Top Shopping Streets in Istanbul, Turkey

For some retail therapy in Istanbul, check out İstiklal Caddesi
For some retail therapy in Istanbul, check out İstiklal Caddesi | © Yadid Levy / Alamy Stock Photo
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

When the words “shopping” and “Istanbul” come together, people usually think of the Grand Bazaar and its maze-like streets that offer everything imaginable, from carpets to local spices. However, if you’re looking for something different than the hustle and bustle of the extra-large covered bazaar, the city has plenty more to offer.From antique shops to high-street fashion, Culture Trip picks the best shopping streets in Istanbul in this comprehensive shopping guide. Explore the vibrant tapestry of the city’s retail scene, where you’ll find everything from unique antiques to the latest trends in high-street fashion.

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Serdar-ı Ekrem

This little cobblestone street near the historic Galata Tower is probably one of Istanbul’s coolest shopping streets. There aren’t any big-name brands here; instead, it’s home to a bunch of cool boutiques. Check out the showroom of Turkish designer Arzu Kaprol, antiques at Kashif Sofa and the elegant boutique Atelier 55 at the very end. Afterwards, take a seat at Mavra for some coffee and delicious home-made chocolate cake. If you happen to be wandering around during cocktail hour, drop by the terrace of Georges Hotel Galata for a refreshing drink with a great view of the city.

Çukurcuma Caddesi

Çukurcuma is Istanbul’s main antique-hunting street, and the beautiful neoclassical houses all around this neighbourhood are very befitting of the whole nostalgic theme. Walk along the winding streets, and visit the antique and vintage boutiques as well as the Museum of Innocence, which quite befittingly is a giant showcase of a past, but not forgotten, Istanbul. The best stores around this area include A La Turca, Objects of Desire and Aslı Günşiray. When you’re done wandering around and shopping, get a snack at Cuma – the pancakes are delicious.

İstiklal Caddesi

The always-crowded İstiklal Caddesi, running from Taksim Square to Tünel Square, is one of the city’s main shopping streets. Every brand imaginable, from local to international names, has a store here. İstiklal also has some unique sidestreets and small pasaj (arcades), so when you see something that catches your eye, make sure to take a detour. Check out the Beyoğlu Balık Pazarı (open-air market) for some serious food shopping, and then wander a few more steps next door to the famous Çiçek Pasajı, an arcade that opened in 1876. If you get tired of walking, take the historic red tramway that runs up and down the street.

Abdi İpekçi Caddesi

The Nişantaşı neighbourhood is known for its luxury, whether it’s the atelier and showroom of a local designer or the boutique of a world-famous brand. On Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, discover everything from Prada to Louis Vuitton, as well as Vakko and Beymen, Turkey’s premier luxury brands. If you’re a bit more conscious about what leaves your wallet, simply take a detour and walk to Teşvikiye Caddesi to find more moderately priced stores, such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Scotch & Soda. The nearby shopping centre City’s Nişantaşı offers even more stores, including imports Banana Republic and Gap.

Bağdat Caddesi

The Asian side of Istanbul may be known as the more residential and quiet sister of the European side, but there certainly are enough shopping opportunities to entice you to catch the ferry. Bağdat Caddesi is this side’s main shopping street, with something for every budget – stores range from Burberry to Marks & Spencer. On the weekends, the lane is filled with residents wandering or taking a break at one of the many cafés. The fact that the seaside is just a few blocks down is also a plus because you can always take a stroll by the water when you’re done shopping.

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