Istanbul Grand Bazaar, also known as the Kapalıçarşı or Covered Bazaar, is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. It is a historical and cultural landmark located in Istanbul's old city, and attracts millions of visitors every year. The Grand Bazaar dates back to the 15th century, and has over 4,000 shops spread across 61 streets and alleys inside a covered complex. The shops sell a wide range of products, including traditional Turkish crafts and souvenirs, textiles, carpets, ceramics, jewelry, spices, and much more. Aside from shopping, visitors can also enjoy traditional Turkish tea, coffee or baklava at one of the many cafes inside the bazaar or explore the fascinating architecture of the buildings, including the ornate domes, mosaics and carvings that add to its charm. To fully experience the Grand Bazaar
Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, has a rich and varied history. From its early days as a Greek colony to becoming the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul has seen it all. In the 7th century BC, the Greek colony of Byzantium was established on the site of present-day Istanbul. The city became an important trade hub and a strategic location on the trade route between Europe and Asia. In 324 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great established his new capital in Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople. This marked the beginning of the Byzantine Empire, which lasted for more than 1,000 years. Under the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople flourished as a center for art, culture, and trade. It was also a major center of the Christian world, with the construction of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in the 6th century. In 1453, the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. The city was renamed Istanbul and became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire. Under Ottoman rule, Istanbul grew and prospered, becoming one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The city was a hub of trade, culture, and commerce, with the construction of many magnificent mosques, palaces, and other architectural wonders. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Istanbul saw significant social and political changes, from the Tanzimat reforms to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Today, Istanbul remains one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities in the world, with a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity.
1. Explore the vast selection of shops and stalls selling traditional Turkish goods, such as ceramics, carpets, and spices.
2. Sample the array of Turkish food at the market, from kebabs to Turkish delight.
3. Get lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleys, discovering hidden gems and unique souvenirs.
4. Experience the bustling ambiance of the market, with its busy crowds and vendors selling their wares.
5. Visit the many historic mosques and other landmarks located near the bazaar, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
6. Bargain with vendors to get the best prices on items you want to buy.
7. Take a break from shopping and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee or tea at one of the market's cafes and restaurants.
8. Watch local artisans at work, from pottery-making to metalworking.
9. Take a guided tour of the Grand Bazaar to learn about the history and culture of this iconic market.
10. Visit the market during the off-peak hours to avoid the crowds and maximize your shopping experience.