Istanbul can be considered as Turkey’s capital of culture and fashion and offers many many shopping opportunities. The shopping variety of the city ranging from traditional and modern products makes Istanbul an attraction center for shopping lovers. As being a very big metropolis, travelers can easily find almost every world brand in the shopping malls and the districts of Istanbul.
Istanbul has everything for every budget and style. From popular outdoor markets, bazaars, carpet & kilim workshops, copper working shops, antique and handicraft shops, to designer shops, traditional shops, modern department stores and very big shopping centers; shopping is one of the best things to do in Istanbul.
What to Buy & Where to Shop?
Istanbul provides various choices of shopping items from the Ottoman’s originated historical bazaars through modern shopping malls. The world famous Turkish carpets made of silk, wool or cotton, the rugs (kilim), the precious jewelries, authentic glassware, traditional evil eye souvenirs, leather and textile products, and haute couture, trendy and creative products… All can be found in the multiple shopping areas of the city reflecting every era’s characteristic traits.
In addition, almost all districts have their own local street markets where you may find fresh vegetables, clothing and more…
The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is without a doubt is the most popular tourist spot for shopping in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar is a shopping adventure that you won’t want to miss. A series of covered streets feature over 4,000 merchants all selling their products and wares. You can find anything here from spices, dried fruits, basketry, drapery, haberdashery, boots and slippers to gold and silver jewelry.
Than comes the nearby the Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) where you may find numerous species of spices.
Read more on Istanbul’s top bazaars and markets.
Popular Shopping Districts & Neighborhoods
Sultanahmet and around
Sultanahmet neighborhood, with its craftsmen, is the number one place for the ones who want to enjoy the ambiance of the Ottoman era and historic center. The Arasta Bazaar, located just behind the Blue Mosque is famous for its jewelry, pottery, spice, textiles and carpet shops.
The Antique Books Market , located in Beyazit, 20 mins walk from Sultanahmet, around Grand Bazaar, is famous for its priceless books and antiques, especially for the history lovers.
Taksim and around
Taksim is a the modern and cosmopolitan part of the city and hosts wide range of shopping places with numerous big brands located on and around the famous Istiklal Street. The 2 km. long pedestrian Istiklal street has many famous and neo-classical passages with variety of fantastic shops ranging from vintage clothing to hand made ceramics, as well as more than 100 year old traditional shops and sweet cafes and pubs.
The Sishane, Galata, Karakoy, Cukurcuma and Cihangir are the other popular neighborhoods located near Taksim that are all full of great designer and antiques shops, vintage stores and bookshops. Cukurcuma is famous for its antiques. The Nisantasi neighborhood very close to Taksim is famous for its with world brands and local designer clothing shops.
The Kadikoy market place, Bahariye Street and the Bagdat Street are the popular places on the Asia side and always very crowded for shopping lovers.
As for street markets; the Thursday Market in Ortakoy (former Ulus market) and Saturday Markets in Besiktas, Bakirkoy and Ferikoy (Sisli), and Sunday Market in Kasimpasa (Beyoglu) on the European side, and the Tuesday Market in Kadikoy on the Asian Side are all worth to visit. Read more on best street markets in Istanbul.
Shopping Center and Malls
Istanbul also hosts more than 200 modern shopping malls. And some of them are really very huge and amongst the best shopping malls in Europe. The Kanyon, Metrocity and Akmerkez in the Levent district; the Istinye Park in Maslak, the Cevahir in Mecidiyekoy are the most popular shopping malls in Istanbul, on the European side that worth a visit.
The Capitol in Altunizade, Palladium and Brandium in Atasehir and Viaport next to Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) are the popular ones in the Asia side.
Read more on Istanbul’s top shopping centers.