The variety of shops and the number of goods kept astonishing me.
Of course at a place like the Grand Bazar you are overwhelmed with spices and Turkish delight.
At the back streets a lot of trading is going on too.
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.
The Grand Bazaar is on everyone's list of places to visit, in some ways it is overwhelming as it seems to go on forever and you're never really sure if you are ever going to find an exit and when you do find an exit you have no idea which side of it you are on. The Grand Bazaar is primarily, or perhaps or even solely, for the tourists. The booths are stocked with jewelry, souvenirs, rugs, tea, Turkish delight, spices.
Sticking to the middle of the aisle will result in less interaction with the merchants, show an interest in an item or make eye contact and you will almost immediately be asked if you need any help. I had to chuckle when I heard some of the same lines I heard from vendors in Mexico, my favorite implying that me and my husband of 24 years were on our honeymoon! Some of the people selling jewelry will ask you to come into their shop and have a seat. The couple of times I asked the price of a piece of silver jewelry, they weighed it and quoted a price far in excess of what I would be willing to pay for it, even if the merchant were willing to bargain, I couldn't see how we'd ever get to a point where we'd both be happy so I didn't bother.
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.
On Sundays the Grand Bazar is closed, but commerce just moves to the streets.
Be aware that stolen goods are offered and other merchandise with a questionable background.
Nonetheless there is also genuine trade on the streets.
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 bazar is worth the visit, but prices are high, you have to haggle. i bought i beautiful traditoinal lamp for just 28 YT. the grand bazar is suitable for traditional goods but not so much for clothes. for clothes there is merter which has reasonably priced clothes, we also went to Olivium which is the name of a big shopping mall with all the big brands. the prices werent bad.
if your main purpose of visiting istanbul is shopping then definetly go at the end of each season to get good prices. at the end of every season there are sales every where. we went in october, so there werent many sales there.
What to pay i bought a pair of jeans for just 10 yt!
a traditonal lamp 28 yt!
tops 6 yt!
bag 20 yt!
winter boots 55 yt!
winter jacket 20 yt!
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.