5 places to discover street art & music in Istanbul

1) Şişhane Metro

A much less crowded (and appreciated) music spot is definitely hidden upstairs at the Şişhane metro stop. Take the ‘İstiklal Caddesi’ exit, and make a small contribution to a very talented jazz saxophonist or a man playing old Anatolian folk songs on his saz instrument.

entrance to Sishane Metro

Şişhane

2) İstiklal Caddesi

Head to the famously overcrowded İstiklal Caddesi (Avenue) early in the morning (when it’s not overcrowded) to really appreciate the beauty of its historic buildings, shopping arcades and the multitude of street art all around from local and international artists. To enjoy the street music, however, you’ll have to come by later and brace the crowds.

İstiklal Caddesi

İstiklal Cd.

3) Osmanbey metro stop

Find the official Istanbul metro music spot (designated with a music-themed wall decal) by following the ‘Rumeli’, exit at the Osmanbey stop. Expect to come across a violin and cello duo, a remarkable solo guitarist with a voice like Elvis or a master of the traditional Turkish kanun instrument.

Osmanbey Metro Stop in Istanbul

Corner of Halaskargazi Cd. and Rumeli Cd.

4) Sariyer

In 2018, the Mural Istanbul Festival travelled from Kadıköy to Sarıyer to turn another neighbourhood into an open-air exhibition of excellent street art. Explore Çayıbaşı Street to discover the large-scale murals of the local street artists Max on Duty, Leo Lunatic and Esk Reyn.

Street art of cats in Sariyer Istanbul

Büyükdere Mh. Çayıbaşı Cd.

5) Yeldeğirmeni

In 2012, the founders of the Mural Istanbul Festival decided to turn the agonisingly plain apartment building façades in their neighbourhood into giant canvases for street art. Explore the İskele, Uzun Hafız and Misaki Milli Streets to gaze up admiringly at largescale murals that were created by local and international street artists during the annual festival.

big street mural at Yeldeğirmeni

Karakolhane Cd.

Suggestions?

Want to share new hidden secrets in your hometown? Are you the author of the next hot city guide? Or do you want to team up in some other way? We look forward to hearing from you!

Contribute