Istanbul is truly one of the greatest shopping cities of the world. The city is home of two of the most historical markets in the world; the Grand Bazaar, established in 1461 and the Egyptian Bazaar, opened in 1660. There are streets lined with concept stores, street vendors at every corner, hidden bazaars in every neighbourhood, various chic boutiques, high-end fashion stores and over hundred twenty shopping malls scattered across the city. Istanbul is a shoppers paradise, whether you are looking for oriental souvenirs or the latest fashion trends. Whatever your shopping heart desires, Istanbul offers it to you with a huge variety of choice at every price. While on holiday, one of the best ways to get to know the city is sightseeing through shopping. Though with so many shopping malls to choose from I can imagine it’s hard to decide where to go if you only have a limited amount of time. In this list you can find my five of my favourite shopping malls on the European side of Istanbul to help you out.
Kanyon Shopping Mall is one of my favorite shopping malls in Istanbul because of its unique architecture. It’s an open-air mall located in the Levent district of Istanbul and offers 160 stores such as Douglas, Calvin Klein Jeans, Kiehl’s, Marks&Spencer, Swarovski, Zara Home, and Aldo. There are also a number of restaurants, the most luxury of which are on the top floors. Kanyon also hosts events and open air performances such as jazz nights, dance shows and wine tastings.
Forum İstanbul Shopping Mall is not only the largest mall in Turkey, but also the largest mall in the entire European continent. It’s located in the Bayrampaşa district of Istanbul. The mall offers a wide range of clothing, beauty, food, home and technology stores such as Koctas, H&M, Samsung, Nike, Mavi Jeans, Zara, English Home, Bershka and IKEA. There are several hypermarkets, public spaces and parks where festivals, cultural and sporting activities are organized. But Forum Istanbul is probably best known for its many entertainment facilities, including Legoland, Jurassic Park and my personal favorite: Istanbul Sea Aquarium which is worth a visit on its own. Forum İstanbul is great for a day of shopping, but also to spend a pleasant day with children.
Istanbul Cevahir used to be the largest shopping mall in Europe until 2011 and still is one of the largest in the world. The mall is located on a 15 minutes walk from our appartement and even though I visit the mall quite a lot, I am still amazed at it every time I pay a visit. Spreading across six floors Istanbul Cevahir houses more then 200 shops, 52 restaurants, 14 cinemas including an IMAX 3D movie theater, 1 show stage, 1 bowling hall and an entertainment center called Atlantis including a roller coaster. It’s located in the Şişli district of Istanbul and from here you can also easily pay a visit to the smaller malls Profilo Shopping Center and Trump Towers as they are located within walking distance.
İstinye Park Shopping Mall is a gorgeous shopping mall that features both indoor and outdoor space. It’s located in the Istinye district of Istanbul. With its giant glass dome and glass ceilings the mall brings the sun in while the open-air section has a green central park and offers street-side shopping. The malls offers home to nearly tree hundred stores and the most luxury and exclusive stores such as Chloé, D&G, Miu Miu, Moschino, Dior, Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton are located outside at the open-air lifestyle center that is accessible from the upper floor. It’s a great mall to do some high-end shopping or enjoy some world cuisine, but also for people-watching as local celebrities and models can often be spotted here.
Zorlu Center is a half-open, half-closed multiple-use complex and equipped with large gardens flanked by water elements and terraces on the upper levels to enjoy views over the city and the Bosphorus. It’s one of the newest and one of my favorite shopping malls and if I ever become rich I would definitely like to buy an apartment in one of the residence towers of the mall. The mall is located in Beşiktaş and houses more than 200 shops such as Apple, the biggest H&M in Turkey, Mango, Crate & Barrel, Yves Rocher and haute couture boutiques such as Pomellato, Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, D&G, Michael Kors, Moncler and Tiffany& Co. Zorlu Center has 40 cafés including international names as Eataly, Jamie’s Italian, Tom’s Kitchen and Morini. Also situated within the complex is the Performing Arts Center, the largest performing arts center in Turkey.