About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Flea & Street Markets
Gift & Specialty Shops
Historic Sites, Observation Decks & Towers
Gift & Specialty Shops
Gift & Specialty Shops
Walking into the Grand Bazaar is like stepping back in time. Surrounded by old Ottoman archways and presented with a dizzying array of alleys, merchants will call your attention to their myriad wares: mounds of dried fruit, tinkling glassware, hanging mosaic lamps... Most famous of all are the carpets for sale: Turkish, Iranian, Pakistani, Afghani, and more. It's a good reprieve from the weather (be it hot and muggy or gray and rainy out), and it's a great place to learn how to haggle.
The Nisantasi district is a go-to for luxury shoppers. A short walk from Taksim square, the vibrant garden area is home to worldwide brands like Louis Vuitton and Cartier, but also to some fun and funky curiosities. From bejeweled silk house slippers to couture, window shop a few hours away, or go all out and get fitted and fabulous!
While Galata Tower is a monument that draws interest from around the world, the quaint side-streets surrounding it are perfect for the shopper who wants to explore boutiques and stores with a local vibe - it's a great place to pick up souvenirs, accessories, and anything else that might be on your list, from flutes to stationery to shaving kits!
One of the most renowned shopping streets in the world, Bagdat Street is a place where you can spend literally hours wandering. Its attraction lies in its wide, chalet-lined streets, the international cuisine that's on tap, the people watching opportunities, and of course, the numerous shops. In short, there's a lot to do in this area on both quiet and busy streets alike - take plenty of time to explore it for yourself!
Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, to get a look at Istanbul's business district and a shopping center that caters to the local buyers. With close to 250 shops and numerous design awards under its belt, Akmerkez Alisveris Merkezi makes it impossible not to find a little something for everyone.
While a popular destination for visitors, Taksim still has a ton of local flare, from its brands to its food stands. A part of the city that's up all night, this is an especially wonderful location to shop for foodie souvenirs, including Turkish delight, Turkish tea, coffee, and spices. It's a transport hub, too, so it's easily traveled to and from - just make sure to be aware of the oncoming street tram!
For over 300 years, imported and local spices, medicines, and oils have been sold in this dramatic, high-domed market. Gorge on dried figs and the country's special, hazelnuts, while browsing which spices you'll use to flavour your recipes when you get home. There are also artisan clothing items, like handmade scarves and antique shoes to try on.
If you aren't completely sick of Turkish delight yet (and as Peter Pevensie might ask, how could you be?), Hafiz Mustafa 1864 is one of the best spots for it in all of Istanbul. As the name implies, it's certainly passed the test of time, having been in operation for over 100 years! Sit on the rooftop terrace overlooking the river, or take something home with you - Turkish delight isn't the only sweet on offer here, and the sheer amount of options will have you leaving room for dessert your entire trip!
Bebek is another cooks' and eaters' paradise, with a side of textile grace. There's plenty of fresh-market food to eat on the spot, take home as a souvenir, or cook back at your hotel. If you're all fooded-out, check out the array of boutiques where local designers share space. There's always something new to browse!