Discover Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Grand Bazaar, as many call it, is the largest covered market in the world. Namely, the Kapali Bazaar is the largest shopping center, so it is not surprising that it is an unavoidable place that tourists from all over the world visit if they are in Istanbul.

In addition to the many sights of this popular city in Turkey, the Grand Bazaar has become synonymous for Istanbul. There is no person who has visited Istanbul without visiting at least one part of the Grand Bazaar. The first association to shopping is certainly the Kapali Bazaar. Everything that one mind can imagine can be found on this market.

In the following lines, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the charms of the Istanbul Kapali Bazaar, as well as to find out how and when it was created and why it has the title of the largest and most famous shopping center in the world.

History of Grand Bazaar

Shortly after the conquest of Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in 1455, the Bazaar was built, which later, in the years that followed, was named the Grand Bazaar. This building dedicated to the textile trade was built by Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror. The Grand Bazaar was the center of trade in the Ottoman Empire, which at one point extended to three continents.

All trade routes in Europe and Asia were in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. There were numerous shops, two mosques, where merchants on the Silk Road could sell their goods and rest from the journey. Numerous earthquakes and fires have attacked the Grand Bazaar throughout its history, but it has always been renewed, renovated and survived.

Today, the Kapali Bazaar is known for a large number of tourists who buy various goods, from carpets and rugs, through jewelry and souvenirs, to traditional Turkish food. Most things have not changed in the Kapali Bazaar since it took its present form, at the beginning of the 17th century, and the spirit that rules the bazaar exudes both history and modernity.

How does it look like?

The Kapali Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world and occupies 47,600 square meters. Sixty-one covered streets and more than three thousand shops make you, when it comes to the Kapali, a very necessary stop during your tour and walk. The bazaar has many cafes with small round tables and chairs that are traditionally covered with carpets, where you can drink the most beautiful coffee and tea, and eat undoubtedly the most delicious baklava of various flavors and shapes.

What makes the Kapali Bazaar different from many shopping malls is that it has many openings and windows, so it is not stuffy and is very colored with natural light, which can be very important when choosing a special fabric, so you need daylight to choose the right color and shade. The feeling when you step into the Kapali Bazaar is wonderful and does not leave you even when you finish shopping and touring.

The shops in the Grand Bazaar are enchanting and make you feel like in a dream. Namely, the enthusiasm for the interior, colors, materials, people who work, will not pass you by even after several visits to this bazaar. The variety that rules this bazaar is stunning, and you can find everything you want from the products. Tourists are most interested in traditional Turkish objects.

The Bazaar sells a variety of products, made of gold, leather, wood, ceramics and copper. Jewelry is the most interesting for women, which can be found at very reasonable prices. Namely, when it comes to the Grand Bazaar, the prices are not very high, and the bazaar is known for bargaining, so do not agree to the first price, because in most cases it is much higher than the real price of the item.

When it comes to the Kapali Bazaar, the working hours are such that the bazaar is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm, except on Sundays and during holidays. Entrance to the market is free. The little things that you can find in the Kapali Bazaar are packed in the history and tradition of Istanbul and Turkey, so you should not regret a single spent Turkish lira.