I would like to take you on a trip through two continents at the same time! How is this possible? This is Istanbul – Turkish metropolis with a strait connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara dividing Europe and Asia. The city full of colors, amazing cuisine, diverse culture and great shopping..

Home to the iconic Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Maiden’s Tower and the Grand Bazaar; Istanbul is a hub for entertainment and culture as well as a top destination for shopping lovers. Among the world’s biggest 5 shopping festivals, Istanbul Shopping Fest attracts a lot of shoppers on a yearly basis. And, with its glitz and glamour; one of the best times to visit is during the Istanbul Shopping Fest.

During my great adventure, I had the pleasure to stay in a beautiful hotel, which every morning I had the opportunity to admire the view of majestic Blue Mosque while enjoying rich Turkish breakfast. No words can describe that feeling..

Istanbul is marvelous! The familiar and exotic city showcases the diverse culture and heritage of Turkey. Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, Cistern Basilica or the Spice Bazaar are just a few of the city’s must see places, which can take you into the world of oriental and deep-rooted culture. I have very fond memories of the cruise on the Bosporus, where you can discover the differences between European and Asian lands.

With over 120 malls around the city, Istanbul has more shopping centers than many countries in Europe have in total. The festival offers top global brands with fabulous discounts and great deals on just about everything –from accessories to ready-to-wear, timepieces to tasty treats.

I need to present you one specific place which is a must see when visiting old capital of the Byzantine. The oldest shopping mall in the world – Grand Bazaar; 65 streets with more than 3600 enormous and little shops where you can find actually everything from the outerwear, jewelry, carpet and kilims, oriental spices to Turkish delights. While visiting this magical place, I tried the most beautifully served rose tea ever. I also recommend trying halva with pistachios – it tastes so good!

Each year, Istanbul Shopping Fest attracts more and more people, but it is not all about shopping; it is far from it! Having added “Design Zones” presenting Turkish and foreign unique designers; and events that are different every year to make the next festival more alluring and entertaining, the next edition of the Istanbul Shopping Festival will take place from the 1st to the 16th of July 2017.

Variety of colors, cultural and oriental architectural elements, designer & street fashion with great cuisine – that is my definition of Istanbul and I am willing to know what is yours!
by ANNA SKURA

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