When I travelled to Istanbul I had the main purpose to do shopping but I never thought that I would occupy all the 4 days spent there. I had the chance to get there in full season of discounts, in January. I must admit that I do not travel often and I haven't seen even one third of the beautiful places of the world, but I found incredible how many hundreds of stores can be found in Istanbul.
Grand Bazaar- is the essential part of Istanbul, but not a place agreed by all, at least not by me. Why I say that? Well, if you adore prices from the expensive to the most on budget and you can resist on a crowned and noise bazaar and also love gold, well than definitely worth all the effort! Most brands, a lot of them, replicated can be found also in Istanbul main streets but don’t expect to find here the same prices, because you will be totally disappointed... they are more expensive so you pay more for the same product and quality.
I am a mall fan! Obsessed! I adore comfort but also a good ambiance. If you are in Istanbul do not avoid the most important mall, Kanyon situated right next to a metro station. Try to avoid as much as possible the taxis. Istanbul is an over populated city with an awful traffic, so use metro, and is better and safer! Other malls are: Akmerkez, so stylish and if you want to buy good leather choose to go to Beymen, a good department where you can also negotiate the price. Nisantasi is specialised in jewellery, Istinyepark is one of the newest malls in Istanbul and they have sometimes pretty good discounts.
It is well know that in Istanbul, even in malls you can negotiate and if a pair of jeans is 60 Euros you can have it even at half of price if you are extremely perseverant.
Cevahir mall is the second largest mall in the world! So you can imagine how it would be to get lost there...with all the shopping bags :)
I bayed also a lot of nice and priceless things from the main street Istiklal, because my hotel was right there. About the hotel more words than Wow, are useful! The Marmara Pera is a 4 star hotel, great position, an amazing view, a pool on the root, elegant room, tasteful food, luxury ...as the prices...spicy! J. Regarding to food, if you want to try a different Turkish experience try the Beyti Restaurant, so elegant and so delicious food! To note that the prices are high but you get what you pay!
After shopping in these 4 days of vacation, I visited TopKapi Museum, Hagia Sofia, SultanAhmet Blue Mosque, Dolmabagce Palace, Byzantine Hyppodrome and the best thing of the trip was the private cruise that crosses all over the Istanbul, for a couple of hours ...amazing! I chose a night cruise, so the view was stunning. We had a party organized there, with a lot of dancing, drink, food, music and I must say the Turkish guys and girls are so cool and full of life, so everything was perfect!