Mesrutiyet Street is located in Beyoglu district. Mesrutiyet Street was home to the most modern buildings of Istanbul in the 19th century and reflected the European characteristics of Ottoman Istanbul.
During the Ottoman period, the Beyoglu district was mostly called “Pera”. You can see that this tradition is still kept alive in the name of the hotels and museums on Mesrutiyet Street.
In the 19th century, the most famous means of transportation that carried tourists to Istanbul was the Orient Express train, which traveled between Paris and Istanbul.
Passengers arriving by this train would arrive at Sirkeci Railway Station in the Old City and from there they would come to Pera. The most popular hotel of the 1800s was the Pera Palace hotel here.
Today, the famous hotels of that period, Pera Palace and Grand Hotel de Londres, are still in service. In addition, you can still see many neo-classical and baroque buildings from the 1800s on Mesrutiyet Street.
Places to See on Mesrutiyet Street 2023
There are centuries-old hotels and museums among the places to see on Mesrutiyet Street. In addition, you can find some of Istanbul’s best restaurants, cafes and bars here.
1. Beyoglu Municipality
Beyoglu Municipality was put into service in the 1800s as the first modern municipality of Istanbul. The town hall, which was designed in this period, can still be seen with all its beauty.
This elegant building is located in the southernmost part of Mesrutiyet Street. The building, which is adjacent to Sishane Metro Station, is also the starting point of the sightseeing route we will follow in this article.
2. Istanbul Modern Art Museum
Istanbul Modern Art Museum was opened in the early 2000s with the redesign of an old warehouse by the sea. Located on the shore of the Bosphorus, the museum was also adjacent to the cruise port.
It was later decided that the museum would be rebuilt and located in the center of the new Istanbul Cruise Port. The design of the new museum was created by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Istanbul Modern has been serving at its temporary location on Mesrutiyet Street for several years. However, when the construction of the new museum inside Galataport is completed, the artifacts will also be transferred there.
As of 2023, Istanbul Modern Art Museum has moved to its new building in Galataport. The building in the picture is used as an exhibition space for temporary art events.
3. Soho House Hotel
The Soho House Hotel opened in 2014 in the building that used to be the American Consulate. In addition to the hotel, there is an Italian restaurant called Cecconi’s Istanbul in the complex.
The most ostentatious building of the hotel complex is the one built by Italian architect Giacomo Leoni for a Genoese merchant in the 1870s. The building called Palazzo Corpi is really beautiful.
4. Pera Palace Hotel
Pera Palace Hotel was built in the 1890s to host tourists who came to Istanbul with the Orient Express. Pera Palace is now part of the Jumeirah hotel chain. I also added this place to my list of the best hotels in Taksim.
Among the famous guests of Pera Palace are Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (founder of Turkey). Also, the hotel has recently been back in the spotlight with a Netflix series called Midnight at the Pera Palace.
5. Mikla Restaurant
Mikla Restaurant was opened in the 2000s and soon became one of the most popular restaurants in Istanbul. The restaurant is located on the terrace of The Marmara Pera Hotel in the middle of Mesrutiyet Street.
Mikla Restaurant has brought a new interpretation to Anatolian dishes, which are the heart of Turkish Cuisine. This concept, called “New Anatolian Cuisine”, was liked by many local gourmets.
Mehmet Gurs‘ (founder of the restaurant) mother is Scandinavian and his father is Turkish. The famous Chef has created a new style by blending Turkish dishes with Scandinavian cooking techniques.
Mikla Restaurant became one of the restaurants that won a Michelin Star in Istanbul in 2022. Thus, the long-standing success of the restaurant was crowned.
6. Pera Museum
Pera Museum, one of the best art museums in Istanbul, has a collection of Orientalist Paintings. In this section, you can see the life in the East in the 18th and 19th centuries through the eyes of Western painters.
Pera Museum also preserves the legacy of Osman Hamdi Bey, the founder of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums. The Tortoise Trainer by Osman Hamdi Bey, an Ottoman bureaucrat and painter, is also exhibited here.
Sometimes there are very interesting temporary exhibitions in this museum. For example, when I took the photo above, there was an exhibition in the museum summarizing research on Byzantium (Bizans) from 1800 to 1955.
Odakule is actually the name of a skyscraper with commercial offices. However, the courtyard of the building is used by Istanbulites as a crossing between Istiklal Street and Mesrutiyet Street.
If you want to add a little more flavor to your trip on Mesrutiyet Street, you can go to the opposite side from Odakule and visit the Church of St Anthony of Padua on Istiklal Street.
8. Hazzo Pulo Passage
Hazzo Pulo Passage is actually a crossing place between Mesrutiyet and Isiklal Avenues. However, this courtyard is also home to some of the best eating and drinking places in the district.
For example, Hazzo Pulo Restaurant, one of the best wine houses of Istanbul, is here. As seen in the picture above, there are many cafes in the courtyard of the passage.
On the side of Hazzo Pulo Passage facing Istiklal Street, there are modest and inexpensive jewelry shops where you can shop for souvenirs.
9. Saint Helena’s Chapel
Saint Helena’s Chapel is a church dating back to the 1580s. The courtyard of the church, which is adjacent to the British Consulate, is now used by a restaurant called Chapelle.
Chapelle Restaurant is a part of Rixos Pera Istanbul, one of the most popular hotels on Mesrutiyet Street. The atmosphere of the courtyard attracts those walking on Mesrutiyet Street like a magnet.
10. Grand Hotel de Londres
The Grand Hotel de Londres is one of the buildings that reflect the magnificence of Pera in the 1800s. Grand Hotel de Londres, one of the three old hotels of the district, still continues to serve.
In the 19th century, Pera’s three most famous hotels were Pera Palace, Hotel Bristol and Grand Hotel de Londres, respectively. However, Hotel Bristol was later transformed into Pera Museum.
11. British Consulate
The British Consulate was built in 1850 as an embassy building in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The structure is a palace-like building also known as “Pera House”.
After the Turkish Republic was established in 1923, this building started to serve as the British Consulate General. The Consulate is located at the corner where Mesrutiyet Street ends.
If you have followed the walking route in the article so far, you can take a beer break at the Corner Irish Pub across from the Consulate. This is a great spot to watch people passing by. (the picture of the pub is on the bottom lines)
12. Avrupa Pasaji
Avrupa Pasaji (European Passage) was built in 1874 by the Austrian architect Domenico Pulgher in the Renaissance style. This is a nostalgic place where you can shop at the end of Mesrutiyet Street.
While you are in the passage, you can and should enjoy some amazing sculptures at the entrance of the shops. Moreover, the passage connects Beyoglu Fish Market to Mesrutiyet Street.
In conclusion, Mesrutiyet Street is among the best walking routes in Istanbul. The street, which is a symbol of the 19th century Westernization in Ottoman Istanbul, promises us a journey in time.
If you want to see the streets where Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo and Alfred Hitchcock once walked and visit the hotel (Pera Palace) where they stayed, you can come here.
On Mesrutiyet Street, there are places such as Mikla, Meze By Lemon Tree and Hazzo Pulo Wine House, which are among the most popular restaurants in Istanbul. In addition, the neighboring street Asmali Mescid has wonderful meyhanes (Turkish taverns).
Written by Serhat Engul
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