When looking at famous shopping streets in Istanbul, get ready to be impressed. Istanbul has many wealthy inhabitants, which has attracted the best big-name designers to open shops here. Aside from the modern malls such as Kanyon, Aqua Florya, and Zorlu Centre, many traditional and contemporary shopping streets boast international and local boutiques.
In addition, Istanbul’s old covered markets like the Grand Bazaar, Arasta Bazaar and Spice Bazaar have remained unchanged for centuries. They offer many chances to pick up bargains, art, antiques, textiles or food. However, we love the long streets, where spending the cash can be broken up with brunch in street-side cafes. So, which are the best shopping streets, whether you are looking at options because you plan to buy real estate in Istanbul or just passing through on city breaks?
Famous Shopping Streets in Istanbul
1: The Best Places on Istiklal Avenue in Taksim
This street dominates Istanbul for shopping and earns global fame as Turkey’s busiest street. Starting at the Taksim Square Independence monument that acts as a meeting point, shops on Istiklal street stretch for 1.6 kilometres before heading off to the Galata tower area. Istiklal Street is known for the best shopping and nightlife scenes, with many bars and restaurants lining the back streets. While the Avenue is great, hidden delights surround back roads like French Street. During the Ottoman era, this was where most consulates had their embassies, so do keep an eye out for the historical buildings lining each side, like Flower Passage and the Church of Anthony Padua.
2: Visiting Bagdat Street on the Asian Side
While Istiklal street earns fame as the most famous in Turkey, don’t underestimate the shops on Bagdat street on Istanbul’s Asian side. Running for 14 kilometres parallel to the Marmara Sea, the street starts in the Asian Maltepe district and runs to Kadikoy. Although Bagdat Street doesn’t boost the historical houses that Istiklal has, this is where rich and famous locals of Istanbul flock for high-end brand stores. Running through affluent neighbourhoods, luxury cars are everywhere. Expect prestigious fashion brands and jewellery shops, and visit posh coffee shops or international restaurants for shopping breaks.
3: Nispetiye Street and Akmerkez Shopping Mall
Nispetiye street earns fame as home to Akmerkez shopping mall, a prestigious and luxurious place in Istanbul. Covering four storeys, over 180,000 square meters, 250 shops feature high-end dining, shopping and entertainment under one roof. Nispetiye street sits in the Etiler neighbourhood of the Besiktas district, one of the most luxurious places to buy houses in Istanbul. This is an excellent place for shopping if you want high-end fashion, jewellery, international brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors or Turkish brand names like Mavi Jeans. Otherwise, head to prestigious coffee shops if cash is short.
4: Nuruosmaniye Street on the European Side
Rather than just spending cash in shops, think of this famous street as where to soak up Istanbul’s heritage and culture. Sitting next to the famous Istanbul Grand Bazaar, shops vary from your luxury brands to local brands but seek out local artisan and handicraft shops and antique stores for glimpses into Istanbul’s untold secrets. The shopping street takes its name from the mosque, and visit the small alleyway with coffee shops for breaks from exploring. Likewise, small cafes nearby serve delicious food. This street reflects alternative shopping in Istanbul.
5: Famous Shopping Places on Abdi Ipekci Street
Sitting in the Sisli district, this is another high-end street. The street starts in the Nisantasi quarter, one of Turkey’s most expensive places to buy houses in Turkey. Such is the luxury; this street is the most expensive place to rent shops in Turkey. What can shoppers expect? Nothing but the best shopping in Istanbul, from the individual boutique shop to many coffee cafes serving delicious food to five-star restaurants and international stores like Louis Vuitton. The shopping street is named after a famous Turkish journalist assassinated by the same man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul the second.
6: Cukurcuma Street Reflecting the Ottoman Era
Istanbul’s colourful history includes the Ottoman empire, and traces can be found on every corner. One wouldn’t expect history on this street, but various antique shops give great insights into how the locals of Istanbul’s streets used to live. In addition, there are many vintage clothing stores and small cafes specialising in the best vegan and vegetarian food.
This street is unique for shopping. While exploring, do visit the Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. This Museum is based on the book of the same name and features many items of his characters belonging to two Istanbul families.
7: Shop on Divan Street in Old Istanbul
While most other shopping streets are busy hubs of modern-day city life, Divan street in the Fatih district is an excellent insight into the Ottoman era days of Istanbul. The street is scattered with architectural gems from the Byzantine days. You don’t have to shop to walk this city street, but should you decide to, expect quaint coffee shops, traditional restaurants, and many shopping options to buy souvenirs. You will eventually end up in the old city with top tourist attractions like the world-famous Blue Mosque. To finish your walk, visit the Arasta bazaar.
8: Other Places to Shop in Istanbul
Instead of shopping streets in Istanbul, some people visit shopping malls, which excel in providing shopping choices, many cafes, restaurants and entertainment all in one place. The best malls include Istinye Park shopping mall, Istanbul Cevahir shopping Mall, Zorlu Center, Forum Istanbul and Aqua Florya. However, for traditional shopping, visit small markets or, even better still, explore the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul city. You will find many shopping options for souvenirs like dried fruits, Turkish delight, household goods, textiles and more. The Grand Bazaar is Turkey’s oldest shopping place and a top tourist destination in Istanbul.
Also About Istanbul
Best Istanbul Neighbourhoods: Put aside the best shopping streets in Istanbul because specific neighbourhoods earn fame, not only for their shopping choices but as ideal places to live and work. Foreigners who want vibrant urban landscapes with good shopping choices have plenty of options.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Istanbul? Despite not being the country’s capital, Istanbul is the leading hub of everything in Turkey, including the best shopping, tourism, education, business, finance, art, culture, fashion and much more. Everything happens around the clock in this city.
About Us: We are Spot Blue, selling houses in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey. We regularly publish articles about Istanbul and Turkey, including real estate, ex-pat news, shopping, nightlife, food and leisure options. If you want to stay up to date with news and articles about Istanbul, follow us on Facebook.