Istanbul’s shops and markets, crowded and noisy at most times of the day and year, sell a vast majority mixture of goods from all over the world. The city’s most famous shopping center is the massive Grand Bazaar. Turkey is a center of textile production, and Istanbul has a wealth of carpet and fashion shops. If you want to do all the shopping under one roof, head for one of the city’s modern shopping malls. Whenever you shop, be wary of imitations of famous brand products- even if they appear to maintains that they are authentic. Be prepared to bargain where required; It is an essential part of a shopping trip.
Most shops trade from 9 a.m to 8 p.m Monday to Saturday, and markets open at 8 a.m. Large shops and department stores open later in the morning. The Grand Bazaar is open from 8:30 a.m to 8 p.m. Malls are open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
In the Grand Bazaar, Sisko Osman has a good range of carpets, and Galeri Sirvan sells Anatolian tribal kilims (rugs). Award-wining Berket Halicilik is the most reliable seller of antique carpets. Hazal Hali, in Ortakoy, stocks an excellent collection of kilims. In addition to carpets, colorful fabrics in traditional designs from all over Turkey and Central Asia are widely sold. Sivasli Yazmacisi sells village textiles, headscarves, and embroidered.
Turkish leatherwear, while not always of the best quality hides, is durable, of excellent craftsmanship, and reasonably priced. The Grand Bazaar is full of shops selling leather goods. Meb Deri, for example, offers an ideal of fashion handbags and accessories, and Desa has an expensive range of both classic and fashionable designs.
The Grand Bazaar is the best place to find gold jewelry. It is sold by weight, with only a modest sum added for craft shipment. The daily price of gold is displayed in the shop windows. Other shops in the same areas sell silver jewelry and pieces inlaid with priceless stones. Urart stock collections of unique gold and silver jewelry inspired by the designs of ancient civilizations. Antikart specializes in restored antique silver jewelry.
Shops in the Grand Bazaar are stocked with traditional ceramics, including pieces decorated with gorgeous blue and white Iznik designs. Other types of pottery come from Kutahya, which makes use of freestyle of decoration, and Canakkale, which features more modern designs. For a stylish piece of Kutahya ware, visit Iznik classics, which sells handmade ceramics sourced from traditional artisans. Most museums’ shops also sell a good range of pottery. The Grand Bazaar and the Cavalry Bazaar are centers of copper and brass trade and offer a vast selection.
Istanbul’s modern shopping malls contain cinemas, food courts, cafes, and hundreds of shops. The most popular are Akmerkez in Etiler, Demiroren located in Istiklal Caddesi, and Keynon, which features 160 local and global brands.