This little cobble-stoned street near the historic Galata Tower is probably one of Istanbul’s coolest shopping streets. You definitely won’t see any big name brands, because this street is known for its cool boutiques. Check out the cool T-shirts at Les Benjamins, souvenirs and curiosities at Lunapark, the showroom of Turkish designer Arzu Kaprol, antiques at Kashif Sofa, and the elegant boutique Atelier 55 at the very end. Once you’re done perusing, take a seat at Mavra for some coffee and delicious homemade chocolate cake. If you happen to be wandering around at a cocktail-friendly hour, definitely drop by the terrace of Georges Hotel for a delicious drink with a great view of the city.
This street, running from Taksim Square all the way to Tünel, is one of the city’s main shopping streets and is always crowded. You’ll find every brand imaginable, from local to international names. İstiklal also has some very interesting side streets and small pasaj (arcades), so when you see something interesting make sure to take a detour. Definitely 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, a famous historic arcade opened in 1876. If you get tired of walking, take the historic red tramway that runs up and down the street.
The Nişantaşı neighborhood 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 you’ll find 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, then you can simply take a detour and walk to Teşvikiye Caddesi, where more moderately priced stores such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Scotch & Soda are located. You can also visit the City’s Shopping Center for more store options, including imports like Banana Republic and Gap.
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, and on the weekends you’ll find residents walking up and down this endless lane 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. As you walk down this street you’ll notice that it goes from luxury to moderate, which means that there’s something for everyone, from Burberry to Marks & Spencer.