Istanbul Grand Bazaar
Istanbul Grand Bazaar Opening Hours, Shopping Tips, Map
Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest centers of attraction in Istanbul. Any tourist who loves shopping definitely wants to visit Grand Bazaar at the end of the culture tour. It is natural for Grand Bazaar to pique such a big curiosity in people with its huge dimensions, 60 covered streets and 3000 shops.
Should I Make a Bargain in Grand Bazaar?
Definitely yes! Otherwise you will get the product you want to buy at the highest possible price. Grand Bazaar has an eastern style, offering traditional way of shopping.
While you are walking through the labyrinth-like streets, it is inevitable to come across enthusiastic vendors trying to sell you something and the only way to buy their products in an affordable way is to bargain with them.
The most important point is to know how to bargain so that you can get the price down for most product by 20-40%.
Jewelry Shops in The Grand Bazaar
Do Local People Shop in Grand Bazaar?
The answer is both yes and no. Because Istanbul has a lot of modern shopping malls which can satisfy all the needs thanks to the national and international brands inside them.
Then what do local people buy in Grand Bazaar? The answer is: gold. Local folks see Grand Bazaar as a huge jeweler and Bazaar is the heart of gold market. Gold prices are commonly priced on gram basis and you can buy it there.
One can also find various golden necklaces, bracelets, rings made by the most experienced craftsmen. The price for milled gold depends on the quality of workmanship.
The only and the biggest shopping center during the Ottoman Empire period, Grand Bazaar served as a shopping place with the most variety of products for local people but today it is generally regarded as a touristic and expensive location.
Istanbul Grand Bazaar Map
Gate 1 is the main entrance and Gate 7 is the main exit. Süleymaniye Mosque is 10 minutes walking distance to Grand Bazaar. Spice Bazaar is down the hill through local Mahmutpasa Street Market, takes around 15 minutes.
How to Get to Grand Bazaar from Sultanahmet?
The Bazaar has one main entrance (Nuruosmaniye> Gate – 1) and one main exit (Beyazıt> Gate – 7). Kalpakçılarbaşı Street between these two gates is the main street of Grand Bazaar. This street is located on the southernmost part of the Bazaar and opens into many other streets on the northern direction. On the main street, there are jewelry, souvenir and spice shops.
Follow “Nuruosmaniye Street” to get to Grand Bazaar
The most pleasant road, Nuruosmaniye Street, to Grand Bazaar takes its name from Nuruosmaniye Mosque. There are coffee shops, nice restaurants and shops in this street. At the end of the road, you pass through the courtyard of Nuruosmaniye Mosque, which is an example of early Baroque style Imperial Mosque in the Ottoman period, and you reach gate number 1 of Grand Bazaar.
Getting to Grand Bazaar from Divanyolu (Tram Line) Street
Another option is to reach Beyazit tram station either through walking or by tram via the historical street called Divanyolu and enter the main street at gate number 7. Divan Yolu was the street reaching to Byzantine Palace during Byzantine period and Topkapı Palace during Ottoman period.
Consider visiting Suleymaniye Mosque after Grand Bazaar
The most beautiful mosque of the city: Suleymaniye Mosque is within walking distance from Grand Bazaar.
Where is Istanbul Grand Bazaar On a Map
Istanbul Grand Bazaar Shopping Tips
Inside the Bazaar, you may find carpets, porcelain, leather, antique stuff, hookah, copper, silver and lead soldier, wool and cotton products, embroidered towels, and scented soaps. Such products are locally made and of top quality.
Besides, there are many types of imitation bags, watches and t-shirts. These are not original products and mostly imported from China.
Some of the carpets are made in Turkey and of high quality. However some of them are imported from Pakistan, India and China and aren’t originals. One requires an expertise to be able to detect a real Turkish carpet. If you are interesting buying a carpet, I recommend that you read Where to Buy Turkish Carpets in Istanbul blog post too.
Turkish Carpets and Kilims in the Grand Bazaar
When and How was Grand Bazaar Built?
After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, palaces, mosques and bazaars were started to be built in the city. Grand Bazaar was one of the first structured to be constructed. The first structure to be built within Grand Bazaar was Old Bazaar (Cevahir Bedesteni) at the center of it.
One can easily realize the difference between the walls and ceilings of Old Bazaar and the rest of the Grand Bazaar. This center has expanded very much within centuries to what we know as the Grand Bazaar now. You can see interesting antique clocks, maps and daggers in Old Bazaar.
Istanbul Grand Bazaar Opening Hours
Grand Bazaar is open from 09:00 am in the morning to 7:00 pm in the evening. The Grand Bazaar is closed to visit on Sundays. Grand Bazaar is closed entirely during the religious holidays. The Bazaar is closed for 3 days during the Ramazan Bayrami (Feast of Ramadan) and closed for 4 days during the Kurban Bayrami (Eid al-adha).
Local Advice on Shopping in Istanbul
If you want to shop in Istanbul, I recommend you to read the article Shopping places in Istanbul, which contains much more detailed information than this article. You may also be interested in the article on What to Buy in Istanbul.