Istanbul has long been known as the cultural capital of Turkey, being the former capital of three great empires, but as numerous large shopping centres have emerged in more recent years it has also become the capital of fashion. A variety of both traditional and modern items can be found at the historic bazaars and the international stores in the malls of this huge metropolis.
Dating back to 1660 and named after the spices brought from India via Egypt, this market has all the herbs and spices under the sun, as well as dried fruits and all kinds of Turkish Delight and Turkish coffee.
Just one kilometre from the Spice Bazaar is the Grand Bazaar, a 15th century indoor market with over 4000 shops selling all sorts from gold and silver jewellery to traditional handmade ceramics, antiques, traditional patterned scarves and kilims (rugs). Here you get to practice bargaining, which is a useful skill in Turkey. It’s best to browse a bit first without looking too interested then ask the shopkeeper for a price and if it seems too high, put the item down and move towards the door, the price is bound to drop!
The best place to find crafted items is the area surrounding Sultanahmet. Visiting the Arasta Bazaar behind the Blue Mosque is like travelling back in time to the Ottoman era, exploring the shops selling carpets, textiles, jewellery, pottery and spices.
Istanbul, like other cities in Turkey, has regular street markets every day of the week but the most famous and most visited by locals and tourists are the Historic Tuesday Market in Kadiköy, selling textiles and clothes as well as delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re looking for designer clothes at reasonable prices, the Thursday Market in Ortaköy has all this as well as cosmetics, home textiles and more. The Feriköy Organic Market is held on Saturday and has certified organic fruits and vegatables, cosmetics, honey and jams.
Istanbul boasts over 200 shopping malls selling hundreds of different designer brands at varying prices. The largest and among the best malls in Europe are Emaar Square Mall, Istinye Park, Kanyon, Cevahir and Viaport Asia to name a few. There’s more to it than just shopping, these huge complexes feature various cafes and restaurants, cinemas and theatres, aquariums, amusement centres, playgrounds, bowling alleys and more.
The one- and two-day trips offered by Excursion Mania to Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Troy and Göbeklitepe, some of the most extraordinary places on the face of the earth, guarantee an unforgettable journey and you will want to take something home with you as a way of treasuring the memories you have. You’re bound to find gift items you like at these touristic sites.
To sum up, if you like shopping then a trip to Istanbul is definitely for you!
You can check all Istanbul Excursions.