Beyoğlu Aprés-Film

Beyoğlu’s movie theaters once again are this year’s venues for the 29th Istanbul Film Festival, April 3-18. Here are eight great places to stop along İstiklal Caddesi when you come out of the festival films.

FRENCH CULTURE CENTER
Converted from the former French Hospital, the culture center is a scene of artistic activity year round. And the April program for this venue at No. 4 İstiklal Caddesi is jam-packed. The Pera Exhibitions are offering guided tours of the works of 19th century Ottoman painters on April 17 and 24 and May 8. Tel: +90212 393 81 11

FOTOĞRAFEVİ
To ‘read’ Istanbul, Turkey and the world in photographs you must pay a visit to this House of Photography, which organizes photography classes and tours, as well as exhibitions, interviews and projects 365 days a year. Hangout of the city’s leading photo artists at No. 4 Tütüncü Çıkmazı. Tel:+90212 249 02 02

MISIR APARTMANI
This apartment building is one of Beyoğlu’s newest venues with its galleries, theater and restaurants. Built in 1910 in Art Nouveau style, it stands at No. 163 İstiklal Caddesi, Beyoğlu’s main drag, now a pedestrian zone. One-time residence and place of death of Turkish poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy, who penned the words to the country’s national anthem, this high-ceilinged apartment is a work of art in its own right.

GALATASARAY HAMAM
A historic public bathhouse, where personalities like Dan Brown, John Travolta and Monica Molina are customers, at No. 24 Turnacıbaşı Sokak. Dating to 1481, this ‘hamam’ that once welcomed pashas is famous today for its frothy ‘pasha massage’, bath attendants’ demos, and bachelor parties for men and women alike.  Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Tel: +90212 252 42 42

ASMALIMESCİT
This passageway opposite one of the world’s oldest subways, the ‘Tünel’, with its entertainment venues that spill over into the neighboring district, has become a recent favorite. Boasting sidewalk bistros and ethnic restaurants, including Persian, Thai and Greek, it also hosts some of Istanbul’s hottest nightspots.

PERA MUSEUM
Scenes by Ottoman-inspired orientalist painters are exhibited alongside weights and measures at this museum on Meşrutiyet Caddesi. Istanbul’s ‘Tarih Sahnesi’ (Stage of History) exhibitions and Pablo Picasso’s Suite Vollard engravings are also on view here through April 18. Open daily except Mondays. Tel: +90212 334 99 00

FISH MARKET
The variety is mind-boggling at this historic fish market whose stalls abound with the tastiest of the Bosphorus catch: Mussel and pickle stalls, used bookshops, delicatessens, herbalist shops... You should try the mezze and seafood at the neighboring restaurants which throb with the strains of the Turkish fiddle and drum.

AVRUPA PASAJI
This historic arcade, which opens onto the Fish Market at one end and Galatasaray Square on the other, is a veritable treasure trove for nostalgia buffs. Ottoman medals, old Istanbul vinyl records, antiques, hats, Ascot ties... A century-old arcade with 11 facing shops whose facades are adorned with statues of women. Open 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
This apartment building is one of Beyoğlu’s newest venues with its galleries, theater and restaurants. Built in 1910 in Art Nouveau style, it stands at No. 163 İstiklal Caddesi, Beyoğlu’s main drag, now a pedestrian zone. One-time residence and place of death of Turkish poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy, who penned the words to the country’s national anthem, this high-ceilinged apartment is a work of art in its own right.