Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops.

About Grand Baazar

  • History of Grand Bazaar

  • What to buy in the Grand Bazaar

  • How to get to Grand Bazaar

  • Opening hours and when it is closed

History of Grand Bazaar

Starting as a small vaulted bedesten(warehouse) built by order of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1461, it grew to cover a vast area as lanes between the bedesten, neighbouring shops and hans (caravanserais) were roofed and the market assumed the sprawling, labyrinthine form that it retains today.

Over the years, the Grand Bazaar expanded from this core of two bedestens to become a sprawling roofed complex of thousands of shops, fringed by the tradesmen’s inns and workshops known as hans. According to the Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname, by the seventeenth century the Kapalı Çarşı (or the Çarşı-yı-Kebir as it was known at the time) had reached its present size, with over 4,000 shops and nearly 500 stalls known in Turkish as dolap (literally translated to “cupboard”).

Grand Bazaar Shops

What to buy in the Grand Bazaar

Have an idea of what you want to find and how much you want to pay for it. Some of the best items to look out for are: pestamel (hand woven hamam towels); carpets and kilims; antiques; traditional Ottoman or Islamic arts such as calligraphy and miniatures; other fabrics such as pashminas; and products made from central Asian textiles like ikat or suzani.

Trying to see the entire Grand Bazaar in one afternoon is an unrealistic task. With this in mind, it is best to experience the Grand Bazaar at a leisurely pace, not by rushing from one shop to the next. The eventual purchase is not as important as the process and the relationship that will be established between the vendor and yourself. Chatting and bargaining with the sellers, who often are fluent in more than one language, is what makes the Grand Bazaar experience different. Dozens of stores lined up next to each other sell similar products, making haggling and customer service crucial. Accepting tea does not mean either party has sealed the deal; instead, it is the Turkish way of welcoming visitors. If you are not pleased with the offer, leave and look for a better deal elsewhere.

We operate a guided tour for main attractions of old city Sultanahmet which included Grand Bazaar, if you want to get more information about it here is the below;

Tour Link :

How to get to Grand Bazaar

Grand Covered Bazaar, situated in the district of Fatih. It stretches roughly from west to east between the mosques of Beyazit and Nuruosmaniye.

From Taksim : Take a finicular from Taksim Square for Kabatas and than take tram (T1) to Beyazit it is just next to tram stop.

From Sultanahmet : A 20-minute walk from Sultanahmet Square, has many different entrances. One main entrance is a short walk from the Beyazit tram stop; another is behind the Spice Bazaar, not far from the Eminonu tram stop.

Opening hours and when it is closed

All shops in the Grand Bazaar open from Monday to Saturday 09:00 - 19:00. It is closed on Sundays. It is also closed during religious holidays. ( Ramadan and Muslim Festival of Sacrifices )


Tours, Activities and Services


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