Istanbul is not only a great place to see history but also a great place to do a bit of shopping too and The Forum is Istanbul’s latest and greatest shopping mall.

The Forum is claimed to be the biggest one in Europe.

Any reader who went to IKEA on the European side will, until quite recently, have waded along muddy/dusty paths around a huge construction site to reach IKEA’s entrance.

Well that is now all in the past. The construction is complete and Forum is open.

To get there take the tramway to Aksaray, change there to the Metro and get off at Yusufpaşa.

You emerge from the station to find yourself at the top of a flight of stairs leading down to the Forum entrance. Go straight through the mall and out the other side where IKEA awaits you across the road.

One of the biggest attractions within the Forum is Turkey’s first large aquarium. This writer opted for coffee at Starbucks whilst her companion explored the aquarium. The verdict was not good. With an entry fee of 25TL our reviewer had expected ‘more bang for her buck’, so think carefully before you splurge on entry to the aquarium.

However, on a cold winter’s day in Istanbul the Forum (or any other large shopping mall for that matter) is a good way to spend a few hours warm and dry, and surrounded by all those familiar high street shop names.