This centuries-old tradition from the Ottoman Age now has 200 pazari pop up each week in Istanbul. Knowing the top local markets will help you plan your shopping time and where you want to spend your money.
The Fatih Market and the Kadikoy Market are the biggest local markets around, while Yesilkoy is more upper-class. While smaller, the Besiktas Market is great for clothing, while the one in Ulus is known cheap fakes.
Typically these organized markets provide all types of products, including food. Everyone in the city, from all lifestyles, including celebrities, mingle through them to do their weekly shopping.
Top Istanbul Markets
With so many markets to choose from it’s simply a matter of how much you want to shop, and where you’re going to be on a particular day. Below we list the top market options that you should visit if you have free time when they’re open.
Don’t forget to read out market shopping tips before you make any final purchases.
1. Fatih Pazari
The market is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, a historical part of the city. It is also known as the Wednesday Market (Carsamba Pazari) because of the day it takes place.
The Fatih market has the longest tradition in Istanbul, as is also the biggest. With 4800 stalls, over 1290 merchants, 2500 peddlers spread on numerous streets (7 main ones and 17 auxiliaries).
Each Wednesday from 5 am to 9 pm, you can find here almost every type of product, from fresh foods to clothes, accessories, carpets, etc. It is a place that could grant you a real experience of local middle-class shopping.
The merchants in this location occupy several streets on the rear side of the Fatih Mosque. This is not very close to many of the main accommodation places, especially to Taksim or Sultanahmet. Taking a bus is a bit complicated, so the best means to get to this market is by taxi.
2. Yesilkoy Pazari
Yesilkoy means the Green Village, in Turkish. The market organized here is a very trustworthy one, as expected from a green, upper-class neighborhood. All products are high-end, high quality. Everything is organized up to the smallest detail.
The Yesikoy Market takes place each Wednesday, in a location of 12.000 thousand square meters. There are around 2000 merchants, together with tea cafes for relaxation, and toilets. As expected, the prices here are higher than in other places, and they have the option to pay with your credit card.
You can opt to get there by bus with the closest station to Yesilkoy being Park. There is a direct line from Taksim, 72T, and another direct one from Eminonu, line 81. You could also choose the train. There is a direct connection from Sirkeci to Yesilkoy station. From this train station, the market has free shuttle buses.
3. Besiktas Pazari
The Besiktas Pazari is a smaller market when compared to the others. However, over 400 stalls await you here. It is organized on Saturdays, all day long, from early morning till nightfall. The main merchandise is clothing. However, you can also find shoes, bags, jewelry, textiles, etc.
There is a direct bus line from Taksim to Ihlamur, bus No. 43. Ihlamur Palace (Ihlamur Kasri or Besiktas Pazari) is the closest tourist attraction to the market. You could also go by taxi.
4. Ulus Pazari
Its former name was Sosyete Pazari (or society market), from Ulus. This is because the market welcomes you with lots of original brand products alongside fake brand items. Under this name, it has been closed since 2005, as it was perturbing the neighborhood. After a while, it was reopened in a permanent space in Ortakoy, so it’s known as the Ortakoy Pazari too, and it open Thursdays from 8 am till 7.30 pm.
Nevertheless, its spirit was preserved. You can still purchase the original brands, as well as the fake. From Burberry to Gap, and Ralph Lauren, fur coats, leather items, make-up, and the famous Louis Vuitton bags.
You need to combine several transportation options to get here. Or to take a taxi, directly. The market is near Ortakoy Cemetery, and Ortakoy Mosque, on Cayir Sokak. There are the bus lines 40 and 40T, going from Taksim up to Ortakoy stop. From there, you still need to take a taxi.
5. Kadikoy Pazari
The market enters the category of traditional markets. It is opened only two days a week, Tuesday and Friday. The location is in the Asian part of the city. It has been opened since 1969. Initially, it was a small market, and had another location, in Altiyol. Yet it grew at the same time as Istanbul, and during the opening days, it rendered the traffic impossible. So, starting December 2008, it has been relocated.
The new location, Fikirtepe, is a huge 40,000 square meters area, with over 4.000 sale spaces, and a big parking lot. It is the favorite location for women, both as sellers and customers.
For the time being, the market takes place in Goztepe, due to some construction work. As for transportation, there is now the metro line, M4, to Goztepe stop.
You can also go by bus, on the direct line No. 110, from Taksim to Kadikoy. There is also a better touristic sightseeing route with the ferry. You can sail to Kadikoy from Karakoy or Eminonu. Then, to reach the market you have the metro on M4 to Goztepe station or a taxi.