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Istanbul's Grand Bazaar:
History & Shopping

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest bazaars in the world. The Grand Bazaar is a historical shopping square surrounded by shops covered with roofs and domes.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar was founded in 1461, resembles a giant scale labyrinth thanks to its aesthetic design. It is known that this great bazaar in the city center was built at the end of the 15th century.

The historical shopping area with approximately 60 streets, 22 entrance doors and more than 4,000 shops cover a total area of 30,700 square meters. The total number of employees in the shops is approximately 25,000.

 

 

 

 

It can be expressed as the attraction point of Istanbul in both tourism and commercial terms.
Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is located in the middle of the Beyazit, Nuruosmaniye and Mercan regions. Beyazit is one of the 57 neighborhoods in the Fatih region on the European side of Istanbul.

The Grand Bazaar, with its 550-year history, is one of the most famous places in the historical peninsula of Istanbul. 

The Grand Bazaar, with its labyrinthine streets and passages, is one of the most attractive and visited places, especially among foreign tourists. At the same time, it is known as a kind of trade center in Istanbul. It is feasible to find anything for every taste and budget here.
 

 

 

 

History of the Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

 

 

The history of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar lies to the 15th century, the Byzantine period. In the Byzantine period, there were a series of minor shops in the market region, one of the ancient markets in the world.

After the conquest of Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar was extended amid 1456-1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and began to be known as the "Grand Bazaar".

The bazaar was a favored center for fabric trade at that time, and all profits and incomes from the Bazaar was transferred to Hagia Sophia by order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet.

 

 

During the sovereignty of Suleiman, the Grand Bazaar turns out to be one of the most magnificent centers of the Ottoman Empire by developing it much more with the adding of new shops, mosques, madrasas, hotels and fountains.

A great number of these buildings are damaged by the great fires and earthquakes which happened during this period. After the last big earthquake in 1894, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is damaged a bit more and trade came to a halt.

With the abundant efforts of Sultan II. Abdulhamid, the Grand Bazaar is being renovated and took its current form. Sultan II. You can see the signature of Sultan II. Abdulhamid at the main entrance of Grand Bazaar, Beyazit Square.

 

 

What to Do in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar?

 

 

 

 


You can find almost everything in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, from traditional patterns to the best silky shawls and scarves, antiques, leather goods, ceramics, carpets, rugs, spices, Turkish delight and coffee varieties, handicrafts, gold and jewelry.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is a popular location being in the heart of the gold and foreign exchange market in Turkey. The jewelry shops taking place in the Bazaar and around it are among the places that attract the most attention. 

The Grand Bazaar is a magnificent historical place not just for shopping but also for walking through its lively streets. Also, you can have an enjoyable day amid the fascinating smells of colorful shops and spices.

The amazing scent of Turkish delight and Turkish coffee will fascinate you the most. There is a historic coffee house in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar where you can discover the top Turkish coffee cooked on the charcoal fire. There is also a great restaurant serving traditional Turkish food.

 

 

Opening, Closing and Visiting Hours of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

 

 


 

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is opening from 10:00 to 16:00 except for Sundays. This great Bazaar is closed on Sundays and public holidays. The Entrance to the Grand Bazaar is luckily free.

 


How to Go to the Grand Bazaar?

 

 

Grand Bazaar is situated in the Beyazit neighborhood, just behind the Beyazit Mosque 'n Istanbul. The most practical way to go to the Grand Bazaar is to go by the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram line. After you get off at Beyazit stop, it is 3 to 5 minutes within walking distance.

 

 

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