10-01-2023 - History

History and Today of Grand Bazaar, Insider Tips 2023

The Grand Bazaar has grown over time to include a variety of services in addition to direct commerce. It also includes restaurants, the most recent of which was the renowned chef Nusret Gökçe's Salt Bae restaurant last year, a mosque, a hammam, and its own police station, as if it were a suburb or an area in and of itself. You will approach the covered market Grand Bazaar in Istanbul or the “Kapalı Çarşı” if you enter from Beyazit Gate, Nuruosmaniye Gate, Urgo Gate, or Sorguçlu Han Gate.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a popular destination for most visitors since it is the world's largest covered market. The Grand Bazaar's ancient history is full of tales and legends about its beauty and heritage.

With Istanbul Tourist Pass®, you can join a guided tour of the Grand Bazaar. We strongly recommend you visit this amazing place with a guide especially if it is your first time there. You'll be amazed by the richness of culture and history of the Grand Bazaar.

Here check out other 100+ attractions you can visit for FREE with Istanbul Tourist Pass®, and if you love history, don't forget to book your place for guided tours! Let's start digging into the history of Grand Bazaar.

Grand Bazaar’s Construction


The Grand Bazaar, which was built between 1451 and 1481 during Sultan Mehmed II "the Conqueror's" reign, is one of the world's largest and oldest covered bazaars or markets, with an area of 30,700 square meters and over 60 avenues, alleys, and over 4,000 shops.

The question of the Grand Bazaar's gates, as well as the question of the market's streets and how to differentiate them from one another usually arises among tourists in Istanbul. Specialization is the solution! The gates were built according to specializations to ensure that shoppers, including those who had recently visited the Grand Bazaar, do not get lost. For eg, anyone looking for gold and jewels should go to the Beyazit Gate and follow the directions, while those looking for carpets and wool goods should go to the Zenneciler Gate, and those looking for antiques and Ottoman pieces should go to the Nuruosmaniye Gate or the Mercan Gate. Check the gates well when you visit Istanbul!

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The Grand Bazaar's past is riddled with incidents, including several disasters, which were generated to provide funds to Hagia Sofya. Earthquakes and fires have wreaked havoc on the city. The covered market burned down in 1701 and 1750 before being damaged by an earthquake in 1766. Then, there were new fires in 1791 and 1826, followed by the great Istanbul earthquake of 1894, and finally the fire of 1954. Following the burn, renovation work on this business lasted for five years and is still going strong today.

The covered market came to an end in its present form after Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it from wood to stone during his rule between 1520 and 1566, and it has since included handicrafts as well as buying and selling. There are streets dedicated to the selling of leather goods and furniture, and others to the production of traditional Turkish sweets, especially Turkish delight. It's worth noting that some of the streets have taken on the names of popular occupations, such as Gold Street and Copper Street.

Prices in Grand Bazaar


Many people are unaware that the market's rates are the highest in Istanbul, but they are open to "bargaining," and a first-time buyer might be stunned to find that the price has dropped to half of his initial estimate. In addition, because of the scale of the shops and the people who work in them, some of them have business relationships with countries and big multinational corporations. The amount of gold shipped from the market on a daily basis is immense, as is the amount of leather shops and heritage goods sold, including those used in films. The Grand Bazaar is said to be where most of the actors in historical Turkish TV shows get their clothing.

Where is Grand Bazaar


The Grand Bazaar is in the Beyazıt area of the Fatih district, one of the oldest settlements in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar is easily accessible via public transportation. After leaving the Beyazıt station on the T1 tram line, the Grand Bazaar is a few minutes away from the station. Before your trip, please do not forget to check what time Grand Bazaar opens and closes.

The shopping mall opens at 08:30 am and closes at 07:00 pm, so definitely make sure you have enough time to discover this magnificent place extensively and to shop! And no need to worry about any Grand Bazaar Istanbul entrance fee! The historical shopping mall is free to enter and walk through.

The Grand Bazaar is also the perfect location for a long day of exploring the city. With the T1 tram line, you can easily go from the Grand Bazaar to Spice Bazaar Istanbul, near the Eminönü station, and discover the unique atmosphere of Eminönü and the Spice Market, get fresh air near the seashore and take in the area’s beauty.

If you are wondering how far Grand Bazaar is from Blue Mosque, they are also close in proximity. Blue Mosque is easily accessible through the T1 tram line at the Sultanahmet station. If you would like to have a full-day trip, discovering the various iconic landmarks of the city, consider our Blue Mosque tour for a guided trip through places such as the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque. This day-long trip takes you on a journey through time amongst the most well-known Ottoman and Byzantine relics and informs you about the centuries-old history of Istanbul.

The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered shopping malls in the world, so no need to worry about the weather! The Grand Bazaar is great for both summer and winter visits! If you do not know where to shop in Grand Bazaar, worry not! Your guided experience takes you through the most reputable shops in the mall, so you can get an idea of what to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul our guide teaches you how to bargain in Grand Bazaar so you can shop smart. Also, you’ll get the unique experience of visiting workshops and seeing master artisans and how their works come into being.

Insider Tips for Grand Bazaar


Our most important Grand Bazaar Istanbul tips are: do not get overwhelmed by the countless shops and definitely do not get lost in the mall! Our Grand Bazaar shopping tips are: to bargain relentlessly and take your time when examining intricate works such as Turkish rugs, copperware, and other decor and jewelry items to fully appreciate the work that goes into making them. After a fun bargaining and shopping spree, you might want to know where to eat near Grand Bazaar Istanbul for the most delicious Turkish food. You are in luck! The Grand Bazaar is surrounded by all kinds of food options, from quick and easy Turkish fast foods like döner and kokoreç to the most delicious and hearty kebabs and home-style meals. You can also walk around and see other important buildings like Hagia Irene and Topkapi Palace. You can take a tour of the Hagia Irene Museum or Topkapi Palace. Maybe you will want to see a lot of things in Istanbul and choose the Istanbul In 1 Day tour.

If you like indoor spaces, we offer you two more places. You can enjoy a fun Safari in Istanbul and experience the horror in Dungeon in Istanbul. They are both in Istanbul.

Book your trip now! We have safe and secure payment options for credit cards, protected by the international infrastructure so you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind! If you need any help whilst you visit Istanbul, istanbultouristpass.com offers a WhatsApp service so you can get the help you need!

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