Istanbul Shopping and Districts

(Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey)

Spice market photographIf you enjoy spending your time shopping, then Istanbul is certainly the place for you. Although Istanbul is filled with a wealth of incredibly historic attractions and beautiful buildings, it is the city's shopping scene that most impresses many a visitor.

This is particularly the case if you spend time exploring the excellent and somewhat chaotic Grand Bazaar, which lies in the very centre of Istanbul and dates back many hundreds of years. The Grand Bazaar is the shopping epicentre of the city and with in excess of 6,000 individual shops, and literally miles of winding streets, it is easy to see why this has become such a major draw card for tourists. Bargaining at the Grand Bazaar is expected and very necessary to avoid paying over the odds for your souvenirs.

Further picture showing the Spice Market

Where to Shop

All kinds of fabrics, Turkish carpets and Kilim rugs, leather ware of an exceptional quality, gold and silver jewellery, boxes of tasty Turkish Delight sweets (Lokum), and all kinds of clothing are also available at the Arasta Bazaar, which is close to the Blue Mosque within Sultanahmet.

The shopping scene in Tahtakale is also well-known in Istanbul and is sandwiched between the Eminonu and the Grand Bazaar, where it is home to a very fragrant Spice Bazaar. Close by and within the Beyoglu neighbourhood, the Istiklal Caddesi is an especially famous avenue and elegant shopping street in Istanbul, being pedestrianised and lined with historical buildings.

When it comes to modern shopping centres and malls, Istanbul has by far the biggest selection in the whole of Turkey, with over 40 giant complexes, and more being added every year. The Cevahir Shopping Centre is actually the largest mall within Europe and opened at the end of 2005. Being located in the Sisli district and built at the cost of some US$250 million, this shopping centre houses more than 350 shops, over ten cinemas and even a small roller coaster. Lying within Istanbul's Levent financial district, the Kanyon Shopping Mall has won awards for its stylish architecture.