For those who want to splurge while away from home, Istanbul is a retail therapy gold mine. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion or traditional items such as antiques, carpets and jewellery, Istanbul’s vibrant shopping landscape has got you covered.
Boasting a remarkable number of bazaars and shopping places that provide a rich variety of specialty items, including those at reduced rates, the city is a haven for shoppers. With regularly sought-out historical options as well as unsung stores scattered all over town, Istanbul invites visitors to go on a spree unlike any other.
Besides being among the city’s primary sightseeing spots, the city’s historical bazaars also bear the title of Istanbul’s most popular shopping locations.
Located in the courtyard between the Grand Bazaar and Beyazid Mosque, the historic Antique Books Market (Sahaflar Market) is sure to stun bibliophiles with its roster of stalls filled with rare books such as Ottoman manuscripts and maps, as well as secondhand and recent books.
Famous shopping streets
Housing the usual list of top international labels, Abdi Ipekçi Street offers an elegant shopping experience right at the heart of the city. This wide street, located within the chic neighbourhood of Nişantaşı, is lined with brands such as Christian Louboutin, Cartier and Prada. Frequently compared to the likes of New York’s famous Fifth Avenue or the Champs-Elysées in Paris, Abdi İpekçi Street is not to be missed for those who are willing to go big in terms of their spending. Find Fey, a spacious boutique shop with beautiful vintage pieces, on the adjoining Mim Kemal Oke street.
A more recent addition to the booming shopping mall scene in Istanbul, Zorlu Center is a luxurious fashion destination that is right above the first Bosphorus bridge. Come here to find established brands and local department stores such as Beymen, and to check out large high-end stores with chic window displays.
Vintage and second-hand shopping
For those who would like to explore the shops on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadıköy’s Salı Pazarı is jam-packed with juicy fruits, affordable clothes, textiles and kitchen appliances. Open only on Tuesdays, this is the perfect place to shop for everyday items alongside the locals. Take the ferry from Beşiktaş to enjoy the fresh breeze of the Bosphorus during your journey.
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