The city’s heartland. Istiklal caddesi (Independence Avenue) is a mile long pedestrianised grand boulevard cutting through Beyoglu. An ancient looking tram runs the length of Istikal Caddesi. Lined with nineteenth century former palaces and embassies which are now home to High Street brands. The Avenue is just as busy at night with pavement bars and restaurants serving the tourists. It’s said that up to a million people walk up or down Istikal Caddesi every day. The streets off Istiklal Caddesi retain their Bohemian past and are home to many interesting independent shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs. Taksim square is at the heart of modern Istanbul but it’s large, busy and on the whole unappealing. Crossing the road here requires pedestrians take their life in their hands as traffic comes from every direction and doesn’t always stop at the traffic lights.