Istanbul Shopping Guide
Where to shop, when to shop & what to buy?
Here are our tips on Istanbul’s most interesting shopping streets, historical bazaars, markets and shopping malls.
In addition, we will reveal the basics of bargaining in Istanbul's bazaars.
Istanbul shopping tips
Shopping is a true experience in Istanbul! The metropolis is a shopping paradise and offers something for every taste and budget. In addition to exclusive fashion and wonderful souvenirs, the city excites with handmade carpets, precious antiques, exotic spices, exceptional jewelry, glorious fabrics and the finest delicacies.
Sultanahmet, the historical heart of the city, is not only home to important sights, also the legendary Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest bazaar in the city, attracts visitors with a great variety of goods and handicrafts. The historical Spice Bazaar in the Eminönü district, which is known for its fine spices, is just as interesting.
In the neighborhood of Çukurcuma, in Beyoğlu district, visitors can go on a real treasure hunt. There are countless antique store, retro and vintage shops.
Those who prefer to take a closer look at the huge range of goods in the numerous shopping malls (AVM) will find what they are looking for in Istinye Park, Kanyon, Cevahir or Zorlu Center.
Wealthy locals go shopping in the luxury stores of Nişantaşı, an upscale residential area known for its fashion boutiques and international brands.
Opening hours in Istanbul
The shops in Istanbul are open Monday through Saturday / Sunday. Most shops, department stores and supermarkets are open between 9:00 and 22:00 during the week. Some open at 7:00.
Weekend: Most shops are open from 9:00 to 22:00 on weekends.
Famous places for shopping
The world-famous Istiklal Caddesi promenade is ideal for a shopping spree. The 14 km long Bağdat Caddesi, also one of the most popular shopping addresses in Istanbul, is located on the Asian side.
The Grand Bazaar, also known as "Covered Bazaar" because of its canopy, was built shortly after the conquest of 1453 under Fatih Sultan Mehmed II. It has always been the heart of the bustling and flourishing business life of the Old Town Sultanahmet. On an area of 40,000 square meters, up to half a million people romp about every day. The total area of the site extends over 110,868 m².
Istinye Park, Kanyon, Cevahir and the Zorlu Center are among the important shopping malls in Istanbul. Luxury stores are part of Nişantaşı, an upscale residential neighborhood known for its fashion boutiques and international brands.
How to combine sightseeing with shopping?
Istanbul is a metropolis with more than 15 million inhabitants. The shopping streets, neighborhoods and shopping centers are spread across the city. Since there are also purely tourist areas in Istanbul, we have put together the most popular ones for you. This makes it easy to combine a visit to the most important sights with a short break for a shopping spree.
Examples for this are the Galata Tower, within walking distance of Istiklal Caddesi and the side streets, and the oldest shopping center, the Grand Bazaar with the Blue Mosque.
In addition to the bazaars, there are a large number of colorful local weekly markets in the various neighborhoods that should not be missed. There are, for example, fruit and vegetable markets, fish markets, organic markets, textiles and housewares, flea markets, second hand and antiques.
Places to go shopping near sights
More things to do. Flea markets, organic markets
Stores in Istanbul are open between 7:00 and 22:00. Supermarkets open earlier and close later. Shopping malls and fashion retailers / boutiques often don't open until 9:00 or 10:00. It is best to take a look at the exact opening times of the shops on the Internet.
Stores in Istanbul are generally open from Monday to Saturday, sometimes also on Sundays.
Chain supermarkets, shopping centers and stores always accept debit or credit cards. In restaurants and small cafes, card payment is common. The acceptance of card payments varies in markets and bazaars, depending on the size of the market. Card payments are being accepted in more and more taxis. Nevertheless, we recommend asking beforehand whether payment by card is accepted.
Çukurcuma, Galata, Galatasaray and Nişantaşı are the typical alternative neighborhoods on the European side of Istanbul. The alternative district of Istanbul’s Asian side is the Kadıköy district with its neighborhoods Moda and Cadde Bostan. Often you can also find small boutiques with individual fashion in the side streets of Istanbul.