Serdar-ı Ekrem is the busiest, liveliest, most popular street in Galata. It may be just one street but it is home to a wide variety of funky, fancy, and down-right quirky shops and boutiques. Just take it step by step, and spend a few hours exploring vintage shops, designer boutiques, jewelry stores and much more.
If you walk on Galip Dede Caddesi going down from İstiklal Caddesi (right by Tünel), you’ll see Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi on your left in a few minutes. Pass Füreyya Balıkçısı on the corner (a great option for lunch if you’re after tasty, fresh fish), and enter this chic street.
You can walk over to Fifth Ave Galata where a mixture of vintage, second hand, and current garments hang in a tiny store, also filled with other accessories like sunglasses, hats, and jewelry.
Vintage shopping aside, your next stop on Serdar-ı Ekrem has to be Lunapark. This is the kind of store that you can’t leave empty-handed, specializing in items that are solely Turkish – by nostalgic Turkish brands or contemporary Turkish designers. Here, you’ll find a range of traditional and humorous products, from cosmetics, accessories, bags, and food to home décor, stationary, and books.
Make sure to check out jewelry designer Aida Pekin’s store (located all the way at the end of the street) and world-renowned designer Arzu Kaprol. As for Hakan Yıldırım, a true talent for designing both gowns that wow any crowd, and basics with modern twists, his store Section Mode Unique will be located on your left side.
After your photo shoot, stop by Mavra, a cozy little cafe that has indulge-worthy appetizers, salads, pastas, and meat-heavy mains. It’s quite a calm café, often filled with its frequenters just typing away on their laptops or reading the day’s paper as if they are in their own living rooms.
Once you get going again, stop by Sofa Art & Antiques. This quirky little store has something for every taste and budget. It’s kind of a mythical treasure box, with each corner hiding an unexpected find, both old and new. This may be a sculpture, a mirror, or maybe a piece of jewelry.
Halfway down the sartorial street, you will be walking by Les Benjamins, one of the best luxurious t-shirt stores in Istanbul. Getting their inspirations from Les Jeunes Turcs, the designers at Les Benjamins create humurous graphics using the faces of famous people. A couple steps down the road, 290sqm, the urban boutique from Amsterdam has fresh sneakers, cool garments, and exclusive collaborations by hip designers both for men and women.
Last but not least, go into Atelier 55, a very elegant boutique selling clothing, jewelry, and home décor items by Turkish as well as international designers, uch as Bora Aksu, Batya Kebudi, Misela, R Y Augousti, Umit Benan, and Charlotte Olympia.
Lunapark, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi No. 17/B, Galata; P: (0212) 245 94 14
Arzu Kaprol, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak Kamondo Apartmanı No.22, Galata; P: (0212) 252 75 71
Mavra, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi No. 31/A, Galata; P: (0212) 252 74 88
Aida Pekin, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No. 44A, Galata; P: (0212) 243 12 11
Sofa Art & Antiques, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No.47, Galata; P: (0212) 292 39 77
Atelier 55, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak Seraskerci Çıkmazı No.55, Galata; P: (0212) 245 32 55
Les Benjamins, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No.26, Galata; P: (0212) 447 50 50
290sqm, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No.27, Galata; P: (0212) 249 01 21
Section Mode Unique, Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No.10, Galata; P: (0212) 249 89 38
Fifth Ave Galata, Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi No.17/B, Galata; P: (0542) 647 11 03