In 2014 (yes, I know, it’s been 4 years already), the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was the world’s most-visited tourist attraction, according to Travel+Leisure. If you look at the Instagram hashtags of this marketplace, you’ll be dazzled by the colors of what this well-known tourist destination would offer to your four senses.
On the day I was there, the scene didn’t disappoint me. I was enamored not just by its history, sights, and colors but also by how the Turkish vendors won’t bother you just by passing through their shops. Unlike other busy marketplaces I’ve been to in many countries (like China, Hongkong, Vietnam, and Thailand), the sellers at Grand Bazaar are not the pushy kinds. They’d leave you alone once you politely say, “I’m just window shopping.”
I was there in the early morning, so the crowd was still thin, and I felt like I was the only (or most) obvious tourist going around.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar is a 15th-century shopping mall that makes your shopping experience worthwhile. However, in the frenzy of buying all good things, do not forget to revere the character of the architecture and the historical vibes sprouting from the walls.
The Grand Bazaar gives you certain eastern or middle eastern shopping vibes because of the countless shops that sell whatever Turkey or China can produce.
The best thing about this is that you don’t have to roam around like a lost and confused tourist and hit upon an area of interest. Want to buy some eastern jewelry? No worries, head toward Kalpakcilar Caddesi. Interested in leather goods? Go nowhere but Perdahcilar Caddessi. Up for some casual clothes? Bit Pazari is the place not to miss.
But then, you know, the place is huge – so it’s possible you’ll be lost in the grand maze of arched walkways.
Just like any tourist-infested markets, prices vary from locals to tourists. You can haggle, of course.
Enjoy the rest of the photos.
Where to Stay in Istanbul
If you’re a backpacker, HostelWorld has budget accommodations for you. For those who can afford medium-priced to expensive hotels, Booking.com has a lot of choices for you near the Hagia Sophia.
How to Save Time and Money in Istanbul
If solo traveling isn’t your turf, you should join a guided tour if you have little time in the city and want less hassle. Istanbul can be overwhelming for first-time visitors, and the views, people, smells, sounds, and tastes have their way of charming your complete senses. There are so many things and places to discover here! Make sure to list down which ones you want to see first.