One of the oldest bazaars in Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar is a must-see for tourists! Actually, the entire range is aimed at visitors. The largest selection of souvenirs and Turkish delicacies is located here.
The Grand Bazaar has been in this place for a little, a lot – 500 years, since the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. But during this time it was rebuilt many times, burned down and rebuilt again. The last reconstruction took place in the 60s and since then the bazaar has a modern look. The bazaar occupies a truly huge area – it consists of 61 shopping streets that cross each other. The base is covered. You can enter the bazaar through 9 gates, and to be honest, they are all similar. Therefore, getting lost in the market is not difficult.
The Grand Bazaar is more of an attraction, but still, if you decide to buy something at the bazaar, then it will be useful for you to know that:
- Prices at the Grand Bazaar are very high (aimed at inexperienced tourists), so if you have time to walk around the city, then it is better to wait a little with the purchase.
- If, nevertheless, you really liked the thing at the bazaar, then you can safely bargain – the sellers love it very much.
- Everyone asks – where are you from? and if you answer where you are from, then they start talking to you, boasting about your knowledge of your language. Be careful, don’t get fooled.
- I can’t say that I met a lot of English speakers in Istanbul. Therefore, before going to the market, learn a few suitable phrases. You can also bargain on a calculator if there is a problem with Turkish numbers (we did just that).
- Sellers in the market are exclusively men, Muslim women have nothing to do in the markets
- Well, the most interesting thing is that you can often be offered to buy spices. Not immediately, of course, but so, by the way. The first time I was taken aback, then I realized that this was in the order of things.
- The Grand Bazaar, like all other places in Turkey, is a fairly safe place. However, you should still be careful and, if necessary, call the tourist police.
In general, a trip to the Grand Bazaar will leave an indelible impression, this is the spirit of Istanbul and the smell of the bazaar will remain in your memory for a long time.
The location of the market is convenient. It is located in the historical district of the city of Sultanahmet, close to the main attractions of the city – the Suleymaniye and Blue Mosques, Sultanahmet Square, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. All together, so to speak.
The market is open from 9 am to 7 pm. Day off – Sunday.