These are places we have been to and recommend depending on what you are looking for. Istanbul being as big as it is, probably has loads more that we don’t know about but this should be a good start.
Laleli– This is the wholesale area where you can pick up some really good items at a few of the stores that retail as well.
Items found here – ladies eveningwear, shoes, pyjamas
If you walk on this road up towards Grand Bazaar, there are a few mainstream retail stores like KOTON, LC Waikiki and Defacto.
Mavi has a great range of jeans for ladies, men and kids (Branches all over the city and one in Laleli as well).
Grand Bazaar – Outside the Bazaar, the street is filled with shops selling branded copies (they look like copies). There are lots of kids and adults tracksuits and souvenirs.
Inside the Bazaar there is a huge range of scarves, shoes, bags and jewellery. Pricing inside the Bazaar is always higher as they claim their copies are the best. Don’t be afraid to bargain.
Nisantasi– this is a beautiful high-end shopping area with sidewalk cafes and a range of international brand boutiques and stores, from Louis Vuitton and Gucci to Marks n Spencer and Mavi,
This area is walking distance to Osmanbey which is mainly a wholesale shopping area for ladies clothing .I have heard that some stores do retail but I have never been lucky enough to find those elusive stores
Fatih Area – you need a taxi to take you here . This is a more conservative area where you can get a lovely range of modest clothing.
The Carsambasa (Wednesday Market ) happens here every week which is a must do for me. The market caters for locals mainly but has something for everyone. Here you can find a range of the freshest fruit and veg in season , bags , shoes , scarves, kids clothing ,Modest ladies clothing ,and LOTS LOTS MORE
Bagdat Street – This is like a bit of Europe on the Asian side of Istanbul with wide streets and sidewalk cafes. There were a lot of stores here that had wedding gowns and ladies evening wear.
Istinye Park – A modern mall with a variety of different stores ,lovely food court and restaurants .Nus’rets got a branch here as well .The rooftop has all the designer brands in one beautiful expensive roundabout.
Istiklal Street – A pedestrian street with rows of chain stores and a buzzing atmosphere in the evenings. Take the nostalgic tram from one end to the other.
Mall Of Istanbul– A beautiful easy to navigate mall with any store we could think of .Food court is huge with great choices. Try the Pides here
Spice Bazaar –the old Egyptian Spice bazaar is a delight for the senses . Any spice , sweet or food item that Istanbul is famous for is available here and the traders here are very friendly and ready to bargain. Behind the spice bazaar is the maze of streets called MahmutPasha area and this eventually leads you back to the Grand Bazaar.
At MahmutPasha you can buy beautiful homeware ,linens , modest ladies clothing , kids clothing.