a photo tour of the grand bazaar

Istanbul Grand Bazaar is not your average shopping centre. With more than 60 streets and alleyways and over four thousand shops filled with Turkish lamps, spices, Turkish sweets. ceramics, fabrics, antique items, jewellery, leather….let me breath….Istanbul Grand Bazaar is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve actually been to the Grand Bazaar twice and first time I was just so taken aback by the colours and the rush of people I couldn’t buy anything – on my second visit I bought two suitcases just for my shopping.

I quickly learnt that the first customer gets the best deals so I would always head early to the bazaar so as to nab those prices. Make sure you scan around before buying anything to get an idea of the pricing. You are very likely to think the first price you get is already very cheap – believe me it can be cheaper. And ofcourse, bargain bargain bargain and don’t be afraid to push your prices!

Try out the sweets for sure! The shopkeepers are keen on selling the sweets so they will often offer you tasters for free. You might even get a sample of Turkish tea. Oh but if you keep going back for tasters without actually buying the products they will eventually recognise you. I learnt this the hard way….

I particularly liked how welcoming the shopkeepers were. I understand that most of them were like that because they wanted to increase sales but if you’ve ever been to the souks in Morocco you will be able to tell the difference more. The Grand Bazaar is surprisingly tourist friendly for it’s size and most of the shopkeepers make an effort to speak in English with you.

If you are looking to buy spices, however, the best quality spices will be available at the Spice Bazaar located in Eminönü, Ofcourse, due to the quality of the products, the prices are higher there and I also found it was more difficult to bargain. A short walk from the Spice Bazaar will take you to Mahmutpasa, the area which sells some of the prettiest fabrics I’ve ever seen. Curtains, bed sheets, table cloths with embroidery the likes of which you have never seen before! I bought a beautiful curtain set for my new house from there!

And now I think I’ve rambled on too much about so I’ll get on with sharing photos of some of my favourite shops in the Grand Bazaar. If you’re keen on taking similar photos know that the shopkeepers are pretty friendly and some will even pose for you!

The Grand Bazaar is situated in the Fatih District near Beyazit Station. Once you get off from the station you will see the entrance to the Grand Bazaar quite easily. The Grand Bazaar is open on all days except Sundays and Public Holidays from 9 am to 8 pm.

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