Shopping in Istanbul is a whole big world ranging from the cheapest items to the most luxurious souvenirs. Istanbul is a huge shopping city that hosts every type of shopping, from shopping malls to Osmanbey streets, from Laleli to Merter in many styles. There are flea markets, shopping streets and second-hand shops in Istanbul for cheap shopping.
Cheap clothing stores in Istanbul allows people who know how to bargain to buy products for incredibly low prices. On the other hand, there are plenty of luxury stores and shopping centers as well.
Where to Shop in Istanbul
Cheap Shopping in Istanbul
The best places to go to Istanbul to shop for cheap clothing are the passages on Istiklal Street. From the Istanbul themed products to the latest fashion pieces, you can find many things at affordable prices if you visit the Atlas Passage, Çiçek Passage, and Terkos Passage. You can also go to the Merter district for cheap clothing shopping.
Cheap clothing stores are arranged side by side in Merter, it is possible to shop at discounted prices. Not to mention, you should visit Grand Bazaar too. Grand Bazaar where there are many things you can buy from authentic products to exotic spices, hand-woven rugs, and precious jewels, is a very pleasant shopping center to visit.
Streets Where the Hearth of Fashion Beats
Nişantaşı has been known as the heart of fashion for many years. Small boutiques such as Midnight Express and Bil’s Store; stores where you can follow the worldwide trends such as Beymen Blender; chains stores such as Machka, Maje, French Connection; expensive brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton extend along Abdi İpekçi, Teşvikiye Street, and Valikonağı.
In recent years, Galata has been the center of young designers and independent boutiques. This trend, which started under the leadership of Bahar Korçan on Serdar-ı Ekrem Street, continued with the opening of the Building, which exhibited the collections of Turkish designers on the same street. Now it is possible to see the boutiques that sell goods from abroad on Camekan Street, Galata Square, and Galip Dede Street as well as shoe stores such as Old Sandal and machine shops like Lomograph.
Istanbul Shopping Centers
Shopping malls in Istanbul are so many that you can encounter one or two in every neighborhood. I have compiled the best of Istanbul shopping centers for you:
- Istinye Park
There are many expensive brands such as Armani, Miu Miu, Burberry in Istinye Park, as well as a permanent market area and a restaurant where you can sit to relax when you get tired.
Address: Pınar Mahallesi, Katar Cd No:73, 34460 Sarıyer/İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 345 55 55
- Zorlu Center
Zorlu Center, one of the most central shopping centers in the city, offers almost everything about shopping and eating. Follow the calendar of Zorlu PSM (Performing Arts Center) and watch world-famous musicals and plays.
Address: Levazım Mahallesi, Zorlu Center, Koru Sokağı No:2, 34340 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 970 16 53
- Forum Istanbul
In Forum Istanbul, you can watch a movie after shopping, or continue shopping after entertaining your children at Istanbul Puppet Festival.
Address: Kocatepe Mahallesi, Paşa Cd, 34045 Bayrampaşa/İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 443 13 50
In Ora, there are outlet stores, cinemas, squares, themed parks, and even an arena for concerts.
Address: Altıntepsi Mahallesi, Yeni Çiftlik Cd., 34035 Bayrampaşa/İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 437 03 03
Cevahir is a multi-story and a very large shopping mall. You can find nearly anything here. The only problem could be getting tired while trying to walk around every floor and checking every brand.
Address: 19 Mayıs Mahallesi, Büyükdere Cd. No:22, 34360 Şişli/İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 368 69 00
Successful Fashion Designers of Istanbul
You can find the boutiques of famous Turkish designers such as Umit Benan, Trussardi’s new creative director who brings a new perspective to men’s clothing, Erdem Moralıoğlu who dresses Hollywood stars and those who want to look beautiful on the red carpet, Hüseyin Çağlayan, who is not only a fashion designer, but also a person impressed everyone with his artist identity, Zeynep Tosun, who first amazed Istanbulites and then Paris and London catwalks with his innovative designs, Bora Aksu who is loved in London with his Avant-garde style, Arzu Kaprol who exhibited his own collection at the Paris Fashion Week, Cengiz Abazoğlu who started her career for a fashion house in Brussels, Asli Filinta, architect of more younger and creative designs, and Simay Bülbül, the master of leather, buckskin, and suede, in Istanbul.
Top 6 Shopping Stops in Istanbul
A road map for shopping enthusiasts was organized in Istanbul. According to experts, Istanbul is the most preferred city for shopping as well as being a cultural capital. Here are the top 6 shopping stops in Istanbul:
Nişantaşı, which is one of the most decent neighborhoods of İstanbul for many years, is a very modern district that serves generally for high budgets. Nişantaşı, which has challenged the shopping centers with its wide streets and large shops, is also notable for its boutiques. I also recommend you to eat some of the sweetest desserts at Teşvikiye after shopping as a little advice.
- Istiklal Avenue
If you want to smell the historical and touristic atmosphere of Beyoğlu and shop around all the alternative options from expensive to affordable prices, İstiklal Avenue is waiting for you. If you want, you can also walk to the Galata Tower. Istiklal Street is a shopping point for tourists visiting Istanbul as well, with its side streets and passages.
- Grand Bazaar
Gold, carpet, clothing and more. The Grand Bazaar, with its unusual architecture and movie-like structure, offers everything you may want. The location of the Grand Bazaar, where you can find everything you want, will also take you on a great Istanbul tour.
Address: Beyazıt Mh., Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul
If you don’t like the mass production clothes that everyone wears and you want to make an affordable retro shopping, Kadikoy is the favorite of the Anatolian side! Moda and Kadıköy Districts which extend to the Fenerbahce coastline and is the center of fashion in Anatolian Side of Istanbul, offer you a different shopping environment. While shopping, you will be lost in the colorful streets of Kadıköy and sometimes you will not believe the beauty of what you have just purchased.
- Cadde Bostan
You can see all worldwide brands and boutique products of famous brands on Cadde Bostan. It will not surprise you to meet a few celebrities. With its distance to the beaches and its wide streets, it will insist you have a coffee on the street when you are tired.
Besiktas is a very young settlement and so close to Ortaköy, Bebek and Kabataş Districts. Besiktas, where you can find everything you are looking for, has a very rich cuisine in terms of food culture as well. You should eat kumpir in Ortaköy, kebab in Bebek and fish sandwich in Kabataş, and you should definitely visit the coastline.
Shopping in Istanbul – Authentic Products, Best Outlets, Shopping Malls and Boutiques
Istanbul is an ideal city for shopping lovers. It is full of luxury shopping centers, colorful markets, and original stores. The Osmanbey region is the perfect place to buy new clothes and shoes. There are shops in different price categories. Both young and classic style lovers who prefer the most extraordinary and trendy details will be able to choose the ones that are suitable for them. This region is also known for its excellent children’s clothing stores and perfect textiles.
Laleli trade zone, which is known to be the production center of fur is another option. Here you can purchase new fur coats, lambskin coverings, and leather goods. You can find products suitable for all budgets in various stores.
Troublesome customers are advised to visit the Zeytinburnu district. There are many historic leather tannery places in this area; therefore many things can be purchased at a significant discount. Because there are big discounts in local stores, the end of each season is the most attractive time for shopping.
Bağdat Cadessi seems to be the most interesting shopping street in Istanbul. Its length reaches a few kilometers. On both sides, there are clothing, shoes and accessories stores of world famous brands. You can find products of Mango, Nine West, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Topshop, Benetton, Vakko, Stefanel, and Boyner. Numerous cafes and restaurants offer constant tourist flow as well.
There are several excellent bazaars in Istanbul. Among them is the best known of the Grand Bazaar. This market is the oldest in the city, displaying thousands of products. There are 58 shopping streets over 4000 pavilions. In the bazaar, you can buy everything from local products such as jewelry and souvenirs to clothes such as furs. They also sell delicious desserts and national delicacies, and visitors can enjoy some popular street food in private outdoor tents. At the entrance to this huge market, there is another bazaar called Egyptian (or Spice) Bazaar. It is a small shopping complex that offers customers spices and popular desserts.
The Kanyon’s multi-purpose complex is one of the most popular centers for tourists. A large 4-story shopping center that brings together clothing, shoe, and perfumery stores. Here you can go on shopping trips, enjoy a modern cinema and relax in one of the cozy restaurants.
Akmerkez shopping complex is the center of attraction of a real city. The opening took place in 1993. Nowadays, the center holds many prestigious awards. It employs more than 250 stores. A good place to buy expensive designer clothes. Jewelry and perfumery halls are also here. Akmerkez complex is characterized by an incredibly spectacular design. Literally, it was created for slow walks and rest.
Where to Buy Souvenirs in Istanbul
Istanbul offers a wide selection of souvenirs. You should definitely visit the city to evaluate these options. You can choose your gifts as you explore the streets smelling history. If you want to get original and interesting gifts to the people you value, I wrote all you need, keep reading.
You should prefer Eminonu, Sultan Ahmet, and Taksim districts to buy souvenirs. For this purpose, the Egyptian Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar are perfect. You can buy a variety of souvenirs from these places where the spirit of Istanbul can be felt. The first thing you need to do is to visit the Grand Bazaar. In this market, you can buy traditional Turkish patterns, embroidered carpets, gift cup sets, chess sets, embroidered backgammons, Istanbul’s special fabrics, antiques, trinkets, historical souvenirs, rugs, and many other gift options. You can buy one of these souvenirs for yourself as an Istanbul memory.
You can also buy souvenirs by visiting the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul. Eminönü is famous for its wood and copper shops. You can come by many wooden materials and copper antiquities from the Eminönü Bazaar that smells history.
The gifts you will buy in Çilek Street in Kadıköy are not limited. You can come across this street in a variety of models at affordable prices. Thanks to the gifts you will buy from Çilek Street, you can make your loved ones happy, or offer them gifts for their birthdays. If you think about your budget Kadikoy will do your job.
Another shopping area in Istanbul is Balat. Balat is one of the oldest living areas of Istanbul. You can find all the old pieces in this neighborhood where you can feel the history of the city. In addition, if the person you want to buy a gift for love history and old products, you’ll be in a very accurate address.
Bazaars and Markets in Istanbul
Istanbul is the city with the largest population of Marmara Region as well as Turkey. Due to its geographical location, Istanbul has been an important center of trade since the past. I have compiled the famous bazaars and markets that come to mind when it comes to shop in Istanbul, where people from all walks can meet their needs.
The Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar
The Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar is one of the most established and largest covered bazaars in Istanbul. it was built in 1664 by the Chief Architect Mustafa Aga as a part of the New Mosque Social Complex located in Eminönü, at the request of the Ottoman Sultan IV. Mehmed’s mother, Hatice Turhan Sultan. There are 86 shops and two doors in the bazaar. The Egyptian Bazaar initially consisted of stores owned by herbalists, quilt makers, and cotton sellers. After the 1970s, jewelry and dried fruit shops were opened. After the fires erupted in the past, renovation work has been done and it took its current form.
The Egyptian Bazaar, made up of a combination of two bazaars, was built in an “L” plan. In the place where the arm extending in the east-west direction is longer than the other, there is Dua Square at the junction of the two bazaars. The market has six doors, four of which are large and two of which are small. Among these doors, which are mentioned with different names throughout the history, the ones located at the ends according to the “L” plan were constructed as two floors to contribute to the architectural richness of the building.
The upper floors of these sections, which are used as the main entrance and exit doors, have been hosted by the courts that solve the commercial agreements during the Ottoman period. One of the floors was used to solve conflicts between tradesmen, and the other one was used to solve conflicts between the public and tradesmen. The bazaar is designed in three floors, including the basement. The sections in the basement are mostly used as warehouses today.
Address: Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul
Sultanahmet Ottoman Bazaar
The bazaar, located just behind the Sultanahmet Mosque, is also known as the Sipahiler Bazaar for the products sold for cavalrymen in time. Due to the fire in 1912, many shops in the market were damaged and not used for many years. The market was restored in 1980 and made ready for use again.
In the market where 70 stores are located, carpets, rugs, jewelry, Iznik tiles, and handmade products are sold. After visiting the bazaar, you can visit the Mosaic Museum which is removed from the region, and you can relax at the cafes around the bazaar.
Address: Sultanahmet Mh, sultanahmet meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul
Feriköy Antique Bazaar
Feriköy Antique Bazaar was established by Şişli Municipality to serve second hand and antique lovers. The market, where the purchase of second-hand items, collection products, and rare products can be made, is only established on Sundays where the Feriköy Public Market is located.
In the market, you can find photos, postcards, souvenirs, gramophone records, in short, anything you think as old. Open on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00, the market is perfect for antique enthusiasts and nostalgia lovers.
Address: Cumhuriyet Mahallesi, Semt Pazarı No:8, 34380 Şişli/İstanbul
Copper Bazaar, where handmade copper products are sold, is located in Beyazit under the walls surrounding the Istanbul University Central Campus. In the market, where shops are lined up, copper items such as barbecues, coffee pots, boilers, and pots are made and sold.
The bazaar, which has an important place in terms of keeping the city’s historical texture and culture alive, is especially attracted by foreign tourists.
The Used-Book Bazaar was created by collecting the bookstores established near the madrasah in the past in order to serve the students of the madrasah, first close to the Grand Bazaar in 1458, then to its current place which is the stony area at the left side of the Beyazit Mosque in 1894. In the fire that emerged in 1950, all the manuscripts were completely burnt with the bazaar itself, then it was rebuilt with reinforced concrete. There are a total of 41 shops, 17 of which are double-decked.
Today, although there are large bookstores in different parts of Istanbul, the Used-Books Bazaar has a different place and importance. Although there are new books due to livelihood concerns, you can easily find an old book in these bookstores which are focused on different areas such as miniature, calligraphy, gilding, medicine, law, architecture, art, and foreign languages. Used-Book Bazaar is one of the special places where you should see.
Address: Beyazıt Mahallesi Çadırcılar Caddesi 34126 Fatih/İstanbul
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar, which is one of the oldest and most famous bazaars in Istanbul, is located in a wide area between Beyazıt, Nuruosmaniye and Mercan districts. Sandal and Cevahir bazaars were first built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1460 for the purpose of bringing income to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, then the Grand Bazaar is built by Suleiman the Magnificent. The bazaar, which has 11 gates, 65 streets, 3600 shops, and 14 inns, has a closed area of approximately 45 thousand square meters.
Like many historical buildings in Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar has also been damaged by fires and earthquakes. At every hour of the day, you can see the most beautiful examples of Turkish art in the bustling and crowded bazaar. From handmade carpets to jewelry, from decorative items to antiques, you can find everything you can think of here. The bazaar, which is the most visited tourist destination in the world, is among the absolute musts of Istanbul visits.
The number of visitors sometimes reaches 500,000 people a day. Here, you can find anything such as carpets, textile products, gold and silver jewelry, antique ceramics, and souvenirs which will cherish your memories of Turkey forever. Some of the stores were run in the same way as hundreds of years ago and the same old products are marketed. Who knows, maybe there was one of your ancestors who came to Istanbul, which we could call the most important touristic city of the world in the Ottoman period and shopped in these stores.
The Grand Bazaar, which is so large that you can not discover every store in it even if you take your whole day to do it, hosts the new and the old, the traditional and the modern together as the whole of Istanbul. Therefore, some of the products sold are the legacy of the Ottoman period, and others are the artifacts of the modern world. There are many places to shop around the Grand Bazaar.
The street, which extends between this place and the Nur-u Osmaniye Mosque, has shops that sell authentic eastern materials, especially carpets. You can find handmade souvenirs at the Arasta Bazaar, which is located behind the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Sultanahmet and its surroundings is another place where you can see all the different products other than handcrafted souvenirs.
Address: Beyazıt Mh., Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul
Mimar Sinan Bazaar
Mimar Sinan Bazaar which is built as a Turkish bath by Mimar Sinan, the most important name of Turkish architecture, in 1583, on behalf of III. Murat’s mother Nurbanu Sultan, is located on the Hâkimiyet-i Milliye Street in Üsküdar.
It was closed in 1917 and was renovated in 1962 by Mehmet Bey, a member of rich people of Komotini and was opened as Mimar Sinan Bazaar. There are bags, shoes, wedding dresses and clothing stores in the market.
Address: Mimar Sinan Mahallesi, 34664 Üsküdar/Istanbul
Siirt (Women’s) Bazaar
The Siirt Bazaar is located in front of the İstanbul Drapers Market, located in Unkapanı. In this place, you can find delicacies peculiar to East and Southeast cities such as Siirt, Mardin, Adıyaman, and Diyarbakir. There are meats, cheeses, offal, honey, spices and more in the stands.
You must visit this market where you will find regional flavors in the middle of Istanbul.
How about starting Sunday on a different local market? Perhaps during your visit to Istanbul, you may not have the opportunity to go to small settlements and villages; but if you visit Kastamonu Market in Kasımpaşa on Sunday mornings, you will see those villages coming to your feet. The reason why it is also known as Historical Inebolu Market is that all products are brought from Inebolu in every store.
All kinds of herbs, vegetables, fruits, pickles, honey, tomatoes, and oils peculiar to Kastamonu are sold by the owners themselves. As we said, you may not be able to go to an Istanbul village, but a small village market is set up in the middle of Istanbul on Sunday mornings. I’d say don’t miss this experience.
Address: Küçük Piyale Mahallesi, 34440, Toprak Tabya Sk. 28-30, 34440 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
8 Reasons Why Istanbul Is a Shopping Center
Istanbul can be described as a shopping paradise both because of its location where the trade routes passing through Europe and Asia intersect, and it is the capital city of Turkey in terms of textiles, handicrafts, and souvenir production. In Istanbul, which meets all the needs of consumers with affordable prices and special stores, you can shop in every season. All of the shopping centers are always full including shopping malls hidden in a passage that never comes to mind, as well as the prestigious stores of world-famous brands.
If you are aiming to shop in such a big metropolis, you should definitely determine where you need to turn your route before going shopping. Because Istanbul’s biggest feature is that you can find certain things only at certain points. Here are 8 proofs of Istanbul being a shopping center:
Souvenirs Specific for Istanbul
If you are in pursuit of specialties of Istanbul, the first places I can offer you will be the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. In these places where you can find alternatives such as authentic souvenirs, spices, leather clothes, Turkish delights, carpets, rugs, and jewelry, you can also get a chance to visit a historic building and stop at cafes and restaurants around.
You can find detailed information about these places from the “Bazaars and Markets in Istanbul” title above.
Address of Alternative Shopping: Beyoğlu Passages
Again, if you want to see interesting souvenirs, alternative apparel, and second-hand clothing stores, I recommend you especially the passages in Beyoğlu and its vicinity.
Around here, you can shop, as well as spend time at cafes and restaurants.
Cheap, Various and Fun: District Markets
Let us come to another distinctive shopping point of Istanbul; to district markets. Some of the markets, which have a very important place in the city’s shopping culture, are established in certain districts of the city on certain days of the week. These markets are often referred to as the day they are established (For example, Thursday Market, Tuesday Market, and Saturday Market). Some of them are also found in certain districts of the city, which are called “fixed markets” and they usually only sell food products.
The most important of these markets in terms of variety and size are Tuesday Market (Kadıköy Söğütlüçeşme), Saturday Market (Beşiktaş), Wednesday Market (Yeşilköy and Fatih).
So, what can you find in these markets? You can find all kinds of clothes, shoes, bags, bath equipment, and kitchenware along with table and cushion covers, jewelry, and swimwear in these markets. Moreover, you can bargain with the sellers for these products that you can find at very reasonable prices.
For Fast and Comfortable Shopping: Shopping Malls
If your goal is to have a look at the creations of certain brands in major shopping centers, then I suggest that you change your direction to Maslak, Levent, and Etiler.
The big shopping centers are the meeting points of many world-famous brands. In addition, the cinema, theater, and restaurants in these centers are among the activities that you can enjoy in your shopping.
Outlets and Discount Stores
There are also special discount stores belonging to brands. As I tried to attract attention before, it is possible to find discount stores belonging to many brands in Istanbul, which is rapidly becoming one of the most important textile centers in the world. Especially in Maslak, Yenibosna, Güneşli, Maltepe, and Kozyatağı, you can find lightly defective or end-of-season products at very affordable prices in outlet stores of major brands.
There are also two different shopping centers in Istanbul where only the most famous brands have discount stores. Those are the Olivium Outlet Center in Zeytinburnu and the Colony Outlet Center located in Küçükçekmece.
Textile and Leather
Especially, after the factories and manufacturing shops of textile companies were moved to Merter, the neighborhood became a textile paradise. You can buy all kinds of clothes at Merter, where wholesale and retail outlets of apparel and leather companies are located.
At the same time, you can find wholesale or retail leather trousers, coats, shoes or handbags at affordable prices from the major leather companies that are located side by side in Zeytinburnu.
Turn Shopping into Pleasure in Nişantaşı-Teşvikiye
When it comes to shopping, I must mention Teşvikiye and Nişantaşı. In fact, Teşvikiye and Nişantaşı districts where almost all the famous brands have branches, street cafes, pubs, and bars, which are located between the shops, transform the shopping into a complete pleasure.
Nişantaşı and Teşvikiye are just for you if you also want to enjoy the beautiful historical buildings.
Anatolian Side’s Shopping Street
The first place that comes to mind when shopping is mentioned on the Anatolian side is Bagdat Street. Just like in Nişantaşı-Teşvikiye area, you can find the branches of many brands on this very special avenue.
Don’t forget to take a break at one of the elite café-restaurants while you are in Bagdat Street, one of Istanbul’s most exclusive shopping spots.