visit Istanbul for the shopping alone.
The Kapali Carsi,or Covered Bazaar,
in the old city is the logical place to start. This labyrinth of streets
and passages houses more than 4000 shops.The names recall the days when
each trade had its own quarter:the goldsmiths' street, the carpet sellers'
street, the street of the skullcap makers. Still the commercial center of
the old city, the bazaar is the original shopping mall with something to
suit every taste and pocket.
Turkish crafts,the world-renowned carpets, brilliant hand-painted ceramics,
copper and brass ware, and meerschaum pipes make charming souvenirs and
gifts. The gold jewelry in brilliantly lit cases blinds the passers-by.
Leather and suede goods of excellent quality represent a relatively
inexpensive purchase. The Old Bedesten,in the heart of the bazaar, offers
a curious assortment of antiques.It is worth poking through the clutter of
decades in the hope of finding a treasure.
Spice Bazaar,behind the Yeni Mosque at Eminonu,transports
you to your fantasies of the mystical East.The enticing aromas of
cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable
herb and spice fill the air.Sultanahmet has become another shopping
mecca in the old city. 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 (old bazaar) of the
Sultan Ahmet Mosque, a thriving shopping
arcade makes shopping and sightseeing very convenient.
The sophisticated shops of the
Taksim-Nisantasi-Sisli districts contrast with the chaos of the bazaars.
On Istikial Caddesi,Cumhuriyet Caddesi and Rumeli Caddesi, you can browse
peacefully in the most fashionable shops that sell elegant fashions made
from Turkey's high quality textiles. Exquisite jewelry as well as finely
designed handbags and shoes can also be found. The recently developed
Galleria mall at Atakoy has branches of Istanbul's most elegant shops.
Bahariye Caddesi, Bagdat Caddesi and Capitol, on the Asian side, offer the
In Istanbul's busy flea markets you can find an astonishing assortment of
goods, both old and new. Everyday offers a new opportunity to poke about
the Sahaflar Carsisi and Cinaralti in the Beyazit district. On Sundays, in
a flea market between the Sahaflar and the Covered Bazaar, vendors uncover
their wares on carts and blankets. The Horhor Carsisi is a collection of
shops that sell furniture of varying age and quality. The flea market in
the Topkapi district, on Cukurcuma Sokak in Cihangir, on Buyuk Hamam Sokak
in Uskudar,in the Kadikoy Carsi Duragi area, and between Eminonu and
Tahtakale,are open daily. After a drive up the
Bosphorus on a Sunday stop
between Buyukdere and Sariyer to wander through another lively market.