What to Buy & Where to Shop in Istanbul?
If you’re planning a trip to Istanbul, there’s no doubt that shopping should be on your itinerary. From historic bazaars to modern malls, the city offers an unparalleled shopping experience that caters to every taste and budget. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to shopping in Istanbul, with insider tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your shopping spree. Get ready to explore the best shops, markets, and malls in Istanbul and take home some unique souvenirs and treasures that will make your trip unforgettable.
1. Shopping malls in Istanbul
Istanbul is not just a city of rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture but also a paradise for those who love shopping. Shopping in Istanbul is a unique experience, with countless malls that offer everything from luxury to more affordable options for bargain hunters. These shopping centers provide a one-stop-shop for fashion, beauty, electronics, and home decor, all under one roof. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, the malls offer the perfect refuge with air-conditioning during the hot summers and protection from the cold winter. So, if you’re looking for some retail therapy, Istanbul’s shopping malls are the perfect destination.
Forum Mall Istanbul
Forum Istanbul Mall is one of the largest and most popular shopping malls in Istanbul, located in Bayrampasa district. It houses over 300 stores, a variety of restaurants, a cinema complex, and even an amusement park. The mall is known for its vast range of options from luxury brands to high-street fashion, home decor, and electronics.
Kanyon Shopping Center
Kanyon Shopping Center is a modern and innovative mall located in the heart of the financial district of Istanbul, Levent. The shopping center has an impressive architecture, with a unique open-air design and a glass roof that allows natural light to flood the interior. The mall is home to more than 160 stores, offering a mix of fashion, beauty, electronics, and home decor, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes.
Venezia Mega Outlet
Venezia Mega Outlet is an outdoor shopping mall located on the European side of Istanbul, in the district of Esenyurt. It’s a great place to visit for bargain hunters, as the mall offers discounts of up to 90% on various brands. It houses over 200 stores, including international brands and Turkish brands, and has a cinema complex and a food court.
Zorlu Center is a luxurious and modern mall located in Besiktas, on the European side of Istanbul. It’s known for its high-end brands, designer boutiques, and luxury restaurants. The mall houses over 200 stores, including international luxury brands, as well as Turkish brands. The mall also includes a performing arts center and a luxury hotel.
You can vısıt our list of the best shopping malls in Istanbul
2. Historical Bazaars and stores
Istanbul is a city that is renowned for its vibrant bazaars, which are an essential part of Turkish culture and history. The city is home to several historic bazaars, each with its unique character and charm. From the bustling Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets, to the colorful Spice Bazaar with its aromatic scents, to the charming Arasta Bazaar near the Blue Mosque, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping for traditional souvenirs, handicrafts, spices, and textiles. These bazaars are not only places to shop, but they also offer a glimpse into Istanbul’s rich history and culture, making them a must-visit for any traveler to the city.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is arguably one of the most famous shopping destinations in the world, and an essential stop for anyone interested in shopping in Istanbul.
with over 4,000 stores selling everything from jewelry to Turkish carpets and textiles. It is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, dating back to the 15th century. The bazaar is divided into different areas, each specializing in a particular product such as leather, ceramics, or spices. The narrow alleys are lined with small shops that are perfect for exploring and discovering unique items. Haggling is a common practice in the Grand Bazaar, so be prepared to negotiate with the vendors to get the best deals. With so many stores and products available, shopping in Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to the Grand Bazaar.
Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi)
The Egyptian Spice Bazaar, also known as Misir Carsisi, is a vibrant and colorful marketplace that offers a wide variety of spices, herbs, and other food items. It’s located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul and is one of the city’s oldest bazaars, dating back to the 17th century. The bazaar is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in shopping in Istanbul and experiencing the city’s rich culture and history.
In addition to spices, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar also features a wide range of stores selling Turkish delight, dried fruits, nuts, and other sweets. Visitors can sample the goods before purchasing and find the perfect treats to take back home. The bazaar also features shops selling traditional Turkish ceramics, textiles, and souvenirs, making it the perfect place to find unique gifts and mementos of your trip to Istanbul.
Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir
Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir is a well-known confectionery shop located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, Turkey. It has been in business since 1777 and is famous for its Turkish delight, a sweet and chewy candy made of starch and sugar, as well as other traditional Turkish sweets. The shop also offers a wide selection of nuts, dried fruits, and spices.
The interior of the store is decorated in a traditional Turkish style with colorful tiles and beautiful glass lanterns. The aroma of freshly made sweets fills the air, making it a popular stop for both locals and tourists.
Visitors can watch the staff make Turkish delight and other sweets in the open kitchen located in the store’s entrance. The store offers a variety of gift boxes, which makes it a perfect place to purchase authentic Turkish souvenirs for friends and family.
Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir is a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing traditional Turkish sweets and confectioneries. Shopping in Istanbul can be incomplete without a visit to this shop, which has become a cultural institution in the city.
3. Popular Traditional Locations, Shopping Districts & Neighborhoods
If you’re planning on shopping in Istanbul, the city has a lot more to offer than just the Grand Bazaar. Though the bazaar is one of the most famous shopping destinations in the world, Istanbul has other shopping districts and neighborhoods that are just as worthy of a visit. Whether you’re in the market for high-end fashion or antiques, the city has something for every shopper. In addition to the Grand Bazaar, be sure to check out the best shopping streets in Istanbul.
Sultanahmet and around
Sultanahmet, the heart of Istanbul’s historic district, offers more than just stunning views of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. The area is also a great destination for shopping in Istanbul, with many stores and boutiques catering to tourists and locals alike. From traditional Turkish souvenirs to designer fashion, Sultanahmet has it all.
For those interested in high-end fashion, Nişantaşı is just a short taxi ride away from Sultanahmet. Known as Istanbul’s “Champs-Élysées,” the neighborhood is home to designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada.
Sultanahmet has plenty of options for upscale shopping, too. The Kumkapi district, just a few blocks from the Blue Mosque, is home to a number of high-end jewelry shops. And for a taste of traditional Turkish fashion, head to the boutiques around the Spice Bazaar, where you can find stunning silk scarves, hand-woven textiles, and leather goods.
Shopping in Galata
Galata is a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood in Istanbul that is becoming increasingly popular among locals and tourists alike. In recent years, it has also become a popular shopping destination with a wide range of shops and boutiques to explore. One of the main shopping streets in Galata is İstiklal Avenue, which offers a diverse selection of stores, from high-end fashion boutiques to more affordable clothing stores. In addition to the stores on İstiklal Avenue, Galata is also home to numerous vintage shops, antique stores, and art galleries, making it a great place to find unique and one-of-a-kind items. The neighborhood also boasts several designer and concept stores, selling everything from home decor to handmade jewelry. For those looking for a more traditional shopping experience, the Galata area also has several markets selling fresh produce, meats, and spices. All in all, Galata is a great destination for shopping in Istanbul, with something to offer for every taste and budget.
Taksim and around
Taksim Square is one of the most popular areas for shopping in Istanbul, with a mix of traditional and modern shopping options. The main shopping street, Istiklal Avenue, is lined with international brand stores, local boutiques, and department stores like the popular Demirören Istiklal. You can also find a wide range of souvenir shops, bookstores, and antique stores scattered throughout the area. For those looking for something more traditional, the nearby Cukurcuma neighborhood is home to a variety of antique shops and vintage boutiques, while the nearby Tunel neighborhood offers a mix of fashion and design stores. At the end of Istiklal Avenue, you’ll find the modern shopping center, Zorlu Center, which houses luxury brands, designer boutiques, and high-end restaurants.
Bagdat Street, located on the Asian side of Istanbul, is one of the city’s most famous shopping streets. This long and bustling street is lined with a wide range of shops, from high-end fashion boutiques to popular Turkish brands and local artisanal shops. Bagdat Street is especially known for its designer fashion stores, luxury jewelry shops, and high-end furniture stores. In addition to fashion, Bagdat Street also offers a variety of home decor and accessory stores, as well as restaurants, cafes, and bars. With its lively atmosphere, Bagdat Street is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to indulge in a day of shopping and dining.
Kadikoy market place
Kadikoy, located on the Asian side of Istanbul, is a bustling district that offers visitors a taste of the city’s local charm. The Kadikoy Market is a lively and colorful shopping destination that’s popular among locals and tourists alike. The market features a vast array of shops and stalls selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to spices, textiles, and souvenirs. One of the standout features of the market is its impressive fish market, where you can find a range of fresh seafood caught in the nearby waters of the Marmara Sea. Visitors can also explore the streets surrounding the market, which are lined with small shops and boutiques selling handmade goods, vintage clothing, and unique artisanal products. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir to take home or want to indulge in some authentic local cuisine, Kadikoy Market is a must-visit destination for shopping in Istanbul.