Where To Go Shopping in Istanbul

Whether youre looking for antiques or vintage clothes, youll be able to find everything youre looking for in Istanbul
Whether you're looking for antiques or vintage clothes, you'll be able to find everything you're looking for in Istanbul | © Ayhan Altun / Alamy Stock Photo
Bala Gürcan

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.

Bazaars

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.

1. The Grand Bazaar

Bazaar, Shop

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey.
© one-image photography / Alamy Stock Photo
One of the largest and oldest shopping markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar dates back to the 15th century. Just a 10-minute walk away from the iconic Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), the bustling Bazaar has over 4,000 shops overflowing with all sorts of objects, from traditional Turkish carpets, antiques, textiles, jewellery and ceramics, through to fake designer handbags. Be prepared to get lost among its network of passageways for hours, amid colourful lanterns and the enticing smell of Turkish coffee. Keep in mind that eager shopkeepers incessantly call potential customers into their shops, and haggling for the best offer is a necessary ritual while shopping here.

2. Spice Bazaar

Bazaar

Turkish delights in Spice Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey.
© Images and Stories / Alamy Stock Photo
The Spice Bazaar (also known as the Egyptian Market) is an equally historic and popular covered bazaar, which offers a lavish selection of Turkish delicacies, including lokum (Turkish delight), spices, dried fruits and tea. Located in historic Eminönü, the colourful and vibrant bazaar is filled with stalls of fresh food items. Although it’s much smaller in size than the Grand Bazaar, many delicious souvenirs are waiting to be discovered here.

3. Sahaflar Carsisi

Bazaar

Antique Books Market (Sahaflar Carsisi), Beyazit Square, Istanbul, Turkey.
© P Tomlins / Alamy Stock Photo

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

4. Istiklal Avenue

Market

Demiroren shopping centre on Istiklal Cadessi, Istanbul, Turkey.
© Alex Segre / Alamy Stock Photo
The city’s famous pedestrianised street in Beyoğlu, Istiklal Avenue connects Taksim Square with Galatasaray and Tünel Squares. This historic stretch swarms with people day and night, and is packed with many well-known Turkish and international brands. Browse for books at Robinson Crusoe in SALT Beyoğlu, or visit classic Hacı Bekir, one of Istanbul’s longest-standing establishments, to buy some authentic lokum. Although chain stores have mostly unseated their historical counterparts, narrow cross streets alongside the main avenue reveal historical passages and wondrous arcades from the 19th century. Tucked behind the entrance to Atlas Sinema, a famous arcade, is the Atlas Pasaji – which offers fashionable clothing and vintage jewellery finds at modest prices.

5. Abdi Ipekci Street

Shopping Mall

Abdi Ipekci Caddesi in Nisantasi neighborhood of Istanbul.
© Hackenberg-Photo-Cologne / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Shopping malls

6. Kanyon

Park, Shopping Mall

Kanyon shopping mall, Levent, Istanbul, Turkey.
© Alex Segre / Alamy Stock Photo
Kanyon is a sophisticated open-air shopping mall out in the business district of Levent. An unmistakable iconic structure rising amid the financial plazas, the four-storey shopping center houses select stores such as Harvey Nichols, Max Mara and Vakko. Make sure to visit Souq Dükkan, a local brand with a curated collection of unique homeware, accessories and clothing that is sure to awe avid design lovers.

7. Zorlu Center

Shopping Mall

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

8. Çukurcuma

Shop

A second hand shop in Istanbul Galatasaray Cukurcuma quarter.
© Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo
For those who seek quality antiques, the nostalgic Çukurcuma area is a must-visit. Located right behind the Istiklal Avenue and part of the gentrified Cihangir district, the twisting streets of Çukurcuma are abundant with antiquarian and vintage stores. Shop here for tasteful second-hand clothes with stories to tell, and Ottoman-style collectibles and furniture. Pop into Pied de Poule to spend hours looking through high-end retro clothes and accessories, mostly dating from the 1940s up until the ’80s.

Weekly markets

9. Feriköy Antique Market, Istanbul

Market, Shop

Held every Sunday in the Feriköy district, the vibrant Bomonti Flea Market has around 200 stalls loaded with paraphernalia such as old records, porcelain sets, analogue cameras, typewriters, clothes and books. Open from early morning until late afternoon, this eccentric market entertains vintage-lovers of all ages.

10. Kadıköy Salı Pazarı

Bazaar, Market

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.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article