In Istanbul, there are plenty of places to shop. You may visit a sizable mall nearly everywhere in the city, head to Taksim's Istiklal Street and shop til you drop, or head to Kadikoy and browse the little boutiques and antique shops in search of deals. But the experience of the rather fascinating and enjoyable bazaar is something you shouldn't miss. To put it simply, a bazaar is a conventional market that is typically covered (i.e., has a roof), though this isn't always the case. Istanbul is well-known for its enormous Grand Bazaar, which you should undoubtedly explore for a few hours and perhaps get lost in. Apart from that, the city is home to numerous smaller bazaars, each of which has a unique vibe, character, and attitude. Arasta Bazaar ought to be on your list because of this. The first benefit of visiting Arasta Bazaar is that, despite its bustling nature, you won't likely get lost. Even natives get lost for a while in the Grand Bazaar because it resembles a maze. While you won't get lost in Arasta Bazaar, you may easily pass an hour or so looking through trinkets to bring home and taking in the lively and occasionally rowdy ambience.
Where is Arasta Bazaar?
The good news is that Arasta Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar can both be reached on foot if you want to spend a full day doing traditional shopping and haggling. However, you might want to wear comfortable shoes, and if you're taking kids to a bazaar, make careful to grasp their hands so they don't get lost in the crowd.
The actual Arasta Bazaar is located in Sultanahmet, to the southeast of the enormous and fairly stunning Blue Mosque. As a side note, the Great Palace Mosaic Museum is located beneath the bazaar and is a great place to learn about the past.
The term Arasta Bazaar is derived from the word's definition. This refers to a collection of stores that are situated next to or even inside a mosque. The mosque receives the rent that business owners pay to keep their doors open, which helps with the mosque's upkeep and maintenance. This explains why there are typically several stores nearby mosques in Istanbul's older neighborhoods. Of course, going to the bazaar is free, but after you see the variety of items available for purchase and wind up haggling your liras away, it won't be free anymore!
Make Sure to Barter
Speaking of haggling, Arasta Market is no different from any other bazaar in that this is something that is anticipated to happen. An employee of the stall or shop will almost certainly approach you if you are standing there admiring any item and will try to get you to buy something. Those who aren't used to it may find it annoying, but embrace the joy! You can get pricing for your selected item by asking how much it costs. You won't have to pay this amount. The seller will be somewhat shocked if you do. No, you'll present a different sum, probably somewhat more than half. This cost won't be borne by you either. The vendor will then start making a series of frantic, stressed-out motions while wondering if you're trying to rob him or her. However, this is all just part of the game. Then, you'll reach a compromise between the price on offer and your haggled price. You'll giggle and feel a little lost, but hey, it's entertaining!
Famous for its numerous carpet shops, Arasta Bazaar sells handcrafted carpets from all across the nation. Ask to examine their selection of kilims for a less expensive sort of carpet because real handmade Turkish carpets can be a little pricey. Even if they are still handcrafted carpets, these will cost less because they are typically thinner. Additionally, you may find tiles, clothes, luggage, and a variety of touristy souvenirs like keychains, fridge magnets, hats with the word "Istanbul" on them, etc.
Even if you don't buy anything, strolling through the bazaar will still give you a flavor of the neighborhood and its history. Although they had been present for a long time before the 1990s, the stores in this bazaar were largely deserted.
Basically, be sure to include Arasta Bazaar on your list if you want a shopping experience you won't soon forget
Frequently Asked Question
Is there anywhere Eese to shop in Istanbul?
Yes, there are other authentic places to shop in Istanbul other than famous Old Bazaars. Even though there are many huge new shopping malls in Istanbul, we know it feels different to go to historically and culturally important shops.
What is the oldest market in Istanbul?
The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is the oldest marketplace in Istsanbul.
What is the most famous bazaar in Istanbul?
The Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar are two most famous old bazaars of Istanbul.
What bazaars are in Turkey?
Turkey is famous for its bazaars, and there are tens of ancient bazaars like Alacati, Carpa, Grand Bazaar, Kemeralti in the country.
Who built Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar?
The emperor that gave the order to build the Grand Bazaar was Mehmed the Conqueror.