The gateway between Europe and Asia, Turkey is a multi-cultural country and Istanbul is regarded by many as its cultural centre. The city is readying itself for flocks of tourists as it prepares to commence its first ever Shopping Festival which will include fashions shows, concerts and freebies.
Running from March 18 to April 26, the event is expected to attract a diverse range of visitors, from wealthy WAG wannabees to those enjoying backpacker travel insurance policies covering destinations such as Istanbul without attracting additional premiums.
The city has appealed to artists and merchants for centuries, with its Grand Bazaar having been open for over 500 years. Travellers who enjoy shopping may want to consider extending their single trip travel insurance as with over 90 covered shopping centres, plus a wealth of designer and luxury brands, retail therapy is very adequately catered for.
The Festival will see shops in both the centres and on the streets staying open until 11pm, with many opting to keep going until 2am. Many of the malls will also be offering discounts of up to 30% with more than 300 brands on sale, plus tax-free purchases for overseas shoppers. Bargain hunters travelling on single trip travel insurance may wish to check the level of cover they hold if a big blow-out is planned.
Turkish fashion is currently enjoying a resurgence with many top designers of the moment opting to sell their collections in Istanbul, including Hakaan Yildrim, a designer modelled by none other than Victoria Beckham last year. For those on a tighter budget, high street chains are also well represented with many well-known brands taking part in the gala. For those visiting the country on backpacker travel insurance, authentic Turkish goods remain on sale and the cosmopolitan air of the city can still be found in the many back streets and markets.