Until 1800s, Şişli was an open-air countryside where people used to go for hunting and agriculture. After the fire explosion in Beyoğlu in 1870, merchants and non-Muslims settled around Harbiye. During that period, horse cars started to serve to Şişli. Later, Şişli developed as a middle class residential area during the last years of ottoman Empire and early years of Turkish Republic. This trading middle class was composed of people from multicultural backgrounds including Jews, Greeks, Armenians and Turks. After 1920s, larger buildings were built along the wide avenues. During 1950s, migrants inhabited to Şişli and new neighbourhoods established. After some time famous brands moved their shopping stores along the wide avenues of Şişli. Consequently, tall residential buildings along the venues mostly turned into workplaces and trading areas.
Since 1970, the oldest buildings on the Grand avenues have been demolished and replaced with newer ones. Today, there are many skyscrapers and shopping malls; including Europe's second largest and world's eighth largest shopping mall; Cevahir, located along the main avenues.
The back streets of this main avenues have been functioning as residential areas where many families and students have settled. Being a central location in İstanbul, being well-connected with the other districts via public-transportation, having so many shops, cafes and other amenities, Şişli is one of the fanciest place to spend time in the city.
This district has many cultural buildings to host many cultural activities. Harbiye Open-air Theatre, Lütfü Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Centre, Istanbul Radio House, Atatürk Museum, Kenter Theatre, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall are couple of them. Eczacıbaşı Sport Centre and Türk Telekom Arena Stadium are couple of others which host many sports tournaments including football and volleyball games.
Mecidiyeköy is prominent business quarter of Şişli. It's also an important passenger transport hub of the European side. Metrobus, subway and numerous buses lines pass from Mecidiyeköy. You can easily connect Taksim via subway or bus from Mecidiyeköy.