The Best Shopping in Istanbul
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
The Grand Bazaar looms large as Istanbul's most renowned shopping destination, with 61 covered streets where you can haggle for handwoven carpets, fine jewelry, spices, and many more Turkish souvenirs. It's not the only market worth browsing, and you'll find everything from contemporary shopping malls to independent boutiques vying for your attention.
Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Soon after conquering Constantinople and defeating the Byzantines in 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II commissioned the beginnings of the Grand Bazaar to reinvigorate trade with the city. More than 550 years later, the bazaar is one of the oldest...
Arasta Çarşısı, Küçükayasofya Caddesi No:135, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Intricate textiles woven on looms handed down through generations. An array of laurel, olive, and lavender bath products and the hammered bowls to hold them. Silk shawls with which to drape the color of the Aegean in a graceful arc below bare...
Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Smaller than the Grand Bazaar but more intense, the Spice Market is equal parts tourist trap and necessary shopping stop for cooks and foodies. Meet the original spice girl at Ucuzcular (remember Area 51 to find her booth), one of the few...
Firuzağa Mahallesi, Bostanbaşı Cd. No:19, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Çukurcuma neighborhood, just a short walk down the hill from Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Caddesi, is an antique, vintage, and retro lover’s delight. Step onto Faik Paşa Street or Turnacıbaşı Street and you step back in time....
Harbiye Mahallesi, Teşvikiye Cd. 47/A, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
Pick up any glass in Turkey and chances are there’s a letter P on the bottom of it, standing for Paşabahçe, Turkey’s top manufacturer of glassware and housewares. Blue-glass eye amulets (nazar in Turkish) that ward off the evil eye are...
Hak Pasajı No :22 Nişantaşı, Teşvikiye, Teşvikiye Cd., 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
Nişantaşı is the posh “Upper East Side” of Istanbul, home to the priciest designer boutiques and old-fashioned couturiers, especially along Teşvikiye and Abdi İpekçi streets. Beymen department store was Turkey’s first luxury...
Alemdar Mh., Çatalçeşme Sk. No:21, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Located one street back from the tram line in Sultanahmet, Tribal Art Home's owner Nihat and his assistant Yekta will help you browse their extensive range of hand-crafted ceramics, mosaic lanterns, candle holders, waterpipes (nargile), and...
Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, İstiklal Cad. Suriye Pasajı 166/C, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Immerse yourself in clothes, shoes, bags, costumes, and accessories of bygone eras at By Retro in Suriye Passage, off Istiklal Street. This expansive basement shop is a wondrous labyrinth of vintage and retro treasures that feels more like a big...
Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sk. No:5, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Selecting the perfect Turkish carpet or kilim can be like finding the perfect partner—there are plenty to choose from, and patience is often required. With this in mind, you need a carpet seller who will listen to your needs, appreciate your...
Şahkulu Mahallesi, Galip Dede Cd., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
If you're interested in buying (or browsing) musical instruments in Istanbul, then head to Galip Dede Caddesi in Galata, between Istiklal Street and the Galata Tower. Here you'll find an enormous range of percussion instruments such as darbukas,...
Beyazıt Mahallesi Çadırcılar Caddesi istanbul sahaflar çarşısı No.16-18-19-22-23, Beyazıt Mh., beyazıt, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Book lovers and bazaar hunters will revel in foraging through the Sahaflar Çarsısı (Beyazit Book Bazaar) for new titles, secondhand books, historical maps, the Quran (in various languages), ancient texts, and other rare finds. The bazaar, between...
No:, Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Küçük Ayasofya Cd. No:19, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Turkey has a strong textile tradition: carpets, of course, but also tapestries, pillows, and clothing. Cocoon boutique has a beautiful collection of these goods, along with embroidered suzani fabrics from Uzbekistan and Central Asia, felted wool...
Kuloğlu Mh., İstiklal Cd. 123-A, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Mavi means “blue” in Turkish, as in denim, and in Turkey the retailer Mavi is analogous to Gap, producing fashionable and affordable clothing made in Turkey. While they now have a worldwide presence, you’ll find shops in each of...
Demirtaş Mh.kıble Çeşme Cad./no.68 Kantarcılar.eminönü, Demirtaş, 34134 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
I loved meeting kind and generous shop owners throughout my trip in Istanbul. Mustafa Altan owns this candy shop with his son (pictured here) where they make the most delicious Turkish Delight and hard candies just above the shop. I came back...
Beyazıt Mh., Yağlıkcılar Sok. No:57, 34126 Fatih/Istanbul - Europe, Turkey
The shops of the Grand Bazaar are often derided as a tourist trap. Yes, you may want to see the historic setting, the common wisdom goes, but when it comes to actually shopping, you’ll get better quality at lower prices outside of the bazaar....
Nevşehirli İbrahim Paşa Cd., 34083 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Every Wednesday morning in my neighborhood near Fatih Mosque, the traffic disperses, the roads are closed, plastic canopies are strewn from building to building, and thousands of stalls bursting with color and produce are set up across several...
Kocatepe Mahallesi, Paşa Cd, 34045 Bayrampaşa/İstanbul, Turkey
Opened in 2009, this light-filled megamall draws a staggering 25 million annual visitors to its shops and attractions. It can be overwhelming, so it helps to consult the online directory in advance and approach this city-within-a-city with a game...
Levazım Mahallesi, Koru Sokağı Zorlu Center 2/194, 34340 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
To create an opulent home fit for a sultan, visit Haremlique and browse their range of 100% Egyptian cotton linen, bath sheets, peştemals (traditional Turkish towels), tableware and assorted accessories. Choose exquisite toile designs or satiny...
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