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30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

TripBlog
Sep 21, 20203,8410

Welcome to Taksim Square, the very heart of Istanbul in Turkey. Do you know what the word Taksim means? Its literal translation is distribution or division, and that’s precisely where the waterlines and main source of water branches and spreads out to the various parts of the city! For obvious reasons this heartland has turned into a commercial tourist hub and can be the most exciting part of your trip. There is literally so much to do at Taksim Square, that you could do the quickie 2-hour day-trip or spend 2 to 3 days just discovering the many pleasures, sights, culture, food-trips, shopping, accommodation and nightlife here. We are going to start at the Taksim Square and take you around to introduce you to the sub-divided categories below so you can plan your time and extract maximum value from your trip depending on what your interests and time-availability are. So, here goes.

Table of Contents

What's to see and do at the Taksim Square:
Visit the landmarks and marvels at the Tasmik:
Transportation and lodging
Tips for the discerning vacationer

What's to see and do at the Taksim Square:

The Republic Monument: Turkey became a republic in 1923 and as a memorial of the day, at the centre of the square stands this Taksim Square monument. Painstakingly crafted by Pietro Canonica, an Italian Sculptor who has breathed life into the figures of the Independence War of Turkey including its leaders like Ismet Inonu and Ataturk.

30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

Take a Metro Ride: You are at the heart of Istanbul and the main central hub of the Istanbul Metro. Hop in and ride to the last station at Tunel Square. You can also ride the heritage tram line from Taksim Square or take a bus from here. If you are a shopaholic try getting off at the one-of-its-kind elegant shopping street, Istikal Street. Walking back to the square is an explorer’s short walk and can help you understand why they say Taksim is uber alle or everywhere! If you decide not to, then ride back in the quaint red streetcar which is a delight in itself.

30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

Witness a protest: The green Taksim Gezi Park is always the focus and start point for demonstrations, protests and activism. Be wary of this spot which can also turn violent very quickly whether it be a local movement against malls, celebrating the Labor Day, the human rights activism or the LGBT movement.

The AKM Cultural Center: Visit the architecturally stunning Atatürk Kültür Merkezi opera house and cultural centre which has played host to the local performing arts, theatre, and music greats like the Classical Turkish Music Choir, Turkish State Opera and Ballet, Modern Folk Music Ensemble, the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Choir and several summer Culture and Arts festivals. You must witness the Mevlevi Sufi Order of swirling dervishes, spinning into a religious trance. The Hodjapasha Dance Theatre offers Dervish performances and titillating belly-dancing shows from the Arabian Nights fame. The AKM Centre is illuminated after dark and presents some breath-taking light-and-sound shows and scenic views during the day.

Buy the Turkish Souvenirs: The best place to buy those souvenirs is Taksim Square is Grand Bazaar. You will find it hard to name anything that is not found here! Buy handcrafted rugs, books, clothing, jewellery, spices, dried fruits, nuts and much more. Just a ‘guesstimate’! You may need to spend your day here if you love shopping.

Food is heaven here: Doner or Islak anyone? Enjoy the typical chicken or beef sandwich and the herbed hamburger with tomato sauce for breakfast before you embark on your day-trip around Taksim Square. Don’t be surprised at the umpteen vendors of street corn on every corner, or the number of restaurants, fast-food outlets, pubs and typical eating spots serving local favourites and street food.

The local foods you must try are

30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

Party and enjoy the Street-Art: The local talented bunch of street-corner singers, graffiti, a choice of cheap clubs, bars, and massage parlours are everywhere. Nightlife at the Taksim Square can be boisterous, full-of fun and offers a varied choice. Eat good, not cheap at the many esnafs or working-people restaurants. Watch your step and check your expensive cabs if they have a logo on the door or not. It is always better to use the tram, bus or boat since you are at Taksim the transport hub.

Experience the call-to-prayer: The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque muezzin’s appear to sing together when calling people to prayer. It’s fun, just to listen to the mellifluous call and chanting! Another typical tradition here is to visit the bathhouses or hammams and indulge in a body-massage and scrub. Of course, the women and men hammams are segregated!

Smoke a water-pipe as the locals do: Argilah, hubbly bubbly, sheesha, nargile or plain hookah bars at Taksim Square are must-visit as you sip on the Turkish coffee or fresh tea. You must also buy one of the colourful lamps of glass that costs around 15 to 20 USD. Buy them outside the Grand Bazaar where the prices are lower than inside the market areas. Bargaining is a local skill you can practice around the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 outlets and 61 streets included.

30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

Dine at the Hamdi Restaurant: If fine dining with a 180-degree view is your style, try the fare here. The Süleymaniye Mosque, the Bosphorus, Galata Tower and the Rüstempaşa Mosque can be your view as you try the egg-plant roast and köfte. It is light on the wallet too!

Enjoy your local learning: Taking a cookery class, pet the stray local cats sleeping on street-side pillows, catch a football match, or ride the funicular at the Tunel line.

Visit the landmarks and marvels at the Tasmik:

The Hagia Sophia Museum: This marvellous architectural and historical wonder has been around for 1500 years and was once a Byzantine church, a mosque for 500 years under the Ottomans and then turned into a museum in 1931. You will need to spend an hour exploring and understanding the intricate mosaics, dome intricacies and rich history of this UNESCO heritage building.

The Little Hagia Sophia Churches: The Eastern Orthodox Churches dedicated to the Saints BacchuThe Little Hagia Sophia Churches: The Eastern Orthodox Churches dedicated to the Saints Bacchus and Sergius called the Little Hagia Sophia was an architectural experiment by the architects Isidoros of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles commissioned to build the Hagia Sophia at Taksim Square.s and Sergius called the Little Hagia Sophia was an architectural experiment by the architects Isidoros of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles commissioned to build the Hagia Sophia at Taksim Square.

The Basilica Cistern: It is an underground ancient system of Istanbul’s water cisterns. The columns holding the cistern in place were probably sourced from the plunders and ruins of older buildings. This is where you will find the columns with the painting of the Medusa head and the sweating or weeping miraculous healing column of St. Gregory.

The Galata Bridge: You can walk, take a boat or ride the light rail across the bridge as you watch the passenger boats on the Bosphorous, local fishermen patiently awaiting their fish-catch and many street food vendors with the sesame-dusted pretzels.

The Galata Tower at Beyoğlu is famous for its Rapunzel’s view and the quaint cylindrical tower.

The Istanbul Archaeological Museums are three in number quite close to the Topkapi Palace and have the Museum of Islamic Art and the Museum of the Ancient Orient also situated there.

The Byzantine Chora Church of the Holy Saviour has more of the famous mosaics and is stunningly beautiful.

The Valens Roman Aqueducts is 921m long and has the underground cisterns and water-supply system. It is well worth the visit.

The Beylerbeyi Palace means Palace of the Lord of all Lords and is at Istanbul’s Asian side. The Ottoman summer palace overlooks the River Bosphorus.

Miniatürk is a park filled with miniatures structures from various Ottoman territories like Anatolia, and Istanbul.

The Princes’ Islands has 9 islands and was used to banish the rulers who were exiled by the ruling sultans. You will have to take a cart or ride a horse around the islands.

The Blue Mosque or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has a blue exterior and six minarets. It is currently used as a mosque. Women should be modestly dressed and with a headscarf here.

The Maiden’s Tower has an interesting tale to tell. The tower on the southern islet of the Bosphorus claims the merchant who built it, had it commissioned to keep his beloved daughter safe from the prophesized snakebite. However, ironically his fruit-basket carried the poisonous snake right in!

The Emirgan Park is best known for the Tulip Festival held at this public park in Spring.

The Asian Istanbul is accessible by ferry, less crowded and more local than its European counterpart.

The Süleymaniye Mosque is the largest Istanbul mosque and is larger than the Blue Mosque or the one at Hagia Sophia.

The Constantinople Hippodrome is a public square where chariots and horses were raced by the people of Byzantine’s Constantinople.

The Ortaköy Mosque stands on the pier square and is small and baroque in its architecture.

The Topkapi Palace or where the Istanbul royal residents namely the Ottoman Sultans resided has huge grounds and the harem complex of apartments meant for his children, concubines and wives.

The Dolmabahçe Palace was the royal home of six Ottoman sultans and is more modern and contains the largest Bohemian chandelier in the world made of crystal glass.

The Constantinople City Walls are ideal to take a walk around the Roman capital city’s defensive fortification of Constantinople.

Transportation and lodging

If you are one for meticulous planning, then here is an insider tip. Fly to the Asian-sided Sabiha Gökçen Airport instead of the Turkish Atatürk Airport at Istanbul and then use the airport shuttle to Taksim Square costing just 12 TLs or Turkish Liras. You can then accommodate a tight budget while squeezing in as much as you possibly can, taking the quickie 2-hour trip around Taksim square. Another simple trick is to opt for the day-tours at Trip.com where you can club your cheap flight tickets with greatly discounted fares for hotel bookings and day tours. Remember, the Taksim square gets crowded during the noon and afternoons. Ideally, the 10 to 12-morning sessions are best to explore the square.

Wondering where to stay at Taksim Square? You can opt to stay in a budget hotel, vacation home or the many readily available hostels, dormitories etc with other co-travellers and make good use of their company and experiences. Hotels are aplenty and their budgets vary depending on their facilities. Also, most hotels are strategically located and are either close to the landmarks or the airport providing you with an easy option to explore the neighbourhood on foot, bicycle or using public transportation.

30 Things to do near Taksim Square Istanbul 2020

Tips for the discerning vacationer

Here are some general travel tips before we start our tour of Taksim Square and whenever you visit Istanbul city. Plan your trip for the Taksim square well ahead of time and make sure you start your day between 10 am and 12 noon so you can beat the enthusiastic tourist crowds. Normally during winter April to October, the day is shorter and in summer or October to April the day is longer than the nights. Also ensure, it is not a Friday morning. Visiting between March to May and September to November is an excellent idea. Why? Well for one, the weather is cooler, and it is the off-season for the hotels, so rates get cheaper and it is not much crowded!

Using the dolmus yellow or blue buses to Taksim Square instead of the expensive taxis is a good option. Buy yourself an Istanbul Card that can be refilled at any of the kiosks at the airport, metro or at the square. Never splurge on the single-way tickets in cash while at Istanbul, as they turn out twice as expensive when compared to using the travel-card! Fly Turkish Airlines or the cheaper Pegasus and Onur Air if you wish to save. The day-tours of Istanbul can introduce you to its many attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque. Normally fees, guides, pick-up and drop at your hotel and such are included if you use the packaged with services day tour trips available on the Trip.com app. So, let’s start our trip of Taksim Square without more not-so-funny advisories.

Visiting Taksim Square is exhilarating and rejuvenating since it is the very centre of Istanbul, which has two sections, European and Asian. We have just discovered the wide plethora of activities one can indulge in at the Taksim Square. Besides the cautionary and insider tips when visiting Istanbul, you are sure to find even a 3-day trip to Taksim is too short. If budget permits you can then discover like a local. Do as the Taksim Square locals do and enjoy your vacation.

If you look for cheap flight bookings, discounted hotel rates and great all-inclusive day tours then visit Istanbul with Trip.com. The fare-finder and real-time flight locator can get you the cheapest flight booking even when you are on the move. Its one-stop information centre on a perfect vacation at over 5,000 locations makes it an invaluable tool for every tourist and vacation planner. Top this with the combined deals on hotel bookings, 24 by 7 free customer service support, skip-the-line day tour bookings, and value-filled tours of enchanting Tasmik Square, saving you from breaking your bank! If Istanbul and Tasmik Square are now on your mind, then visit it with a 3 to 5-day visit with Trip.com! See you soon at Taksim Square!

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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