Shopping Lovers’ Paradise: Grand Bazaar

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Aerial photo taken with a drone shows the roof of Istanbul’s centuries-old Grand Bazaar, foreground, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. In a news conference Monday, the municipality of the city’s Fatih district announced its plans for the renovation of the iconic maze of shops, restaurants and tea houses. The complex, which houses nearly 4,500 stores, starred in the 2012 James Bond movie, “Skyfall.”  Historical Nur-u Osmaniye Mosque is in the background. (Ali Aksoyer/DHA via AP)

Istanbul Grand Bazaar History, Opening Hours, Maps, Shopping & Bargaining Tips

Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest centers of attraction in Istanbul. Any tourist who loves shopping definitely wants to visit Grand Bazaar at the end of the culture tour. It is natural for Grand Bazaar to pique such a big curiosity in people with its huge dimensions, 60 covered streets and 3000 shops.

Strolling Through Istanbul’s Grand Covered Bazaar

Grand Bazaar In Istanbul

Grand Bazaar In Istanbul, Turkey

Should I Make a Bargain in Grand Bazaar?

Definitely yes! Otherwise you will get the product you want to buy at the highest possible price. Grand Bazaar has an eastern style, offering traditional way of shopping. While you are walking through the labyrinth-like streets, it is inevitable to come across enthusiastic vendors trying to sell you something and the only way to buy their products in an affordable way is to bargain with them. The most important point is to know how to bargain so that you can get the price down for most product by 30-50%.

Jewelry Shops In The Grand Bazaar

Gold and sikver jewelry on display in the Grand Bazaar (Kapali carsi ) in Istanbul, Turkey

Jewelry Shops Grand Bazaar

Do Local People Shop in Grand Bazaar?

The answer is both yes and no. Because Istanbul has a lot of modern shopping centers which can satisfy all the needs thanks to the national and international brands inside them.

Then what do local people buy in Grand Bazaar? The answer is: gold. Local folks see Grand Bazaar as a huge jeweler and Bazaar is the heart of gold market. Gold prices are commonly priced on gram basis and you can buy it there. One can also find various golden necklaces, bracelets, rings made by the most experienced craftsmen. The price for milled gold depends on the quality of workmanship.

The only and the biggest shopping center during the Ottoman Empire period, Grand Bazaar served as a shopping center with the most variety of products for local people but today it is generally regarded as a touristic and expensive location.

Map Of Grand Bazaar

Map of Grand Bazaar. Gate 1 is the main entrance and Gate 7 is the main exit. Süleymaniye Mosque is 10 minutes walking distance to Grand Bazaar.

Turkish Carpets And Rugs of Grand Bazaar
carpets-of-grand-bazaar-istanbul

Famous Turkish Carpets

Which Way Should I Take to Grand Bazaar?

The Bazaar has one main entrance (Nuruosmaniye> Gate – 1) and one main exit (Beyazıt> Gate – 7). Kalpakçılarbaşı Street between these two gates is the main street of Grand Bazaar. This street is located on the southernmost part of the Bazaar and opens into many other streets on the northern direction. On the main street, there are jewelry, souvenir and spice shops.

The most pleasant road, Nuruosmaniye Street, to Grand Bazaar takes its name from Nuruosmaniye Mosque. There are coffee shops, nice restaurants and shops in this street. At the end of the road, you pass through the courtyard of Nuruosmaniye Mosque, which is an example of early Baroque style selatin (commissioned by Sultan) mosque of Ottoman period, and you reach gate number one of Grand Bazaar.

Another option is to reach Beyazıt tram station either through walking or by tram via the historical street called Divanyolu and enter the main street at gate number 7. Divan Yolu was the street reaching to Byzantine Palace during Byzantine period and Topkapı Palace during Ottoman period.

The most beautiful mosque of the city: Süleymaniye Mosque is within walking distance from Grand Bazaar.

How To Get To Grand Bazaar Directions Map

Grand Bazaar Map and Directions

Purple line takes you through pretty Nuruosmaniye Street. On the other hand, Divanyolu Street is the ancient road of Constantinople. Recommended to go from Nuruosmaniye and come back from Divanyolu.

Spice Shops Of Grand Bazaar

spices-of-grand-bazaar-istanbul

What to Buy in Grand Bazaar?

Inside the Bazaar, you may find carpets, porcelain, leather, antique stuff, hookah, copper, silver and lead soldier, wool and cotton products, embroidered towels, and scented soaps. Such products are locally made and of top quality. Besides, there are many types of imitation bags, watches and T-shirts. These are not original products and mostly imported from China. Some of the carpets are made in Turkey and of high quality. However some of them are imported from Pakistan, India and China and aren’t originals. One requires an expertise to be able to detect a real Turkish carpet.

Antique Shops In Grand Bazaar

Antique shops at the west end of the Bazaar.

When and How was Grand Bazaar Built?

After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, palaces, mosques and bazaars were started to be built in the city. Grand Bazaar was one of the first structured to be constructed. The first structure to be built within Grand Bazaar was Old Bazaar at the center of it. One can easily realize the difference between the walls and ceilings of Old Bazaar and the rest of the Grand Bazaar. This center has expanded very much within centuries to what we know as the Grand Bazaar now. You can see interesting antique clocks, maps and daggers in Old Bazaar.

Colorful Souvenir Shops Of Grand Bazaar

grand-bazaar-souvenir-shops


Further Reading:


Istanbul Private Tours By Local Tour Guide Serhat Engul

Local guide in Istanbul

serhateng@gmail.com

Whats App: + 90 532 256 93 12


 

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