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BLOG The Istanbul Shopping Festival

3 June 2016 / Culture


Shopping Paradise

Istanbul is home to over 120 shopping malls and two of the most famous historical markets in the world; the Grand Bazaar, established in 1461 and the Egyptian Bazaar, opened in 1660. Over the centuries, shopping has become one of the many cultural activities that Istanbul has to offer residents and tourists from all over the world. With the city representing the gateway between Europe and Asia, shopping in Istanbul presents versatility and contrast to buyers with an immense high end fashion culture and a wealth of all things Oriental. There are chic boutiques and vintage and concept stores which could give Paris and London a run for their money, along with designer labels to rival Milan.

While the city is the perfect spot for fishing out the best in designer clothes, leather shoes and handbags of every size and shape, Istanbul’s position on the ancient trade route between east and west has also established a centuries old successful and thriving business in all things traditional. Haggling can still be done when shopping for traditional Turkish wares such as the beautiful kilims  and carpets, fabrics, linens, jewellery, art, furniture, ceramics and copper ware, not to mention Ottoman antiques. Of course this is before we even mention the words “Turkish food”! Whatever your shopping heart desires, Istanbul is the city that can give you what you want, which is why the annual Istanbul Shopping Festival has become such a huge international success.

2016 will mark the sixth annual International Shopping Festival, which was first established in 2011. This year, the festival will take place from the 1st of July for the entire month and is now regarded as the ultimate Istanbul experience. Over the past five years, the international festival has become one of Turkey’s biggest tourism shopping and urban branding projects. Everybody sees the potential of this festival to introduce the world to the amazing qualities of this multi-cultural city and to increase the number of visitors. Shopping not only involves spending money, directly contributing to the city and the country’s economy, but it also encourages visitors and potential customers to walk around this wondrous city. The festival gives everybody enjoying the shopping perks the opportunity to experience everything that Istanbul has to offer.

Co-organised by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul’s Chamber of Commerce, the aim of the festival is to promote the city as a hub for culture, gastronomy and entertainment. The festival manages to blend together Istanbul’s rich history, traditions, culinary arts, shopping, music, dance and arts in one great event. The festival is hugely supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Governorate of Istanbul and the event is sponsored by a large number of highly influential world business leaders such as Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz and Turkish Airlines.

Leading shopping malls Akasya Avm, Palladium Avm, Forum Istanbul and Zorlu are all taking part in the festival, alongside 90 other centres who have agreed to trade until at least 2am, some for 24 hours, during the shopping month. World famous shopping streets Bağdat Caddesi and Nişantaşı, which are well known for their high end fashion, are also in on the game, as of course is the prolific Grand Bazaar. Major sponsor, the Mall of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest shopping centre, leads the way, opening 24 hours a day and playing host to many of the events that will be happening all over the city during the month of the festival.

The festival is a fantastic opportunity for the vibrant city of Istanbul to show off its colours. A rich history and Turkish culture is central to life in Istanbul and in an attempt to promote this to visitors in the city for shopping, all major historical sites will remain open for two hours longer during the month of July. The city intends to have a party vibe all day and all night, with a mixture of concerts and arts events taking place in various locations across the city. There will be water and light shows to highlight the beauty of the great Bosphorus River, and fireworks will light up the night sky during the opening events. To promote the high end shopping opportunities in Istanbul, several fashion shows from world famous designers will take place throughout the city during the festival.

The International Shopping Festival will bring incredible discount shopping and exclusive campaigns with around 70% off the marked prices of world renowned brands. All contributing shops will be offering amazing special discounts on their products and foreign tourists can also take advantage of tax free shopping. Each day of the festival will be dedicated to a specific shopping product with extraordinary sales days, surprise raffles and amazing giveaways all over the city.

Visit Istanbul in July and enjoy Cosmetics Day, Children and Fun Day, Home Sweet Home Day, Technology Day, Jeans Day and even Shoes and Purse Day. Whatever your shopping requirements, Istanbul has what you will be looking for at bargain prices and in shops surrounded by some of the greatest history, culture and architecture in the world. Visitors to Istanbul really will be in shopping heaven in July, and anybody travelling to the great city at this time should be sure to bring an empty suitcase and their credit cards!

 

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