The Grand Bazaar, marked as a must see on every visitor's list in Istanbul, is more than just a place to buy souvenirs. Regardless whether you are a shopper or not, one can easily fall in love with the vibrant and colourful world of the Bazaar.
The area of the Grand Bazaar was used as a trade center during Byzantine times. After Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople, he built two bedestens, first in 1461, around which more buildings were added later. Today, with over 4000 stores, 66 streets, 21 gates, and over 20,000 salesmen under one roof, it is definitely one of the most amazing places in Istanbul.
According to Travel+Leisure Magazine, the Grand Bazaar is listed as No. 1 among the World's Most Visited Tourist Attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors.
What to buy at the Grand Bazaar?
Jewelry, fabrics, leather goods, rugs and kilims, handmade Iznik tiles and pottery, traditional backgammon sets, Hamam (Turkish) bath towels, colourful glass lamps, calligraphy, scarves and pashminas, antique pieces, and souvenirs.
Opening hours of the Grand Bazaar ;
From Monday to Saturday, 8.30 am - 7.00 pm
How to get to the Grand Bazaar?
The Grand Bazaar is close to other attractions in the old city, such as the Underground Cistern, the Blue Mosque, and the Hagia Sophia. You can easily walk or take the tram and get off at Cemberlitas or Beyazit-Kapalicarsi.