Shopping in Istanbul is one of the highlights of a visit to this city, where wandering through the colorful bazaars is as enjoyable as browsing around smart boutiques and modem shopping centers. Every tourist of course makes the trip through the ‘Kapa-licarst’, the grand covered bazaar of Istanbul legend. In this labyrinth of more than four thousand shops, each trade has its own quarter or street, rather like departments of a modem store.
There is of course a wide selection of jewelery ranging from traditional harem rings to ultramodern settings. Carpet shops display piles of handmade rugs with vivid colors and intricate designs. Hand-painted ceramics are available as are hand-beaten copper and brass, and objects carved of onyx and meerschaum.
Leather and suede garments and accessories are good and relatively inexpensive too. The elegant shops of Taksim, Nisantasi, Rumeli Street and Bagdat street contrast sharply with the noisy bustle of the traditional bazaars. Along those streets the most fashionable shops line up to offer customers clothing, jewelery, leather and other goods.