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Istanbul street shopping

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Florida
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Istanbul street shopping

We will be in Istanbul in August, 2009.

We like to walk the streets with the locals. Someone gave us a recommendation for a shopping area where mostly locals go in or near the Sultanahmet area. Can anyone make some recommendations? I think I will recognize the main street name if mentioned.

Thanks,

Tom and Karen

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Istanbul street shopping

Regarding SHOPPING..I found the best scarf deals on our way to the Rustem Pasha Mosque..which is a very beautiful mosque..

I believe the street name is Kutucular Caddesi

you are shopping with the locals..pots, pans, belts, undies, you name it they have at EXCELLENT prices

it was such a fun stroll down this street and the surrounding streets..we were definately the only tourists!!!!

Concord, California
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2. Re: Istanbul street shopping

there is a street behind the blue mosque,where Arasta bazaar is,that is full of shops,selling carpets,without a lot of pressure,a shop with local artists' work,also sells ceramics and other articles. the name of the street is kuckukaya sofya caddesi. lots of restaurants there as well. after the tourists have left for the day,it is a very quiet area. the blue mosque is all lit up and it is very pretty. there are other streets off sultanahmet square,not sure if there are any shops open late. the ones I mentioned stayed open until around 10:00pm.

istanbul
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3. Re: Istanbul street shopping

It really depends on what you are shopping for.

The area down from Grand Bazaar to rustem Pasa mosque has mostly locals and Russian or CIS shoppers who are looking for bargains. The narrow and interesting streets are flooded with both cheap Chinese stuff (excellent costume jewellery) and exotic Turkish stuff like Pilgrimage and circumcision ceremony clothing and accessories, even smuggled Viagra at low prices (viagra is available without prescription at pharmacies) (Do not ask how I know this)

This is also the best location for currency exchange because the exchange shops post their prices, and the margin between buying and selling rates is tiny and there is no commission.

For books, middle of the road clothing, reasonably good restaurants (usually off the main street), large crowds of locals, do Istiklal Caddesi/Beyoglu all the way from Taksim to Tunel or vice versa.

For boutique shopping, Nisantasi, Abdi Ipekci Caddesi is the place. There are also excellent restaurants and very popular cafees in this area. The prices are steep but they reflect the quality and the location. Most women you see there look as if they were out of the pages of fashion magazines, and the men are always solarium tanned and smart. A similar place is the Istinye Park Mall, quite a bit up the Bosphorus, which also has period restaurants, cafees and market. (again very pricey), among with the major European designers.

Do not wear shorts and sandals when walking at Beyoglu or Nisantasi. Sandals will cause dirty feet in Beyoglu and stares in Nisantasi. They will also pronounce you as cheap window shoppers.

At beyoglu and Nisantasi, the only things you can bargain for are usually sun glasses (because eye glass shops will always quote a high price and give you a 20-40% reduction even for the locals) and anything at a stall or a shop like a stall (you will not find them in Nisantasi).

Sceaux, France
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4. Re: Istanbul street shopping

Hi celebi, yes how do you know?

(viagra is available

LOL

istanbul
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5. Re: Istanbul street shopping

Hi Emma 75,

Istanbul is full of people who confide all the best locations and bargains to me, so that i can share them with the needy, the depressed and those past their prime, as well as those looking for fun.

Did you check my reviews? i.e. Hotel Silken Puerta America, Madrid.

Sceaux, France
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6. Re: Istanbul street shopping

Being a very curious woman, I even had a look at your profile.

Mount Dora, Florida
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7. Re: Istanbul street shopping

Every eczane advertises Viagra in their front windows.

Florida
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8. Re: Istanbul street shopping

Thanks everyone for all these great recommendations.

What is more appropriate attire to shorts and sandals? Slacks and leather shoes for men? Skirt and flats for women??

Nice to know about Viagra.............lol

Tom and Karen

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Istanbul street shopping

I wore jeans with socks and walking loafers and a vneck sweater with a nice scarf when it was cooler

the warmer it got I wore longer capris, loafers with no socks, blouse with a scarf around my neck or carried in my daypack.

i tend to dress as if I look like I stepped out of

Ann Taylor, Talbots or Lands Ends. pulled together, yet comfortable and conservative.

i always had on socks when we entered a mosque...i dont think you are suppose to have barefeet but perhaps someone can confirm that. if thats the case, then carry a pair in your pack

we dont smoke and if you are a non smoker you will notice your clothes reek.

at Target in the travel size section is a clothes fabric refreshener which we misted on our clothes nightly. We also pack lavendar scented dryer sheets in our suitcase.

my dh wore jeans or khaki dockers. he had on a sweater with a tshirt under or a polo shirt.

Mount Dora, Florida
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10. Re: Istanbul street shopping

I tend more toward the "just stepped out of Target" look:-) I did wear sandals in September. I cannot remember if I had nylons on under my sandals, but I don't think I would have done that. I did go in the Blue Mosque so maybe my feet were bare??? Yuk. I cannot remember. I would, however, certainly take some socks if I wore sandals.

You can literally wear whatever you wish to wear in Istanbul. Shorts and sandals are fine for tourists. We do not wear shorts in any major city, and my husband would not wear shorts because most of the Turkish men do not wear them in the areas of Istanbul where we frequent. He is more comfortable in slacks, and leather shoes. If your husband wears shorts he probably should wear slacks on the day(s) you plan to visit mosques.

You can wear a skirt if you wish or slacks. Flats are fine. Sandals are also fine for you during the summer. The only time this dress code would change would be if you visited any of the high end restaurants or nightclubs. You need to be very fashionably dressed to feel comfortable in these establishment and high heels are absolutely mandatory.

I pack several very casual shirts and slacks and a couple of things that I can wear in better restaurants, but we never go to five star hotels or fancy nightclubs. My goal is to pack clothing that I can wash and wear with very little care. I always carry a pashmina in my purse in case we happen upon a mosque we want to visit. If you are inclined to clothing that bares your shoulders, tummy or legs above your knee you would not want to wear that when you visit mosques.

I think those of us who object to tobacco odors in our clothing will find Istanbul more enjoyable after the smoking ban in restaurants goes into effect this summer.

I always take dryer sheets and fabric spray whenever I travel anywhere. You never know when you might get a hotel room that smells musty. I use it often when we stay in beach front properties here in the southeast.