A Guide to Shopping in Grand Bazaar in 2024

Istanbul is full of wonders. This amazing city welcomes visitors from all over the world for shopping as well as other reasons with its wonderful shopping malls, bazaars, and shopping streets. Istanbul hosts the largest covered market for hundreds of years: the Grand Bazaar.

Since it is the world's largest covered market, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a popular destination in Istanbul. Before giving you the ultimate guide to shopping in Grand Bazaar, let’s have a look at Istanbul Tourist Pass® which includes a great Grand Bazaar guided tour along with 100+ amazing attractions. With an informative guide, your visit to this great market can turn into an unforgettable shopping experience. Now have a look at the history and today of this unique place.

History of Grand Bazaar


The history of the Grand Bazaar is rich with stories and folklore about its beauty and heritage. The Grand Bazaar, with an area of 30,700 square meters and over 60 streets, alleys, and over 4,000 shops was constructed between 1451 and 1481 during Sultan Mehmed II's reign. In addition to direct trading, the Grand Bazaar has expanded over time to provide a range of facilities. There are restaurants, traditional tea houses, a hammam, a mosque, prayer rooms, and a security center to accommodate both buyers and sellers.

In this post, we'll go through a list of the best souvenirs you can purchase when visiting the Grand Bazaar, as well as the most important things you should know about dealing with vendors and purchasing your items there. Before we dig in, check out here to see the most popular souvenirs you can buy from Istanbul.

Turkish Carpets in Grand Bazaar


As you walk through the Grand Bazaar's carpet market, you'll be hit by the vibrant colors of the carpets and kilims on sale. As a souvenir, you would undoubtedly want to purchase Turkish carpets and kilims to add an oriental touch to your living room.

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The ancient art of weaving decorative Turkish carpets is a long-standing tradition in Turkey that represents a part of its Ottoman civilization. It is a craft that is handed on from generation to generation. Each area of Turkey has its own carpet style, and examples of all styles of Turkish carpets can be found in the Grand Bazaar. Kilims; are one of the more traditional versions and they are woven in a variety of sizes, the most common and simplest to pack in a travel bag being 2x1 meters or smaller.

Pottery with Handmade Decorations


Be certain that the decorated pottery influenced by the decorations of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque will astonish you, and that you will want to take all of these decorations home with you as a souvenir to remember your wonderful Grand Bazaar trip. You will be able to see and select from a vast selection of ornate ceramic pieces handmade locally in Istanbul in the Grand Bazaar. Hanging ornaments, pots, cups, mugs, ashtrays, vases, animal figurines, and many other items are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, ranging from traditional to contemporary.

Turkish delight - Lokum


Turkish delight is regarded as the emblem of Istanbul visits. Lokum is an ideal souvenir to purchase from the Grand Bazaar because it encourages friends and family back home to sample one of Turkey’s sweets. Many shops in the Grand Bazaar market these western sweets in a variety of shapes and flavors. We suggest that you sample various flavors before purchasing them so that you can haggle for the final price.

Evil Eye Beads


One of the most common items to buy in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is the Nazar boncuğu, also known as the "evil eye bead". These circular objects with a blue backdrop and concentric circles that draw the outline of the eye, according to Turkish culture, are an amulet against the eye of the envious, which is why you'll see them hanging in front of the doors of almost every home and shops in Turkey. Nazar boncuğu is available in a variety of styles and textures, including earrings, key chains, bottles, ceramics, and even a rosary. You can even find cups of Turkish coffee with the evil eye bead design.

Jewelry


Use the Beyazt Gate to access the Grand Bazaar if you enjoy jewelry. You'll have the impression of being in a true treasure paradise there. As soon as you enter the gate, you will see a swarm of stores offering a variety of jewels, including timepieces, modern and antique-style jewelry, and rare gems. Meet with lapidaries and jewelry experts and see their handmade jewelry. It is a truly unique experience!

Antiques


The majority of the antique shops are in Bedesten. Shops offering antiques, some of which are from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, may be found in this area of the market. There, you can find silver kitchenware, home decor, Ottoman artifacts, antique Turkish rings adorned with precious stones, and antique jewelry. Each item in this area of the market has a tale to tell about Istanbul.

Have an amazing experience with Istanbul Tourist Pass®


Whether you're visiting Istanbul for the first time or returning, you'll need an Istanbul Tourist to enjoy the city fully. The Pass allows you to visit over 100 attractions while still saving time and money! You will save up to 80% with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. You'll actually save a lot of time with the Pass and you won't have to wait in line for tickets. Especially the guided tours to Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahce Palace, and many more will turn your trip into an extraordinary experience. Now all you have to do is check your pass on your phone and you're good to go! There are plenty of other advantages to the Pass that you can benefit from! Have a great Istanbul experience.

FAQ

What is Grand Bazar famous for?

Grand Bazaar is the largest covered market in the world since the 15th century. It is famous for its handmade jewelry, carpets, rugs, mosaic lamps, and amazing souvenirs.

What day is Grand Bazaar closed?

Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays but you can visit this amazing place every other day between 9 AM to 7 PM.

Why is Grand Bazaar closed?

Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays but you can visit this amazing place every other day between 9 AM to 7 PM.

Is Grand Bazaar Istanbul expensive?

In the Grand Bazaar, prices are not expensive, especially for visitors from Europe and America. Because of the currency difference, you’ll have unique and quality things for a reasonable price.

What is the most famous market in Turkey?

Grand Bazaar is the most famous market in Turkey with over 4000 shops in it.

What is best to buy in Turkey?

Turkish delights, handmade carpets, Turkish mosaic lamps, blue evil eye amulets, ceramics, tea sets, antiques, Turkish spices, olive oil soap, silver jewelry, and dry fruits are a few of the well-known items to purchase in Turkey.

What is the best time to visit Grand Bazaar Istanbul?

The optimum times are early in the day or late in the day. If you want to shop at the Grand Bazaar all day, go early in the morning and late in the afternoon, and take a break for lunch somewhere else in between. Shopping in the Grand Bazaar during the day involves interacting with lots of other shoppers.

Do you need tickets for Grand Bazaar?

No, you don’t need a ticket for Grand Bazar, it is open to the public for free.

Is the Grand Bazaar free?

Entrance to the Grand Bazaar is free, you don’t need to buy a ticket. But we highly recommend you take a guided tour especially if it is your first time. Check out here for Istanbul Tourist Pass®’s amazing Grand Bazaar guided tour.

How do I get to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?

The Grand Bazaar is situated in the Old Town, close to famous sights like the Hagia Sophia, Spice Bazaar, and Blue Mosque. Take a tram to the Beyazit-Kapalçarş stop for the quickest route there. To enjoy public transportation freely, here is the Unlimited Public Transportation Card special for tourists.

Can you buy clothes at Grand Bazaar?

Yes, you can buy clothes at Grand Bazaar. Some of its top draws are the rugs and jewelry you may find. Spices, handicrafts, purses, clothing, shoes, and other items are also available.

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