There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than rifling through the eccentric collection of goods in Istanbul’s Cukurcuma district. This charming area, which is also a favorite place of residence for artists and expats, is a world of its own, where rambling apartments house some of the finest collections of antiques, boutique fashion and kitsch in the city.
From Istiklal Street, head about halfway down to the historic Galatasaray High School and wander left and downhill in the direction of the Bosphorus. The best streets in the area are in and around Cukurcuma Square, such as Faik Pasa Sokak and Cukurcuma Caddesi, however, don’t be afraid to stray from the most worn paths.
One of the best ways to experience this area is to literally lose yourself in the many winding side streets and alleyways where you’ll stumble on narrow stores packed to the ceiling with everything from century-old artifacts to cigarette packets dating from the 1930’s, art works, carpets, historic maps, retro furniture and just about anything in between.