One of the must-see places in Istanbul is definitely historical Grand Bazaar. The construction of Grand Bazaar goes back to 1461, when it was built under the command of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the famous conqueror of Istanbul. It is a shopping arcade which is surrounded with many shops having roofs or domes. The historical shopping center includes approximately 61 streets and over 3600 shops. Grand Bazaar is located on a 30.700m2 area. We can say that Grand Bazaar is not only a touristic attraction but also a commercial center.
Although Grand Bazaar was firstly meant to be market place for Textile and Clothes Bazaar and thus named Cevahir Bedestan (‘Bedesten of Gems’), it became a trade center in Ottoman for various products later. Nowadays, The Grand Bazaar is visited by many visitors coming from different countries such as Qatar, Kuwait, Russia, UAE, Korea, Japan, China, Germany, and France. You can find various traditional and modern products from jewelery, antiques, to weapons, carpets, scarfs, amber beads, food post office and beverage. You can easily identify the streets by their names and learn what kinds of products are sold in the shops by these names.
Of course, you should bear in mind that, bargaining is always suggested in Istanbul as well as in Grand Bazaar.
You can visit the Bazaar every day except for Sunday and official holidays. It is open between 9:00 and 19:00.
Thanks to its location, you can easily find all bank branches around you. Also, health care center, police station, post offices are available in the nearby.
The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams (Beyazit-Kapalicarsi stop). Don’t be afraid, shops usually have someone talking foreign language, or they understand you in somehow and will try to help you friendly.
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