Turkey's largest indoor market, the Grand Bazaar, is comprised of 4000 shops and the entire area surrounding it is dedicated to shopping - blocks and blocks. The 4000 shops under cover are just a fraction of the whole picture.
To the east of the Grand Bazaar, Nuruosmaniye Caddesi is lined with stores and boutiques selling jewellery and fine art.
There is also a fantastic Egyptian Market, filled with the aromas of exotic spices, dried fruits, seeds and nuts. It's also a paradise for lovers of Turkish Delight! The Beyoglu area is full of lovely boutiques and shops, while Nisantasi boasts more trendy outlets and modern shopping complexes, which can also be found around the city.
Take an enjoyable tour on foot from the Grand Bazaar through the traditional markets of Tahtakale, where you'll find very few tourists and therefore a more authentic vibe, to the Egyptian Market, stopping at the wonderful Rüstem Pasha Mosque.
Istanbul has a number of excellent English language bookshops selling top titles and travel guides. An excellent tip is to hone your haggling skills before you embark on a shopping spree!
Whatever you decide to do, Istanbul is a great city to explore whether you are on your own or part of a larger group.