Taksim Square or Taksim Meydanı (in Turkish) is a symbol of Istanbul, and one of the major tourist attractions in the Turkish economic capital. Located in Istanbul’s European side, the square is a hub for a wide variety of shopping, accommodation, dining and leisure options.
Established by Sultan Mahmud l, the square was originally built to branch off water through the water pipes to the rest of the city. Today, the Taksim is considered one of the best and most important tourist destinations in Istanbul, the length of the Istiklal street within the square is about three and a half kilometers extending from the Taksim Square and to the tunnel that connects the area of Karaköy to the district of Pera in Beyoglu.
In the middle of the square, there is a monument best known as the Monument of the Republic that was crafted by Pietro Canonica in 1928 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the new Republic of Turkey after the Turkish Independence War in 1923.
In a walk in Istiklak Cadesi, the famous pedestrian shopping street, you will pass by plenty of restaurants that serve mouthwatering Turkish food. Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrası or “ Al Madina Resaturant ” is a famous restaurant located in the beginning of the street; another famous restaurant is Beyoglu Halk Doner Restaurant , as well as other branches for fast-food chains. After eating a delicious Shawarma wrap or Kebab, there is always room for dessert; therefore you should pay a visit to Faruk Güllüoğlu or Hafiz Mustafa and try their Baklava or mouthwatering Turkish Delights accompanied with Turkish coffee.
While walking in the street, you will pass by refreshment points that sell roasted chestnuts, grilled corn presented in a cob, Simit ( pretzel-like bread), fresh fruits and fresh mussels.
For shopping, the street has so much to offer. Many international brands have branches at the street like Swarovski, Lacoste, Sephora, Bershka, H&M, Zara, Koton and others.
The Taksim Square is also a famous location for public events such as political demonstrations, parades, New Year celebrations and other social gatherings.
One of the famous demonstrations held at the square were the May 26, 2013 demonstrations to oppose the cutting of trees in the garden of the division of Park (Gaza division) in preparation for the reconstruction of the Ottoman barracks to make them a mall.
In the Taksim area you will find many Taxis.
In the Taksim Square you can find elevator/stairs that get you to the underground Metro station.
M2 line: Taksim stop.
The IETT public buses have a stop by the Taksim area. İETT city buses are best used for major sights, because they tend to be crowded and slow due to the massive amount of stops. You can’t pay cash or through credit card, so you should have your Istanbul Kart Transit Pass ready before entering the bus, otherwise, they won’t let you in.
Havataş Airport Shuttle Service in Istanbul
Havataş is an airport shuttle owned by the municipality of Istanbul and you can find them outside the airport terminal. There is a bus every half an hour that goes from the airport to the Taksim Square.