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This article is about the type of building. For other uses, see Kiosk (disambiguation).
The German Fountain at the Hippodrome of Istanbul

A kiosk (from Turkish: köşk, which in turn comes from Persian: kūshk‎) is a small, separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides. Kiosks were common in Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward. Today, there are many kiosks in and around the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, and they are still a relatively common sight in Balkan states.

The word is now applied to small booths offering goods and services and to freestanding computer terminals.

Small shops[edit]

Newsstand in Rosemont, Montreal, 1943.
Modern vending kiosk in a train station in Hyogo, Japan.
Main article: Newsagent's shop
Main article: Mall kiosk

In the Western hemisphere and in English-speaking countries, a kiosk is also a booth with an open window on one side. Some vendors operate from kiosks (see mall kiosk), selling small, inexpensive consumables such as newspapers, magazines, lighters, street maps, cigarettes, and confections.

An information kiosk (or information booth) dispenses free information in the form of maps, pamphlets, and other literature, and/or advice offered by an attendant.

Interactive kiosks[edit]

Main article: Interactive kiosk

An electronic kiosk (or computer kiosk or interactive kiosk) houses a computer terminal that often employs custom kiosk software designed to function while preventing users from accessing system functions. Indeed, kiosk mode describes such a mode of software operation. Computerized kiosks may store data locally, or retrieve it from a computer network. Some computer kiosks provide a free, informational public service, while others serve a commercial purpose (see mall kiosk). Touchscreens, trackballs, computer keyboards, and pushbuttons are all typical input devices for interactive computer kiosk. Touchscreen kiosks are commercially used as industrial appliances, reducing lines, eliminating paper, improving efficiency and service. Their uses are unlimited from refrigerators to airports, health clubs, movie theaters and libraries.


Despite some claims that the word kiosk originally came from the Swahili language, all evidence points to the Middle Persian word kōšk.[1]


Conservatories were in the form of corridors connecting the Pavilion to the stables and consisting of a passage of flowers covered with glass and linked with orangery, a greenhouse, an aviary, a pheasantry and hothouses. The influence of Muslim and Islamo-Indian forms appears clearly in these buildings and particularly in the pheasantry where its higher part isban adaptation of the kiosks found on the roof of Allahabad Palace and illustrated by Thomas Daniell. Today's conservatories incorporate many Muslim elements, although modern art forms have shifted from the classical art forms that were used in earlier times.


See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kiosks.


  • Halsband, R. (1965 edn.), 'The complete letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu', Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  1. ^ MacKenzie, D. N. (1986). A Concise Pahlavi Dictionary. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-713559-5.