At a Glance
Located: Beyazıt, European Side
Great for: Getting souvenirs
Time: Open between 08:30-19:00. The Bazaar is closed on Sundays.
Cost: The entrance is free.
Grand Bazaar is one of the symbols of İstanbul and if you are coming to the city, you have to visit this bazaar! There you will find different sections for leather, antique, jewellery and spice shops.
İstanbul has always been a major trading route. Grand Bazaar, a great example of that, is the oldest and the biggest shopping centre in the world. It is located in the Historic Peninsula which is one of the oldest settlements in the city. This enourmous bazaar has almost 4000 shops, 64 streets, 11 doors and two mosques!
Grand Bazaar consisted of two covered bazaar at the start with the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The construction started in 1461. The first covered bazaar was named as Cevahir and the income from this bazaar was left to Fatih Sultan Mehmet to be given to Hagia Sophia. Then Sultan made this bazaar a trade centre by opening many shop and counters.
Grand Bazaar looks like a huge maze with its 30.700 square metres field. In this enormous size of field, there are jewellery, gun, antiques and food shops! You will find many different things in this bazaar because every time we visit, it always surprises us.
How to go
You can reach the Grand Bazaar from different locations since it is a huge bazaar and has got 11 main doors! But I’ll give you some suggestions below.
By tram, you should get off in Beyazıt Stop for the Fesciler Door of the bazaar. I would highly recommend this way because then you can go through the bazaar and walk down the hill to reach Eminönü. In that way, you can enjoy other shops while going down!
If you are in Eminönü, you can go through the Spice Bazaar and walk up the hill from the small streets until you reach the Grand Bazaar. Keep in mind that you will be walking up the hill.
In this magical environment, there are some things that you should be careful about.
- Beware of items. Fake/imitation goods are possible here.
- Bargain for items because they will likely reduce the price. Plus, they expect you to bargain and they have possibly added to the cost.
- If your wish to get gold, this is the right place for it.
- It will be super crowded on Saturdays.