Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Grand Bazaar, Turkey

Kapalıçarşı, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, is one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets.

It is huge!!
There are over 58 covered streets and 1,200 shops in an area around 31,000 square meters (+333,000 square feet). You can get anything here. There are sections for jewelry, pottery, leather, spices, carpets, clothes…whatever you’re looking for.

You have to be able to haggle, and prepared to walk away from a deal, in order to get the best price. You will get better prices by buying multiple items or if you pay with Euros or American dollars. Shopping is also social so you are offered apple tea and coffee while you are making your selections.

For some reason, clothes in the ČR are very expensive and not necessarily of the highest quality. I find that clothes in Germany are higher quality but still a lot more expensive than clothes in the USA. I need to go back to Istanbul with an empty suitcase just for the clothes. I found three pairs of designer jeans for only $100. The same jeans in the ČR would have cost me at least $600.

The Grand Bazaar opened in 1461 and attracts between 250,000 – 400,000 visitors per day, Monday through Saturday. Except during holidays.

I only got to visit the bazaar on my last day in Istanbul because it was closed the rest of the week for Kurban Bayrami, the “Feast of Sacrifice”. This is a major holiday in Turkey. Every Muslim home is obliged to sacrifice a cow, goat or sheep and the generous portion is shared with the poor.


  1. I am so enjoying your posts from Turkey. You are doing a fabulous job describing this place. I think all of your friends and family join me in marveling at your non-stop energy and willingness to learn. Bravo!

  2. Name it, know it, change your order.


  3. Thanks Karen. Any word on when you're coming back to the ČR?

  4. The designer clothes sold on The Grand Bazaar are fakes, that's why they're so cheap.