Grand Bazaar in Istanbul – One of Europe’s Largest Markets

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shoppers in grand bazaar in istanbul

Impression inside the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul by Martin Falbisoner – Source: WikiCommons

If you are heading to Turkey, or Istanbul in particular, then you are sure to know just how amazing the city really is. However, no trip to Istanbul is complete without making a trip to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

If you have never heard of, or seen it, then you have to visit this amazing attraction because it will blow you away. When it comes to bazaars, this is one of the biggest in the world, spanning an impressive area of 30,700 square meters. In fact, it is made up of 64 streets, all of which come together to create this mesmerising experience that will leave you in awe.

When did it all begin?

From the moment you come across the Bazaar, you will recognise the instant charm of the place but you will also get that feeling of history and time. This is because the original historical core of the bazaar was first completed by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1461.

This makes it one of the oldest covered markets in the world. However, it is the sheer size of it that captures the imagination. This tourist hotspot is a hive of activity and that is because it is used by locals and tourists.

At over 500 years old, it offers one of the most exciting shopping experiences in the world and it is the place where you can find a whole range of goods.

Its Impressive Size

As mentioned, its sheer size will leave you amazed. Over its 558 year history, it is has expanded slowly and has now become the bazaar that millions know and love today.

Here you can find a huge array of goods ranging from handmade carpets and kilims to stunning silver art, copper decorations, ceramics and leather as well as many other things. You will without a doubt find something that is sure to tempt you into making a purchase even if you are lured in by the colours and atmosphere that this bazaar has to offer.

If you choose to visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul then you are going to need more than a day to cover it. That is because there are 64 streets, 22 entrances and over 4,000 shops to explore.

So, as you can imagine, the size of this bazaar has to be seen to be understood because it is massive. It is easy to get lost in the maze of shops and items and with cafes and more on offer, there is even the chance to have a break during your shopping experience.

This is more than just a market…

It is a community that is filled with a delicate charm and an atmosphere that really does grab your attention. This is a shopping experience like no other and once you have been, it will etch itself into your memory.

The sounds, the scents, the colours and the people all seamlessly blend together to create this unique experience.

Aside from the labyrinth of streets and shops, there are more than 25,000 people working here.

There are mosques, fountains, rest houses and that perfect blend of modern and traditional Turkish culture. The impressive high ceiling that is covered with a dome is certainly impressive as are the hundreds of windows that make up the dome.

If the figures are not impressive enough then there is more. As mentioned, this is a popular tourist hotspot and mixed with the locals, the bazaar receives anything from 250,000 to 400,000 visitors each day!

Grand Bazaar Entrance by Dennis Jarvis – Source: WikiCommons

This proves that this iconic part of the city is a tourist attraction like no other and why it is most definitely an attraction that is worth visiting.

There is a lot of fun to be had here. Visiting as many shops as you can in a day is a challenge but the people add to the atmosphere and charm. The shop owners attempt to lure you in with cheeky one-liners and some fun but they are never offended if you tell them no thanks.

So, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a worthwhile visit and is sure to have you hooked. When you have so many shops, such a vibrant atmosphere and thousands of visitors and shop workers, it creates a very interesting experience all round which is why it is such a popular attraction for many.

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