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Grand BazaarTop 10

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul: A must for every visitor. Haggling is expressly desired. A labyrinth of alleys gives a feeling from 1001 nights.

More than 4,000 shops

Kapali Çarsi, the Grand Bazaar, is a huge business district with more than 4,000 shops on about 31 hectares. The bazaar is located in the Eminönü district in one of the oldest parts of Istanbul. The Kapali Çarsi is in the immediate vicinity of the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. In the small and narrow streets there is always a lively and also noisy hustle and bustle. It smells of oriental spices and the dealers offer, especially for tourists, useful and useless things for sale. Actually, there is nothing that is not here and visitors have the feeling to meet Aladdin with his magic lamp.

Entrance to the Grand Bazaar

A widely ramified labyrinth

The central part of the bazaar is the Eski Bedesten, an old cloth hall. This hall is the oldest and most beautiful part of the Grand Bazaar and it is here that many gold and jewelry merchants are found. Many other alleys branch off from this central hall. Traditionally, each trade in the Grand Bazaar had its own quarter, this was to allow buyers to compare prices directly. Even today, visitors will find the goods more or less sorted by industry. This can often be seen in the names of the streets, for example, there is a carpet dealer street or an antique dealer street.

Haggling and trading

People have been haggling and trading here since the 15th century. If you want to buy something here, you should not forget to bargain, because that is simply part of it! The large market was commissioned by Sultan Mehmet Fatih II and is considered the largest covered market in the world.

The bazaar in Istanbul is arranged in such a way that visitors are supposed to get lost in the labyrinth of alleys, get lost in the many stalls of the Grand Bazaar and, of course, buy as much as possible. But don’t worry: somehow, visitors will get out of the maze of alleys and back to one of the 17 exits! Mark Twain once described his impressions of the Grand Bazaar. And even today, this apt description is still valid: “A hive of a thousand small shops, full of life and bustle”.

A visit to the Grand Bazaar is a must for every Istanbul vacationer. The bazaar is open daily between 8 am and 7 pm, and is closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Personal tip

The Grand Bazaar is one of the tourist highlights and is heavily frequented by them. The bazaar is divided into different product areas such as jewellery, leather or carpets. Do not expect only bargains and a product range often designed for tourists.


  • Monday: 10:00-18:00 h
  • Tuesday: 10:00-18:00 h
  • Wednesday: 10:00-18:00 h
  • Thursday: 10:00-18:00 h
  • Friday: 10:00-18:00 h
  • Saturday: 10:00-18:00 h
  • Sunday: 10:00-18:00 h

More Info

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