Shopping in Istanbul
- What to buy in Istanbul
- Best shopping malls in Istanbul
- Forum Istanbul
- Marmara Forum
- Canyon Mall
- Zorlu Center
- Aqua Florya
- İstinye Park
- Historia Shopping Center
- Demiroren Istiklal Shopping Center
- Mall of Istanbul
- Vadistanbul Shopping Center
- EMAAR Square Mall
- Famous Istanbul bazaars
- Grand Bazaar
- Egyptian bazaar
- Arasta Bazaar
- Horhor flea market
- Istanbul outlets
- Olivium Outlet Center
- Optimum Outlet
- Airport Outlet Center
- Istanbul's shopping districts and streets
- Children's stores in Istanbul
- LC Waikiki
- Sales and seasonal discounts
- İstanbul Shopping Fest
- Tax Free
- Turkish clothing and footwear brands
- Mass market
- Middle market
- Denim clothes
Istanbul is one of the most attractive cities in the world for shopping. This ancient megalopolis, located on two continents, is famous not only for its rich history and sights but also for its modern shopping centers, stores, stalls, ancient bazaars, and entire neighborhoods, where you can buy absolutely everything. Trade here is part of the national tradition and mentality, and the large selection of quality Turkish goods always attracts many customers.
What to buy in Istanbul
You can buy a variety of products in the largest metropolis that has become its symbol or are a national tradition.
- Clothing and shoes from Turkish and European manufacturers. Turkish clothing is known for its excellent quality, modern models, and affordable prices. Models of popular European brands are represented in a wide range — both from new collections and from past seasons (at lower prices).
- Textiles are one of the favorite souvenirs tourists bring from Istanbul. Linens, towels, bedspreads, and bathrobes of excellent quality and in a huge range can be bought in all the shopping centers and markets of the city.
- Carpets are the pride of Turks. The real masterpieces are handmade and woven by the double-knot method, so they are very thick. Beware of the Chinese fakes when you buy them.
- Glassware is another item that is sold everywhere in Istanbul and is in demand among tourists. Turkey has been famous for its production since the XVI century, and this tradition has been preserved until today.
- Jewelry attracts by its low price and a wide variety. It is worth knowing that the democratic price of gold is due to low carat. It includes a significant amount of silver and copper alloys.
- You can buy antiques in Istanbul in many places, but the most famous among them is the Aksaray store. Interesting things can easily be found at flea markets. However, you should know that it is forbidden to take out items of historical value (which is more than 100 years old).
- Leather goods are well made, pleasantly priced, and fashionable design. You can buy them almost in all the malls and bazaars.
- Turkish sweets, alcohol, and other products — tourists necessarily bring all of them from Istanbul as a souvenir.
Best shopping malls in Istanbul
Shopping in Istanbul is most comfortable in large shopping malls. They contain stores of the most popular European and Turkish brands. There are also entertainment areas and places to relax, restaurants, and food courts.
The largest shopping center in Istanbul and Europe is located in the European part of the city, in the Şişli district. It occupies a six-story building with more than 350 stores and boutiques representing popular global brands, including Turkish ones. You can buy everything from lingerie, clothing, and home textiles to furniture and household appliances here. In addition to shopping, you can come here to have fun. Cevahir has amusement rides, arcade games, bowling, 11 cinemas, many cafes, restaurants, and a huge food court.
One of Istanbul's largest shopping malls is located on the Asian side of the city, in the Bayrampaşa district. Its enormous area houses more than 300 stores, restaurants, cafes, food courts, cinemas, bowling alleys, helicopter flight simulators, entertainment centers, a sandcastle, playgrounds, and the city's most famous aquarium Sea Life, which is home to more than 15,000 sea creatures. Many favorite mass-market brands, well known to customers and offering pleasant prices, are represented in this shopping center.
Modern shopping mall Marmara Forum is located in the Zeytinburnu district and is one of the favorites of locals. Here you can buy everything — clothes and shoes, products for children and home, home appliances, accessories, and more. It is worth paying attention to Turkish brands, as their products are much cheaper and of good quality. However, people come here not only for shopping but also to have a good time. Many cafes and restaurants have their own terraces, offering magnificent views of the Marmara Sea and the city. And in the evening, the building is beautifully illuminated, and it resembles a ship.
This shopping center got its name because of its unusual canyon-like shape. In 2006, it won the Commercial Built category at the Dubai Shopping Mall Expo, and it is an architectural landmark of Istanbul. It is located in the heart of the business district of Levent and has direct access to the metro station of the same name. Its area (37.5 thousand square meters) has stores, gyms, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, offices, and residential spaces. In addition to well-known mass-market brands, there are those that were first introduced in Istanbul — Wagamama, Douglas, Bally, Fresh Line Homemade Cosmetic. The Canyon is also known for its largest bookstore in the metropolis.
Another large shopping center is located on the European side, in the prestigious Besiktas district. It is called the most expensive project in Istanbul. You can get inside directly from the Gayrettepe metro station without having to go outside. Its vast area houses more than 200 luxury and local brand stores, many restaurants, cafes, a food court, a multiplex cinema, a leisure park with an artificial lake, and more than 200 types of plants (including about 70 varieties of trees), a performing arts center, a hotel, and playgrounds.
A small shopping and entertainment mall is located near the former Ataturk International Airport in the Florya district. It is located right on the water's edge, on the shore of the Sea of Marmara. In addition to 145 stores and boutiques of elite global brands, it has cinemas, an open-air amphitheater, a passageway, exhibition and event spaces, restaurants and cafes on outdoor terraces, landscaped and promenade areas. And its main attraction is the Istanbul Akvaryum, one of the largest aquariums in the world. It has a large underwater tunnel and 64 pools housing 15 thousand marine animals of 1,500 species.
One of Istanbul's very first shopping malls is located in the Besiktas district. Akmerkez consists of two twin office towers, a 24-story residential building, and a shopping mall. The latter occupies three floors where luxury brands and mass-market stores, beauty salons, banking institutions, cafes, restaurants, food courts, and cinemas are located. Exhibitions of art galleries and museums are held here, and artists are invited to perform. As darkness falls, people gather near the towers of the mall to watch laser shows on the facade of the buildings.
It is a favorite shopping mall of celebrities, politicians, and wealthy businessmen in the Sarıyer district. You can see many prestigious cars in its underground parking lot — from rare Rolls-Royce and Mercedes to modern racing Bugatti and Ferrari. New collections of clothes and shoes of famous brands, which take part in Paris, Milan, and New York fashion shows, are the first to arrive in İstinye Park. Here, as in other shopping centers, there is a multiplex cinema, playgrounds, entertainment areas, a gym, and, in addition, haute cuisine restaurants. The improvised street, where each brand has its building, is a constant attraction for visitors.
Historia Shopping Center
The Historia Shopping and Entertainment Center is conveniently located in the historic Fatih district, close to the Aksaray subway station and the T1 (Haseki) streetcar stop. Its many stores feature popular European brands to a large extent, but there are also well-known Turkish brands as well. In addition to shopping, visitors can relax in cinemas, cafes, and restaurants, have fun in specially designated areas, attend fashion shows, concerts, and other events.
Demiroren Istiklal Shopping Center
It is located on Istanbul's most famous pedestrian street, Istiklal Avenue. The center seems small from the outside, but its secret is that several floors inside the building go deep into the ground. There are more than 40 stores for children and adults, both European and Turkish brands. In addition, there is a cinema, an art gallery, cafes, restaurants, and entertainment areas.
Mall of Istanbul
The huge shopping center is located in the Başakşehir district, next to the Kocatepe metro station of the M1B line. It houses more than 350 stores of European and Turkish brands. There is a food court, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, a bowling alley, free Wi-Fi, and everything else that other similar establishments have. But its main attraction is the huge entertainment complex for children.
Vadistanbul Shopping Center
The beautiful and modern Vadistanbul shopping mall is located in the Ayazağa district, surrounded on three sides by the Belgrade Forest. It is a three-story building with 250 stores, a food court with a roof terrace overlooking the forest of the Sendere Valley, a 5-star hotel, and an office space. There is a monorail inside the building that connects it to the Seyrantepe metro station of the M2 line. People come here to do leisurely shopping, enjoy a stroll in the park, and relax by the fountain.
One of Istanbul's largest shopping malls is located in the Usküdar district, and it occupies a huge area on five floors. Shopping lovers will find the latest collections of elite European and Turkish brands here. As in other big shopping malls, there are recreation areas, food courts, restaurants, cafes, multiplex cinemas, and a lot of entertainment. There are playgrounds for kids, and KidZania is a fun place to visit for children of preschool and primary school age.
EMAAR Square Mall
Another luxury mall is in the Uskudar district. It is just as good as its competitors, and it offers visitors an incredible selection of goods in different price categories. On the lower floors, which go underground, there are stores and boutiques with democratic prices, and the elite ones are located above. Shoppers will be happy with both the variety and the cost of goods. Families with children are happy to come here to shop, as there is a wonderful entertainment area for kids. It includes a playground, an aquarium, and the services of an entertainer. In addition, the mall has an excellent food court and a restaurant on the terrace overlooking the fountain, multi-screen cinemas, and other entertainment.
Famous Istanbul bazaars
Bazaars are the most ancient shopping places in Istanbul. There are some of the largest in the city, which have preserved their authenticity to this day. It's a must to bargain here, so you can halve the cost of shopping and enjoy the process itself.
Horhor flea market
Olivium Outlet Center
Airport Outlet Center
Istanbul's shopping districts and streets
You can go shopping in Istanbul not only in the shopping malls and markets offered above. There are whole streets and districts where you can have an unforgettable shopping experience, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Old City, and stroll through the historic sites.
- Istiklal Caddesi is one of the most popular pedestrian streets. It is always crowded with tourists and strolling locals. There are cafes, restaurants, pastry shops, stores, and the Demiroren Istiklal Shopping Center, which offers a large selection of goods from European and Turkish manufacturers.
- Bağdat Caddesi Street is on the Asian side of the city and is known for its fashion boutiques. You can find such brands as Zara, Nine West, Mango, LTB, Mavi, Yargici, Tommy Hilfiger, Escada, among them. It is pleasant not only to go shopping here but also to take a walk under the shade of tall trees and have a coffee in one of the cozy cafes.
- Nişantaşı is an area where they sell branded goods from European manufacturers. The buyers include celebrities, politicians, and big businessmen. The most popular street is Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, where the atmosphere of Milan's haute couture is all over the place.
- Märter is famous for high-quality clothes from Turkish manufacturers. And its trademark is denim and evening gowns, for which visitors come here inevitably. The advantage of Märter is lower prices than in other areas, but the disadvantage is the poor knowledge of foreign languages by shop assistants.
- Zeytinburnu is an industrial area, where there are many factories and stores attached to them. Here you can inexpensively update your closet for the fall and winter seasons. You should come here to buy leather and fur products, bags, and accessories. When shopping in Zeytinburnu, there is no point in trying to find the lowest prices in the stores; they are almost the same everywhere. Those who like tailoring can contact the producers directly and have the item done in about three days.
- Laleli is the favorite district for the Russian-speaking visitors of Istanbul. The majority of signs are in Russian, and the traders know it well. Laleli has a large bazaar of the same name and many stores. They sell wholesale and retail clothing, lingerie, accessories, tableware, as well as fur and leather goods.
- Osmanbey is known for its huge selection of textiles and clothing from popular international brands and Turkish manufacturers. It also sells shoes, toys, electronic goods, souvenirs, and much more.
Children's stores in Istanbul
The Turkish brand Waikiki is popular at home and abroad. Its stores can be found in almost every shopping center, as well as in the Sultanahmet district, near the Grand Bazaar, next to the Beyazit streetcar stop of the T1 route.
The LC Waikiki assortment features fashionable and inexpensive clothes not only for children of different ages but also for adults.
This brand offers a wide range of products for babies from well-known manufacturers. Here you can buy everything you need for babies and toddlers — food, diapers, strollers, cribs, clothes, educational toys, textiles, bath products, skincare products, and more.
The largest chain stores E-bebek can be found in both the European and Asian parts of the city.
Sales and seasonal discounts
İstanbul Shopping Fest
When purchasing goods, tourists can count on a VAT refund on several items:
- standard rate (minimum check amount must be 118 TRY) for accessories, electronics, watches, sunglasses, cosmetics, porcelain/ceramics, and household goods;
- additional rate of 8% (minimum check amount must be 108 TRY) for textiles and clothing, leather goods, carpets, shoes, handbags, optics, books, and food.
It is necessary to ask the cashier for a Global Blue Tax-Free form when making purchases. When leaving the country, it must be presented at the customs control point at the airport, along with receipts and goods in an intact package and with tags. The officer will stamp the form. After this procedure, you must go to the point with the blue star logo, where you can receive your VAT refund in cash or on a bank card.
Turkish clothing and footwear brands
- LC Waikiki has a wide range and low prices, and their stores offer clothing for the whole family, accessories, textiles, and jewelry;
- Koton is similar to the previous brand and offers clothing and shoes for men, women, and children, including denim and sportswear;
- Mudo produces furniture and home accessories in addition to clothes for adults in casual, classic, and sports styles;
- Yargici will appeal to connoisseurs of laconic style and minimalism, as well as clothing made of natural fabrics;
- DeFacto is the main competitor of Waikiki, which also offers clothes for the whole family and for all occasions;
- adL offers a wide range of clothes from classics to designer novelties, and there are long lines at the ticket office during the sales of the brand;
- Collezione focuses on youth style and adheres to the simplicity of cut.
- Vakko is a well-known luxury clothing brand made of natural fabrics (wool, silk, linen), in addition, it produces shoes and accessories;
- Network offers its customers, in addition to textiles, outerwear, leather goods, and accessories for adults;
- Gizia produces high-quality women's clothing made of natural fabrics, including outerwear;
- Ipekyol is a popular brand of women's clothing, with a range of most elegant, casual, and classic styles;
- Twist is a demanded brand of young women's clothing and footwear for every day and for special occasions.
- Mavi belongs to the medium price range, distinguished by the high quality of goods. It produces accessories and clothes for men, women, and children;
- Colin's is a well-known brand, which produces jackets, sweaters, shirts, T-shirts, other denim, as well as accessories in addition to jeans;
- LTB is a democratic brand that produces not only jeans clothing but also textiles and accessories.
- Desa has a wide range of high-quality leather shoes, outerwear, belts, and bags;
- Flo is a manufacturer of budget shoes for the whole family;
- Kemal Tanca is a brand largely focused on the domestic market. It offers its customers high-quality leather goods.