Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Istanbul

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Previously known as Constantinople, Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the historic, cultural, and economic hub of the country as well. It lies along the Bosphorus Strait between Asia and Europe and boasts a population of more than 15 million residents.

The Grand Bazaar is one of the most popular places to shop and is one of the historical bazaars enjoyed in Istanbul. It is sort of a cross between a street market and a group of shopping streets with a touristy feel. Inside this group of shops is the Spice Bazaar, which is also popular with tourists as well as locals.

The Emaar Square Mall, Kozzy, Palladium, and Brandium are popular spots for shopping lovers on the Asian side and the European side boasts shopping streets like Istiklal Street and Bagdat Street as well as the Kanyon Mall. No matter where you go shopping in Istanbul, there is plenty to choose from.

Even though one of the main draws for shopping in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar, the shopping centers are also great since they have everything in one spot from retail shops to eateries and entertainment. Check out the Forum Mall in the Fatih District or Emaar Square Mall with its cinema and aquarium.

Of course, the right shopping street has its perks as well. Shopping streets in Istanbul are great too. You will find items from central Asia as well as souvenirs from the Galata Tower all along the streets of Istanbul. Hands getting full of fantastic finds? Leave your shopping purchases at a suitcase storage spot in Istanbul so you can carry all of your new bags.

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The Grand Bazaar

When shopping in Istanbul, one place you do not want to miss is the Grand Bazaar. With more than 3,000 shops and stalls along 60 streets, this is one of the oldest, dating back to the 1400s. If you are sick of the crowded shopping malls and shopping centers, the Grand Bazaar is for you.

With all the open-air shopping, you will not feel cramped or crowded no matter how many people are there. The different types of merchandise are ridiculous as you will find anything you can think of and many things you have not. From fresh produce to furniture and carpet shops, you will be spoiled for choice here.

Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar may be part of the Grand Bazaar but it gets its own mention because of how popular it is with the locals as well as tourists. This is where you go for spices no matter who you are because they literally have them all. And then some. There are more than 80 shops and stalls to peruse with all kinds of unique blends of spices.

From dried flowers and herbs to sweet treats like Turkish Delight (lokum) and halva, you cannot go shopping in Istanbul without at least strolling through the spice market. As you get lost in the streets of the Grand Bazaar, you will likely find yourself here if you follow your nose. Or the locals. Be sure to try the Turkish coffee.

Arasta Bazaar

Sitting behind the Blue Mosque, Arasta Bazaar is one of the most colorful places to go shopping in Istanbul. Right in the heart of the city not far from the Grand Bazaar, it is perfect if you are looking for handmade crafts like handcrafted ceramic tiles, carpets, or jewelry. From Turkish bath towels to strings of handmade beads, you'll find it here.

While many of the booths and shops along the side streets sell their own handcrafted items, some offer antiques and vintage items as well as international brands for low prices. It used to be part of the Blue Mosque section that gave its profits to the mosque but today it is supporting the locals. You'll find delicious street food here as well.

Kadikoy Market

Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, the Kadikoy Market is open daily but on Tuesdays and Fridays, you can find so much more. It started here in 1969 and has built upon itself so much that there are literally thousands of shopping opportunities. On Fridays, the market boasts more than 4,000 vendors.

Bahariye Street is a quaint area with plenty of shopping places from Moda to the Bull Monument and Bagdat Street. The best shopping can be found at the older shops like the 200-year old candy shop, Cafer Erol's circa 1807 which has a variety of Turkish delight flavors, marzipan, and baklavas. The best place for Turkish coffee is Fazil Bey, which opened in 1923.

Sultanahmet Market

In the historic center by the Topkapi Palace, this small market is famous for its spices, textiles, ceramics, and jewelry as well as carpet shops, and even art galleries. Being in the heart of the old city, it is also a fun place to enjoy some attractions while shopping.

These old city shops include items from the Ottoman era, haute couture, and even some fresh vegetables. It is a treasure trove of sorts selling everything you can think of and then some. You will also have plenty of choices for refueling with brunch at one of the restaurants or cafes.

Eminonu Square

Along the Golden Horn, Eminonu Square is just north of the Grand Bazaar and boasts a variety of conveniently located shops with cheaper prices than you will find anywhere else in the city. In fact, this area is less expensive and more laid back than other European cities.

Whether you are buying brand-name shopping items or produce, it is cheaper here. One such place, which was given a seal of approval by the Sultan, is the Haci Bekir Candy shop. It has been there since 1777 and still sells the most popular Turkish Delight in town. This shop also has a huge selection of Turkish sweets on offer.

Taksim Square

Some of the most popular shopping places in Istanbul center around Taksim Square as it is considered to be the modern, cosmopolitan area of the city. In fact, Istiklal Street begins here with many streets with well-known brands beginning here.

Nearby on Tellalzade Street, the dense network of side streets is filled with rooftop bars, quaint cafes, and antique shops selling vintage record players and radios. You will find almost anything you can imagine as well as things you have never seen before. Even if you do not buy anything, it is a unique experience.

Istiklal Street

One of the best shopping streets in Istanbul, Istiklal Street is where you will find antique and vintage boutiques as well as luxury shops and fashion boutiques. This shopping street is a mix of handicraft stalls, small boutiques, and luxury brands.

You never know what you may find on Istiklal Street among the antique shops with vintage clothing and other flea markets finds at discounted prices. Who needs shopping malls when you can find everything you want on one street?

Forum Istanbul

The largest shopping center in Istanbul is Forum Instanbul and it is also the most popular with families because this shopping center also has an aquarium, entertainment center, and a theme park. Jurassic Land is the largest theme park in Europe and Turkuazoo is the first giant aquarium in Turkey. There is also a bowling alley, mirror maze, and ice rink.

But it is a shopping center so you will also find hundreds of shops including global brands as well as famous brands like Zara, Ikea, Adidas, and Pandora. Enjoy Turkish cuisine at one of the many cafes between shops and don't forget to grab some Turkish Delight for dessert.

Istinye Park Shopping Center

As one of the most popular shopping malls in Istanbul, the Istinye Park Shopping Center has more than 290 shops and eateries on four levels. This is one of the more modern shopping malls you can find in the city and boasts name brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, and Fendi.

Besides the shops, you can find over 30 eateries in Istinye Park like Gunaydin Kasap and Da Mario as well as McDonald's and Burger King. If you need a break from shopping, visit the IMAX movie theater, Cinemaximim on the first floor to see a show.

Zorlu Center

One of the best shopping malls in Istanbul is the Zorlu Center. From big names selling international brands to hidden gems like the small boutiques selling crafts, this shopping area has it all. From Turkey's first Apple Store to the Zorlu PSM performing arts center, this place is for more than just shopping.

You will find Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Bulgari as well as Morini, Eataly, and Tom's Kitchen, you can shop until you drop and then refuel at one of the restaurants to do some more shopping. The theater can hold up to 2,300 people for a concert or a movie too so you can get some rest there as well.

Emaar Square Mall

Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, the Emaar Square Mall is centrally located and boasts approximately 400 shops from Adidas to Zara and everything in between.

Istanbul Shopping Streets and More

This Istanbul shopping guide does not cover all the places to shop in the city. But we tried to mention the best here. From the Arasta Bazaar to the spice market, Istanbul shopping has a little bit of everything. Hopefully, we covered the best shopping on both Istanbul's Asian and European sides. If you stay on the European side for example, in Sultanahmet you'll find everything from shopping to top landmarks. Decide where to stay based on your interests besides shopping, by reading our informative guide.

Whether you have come for business, pleasure, or on a family trip, you will likely find some reason to go shopping in Istanbul so it is best if you know where to go. Whether you want to hit up one of the shopping malls, take a walk down some of the shopping streets, or meander along in one of the street markets, they are all in Istanbul.

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