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Phone: (90) - 212 - 528 35 48 , Fax: (90) - 212 - 526 72 87

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Shop, dine and enjoy those Turkish nights

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is heaven for souvenir-sekers, but you'll find sensational shops all over the city, selling everything from coffee to cocktail frocs. We also reveal the best restaurants and where to go after dark.

It's easy to imagine that shopping in Istanbul begins and ends at the Grand Bazaar, After all, the 500-year-old Kapali Carsi, to give it its correct nam, is the bazaar to and all bazaars. A vast labyrinth of 4000 shops (1600 jewellers alone) and 65 dome-topped streets lit by shafts of sunlight piercing the vaulted ceiling, it has its own mosques, banks, police stations, restaurants, and cafes, even a Turkish bath. And not a price in sight. This is not the Oriental nightmare it first seems, as each street has its own speciality, from silversmiths to carpets, ceramics and furs.

But the Kapali Carsi is just a fraction of the city's brillant shopping. Across the Golden Horn in Beyoglu, the backstreet of Istiklal Caddesi are a goldmine of antique shops and art galleries. Grab a cab to the baute couture quarter of Nisantasi where chic Istanbullus snap up international brand names such as Max Mara and Gucci and local designers striving to be the next Rifat Ozbek. Wherever you are, keep an eye out for the magic Turkish word indirim - it means there's a sale.



(Tahmis Sok 66, +00 90 212 511 4262). In the maze of alleyways running up the Grand Bazaar, between spice shops and olive-sellers, this fragrant coffee shop is the place to try the definiitive Turkish Coffee and then buy some bags to take home (just 70p per pound!)


(Galip Dede Sokak 22, Tunel; +00 90 212 245 4998). For 100 years, this refined antiquarian book and print emporium has been the place for any published work on Istanbul. You'll at least end up buying some of their beutiful old postcards, starting from each.


(Nispetiye Caddesi Akmerkez 363, Etiler). This glass and metal edifice is Istanbul's prime designer shopping mall. Head for David People, Mudo Collection, Cascade and Limon boutiques. And don't miss the sensuous lingerie and nightwear of Ipek Kramer.


(Zafer Sokak 5, Nişantaşı; +00 90 212 231 6433). Visit couture queen Bilge Mestci's Nişantaşı studio to marvel at her lavish evening robes and cocktail dresses in delicate silks, lush velvets, hand embroidery and antique lace.


(Grand Bazaar, Halıcılar Caddesi 49, tel: +00 90 212 526 1708). Everyonewants to buy a carpet from Istanbul. Head straight for the most famous dealer in the Grand Bazaar, Sisko Osman. Celebrities flock here and though prices are high, the quality is impeccable. If all you want is a souvenir, try The Seven Brothers in the middle of the Grand Bazaar (Perdahcılar Sok 24; +00 90 212 527 4975)

Your guide to haggling in the Grand Bazaar

Half a million visitors stream through the Grand Bazaar daily, and you can spot first - timers by their bewildered looks. Here's how to fit in - and bag a bargain.