I think most people travelling to Istanbul for the first time will visit the Grand Bazaar. It has to be one of the best known attractions in Turkey.
The Bazaar is one of the oldest Trade Centres in the world and as soon as you step inside from any of the four main entrances you can’t help but be taken back the centuries and feel the romance of the Bazaar.
With 5000 shops on offer in this labyrinth of 60 streets you will be left in awe of this magnificent building.
Don’t plan a quick trip make sure to schedule in sometime to really take in the full extent of the Bazaar and to take time to makes some purchases and don’t forget to haggle for a good price it’s all part of the experience of the Bazaar.
But be careful when you visit the Bazaar as it is not open all day. The Bazaar is open Monday to Saturday between 9am and 7pm.
Within the Bazaar you will find Jewellery shops selling precious gems, gold and silver, ancient antiques of Istanbul and from around the world, spices that fill the air with their pungent smells, miles of carpets, exquisite fashion and all the leather goods you could possibly ever want.
If you plan to stay in the Bazaar for sometime don’t worry you won’t go hungry or thirsty with several café’s and restaurants on offer and if you feel you could do with a bit of time out from all the shopping then why not visit the 2 hanams (Turkish Baths) that are within the Bazaar. You will also find 2 Mosques and 4 Fountains within the complex.
A Little History of the Bazaar
The Bazaar is made up of two domed buildings called bedesten’s, the first was built between 1451 and 1462 by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, it was then enlarged in the 16th century by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Then in 1894 following an earthquake the Bazaar had major restoration work carried out.
No matter how many times you visit the Bazaar you will never be bored with so many shops on offer and such a labyrinth of streets there will be something new to see every time you visit and it’s a great place to find that little something special to take home with you.
© 2011 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.