abdülhamid the 2nd gave the business license to the restaurant. After that, the restaurant transferred from master to apprentice, and today it is located in Taksim as Hacı Abdullah Lokantası.

The menu is rich, consists of kebabs, vegetables, pastries (börek and pasta), desserts, and more. As a dessert, you can try local Turkish desserts such as Tavuk Göğsü and Sakızlı Muhallebi. Also, you can try the special Hacı Abdullah Poppy Seed Dessert.

  • İçli Köfte 3.2 USD
  • Elbasan Tava 6.1 USD
  • Hacı Abdullah Poppy Seed Dessert 2.42 USD

Address: Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Atıf Yılmaz Caddesi, No 9/A, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122938561

Asmalı Cavit

Asmalı Cavit is a classical İstanbul tavern (meyhane) that is in Asmalımescit. The menu consists of cold appetizers, hot appetizers, meat, fish, and desserts. You can also make a choice of alcohol from their alcohol menu.

Asmalı Cavit is famous for its eggplant salad and grilled anchovy. One advantage of Asmalı Cavit is how cheap it is for the quality of food and the service. You can safely take your guests to Asmalı Cavit and satisfy your appetite on a budget. 

  • Köz Patlıcan (Eggplant Salad) 2 USD
  • Şakşuka (Eggplant with Yogurt) 2 USD
  • Kuzu Pirzola (Lamb Chops) 8.3 USD

Address: Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Asmalımescit Caddesi, No 16/D, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122924950

Cezayir İstanbul

Spreading over three floors in a historical building in the center of Istanbul’s urban life, Cezayir offers a unique dining and event experience with space alternatives of different content, function, and scale.

The large and evergreen garden, which has become a classic for Beyoğlu, and the stylish bar section with high ceilings and fireplace on the garden floor, is undoubtedly the most striking point of Cezayir.

The menu consists of starters, main course, kinds of pasta, wraps, and snacks. An advantage of the menu is that it has vegan options for their vegetarian and vegan visitors.

  • Muhammara 2.8 USD
  • Kavurmalı Humus (Hummus with Roasted Beef) 4.6 USD

Address: Firuzağa Mahallesi, Hayriye Caddesi, No 12, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122459980

Pano Şarapevi

Founded in 1898 by Panayot Papadopulus, Pano Şarapevi is a classical Winehouse in Taksim. With its historical ambiance, Pano Şarapevi offers its customers a unique dining experience. 

The menu consists of cheese plates, cold appetizers, hot appetizers, salads, red meat, various seafood and fish, chicken, pasta, and drinks. There also exists a wine menu with a wide range of options.

  • Chicken Fajitas 5.7 USD
  • Kalamar Tava (Fried Squids) 5.45 USD
  • Spaghetti Napoletana 3.9 USD
  • Fettucine Di’ Pano 5.1 USD

Address: Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Hamalbaşı Caddesi, No 12/B, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122926664

Müşterek Meyhane

Opened its doors in March 2014, Müşterek Meyhane is a tavern in Taksim. With its warm environment and good quality service, it welcomes its visitors to have dinner in peace.

The menu includes some warm and cold starters such as mezes for rakı table. One advantage of this place is that you do not have to use alcohol to have dinner. You can always choose to have a drink with no alcohol. This flexibility makes it more than a tavern.

  • Köfte Izgara 4.45 USD
  • Çoban Kavurma 6.4 USD
  • Sebzeli Karides 5.7 USD

Address: Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, Mis Sokak, No 15, Kat 2, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +905557186559

Limonlu Bahçe

Abidin Doğan, Vildan Erozan, and Murat Şeker established Limonlu Bahçe in June 2001. The cafe takes its name from the lemon garden that it resides. According to the information on their website, Limonlu Bahçe is the first ‘chill-out zone’ of İstanbul.

In the mornings, the cafe offers its customers a range of breakfast menus, and in the evenings, it becomes a place where you can have dinner and with or without alcohol.

The menu includes red meat, vegetables, seafood, and pasta as the main course. You can also take a look at the particular part of the menu called Lemon Fest. For the dessert, you can choose between Tiramisu, Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce, and many more.

There also exists a drink menu where you can pick an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. Frozens made with seasonal fruits, lemonade, and cocktails made with the lemon from the garden, rich wine list preferred with the meal or separately, afternoon or evening drinks are the options of drinks one can try.

  • Kırmızı Etli Dürüm ( Red Meat Wrap) 4.7 USD
  • Lİnguini Piliçli (Chicken Linguini) 4.3 USD
  • Bonfile Izgara (Fillet Steak) 9.3 USD
  • Romlu Bitki Çayları (Herbal Tea with Rum) 3.9 USD

Address: Tomtom Mahallesi, Yeni Çarşı Caddesi, No 74, Beyoğlu, İstanbul

Phone number: +902122521094

More from Taksim

Once you stop for an eat at Taksim, there are more to try and visit that you should not miss. Try some local Turkish drinks and food and see the historical places.

Taste Ayran

I suggested you try rakı, the local alcohol drink from Turkey. Now I have a suggestion that one must try once they visit Turkey. If you are from abroad and have never tried ayran, the cold drink made from yogurt, you must give it a try.

Eat Turkish Delight

Turkish delight is one of the most famous local delicacies one should taste. Try to taste a variety of kinds of Turkish delight, and don’t forget to make it a gift to your loved ones.

Experience the Night Life in Taksim

While you are traveling, listen to the music of the street and see some street art. You can even take a picture in front of a wall full of art.

Street Music and Graffiti 

While you are traveling, listen to the music of the street and see some street art. You can even take a picture in front of a wall full of art.

Visit Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM)

Founded in the 1960s, AKM is a cultural center and an opera house that hosts magnificent stage shows such as theaters, musicals, operas from Turkish State Opera and Ballet.

Take a Walk in İstiklal Avenue

There are a whole bunch of things that you can do in the most famous street in İstanbul. You can visit the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, St. Anthony of Padua Church, and Pera Museum there

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum:

The museum consists of 4 different areas where you can find wax statues of many famous people. These areas are Music, Sport, VIP Party, and Film.

You can book a visit from their website and buy a ticket for a reasonable price. The prices for online tickets are starting from 62 Turkish Liras (7.89 USD). You can buy a 2 Attractions Ticket for 95 Turkish Liras (12 USD) and visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center or Sea Life. If you want to see all of those places, then you can buy a 3 Attractions ticket for 113 Turkish Liras (14.4 USD).

Address: Hüseyinağa, Grand Pera, İstiklal Cd. no: 56 D:58, 34440 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

St. Anthony of Padua Church:

Being the largest Catholic temple in İstanbul, the church was originally built for the Italian people that live in İstanbul in 1725.

Address:  Tomtom, İstiklal Cd. No:171, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Pera Museum:

Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation established the Pera Museum in 2005 to provide wide-scale and quality cultural and arts services.

Address: Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:65, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Where is Taksim Istanbul?

Taksim is a cosmopolitan town, a communications center, and a major industry, entertainment & shopping area for tourists to have a nice walking tour of Istanbul city. This is the new part of Istanbul and the center of it. It is a remarkable place with its square, crowded streets, lively and entertaining environments, cafes, and restaurants. But how to get to Taksim from airports or other districts and what to do here?

When we say Istanbul, many places come to our minds. But some places come first. One of them is Taksim Square, which has become the symbol of the Beyoğlu district. Taksim Square is known for its history and beauty as well as witnessing political and social events. In short, if you happen to be in Istanbul, do not return without seeing this place. Before going to the Taksim, it is necessary to do some research. It will help you to learn the shortest and safest ways to travel from airports or other districts.

Brown Concrete Building Under Blue Sky

There are many places to visit in Taksim. There are many park areas, entertainment venues, shopping centers, cafes, and restaurants in Taksim. The excursion park, flower passage, Atatürk Cultural Center, Galatasaray Bath, Republic Monument, and İstiklal Street are among the places to be seen here.

How to Get to Taksim Square?

How to Get From the New Istanbul Airport (IST) to Taksim?

Istanbul Airport (IST) is one of the two airports in Istanbul. The airport is located on the European side of the Black Sea coast, about 45 km from Taksim. It takes about 90 minutes to go from IST to Taksim You have several options for reaching Taksim.

Havaist Airport Buses and commercial taxis are travel options between Istanbul Airport (IST) and Taksim.

Havaist Airport Bus

  • At Istanbul Airport, Havaist Airport Passenger Services, Domestic Terminal Arrivals Lounge, -2. Departs from the stop at the public transport exit on the floor. 
  • It takes approximately 95 minutes between Istanbul Airport and Taksim by Havaist Airport Buses (This period may vary depending on the weather and traffic conditions of Istanbul.) 
  • The fee for the Havaist – Taksim line is 25 TL (3,24 $).
  • The card payment system for Havaist Airport buses is at the trial stage, so we recommend that you have cash in Turkish lira with you.
  • There is no option to pre-book or buy tickets for the bus. Therefore, you should make sure that you are converting enough Turkish lira.
  • All Havaist lines serve 24/7. Buses that take place every 20-30 minutes during the day and once an hour after midnight.


From the New Istanbul Airport (IST), you can take a taxi. You can use local taxis to get from the airport to the city center. If we assume that you are going to take a local taxi from Istanbul Airport to Taksim at an average distance of 45 km the IST taxi fare will be about 20-22 $.

How to Get From Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) to Taksim?

The other airport in Istanbul is Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport. The two easiest alternatives to get to Taksim from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport are Havabüs Airport Busses and commercial taxis.

Havabüs Airport Bus

  • Havabüs Buses are in white color and the departure point at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport is opposite the arrivals floor exit of the terminal building.
  • It takes approximately 90 minutes between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Taksim by Havaist Airport Buses (This period may vary depending on the weather and traffic conditions of Istanbul.) 
  • The fee for the Havabüs – Taksim line is 18 TL (2,34 $).
  • The only payment method is cash to pay the ticket fee on the Havabüs Airport Bus. 
  • There is no option to pre-book or buy tickets for the bus. Therefore, you should make sure that you are converting enough Turkish lira.
  • Havabüs shuttles running every half hour between 06:30 and 00:30. 


From the Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), you can take a taxi. You can use local taxis to get from the airport to the city center. If we assume that you are going to take a local taxi from Istanbul Airport to Taksim at an average distance of 45 km the SAW taxi fare will be about 20-22 $.

How to Get From Other Districts to Taksim?

Transportation to Taksim is very easy. IETT Municipality Buses and subway services are provided to Taksim from many parts of Istanbul. Istanbulkart is the card used in Istanbul city buses, subway, trams, and ferries. You can easily use public transportation services if you load money on this card by purchasing it from sales points and subway sale machines.

If you are coming from the Anatolian Side, coming to Beşiktaş, Kabataş or Karaköy with the Şehirhatları Ferries,
You can reach by buses from Beşiktaş and by funicular from Kabataş and Karaköy.

Those coming from Fatih can easily reach Taksim by tram (T1 line) between Bağcılar – Kabataş and those coming from Bakırköy by bus.

Also, you can always use commercial taxis and apps like Careem, iTaksi, Bitaksi.

Why is Taksim Square Famous?

Taksim Square, located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, is one of the most important and famous points of the city. The region is a tourist attraction center. It is of great importance as it hosts entertainment venues, important hotels, shopping points, and cultural places around. It has become a square in its full sense in the Republic Period. In 2013, the traffic in the square was officially closed and the square became pedestrian.

Taksim cannot be described as a district. Seeing it as a square and a series of buildings surrounding it is more correct. The region, which was a narrow region lined with old buildings, took on its present appearance before it became a square, after being converted into a square and extended. In the center of the square, the Republic Monument is not only used on national days as a ceremony place but also serves as a meeting place for those who come to spend time in Istiklal Street and its surroundings.

People at the Street Near Tram

The nostalgic tram runs to Tünel from the start of the square. Many stores, cinemas, and theaters, art workshops, exhibition halls, restaurants, discotheques, and cafes are housed there. In Taksim, there is 24-hour movement, especially on weekends; most of the local fast-food restaurants at the entrance of the square (including those on weekdays) are open all day on weekends. Nightclubs do not close until early in the morning.

Taksim, which has become an important transportation hub, has begun to demonstrate the characteristics of a crossroad rather than a square. Taksim Square is close to many popular areas of Istanbul such as Nişantaşı, Sultanahmet, Tophane, Mecidiyeköy, Şişli, Karaköy, Tünel, Yenikapı. Near the square, taxis offer transportation around the clock and it is certainly a place where everyone can meet.

What Is It There to Do at Taksim at Night?

We can easily say that Taksim is the heart of Istanbul and alive for 24 hours. Taksim is a cosmopolitan town, a communications center, and big tourist business, entertainment, and shopping area for a pleasant walking tour of the city of Istanbul. Istiklal Street provides a wide variety of dining choices, from luxury restaurants to high-quality restaurants and cafés where visitors and locals go. In Taksim, you will find all kinds of food, Turkish and world cuisine for your taste. Most of the famous restaurants and cafes are located on Istiklal Avenue and in the Taksim tourist zone, where all the hotels are located. In Taksim, the famous dining and wining places are located on Nevizade Path, French Street (Fransız Caddesi), Flower Passage (Çiçek Pasajı), and Asmalimescit. A wide selection of great cafes, restaurants, pubs, bistros, live music bars, and night clubs can be found here.

The best address for a Turkish-style nightlife and dining experience is the taverns called “Meyhane”. In meyhanes, musicians play Turkish music (fasıl), and Rakı is served. Rakı is an alcoholic traditional Turkish drink. It is often served with seafood and mezze (a selection of small dishes served as appetizers).

Usually, the streets are filled with people, young and old, on any given night. All with the same target, having rakı, beer, or wine, to have a good time out while enjoying mezzes or other small dishes, accompanied by alcoholic beverages.

Famous Meyhanes in Taksim

  • Tarihi Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi, a restaurant rooted in the history of Beyoğlu, was opened in the early years of the Republic and was popular with Turkish poets and authors. A special table was often maintained for Atatürk, too. There are classic Meyhane dishes on the menu. Some nights of the week on the upper floor, there is live fasıl.
  • In Asmalı Cavit for years, the owner Cavit Bey has served healthy food and a welcoming atmosphere in another classic meyhane in the Asmalımescit neighborhood, (thus properly called ‘Asmalı Cavit’). All at Cavit is thoroughly nostalgic, from the old movie posters on the walls to the endless rotating of meze dishes from the open kitchen.
  • Firuze Beyoğlu, Sade Meyhane, Yakup 2 are other famous methane’s in Taksim

Alcohol, Appetizer, Raki, Melon

Other Famous Night-Outs in Taksim

  • 360 Istanbul, which is on the list of the best roof bars and nightclubs of Istanbul, welcomes entertainment lovers on the upper floor of the Historical Mısır Apartment in Beyoğlu, one of the central districts of the city. Both in Turkey and abroad famous domestic and foreign DJs from the scene takes place in Istanbul where there are 360 branches in Izmir. Also, the venue provides great convenience in terms of transportation as it is located in the middle of Istiklal Street.
  • In Nardis Jazz Club, live music performances take place almost every week, which is one of the favorite places for jazz music lovers. With a capacity of 120 people, the venue is like a nightclub and the naivety and energy of jazz music is reflected in the interior design. Jazz bands from abroad also take the stage at the venue located on Galata Tower Street.
  • In Zelda Zonk Karaköy, where the view is very good and the heart of the nightlife is kept, you can taste delicious cocktails in the place where there are 2 separate terraces and enjoy the music while watching the unique night view of the Historical Peninsula.
  • Open since 1994, at some stage in their lives, almost every Istanbul local has been to Roxy, whether to see a Turkish pop legend or a globally known folk artist. There’s always something going down on weekends at Roxy, and it’s a safe idea after midnight.

Is Taksim Square Safe at Night?

Taksim, the center of the Beyoğlu district, has become the center of Istanbul’s nightlife. Famous for its colorful and lively nightlife, the Taksim area has many and different venue options for those who want to have fun.

You can find many nightclubs and bars near Taksim Square. Also, you will reach Asmalımescit at the end of İstiklal Street, which is just before the famous Tunnel square of Beyoğlu, you can reach there by walking from Taksim, and is dominated by heavy pedestrian traffic. In Asmalımescit; There are bars, small clubs, and taverns. Here, you can find a very busy crowd every day of the week.

But Teksim’s nightlife has its traps, like any other tourist spot in the world, so here some travel tips on things not to do in Istanbul to have a very enjoyable experience. In fact, these suggestions are valid for all famous and crowded places in the world.

Here 4 tips you should be careful of while you are enjoying your night in Istanbul:

  • Don’t walk alone. When necessary, always remain within a group. You’ll decrease the chance of being targeted by people who are up to no good and might be out to take advantage by sticking close to the people you trust and know well.
  • Find out as much as you can about where you’re going. Read comments and postings about places where you will spend your night and have fun.
  • If you drink alcohol, remain in control. Know and never push the boundaries. Also, keep a close eye on your beverages and never leave them at any point unattended.
  • Take a taxi when you traveling at night. Using a taxi and get home safely is worth that little extra cost.

Taksim is a cosmopolitan place, a communications hub for tourists to have a pleasant walking tour of Istanbul city, and a major business, entertainment, and shopping district. Taksim is located in the center of Istanbul and can be reached easily and by different methods from airports and other districts. There are events to be held in Taksim for all ages and entertainment styles, and it is a must-visit point for everyone who comes to Istanbul.

Are Istanbul Airport Taxis Safe?

Taxis are commercial automobiles that usually carry passengers within the city and the fare is determined by taximeters. Taxis are widely used during transportation from Istanbul airports to the city center. Taxis provide great convenience when you arrive in the city and people expect to take the shortest route to avoid overpayment. But the reliability of taxis is discussed in all metropolises around the world. So, what should we pay attention to when using a taxi in Istanbul?

Taking a taxi in Istanbul is an affordable, simple, and convenient way of transport. However, all drivers are not reliable. Luckily, most of them are fair, but there is an increasing number of instances where tourists get hustled in Istanbul while taking a taxi ride. Before going to the city, it is necessary to do some research. It will help you to learn safe ways to find a taxi from airports, to be informed about the normal prices you can pay for a taxi that will take you to various districts of Istanbul, to download smartphone applications that you can use when calling a taxi.

Taxi Types at the Taxi Stands of Istanbul Airports

There are 3 types of taxis from airports. Yellow, turquoise, and black taxis. The most commonly used and the standard one is the yellow taxis.  Turquoise taxis take comfort one step further. Black taxis are suitable for crowded groups and those who want a luxurious journey.

  • The regular yellow local taxis are C Segment ones (such as Fiat Aegea, Dacia Sandero, Renault Clio, etc.). 
  • Turquoise taxis (like VW Passat, Skoda Superb, Opel Insignia, etc.) are those from the D segment. 
  • Black taxis (like Mercedes E180, Mercedes Vito, etc.) are VIP and E segment taxis. 

Turquoise taxis account for 15%, and black taxis are 100% more expensive than yellow taxis. In other words, for a journey of 100 TL in yellow taxis, the passenger will pay 115 TL in turquoise taxis and 200 TL in black taxis.

Are There Taxi Scams in Istanbul?

Sadly, as in many parts of the globe, taxi scams are a major issue in Turkey. While there are really good taxi drivers, during the day you can come across a poor driver. It would be a safe way to stop scams by having a cab firm that your hotel agrees with instead of on-road taxis. 

Here Are the 9 Tips & Things You Might Need to Be Careful About

  • Before taking the taxi, you can do a little research about the route you will go to and have information about how many kilometers it will take.
  • Be careful about choosing a taxi. Make sure that the license plate is written on the vehicle’s doors and roof. These are legal and registered taxis, if you encounter a problem, you can reach the taxi stand and complain as long as you know the license plate.
  • While getting in or out of the taxi, you can write down the license plate and the name of the station or take a picture with your phone and save it.
  • Look for the meter once you are safely seated in the taxi. Istanbul’s taximeters are normally placed behind a shift stick. You can get out immediately if the taxi does not have a meter. Some cab drivers will try to make you reason for the breaking of the meter to get you to settle to a fixed price. Do not fall for the trick of this. If the cab has a meter, when you reach the car, it should read 5 TL ($ 0,61).
  • Not many taxi drivers speak English in Turkey, so at times you might run into non-understanding. You can determine your route with navigation applications (such as Google Maps) from your smartphone and give the necessary guidance to the taxi driver.
  • Share the attitudes and behaviors if there’s any you are uncomfortable with the driver. Explain clearly that if it is going fast, it should go slow, if the sound of the music is very clear, it should be turned down, it would be better to open the window if the interior of the vehicle is stuffy. You can use Google Translate to do that. It is not rude at all.
  • There are some additional fees you will pay in addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul. These are valid for bridge, highway, and bus terminal entrance and exit fees. It is added to your taxi fare, don’t be surprised.
  • It is not compulsory to leave a tip for taxi drivers in Istanbul. If the driver also carried your luggage and luggage, you can leave a tip.
  • You can pay by credit card in any taxis in Istanbul.

How Does the Taxi Fare Work at Airports in Istanbul?

At Istanbul Airport, taxis serve in front of the passenger exits of the Domestic and International terminals. 

Taxi fares at Istanbul Airport are calculated by adding the km price above the starting price. 

When you want to reach your destination by taxi from Istanbul Airport, you can get information from taxi drivers over the approximate km. 

In Istanbul Airport taxis, the same tariff is valid 24 hours a day. But in the city, there are day & night tariffs.

There are some additional fees you will pay in addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul. These are valid for bridge, highway, and bus terminal entrance and exit fees. It is added to your taxi fare, don’t be surprised.

•           Yellow Taxi: Opening fee is 0,61 $; km fee is 0,38 $ and short distance travel is 1,60 $ (to prevent people from taking taxis for too short distances).

•           Turquoise Taxi: Opening fee is 0,71 $; km fee is 0,44 $ and short distance travel is 1,84 $ .

•           Black (VIP) Taxi: Opening fee is 1,05 $; km fee is 0,65 $ and short distance travel is 2,72 $.

How Much Will I Pay When I Take a Taxi From Istanbul Airport?

For Yellow (Standard) taxis, approximate taxi fares between Istanbul New Airport and some districts:

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Taksim: 22 $ – 25 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Esenler Bus Station: 18 $ – 20 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Tüyap fair center: 17 $ – 20 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport and – Sultan Ahmet Mosque: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Bakırköy IDO pier: 19 $ – 22 $

)Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Kadıköy: 27 $ – 30 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Eminönü: 20 $ – 25 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Şişli: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Beşiktaş: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – 4. Levent: 20 $ – 22 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Mecidiyeköy: 20 $ – 23 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Aksaray: 20 $ – 22 $

*These charges are written according to best-case scenarios and low traffic. The price of waiting for a minute is 0,055 $. This may be because of heavy traffic or your request to make someone or someone waiting for you.

How Much Will I Pay When I Take a Taxi From Istanbul Airport?

For Yellow (Standard) taxis, approximate taxi fares between Sabiha Gökçen and some districts:

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Taksim: 18 $ – 19 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Esenler Bus Station: 25 $ – 26 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Harem Bus Station: 16 $ – 17 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen and – Sultan Ahmet Mosque: 20 $ – 23 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Çekmeköy: 12 $ – 13 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Kadıköy: 14 $ – 15 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Üsküdar: 15 $ – 16 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Ataşehir: 11 $ – 13 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Mecidiyeköy: 15 $ – 16 $

* These charges are written according to best-case scenarios and low traffic. The price of waiting for a minute is 0,055 $. This may be because of heavy traffic or your request to make someone or someone waiting for you.

How Can I Arrange My Transfer Between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport?

•           One option is to go from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by Havaist Airport Buses. These buses run at certain times. The distance between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport is approximately 70 km. The approximate journey time between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport by Havaist Buses is 75 – 85 minutes. This time may vary depending on weather and road conditions. Havaist Airport Buses Ticket price between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Istanbul New Airport: 4,55 $.

•           Another option is to get from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by airport taxis. The approximate journey time from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by taxi is around 45 – 55 minutes. It may vary according to weather and road conditions. Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport Sabiha Gökçen Airport: 30 $ – 33 $.

Can I Take Uber From Airports in Istanbul?

In Istanbul, is Uber available? Sadly, the answer to the question is no. Why doesn’t Uber serve in Istanbul, though? Uber did, in fact, want to serve in Istanbul. Uber was available in Istanbul until 2019; Uber’s presence was not allowed, however. In recent years, Uber has survived many legal problems; and finally, after the court’s decision in 2019, Uber is completely inaccessible from Turkey.

Are There Apps That Provide Services Like Uber in Istanbul?

Although we hear the name of Uber a lot, many platforms serve like it. Here is an alternative transport service operating in Turkey.

Uber alternative taxi applications in Istanbul:

•           iTaksi

•           Careem Taxi Calling Application

•           BiTaksi


iTaksi is an application created by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In the application, you can see the approximate distance and price by specifying your destination before calling a taxi. However, these fees can change during the journey. Because the application gives an approximate fee. There are 3 different taxi types in iTaksi. Classic yellow taxis, more comfortable turquoise taxis, and black taxis with a feeling of VIP transport. There is also an advanced iTaksi complaint line.


Careem application, downloaded more than 10 million times in the Google Play Store, stands out with its modern Caarem tools. Careem taxi drivers who use the application are called captains, not drivers. So it’s like calling Uber captain instead of Uber driver. According to user comments, it is more useful and professional than the applications we described above. You can also make a reservation in advance in the application.

The features of the application include important features such as seeing the estimated price, payment by credit card, and viewing driver information. Besides, you can see where the captain you summoned is. Turkey’s Careem communication system based on user feedback is quite good. However, there are still situations where captains do not want to come when they see your destination. 


With more than 1 million downloads, BiTaksi is the application with the highest score on our list with 4.6 points. The application, which is popular in Istanbul and Ankara, also draws attention to its features. During the taxi call process, you can choose the yellow taxi and the BiTaksi turquoise taxis. After calling a taxi, BiTaksi driver information; You can see information such as driver photo, name, vehicle brand, and model.

One of the best parts of the application is that the drivers have their own scores. So you can see how many points the driver received from the passengers he carried before. For Istanbulites, the question of whether it is BiTaksi or iTaksi may have come to mind. Obviously, it is useful to decide this by looking at user comments. Basically, the only difference between BiTaksi, iTaksi is that they are different companies.

In summary, there are several ways to reach the city center from Istanbul airports. If you want to use a taxi and have some doubts about its safety, this article is likely to guide you. As long as you follow the suggestions such as checking the plates on the doors, looking at the taximeter display, taking notes about the route you will go to in advance, or saving it to your phone, your journey will be smooth.

In addition, there are 3 types of taxis that we can use from airports in Istanbul. As stated in the article, the average prices of standard yellow taxis vary according to the distance and traffic density of the districts. At the same time, there are many applications with English language support that you can use for taxi transportation at Istanbul airports.

We wish you a safe and enjoyable trip in Istanbul.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Doing These: Essential Activities in Istanbul

Culture is one of the main components of Istanbul’s travel industry. With its 8,500 years of history and culture, Istanbul has consistently stood out and facilitated a large number of guests. In response to this continuing interest today, Istanbul brings together the cultural dynamism of the age with its residents, modern art museums, galleries, streets hosting artists and concert venues, festivals; It offers all the opportunities it has regarding cultural tourism, which permeates every field of art. So what are the activities that you should not leave Istanbul without doing?

Located between two continents, Istanbul offers many choices in terms of activities to be done. However, if you have only a few days to spend in the city, do not skip the top activities in this article. I recommend you to rent a car for an efficient Istanbul tour. Traveling by public transport can tire those with limited time. However, since public transportation is very developed in Istanbul, you can easily reach the central locations by alternatives such as tram, metro, and Metrobus.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Doing These on the European Side

  • Bosphorus Tour in Ortaköy

Of course, the first thing you need to do in Istanbul is to take a ride on the Bosphorus line. There are numerous alternatives on both the European and Asian sides of the city to see this great excellence that separates the city into two. To visit the best locations of this novel course, you can come to Ortaköy and hop on one of the pontoons beginning the visit from here. Visits from better places, for example, Eminönü and Kadıköy are likewise composed in the city to investigate the Bosphorus, however, as per numerous voyagers, Ortaköy is the best. Besides, heavenly flavors, for example, prepared potatoes and waffles are sitting tight for you here. I think the best thing to do in summer must be a tour of the Bosphorus. When your tour is over, don’t forget to rest and have a drink at Bebek beach.

  • Fish & Bread in Eminönü

In Eminönü, one of the oldest districts of the city, you can have a fast and delicious feast from the fish and bread boats on the beach. If you want to visit and explore historical areas, the Spice Bazaar, where you can find various spices, is right here. In my opinion, eating fish and bread in Eminönü is one of the most beautiful things to do in Istanbul in winter. Another thing to do in Eminönü is to buy dried fruits and coffee. Dried nuts sold on the streets of the historical district and Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi’s delicious coffee, which goes back a long way, are the favorite of local and foreign tourists. However, I definitely recommend you to see the bazaars and shops in Eminönü. Especially in Doğubank, you can find most electronic items you are looking for at affordable prices.

  • Palace Tours

You should definitely see historical palaces such as Topkapı and Dolmabahçe in Istanbul, which served as the capital of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire for many years. You can witness the places where the most important events in history took place during your palace tour, where you can also participate in one of the guided tours. Do not forget that you have to spend almost a day to fully visit these palaces, which are spread over a very large area. In the meantime, be sure to have a museum card with you while going to many historical places. So you can enjoy it without paying entrance fees to most places.

  • Sultanahmet Tour

After visiting the Topkapı Palace, you can first rest in Gulhane Park and then go down to Sultanahmet Square and see the magnificent Blue Mosque, visit the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Basilica Cistern. You can take lots of photos in these places, each of which is a masterpiece of architecture and art. It is a must in Istanbul. In addition, you can stay in beautiful historical hotels in this region, even for 1 night. However, don’t forget to stop by the Grand Bazaar within walking distance. You can find everything you are looking for in the historical bazaar.

  • Enjoying Coffee in Nişantaşı

Nişantaşı, one of the most important districts of Istanbul, is a frequent destination for many local and foreign travel lovers. It is a beautiful district where you can feel like you are in many cities in Europe, not only for shopping but also for walking around the stone streets. Nişantaşı, one of the most beautiful districts of the European side, is one of the best addresses to enjoy Istanbul. Here, you can visit luxury stores and drink your coffee in stylish cafes. If you want to go down to some green areas and walk around the park, Maçka Park, which is right next to it, is among the best options in this regard.

  • Tea and Sahlep at Pierre Loti

If you get away from the Bosphorus and come towards the Golden Horn, admirable beauties await you here. Take the cable car to Pierre Loti and order yourself a cup of tea. Especially in the early morning hours or in the evening before the sun goes down, you cannot get enough of the view from here. You can even get lost in the footsteps of the historical region by descending from Pierre Loti to the Golden Horn and walking all the way to Eminönü.

  • Photography in Balat

Balat was not one of the popular places in recent years. But whatever happened, it was one of the most curious places in 2019. With its cute cafes, historical buildings, and colorful houses, it is a place where you should spare at least half a day. Especially, it is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods to take photos in Istanbul. It is a full photographic place. If you ask me, Balat is one of the places that must be visited on the weekend in Istanbul. Don’t forget to see the antique shops and live auctions.

  • Journey to History in Galata

Galata Tower, known to have been built during the Genoese period, is located in the immediate vicinity of İstiklal Caddesi and Beyoğlu. You can have your meal at the restaurant located in the tower where Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew down to Üsküdar or you can go here just to watch the view. Galata is also one of the increasingly active centers of the city in recent years. You can visit the galleries open nearby, shop at boutiques, or taste some of the city’s most delicious coffees. And at the end of the day, you can stay in the beautiful hotels of the Galata Region.

  • Walking in Taksim

If you ask what to do in Istanbul, probably 90 out of 100 people will somehow direct you to Taksim. Actually, I wrote this part on purpose. Since it is one of the spots in Istanbul that never shuts off and one of the spots that outsiders appreciate. Without a Taksim, Istanbul cannot be complete. Concerning Taksim, You can walk around Istiklal Street, participate in an introduction at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, or visit exhibitions, for instance, the Museum of Innocence or the Pera Museum. In Taksim, where religious shrines are also sided by side, you can stop by the Church of St. Anthony. However, you can visit Madame Tussauds Museum, which is among the places to visit in 2020 and one of the popular museums of recent years. In this museum, you can see wax sculptures of different artists/celebrities from all over the world.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Doing These on the Asian Side

  • Istanbul from Camlica Hill

In order to fully understand Istanbul and see the city from above, be sure to go to Camlica Hill in a winter month. Watch the European side of Istanbul, which is under the snow, first. Since its location will be on the Anatolian side, you can start your trip on this side from Çamlıca. The historical peninsula would be on your left. I am not even talking about the beautiful Bosphorus view in front of you.

  • Scenery View in Moda

If you go to the Anatolian side with one of the ferries that you can take from places such as Beşiktaş and Eminönü, you should definitely stop by Moda, which is one of the most beautiful districts of the city and is located in the immediate vicinity of Kadıköy. With its tea gardens, parks, and tranquil atmosphere along the beach, Moda is literally a corner of peace. This region is one of the favorite places in Istanbul to live in.

  • Visit the Islands

Comprising of various islands like Heybeli Ada, Büyükada, Kınalı Ada, and Burgaz Ada, the Istanbul islands are otherwise called Prince Islands. The purpose behind this is their utilization as outcast spots for Byzantine rulers long ago. Nowadays, islands became a top choice of guests, particularly in hot seasons, with their verifiable houses and special marvels. To visit them, you should use ships from the other side of the Bosphorus. Be prepared to sacrifice one whole day for this visit. Islands are calm spots to go particularly with youngsters, yet I recommend you to visit on non-weekend days rather than at the end of the week.

  • Tour in Bagdat Street

Bagdat Street which is one of the longest streets of Turkey is one of the places worth seeing on the Anatolian side. Cafes and restaurants located on the street, where you can find the most famous brands in the world, make it a center of attraction with delicious eating and drinking alternatives at all hours of the day. If you descend from the street towards the coast, you can take a walk in places such as Caddebostan, Suadiye, and Fenerbahçe against the magnificent view of the island. After a stroll on Bağdat Street, you can go to Kadıköy and end the day by chatting with your friends in one of the many places here.

  • Enjoying Maiden’s Tower

The Maiden’s Tower, which is an absolute necessity for Istanbul, is entirely agreeable with its nightfall and the perspective on the Historical Peninsula, particularly in the late spring evening. You can value a dazzling perspective by looking against the chronicled legend of numerous years and feeling the awesome breeze of the Bosphorus. You can even show up at the Maiden’s Tower by vessels and have dinner. I can say with significant serenity that it is one of the most wonderful stops to go with your sweetheart, particularly in Istanbul.

Don’t Ever Leave Istanbul Without Diving into the History

  • Take the ferry from Kadıköy to Beşiktaş

Taking one of the ferries operating between two continents is undoubtedly a very beautiful, cheap, and enjoyable activity that can be done in Istanbul. If you are on the Anatolian side, you should view the Haydarpaşa Train Station, Dolmabahçe and Topkapı Palaces, as well as Galata Tower, and other palaces on the coasts of the sea until you get on the ferry riding from Kadıköy to Beşiktaş and arrive in Beşiktaş. If you are on the European side, this time you can enjoy the same line by getting on Beşiktaş. Do not forget to buy bagels and throw them to the seagulls before you get on the ferry.

  • Eat baked potatoes overlooking Ortaköy Mosque

When you say Istanbul, the first sight that comes to mind is the view that includes the Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. One of the must-haves of activities in Istanbul is to take your baked potato prepared with the ingredients you like from the baked potato makers lined up at the entrance of Ortaköy, relax and spoon your baked potatoes. It is also very enjoyable to sip your tea while playing backgammon in the cafes in this region or to feed the pigeons in the square.

  • Tour Emirgan Grove during the tulip season

Visiting Emirgan Grove, especially during the Tulip season in April and May, is one of the most visually fascinating activities to be held in Istanbul. Emirgan Grove is one of the green and forested places preferred by Istanbulites who want to escape from the chaos of Istanbul on the weekend and leave the arms of nature. In Emirgan Grove and Park, you can take wonderful photos with colorful flowers, tulips in the season, trees with special motifs, and the Bosphorus view, you can have a picnic, enjoy breakfast in one of the 3 mansions, or enjoy eating and drinking at other meals.

  • Explore Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoglu district is one of Istanbul’s oldest areas, is one of Turkey’s busiest and most famous streets. The street, which has preserved its fame since the 19th century, stretches between Tünel and Taksim Square. People from different countries create cultural mosaic on this street. Tourists who come to Istanbul for sightseeing prefer to stay in hotels close to İstiklal Street.

Here you can shop as you wish and find a cafe to sit when you get tired. The street where people of all ethnic backgrounds go and visit has an attitude that fascinates everyone. Istiklal Avenue becomes colorful every day with friends, families, and lovers in arms. This street, where loves are lived and loves end, has not neglected to be a source of inspiration for many people. He decorated the lines of poems that have been the subject of songs. İstiklal Avenue is a summary of the unspeakable Istanbul. It makes you feel like you. If you cannot decide what to do on your weekend, you can choose Istiklal Avenue.

  • Go to Galata Tower

Galata Tower shows itself all alone in all that chaos and crowd in Pera, one of the most chaotic regions of Istanbul. It appears and disappears at the end of each street extending from Karaköy to İstiklal Street. Or, on a ferry ride, it winks like a pearl ruby in all those ugly concrete chunks that it’s there. It is a little troubled, too. As if it is longing for his old days. Unless you visit the tower and look at Istanbul through his eyes, Istanbul is actually not Istanbul. It still commemorates Hazerfan, winking at the ships passing through the Bosphorus, and standing quietly in the heart of Istanbul, like an old confidant that you will lean on despite all the past experiences. Go to the tower after all these stories.

  • Visit the Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is an arcade, made in the classical Ottoman style, consisting of a combination of two bazaars with its feature of being the “Double Bazaar”. The Spice Bazaar was built in the “L” plan scheme with successive rows of stones and bricks in the Ottoman Classical style. The branches of these two bazaars that join by giving the “L” plan scheme are longer in the east-west direction. At the point where the long and short sides meet, there is a prayer square covered with a cross vault. The arches carrying the vault were not attached to the walls, instead of bearing legs were used. There is a clerk lodge next to the southeast one of these pillars. The main entrances of the Spice Bazaar are the entrances at the ends of the two major branches. The entrances at the ends of these two large branches are two-story structures with six porticoes. In addition, the door of the bazaar opening to Tahmis Street has a portico and two floors. Apart from this main entrance, the other two entrances are opposite each other.

  • Go to Rahmi Koç Museum

When you reach Eminönü, you can meet the Rahmi Koç Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in Istanbul. You can visit the nostalgic Fenerbahce ferry, ride the historical tram and train, and browse classic cars in the Rahmi Koc Museum which was opened in 1994 with the support of businessman Rahmi Koc and which is the first major museum dedicated to the history of the industry, transport, and communications.

  • Browse miniature works in Miniatürk

It is conceivable to venture out from Galata Tower to Hagia Sophia, from Sümela Monastery to Rumeli Fortress, from Selimiye Mosque to Safranbolu Houses, from Amasya Yalıboyu Houses to the Ruins of Nemrut Mountain, or wave to Beylerbeyi Mansion while crossing the Bosphorus Bridge on foot in Miniatürk, a miniature artifact park displaying 128 models from Turkey and Ottoman geography.

  • Take a photo of the sultan in costume at the Basilica Cistern

A visit to the Historic Peninsula is a must for activities to be held in Istanbul. You can also visit the incredible water storage from the Byzantine time frame, called the Basilica Palace, and sit on the throne of the sultan and the sultan wearing Ottoman clothes and take photos. It’s guaranteed to have fun while taking photos 🙂

  • Be enchanted by the architecture of the 8th wonder of the world, Hagia Sophia Museum

Visiting Hagia Sophia, one of the leading architectural wonders in the world with its style and structure, as well as its dizzying dome and incredible mosaics is one of the most beautiful activities to be done in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia is the 8th wonder of the world as it is a museum with a really huge number of visitors every year.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Visiting These Museums

  • Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Istanbul Modern Art Museum is a museum that houses interdisciplinary activities and aims to transport Turkey’s artistic creativity to the masses and share the cultural identity of Turkey with the international art scene. As the first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions in Turkey, in 2004, on the shores of the Bosphorus, it was founded on an area of ​​8,000 square meters. It offers a versatile service area with its temporary and permanent exhibition halls, photo gallery, video, educational and social programs, library, cinema, café, and design store.

  • Chora Museum

The Chora Museum, which takes its name from the Greek word Khora, meaning outside the city (rural area), is among the best-preserved Byzantine works to date. The church, whose construction coincided with the 5th century, was used as a palace chapel in important religious ceremonies. Mosaics and frescoes in Chora are the most lovely instances of the last time of Byzantine artistic creation. Chora was utilized as a church after the victory of Istanbul in 1453, it was changed over into a mosque by Vizier Hadim Ali Pasha in 1511. It was converted into a museum in 1945, and the mosaics and frescoes made by the American Byzantine Institute between 1948-1958 were uncovered.

  • Istanbul Archeology Museum

The Istanbul Archeology Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, with more than one million works belonging to various cultures. It is built in the 19th century. The museum has a different aspect though; Istanbul Archeology Museums comprise three exhibition halls: The prehistoric studies Museum, Ancient Oriental Works Museum, and Enameled Kiosk Museum.

The Old Oriental Works Museum, which was built in 1883 by Osman Hamdi Bey is the first Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi (Academy of Fine Arts) in Turkey. On the other hand, the Enameled Kiosk Museum was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1472 as a summer mansion and was chosen as the richest and most important Museum of Turkey in Europe in 1992 where it is awarded as the “Museum of the Year” by the Council of Europe in the competition, in which 45 museums participated.

  • Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is in Emirgan, probably the most seasoned settlement of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul. The Atlı Köşk, which was used as a permanent residence by Sakıp Sabancı in 1966, hosted Sakıp Sabancı’s rich calligraphy and painting collection for many years and was allocated to Sabancı University in 1998 to be converted into a museum with the collections and items it contains.

  • Istanbul Maritime Museum

Istanbul Maritime Museum which is Turkey’s largest museum in the maritime field is one of the world’s leading museums in terms of the diversity of the collection it includes. There are approximately 20,000 works in his collection. Maritime Museum, which is connected to the Navy, was the first military museum established in Turkey. The main exhibition building has 3 floors and 4 large halls and 17 rooms in the building are used as exhibition areas.

  • Ancient Oriental Works Museum

In the Museum of Ancient Orient within the Archeology Museum, cultural artifacts brought from the Ottoman rule Egypt and the Middle East countries and findings of Anatolian civilizations before the First World War are exhibited. The museum, which contains artifacts from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Anatolian cultures, as well as items from the Ancient and New Sumerian ages, also has a very rich, rare cuneiform collection of 70 thousand plates.

  • Dogancay Museum

Dogancay Museum, Turkey’s first museum of contemporary art, opened doors to the public in 2004. The museum, located in a 150-year-old five-story historical building in Beyoğlu, displays the works of Adil Doğançay with a small retrospective of his son’s, Burhan Doğançay’s works. The works of the artist in the museum cover his fifty years of artistic development, starting with his early figurative paintings, to his works and photographs inspired by the city walls.

  • Divan Literature Museum

Divan Literature Museum, built on the hunting farm of Beylerbeyi İskender Pasha in 1491, has been an important center of science and literature circles for many years in the Ottoman period. Many people gathered around the Mevlevihanes studied in many branches of fine arts and made a long talk of themselves in the scientific field. The Mevlevihane, located at the beginning of the slope that goes down to Yüksekkaldırım in Beyoğlu district, is the oldest Mevlevihane in Istanbul. The Mevlevihane built as a complex; It consists of dervish cells, sheik’s office, and sultan’s hall, bacılar section, library, a public fountain, timing room, kitchen, tombs, and treasury.

  • Warehouse Museum

During the expropriation of palaces and mansions, which are important architectural works of the Ottoman Empire, items that were taken to the warehouses because they could not find a place in the new decorations, are now exhibited at the Warehouse Museum. Objects belonging to crystal-glass and metal tableware, weapons, various writing sets, porcelain, old telephones, cinema machines, kitchen equipment, heating tools, curtain cornices, silk fabrics, and cushions are exhibited in the museum. Periodical exhibitions are featured in the Dolmabahçe Art Gallery affiliated with the museum.

  • Press Museum

In the halls of the Press Museum, it is possible to observe the evolution of press technology from the beginning. You can make a nostalgic trip among lithography samples, flat printing machine, rotary letterpress enterotype, proofing benches, guillotine, old typewriters, telexes, telephotos for free.

  • Atatürk Museum

Mustafa Kemal’s house, where he lived from 1918 when he left the Syrian front after World War I and came to Istanbul until May 16, 1919, when he moved to Samsun, has been serving as the “Atatürk Museum” since 1942. In the museum, Atatürk’s personal belongings and documents related to the War of Independence, as well as the works of various painters on Atatürk and the National Struggle are exhibited.

  • Military Museum

Approximately 5,000 works selected from more than 45,000 items are exhibited in the Military Museum. There are various weapons, military clothes, tents, flags, and banners, and similar military cultural assets in the collection, which is grouped from different angles such as period and subject. Among these, there are rifles, guns, cannons, and swords that constitute beautiful examples of wood and metal decoration art, armor, shields, and helmets with their elegant ornaments and inscriptions, golden tombacs that emphasize the glory of the Ottoman army, and the most precious examples of Ottoman palace tents.

  • TÜRVAK Theater Museum

At the museum, there are posters, brochures, and photographs of the theater groups signed payrolls, masks and play accessories, the accessory box used by Darülbedayi in their tours, Ottoman and Turkish flyers, tickets, and invitations. In addition to the examples of our traditional theater, the Ortaoyunu Department, Akbank Culture Collection Karagöz and Hacivat characters, Darülbedayi Tepebaşı Drama Stage Hall interior and exterior models, the play costumes of artists such as the State Theater, Altan Erbulak, and Jeyan Tözüm, and portraits of our living and separated theater people can be seen here. There are sections that shed light on the history of the theater, where the individual belongings and private documents of Muhsin Ertuğrul, who took the role of pioneering the institutional and academic identity of our theater as well.

Best Istanbul Board Games That You Can Buy Online

Who Conquered Istanbul: The Life of Mehmet the Conqueror

Mehmet II or Mehmet the Conqueror (Fatih Sultan Mehmet in Turkish) is one of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. In historical sources, his name is mentioned in the form of Muhammad, like the other sultans named Mehmet. Mehmet the Conqueror first ruled for a short period between 1444-46, then for 30 years from 1451 until his death in 1481. So, who is Mehmet the Conqueror and how old did he conquer Istanbul?

Mehmet II conquered Istanbul, the 1125-year-old capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, after four major attacks on April 19, May 6, May 12, and May 29, which lasted 53 days. He was only 21 years old when he conquered Istanbul. The conquest of Istanbul brought very important results. After the conquest of Istanbul, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror organized many expeditions on Europe in order to consolidate the dominance in the west, to expand the borders, to spread Islam to the furthest places, and to destroy the Christian unity.

The Ottoman Empire consolidated its dominance in Europe with campaigns to Serbia (1454,1459), Mora (1460), Wallachia (1462), Moldavia (1476), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Venice (1463-1479), Italy (1480), and Hungary. The Kingdom of Serbia was completely abolished and turned into an Ottoman flag, the Peloponnese was completely conquered, Wallachia was made the Ottoman province, Bosnia was taken under Ottoman rule again, Albania was captured. At the end of the 16-year Ottoman-Venetian Sea Wars, Venice agreed to sign peace. During the expedition to Italy, Otranto, which was a very important center for the conquest of Rome, was conquered but was lost back upon the death of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

Early Life of Mehmet the Conqueror

Mehmet the Conqueror was born on March 30, 1432, in Edirne. His father was the fourth son of Murad II, and his mother was Hüma Hatun. Murat II was a ruler who attached great importance to the education of princes. In addition to names such as Molla Gürani, Molla Hüsrev, Akşemseddin, Molla Hayreddin, who are among the most famous scholars of the period, Byzantine and Italian teachers also contributed to the good education of II Mehmet. Sultan Mehmet knew Greek, Latin, and Slavic as well as Arabic and Persian.

In the spring of 1443, he was sent to Manisa as governor with his Lala Kassabzade Mahmut and Nişancı İbrahim Abdullah Bey. The death of his brother, the Governor of Amasya, Prince Alaeddin Ali Çelebi, at the end of the same year, made him the sole successor to the throne. In the spring of 1444, upon the call of II Murat, who was planning to abdicate his throne, he went to Edirne with his father. He witnessed the signing of a peace treaty with the Hungarian king, Serbian despot, and the ambassadors of Hunyadi Yanos. Then II. Murat left the throne to his son. The empire was left to rule by an inexperienced 12-year-old young man, causing great troubles at home and abroad.

Places taken in the period of Murat II in the Balkans and Anatolia were abandoned. In Edirne, rivalry and conflict arose among the pashas. The demonstrations, the Hurufi uprising of 22 September 1444, and the fire that broke out in the city caused great damage. At the same time, under the leadership of the Papacy, the Crusader army consisting of Hungarian, Polish, Wallachian, and various Balkan nations crossed the Danube River. Sultan Murat II went to Varna to fight the crusader army. Mehmet and Grand Vizier Çandarlı Halil Pasha stayed in Edirne. Sultan Murad won a great victory against the Crusaders in Varna.

Although Çandarlı Halil Pasha wanted him to come back to the throne, II. Murat did not want to depose his son and went to Manisa. Vizier Şehabeddin Şahin, Lala Nişancı İbrahim, and Zağanos Pashas were in favor of Mehmet II’s reign. Especially Zağanos Pasha advocated the conquest policies and encouraged the young sultan in this direction. Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who is in favor of pursuing a pro-peace policy, accelerated his activities to bring II Murad back to power. Among the important conquests of Fatih Sultan Mehmet are the following:

  • Anatolia

Istanbul (1453), Amasra (1459), Sinop (1460), Trabzon (1461), Konya, Karaman (1466) Eastern Anatolia (1473 Otlukbeli War).

  • Balkans

Serbia (1459) except Belgrade, Peloponnese (1460), Wallachia (1462), Bosnia (1463) Herzegovina (1483), Moldavia (1476), Albania (1478).

  • The seas

Aegean Islands (Limnos 1456, Euboea 1470, Thassos 1457, Samothrace 1457, Gökçeada 1456, Lesbos 1462), Greek Islands (Kefalonia 1479, Lefkada 1479, Zakynthos 1479), Crimea (1475).

In 1446, a great janissary revolt broke out in Edirne. The rebels declared their support for Orhan Çelebi, who was in the hands of Byzantium. The Janissary revolt was hardly suppressed. With the help of Çandarlı and some other state officials, II Murad was secretly brought from Manisa and his throne was achieved. The two-year rule of the young sultan, who was sent to Manisa in August 1446, came to an end. Mehmet II married Sitti Hatun, the daughter of Dulkadiroğlu Süleyman Bey at a magnificent wedding in Edirne in December 1450.

Upon the death of his father on February 2, 1451, he ascended the Ottoman throne for the second time on February 18, 1451, at the age of nineteen. With the throne of Sultan Mehmet, the ideas of conquering Istanbul were revived. Young Mehmet had the idea of ​​uniting the Ottoman country divided between Anatolia and Rumelia by conquering Istanbul and establishing a solid-state. Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who thought that Istanbul would lose its current position when it was taken and that the state would be damaged if the conquest was attempted and failed, opposed the conquest. Therefore, he made a lot of effort not to get into this business.

Mehmet the Conqueror and the Conquest of Istanbul

The Sultan ordered the Grand Vizier Halil Pasha to build a fortress opposite the Anatolian Fortress. Thanks to the Rumeli Fortress (Boğazkesen), which was completed in August of 1452 after four months of construction, it was aimed to cut the aid from the Black Sea, to secure the passage of the navies between Anatolia and Rumelia, and to serve as a base for the siege army when necessary. Sultan Mehmet, who handed over Firuz Aga to the command of the fortress and gave 400 janissaries to his command, returned to Edirne and had architects Muslihiddin, Sarica Sekban, and Hungarian Urban, who escaped from Byzantium and took refuge in the Ottoman Empire, poured big cannons.

Aware of the dangers created by the Byzantine presence in the middle of the Ottoman lands for the state, the young ruler called his viziers, statesmen, and scholars in Edirne one day and learned their views. Finally, he said his thoughts about Istanbul: “The bottom line is, I would like to add this city to our state. If I fail to do this, I will make it superior to losing the state for it.” The Byzantine Emperor Constantine asked for help from everywhere to defend Istanbul with the construction of the fortress. During the siege, the defense army consisted of 8-9 thousand people, three thousand of this number was composed of auxiliary forces from Venice, Genoese, Crete and Chios Islands, Spain, and Provence.

The number of soldiers of the Ottoman army is estimated to be 100-150 thousand. There is no clear information as to how many of them are members of the military and how many volunteers came for plunder. Sultan Mehmet departed from Edirne on March 23, 1453. He stood in Keşan and took the Anatolian forces passing through the Dardanelles and came in front of the walls of Istanbul on April 5, 1453. The siege operation, which started on April 6, was completed in five days. Mehmet II sent Mahmut Pasha to the emperor in accordance with the Islamic custom and called for the city to surrender without spilling blood. XI Constantine declined the offer, declaring that he had sworn to defend the city but was ready to pay taxes.

As of April 12, the shooting of big cannons started. The same day, the navy arrived in front of the Istanbul port. The first offensive lasted six days. Byzantines stretched thick chains in front of the Golden Horn and prevented the navy from entering the Golden Horn. After the failure of the first attack, Halil Pasha offered to lift the siege on the condition that the emperor pays 70,000 ducats of gold annually. This proposal was not accepted by Sultan Mehmet and his commanders. On April 20, the aid fleet, commanded by captain Flantanellas, consisting of a Byzantine and three Genoese galleons approached Istanbul. Mehmet II sent Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey to the aid fleet with 18 ships. The aid fleet, with the wind behind it, was advancing faster and the Ottoman ships could not dock.

Four galleons remained dormant when the wind cut off in the area known today as Yeşilköy; Ottoman ships reached the galleons by rowing. Due to the prolongation of the fighting, the Ottoman ships that came from behind also caught up, and the Genoese-Byzantine fleet of four ships surrounded about 150 Ottoman ships. However, superiority could not be established due to the galleons being higher than the Ottoman galleys and the inexperience of the crews on the foremost Ottoman ships. Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey, who saw heavy casualties, ordered the navy to withdraw. Seeing defeat from a dominant hill, II. Mehmet got angry and tried to preach his orders to Baltaoğlu Süleyman by riding his horse into the sea.

However, the Ottoman navy was defeated, the aid fleet continued on its way, and when the darkness came, the chain that closed the Golden Horn was loosened, and successfully delivered its aid to Constantinople by taking shelter in the harbor accompanied by two Venetian ships. The next day, Mehmet II went to the naval command to account for the defeat with ten thousand horsemen. The angry sultan who wanted to execute Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey gave up execution as a result of the begging of other statesmen, but he dismissed Baltaoğlu by beating him with his mace; Çalıbeyoğlu Hamza Bey was appointed as the vacant captain. Sultan Mehmet, who thought that the conquest would not be successful without the navy, had about 70 ships run on the road between Dolmabahçe and Kasımpaşa in one night (April 21-22) and landed them to the Golden Horn.

Cannon fire continued against the walls every day. Two more major attacks took place on 6 and 12 May. However, no result was achieved. In the fourth week of May, the news that Hungarians and a Crusader fleet were taking action spread throughout the army. The Sultan’s attempts to capture the city peacefully aroused anxiety within the army. Considering that a general attack was necessary, Mehmet sent İsfendiyaroğlu Kasım Bey to the emperor as an ambassador to surrender the city peacefully for the last time on May 23 or 24. The emperor replied to Mr. Kasım that they would not leave the city but was ready to pay taxes and make other concessions.

It is said that the sultan who heard the news said, “It is not possible to go from here. Either I will take the city or the city will capture me dead or alive.” After two attacks that started on the night of 28 May and continued until close to morning, a general attack started on Tuesday, 29 May. After four great attacks that lasted for fifty-four days on April 18, 6, 12, and 29 May, the 1125-year-old capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople, was conquered on Tuesday, 29 May 1453, before the Crusader army could come to help.

The conquest of Istanbul, which made the twenty-one-year-old Sultan Mehmet known as “the Conqueror” in history, is considered the definitive establishment of the Ottoman Empire. This historical development, which caused the Byzantine Empire to be erased from history, enabled the next great conquests of the Ottoman Empire.

Battle of Otlukbeli: The Rise of Mehmet the Conqueror

The hostility between the Ottoman and Akkoyunlu dynasties stretched back to the times of Yıldırım Bayezid and Kara Yölük Osman. While the Ottomans were allied with the Karakoyunlu, the Akkoyunlu State, on the other hand, supported Timur. Uzun Hasan married Katerina Despina (Theodora Megale Komnena), the daughter of Trabzon Emperor IV Yuhannes in 1458. Uzun Hasan sent his nephew Murat to Istanbul. He asked the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, apart from the forgiveness of the Trabzon Empire tax, the Kayseri region, and precious gifts that were given to Katerina Despina as a dowry. Fatih stated that he would personally come to the region and handle the tax business.

Fatih, Uzun Hasan, and his ally Trabzon Greek Empire took action against the Georgians in 1461. He took Koyulhisar, which Uzun Hasan captured in 1459. The Akkoyunlu army was defeated by the Ottomans in the Munzur Mountains in Erzincan. Uzun Hasan sent his mother to Fatih and an agreement was reached. Uzun Hasan remained neutral and Fatih conquered Trabzon on 26 October 1461 and ended the Greek domination in the region. From 1466, Ottoman forces entered Central Anatolia and followed the Karamanids. While the Karamanoğlu forces fled to the east, the Akkoyunlular crossed the border, and in 1472 clashes took place with the Ottoman troops. The following year, Mehmet II personally took the head of the army and marched east.

Uzun Hasan’s army was reinforced with the remnants of Karamanids. The army was a large but irregular Turkmen army. Its main strength was light cavalry and lance infantry. Uzun Hasan’s aim was to overthrow the Ottoman cavalrymen with speared pedestrians and to clamp and destroy them with his cavalry. The horsemen of the Ottoman army were Turkmen like Uzun Hasan’s. However, the janissaries, who were Ottoman infantry, were much more professional soldiers. Mehmet II wanted the cannons, which proved their strength during the conquest of Istanbul, to be used in the field war. For this purpose, light mortars were produced for the first time and they were taken to the eastern expedition.

While the Ottoman army was advancing through the Eastern Black Sea mountains, Uzun Hasan’s troops sneaked closer. Hasan had planned to raid in the mountains. The Ottoman reconnaissance units noticed the enemy who had been placed very close at the last moment and Mehmet II immediately ordered the order of war. The land where the two armies met was a valley split by the stream and was not at all suitable for war. The use of horses was very difficult due to the rocks and roughness. Although the Ottoman lords offered to retreat and find the plain, Mehmet II, thinking that the withdrawal maneuver would be dangerous when the enemy was so close, decided to go to war.

Prior to the war, Rumelia Governor Murat Pasha fell into the trap of Uğurlu Mehmet Bey and drowned in the Euphrates River. Although this caused great distress among the soldiers, the main battles were fought in Otlukbeli, in the Tercan Plain. In the battle with the vanguard units, Davut Pasha was victorious and defeated the Akkoyunlu vanguard troops. Later, when Zeynel Mirza, the right-wing commander of Akkoyunlu, attacked Davut Pasha, the Ottoman left-wing commander, the Governor of Karaman, Prince Mustafa, defeated their right flank and killed Zeynel Mirza by tormenting him. Thus, the Akkoyunlu right wing was defeated and dispersed. Meanwhile, the Ottoman right-wing commander, the Governor of Amasya, Prince Bayezid, first attacked Uğurlu Mehmet Bey and caused him to flee from the battlefield.

After Uğurlu Mehmet Bey withdrew, Akkoyunlu left flank Mehmet Bakır was in command. Prince Bayezid attacked Uzun Hasan after attacking him, defeating the left side of Akkoyunlu and capturing him. Unable to resist the attacks of both Prince Mustafa and Şehzade Bayezid, Uzun Hasan left a soldier who resembled him and fled from the battlefield. The land was suitable for ambushing, and Mehmet II, taking into account the delay of the reconnaissance troops to detect the enemy, let the enemy go.

The Death of Mehmet the Conqueror

Although Mehmet the Conqueror was sick, he went to Üsküdar for a new expedition. It was unknown where it was targeting. In some sources, it is claimed that he started an expedition over the Mamluks. According to some, the secret target is Italy. He died on May 3, 1481, at the age of 49, in a place called Hünkarçayırı between Üsküdar and Gebze. His death was attributed to gout. Allegations that he later died of poisoning were also made. It was alleged that the Venetians, of Jewish origin, bribed the Italian-born physician Yakup Pasha, poisoning the Conqueror. It was claimed that the men of Bayezid, who was not liked by the Janissaries, but the popular masses, madrasahs, and people of the sect, made this.

His death was kept secret for a while. His body was brought to Istanbul and was buried in his tomb in the courtyard of Fatih Mosque on Tuesday, May 22, 1481. His son Bayezid II took the throne. Fatih had two sons alive. His 34-year-old elder son Bayezid was the governor of Amasya and his younger son, 23, Cem, Konya. My vizier immediately sent messengers to both princes and informed them that their father had passed away and that they should come to Istanbul in a hurry. Prince who came to Istanbul early would ascend to the throne. The body of the Conqueror was immediately taken to Istanbul and abandoned in a deserted, unlit place in Topkapı Palace. While his sons were fighting with each other for the throne, Fatih’s body was left to rot.

In the Topkapı Palace, the sultan’s body began to smell as he was left in his clothes on hot spring days. Before the corpse was completely decomposed, Baltacilar Kethüdası Kasım and two physicians stripped the clothes, removed the internal organs, and then disinfected the body, and then buried it. Prince Bayezid buried the body in the courtyard of the mosque, which Fatih Sultan Mehmet had built in his name, right after he was declared sultan, that is, 19 days after the death of Fatih. Fatih Sultan Mehmet was the first Ottoman sultan to have his portrait painted. Gentile Bellini (1429-1507), the famous Venetian painter of the Renaissance period, came to Istanbul in 1479 at the invitation of Sultan Mehmet after the Ottoman-Venetian War that lasted for 16 years.

Bellini’s portrait of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who painted portraits of different people who lived in the palace for a while, is among his most important works. The date 25 November 1480 is written in Latin letters in the lower right corner of his table. In the same period, Nakkaş Sinan Bey, one of the important names of Ottoman miniature art, was sent to Italy for education. The “Smelling Rose” portrait of Sinan Bey, who worked on the art of painting here, on his return to Istanbul bears the traces of Renaissance painting art. In the words of Halil İnalcık, Fatih Sultan Mehmet is “the greatest statesman among the Ottoman sultans”.

In addition to his statesmanship and command, he gave great importance to the mental sciences of the period in the madrasas he opened. He wanted to revive the historical religion-philosophy debate between Ghazali and Ibn Rushd among the Ottoman messengers. Adnan Adıvar writes in his work “Knowledge in Ottoman Turks” that “With the ascension of Fatih to the throne, we begin to be a testament to the development of philosophical scientific thought among the Ottoman Turks”. In 1463, Pope Pius II wrote a letter inviting Fatih Sultan Mehmet to Christianity, who ascribed the title “Kaiser” used by the Roman emperors after the conquest of Istanbul. Whether the letter was sent is still controversial. The letter was printed in Treviso in 1475, after the death of the Pope, while the Conqueror was alive.

The Military Aspect of Mehmet the Conqueror

Mehmet II, who transferred the throne to his father in 1446, ascended the throne again when he was 19 years old. He gained experience by participating in Albanian expeditions with his father in 1448 and 1450. In 1450, he married Sitti Mükrime Hatun, the daughter of Süleyman Bey, Dulkadiroğulları Bey. When his father died on February 10, 1451, he took the throne again. The greatest desire of the conqueror of Istanbul was to conquer Istanbul. When he came back to the throne, he started preparations to realize this dream. He started with the construction of Rumelihisarı.

He made a short-term peace with the rulers of Venice, Hungary, and Bosnia. He ensured that the Genoese were neutral. Increased the number of soldiers in the army to 70 thousand. The preparation for the conquest took close to a year. And it reached the walls of Istanbul on April 6, 1453. The great siege continued for 53 days. The gates of the city were finally opened on May 29, 1453. He conquered Istanbul at the age of 21 in 1453 and destroyed the Byzantine Empire known as “indestructible”, Mehmet II received the title of “Fatih”. During the conquest, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who changed the course of the war by driving the ships from land and lowering them to the Golden Horn, closed the Middle Ages with this conquest and opened the New Age.

Fatih Sultan Mehmed organized consecutive campaigns during his reign. In 1454, Enez was taken from the Genoese. A year later the army marched to Serbia. At the end of the campaigns, Moldavia accepted the loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. In 1459, Serbia was taken to Semendire with the expedition and Serbia joined the Ottoman lands. Mora in 1460 and Amasra in 1461 was conquered. The Candaroğulları Principality was abolished in the same year. Trabzon Greek Empire also joined the Ottoman lands. The Bosnian and Lesbos victories in 1462 were followed by the conquest of Albania in 1466. After that, the Principality of Karamanoğulları was terminated.

The great struggle between the Ottomans and Venetians for many years began. Eventually, Venice had to sign an agreement with the Ottomans. During the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, Ermanak, Aksaray, İçel, Konya, Laren, Crimea, Alanya, Albania, Georgia, Circassia, Kefalonia, Ayamavra, and Zanta Islands joined the Ottoman Empire. In 1473, the Battle of Otlukbeli was fought. At the end of the war, the Akkoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan was defeated. Thus, the eastern borders of the empire were secured. Fatih Sultan Mehmet also developed the mortar system. The mortar was used at that time, but it was very important to develop it.

It is the first practice in history to shoot into the wall or to sink the ships in the navy by bouncing the fleet in the Golden Horn over the Galata walls. The first mortar cannon drew by him and the ballistic calculations made by him, the mortar invented by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in the history of military weapons, was used by the Turks for the first time in history during the conquest of Istanbul. On the other hand, even if the gun powder as a firearm does not have a serious destructive force in the general field, the fear it arouses in the soldiers and society has been the real application of psychological pressure in breaking the power of resistance in the war strategy.

It is a point that can cause serious morale to be able to bring a small force into the Golden Horn by bypassing the Byzantine strong navy, which was organized on the mouth of the Golden Horn, over the land. We see that before the success of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Han to launch these ships from land, Gazi Umur Bey, who carried 300 ships from land in the siege of Mora, was prepared to realize this success during the conquest of Istanbul. Fatih has performed and implemented the practices in the civilizations and military system before him in the most perfect and perfect way. It has proved that the success which it provided to the development of war techniques and technology can be implemented not only with firepower but also with a strategy and logistics, and set a precedent. Today it is the founder of the modern military system.

The location where Rumeli Fortress was built and the success in its construction are the biggest logistics success of the world in those centuries. It was built in a short time such as 3 months, not only the walls are built, but also the neighborhood, mosque, bath, bronze cannons, and waterways poured specifically for the fortress. In addition, while each of the three important towers that make up the Rumelihisarı exhibit a separate architectural plan and feature, the acoustic dome of the Saruca Pasha Tower, one of the most important original towers in the world, is completed within these three months. Bringing each stone by sea, especially the materials in the construction of Rumelihisarı, is an incredible example of logistics and organization.

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