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Beyoğlu, Istanbul

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Open Hours: Operation hours vary by business
A veritable symphony of Occident and orient, Beyoğlu is the pulsating heartbeat of Istanbul s day and nightlife. İstiklal Caddesi -- a paved thoroughfare perpetually swarming with Istanbul s colorful hoi polloi -- is at the hub of the metropolis while a maze of narrow winding lanes filled with funky cafes, soulful bars, continental restaurants, historic cinemas, prominent theatres and exclusive shops shoot off in all directions around it. Taksim Square, featuring the impressive Monument to the Republic, leads the way into Beyoğlu s bohemian open-air museum, past the Greek Orthodox Aya Triade Church and the French Consulate. A quaint old tramway carries passengers past the Rumeli Han, Çiçek Pasajı, Cite de Pera, Atlas Pasajı, Galatasaray Lisesi, and several elegant consulates. Every year the International Istanbul Film Festival, International Istanbul Music Festival, International Istanbul Theatre Festival and the International Istanbul Jazz Festival are held here and in nearby districts. Beyoğlu, which has been the traditional home of Istanbul's gay community, hosts various other annual events, including the Bosphorus Festival, Roxy Music Days, Aksanat Jazz Festival and the Blues Festival. The district is also home to the Beyoğlu Emek Movie Theatre, which hosts the annual Filmekimi Film Festival. See the website to find a list of upcoming festivals in the area.