Shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest markets in the world, taking its visitors on a journey into a world filled with experiences and cultural diversity. The bazaar blends the allure of heritage, the splendor of handicrafts, and the spirit of bustling commerce, making it an ideal destination for both shopping enthusiasts and culture aficionados alike. In this article, we will explore everything about this bazaar, uncovering its rich history that has made it one of the most important tourist destinations in Turkey and the world at large.

The history of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul


The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest markets in Istanbul, Turkey, and the world. Tourists from all over the world flock to it due to its history dating back to the 15th century when it was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. It is considered one of the earliest covered markets built-in history, spanning an area of 300,700 square meters. The market is also close to many tourist attractions in Istanbul, such as the Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Blue Mosque. Additionally, the market has 11 entrances and houses over 14,000 shops spread among cafes, restaurants, traditional bathhouses, mosques, and shops selling all kinds of traditional products such as spices, carpets, jewelry, antiques, and handicrafts. It is suitable for both shopping enthusiasts and history lovers.

According to the latest statistics, this market welcomes 91,250,000 visitors annually، Through this bazaar, you can get acquainted with Turkish culture and mingle with the residents. It's perfectly fine to sample some traditional food and sip on the rich and famous Turkish tea.


What can be done while shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

There are plenty of experiences you can have during your shopping experience at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and the highlights of these activities include:


shopping for jewelry

The experience of shopping for jewelry at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is truly magnificent, as you will find yourself surrounded by a vast array of genuine, traditional, and luxurious jewelry pieces of high quality at very reasonable prices. These jewelry items feature precious gemstones and are intricately designed using modern techniques while still expressing the Turkish heritage.

Buying Turkish carpets

The ancient art of Turkish carpet weaving is a longstanding tradition in Turkey, forming a part of Ottoman civilization. It's a craft the old generation passes down to the new generation. Each region in Turkey has its distinctive style of carpet making, and all types of Turkish carpets can be found in the Grand Bazaar. Kilim is considered one of the most traditional varieties, woven in various sizes, some of which conveniently fit in your travel bag.

Buying pottery

You'll find a wide range of handcrafted pottery inspired by the motifs of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. You'll wish to take all these decorations home as souvenirs of your wonderful journey in the Grand Bazaar. In Istanbul, you'll discover a diverse array of handcrafted pottery, including hanging ornaments, vessels, cups, ashtrays, vases, animal figurines, and much more, in various styles, sizes, and colors, ranging from traditional to modern.

Acquiring some antiquities

You can find many antique artworks at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, where artifacts date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. You'll also find silver kitchenware, home decor, Ottoman artifacts, and old Turkish rings adorned with gemstones and antique jewelry. Each item in this market area has a story that reflects Istanbul's history.


Visiting Sahaflar Çarşısı

Visiting Sahaflar Çarşısı, which is the Old Book Bazaar, is preferred by many tourists during their shopping in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul. Here, you can find a wide range of rare, used, and antique books, as well as prints, manuscripts, maps, and old prints.

Mısır Çarşısı

Visiting "Mısır Çarşısı," where you can enjoy a delightful and thrilling shopping experience. Here, you can find a wide range of spices, herbs, and fresh produce, along with dried fruits, nuts, and Eastern sweets, besides tea, coffee, and many other delicious food products. Additionally, you can negotiate prices with the vendors and enjoy friendly conversations and interactions, adding a touch of fun and excitement to your shopping experience.

Tips for Shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

When experiencing shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, here are some tips to make your experience enjoyable: Firstly, it's advisable to prepare a list of the items you want to purchase since the place is crowded, large, and full of merchandise, and you may have the risk of forget buying some necessities. Secondly, negotiate the price as local vendors there are quite adept, and you can get the best deals for the best prices. Thirdly, make sure to have cash as some shops may not accept credit card payments.

How to Get to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?

You can reach the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul by tram (Bağcılar - Kabataş), and many buses will take you there. You can also drive, but you will need to park it far away due to the congestion in the area.

What are the opening and closing hours of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?

The shops at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul welcome customers daily from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, except on Sundays.

Is entry to the bazaar free?

Yes, entry to the bazaar is free, and there are guides available who can accompany you and assist you on your journey through the bazaar if it is your first time. We highly recommend this.


The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul stands as one of Turkey's greatest cultural and historical landmarks, blending the beauty of heritage with the splendor of shopping experiences. Through our journey in this article, we have discovered the charm of this bazaar, which reflects a history rich in stories and culture. Whether you are a shopping enthusiast or interested in history, a visit to the Grand Bazaar is an unforgettable experience.

Istanbul is the city of charm with its ancient Ottman landmarks and the Grand Bazar in Istanbul is one of the most wonderful districts. Visit this alluring city of Istanbul with the Azzam Tour.

Grand Bazaar Istanbul Turkey the Gate of the bazaar