When the words shopping and Istanbul come together that first thing that comes to mind is the Grand Bazaar. However, Istanbul has plenty of other shopping streets and shopping malls where you can find plenty of great products without the huge tourist crowds.
Definitely the most exclusive shopping street in Istanbul, you’ll find all the major designer stores on this street as well as the city’s wealthy residents hanging out in the many cafés and restaurants. From Prada to Cartier, and Louis Vuitton to Tom Ford, Nişantaşı has all the stores you’d expect from a wealthy neighborhood. Make sure to also wander around the Teşvikiye neighborhood nearby, where you’ll come across many small restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and bars that have been opened by the city’s younger cooler entrepreneurs.
Located in Istanbul’s central Beyoğlu neighborhood, where Istiklal Street is usually the shopping preference, the area around the Galata Tower is definitely worth a look for all the cool local designers and the area’s cool young locals. One of the best streets in this area is Serdar-ı Ekrem, which you’ll instantly recognize with its cobblestone paths, neoclassical facades, and cool boutique shops that include clothing from local designers, antiques, and design shops. You’ll also find cafés on their street where you can take a break and watch the locals stroll by.
A bit far from Istanbul’s center, Bebek is another wealthy neighborhood flanked by million dollar estates by the Bosphorus that go all the way to Sarıyer. Apart from its great restaurants all around, Bebek also has plenty of shops that you can spend hours exploring up and down the side streets. You’ll find great boutiques with clothing and accessories from local designers that are exceptional. If you continue on down to Arnavutköy by strolling by the Bosphorus, you’ll find more great restaurants and boutiques hidden all around the side streets as well.
If you’re one of those people who likes to get their shopping done in one place, then this is one of the best shopping malls to visit is Kanyon. Of course, this particular shopping mall is suited for the summer, since it’s open air, and you’ll find everything you’re looking for, whether it’s homeware from Turkey or labels from abroad. Kanyon is in the business district, so during lunchtime, you’ll really get to see all of Turkey’s young workers getting their lunch at one of the many restaurants upstairs.
Another fantastic mall to visit in Istanbul is Zorlu Center, which stands out because of the city’s only official Apple Store as well as Crate & Barrel and Eataly. On the top floor of Zorlu you’ll find all the big designer brands, especially one of the largest stores, Beymen, Turkey’s most renowned department store. Downstairs, you’ll find brands such as Cos and Gap, as well as plenty of restaurants and cafés.
If you happen to be on the Asian side and are looking to go shopping, then Bağdat Street is the place to go. With one end displaying all the high end brands such as Prada and Vakko (another one of Turkey’s premier department stores), the other side has other brands like Zara or Massimo Dutti. You can spend a whole day walking up and down this street, getting your shopping done and blending in with the locals.