Shopping in Istanbul: 10 Best Shopping Centers, Markets & Streets
Istanbul is a shopping paradise! The selection in the city is huge. Alone on the European side of Istanbul are dozens of large and small shopping centers. Here I have collected the best shopping centers, shopping streets and beautiful markets. I start with the shopping centers and continue with the markets and shopping streets.
10 Best Shopping Centers in Istanbul
There are dozens of shopping centers in Istanbul. Of these, only a few are interesting for shopping during a city break. This is due to their accessibility from the city center and the offer.
In addition, there are now too many shopping malls in Istanbul. Some even have empty spaces in the city center.
That’s why I chose a good combination of accessibility, international and Turkish brands when choosing the shopping centers.
There are all shopping centers in my list stores with clothing, accessories, household goods, restaurants and entertainment for children. The shopping malls in Istanbul also include a cinema.
I start with three shopping centers that are right next to each other.
List of shopping malls
1. Kanyon Shopping Center: together with the three shopping malls, is the best place to shop in Istanbul. The three shopping malls are adjacent to each other near the M2 and M6 Metro Levent in the business district of Levent on the European side of Istanbul.
2. Özdilek Park Shopping Mall: National and international brands can be found in Özdelik Park, 50 meters away from Kanyon Center.
3. Metrocity: is just south of the Özdelik shopping mall and completes my top recommendations for shopping in Istanbul. You’ll need an entire afternoon for all the shops in the three shopping centers (or much longer). Together with the Kanyon and Özdelik Center you have hundreds of shops to choose from. (Website available only in Turkish)
4. Zorlu Center: is the most exclusive mall in Istanbul with luxury brands (Luis Vuitton, Gucci, …). The Raffles Istanbul complex is one of the top rated 5 star hotels in Turkey . The Zorlu Center is close to the M2 Gayrettepe Metro, the taxi ride takes from the Old Town (Hagia Sophia) 30 minutes.
5. Akmerkez: in the Nispetiye Caddesi in Besiktas with 250 stores on 180.000m². It stands near the M6 metro station Nispetiye Istasyonu. This is one of the main shopping streets in Istanbu with many other shops, good restaurants and cafes (more on the shopping streets).
6. Venezia Mega Outlet: mainly Turkish clothing brands and some international brands in the Outlet Center on the western outskirts of Istanbul. A good plan to get there is on the website.
7. Forum Istanbul: the largest shopping center in Europe with an area of 495,000m² and 292 national and international shops near the M1A M1B Kocatepe.
8. Istinye Park: is one of the two shopping centers in Istanbul with exclusive international brands (Gucci, …). The taxi ride takes about 45 minutes from the old town.
9. Palladium: the most popular shopping center on the Asian side of Istanbul near the M4 Metro Station Yenisahra. The Watergarden shopping center and the small Bulvar 216 shopping center is a 10-minute taxi ride from the Palladium.
10. Mall of Istanbul: a six-storey mall with 200 shops, restaurants and a cinema. Unfortunately, there is no metro station near the Mall of Istanbul. Nevertheless, it is one of the most famous shopping malls in Istanbul (advertising in airline magazines). That’s why I mention the mall here, but I have deliberately only given it to the 10th place.
Tips on shopping malls in Istanbul
In shopping malls the price is fixed. You are NOT acting for the price like in a bazaar! Also, remember that malls in Istanbul rarely accept euros. So you change cheap Euro in Turkish Lira .
The shopping centers are usually open seven days a week until late in the evening. Excluded are the Turkish holidays . I’ve linked all the websites of the shopping centers above. There are the exact opening times.
The markets and shopping streets in Istanbul usually open seven days a week.
Turkish cinemas usually show international films in English with Turkish subtitles. The entry into current Hollywood blockbusters costs only 4-5 € in Turkey .
7 best markets (bazaar) in Istanbul
A visit to a bazaar (market) is a must in Istanbul. The classic is of course the size bazaar, which is also one of the most visited attractions in Istanbul.
Of course, the Egyptian (spice) bazaar is also known.
Since there are sometimes questions about typical local markets coming from locals in Istanbul, I added a list of quiescent places for a market stroll in my list.
These include easy-to-reach markets in the city center and typical weekly markets for Turkey.
List of markets (bazaar):
1. Grand Bazaar in Istanbul: 4,000 shops, 30,000 workers and 500,000 daily visitors make the 15th-century Grand Bazaar one of the oldest and most fascinating markets in the world. In the Grand Bazaar you will find all interesting souvenirs from Turkey, antiques, food, gold jewelry, clothing, knick-knacks, etc.
2. Egyptian (spice) bazaar: Baklava, sweets, turkish pastirma sausage, spices, nuts, street food, Turkish coffee, tea and more can be found in the Egyptian Bazaar near the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn.
3. Arasta Bazaar: a small market with about 40 shops south of the Blue Mosque with souvenirs and restaurants.
4. Bookbazar (Sahaflar Carsisi): 50 shops full of literature at the Place of Chartoprateia near the Grand Bazaar. Most of the books are in Turkish, but there are some English and German books here.
5. Besiktas Market: Street market with goods of all kinds at in the district Besiktas on the European side of Istanbul. The nearby Ihlamur Palace is an interesting sight.
6. Fatih Çarsamba Pazari: local market on Wednesday with household goods, bed linen, clothes, stuffed animals, curtains, carpets, cosmetics, accessories.
7. Food Market: Feriköy Ekolojik Pazar (Feriköy Eco Market) on the Asian side of Istanbul and the Kastamonu Market on the outskirts of the city offer local food for the residents of Istanbul . The streets in the Kadikoy district on the Asian side of Istanbul are also interesting for fruits, vegetables, sweets, restaurants, bars and cafes.
Tips on the markets in Istanbul
Trading at the bazaar: the price can be reduced by around 30% in tourist markets such as the Grand Bazaar. You rarely trade in local markets. You should change your Euro to Turkish Lira first. The tip in Turkey is in the non-negotiated price. More is in my tips for action at the bazaar in Turkey .
When buying antiques, carpets and other old items, you have to pay close attention to the customs regulations of Turkey ! The export of cultural goods is strictly prohibited in Turkey without permission. Old stones from the beach can be a problem.
You can also get to know the markets and food in Istanbul during guided tours.
Here is a recommended food tour in Istanbul including the Egyptian Bazaar and food markets in Kadikoy on the Asian side.
In my Istanbul Street Food Guide you can find typical Turkish dishes , recommended locations and tips for dining in the city.
5 best shopping streets in Istanbul
Istiklal Caddesi, which ends at Taksim Square, is the heart of shopping and nightlife on the European side of Istanbul. The 14km long Bagdat Caddesi is its counterpart on the Asian side of Istanbul.
You will find individual shops selling Turkish goods in the side streets of Istiklal Caddesi in the direction of the Bosphorus.
List of shopping streets:
1. Istiklal Caddesi (Europe): is the most famous shopping street (cadde means street in Turkish) in Istanbul. It begins in the south near the Galata Tower and ends in the north at Taksim Square. In between there are local and international shops, restaurants and bars in the evening. Near the Istiklal Caddesi are also many well-known sights.
2. Bagdat Caddesi (Asia): is the longest shopping street in Istanbul (14km). It starts in Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul and heads east along the coast. Always plan a visit to the Bagdat Caddesi in advance because the shops are all further apart.
3. Abdi Ipekci Street: one of the most exclusive shopping streets in Istanbul with international brands, chic cafes, restaurants and historic houses.
4. Nispetiye Street: international and Turkish brands in Besiktas, Akmerz shopping center, popular among Turkish movie stars, with restaurants known in Istanbul such as the PF Changs, Eataly and Wagamama.
5. Lanes in Beyoglu: the Atlas Pasaji (Passage) is popular among Istanbul’s youth. In it you will find rather alternative (cheap) T-shirts, dresses and accessories. The road from the Istiklal Caddesi to the Galata Tower (Galip Dede Cd.) Is interesting for musicians, souvenirs and decoration. I also interesting the nearby Serdar-i Ekrem street with small boutiques.
My conclusion about shopping in Istanbul
Which shopping malls, markets and shopping streets would I choose?
I would start with Kanyon Center (because of Özdelik Park and Metrocity right next door). In the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar you can find almost everything that exists in other markets.
The price in the Grand Bazaar is higher than the average of Istanbul and it is more busy. The Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar are among the most interesting sights in Istanbul.
I like the side streets of Istiklal Caddesi in Beyoglu. The cafes in Beyoglu attract me at every opportunity. That’s why the Istiklal Caddesi is my first choice among the shopping streets in Istanbul.
The Bagdat Caddesi is interesting for locals and you need a lot more time because the road is 14km long. So plan with Google Maps which shops are eligible for you.
More tips can be found in my Istanbul travel guide . In it, I have collected all the important questions for a city trip.