Shopping in Istanbul is a must! What is striking is that all shopping centers are very well protected and it is not only about shopping but also for entertainment. You can find in almost every mall a cinema, an arcade and even theaters. The numerous restaurants, often found on the top floor, ensure that you can spend hours here. Some malls even have a shuttle service that will bring you for free from central points in the city to the mall.
But don’t also forget to visit the beautiful old neighborhoods. The atmospheric streets lined with shops in Kadikoy for example. And also Ortakoy and Sultanahmet are a must see. In the last one you will also find the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi).
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world with more than 58 streets and 1,200 shops and has between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. The bazaar is well known for its shops for jewelry, pottery, spices, and carpets. Many of the stalls in the Grand Bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather coats and gold jewelry for example.
Treasures of the Grand Bazaar
The first time I visited the Grand Bazaar, I couldn’t believe my eyes. For a crow like me it was the ultimate shopping experience. Wherever I looked I saw shiny scales, shiny bracelets, sparkling lights and dazzling rings. In my best Turkish I tried to negotiate about the price. However, these sales people are professionals and you will probably always pay too much. But who cares, it’s about the game and experience. And who knows, you will go home with that fantastic hookah!
Please note that on Sundays the Grand Bazaar is closed. On all other days of the week it is open from 08:30 to 19:00.