7 English Language Bookshops Istanbul

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I’m never without a book in my hand, next to my bed or in my handbag. They’re as essential to me as breathing. Wherever I travel or live, finding the nearest bookshop is high on my list of things to do, and thankfully there are English Language Bookshops Istanbul. There are pasajlar (passages) on both sides of the city selling second hand books in Turkish and English, but if you’re after a fix of freshly cut pages and shiny covers, this list is for you. The state of the lira means prices are high, but I guarantee once you peruse the shelves of the following English language bookshops Istanbul, you’ll find at least one book you absolutely can’t live without.

Galeri Kayseri Bookshop
Weighty tomes on mosques, sultans and the Ottomans, Turkish crime novels by Barbara Nadel, photographic collections by Ara Güler, Orhan Pamuk’s work and much, much more line the shelves of Galeri Kayseri Bookshop. This well-respected bookshop conveniently located in Sultanahmet, the tourist centre of Istanbul, has everything the travelling Turcophile could desire.

Homer Bookshop Galatasaray
Housed in a custom spec store, Homer offers an extensive range of books on archaeology and literature. Get settled in the bay window and prepare to travel back in time. You’ll find my books here too.

Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi bookshops
Run by the Greater Istanbul Council, these bookshops are a great place to find books by Turkish authors translated into English as well as books by international fiction writers, historians, travel memoirs and so on. The range of titles in the English language section isn’t huge, but it is varied. Over the years I’ve picked up memoirs by former inhabitants of Topkapı Palace harem and Turkish jails, and interesting histories of mosques, karagöz and Turkish music, to name a few.

Minoa Bookstore & Café
Popular as much for its café as for its books, Minoa is the place to meet up with friends, browse through the shelves, dip into a cookbook, revisit a classic or thrill to a manga. Nice selection of music, good internet connection and of course, a great range of books in English, including mine.

Pandora Bookstore
It has an impressively wide selection of books about everything Turkish, including books on cinema, poetry, literature, cooking, history, culture etc, from publishers in Turkey and around the world.

Robinson Crusoe 389 Kitabevi
Changing locations over the last few years has done little to dent the pleasure of entering this icon of the Istanbul book scene. The store has well-stocked shelves that lends itself to hours of blissful book browsing.

Tasarım Bookshop & Café

Tasarım Bookshop just off Bahariye Caddesi in Kadıköy is design heaven for architects, interior designers and artists. The cleverly designed store interior features cool abstract compositions, while lush coffee table books vie for space with in-depth graphic and other design books. A coffee shop for study and reading completes the picture.

Looking for a space to work without interruptions? Check out my post on Libraries in Istanbul.


If you’ve got to this bit of the post you’re clearly a serious reader. So am I, as well as being a feature writer, travel guide writer and author. Help me continue to bring you useful and up-to-date information about life in Istanbul by buying one of my books about life in Istanbul and Turkey. As well as being available at Minoa Bookstore, you can buy them in Homer books and Mephisto Bookstores in Kadikoy, Beyoglu and Besiktas or direct from me here in Istanbul. Email me at Goreme1990@hotmail.com for more details. I put some of the money I earn through commissions and sales towards the running and maintenance of this site.

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  1. You’ve covered my faves, Homer and Pandora. Maybe you were avoiding the big chains, but I’ve also bought English books at Remzi (I use the one on Rumeli Caddesi) and at D&R (in Cevahir AVM; there are many English books, but they are not kept in order, and the loud music is annoying, as is just being in a shopping mall in the first place)

    1. To be honest, as most people already know the chain stores I didn’t even think of including them. Personally I always like to support small local stores if I can.

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