Turkey’s fashion industry has made its mark on the global fashion scene by moving ahead from being a manufacturing hub to becoming a leading design centre. Over the decades, Turkey has transformed into a destination for shoppers from around the world. As the economic capital of the country, Istanbul, too, has blossomed into a colourful and dynamic fashion hub. With lots to offer, from high-end global and Turkish brands to practical, less expensive choices, Istanbul’s shopping streets have become one-stop destinations for shopaholics.
Head to İstiklal Caddesi, one of Istanbul’s main shopping streets, early in the morning to avoid crowds. The street runs from Taksim Square all the way to Tünel, where you will be able to find every brand you can think of, from local to international names.
From there, move onto one of Istanbul’s coolest shopping streets, Serdar-ı Ekrem. A cobble-stoned street near the historic Galata Tower, Ekrem is known for its small boutiques, shops selling rare antiques and stores selling souvenirs. Serdar-ı Ekrem attracts a particular type of customer who’s looking for something special to shop. Turkish designer Arzu Kaprol has a major showroom on the street too. You can also shop for beautiful antiques at Kashif Sofa.
For top-of-the-line global and Turkish brands, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi houses everything from Armani to Prada. Turkish fashion brands, too, have a big following on the street with Vakko and Beymen stores that are a part of Turkey’s premier luxury brands.
Located in the Nişantaşı neighbourhood, İpekçi Caddesi is a luxurious shopping destination for shoppers with an expensive taste. For the more wallet-conscious shoppers, a street called Teşvikiye Caddesi, very close to Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, will fulfill all your needs. Find here the moderately priced brands and global boutiques such as Zara, Massimo Dutti as well as Turkish brands such as Koton and Roman.
Travel to Istanbul’s Asian side, known to be quieter and less congested, to stroll down the Bağdat Caddesi street, the area’s main shopping site, lined with shopping malls and elegant luxury boutiques. The 14-kilometre stretch is a great place to spend the day.
If your comfort lies in shopping inside a mall, then Nispetiye Caddesi is the place for you. This street is very popular in Istanbul, especially for the Akmerkez Mall, one of the largest in the city. Located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, in a neighbourhood called Etiler, Akmerkez Mall has four floors with over 250 stores.
Finally, if you seek more authentic, locally produced goods, Nuruosmaniye Caddesi in the city is famous for its fine carpets, jewellery and antiques. Nuruosmaniye is mostly a pedestrian street and leads up to the Grand Bazaar. The street is home to Armaggan, a huge seven-storey store offering an impressive array of furniture, traditional crafts, locally sourced and produced art, textiles and jewellery.
Words: Venetia Menzies