When it comes to shopping destinations, the main ones that spring to mind are Paris, New York, London and Milan. But right now Istanbul is the place to go. This Turkish hot spot that spans continents, civilizations, cultures and beliefs, is rapidly becoming not only a shopping hub, but also one of entertainment and culture.
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During the Istanbul Shopping Fest, the streets of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, where east meets west, sparkle with lights and decorations. A whole range of cultural activities take place: concerts; street parties; parades; and competitions, bringing Istanbul's shopping centres and main shopping streets to life.
The festival spirit runs throughout the city, especially in the hundreds of shopping centres in neighbourhoods like Taksim, Nişantaşı, Şişli, Bakırköy, Fatih and Bahariye, as well as the main shopping areas like Abdi Ipekçi, Istiklal and Bağdat. And don't forget to visit the must-see traditional markets, like the famous Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar.
During the three week festival, which is in its second year, you'll have the chance to bag yourself a bargain from new collections offering generous discounts of up to 50 per cent. It's an exciting chance for shopping lovers to see another side of this city whilst experiencing shopping between two diverse continents on the same day. And there's an extra bonus – as a foreign visitor, you'll be able to claim back part of the VAT at the TAX FREE points located in the shopping centres around the city!
So for your next weekend getaway, when you fancy some great food, culture, and a spot of shopping, you know where to go.
Istanbul Shopping Fest www.istshopfest.com and Turkish Tourist Information www.pasionturca.net