Grand Bazaar

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 6, 2010


In Sulthanamet district in Istanbul, is the grand bazaar. I remember from the past that there was a shop Grand Bazaar, where you could literally buy anything. It was with this idea that we visited the Grand Bazaar. They had told us when you go to Istanbul and you want to buy souvenirs, visit this bazaar. It's really cheap. We walked through the expensive district of Istanbul with the more expensive stores and you will arrive at a kind of city wall. A contrast of rich to poor. In a large gate you go inside. Despite the enormous crowd it was pretty quiet. You will require visitors to wash a tap and suddenly you see the great mosque which are mainly men go inside. Then you come to a different port and there you are frisked. (We had a backpack with us!) And then we enter the grand bazaar. It is a maze of narrow streets where people sell all kinds of products. All these lanes (compare it with a soukh) is the grand bazaar. What a contrast to the streets we just walked through.


I thought we go to an ordinary market. But that is not true. It’s a swarm of people there, in the narrow streets. Left and right are all small shops. Outside is where they park. In front you see mostly jewelers. It looks like the diamond district in Antwerp. In the doorway the sellers try to lure you inside with delicious apple tea. A street to the right and you're in the middle of an avenue of shawls and carpets, then all kinds of textile stalls. You pick something up here that on a table and ... oops there's a guy next to you again that tea has as bait. Probably buy more if you drink tea. I never heard of this marketing technique!

I wanted to buy a set of socks and before I know it I have a plastic bag full of socks in my hands and the sale person walks away. That's what I call selling. At home we are still laughing. We have socks for years.

It is a maze of streets and frankly, I was really scared at one point because I could not orientated. I wanted to find the exit. With some questions here and there I came back near where we had gone inside. What I was pleased to have the dome of the mosque looked back.

There we visited just a small pub. It was along the old wall. That is also something that I noticed you did not much like our restaurants. And certainly no terraces.

What is striking is that all small retailers who long run backwards. Probably this is the place you rent per square meter. You put as much as possible for you where in a limited space. To the top of the ceiling is crammed full of everything.

Tip 1: Do not buy from the entrance to the bazaar. These are the expensive shops. Buy from a distance shop away, where everything is cheaper. That's true. It saves a few lira.
Tip 2: Do not touch anything, because you are a prey to the seller.
Tip 3: Try to bargain because the price there is no need to be the price you have to pay.
Tip 4: Be prepared for the crowds. Everywhere was busy. With a buzz with a vengeance.
Tip 5: Watch how you walk, because you can really get lost in this maze.

The name

Grand Bazaar because it is larger than all other bazaars and because you can buy everything. The area is more than 4000 shops. Well that number says it all about 250,000 people come here every day.

Bazaar, it's a great show of various products. Name it and you can buy here. The impression was created that for us it was dirt cheap but make sure you compare with different stalls.


You need to be prepared, because it is very busy. But fun. It's an amazing spectacle of various products. You can buy everything, leather, textiles, jewelry, etc. All are small shops with friendly vendors. It's just fun. Just do not think you can buy the real brand. Much is made in China or fake. But it's just nice to have a look. Oh and we had gotten a tip that you can buy this cheap leather goods. Now that you can forget. They are as expensive as in our market. But the experience of this bazaar is just fun. I can recommend the bazaar.
Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
Kalpakcilarbasi Street
Istanbul, Turkey

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