This is an old bazaar where local crafts, clothes, jewellery, fake brands, perfumes.... and so much more is sold. One needs to be an expert bargainer. It is best to go here only if you are confident about your bargaining skills, otherwise it is better to go to the Asian side and shop there. Better to avoid jewellery shopping here. Local crafts, bags and fake brands are good here.
What to buy: Fake branded jeans, shirts, bags, shoes, Turkish ethnic items, imitation jewellery, table ware... so much more...
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain --- at least less than half of what they quote!!
Luckily for us the Grand Baazar was no more than 10 minutes stroll from Hotel Niles where we stayed.
And did we have a shopping spree...David was like a little boy in a candy store while I worried about weight on the plane!
The majority of sellers were well mannered.."Will you visit my shop"...Most accepted "hayer" or whatever "no" is in Turkish.
I tried to respond with a few words in Turkish...they seemed to like that.
What to buy: In the Grand Baazar there are leather goods, carpets, jewellery, watches, scarves by the thousand, t shirts,handbags, dolls and places to enjoy (or otherwise) turkish coffee....but you must try it.
You wonder how on earth they make a living with so much repetition...well we helped. David had a bit of a spending spree.
Actually I liked the Spice Baazar as there were a few different things to look at...spices of course...more choice of Turkish delight...flowers... but it was further away. from our hotel.
We bought a beautiful bag to carry all the goodies " all made in Turkey" so colourful
And do make sure you have smaller notes. For small items 100 TL is looked at with horror. Have 20 TL at least.
What to pay: As many Turkish Lira as you have..or euro
The Grand Bazaar is really a tourist magnet.
I have brought rugs from merchants and at good price. The prices are not what they used to be. That said we stepped outside the Bazaar, follow locals and the better shopping is to be had.
Eminönü docks/ferry port.
There is a subway with sellers from t-shirts, bags, underwear, during the day and by night time different sellers are out. The T-shirts are the cheapest here. Twelve - fifteen lira. Bazaar double and more.
The booking office for the ferry is right in front, but when the crowds are there you may well miss it.
What to buy: I personally would buy in the shops as opposed to the Bazaar.
Rugs, i would purchase from a merchant. Not from someone who has family living in Sheffield! Pull out your tourist map by the Blue Mosque at your peril.
What to pay: Bear in mind T-shirts was what i was shopping for. The night time experience would be great as the sellers are more engaging although limited.
A big maze, it's the ideal place for shopping in Istanbul. The shopping lovers have everything there, their companion may enjoy the site.
Much more organized than the Islamic souks, the place keeps the oriental touch, and bargaining is the general sport.
Don't miss it.
MINNET Bozdemir of Galeri Selcuk is everything you are warned about in a carpet dealer. Unscrupulous, and a cunning con artist, it is impossible to tell his blatant lies from half lies and near truths. I fell for every one of them only to discover the deception when I got home with my Kurdish (lie) handwoven (lie) wool carpet, and had it valued for insurance purposes. He overcharged me at least 600 Euros - for a small carpet which was to be an heirloom (lie). An internet search using his name showed him to be a repeat offender - one guy was duped into thinking he was buying silk and cheated to the tune of 3000 dollars. All my fault for not doing my homework. But even if one person is warned about this man, I have achieved something. P.S: He also has guys in other carpet shops direct you to his showroom if you don't see anything that quite suits you in these shops. No doubt they get a nice cut.
It has everything, well almost. But mostly very aggressive merchants, lots of tourists, and exorbitant prices. Go to take a look and walk around. Try to walk in the center of the pathways so you won't get tackled by merchants. Personally I much prefer the Spice Market.
What to buy: Nothing.
What to pay: Usually too much.
The world famous Covered bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is, owing to its architecture, history, location, and sheer variety of marchandise, one of Istanbul's most significant tourist sites. The Bazaar has eight different entrances, each of them facing one of the city's most important historic monuments. These include Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Çemberlitas, the Beyazýt Complex, Istanbul University and the Second Hand Book Bazaar. Built at the command of SultanMehmed the, Conqueror in 1461, the Bazaar initially consisted of just two warehouses (bedesten). In time, merchants began to set up their own stalls and workshops in the surrounding area. Dignitaries furthered the expansion with the addition of numerous caravanserais, so that the soon place had become a focus for trading goods from all over the empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the Bazaar suffered repeated damage from the fires that ravaged that part of the city, and in 1894 was destroyed alltogether by an earthquake. After being rebuilt in 1898, the Bazaar underwent futher renovation following the fires of 1943 and 1954.
What to buy: In terms of structure, the visitor is confronted by what may at first seem a bewildering a maze of 61 streets. On closer inspection, however, it becomes apparent that there is, in fact, a reasonable semblance of order. The streets themselves are arranged on a grid-like system, are traditionally shopkeepers have tended to group themselves according to the type of goods they sell, whether it be jewellery, antiques, carpets, copper, or leather goods. Clues as to which area you might be in are often given by the names of streets, even if in some cases - the Street of the Turban Makers, for instance - the traders recalled are now mere vestiges of a colourful past.
The Bazaar also functions as an unofficial financial centre, with a particular emphasis on gold and foreign exchange trading. Most shopkeepers will exchange different currencies.
The Bazaar is open daily, except Sundays and public holidays, between 07:00 and 19:00.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. Opened in 1461, it is well known for its jewellery, pottery, spice, and carpet shops with many of the shops grouped by the type of goods they sell, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewellery and the like but it's still very easy to get lost despite there being signs. I found it to be a complete maze and a bit of a tourist trap where, in my view, most people of Istanbul wouldn't shop in.
Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror opened this bazaar in 1461, not long after his conquest of Constantinople. Here is nearly everything under the sun.
What to buy: Almost everything is for sale here.
What to pay: Of course, one can save a lot of money by knowing how to haggle. You don't just pay the price right upfront, except for small, inexpensive items.
This was a nice, small shop in the Big Bazaar. We entered it by good luck with a specific wish and Mustafa succeeded were other shops failed to deliver the requested embroidered cloth. When you're looking for a well-tempered salesman who is friendly, let you take you time, has good (not too strong) tea and wants you to be happy - his motto is: 'as long as we have our good health': this is the place. When we were there, two of his previous customers came back, just for tea and a chat.
What to buy: We bought a hand embroidered (silk on cotton) cloth, square (most are rectangular, to be used on beds) of very good quality.
What to pay: There are cheaper one, but this cloth was well worth its about 300 euro's.
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