The Grand Bazaar is one of the famous destinations in Istanbul, it is the largest covered bazaar in the world with a huge capacity of shops and wide collection of choices to buy at.
Tourists and locals spend hours and hours in this magnificent market and have a delightful time, it is normal to spend the whole day in the area since the bazaar is huge and covers many aspects.
History of the Bazaar
The construction of the bazaar finished not so long after the conquest of Constantinople, and it was the center of economy to the city, the bazaar had its golden period once it is achieved its final shaped when the Ottoman Empire was vast and spread out across three continents and controlled the trade routes between these continents both on land and sea. Which made the bazaar had many merchants especially from Europe. The bazaar had been damaged by a strong earthquake in 1894, which was repaired in 1898.
Today, the bazaar is huge, crowded shopping complex with over 400,000 visitors daily and is one of the major landmarks of the city. In fact, it still competes with the best outlets in Istanbul due to its vast range of shops and variety of different products. It has many sections, like Jewelry, textiles, Turkish food and delights, and many more products.
The bazaar is opened every day from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM except on Sundays and bank holidays.
What it is like to shop in the bazaar?
Well for starters, it is recommended and normal to spend a whole day in the bazaar, since it offers many solutions to the locals and tourists, the main area of the bazaar is mainly crowded and crawling with shopping lovers, if you feel that you have a limited time, you may explore the area and get the products you desire since the main area have it all. You may also explore the surrounding areas of the bazaar because they are considered part of the bazaar as well.
The merchants in the bazaar are quite the professionals when it comes to bargaining, most of the merchants speak foreign languages, so bargaining your way through the bazaar is a must, just take your time while talking to them. If you still feel you are not pleased with the offer the merchant has given you, simply leave and find other store with a better offer.
As mentioned, most of the merchants are professionals with bargaining, but some of them have different tactics of approaching you, if you see a product you do not want to buy and you know it is useless for you, the merchant sees this as an opportunity and try to sell you this product, since they believe the aggressive approach will make you go for the item you do not wish to buy, so it is pretty normal to just leave it there and move on.
The must have products from the bazaar are many but we will bring them down to you, first of all, the jewelry, if you entered the Beyazit gate you will notice on both sides there are many shops for jewelry, and all of them offer a plenty of beautiful pieces with reasonable prices.
Later on, you have the antiques which are the main reason why many people come to the famous bazaar, you have a wide selection of antiques to buy, like personal objects, mirrors, and many Ottoman-like items to have. In addition, if you are one of the people who have a special relationship with carpets, then you have come to the right place, the collection of carpets the shops have is outstanding, a range from Caucasian, Iranian, Anatolian carpets and many more.
The grand Bazaar stands as a great monument since its construction during the Ottoman Empire, it stands as one of the best competitors for many outlets in the city of Istanbul. It has an amazing background and history to tell, you have many options and stores, taking your time throughout the day is completely normal. Enjoy this wonderful monument.