Grand Bazaar of Istanbul: Photos & Shopping Guide
Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is one of the top attractions in the Historic Peninsula of Istanbul in Turkey. It is also familiar as Kapali Carsi and situated in Beyazit. The Grand Bazaar is known as the oldest and largest network of covered markets in the world. It is a home to around 4000 shops in sixty streets that is a perfect place for shopping lovers, where they can go off the track and buy amazing souvenirs and traditional artefacts of Turkey. Despite of immense size, the bazaar is much crowded and sometimes the tourists can lose their bearings. Here is an ultimate shopping guide to explore this spectacular Grand Bazaar that can help you to shop around the market.
A bit of History
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was established during Byzantium period dating back to the 15th century, started as a small series of covered market. During the Ottoman era, after conquering Istanbul, the bazaar have been gone through large constructions and known as the “big market”. In that period, by the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Hagia Sophia got the revenue from the market as the bazaar was popular for fabric trade. In the period of the Kanuni Sultan Suleiman, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was expanded with various mosques, schools, around 4000 large and 2000 small shops, 20 public houses and 16 fountains in the area.
In 1894, the bazaar was badly damaged by the large earthquake and trade in that area almost stopped. Due to big endeavor of Sultan Abdulhamid II, the bazaar was reconstructed to its present condition. On the Bezayit direction at the gate of the Grand Bazaar, the visitors can also see the tughra of Sultan Abdulhamid II.
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is a mesmerizing place with an endless array of shops that looks like an entire city. The tourists are offered with a vast variety of jewelry, antiques, traditional Turkish carpets and sweets.
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul remains close on every Sunday and opens on other days from 9:00 am to 7:00 am. The visitors should also check the religious and national holidays such as Seker Bayram, Kurban Bayram and 29 October as there would be a holiday in Turkey and Bazaar will remain closed during these days.
Grand Bazaar Shopping Etiquettes
Take your time to bargain and chat
It is recommended not to rush from one shop to another, take your time in bargaining and chatting with the shopkeepers. The sellers can also offer tea to the visitors to welcome them it does not mean that the deal is fixed with the customer. The tourists should visit the Grand Bazaar at a relaxed and gentle pace. If you are visiting a shop and not satisfied or happy with the offer do not panic, leave and see for a better offer elsewhere.
Feel free to leave and move on
Although the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is overcrowded and first time visitors feel uncomfortable but they should adopt some practical tips to visit the bazaar. While visiting a shop, whether you have intentions of buying a product or not, the seller will try to sell the product. The visitors will not be harassed to buy the products by the shopkeepers. If someone is not feeling comfortable, just leave the place and move on for another shop or outlet.
What to Buy?
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is a magnificent place for shopping where you can find millions of wonderful things to buy. This bazaar holds an endless array of shops selling traditional Turkish goods and antiques that offer a glimpse at the Turkish culture.
By entering through the Bezayit Gate, the visitors can find that the walkway is covered with the jewelers offering amazing jewelry. The visitors can look at the wise variety of stylish and colorful jewelry on the various shops. You can also find rare diamond cuts, designer jewelry and valuable timepieces.
The Grand Bazaar can be said to be one of the best places for antique stores. The tourists can find a large variety of miniatures to ceramics, antique rugs to calligraphy, printed maps and modern Turkish art. The tourists can also have a look at the vintage collection of jewelry boxes, mirrors and Ottoman objects.
The visitors can have a glimpse at an immense collection of traditional Turkish carpets collected from all over the country. Sisko Osman is one of the most popular carpet sellers in Turkey. They have academic knowledge regarding to the precious collection of antique and modern carpets.
Leather is a highly desired item for the tourists at the Grand Bazaar and a lot of shopkeepers are always ready to allure the customers with their beautiful products. An extensive selection of leather items includes lamb skin products, leather, outwear comprising fur beauty. These leather items can be compared to the world famous brands like Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.
Enjoy shopping in one of the best marketplaces in the world – The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, Turkey.
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