Your Guide to the Markets and Shopping in Istanbul
Located on the antique Silk Road, trade has been an essential part of life in Istanbul since ancient times. Quality fabrics, gold, silver, jewellery, leather goods, silk scarves, rugs of all sizes, teas, fake goods…shopping in Istanbul is an adventure and her shops won’t disappoint.
Shopping in the Bazaars
If you plan on going shopping in Istanbul, we don’t need to tell you to visit the Grand Bazaar. Yes, it is full of tourist souvenirs, but it is also the place to find genuine articles such as rugs, pashminas and tea sets. In the majority of stores outside the bazaars haggling is not common practice (although you can ask for a discount), but in the Grand Bazaar haggling is essential if you don’t want to pay too much. Remember that the real cost of a product is usually around 40-50% less than the sellers initial asking price but that also depends on the shop. Don’t seem to be too keen on what you are buying because you could end up paying too much.
Another of Istanbul’s shopping treasure chests is the Spice Market and the surrounding food stores. Here you can buy honey, tea, dried fruits and nuts, baklava, spices, Turkish Delight, chocolate and many more delicious treats to take home.
Istanbul’s Shopping Areas
Leaving the bazaars, Istiklal Caddesi, in the neighbourhood of Beyoglu is Istanbul’s most famous shopping strip. Closed to traffic it is always full no matter what time of day. Here you can find Europe and Turkey’s main chain stores. Clothes, shoes, accessories, music, decoration…whatever you need you can find it here.
If you are looking for something a little more sophisticated or even luxury goods, you can find them in Nişantaşi, concretely in Teşvikiye.Nişantaşi is an elegant and modern neighbourhood with a long tradition of luxury brands such as Christian Louboutin, Prada, Cartier and of prestigious Turkish designersGönül Paksoy or Evren Kayar.
If you are looking for a cheaper local designed piece of clothing, Galata is the place to find independent young designers selling their slightly alternative clothes. In Cihangir and Çukurcuma, bohemian, vintage, antique and second hand goods can all be found.
Finally, you can alos go shopping at one of Istanbul’s shopping centres. Galleria, City’s, Kanyon, Akmerkez and Intinye Park are the most popular.