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Kiosk is a small, separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides. Kiosks were common in Persia, India, Pakistan, 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 Greece.

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.

An electronic kiosk (or computer kiosk or interactive kiosk) houses a computer terminal that often employs custom kiosk software designed to function flawlessly 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.



In the Mediterranean Basin and the Near East, a kiosk (Persian: کوشک kušk; Arabic: كشكkošk; Turkish: köşk; Tagalog: kyos; Urdu: کھوک khoka; French: kiosque; Greek: κιόσκι; German: Kiosk; Polish: kiosk; Estonian: kiosk; Czech: kiosek; Portuguese: quiosque; Romanian: chioşc; Bulgarian: кьошк kyoshk; Croatian: kiosk Serbian: киоск or kiosk; Russian: киоск kiosk; and Spanish: quiosco or kiosco) The word, which is of Persian origin, refers to an object that acts as a shadow or shade-maker.

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