Need an alembic? Istanbul
has everything for sale...
Old, new, exotic, mundane,
antique, kitsch— shopping in Istanbul is
all these things and more.
Here's information on currency exchange and how to get the most for your money.
Shops are usually open Monday through Saturday, with some open on Sunday as well. Both the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar are open seven days a week, including on national holidays (except they close on the first day of the multi-day religious holiday periods of Ramazan and Kurban bayrams.)
Everyone knows about the Grand
Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı) with its 4000
shops, but in fact the entire area
around it is shopping, shopping,
shopping for blocks and blocks. 4000
shops is a mere fraction of
the whole picture.
For example, Nuruosmaniye
Caddesi, east of the bazaar, is lined
with jewelry stores, and fine
art boutiques hide in the little
side streets off it. More...
There's also the Egyptian
(Spice) Bazaar on Eminönü Square facing the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn, famous not just for its spices, herbs and traditional medicinals, but for healthy snacks such as nuts, dried fruits, jams, pickles, cheeses and lokum (Turkish Delight). More...
Because of its prime location on the east side of the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, the Arasta Bazaar is thronged with tourists strolling past its shops selling carpets, colored tiles and pottery, clothing, traditional crafts, hamam goods and lots else. The Great Palace Mosaic Museum is in the midst of the bazaar—and below it. More...
a walking tour that takes you
from the Grand
Bazaar downhill oalong Longmarket
the untouristy markets of Tahtakale to
(Spice) Bazaar, with
a stop at the exquisite Rüstem
Pasha Mosque along the
This very old city has lots of old things. Many of them are for sale—appropriately—in the neighborhood where Nobel prize novelist Orhan Pamuk set up his Museum of Innocence. More...
for carpets? Please read
this page first!
Istanbul has numerous good English-language
bookshops where you can buy,
among other titles, my humorous travel
Bright Sun, Strong Tea.
Brush up on your bargaining
skills before you set out on
your shopping spree. More...
Yeah, I know, it's not really shopping. But every traveler runs into the laundry problem. Here's how to solve it in Istanbul. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan
street in the Grand
Below, musical instruments, both Turkish and Western, for sale on Galip Dede Caddesi south of Tünel Square.
Musical instruments for sale on
Galip Dede Caddesi, Tünel Square.