Shopping Delight


Nomad Luxuries image capturing Turkish sweets within marketplace.{ Turkish Sweets }

 The post you have all been anticipating, well at least I have… the Istanbul Shopping Files! As I mentioned before, here, I promised myself I would dedicate one entire day to shopping in the city. We explored all different venues; from the Grand Bazaar to a shopping mall and even individual mom- and- pop run stores.

Nomad Luxuries outside view of Turkish sweets displayed in marketplace.

{ No words needed }

Grand Bazaar

Even for a shopaholic like myself, I have to say that the Grand Bazaar was a complete overload; however it is still a must see in my book. We spent hours wandering around, weaving in and out of stores and trying to find our way back to the vendors that stuck out. With over 4,000 shops in the bazaar, this can quickly become a daunting place for most tourists. Not to mention, the vendors themselves speak just about every language out there to try and sway you into their store. To remain sane, be polite and say “no thank you”; move on quickly and be firm. They will get the point… eventually.


Nomad Luxuries photo collage of Turkish tourist areas and fashion items.

{ From Left, clockwise: Kaptan Bros. Lighting; my new Ikat shoes; in front of the entrance to a shopping Mecca }


A recent article in Timeout mentioned that you should come “armed with a notepad, a calculator for working out exchange rates and plenty of time- three hours is about the minimum”. We followed this rule and found that the notepad came in handy, the vendors tend to give you a flat price in USD and we spent roughly six hours and wished we would have kept it to a minimum of three. After a while, you start to notice that most vendors are selling the exact same things- I suppose this is what makes the process tricky. Have a budget in your head and try to stick to it, otherwise it is easy to get carried away. Extra tip- go thirsty. Almost every vendor you visit will offer you tea as a form of Turkish hospitality. It is rude to decline, so be ready to drink!

Nomad Luxuries photos of a Turkish Bazaar and various street vendors.

{ Abdulla Towels and the many vendors at the Bazaar }

Here are a few of my recommended stores:

Dervis for bath towels (firm prices)- check out the linen towels. They were simply irresistable.

Abdulla for those amazing striped silk bed sheets seen here: a whopping $400.00

Shahrazade for beach towels, robes and bathroom towels

Kaptan Bros for Lighting

Again, it all depends what’s on your shopping list. Mine primarily consisted of things for the home to infuse our apartment with worldly finds, but the Grand Bazaar is a great source for spices, touristic gifts and jewelry.



Historia Shopping Mall


Nomad Luxuries wide view image captured of the HIstoria Shopping Mall.

This modern and trendy mall has some great stores for a calmer shopping experience and great fashion finds. Don’t be surprised to see common names such as Nine West and Levis. For all the Starbucks addicts out there, you will be happy to know that Historia Mall also has a Starbucks on their main floor and they carry soy milk! Big plus for my Soy Chai Tea Lattes I so desperately craved! In addition to the familiar name brands, Historia carries Turkish fashion- Derimod and Ipekyol and other European names such as Oysho and Zara. Since the Istanbul Shopping Fest was going on, every store had a sale!

We managed to get out in less than two hours with some new clothes, a pair of leather sandals for Petar and a few gifts for our parents and a chai latte of course!  A success if I may say so myself!


Nomad Luxuries photo collage of a store in the mall called Ipekyol.

{ My new obsession: Ipekyol }

Nomad Luxuries Ipekyol look book collage of accessories and clothing items.  { From the Ipekyol Lookbook: SS 2012 }


Noah’s Ark Rugs and Kilims

Our final stop was back to Noah’s Ark for a kilim. After all the looking and comparing we did in the Grand Bazaar, we were certain that Noah’s Ark was the right choice for us. Overall, this was the best price and we were still able to haggle down to meet our budget. Don’t be embarrassed or scared to haggle prices; this is part of the Turkish culture and is expected. Do however, do it with class and courtesy and throw a smile in. You can’t argue with a smile! Ask for Hamza, the owner, a gentleman that splits his time between Istanbul and the States. This is a pressure-free zone and he will treat you to some Turkish hospitality: you got it, tea! Shipping takes roughly three days and ranges from $120 – $150.00 USD. Try to negotiate this cost into your price so there’s no “additional fees”.

– Y

Nomad Luxuries photo collage of interior decorum of Istanbul apartment.

{ Check out our beautiful Kilim in our apartment. Love }




  1. July 17, 2012 / 6:30 pm

    Oh wow, that kilim is gorgeous. Congratulations on a great buy!

    I had a few brand discoveries myself: Calzedonia, which makes excellent quality tights (I lived in mine all winter), and Koton, a high street clothing brand. Istanbul is fantastic for shopping.

    Did you get to hit any of the vintage stores?

    • Yana
      July 18, 2012 / 8:38 pm

      Love Calzedonia! I made sure to visit them every time I was in Athens or Rome. Another one of my favorites is Etam for lingerie and swimwear (this shop saved me in Jordan and my trip to the Dead Sea!). Unfortunately, we did not make it to any of the vintage shops. I was so bummed *tear. I guess you never realize how quickly five days goes by- I need five days to just do my shopping; not to mention sightsee and actually get some relaxing in. Of course, now that gives me more of a reason to go back 🙂

  2. July 28, 2012 / 8:44 am

    HAHAHAHAH WE WENT TO THE SAME PLACE! I ALSO HAVE THAT GENUINE SIGN TOO IN MY TURKEY HOLIDAY POST! i didnt manage to check out the thgnis wowwww sure got lotsa good thgnis then! yikes~