The Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – A Historical & Cultural Tour of Turkey

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (Kapalıçarşı) is one of the world’s most famous and biggest covered shopping destinations. It houses around 4,000 stores across 64 streets. It has smaller lanes along with the bazaar’s restaurants, mosques, banks, police stations, and post offices, articulating it as a miniature central city.
The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally. It is located in Istanbul’s Old City, near significant sites like the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia.
So, to make the most of your time, use our guide here to learn about this Grand Bazaar’s historical significance, unique architecture, and interior. We have also mentioned the tour-related information like what you’ll find there, how to reach there, and how to bargain at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

Explore the Grand Bazaar Place

How about meeting Turkey’s history in the Grand Bazaar’s aromatic atmosphere? You wouldn’t know Istanbul without seeing this structure that connects history to the present.

So, are you ready for an exciting journey through the cradle of civilizations in the heart of Istanbul, lit by exquisitely crafted Calabash lamps? Yes? Great!!

Let’s embark on this exciting exploration by learning about the Grand Bazaar’s history, architecture, and interior. Then, plan a wonderful trip to this fantastic place based on our tour guide.

·      Historical Background

The historical basis of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is the subject of two theses. Some say Fatih Sultan Mehmet built it from the ground up in 1461. Others suggest that it was constructed during the Byzantine period. Still, if the past or later ideas are correct, the Grand Bazaar is thought to have been founded officially in 1461.

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Turkey's largest & most celebrated market
Turkish carpets

The Grand Bazaar was extended under the control of Suleiman the Splendid. It became one of the Ottoman Empire’s most magnificent centers with the addition of extra stores, mosques, inns, and fountains. The bazaar grew in size over the years, with expansions made by several sultans, until it contained over 4,000 stores and 64 streets. Consequently, it has grown to a 31,000-square-meter complex.

·      Labyrinth-Like Architecture

The Bazaar’s labyrinth-like extentamazes first-time visitors and piques their interest in every manner. The Grand Bazaar has an elaborate design that resembles a maze! Interesting right?

The Bedestan is divided into 15 pieces in terms of monumental architectural design. One of the most prominent paradigms of Turkish structural design is a decorated bedesten like this. The inner attributes of a bazaar are these two traits. Brickwork and rubble have been used to replace the original stones and bricks. The Grand Bazaar’s aesthetics and design are classics of Turkish architecture masterpiece, making it a must-visit tourist place.

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·      Distinctive Interior

The Grand Bazaar, which draws visitors from all across the globe, features shops selling rare jewels, antiques, weapons, food, and many more goods. Different names are attributed to different parts of the bazaar, which are sufficient to convey what the location was once used for. There are 11 gates to enter this bazaar, and you can find lots of streets within the bazaar with different names such as Uhachan, Altuncular, Basmacilar, and so on.

Touring the Grand Bazaar

·      What Will You Find in the Grand Bazaar?

You might be thinking about what is sold at the Grand Bazaar. Well, when you visit the Grand Bazaar, you will see colorful images of jewelry workshops, foreign exchange dealers, and small shops of artisans selling exciting handicrafts. Also, some makers create artistic decorations and calligraphies. You will also find antique shops, coppersmiths, and artisans engaging in conversations while selling their art.

Turkish lamps
Turkish seller

Suppose you would like to purchase something from the bazaar. In that case, you will find a lot of good options such as Yazzma (pashminas made from silk or cotton), Turkish carpets and rugs, local apparels, pottery objects, handmade presents, silver jewelry, amulets, gold necklaces and bracelets, and leather products are among the few best items to buy. Also, the great Süleymaniye Mosque can easily be visited in conjunction with a visit to the Grand Bazaar.

You can also bargain without feeling embarrassed if you wish to acquire something for a lower price. Because negotiating is a Grand Bazaar tradition!

·      How to Bargain at the Grand Bazaar?

Do your homework. You’ll be able to know if you’re getting the correct price or not if you know how much your good is worth. Make an offer 30–50 percent less than the asking price, and you’ll have some negotiation flexibility. They won’t accept your first offer, and you shouldn’t accept theirs either.

·      What is the Grand Bazaar Istanbul Hours & Entry Fee?

The Grand Bazaar is open throughout the week (except on Sunday) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is free to visit 24 hours a day. However, the best time to visit the Grand Bazaar is morning or before 5 p.m. This is when the market is less congested, allowing tourists to shop and explore the bazaar with no difficulty. At this time, you can also visit the Sultanahmet Square, together with the famous Grand Bazaar.

·      How to Reach the Grand Bazaar?

When you wish to reach the Grand Bazaar, you should feel at ease as the market has around 20 gates. So, there are a variety of ways to get there. Beyazt Gate is the simplest and most well-known route. The most efficient way to get to the Grand Bazaar is to take the Kabataş-Baclar Tram Line and exit at Beyazt-KapalArş station. After exiting the station, it takes only a minute or two to walk to the bazaar gate.

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Turkish lamps
Turkish spices

·      Grand Bazaar Online

You can shop online if you wish to buy something from the bazaar and cannot visit the Grand Bazaar. The bazaar features an online shopping site where you can get every day new Turkish items, traditional Turkish goods, handicrafts, traditional Turkish rugs and carpets, and other items.


It is a must-see for travelers visiting Istanbul because it is the world’s oldest and largest market that displays the broadest range of merchandise depicting Turkish history and culture. Also, Grand Bazaar is one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist destinations because it exemplifies the best of Turkish architecture. So, let us be ready for an expedition to the cradle of Turkish culture, embarking on it to experience soon!

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