Skip Navigation Links  



Skip Navigation Links.

Istanbul is referred as the paradise of shopping. There are people who come to visit Istanbul for only shopping. The Kapali Carshi or Covered Bazaar, in the old city is the best place to start. This labyrinth resembled streets and passages consist of more than 4000 shops. The names express the days when each trade and craftsman had its own quarter; the goldsmiths' street, the carpet sellers' street and the street of the skullcap makers. The Bazaar is still the commercial center of the city and is the original shopping mall with something to suit for every taste and pocket.

It is possible to buy Turkish crafts, the world-renowned carpets, bright hand-painted ceramics, copper and brass mirrors, meerschaum pipes and many other gifts. It is worth seeing the gold jewelery in brilliantly lit showcases. Leather and suede goods of excellent quality represent a relatively inexpensive purchase. The Old Bedesten offers an assortment of rare antiques. A precious antique piece from many years before might be waiting for you. If you visit the Kapali Charshi, the bedesten will make u feel as if u were practically wandering in history.

The Misir Charsisi or Spice Bazaar at Eminonu, may be noticed anyhow with its mystical east smell, taste and ambience. As in the old days, the hurried crowd still keeps the Spice Bazaar presently alive. The enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice that fills the air, makes you feel as if you were strolling around in history. It is possible to buy few packages of coffee and coffee pot sets for making Turkish coffee. The bazaar is an attractive shopping focal point, not only with its spice shops but also with its gift shops. There is another world in the back streets of the Spice Bazaar. With its wooden shops, second hand stores, basket shops and interesting products that fill up many stores and overflow up to the streets.

Sultanahmet, which is in the old area of the city is also counted as a attractive place for shopping. The Istanbul Sanatlari Carsisi (Bazaar of Istanbul Arts) in the 18th century Mehmet Efendi Medresesi, and the nearby 16th century Caferaga Medrese built by Sinan both offer a chance to see craftsmen at work and to purchase their wares. In the arasta of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the shopping arcade is worth to see for acceptable and well shopping. If you pass by Ortakoy, you must stop and stroll around the stalls and stores.

Several old and new items are sold in the flea markets that are located in Istanbul. There is a daily opportunity to poke about the Sahaflar Carsisi and Cinaralti in the Beyazit areas. On Sundays, in a flea market located between the Sahaflar and the Covered Bazaar, vendors sell their wares on carts and blankets. The Horhor Charsisi is a collection of shops which sell furniture of various ages and quality. Flea markets are open daily in the Topkapi district, on Cukurcuma Sokak in Cihangir, on Buyuk Hamam Sokak in Uskudar, in the Kadikoy Carshi stop area, and between Eminonu and Tahtakale.

In Istanbul besides these old shopping centers there are stores that work in boutique style or sell famous designer clothes which are gathered together on specific points. The elegant stores that line up in Taksim –Nishantashi-Shisli or Bagdat Street on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, are contrary of the chaos of the bazaar places and are suitable for comfortable shopping. You can look around for stylish models that were made from Turkey’s high quality textile products. Stores that sell high quality shoes, leather accessories, and jewellery are located on Istiklal, Cumhuriyet, Bagdat and Rumeli Street’s.
Istanbul offers different shopping options with big and modern shopping and entertainment centers. Atakoy Galeria in Atakoy, Akmerkez in Etiler, Metrocity in 1st Levent, and Carrousel in Bakirkoy are malls that house fashionable department stores. There are similiar stores in Capitol Mall in the Anatolian side and in the Altunizade district of Istanbul.

Carousel which houses four big bank offices and many famous stores; hosts activities such as
Art galleries that are open both for amateurs and professionals, cultural and art activities, ticket sales, and present special theme days and weeks to celebrate the cultures of various countries. Carousel also draws attention with its merry-go-round that was placed in the center of the building.

Etiler Akmerkez which has approximately 240 built in stores and was built on a 180.000 area and is spread to four floors. The 14th and 17th floors are used as offices and is a 24 floored resident building.

Atakoy Atrium is a mall that you can find clothes and fast food products, and also consists of a movie theatre.

Bauhaus which is located in Icherenkoy and Beylikduzu, is a DIY mall in the literal sense. From carpet to implements, from hardware to auto and flower departments it’s possible to find a product that almost targets everyone.

In any of the Boyner chain stores you may find many products of different catagories altogether; from cosmetics to accessories and home decoration products to sports garments.

Inside the Capitol mall on the Anatolian side there are 120 store and 8 cinema theatres.

It is possible to benefit from ready made men and women garments at the Kule Charshi located in the Business Towers Complex at 4th Levent. It also consists of beauty salons, restaurants that include menus of national and foreign tastes, cafes, books, dry cleaners and photographers.

The Tepe Nautilus Mall in Kadikoy Acibadem, which is located on the Anatolian side is an outstanding mall with its 130 stores.

Maxi Shopping centers have a chain of malls at 6 points as Maxi Center Tekirdag, Maxi Center Topkapi, Maxi Center Haznedar, Maxi Center Istinye and Maxi Center Chengelkoy. In these shopping centers customers confront with a wide product range from clothes to food, furniture to home and garden products.

Mayadrom in the Maya Housing complex located in Etiler is small sized but it is possible to find everything needed inside.

In the Profilo Shopping Mall located in Mecidiyekoy answers to all kinds of necessities from food to clothes, stationery to jewelry, toys to big market, dry cleaning to photo labs and there are also elegant restaurants and cafes that present examples of world cuisine. Besides its cinema complex with five cinema theatres, there is one theatre which is sufficient for 400 people, seminars, and the usage of a demonstration hall.

There are 130 shops, restaurants, and cafés on four floors. It has a vehicle parking lot with a capacity of 2500. The Metrocity shopping mall that’s builded on a 60.000 area with its direct entrance to the Levent Metro station is open everyday from 10 PM to 10 AM and is one of the modern shopping malls in Istanbul.

Modern shopping malls, which are increasing, with each passing day, go beyond shopping and offer different opportunities such as spending good time and entertaining.

Istanbul’s Street markets are also interesting. The weekly bazaar’s that are setup in cetain days of the week in different locations is another face of shopping life. If examples of the economically preffered bazaars are needed to be given, the most favoured ones are Beshiktash bazaar that sets up on Saturdays, Charshamba and Yeshilkoy bazaar that set sup on Wednesdays, Sali bazaar in Kadikoy that sets up on Tuesdays and Cuma bazaar in Uskudar that is set up on Fridays.


Istanbul is an international art and cultural center. The International Arts and Cultural Festival are held each year in June and July with artists coming from all over the world. These performances are held mostly in the Ataturk Cultural Center. Those enjoyful classical music concerts which take place in the Cemal Reshit Rey Hall should not be missed.

Operas, operettas, ballets, films, concerts, exhibitions and conferences all share the cultural palette of the city. Istanbul also has a rich program of light entertainment. Nightclubs are nice entertainment places with entertainment throughout dinner, ranging from a selection of Turkish songs to the famous belly dance. You should enjoy Turkish Artistic Music in places that Fasıls take place.

Modern discos, cabarets, and jazz clubs are especially located in the Taksim-Harbiye district. In Sultanahmet, there are buildings that were restored in the Byzantine and Ottoman era which consist of restaurants and are ideal to spend a good time and eat quality food. You can easily find other country’s restaurants in Istanbul. There are also many places that serve fast food.

Kumkapi, with its many taverns, bars and fish restaurants, is an attractive district. People have been meeting each other to chat for years in the Chichek Passage which is located in the Beyoglu district, for snacks and seafood specialties. Also in this district, the narrow Nevizede Street, near the Chichek Passage, is the best place in Istanbul for eating Turkish specialties and drinking raki. On the Bosphorus, Ortakoy is the best place for nightlife in Istanbul, with its nightclubs, jazz clubs, fine seafood restaurants, and bars. Actually there are places to eat, accompanied by the view on both side of the Bosporus

Don't miss an opportunity to see fishermen dressed in traditional Ottoman clothes in Eminonu, on their Ottoman-style boats where you may board and taste their famous delicious fried fish. The famous Kanlica yoghurt may be tasted in Kanlica.

It’s not possible to describe the spectacular panorama of Istanbul’s historical Galata Tower and Kizkulesi “Maiden Tower”. Taking the advantage of the indescribable view during a meal is a real big privilege. The opportunity of tasting the fried fish that the fisherman’s sell on their boats in Eminonu must not be skipped.

For Turkish coffee and water pipe “Nargile” pleasures; places for smoking Nargile in Tophane and cafes in Sultanahmet can be recommended. Besides you can drink your coffee accompanied with the magnificent view in Pier Loti café in Eyup.

Istanbul’s promenade places are ideal for short walks and picnics. Especially in summer days and on weekends, residents of Istanbul flock to these picnic areas to escape from the chaos of the city.

Princes Islands, Yildiz Park, Emirgan Grove, Gulhane Park, The Bosporus, Belgrade Forest, Ataturk Forest, Chamlica, Tashdelen, Beykoz Meadow, Karakulak, Polonezkoy, Kuchuk and Buyukchekmece Lake, Kumburgaz, Kilyos, Pier Loti café and Shile are promenade places near or located in Istanbul.

Miniaturk which is located in Miniaturk Turkey Park in the district of Kagithane is another place which can be recommended while touring Istanbul. It is a miniature city which exhibits important monuments located in Turkey or its environment

In miniaturk everything is true made replica. You feel as if you have wandered the country east to the west, north to the south in a flash. There is no doubt that it’s going to make you want to see the originals of the monuments.

From Selimiye Mosque in Edirne to Ihsak Pasha Palace in Dogubeyazit, from Sumela Monastery in Trabzon to Yivli “ribbed” Minaret there are 105 miniatures of monuments in a 60.000 square meter property which are being exhibited.

Everything is minimized to scale of 1/25. The dome of “Ulu Cami “mosque “is just as your bosom level. The minaret of Selimiye mosque is not even two meters high. The long Aslanli “Lioned” road of Anitkabir is a few meters long. From the Archaic age to Rome and Byzantine, Seljuq Empire and Ottomans, all civilizations which have ruled on these grounds and which have left signs behind meet in Miniaturk.

Also all information about the monuments are given in Turkish, English, French, German, Russian and in Arabic with an audible guidance system of 6 different languages.
Miniaturk which has begun to be the first address of theIstanbul tour for national and foreign tourists is ideal for a spectacular short tour of Turkey and it’s like a showcase of Turkey.

Istanbul Cuisine

The Istanbul kitchen is regarded as one of the best in the world. Ingredients, chefs, styles and tastes came from every part of the Empire to the capital, making the Ottoman Turkish kitchen significant in world cuisine. Istanbul cuisine which is continuation of Empire cuisine and open for new tastes is growing and enhancing everyday.

The typical dish of Istanbul would consist of lamb, mutton, and veal, to which varieties of vegetables are added. Pilaf, all kinds of pastry, bulgur, haricot beans, rich olive oil, and vegetables are used as side dishes. Meat balls, shish kebab, and doner kebab are the classic, most accepted dishes found in special kebab restaurant, together with peppers, yoghurt, and eggplant. There are centennial restaurants which serves Istanbul’s traditional kitchen meals with their traditional tastes.

Sea food has a privileged place in Istanbul cuisine. There are many fish restaurants that serve fishes from the Marmara Sea, Black sea, and Aegean Sea. The popular ones are in Bosporus shore. Pastry’s and sweets made out of milk have a special place in Istanbul cuisine. The most tastiest Pastries, tarts, baklavas and kadayifs are being served to firstly to regular visitors and the ones who knows the taste in the enterprise’s which have often been going for generations .

Turkey’s most famous two drinks are Ayran and Raki .Both of them are white as milk. Raki contains alcohol with the taste of Aniseed, which turns milky-white when mixed with water. Ayran is a cooling, watered yoghurt drink. Raki is usually drank accompanied with foods like, dried fruits, melon or appetizer like white cheese especially while eating seafood and with various kind of mezzes and other alcohol containing drinks cannot be taken. It is benefited to remind that the main area of beer and wine production is Anatolia.

Turkish coffee is legendary, usually served very sweet and strong and drunk from tiny cups. It is served to visitors in all occasions with the expression, “a cup of coffee has a memory of 40 years”, and has been repeated with its Turkish known taste and consistency since the 16th century.
There are restaurants of many nationalities in Istanbul. Besides Russian Restaurants that the Russian’s which escaped from Russia in the beginning the century, Italian restaurants and Chinese restaurants there also fast-food restaurants that serves for quick snacks. Needy to say that for enjoying the taste of regional cuisine have stop by one of the typical restaurants.