Shopping in Istanbul, Turkey
Known worldwide for their enormous sales talent, Turkish traders will do anything to have you as a customer. It only takes a few minutes in Istanbul’s bazaars, like the Grand Bazaar or Spice, for example, to understand this well.
Among the “weapons” to win the customer are sympathy, warm tea and even some words / phrases in Portuguese or “portunhol” (if you say where you came from, of course). The good news, however, is that in these places it is possible to negotiate the price of products quite a lot – something impossible to do in other parts of the world. So don’t be ashamed, bargain! Check abbreviationfinder.org for abbreviations and acronyms related to Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul bazaars are very traditional places and a must for those who like to go shopping. Carpets, jewelry, souvenirs from Turkey, sweets, teas and spices are some examples of marketed artifacts; however, if you do not intend to spend in these temples of consumption, the tip is not to stop to look at shop windows (otherwise you will be insistently approached), but take the opportunity to wander the streets full of shops, enjoy a little atmosphere, have a drink. tea and try a typical Turkish sweet.
In general, trade in Istanbul is open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, but some establishments may operate at different times and days. Next, the MD presents some places and regions of Istanbul highly recommended for those who can’t resist shopping! See countryaah.com for more information about Istanbul, Turkey.
Arasta Bazaar / Mosaic Museum
Bath products (bathrooms are traditional in Turkey), as well as articles such as ceramics, jewelry, carpets, souvenirs, among other items, can be found in this small market which is located just a few steps from the Blue Mosque (to the southeast). Restaurants / snack bars serving quality Turkish food may also be on site.
After visiting the Arasta bazaar, take the time to explore the Mosaic Museum (Büyük Saray Mozaik Müzesi), an attraction that is very close to the market. At the site the visitor will find mosaics from the Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries) that were recovered from excavations made at the Arasta bazaar.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 7 pm (from April to October), and from 9 am to 5 pm (from November to March). The ticket costs TL 8 and the Istanbul Museum Pass , a card that gives access to several museums within 72 hours, is valid on site. Complete information can be obtained on the museum’s website.
Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Bazaar)
Spices, dried fruits, handkerchiefs and fabrics, jewelery, trinkets, sweets (like the delicious lokuns), souvenirs from Turkey and another series of articles of the most varied types can be found in this bazaar, which has an incredible atmosphere. Built in 1660, the Egyptian Market, also known as Spice Bazaar, is behind the New Mosque (Yeni Valide Camii).
The market, in fact, was built as a kind of “extension” of the mosque; in addition, a portion of what is collected there is used to fund charitable and related projects. Walking around the place is a fun program, especially for those who enjoy shopping.
The tip for those who do not think about spending in the bazaars of Istanbul, therefore, is not to stop at the stores, if the intention is not to buy something. That’s because Turkish traders are excellent salespeople and will certainly do anything to get you out of there loaded with bags!
The Spice Bazaar is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. A tip for those looking for a restaurant option, nearby, are the small snack bars in the outdoor area. These establishments sell delicious kebabs and duruns at very good prices. It is worth checking.
How to get there: Electric tram, line T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş (get off at Eminönü).
Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı)
The largest and oldest covered market in the world is also one of the symbols of Istanbul. Let’s go to the numbers of the place which, in Turkish, is known as Kapalıçarşı: they are, in total, 30 thousand square meters of area, 18 gates, two mosques, 60 streets, four fountains and about 5,000 stores and ateliers that sell carpets, leather, jewelry, antiques, spices and a series of other artifacts for an audience ranging from 250 to 400 thousand visitors per day. Impressive, isn’t it?
Check here the map of the Grand Bazaar.
Even if you are not thinking of buying, strolling through the Grand Bazaar is certainly a good suggestion for a program in Istanbul. Inside the bustling market (if you don’t want to face crowds, the tip is to visit it on a Monday) you will find restaurants and cafes that serve the famous Turkish teas and where you can sit and watch the people come and go.
The market, an important shopping center in the city since 1461, is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9 am to 7 pm (closed on Sundays and holidays).
How to get there: The Grand Bazaar is a pleasant walk of about 15 minutes from the Blue Mosque.
Hafiz Mustafa 1864
Lovers of sweets who are in Istanbul cannot fail to try the delights of the traditional Hafiz Mustafa pastry shop, which also doubles as a café. On the tempting menu (with pictures of “filling the eyes”) are the traditional lokuns (gummy candies) and baklavas, as well as classics like Kunefe – which takes cheese and is served warm, fresh out of the oven – and the unmissable puddings (Sütlaç, in Turkish, which is very similar to our rice pudding).
Delicious teas (like apple, for example), Turkish coffee, among other traditional drinks are also on the menu of the establishment, which has existed since 1864 and can be found close to Istanbul’s train station and in the busy Taksim Square.
More information on the site website.
Luxury shops and hotels, buildings full of history, elegant cafes, restaurants and nightclubs… all of which you will find in the Nişantaşı district, Istanbul region which usually attracts a well-selected local audience. The main avenues – where most of the famous brand stores are concentrated, such as Armani, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Roberto Cavalli, among others – are Teşvikiye, Valikonağı, Abdi İpekçi and Rumeli.
How to get there: The neighborhood is about 2km from Taksim Square. You can walk or take a taxi to the location.
This charming neighborhood is located on the banks of the Bosphorus, offering entertainment options for all tastes (a place that usually sells out, especially in the summer). There the visitor will find a great concentration of restaurants, bars – including bars specializing in narguile -, nightclubs and street food stalls that sell the famous Turkish delicacy, Kumpir (family size baked potato, stuffed with different ingredients, in the amount TL 10).
A tip for those who want to enjoy the night on the spot is to head to Muallim Naci street – it is certainly one of the liveliest spots in the neighborhood!
How to get there: A taxi from Taksim Square to the neighborhood should cost around TL 10.
Taksim Square / Istiklal Caddesi (Istiklal Street)
One of the most vibrant areas in the Beyoğlu district is undoubtedly Taksim Square, considered a true symbol of the modern phase of the city. At first glance, the Independence Monument, in the center of the place, draws the visitor’s attention – the beautiful and significant work of art that celebrates Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish republic.
Taksim square is always full of pedestrians, both during the day and at night, as there are several street food stands, where you can try delicious duruns, doner kebabs and Islak hamburgers (delicious and super cheap).
In addition, from Taksim Square you can see the beginning of Istiklal Caddesi – in Portuguese, Rua Istiklal -, an excellent shopping area during the day (with famous brand stores like Mango, Sephora, Clinique, among others) and very busy in the city. night time, due to the large amount of restaurants, bars and night clubs. A tip for those who want to enjoy the nightlife of Istanbul, including, is to stay in the mediations.