The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest covered bazaars in the world. It is over 500 years old and was built shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.
The bazaar covers 61 streets with over 4,000 shops selling a wide variety of goods such as carpets, leather, ceramics, clothing, and souvenirs.
Stalls are grouped according to their products which makes it easier for shoppers to find what they need. Special areas are assigned for precious items like gold and jewelry.
A day at the Grand Bazaar gives us a glimpse of market life in the older days. Though much has been changed with the overall look of the bazaar, the authentic feel of a Turkish market is still evident.
You can try out your haggling skills at the bazaar and get good value with your purchase.
If you are not out to buy anything, you can simply sit at one of the bazaar’s over 60 restaurants and cafes and watch the frenzy of shoppers and vendors from your table.
Never pay for the declared price upfront. Always haggle! You can start by going down as low as 50% off and haggle your way from there. A 35% discount is a good bargain.
Keep a close watch of your purchases and belongings. Some shoppers have fallen prey to pickpockets and bag slashers.