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“Some tips on the Grand Bazaar”
Review of Kapali Carsi

Kapali Carsi
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Jewelry Workshop at the Grand Bazaar
Ranked #96 of 1,123 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Bargaining for goods is standard practice at the largest covered market in Turkey, rumored to contain over 4,000 shops.
Reviewed September 14, 2011

This is a neat spot to visit and I recommend it. Interesting, lively, and lots to take pictures of. However go expecting crowds, and experienced sales people who will try to get you into their shop.

* Don't go when you're in a hurry, it will just be frustrating.
* Try to find a map and take it with you - it really helps. Our guide book (I forget the name) had a map.
* If you don't want to by a carpet then just stay out of the carpet stores - the sellers are great master salespeople and if you're not buying and you go in you will end up wasting a lot of your time. The same is true of the leather shops.
* Shop alone - this is a crazy spot to try to keep track of other people, and you'll slow each other down. On one trip I took my spouse and it worked well because we just stuck together, but I would not go with anymore people than that.
* There are some restaurants there, if you go to the blog Istanbul Eats they make recommendations about which spots to try. We had good luck with this blog.
* We did not find the vendors rude, I think because we were not in a hurry. We did not go into any of the carpet shops, but when someone stopped us we did take a minute to talk and to politely decline, sometimes with polite humour. This probably added about 15 minutes to a 2 hour visit, but it also added a lot of pleasant exchanges.
* The main streets are the busiest, try some of the side streets for a bit of a break.
* Barter - it's expected.
* Yes, there are other spots to shop and pick up souvenirs and gifts - however you can check a lot of gifts off your list in one place here.
* If we wanted to return to a store later then we took a photo of the store, then the street names at the closest intersection. Most stores will also give you a business card and other vendors are helpful at giving directions.
* Although we had no problems with pickpockets a lot of local people warned us to be careful here.
* If the Grand Bazaar is just too big for you, there's always the Spice Bazaar, which is a lot smaller.

8  Thank Caanaadaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"grand bazaar"
in 1,628 reviews
"asking price"
in 82 reviews
"leather goods"
in 121 reviews
"shop owners"
in 138 reviews
"buy something"
in 134 reviews
"shops selling"
in 117 reviews
"sales people"
in 65 reviews
"for sale"
in 82 reviews
"turkish delight"
in 184 reviews
"shopping experience"
in 88 reviews
"small shops"
in 49 reviews
in 272 reviews
"apple tea"
in 53 reviews
"spice market"
in 119 reviews
"turkish tea"
in 52 reviews
"turkish lira"
in 51 reviews
"blue mosque"
in 62 reviews

4,859 - 4,863 of 9,477 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 13, 2011

Impossible to describe this vast collection of exotic, high-quality items, international flavor. Instantly bought a leather jacket for around $100 that was over $800 in the original factory that we toured beyond Istanbul. We did not have a map so spent an hour utterly lost, trying to find our entrance gate. As a result, we enjoyed buying moonstone beads which were hard to find in other countries.

Because we were rushed throo the Bazarr by our guide who lined us up with a boat ride on the Bosporus, we have decided to return to Istanbul next year to spend at least three days intensely discovering this exciting place where camels used to park beneath the foundations on their stop on the historical Silk Road.

We were told that there are over a thousand booths here and we intend to see them all. Bought fancy Pashminas for all our friends, and is the custom here, were treated to Turkish Tea by the appreciate vendors, all very attractive I must say !!!!

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2011

Kapali Carsisi, we visited for the first time in the winter of 1973 - we were young then - two kids with their grandparents at home-and we were venturing into this "oriental Grand Bazaar" where one could buy virtually everything and we bought my wife a beautiful full length leather coat! On all our visits to Istanbul, on occasion more to elsewhere in Turkey, we visited the Grand Bazaar with its uncountable shops, shopkeepers and assistants and youngsters carrying on glasses of tea, especially for those negotiating prices of every mentionable article: gold braclets, weighed and sold at the current gold price (some were bought back in the same way by a jeweler ) and other most beautiful jewelery, leather goods : jackets for gentlemen and coats for ladies of the best quality and price in the world, leather luggage fit for a king. During our last three visits I could not withstand the temptation to buy one ln the fashion and along the lines of the portmanteaus of yester year (when the Orient Express was the fastest means of transport from London/Paris to Istanbul!), but modern in every sense of the finest leather with a high sheen in natural or most of the other colours !. The above mentioned does not even touch on the variety: there are keepsakes for every one: evil eye, pill boxes, the best quality materials, carpets, silver (exquisite ! ) and then also restaurants as good as one can hope for ! I am no journalist or author : my advise is go and see for yourself but do not visit Istanbul without a visit to the Grand Bazaar !!!! To us it appeared to have been upgraded and polished and good for the next century !

3  Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2011

This place is massive. There are so many vendors. Be prepared to bargain. All kinds of currency are accepted. It is not necessary to have Turkish lira.

Thank robrobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 3, 2011

The Grand Bazaar was interesting from a historic perspective, but is now nothing but a tourist trap. Mainly the same items over and over. We found no bargains for sure. We purchased 3 things and found problems with all of them:
1) Bought a beautiful satchel who's leather handle left brown stains on the shoulder of my daughter's new shirt. Adter several weeks, the handle continues to leave brown marks on clothing (which do not come out.)
2) Bought a beautiful lamp that I didn't realize had a European plug. Not a big problem because I could have just purchased an adapter to use the lamp, but then I found out that the lamp only takes a bulb size that they don't sell in the US! It was obvious that we were Americans, and this really should have been pointed out by the seller.
3) Bought beautiful leather ottomans that needed to be filled with stuffing once we got home. We did so, and within a week of use all the seams started to tear and stuffing is coming out everywhere.
Bottom line: everything they sell is pretty JUNK! Don't get ripped off.

2  Thank CTBeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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