On any trip to Istanbul – whether you want it or not – eventually you are going to end up in one of the numerous Turkish bazaars. The most majestic of all – Grand Bazaar, the heart of old Istanbul. Buzzing, noisy, chaotic and colorful it attracts thousands of tourists and locals every day. Time flows differently here – and you can spend hours wandering around narrow laneways, watching artisans at work, bargaining with local shopkeepers – or just drinking tea quietly observing the never-ending bustle.
- Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.
- It is also called Kapali Carsi – “covered market”.
- Grand Bazaar is one of the major Istanbul sights and attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors per day.
- In 2014 Grand Bazaar was listed No.1 among world’s most-visited tourist attractions.
- The place is quite popular even among locals: they come here to find a good bargain or just pass the time away.
- Grand Bazaar has an impressive number of 61 covered streets, 22 gates, over 5,000 shops, 20,000 employees, 4 fountains, 2 mosques – and even 2 hamams.
- The market is known for selling spices, jewellery, pottery, antiques, carpets and – of course, an abundance of souvenirs. Many of the stalls here are grouped by type of goods with special huge areas for leather, carpets and gold jewellery.
- A retail heaven of 31,000 square meters with hundreds of insistent shopkeepers means that no visitor leaves without a souvenir.
- Visitors who wish to shop will have to test their bargaining skills. Bargaining here is a science. Don’t show too much interest, don’t rush, don’t be afraid. And – if offered – drink a tea or two with the shopkeeper.
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