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“Hustle and Bustle Shopping” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
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Jewelry Workshop at the Grand Bazaar
Ranked #32 of 1,033 things to do in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Bargaining for goods is standard practice at the largest covered market in Turkey, rumored to contain over 4,000 shops.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
502 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Hustle and Bustle Shopping”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

If you enjoy shopping, haggling for that good deal, and interacting with local shop owners. or just people watching this is the place. The bazaar is full of intensity. It's almost overwhelming after a few hours roaming the corridors and stalls. Your offered Turkish tea/coffee or apple tea when you walk into several of the shops along the adventure. Take time to enjoy the drink and the conversation.

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewelry and the like. The bazaar has been an important trading center since 1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.

Visited June 2013
Thank Robert R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Holmfirth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

We went during a week day in the morning and it was fairly quiet and totally hassle free. Lovely little cafes inside the Bazaar. Wonderful to meander around.

Visited June 2013
Thank DJD2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“fun but beware”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

So for many leather good including handbags this is a wonderful place- the quality of the leather is good. What is the experience like- well there is a bridge in Istanbul called the Galata Bridge- there are many fishermen with rods on this bridge and they catch many sardines. when you walk around the bazaar you are the sardines and the lure of 'excuse me' and 'where are you from' are the bait to reel you in.
Know what you want- and ignore the rest- if you want a handbag there are hundreds of shops selling identical items- ( they often also have small warehouses just out of the bazaar where you go if you ant a specific item) take a photo of what you want and show the shopkeepers.
The prices are not cheap- and haggling can only get you so far- be prepared to walk away and if you cant find what you want go back later- the fisherman doesn't mind if the sardine comes back on the hook.
As a shopaholic spent some time in the bazaar- don't worry about getting lost just enjoy it- the shopkeepers will help you even if sometimes they are pushy. There is also a police station in the bazaar itself. The prices are higher in the main drag and get cheaper in the quieter parts. There is a plan of the bazaar, such as a leather area and the jewellery area. http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.grandbazaaristanbul.org/Grand_Bazaar_Map_files/GrandBazaarMapSmall.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.grandbazaaristanbul.org/Grand_Bazaar_Map.html&h=521&w=600&sz=110&tbnid=8jFxQcWlvBX7wM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=104&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dplan%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bgrand%2Bbazaar%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=plan+of+the+grand+bazaar&usg=__LEWjj6ziGVtyDSw0IwSDqSvz7A0=&docid=rxGxmrvDcnvWMM&sa=X&ei=rmrMUefgHued0AXPpID4BQ&ved=0CDQQ9QEwAQ&dur=229

Visited June 2013
1 Thank lizzibee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Intuitive Tour Guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

What luck we had in acquiring our tour guide, Murat Ozkan who we acquired through Apollo Tours in Chicago. This young man took us to the places that we expected on the tour but seemed to have an intuition about bringing up a lot of the bits of information that aren't just the 'Rick Steves Says' dialogue. He knew a lot about the history, was incredibly proud of his heritage and spoke beautiful English.
Anytime, we would ask questions about present day culture, he was frank and did not state things in a way that was politically correct, nor was he disrespectful about what was happening in the country. Murat was very Zen.
He took us to the Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, Agi Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Chora Museum,the SPice Market, and the Grand Bazaar. As one would imagine, the Grand Bazaar might be where there would be the incredibly 'hard sell' from his part and from those merchants that he introduced us to. He was so not like 'the typical salesman' just telling you about the craftsmanship and about how one buys something with a lot of intuition rather than just to buy. He took us to Gordes and we did find a lovely rug that we didn't think that we would buy, but, it was beautiful and so different. We didn't think that we were going to buy any rug but it was just one of those kind of items that you wouldn't find in IKEA!
What was really such a show of how the Turkish people care was when my husband experienced a little bit of the Turkish tummy...we were in the Spice Market and it suddenly hit him. Murat's friends, let him sit in their shop filled with teas and spices, allowed him to use the 'loo', and then plied him with their tea that they said would 'cure' him. They even made me try it...and much as i love tea, this 'prescription' was far from my 'cup of tea'...but, it seemed to relieve a lot of the discomfort that my husband was dealing with. But, they were so kind and they didn't make him feel like he was an imposition... at all.
Murat was such a gentleman, and was willing to adapt the tour to accommodate the problem, and waited patiently when my husband wanted to do all the things that we were listed to do, but just needed time to rest and sit down.
Osman, his merchant friend at the Grand Bazaar...would send us to all the different stores of items that he himself did not sell and he would advise us with just how much to pay...'no more' and how to have it wrapped, and what to look for to see if it was good quality. He himself had a beautiful store with rugs, beautiful blankets, handbags, and shoes and boots in the Turkish style (for women)but, it was not just for his own profit. He helped his fellow merchants and was delightful to talk to.
But, if it weren't for Murat Ozkan, we would have never had such a splendid time!

Visited June 2013
Thank Catherine Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“You Must Visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

One of the important ancient districts, full of shops you can buy a verity of souvenirs, Turkish sweets from their also there are many leather goods, Very easy to find. You will get hassled by shops sellers to get you into shops.
Luggage bags are very expensive there, we found many shops for luggage bags outside the market

Visited June 2013
Thank Rehab N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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