- On 15/06/2020
- In Tips for travellers
Shopping In Istanbul – Where And What To Buy?
Istanbul, known as Constantinople for ages, was the center of commerce during the survival of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, also it is now the biggest and most populated city in modern Turkey, the capital of business too. City keeps the craftsmen and the artisans in the old neighborhoods as the traditions are still alive, on the other hand there are many shopping malls that target the needs of the modern life of 21st century man. We will try to summarize where to check and what to buy for a decent shopping experience in Istanbul. There is certainly some stuff for every budget and interest.
Historical Bazaars (Souks)
They mostly are located in the old city and a must to see while visiting Istanbul. You may find anything you want in the Grand Bazaar including the best handicraft products and souvenirs but keep in mind that nearly all of these products and stores aim the tourists holding a touristy price tag.
Spice Bazaar offers the best quality spices and sweets that you may sample before buying which turns to a feast during your market visit.
Bargaining is always recommended in the historical bazaars and the stores in the tourist spots as you may lower the prices at least %10-20. Getting a guide with you will lessen the possibility of encountering fraud or fake items as these seem quite frequent in independant stores.
There are many malls in almost every district in the city but the bigger and the better ones are generally located by the metro line around the metro stops, even they have connections to the stations.
Like in any other mall in any part of the world, they have the same global brands and some local ones that sell textile products which is Turkey is famous for. You may give them a try cause the price is reasonable regarding the quality, otherwise there is no such fun in the shopping malls. To underline electronics are much more expensive than the other places on the World, do not even think to buy them.
Local Markets in the disctricts like Kadikoy, Ortakoy, Bakirkoy or Ferikoy are set once a week on the streets of the neighbourhoods where you may find anything but mostly clothes, surprisingly with good quality.
Considering the local contract manufacturers which produce for the famous world brands, you may bump into some really nice stuff with unbelievable prices. The experience itself is a must to try, you may get further information about the locations, opening days-hours from your guide or receptionist at the hotel.
Istiklal Street (Taksim Area)
Taksim is the place that became the shopping spot for the locals from the Ottoman years till now, Istiklal Street is the busiest street in the daily city life. It appeals all styles and interests, some good bargains can be found in the small stores in some historical malls like Rumeli Pasaji, Anadolu Pasaji, Halep Pasaji, Atlas Pasaji, Avrupa Pasaji or Aznavour Pasaji.
Bookworms will be amazed while visiting these buildings as they will see many secondhand book shops. There are books in any language, if you are lucky you may come across the first edition of your favourite book.
If you are into antiques, you should definetely check Cukurcuma neighbourhood which is steps away from Istiklal Street, where many antique stores are located.
At the end of the Istiklal Street, from Tunel down to Karakoy, music instruments are crafted and sold, also you try some local instruments as the stores are also used as workshops. This is the main spot for the music lovers.
Besides these there are lots of other shops for every need along the street. Kadikoy is the asian version of Taksim Area, which also needs attention.