My dear fashionistas and travelers, I hope you are well and ready for a new (fashion) adventure. Today’s post will be slightly different compared to the previous travelogues that you have had the opportunity to read on the Mr.M blog. The travelogue you will be able to read today will be written in the form of an interesting shopping guide where I will introduce you to some interesting places to shop when you are in Istanbul. In addition to the luxury places to shop, I’ll also give you some tips on where you can buy good quality designer stuff at significantly cheaper prices, so this guide will cover all fashionistas with all budgets, because everyone deserves to be stylish dressed according to their budget.
If you forgot to read my travelogue about Istanbul or you want to remind yourself of some interesting details, before you continue reading this guide, spare a few minutes of your time to read my latest travelogue in this imperial city on two continents – LINK. Let’s remind some of the most important details about this Turkish metropolis.
Istanbul, the imperial city that has remained known throughout history as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populated city in the Republic of Türkiye. This city is also the economic, cultural and historical center of the country. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, located on the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The commercial and historical center of the city is located in the European part, while about a third of the city’s population lives on the Asian side. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which has more than 15 million inhabitants. Istanbul is one of the most populated cities in the world, the seventh largest city in the world and the largest city in Europe. Istanbul is considered a bridge between East and West.
I will try to list the parts (districts) of the city for you, so that you can find your way around when you come to this magical city. Istanbul is divided into the following city districts:
- Sultanahmet – the old part of the city
- Galata – Beyoglu area, where Taksim Square and the famous Istikal Street are located
- New City – The main business district of the city with many modern shopping centers and districts such as Elmadag, Nisantaşi and Etiler.
- Bosphorus area – The European shore of the Bosphorus dotted with numerous palaces, parks, waterside villas and bohemian districts such as Beşiktaş and Ortakoy.
- Golden Horn area – The banks of the Golden Horn, the estuary that separates the European side into characteristic areas. Here is Eyüpsultan, with an Ottoman ambience.
- Prince’s Islands – A convenient place for a perfect break from the city, consisting of an archipelago of nine car-free islands – some of them small, some of them large – with beautiful wooden villas, green pine gardens and beautiful landscapes.
- The Asian part of Istanbul – The eastern half of Istanbul, with beautiful neighborhoods on the banks of the Marmara and the Bosphorus.
- The Western part of Istanbul, the western suburbs – are a collection of Istanbul districts, which lie west of the city walls of the old city. Bakırköy is the main center of this part of the city.
The center of our shopping guide today is the famous Nisantaşi district. In the immediate vicinity of this famous shopping paradise is the Divan Istanbul hotel, where I stayed during this visit to Istanbul. By staying at the Divan Istanbul hotel, a visit to Istanbul takes on a new dimension and definition of travel, relaxation and an idyllic vacation. Hotel Divan Istanbul offers its visitors a complete travel experience that will exceed all their expectations.
Hotel Divan Istanbul, thanks to its extraordinary location, dominates the different rhythms of Istanbul. Just a few steps away from Taksim Square, the hotel is intertwined with the vibrancy of the city and is conveniently located to be inspired by Istanbul with all its historical and cultural texture. Don’t forget to listen to the legendary story of the Galata Tower located in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, mingle with the colors of the Grand Bazaar, open the doors of history in Topkapi Palace and visit important places that reflect the spirit of the city in order to make new discoveries or rediscover them.
As I mentioned a little while ago, near the Divan Istanbul Hotel is the most famous shopping district where there are many famous international fashion and other brands that you can find on Nisantaşi. Nişantaşı is an upscale, mostly secular residential neighborhood in the Şişli neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul. From Osmanbey and Pangalti in the west to the bustling Halaskargazi Caddesi, it is a popular shopping district, full of boutiques, department stores, cafes, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. Many of the streets are still lined with beautiful apartment blocks from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Directly to the south is the large and green park Macka, and to the east is the city district of Besiktas.
Nisantaşi is the right place for all those shopping lovers who are looking for something more and want to feel an extraordinary luxury shopping experience that is truly unique. How did this today’s paradise for shopaholics get its name? The name “Nişantaşı” is among those whose origin is based on a sign in the typology of district names of Istanbul. One of the two engagement stones in the courtyard of Teşvikiye Mosque, The oldest belonging to Selim III, 1790-91, II. The second, which belongs to Mahmud, bears the date of 1811. Another stone dated 1811 remained in the front garden of an apartment building on Nişantaşı-Ihlamur Road in Topağacı today.
There is information that Selim III had a small mosque built in 1794-95, on the site of today’s Teşvikiye Mosque, after the first engagement stone was erected. This masjid must have been built for daytime prayers on the days when the sultan went on engagement practice in large groups.
Interest in this district increased even more when Abdulmedid moved to the Dolmabahçe Palace, and in 1857 he ordered the weddings of his princes to take place in Nişantaşı. The following year, the weddings of their daughters Cemile and Munire Sultan were again held in Nişantaşı. A decade later, the records show that Nişantaşı was opened for development and that the construction of the first villas began. Starting in the 1860s and 70s, Nişantaşı would develop as a neighborhood of villas and palaces, and apartments would be added to it from the 1910s.
The development of Nişantaşı is in complete accordance with the development of Istanbul in the second half of the 19th century. Two main developments affected Nisantası on two main axes. First, the palace was moved to Dolmabahce, and then to Yildiz. This phenomenon attracted members of the dynasty and high state officials to this quarter. Second, Nişantaşı is close to Pera (Beyoglu), the most modern part of the city. Living near Pera in Istanbul, on the road to westernization and modernization, was also an opportunity to mix with the lifestyle there. The two main axes that express this are Macka-Osmanbei and Taksim-Nisantaşı.
Nişantaşı developed around these two axes from the beginning of settlement, but this development continued in the form of village-town intertwining until the 1950s. Topagacı and the end of today’s Vali Konagi street, that is, the valley of the Fulya stream, preserved its rural appearance until the 1970s.
Development after the 1930s went towards housing, as in all of Istanbul, and it became one of the fastest growing residential districts in Istanbul, along with districts around Nişantaşı such as Taksim, Harbiie, Osmanbey and Sisli. However, this residential area continued as an elite neighborhood, the district preserved its identity as a neighborhood preferred by the upper income group, and the shops lining the main streets also supported this identity. In the 1970s, the fact that Istiklal Street began to lose its old quality attracted famous shops to Nişantaşi.
Another important and striking event in the same period is that clothing and textile factories began to settle in this district (especially in Meshrutiet district). This development, which began in the 1970s, continues today. This development, which undermined the distinctiveness of the district, also affected the society in Istanbul.
Today, Nişantaşı is still a vibrant, overpopulated area of Istanbul with heavy traffic and an elite neighborhood with its luxury shops, galleries and restaurants. Nişantaşı is known to many as an area where more than one activity can be done in the same day and a quality time spent is almost guaranteed. Abdi Ipekci, Tesvikiie and Vali Konagı streets are among the streets with the highest rental property prices in Istanbul. Abdi Ipekci Street, which is the most famous street where world-famous brands that appeal to high-income fashionistas first look for a place when they start their activities in Turkey, is the 25th most expensive street in the world in terms of issuing prices per square meter as of 2009.
Nişantaşı, which until the 2000s was widely known as a shopping district, has recently been mentioned with entertainment facilities, and since 2002 it has become one of the centers of New Year’s celebrations in Istanbul. In Nişantaşı, where shopping takes on a new dimension with the lighting of the streets, liveliness reigns not only on New Year’s Eve, but throughout all four seasons. It is an undeniable fact that Nişantaşı, where many street activities, fashion shows, fashion and shopping festivals are held, especially during summer and spring, is a very important and valuable district for Istanbul.
In one of the main streets of Abdi Ipekci there is also the famous Turkish fur and leather brand that you had the opportunity to meet in January of this year on the Mr.M blog – PUNTO.
PUNTO is a well-known Turkish brand founded in 1994 as a manufacturer of clothing and fashion accessories made of leather and fur. Punto is today a leader in its sector both in Turkey and on the world market.
Over the past years, Punto Group has risen to an eminent position in the luxury fashion industry. Through unique collections, this unusual Turkish fashion house always tries to follow all the current world trends, as well as to set new tasks for entering new avant-garde fashion territories. In Abdi Ipekci they have two PUNTO stores where you can find clothing and accessories for women, while a few meters down the street is their fashion paradise for men PUNTO UOMO. If you want to know more about this famous Turkish brand, read my previous fashion story in the following link.
Vakko is a Turkish company that manufactures and sells luxury ready-to-wear products. It was founded in 1934 under the name Sen Hat in Sultanhamm on the initiative of Vitaly Hako. After the 1940s, it continued its production under the name Vakko and opened its first large store in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district in 1962.
In 1981, the show “Anatolian Sun” was held, which combined Anatolian cultures and Western fashion concepts. The exhibition, which was exhibited in Rome, Vienna, Brussels, Paris and London, presented Vakko in Europe as a representative of contemporary Turkish fashion. In 1982, Vakkorama, Turkey’s first youth store, opened in Istanbul. In order to bring New York fashion to Istanbul, Vakkorama introduced a new team called V2K Designers in 2000 with the slogan “Two cities, one brand”. Over time, V2K Designers, which has also become a designer and brand of other fashion cities like Paris, London and Milan besides New York, is today the first concept store in Turkey where different world brands meet under the same roof. Above you can see how the New Year’s colorful window display on Nisantashi looks like.
CENGIZ AKTURK has been playing a role in the fashion industry for more than 20 years and has adopted an approach as a strategy of continuous customer satisfaction and a sustainable vision leading a retail store where it designs and manufactures its fashion products. Exceptional design, I believe that the dear lady readers of the Mr.M blog will be delighted with this recommendation. In addition to its stores in Turkey, CENGIZ AKTURK also has boutiques in London, Dubai and Paris, so my dear ladies, if you go to some of these destinations, see for yourself the beauty of the creations of this Turkish designer.
GIZIA is a special brand that is appreciated in our home because my dear mom loves this Turkish brand. They had a store in Belgrade for a while and it closed soon, which was hard for my mom because she really loves this brand and likes to wear their stuff. Gizia, as one of the pioneers of the concept of affordable luxury both in Turkey and in the world, continues to expand its customer base in the fashion and retail sector day by day thanks to its sophisticated and elegant collection, special cooperation with designers, successful merchandising. networks and online sales services.
GIZIA creates collections that offer timeless style and embrace the vision of haute couture thanks to its strong, striking, sophisticated and feminine approach to design. There are several brands in the Gizia group: Gizia, Gizia Gate (a fashion line and also the name of a special concept store), Kiwe, 4G Classic and Mani Mani. Gizia Gate is the first exclusive multi-brand concept store in Turkey, it gathers a selection of the most innovative Turkish women’s fashion designers under one roof. A two-story store featuring collections from local designers, including Erkan Demiroglu and Deniz Berdan, as well as brands from the Gizia Group.
Mani Mani took its first step in the world of fashion in 2021. Launched for the needs of the Spring Summer 2021 collection, with its first collection, the brand attracts attention with its experimental, innovative and flawless designs. Mani Mani brand from GIZIA Group, which opened its first store on Nisantası Abdi İpekci street, reflects the integrity of many styles and its collections contain intriguing and new designs. The choice of textures and materials, the colors used and the carefully crafted handicrafts symbolize an unexplored planet. Integrating with different styles, Mani Mani begins its journey with the aim of creating trends.
BEYMEN – a fashion paradise for shopaholics in Turkey. Beymen is a chain of luxury department stores in Istanbul, Turkey with its flagship store in the Nisantasi district. It has department stores in Istanbul in Akasia, Akua Floria, Atakoi Plus, Istinie Park and Zorlu Center malls, as well as two stores along Bagdat Avenue on the Asian side of Istanbul.
Beymen also has stores in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Izmir and Bodrum. In Beymen you can find the world’s most famous luxury brands, but there is good news for fashion lovers who are not on a high budget, which is that Beymen has several outlet stores in Istanbul where you can buy the collections of famous world brands from previous seasons at significantly more affordable prices. Beymen outlets really have a great offer and I have seen it many times because every time I go to Istanbul I visit their outlet stores, my favorite is in the Optimum outlet center.
Jacket: Marco Pescarolo
T-Shirt: Loro Piana
Trousers: Marco Pescarolo
Sneakers: Jacob Cohen
Now I have a recommendation for a fashion brand for men that comes from Italy. Stefano Ricci is a private family Italian brand that fosters a luxury lifestyle. This exceptional brand produces men’s clothing and fashion accessories and has several lines, including a line for the youngest “SR Junior”, a home improvement program “SR HOME” and lifestyle products. This luxury Italian brand also offers bespoke services and interior design for yachts and residences.
Tacettan Seker, who started his journey in a humble tailor shop in Istanbul in 1998, created one of Turkey’s leading tailor-made brands under the name “Taji Giyim” in the following years and became a pioneer in menswear with innovative steps. Taji, who stands out not for temporary fashion trends, but for personalized design, launched the merchandising sector with the Nisantası store in 2002, then in New York in 2006. Today, Taji stands out for its unique merchandising model that combines special tailoring with leading world brands. This is a real fashion paradise for men who love extremely high quality custom clothing.
John Paul Ataker prides himself on creating impeccable, high quality clothing. Each garment is overseen by a single tailor and sent through three rounds of quality control before the collection is ready for the customer. A luxurious experience that includes structured dresses, intricate details and modern shapes for the most discerning customers. The John Paul Ataker collection exudes confidence, elegance and a feminine identity that is known around the world.
For customers who dare to be different, the John Paul Ataker atelier offers a haute couture experience by creating unique clothes. This fashion journey begins with a detailed sketch that is sent to pattern making, creating a simple moulage and combining the customer’s personal concept with the signature John Paul Ataker design process. The results of the collaboration give the customer a sense of old-world luxury and exclusivity. The name John Paul Attaker was chosen for the lavish eveningwear and ready-to-wear brand to pay tribute to Attaker’s roots, and is also the name of Numan’s son.
Numan Ataker is a native of Turkey and the designer behind the John Paul Ataker collection. The luxury evening collection is based on his childhood and experience growing up in the family fashion business. His family worked on all aspects of the creation from tailoring, fabric development and patterns. Creating unique shapes for a significant clientele seeking unique silhouettes. These formative years honed his flair for design as he developed a love for textiles, precise cuts and the draping of the female body.
These are some of my recommendations from the shops I noticed in the Nişantaşı district, of course there are many more brands and designers that have found their place under the sun of Turkish luxury called Nişantaşı. In addition to Nişantaşı, there are several other fashion destinations for luxury shopping in Istanbul.
Istinye Park is a shopping center in the district of the same name – Istinye in Istanbul with almost 300 shops of numerous international luxury brands and designers. In addition to the numerous luxury brands in Istinye Park, you can also find everyday street fashion brands, so there is a balance of low-budget street brands, through mid-range brands to luxury brands. This shopping center has indoor and outdoor parts, the open part of the center is reserved for luxury brands and has a green central park.
Mall of Istanbul is Turkey’s largest shopping, entertainment and lifestyle center, chosen as the ‘Best Mall in the World’ by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), located in Başakşehir, one of Istanbul’s new developing areas. It is home to 350 stores and thousands of brands operate in the Mall of Istanbul, which was established on May 23, 2014 by Torunlar REIC, Turkey’s largest domestic real estate investor.
Offering shopping, culture, art and entertainment under the same roof, Mall of Istanbul, where Turkish and global brands are exhibited, Europe’s largest indoor amusement park MOIPARK, Turkey’s largest cinema complex Cinetech adds value to the understanding of shopping across Europe, especially in Turkey.
Emaar Square Mall is the largest shopping center in Turkey with 415 stores, 52 restaurants and parking for 4,200 vehicles. Within the shopping center on 6 floors you can find shops that will appeal to all tastes, enjoy fun areas for yourself and your child while enjoying a meal and drinking coffee. Emaar Square Mall has plenty of fun for kids and adults alike! Emaar Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Emaar Skyview viewing terrace with the longest glass terrace in Europe at 27 meters, Museum of Illusions, Museum of Entertainment, revolutionary entertainment The Jump, 4DX cinemas, VR ROOM that takes your breath away with its games, PlayBowling, which will make you experience team spirit with your friends and increase the excitement of the competition…
As I promised at the very beginning of this post, I will also share with you some shopping destinations where you can buy a number of luxury and premium brands at much cheaper prices in Istanbul outlets. Outlets in Istanbul are in the form of outlet malls not so much as outlet villages which you can find in Europe.
Outlet malls in Istanbul:
Optimum Outlet Center (my favorite) – one of the most visited outlet centers in Istanbul and Turkey in general. You can easily reach this outlet mall directly from Taksim Square by bus 129T. This line connects Taksim to Bagdat Caddesi, another luxury shopping destination, considered by many to be Turkey’s version of Rodeo Drive. Returning from Bagdat Caddesi to Taksim, you can get off at Yenisahra station. The outlet is great, it has a lot of well-known brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Diesel, but you also have luxury brands that are part of multi-brand stores like Beymen, which I wrote about in this post. Be prepared to take your time as Istanbul is a big city and expect traffic jams, on one occasion I traveled one way from Taksim Square to Optimum outlet for an hour and a half, but it was really worth it!
Viaport Asia outlet center has become one of the most visited outlet centers in Turkey today. Viaport Asia has become the heart of social life thanks to its 250 shops, parking for 4000 vehicles, entertainment centers, cinemas and other facilities that cater to all other needs. Designed in a street concept with its open-air architecture, Viaport Asia offers quality to its customers at affordable prices in its stores designed in an “outlet” concept. Offering an atmosphere in touch with nature in restaurants located by the lake far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Viaport Asia opens the door to natural life in contact with peacocks, rabbits, dogs and cats.
Olivium Outlet Center opened its doors to visitors on April 1, 2000 and was the first and only outlet center in Istanbul for a long time. Since its opening, it has been offering trendy brands and quality at an affordable price. Appealing not only to Zeitinburn, but also to the whole city for 20 years with its concept to continue as a real outlet center, Olivium Outlet now promises its visitors a much more modern, simpler, more spacious and brighter environment with its renovated premises. Housing 132 stores of Turkish and international brands, Olivium Outlet offers customers an affordable shopping experience seven days a week.
Kale Outlet Center quality, affordable shopping in a modern outlet center with 127 stores of well-known world brands. Kale Outlet is located in a very convenient location with close proximity to major traffic routes and extremely easy access to public transportation. Kale Outlet Center, located in the most populated districts of Istanbul, attracts attention as the only shopping center on the Kabatas-Bagcılar tram line.
There are many outlet malls in Istanbul and I believe you will find the perfect place to shop! All you have to do is book your ticket to Istanbul and enjoy the charms of shopping in the imperial city on two continents.
My dear travelers and fashionistas, we have come to the end of this first special guide for shopping in Istanbul where we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of luxury shopping in the imperial city on two continents. Today’s travelogue would not be possible without the selfless help of the national Serbian airline – Air Serbia and Divan Istanbul Hotel in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Türkiye, which enabled me to feel the spirit and beauty of Turkish culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey my impressions about this unusual experience from Turkey.
I would like to give special thanks to the staff of Divan Istanbul Hotel for their warm welcome and for hosting me in their hotel. The stay in their hotel was exceptional, where I felt the warmth of home!
How did you like my Istanbul shopping guide and introduction to the Divan Istanbul Hotel that graces the heart of Istanbul? Have you had the chance to visit magical Istanbul yet?
If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!
With Love from Istanbul,
This post is sponsored by the national airline Air Serbia, Ministry of Tourism of Republic of Türkiye and Divan Istanbul Hotel as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.