Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

4 out of 5 stars 111 Reviews

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  • Tdiver's Profile Photo

    Grand Bazaar

    by Tdiver Updated Apr 21, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best looking entrance to the bazaar.
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    If you're looking for jewellery then this is it then after those lots of stalls selling pretty much the same stuff so haggle like crazy.In the centre is a small cafe famous for its salep drink.Outside the shops in the neighbouring warren of streets are even more frenzied and you can find almost anything.
    4399 shops,2195 workshops,18 fountains,12 wharehouses,61 streets,60 restaurants,1 Turkish bath,1 school,banks and a police station.
    The walk up from the spice market ( misir carsi ) is a must if you want to get some of the local flavour.
    09.00-18.30,NOW OPEN SUNDAYS

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  • smeagol13's Profile Photo

    shopping in the 17th century: the GRAND BAZAAR

    by smeagol13 Updated Apr 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wikipedia

    i do not have much information or experience about the bazaar since i travelled Eminonu on Sunday, and it was closed. but i am really not interested in shopping, if you are keen on local customs and you feel comfortable in exteremely crowded bazaars and enthusiastic sellers; it may be appropriate for you. there are many shops (about 4000 shops in 58 streets) most of whom are selling local traditional items as presents for those people in your home country that you love.

    the word "Kapali Carsi" is actually stands for "Closed -or Domed- Bazaar", and it has dosens of domes that makes it a closed area.

    it is among the oldest buildings of Istanbul because the order of construction was given by Mehmed II himself, in the beginnig of the second half of 15th century.

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    The Grand Bazaar Experience

    by PierreZA Updated Apr 15, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grand Bazaar

    Extremely impressive, but come prepared. It has many entrances and exits, but you will most probably be met by a tout before you enter.
    It is not pleasent being hassled, but I suppose it is part of the experience. Don't forget to look at the roofs and arches.
    See also shopping tip

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  • H-TownJourneyman's Profile Photo

    Kapaliçarsi

    by H-TownJourneyman Written Feb 16, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance To The Grand Bazaar
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    The Grand Bazaar, or Kapaliçarsi "Covered Bazaar", as it is called in Turkish, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Istanbul, yet it is also quite popular among locals as well. And why not, with thousands of shops selling everything from Turkish rugs & belly dancing costumes to jewelry & watches, along with countless restaurants & cafes, you could spend a whole day here! If you are looking for that special souvenir to take home, this is where you will want to go. If you are looking for a fake Gucci purse, this is where you will want to go. And if you are a good bargainer, this is DEFINATELY where you want to go! Price is always negotiable here! The Bazaar traces it's origins back to the earliest days of Turkish presence in Istanbul, when Sultan Mehmet II commissioned it in 1464. Over the centuries, it has grown dramatically in size, and has gone through many restorations and rennovations. Today it is one of the biggest covered markets in the world, and hundreds of thousands of people walk through it everyday. The shopkeepers are quite aware of this, many of them try endlessly to get you to come look at whatever it is they are selling. When we visited, even right after I purchased a small necklace, this guy from another shop followed me around for a couple of minutes trying to get me to look at the necklaces he was selling! But it is all part of the experience here, fending off one shopkeeper while haggling with the next is half of the fun. Don't miss one of Istanbul's most recognized treasure's, even if you just come to do a little browsing and have a glass of tea. Not to be missed!

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  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo

    The Grand Bazaar

    by kentishgirl Written Jan 10, 2007
    The Grand Bazaar


    This place is brilliant. True, its definatly more of a tourist attraction these days than a locals market, (you will see most locals shopping in the streets around it), but its one of the things you must do when you are in Istanbul.

    The place is huge, there are separate areas for different things and lots of small cafes to rest those feet and enjoy an apple tea.

    You Must haggle hard here - they are used to tourists and it will be expected anyway.

    Its free to get in - which is always a bonus!

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  • Sharon's Profile Photo

    The Grand Bazaar

    by Sharon Updated Nov 10, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I think im not going to write anything new about this place since so many people wrote about it before and so many books and magazines described it, so i'll simply write about how i felt (like in the rest of my tips).
    I really enjoyed this bazaar (biggest Bazaar in the middle east by the way), Its such a colorful place, even though you know that as a tourist you're a "target" lol, we just really enjoyed it. SO MANY stores, So many things to buy, There are also cafe's and restaurants to enjoy but i'll write about it in my restaurant Category cause the best meal i had in Istanbul was undoubtly in the grand baazar !!
    Anyway, if you want to buy your self something or maybe just suveniers, its probably the best place to do it just that you have to remember a thing or two. If you really wish to buy, dont show how excited you are about what you want, huggle with the guys there, thats an important part of shoppingculture there and they expect you to do so.
    When you walk in the streets of the bazaar the guys usually stands infront of of their shop trying to convince you to buy from tehir shop, sometimes they are gentle and sometimes they are a bit pushy and nagging. Always best to be polite say "no thanks" and keep walking, or if you really had too much just keep walking.

    The thing i was sorry about is that somethings i wanted to buy there i postponed to my last day in Istanbul which was Sunday, but once i was about to go there i've been told that the market is closed on Sunday ! i was so disappointed. Okay all whats in the market can be basically found in shops in the streets or even some of it in the duty free... but its not the same. So make sure not to plan to see the market on Sunday.

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    Madness of Shops

    by amazingclick Written Oct 25, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was recommended to go to Grand Bazaar to buy Turkish Items. It is indeed a huge place...and there are 100's of shops if not 1000's.....selling from everything from Bohemian Glass to Carpets. If you are looking to buy Turkish Artefacts, this is the place to go. Remember...the prices are extremeely high and you must bargain a 50% for any item you want. If you have paid more than that, you have got conned.

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  • tere1's Profile Photo

    Bargain for shopping!

    by tere1 Written Aug 7, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Grand Bazaar

    You will loose yourself at the Grand Bazaar and will spend a lot, if you like to shop. It's very tempting!
    The Grand Bazaar is a huge covered complex of shops, very colourful and funny. You will find here carpets ( good and bad quality), cushions, bowls, pipes, all crafts, pottery, leather jackets, teas, anything you want.

    The vendors will call you to enter their establishments and try to sell you their goods.
    If you aren't really interested in buying just smile, say thank you and go on. If you show interest in any item they won't leave you alone. So, be sure you really want the item before asking them any questions. Also, don't ever show much interest on something if you really want it. Just ask about other things without letting them notice that it's THAT item you really want. That way you might get it for much less than you expect.

    Always bargain the price , that's a custom and the vendors love it. At the end you should pay 1/3 of what was the initial price he asked. Bargaining is a funny thing if we can develop your skills in it and by the time you leave Istanbul, you will be a master doing it. I was!

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  • mightywease's Profile Photo

    Grand Bazaar - Retail Therapy gone Mad!

    by mightywease Updated Aug 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grand Bazaar

    Noisy, busy, easy to get lost in, hard to get out of but always fun and enjoyable sum up my feelings about the Grand Bazaar.

    If you enjoy shopping and bargaining you'll love it. If you find bargaining or approached by people a little uncomfortable then the Grand Bazaar is probably not for you.

    Yes, it's very touristy. There are endless shops selling Apple Tea Glasses, Turkish Coffee Cups, Belly Dancing Outfits etc.. however you can also buy beautiful jewellery, fine fabrics, good value leather goods and, of course, carpets and kilims.

    The shop keepers can be persistent but are generally very always hospitable. Often an invitation into a shop will be accompanied by an offer of Apple Tea or Turkish Coffee, if you accept don't feel that this obliges you to buy something as it doesn’t. However, it does put you in a position where you are more likely to be shown and look at items. Again if you find this uncomfortable politely refuse.

    If you do want to shop then get ready to bargain. Offer about half the asking price, or below, and work from there. Have in your mind what you want to pay and stick to it.

    Remember, always be courteous and polite. And if you do get a bit exhausted with haggling there are plenty of little cafes to sit down in, have a drink and admire the bargains you've bought.

    Visit and enjoy.

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  • Heniko's Profile Photo

    Kapalicarsi(Grand Bazaar)

    by Heniko Written Apr 20, 2006

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    Kapalicarsi is a great bazaar in Nuri Osmaniye and Beyazid Mosques and Mahmutpasa Bazaar, made up of streets of various shops sheltered by roofs and domes. Though not very regularly shaped, it holds and area of about 31 thousand square meters. It has hundreds of domes which are covered with lead and windows. The nucleus of Kapalicarsi is a Byzantine building which is today called Old Bedesten. The section of the bazaar where valuables and jewellery are bought and sold was commissioned by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and the main great bazaar itself was commissioned during Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, on a wooden basis. Kapalicarsi, today has a surface of 30.7 hectares, 61 streets, 10 wells, 4 fountains, 2 mosques and over 3 thousand shops, managed to claim its present look within 250 years.

    The architectural design of roads making up other sections apart from two bedestens is not symmetrical and geometrical, it has a scattered nature due to reflect its formation and the catastrophes it has gone through. In this way, it stays away from the closed bazaar style of the West and has a character of an Eastern bazaar. This laid back settlement; this scattered nature prevents the bazaar from being dull and at the same time gives it a romantic flavor. Such a complicated structure and settlement not only maintains the monumental state of the bazaar, but also makes it a definte palace for shopping.

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  • Shopping at the Grand Bazaar

    by philmo Written Mar 12, 2006

    You should visit the Grand Bazaar for no other reason then to just to say that you have experienced it. Huge covered shopping area where you will be able to find just about anything. Be prepared to be bombarded by shop-owners who will want you to visit their shops; if you do stop and want to buy something, haggle, and if you do ot get the price you are looking for move on because you will find the item you were looking in another shop.
    All in all, had a great time, could easliy have spent the entire day in there.

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  • ogb4619's Profile Photo

    Day or night, a "must do"

    by ogb4619 Written Nov 2, 2005
    The centre aisle.

    It opens around 10am and closes around 10pm.
    Many others have written about the Grand bazaar so all i need to say is be careful with the carpet and leather jacket vendors.

    These guys are very experienced salesmen and once they've got you in their shop, you will be hard pressed to escape their sales pitch.
    Yes, we ended up carting 3 small carpets all the way home to Seremban but they were good buys and we ended up forging a good trading business between the two countries.

    The jewellery seems to be all good quality but not as cheap as home. There are as many gold and silver shops as there are carpet shops.

    If you can spend 2 hours or more walking around with your credit card left back at the hotel, you will really enjoy the experience.

    Puts most other European bazaars i've seen, back to the "corner shop" status.

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  • cfuentesm's Profile Photo

    The Grand Bazaar

    by cfuentesm Written Oct 21, 2005
    The Grand Bazaar Spices
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    The Grand Bazaar also called Kapalýcarsi is an interesting place to visit if this is the stuff you like. A lot of local artifacts shops and spices. But I didn't feel safe at all and everyone chased you to sell you something.

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  • siso010's Profile Photo

    Shopping,Walking,Life.!

    by siso010 Written Oct 10, 2005

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    Grand Bazaar consists of more than 4000 shops
    its really crowded there,people are moving to everywhere and from everywhere,prices there are good but remember you should bargain at least 40% of what the seller said.!
    They always give a higher prices waiting you to bargain.!
    for example something with 20 you can take it with 13 or 14 max. but it depends

    Grand Bazaar is where you go if you wants to buy in pieces but not in bulk,to buy in Bulk go to Bayazid area(will talk about it).

    Remember Grand Bazar has more than a gate so if you are looking to go in and out from the same gate so be sure you will be lost.!

    Enjoy shopping there it really has its own spirit.!

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  • Hello, how can I rip you off today?

    by eleyna Written Aug 7, 2005
    Grand Bazaar

    Being a shopoholic, the Grand Bazaar was definately the highlight of my trip to Europe, with over 4000 shops, however don't expect prices to be low, or shopkeepers to be generous with haggling. Like any market, shop around and find the best prices. One tip we picked up was finding a nice shopkeeper and start a conversation with them, be friendly and they always let the prices down considerably. Another tip we noticed that worked wonderfully, was instead of asking the price of an item, show the shopkeeper the item you wish to purchase and tell him how much you are willing to pay for it. Be confident but not too pushy. Also listen out for some of the ways shopkeeper lure you into their shops, they can be hilarious. Favourites, "Hello, Spice Girls", "How can I help you spend your money?", "Marry Me?".
    Don't forget to check out the stores surrounding the Bazaar, as they can be much cheaper than inside.

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Comments (1)

  • Aug 17, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Just another shopping centre in the guise of a market with the same old same old every 100m, very pushy bordering on offensive traders, no bargains to be had. I walked two corridors and by then had seen enough. The whole thing exemplified what a large part of Istanbul is about ie ripping the unwary off.

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