A Guide to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar


Photo by Wikipedia under Creative Commons License.

What can I buy?

The Grand Bazaar offers locals and tourists alike the opportunity to shop for spices, copper and brassware, leather goods, wool, antiques, cotton towels and curtains, glassware, gold, ceramics, lanterns, jewelry and famous, intricately woven Turkish carpets.

The spice market is a great place to buy cumin, red pepper, oregano, dried apricots, dates, pine nuts and hot chilies: essentials in any Turkish cooking recipe!

Similar wares tend to be grouped into sections of the market… you’ll turn one corner and find glass lanterns as far as the eye can see!


Photo by Wikipedia under Creative Commons License.

When is the Grand Bazaar open?

The Grand Bazaar is open:
Weekdays from 09:00 – 19:00
Saturdays from 08:30 – 19:00

It is closed Sundays, bank holidays, and religious holidays.

Where is it?

Located in Istanbul’s Eminönü district, just a short walk from other tourist attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Mosque and the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar is hard to miss. You can catch a tram to Beyazıt, Üniversite or Sirkeci stop if you don’t want to walk too far!

With 21 entrances, getting in is quite easy, though chances are you’ll enter through one of its five main gates (kapı):

  • Beyazıt Kapısı (Çadırcılar Caddesi, Book Bazaar (Sahaflar Çarşısı)
  • Çarşıkapı (Beyazıt tram stop)
  • Nuruosmaniye Kapısı
  • Mahmut Paşa Kapısı
  • Örücüler Kapısı (towards Eminönü and the Spice Bazaar)

Be sure to check out this map of the bazaar for a better idea of what type of stalls you want to visit first! Don’t forget, shops are grouped by what they’re selling, and the spice market is in its own separate quadrant of the bazaar.


Photo by Wikipedia under Creative Commons License.

Now getting out… that’s the hard part!

We hope you’ve enjoyed Traveling Spoon’s “A Guide to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar!”

Best of luck, and don’t forget to haggle. You can always get a cheaper price in a Turkish market, it’s all a matter of persistence!

A Guide to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar