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Grand Bazaar In Istanbul: All You Need To Know Before Visiting!

By Ketika Shah on Mar 3, 2023
Themes:  Food & Shopping  | Category: Places To Visit | Country:  All Over the World Turkey

Turkey tourism is renowned for its mystical charm, stunning architecture, and rich culture, but your visit to this country will not be a full circle unless you visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

The must-visit spot for any tourist while visiting Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar. In the Turkish language, this bazaar is known as – Kapalıçarşı. It is pronounced as kah-pah-luh-char-shuh! One of the best places in the world to shop, it has the largest indoor market in the world, measuring around thirty thousand square meters.

It is the most famous market in Istanbul. The location of Grand Bazaar is in the hub of the city. A treasure trove of traditional and unique goods with more than four thousand stalls and shops selling spices, ceramics, Turkish carpets, and many more. Millions of visitors explore this market each day. I am sure you will be baffled by the blend of flavors, sounds, colors, and smells that are in the air in this magical market. One thing to note is that you will have to bargain and be good at it to avail a fair deal.

I will cover everything you need to discover about the Grand Bazaar via this blog.

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History of the Grand Bazaar

From the mid-15th century, the Grand Bazaar was a center for trade. As a part of the Ottoman foundation system, this covered almost all facets of cultural and socioeconomic life. Bazaars were built close to religious and other social and charitable places. Fatih Sultan Mehmet built the first building that would then form the Grand Bazaar in 1461.

The trade shops are organized into zones, and over time the streets were domed, giving rise to the modern Grand Bazaar. The specialization of the stores is still in existence and is one of the bazaar’s unique qualities.

When visiting this city of riches within Istanbul, it is simple to step back in time. The Grand Bazaar was a key economic center for trade in the Mediterranean. The abundance, diversity, and high caliber of goods made it unmatched among its European counterparts until around the middle of the 19th century. With such a historical background of Grand Bazaar, it surely tops the list of places to visit in Turkey.

How to Reach Grand Bazaar

In the middle of the Mercan, Beyazt, and Nuruosmaniye neighborhoods is where you will find the Great Bazaar. Twenty-two gates provide access from all sides. Beyazit gate, which is direct across from Beyazit tram station, serves as the main entry.

You can opt for the tram from Sultanahmet or the funicular from Taksim. The distance from Istanbul Airport to Grand Bazaar is around forty-seven kilometers. The best way to reach the bazaar from Istanbul Ataturk Airport is by road. Alternatively, you can also take a metro to Zeytinburnu and from here, you can take a tram from Beyazit to reach Grand Bazaar.

Read More : Traveling To Turkey? Here Are Five Of The Most Popular Cities To Visit!

Best Time to Visit Grand Bazaar

Once you plan to visit this bazaar, it is quite crucial to know the best time to visit the Grand Bazaar. The bazaar is open every day except for public holidays and Sundays. The opening hours of the Grand Bazaar are from morning 9 to evening 7 pm. Visit the bazaar during weekdays, either during the early morning hours or late in the afternoon, as the crowd tends to be lesser during these hours. The bazaar is the busiest from June to September – which is the top season for tourists. You can visit the bazaar from September to November or from March to May to avoid heat and crowds. Although, remember that some shops may be shut during Ramadan each year.

The architecture of the Grand Bazaar

The architecture of Grand Bazaar Istanbul is as famous as its prestige. The Grand Bazaar built during the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century is a classic example of Turkish designs and architecture. The architectural and historical value of the maze, which resembles a covered market with over sixty streets and four thousand shops, draws people from all over the world. The bazaar is divided into fifteen different sections. The internal ornamentation of the domes that stand in for these divides also displays the tradition and culture of this city. The architecture of the Grand Bazaar is a visual feast, from the multicolored tiles to the vast domes and arches.

Shopping in Grand Bazaar

Shopping in the iconic Grand Bazaar is an exclusive chance to experience Turkish culture. Undoubtedly the finest place to hunt for unique products is this well-known market. It is a shopper’s paradise offering a distinctive array of items like souvenirs, ceramics, spices, carpets, jewelry, and much more. Explore the shops in the Grand Bazaar and take your time to decide whatever item you want to buy. Do follow some vital tips for shopping in the Grand Bazaar, like carrying enough cash, checking the quality of the goods, and most importantly BARGAIN with the shopkeepers.

Here are some pointers on shopping etiquette at Grand Bazaar, whether you are new to haggling or are inclined to dismiss the idea due to ignorance. First and foremost, do not be afraid to offer your quote of the discounted price for the item you want to purchase.

Even if you are not much into shopping – but amongst the things to do in Turkey – you must visit this Bazaar to get the feel of the surrounding. The reflection of the jewelry shops, the hustle and bustle of the people, the architecture of this domed spot, and the expressions of the locals and vendors are all compelling reasons to visit this fascinating place.

Read More : 5 Most Visited Cities of Europe to Include In Your Next Euro Trip!

Things to Buy From Grand Bazar

Now – once you are at this legendary Bazaar – there are many things for you to buy as souvenirs.

  • Ceramics
  • Lanterns and Lamps
  • Kilims and Carpets
  • Spices
  • Jewelry
  • Turkish Soaps
  • Hookah
  • Turkish Delight
  • Metalware


Since 1985, the bazaar has been a UNESCO World Historic Site. It resembles a mysterious city full of treasures. Tourists may take advantage of a unique ambiance that captures the spirit of Istanbul in addition to an unrivaled shopping experience. It is obvious why the Grand Bazaar is one of Istanbul’s top tourist destinations and draws more than a million people every day. While traveling to turkey with Flamingo Transworld – do not miss the chance to explore this unique market.

So put on your comfy shoes, load up on cash, and prepare to be immersed in the bright and lively atmosphere of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

 FAQs Regarding Grand Bazar

What is Grand Bazar famous for?

Its bustling and ancient shopping experience makes it one of the most famous bazaars in the world. The Grand Bazaar is renowned for its wide variety of products, including spices, sweets, and souvenirs, in addition to traditional Turkish fabrics, carpets, ceramics, and jewelry.

Do you need tickets for Grand Bazaar?

No, you do not need tickets for the Grand Bazaar. It is a public market and is open to everyone.

What day is Grand Bazaar closed?

The Grand Bazaar is open all weekdays and closed on public holidays and Sundays.

Can you buy clothes at Grand Bazaar?

Indeed, clothing is available at the Grand Bazaar. The market features a range of stores selling traditional Turkish clothing, including scarves, shawls, kaftans, and textiles with vivid and detailed patterns. Moreover, several stores sell contemporary apparel items with traditional Turkish design features, like t-shirts, coats, and skirts.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul has how many shops?

There are more than four thousand shops in the Grand Bazaar.

About Author

Ketika Shah
Ketika Shah

I Mrs. Ketika Shah (Sales Manager, Flamingo Transworld) Joined Flamingo Transworld in 2002 and started the outbound tour department. I got a chance to explore many countries, took international tours, deal with many people, and understood customers’ psychology. I graduated with B.sc and entered in Aviation and Tourism Industry with the certified course of IATA. I believe in selling quality tours to our customers as our employees are our biggest strengths.

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