Shopping Malls in Istanbul

 

Shopping malls in Istanbul
There are several excellent shopping malls with cinemas, restaurants and shops on both sides of Istanbul. Expats will find a range of European and American brands in these malls such as Gap, Banana Republic, Body Shop, and Marks&Spencer.

However, due to import duties, branded goods here are more expensive than their US and European counterparts, so expats should try and keep the bulk of shopping either for trips home or for seasonal sales.

Each year, winter and summer sales take place where customers can find some really good bargains. There are also some well-priced Turkish brands, like Oxxo, that offer stylish and well-made basics.
 

Some of the main shopping malls in Istanbul are:

  • Akmerkez – located in Etiler. The oldest mall. Has a cinema, several shops and a food court. Has a Marks & Spencer as well.
  • Metrocity – located in Levent, on the Metro. Claire’s Accessories and Marks & Spencer are here too.
  • Kanyon - next to Metrocity, also on the Metro. Has an unusual architectural design. Excellent shops and cafés here, including Harvey Nichols. Also has a cinema. One of the nicest malls in Istanbul along with Istinye Park (below).
  • Cevahir – the largest mall in Europe. In the centre of a rather traffic-filled area of Istanbul. On the Metro, so that is probably the best way to access the mall. Has a Debenhams store.
  • Istinye Park – one of the best malls on the European side of Istanbul. Has a large book and music shop, a multiplex including an IMAX theatre, several restaurants and shops to suit every budget. Also has a whole separate section for designer shops such as Burberry, Coach and Gucci. Prices are high due to import duties, but watch out for the sales.
  • IKEA – there are three large IKEAs in Istanbul. These IKEAs are part of a larger complex of shops, restaurants and supermarkets.
  • Nisantasi/Tesvikiye – this is not a mall, but a district on the European side. Has very fashionable areas with several designer boutiques and a mall called City. Also has several cafés. Worth taking a stroll around the area just for the feel – a very pleasant way to spend half a day.
  • Palladium – good mall on the Asian side. Distinguishable by its large glass dome.
  • The Grand Bazaar – Also called the covered bazaar, it is on every tourist map. The precursor to the modern mall, this is a mini township in the old part of the city. It is a massive building, containing a maze of streets which house an extensive variety of shops, including high-end jewellery (particularly gold), leather goods, designer handbag copies, ceramic shops, carpet shops, kitsch souvenirs and several cafés. A fascinating place and worth several visits.
 

Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

The main ones are Macro, Migros and Carrefour, and these have branches all over the city. Some are smaller supermarkets and others are hypermarkets. The Asian side has several such hypermarkets. Most items are available in Istanbul and, if not, expats will always find a substitute.

Imported food items are pricey, and it is therefore recommended expats bring brands from home that they don't think they can live without. Home delivery of groceries is very common.

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