Shopping In Turkey: A Guide To The Best Things To Buy
Sitting pretty between the continents of Asia and Europe, Turkey boasts of some truly magnificent shopping options that will make any shopaholic get into a frenzy. From the oldest bazaar in the world to one of the largest shopping malls in Europe, it holds a fascinating mix of old and new — making it the perfect destination to stock up on traditional arts and crafts as well as modern fashion. Just the sheer number of shops, bazaars, goods, and experiences will surely have you coming back to this shopper’s paradise for more.
Scroll down to check our guide to the best things to buy in Turkey.
1. The Grand Bazaar — Largest And Oldest Market In Istanbul
Grand Bazaar’s old-world charm is something to admire. Known to be the largest covered market in the world, it houses a labyrinth of wonderful delights that have been winning the hearts of tourists from all around the world. With over 3,000 shops, it is the premier location for shopping for exquisite pottery, spices, jewellery, lanterns, and eye-popping colourful ceramics.
Open: Seven days a week
2. Spice Market — The Best of Local And Imported Spices From Egypt, Africa, and India
At a short distance from the Grand Bazaar, this 17th-century Eminönü Egyptian Spice Bazaar is another hot favourite with locals and souvenir-seeking tourists. Find your way through this grand maze and get rewarded with authentic spices, dry fruits, nuts, olives, and delicious Turkish delights.
Open: All days except Sundays and Holidays
3. Sahaflar Bazaar — A Bookworm’s Paradise
An old bazaar that once housed rare manuscripts, Sahaflar Bazaar now sells second-hand books and sheaves of paper. Besides some interesting books, you will also find miniature paintings, artworks, and other items here.
If you’re a lover of literary arts, this bazaar is perfect for you to meet book lovers and come across some unique finds! Most shopkeepers are well informed about the stuff they’re selling and it’s quite common to strike a conversation with them about Turkish books.
Open: All days except Sundays and Holidays
4. Bagdat Street
On the Asian side of Turkey, Bagdat Street is ideal for a leisurely stroll and a luxe shopping heist. Pick up some of the most timeless couture pieces, along with sculptures, paintings, and glassware here.
The street has a mix of international and local brands, so we recommend you take a look at Turkish designer boutiques first to get a feel of the pricing, fashion, and trends that dominate the city.
Open: Most stores open by 10 AM and close around 10 PM in the night.
5. Mall Of Istanbul — One Of The Largest Mall In Turkey
Located in the valley area of Istanbul, this large shopping center has more than 103,000 square meters of shopping and entertainment-packed under one roof. Competing with the best in the region, it has over 270 stores of clothing and fashion outlets with some top brands setting shop here. And if that’s not enough, it even houses a huge theme park that makes for a fun time with family and friends.
Open: Sunday to Thursday: 10 AM – 10 PM Friday & Saturday: 10 AM – 10:30 PM
6. Nisantasi Shopping Centre
If you’re in the mood to shop for luxury goods, Nisantasi will have you in for a sweet surprise. The surroundings are sure to remind you of a European town, creating the right kind of vibe to enthuse the shopper in you!
Stroll past designer labels like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Marks and Spencer, H&M or stopover to walk right in. Don’t forget to check out Beymen, a retail store, while you’re here!
Besides being a fashion mecca, Nisantasi is quite popular for unique perfumes and exquisite wines.
Open: All days from 10 AM to 10 PM
When To Visit
If you like the hustle and bustle of big city sights and sounds, you should visit these spots over the weekend. But if you like a more mellow vibe, then we’d advise you get there early in the morning on a weekday.
Who Doesn’t Love A Good Bargain?
No matter if you’re shopping off the streets or in the thick of local bazaars, make sure you bargain and compare prices around several shops.
Haggling in Turkey is a unique practise where the shopkeeper invites you over for a cup of Turkish tea to sit and bargain. Whether you wish to shop or not, a visit to these markets is a must, simply to take in the vibe of the city and explore the way locals live.
Ready to shop up a storm? Start planning your trip to Turkey with Ithaka and embark on a journey of a lifetime!