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Exploring the top antique shops in Istanbul

Turkey’s capital city Istanbul with its quintessentially harmonious blend of Eastern traditions and Western sophistication is undoubtedly a perfect destination for a romantic vacation. The tourists visiting the city are offered myriad attractions, such as fascinating art galleries, ornate palaces, glittering mosques, stylish cafes, and glamorous restaurants and bars. The city is truly multi-faceted. Let’s explore the iconic cultural capital of Turkey through some of its top antique shops. A visit at these shops will offer a glimpse into the antique treasures that seem to be disappearing fast.

Here are some of the best antiques shops in Istanbul just waiting to be explored by you. These include Nostalji Antik, Portakal, Denizler Kitabevi, Aslihan Pasaji, Turkuaz, Sivasli Istanbul Yazmacisi, A La Turca, Art House, Sisko Osman, and Sofa. Let’s embark on a virtual tour of some of these famous antique shops and see what all they have to offer.

Nostalji Antik
The Çukurcuma neighborhood is home to some of the most alluring smaller junk and antique shops. These can be found in the two prominent maze-like streets – Çukurcuma Caddesi and Faik Pasa Caddesi. You will discover many such shops in the two streets. Be ready to spend several hours hunting for the antiques and indulge in some hard bargaining for the best purchases. You will be surprised to see the forgotten masterpieces lying in the dark rooms of the shops. Nostalji Antik is one such popular shop situated near the Greece Consulate. The antiques sold here are mostly from the mid-20th century. The antiques being sold here include chaise lounge, vintage clothes, coffee tables, old Turkish chandeliers, armchairs, and art deco and art nouveau pieces. This shop is simply worth visiting.

The Portakal is named after its owner Raffi Portakal. His family has for the past several decades been deeply connected to antiques. Yervant Portakal, his grandfather, was a renowned trader in the Grand Bazaar. He established his business in the early years of the last century. This antique shop is found on one of the most fashionable streets of Istanbul. The Portakal is well known for organizing deals and auctions of many of finest objets d'art of Turkey. A brief glimpse into his shop will keep you surprised with some of the best examples of impressionist Ottoman art, Kütahya and Iznik porcelain, and Ottoman calligraphy. If you are an avid arts collector, the Portakal should be visited at all costs.

Denizler Kitabevi
The Istiklal Caddesi is the most popular area in the city to find some good bargains. This famous avenue is gradually becoming home to some of the international brands. The charm of this area though has not been completely lost. You can still travel down in Tünel, on its southern tip, and discover some shops that are still trying to maintain the traditional atmosphere. Denizler Kitabevi or the “Bookshop of the Seas” is one such shop that proves to be a perfect example. You can see tourists flocking in large numbers here trying to take photos of its early 20th century interior. The shop is home to a fantastic collection of 19th and 20th century posters, engravings, maps and antiquarian books. Your excitement will know no bounds when you have a glimpse of antique maps of Byzantium or the Berlin-Baghdad railway posters. The Denizler Kitabevi also organizes auctions of historical ephemera such as posters, bric-a-brac, and pages from antique books. The auctions are held every Sunday morning.
Sivasli Istanbul Yazmacisi
The Sivasli Istanbul Yazmacisi is located in the Grand Bazaar and simply difficult to ignore. This is one of the most favorite places for interior and fashion designers residing in this magnificent city. The shop is regularly visited for ikat fabrics for expensive cushion covers and couture dresses. The celebrated clients visiting this shop for buying fantastic woven silks from central Asia include Dice Kayek and Rifat Özbek. The walls at this popular shop are adorned with a rich kaleidoscope of new and antique, woven and printed fabrics from across Turkey and central Asia. The rolls of ikat fabrics are simply wonderful. The shop is also renowned for its traditional Turkish wood-block printed cloths and a good line in Ottoman velvets.
These are only among the few highly-popular antique shops in Istanbul that undoubtedly merit a visit. The city is home to many more such shops that should be at least visited once, if not always.

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