Şişli is one of the most central districts of Istanbul, bordered by coastal Beşiktaş and Sarıyer, historic Eyüp, and the trendy area of Beyoğlu. Thanks to its convenient location, it's also where you'll find some of the best shopping malls in the city – including several that you'll struggle to tear the kids away from. Read on to discover where you and your family can create lasting memories and collect souvenirs of your vacation.
As a gateway between Asia and Europe, Istanbul has a great blend of the two sides. Interestingly enough, it also has Europe's biggest shopping mall, Istanbul Cevahir. It is open 365 days a year, so there's nothing stopping you from exhausting yourself exploring over 200 stores spread across six floors. The shopping mall contains the country's largest enclosed entertainment center with designated children's areas, colorful rides, movie theaters and games. A FunLab card provides instant access to the center's arcade games, where children can spend hours playing various games and enjoying thrilling indoor rides.
With a quirky architectural design than closely resembles the 'canyon' it's named after, the Kanyon mall is well worth a visit. A state-of-the-art nine-screen cinema will keep kids occupied for hours with a mix of English and Turkish films, while adults can browse European, American and Turkish brands including Beymen Club, Nine West and Massimo Dutti.
A quick car ride brings families from Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Sisli to Zorlu Center, a renowned performance and shopping center. With a total of 8 movie theaters, two of which are VIP, cinema fanatics will feel right at home. The mall provides adult and kid-friendly local and international food choices in 16 concession areas throughout the grounds. For some culinary stardom, try world renowned Eataly so sumptuous Italian cuisine, or go for traditional Turkish cooking at The Bosnjak Mutfak. Renowned national and international artists and show groups frequently take the stage at the Zorlu Center PAC, which hosts a wide variety of performances and modern art exhibitions.
Since opening in the mid '90s with the goal of establishing itself as the world's "best shopping center," Akmerkez has earned numerous accolades for both its shops and its architectural design. Children are well catered for with Toyzz Shop, Kid's Story and Imaginarium, while regular arts and crafts workshops make this an ideal interactive outing for the little ones.
If you're more interested in Gucci than Gap, head to İstinye Park, where you'll find familiar fashion names including Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Burberry Kids. To seek out some authentic Turkish purchases for your home, head to Hazal Kilim, which sells the kind of intricately woven, richly patterned carpets that could have flown straight from the pages of Arabian Nights. The Park's innovative design has a lush green garden at its center, complete with a shaded eating area and intricate water features. You can sit in the sun and review your purchases, before heading off home for a well-earned rest.
So whether you're coming to Istanbul to visit the top attractions, or looking for great spots to shop, there's something for everyone in the Sisli district. Stay close by at Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Sisli so you won't have to worry about long travel routes around the city. Be sure to end the day with a decadent meal at Hamdi Restaurant, where you will get a real flair for rich Turkish cuisine and treat your children to tasty cakes and pastries at Bon a Petit Cafe and Cake located just by reception.
Excited to explore Istanbul through its shops? Book your stay at Radisson Blu today!
Top Image © Akmerkez Media