The Grand Bazaar Istanbul, turkey

The Grand Bazaar is THE most beautiful market I have ever been to and is one of the oldest in the world!

The Grand Bazaar Snapshot


There are many ways to get to The Grand Bazaar, depending on where you are coming from. You could take bus lines 77, 77A, EM1, and EM2. Or you could take the Metro M2 line, as well as the cable car MiniBus B-34, and the MARMARAY train service.


The Grand Bazaar Market is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. The market is closed on Sundays.

What You'll Find

I recommend buying t-shirts, as they have a wide variety of high-end brands and are really good quality. These can be had for quite cheap. Same goes for jeans as well. Belts and wallets are highly recommended as well as they are made in Europe (not imported from China) Also don’t forget to grab some beautiful local souvenirs!

Market Videos 

Istanbul Bazaar shopping Spree

As soon as you walk into this market, you can feel the history and the culture. The Grand Bazaar is really considered the Holy Grail of markets!  In this video, it gets crazy as I bargain for things such as Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Nike, Givenchy, Moncler and much more! So come along!

Istanbul City Market Spree

In my second visit to Istanbul, I had a lot more time to hang out exploring even more markets – as well as visiting the awesome Grand Bazaar again! So in this video, I take you to 4 markets throughout this city!

We go from Taksim to Galata Tower to The Grand Bazaar and then we end up on Buyukada Island! This is my longest video I’ve made so far! I’ll take you on a bit of a tour of the city, show off some of the bargains I scored and also show you some of our travel adventures along the way. So grab a snack, kick back and enjoy!

Everything to Know The Grand Bazaar

How to Get to The Grand Bazaar

In order to access the area of the Grand Bazaar, there are a number of methods that can be used. There are four bus lines that run to the Grand Bazaar, those being the 77, 77A, EM1, and EM2 lines. The M2 Metro line can also be used to access this area, along with the cable car MiniBus B-34, and the MARMARAY train service.

I preferred to use a taxi during my time in Istanbul. However, you could use any one of these methods to reach the Grand Bazaar from any area of the city.

water taxi ferry istanbul on water with mosque in background

Transportation in Istanbul

The public transport system in Istanbul is a rich and varied one, comprising of bus networks, rail systems, boat services, and funiculars. The Metro, which began service in September 1989 has a number of different lines that run to the different areas of the city, as well as linking the city to other key travel ports. Currently, around 250 trains operate on the Metro, making it a quick and accessible means of travel across the city and its metropolitan area. There is also a tram system that runs across the city, originating all the way back in 1872. Trams serve as a great way to avoid the traffic the comes along with such a dense population as Istanbul has.

There is also a well-established bus system, as well as a ferry system created for travel in and around the city, both of which have become highly popular modes of transportation for both citizens and tourists alike.

Shopping at The Grand Bazaar

A wide and varied range of products can be purchased at the Grand Bazaar, from brand names to traditional Turkish items.

There are a lot of great t-shirts here at this market, of good quality too. So I recommend grabbing some of those. Same goes for jeans. Accessories such as belts and wallets are also of good quality because they are made in Europe, instead of being made in China. So those items are highly recommended too.

But don’t forget to grab some local souvenirs too of your visit to Istanbul! They’ve got some really beautiful stuff at this market!

quality accessories at the grand bazaar on display


Traditional Turkish Items at the Grand Bazaar

Across the many thousands of kiosks, you will find products such as Turkish spices, kilim rugs, Turkish teas, ceramics, gold and silver jewelry, and lamps.

variety of spices on display in Istanbul market

The eye-catching traditional designs of products such as in traditional Turkish ceramics and jewelry are dazzling and hard to resist. They serve as a great souvenir of a trip to Istanbul and to the Grand Bazaar. 

Whether you are shopping for souvenirs, new clothing, or something to “spice” up some cooking, among the thousands of stalls in this historical marketplace you are sure to find what you are looking for.

Where to Stay in Istanbul

Where you stay in Istanbul depends on your interests and budget. You can choose from Turkish hotels, international chains, or Airbnb.  As with other major cities, accommodation is a key factor in tourism, so really, any given road in Istanbul there will be a wide range of options for where to stay.

Regardless of where you stay in town, given the transportation options in the city you will easily be able to get the Grand Bazaar and other popular sites. 

Neighborhoods in Istanbul

I liked the area near the Grand Bazaar. It’s very modern area built up around mosques. However, you absolutely NEED to go into the downtown streets as well! So dang beautiful. Start at Taksim Square and explore from there!

Popular Areas of Istanbul

Being such a large and populous city, Istanbul has become split into a number of neighborhoods, each of which offers a different experience and culture to its visitors.

Fener-Balat – this trendy location is flooded by the intoxicating aromas of Turkish coffee and is filled with boutiques and galleries.

After a quick ferry ride, a visitor can find themselves in the less tourist-centric, Asian side neighborhood of Kadikoy. This area is popular with those looking to start a business in this thriving city, with shops, bars, and cafes lining its streets.

A spectacular view of the European side of the city can be found on Moda Beach and is a nice place to take a walk with a view.

Next, there is Cukurcuma, this area is known for its stylish array of vintage shops, selling all things from furniture, to rugs, to statues. A go-to area for all things interior design.

There is also Galata, a cobblestoned district with many sites to see. Be it through its trendy boutiques or cafes, or its neoclassical architecture.

There is also the reinvigorated Waterwise neighborhood of Karakoy, which has become a central shopping destination, with even more hip boutiques, while maintaining its historical and cultural importance as one of Istanbul’s most popular areas.

There is also Cihangir, which has become known for its Art Deco architecture and cultural diversity. This area has become a favorite hang-out spot for young people of the city in recent years.

Finally, there s Arnavutkoy, another coastal neighborhood with Ottoman mansions lining its streets. Arnavutkoy is filled with lively cocktail bars and nightclubs and is ideal for those who enjoy soaking up the Turkish nightlife.

Food in Istanbul

people in front of shawarma stand with meat rotating

You’re in Turkey! You HAVE to get yourself some shawarma!

There’s actually a lot of tasty traditional foods in Istanbul, whether it is a cold plate of Meze or a full kebab meal.

Due to its long and complicated history, the range of food that is available in Istanbul may seem a little overwhelming at first, however, there is truly no better place in the world to experience these traditional dishes.

Other popular dishes to try when visiting Istanbul include baklava, doner, lahmacun, and menti. Walking the streets of Istanbul, you’ll find countless traditional Turkish restaurants and street food stands. Don’t hesitate to visit a wide range of these establishments to truly get a “taste” for the food here.

About The Grand Bazaar Market

Honestly, the Grand Bazaar is seriously one of the most beautiful markets that I’ve ever seen. It is one of the oldest markets in the world and the upkeep has been amazing.

As soon as you walk in, you feel the history and the culture!

Outside entrance doorway to Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar was originally constructed in the year 1455 and served and a center for the local trade of jewels and clothing. The Bazaar’s construction was under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet, who demanded that two stone buildings be constructed, from which merchants would be able to sell their wares. These two buildings quickly expanded into what is now known as the center for trade in the whole of Istanbul. It wasn’t until the late 16th century that we saw the Bazaar finally reached the sprawling size that we know it as today.

With Istanbul’s geographically important location, being seen as a connection point between the East and the West, the Grand Bazaar become incredibly important in the trade of goods across the continents. It was noted to be unlike any other city by European travelers, that no other trade center in the world had a similar level of quality and variety in its products, as well as in the quantities they could be found in Istanbul.

Introduction to Istanbul

The city of Istanbul was originally founded under the name of “Byzantion” in around 660BCE. Since this point, the city’s size and influence has grown dramatically, making it one of the most important cities in history.

The city even served as the capital of the Ottoman under the title of “Constantinople” all the way up to 1923. As the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city became a center for trade and the economy boomed, Constantinople was no doubt economically the most important stronghold of the Empire.

However, in 1923 the Turkish capital was changed to Ankara, and Istanbul finally assumed the name that we know it as today. Despite Turkey’s capital city changing to Ankara in 1923, Istanbul remains the cultural and historical center for the country.

people boarding a tram in taksim square istanbul

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the city underwent a great number of structural improvements, including the building of new roads, public squares, and public transport systems. Following a large boom in population in the 1970s and a greater need for housing, the Metropolitan area of Istanbul expanded to include many of the city’s neighboring villages.

Around this time, a number of arts, film, music, and cultural festivals were established and continue to be hosted by the city, which boasts a rich and diverse cultural center.

Trade & Producing Goods in Istanbul

Istanbul, with such a long and winding history, has an equally long history of producing and selling goods. Nowadays, the city’s economy is most known for producing commodities such as vehicles, olive oil, tobacco, and electronics. However, from the 4th century onward, Istanbul or Constantinople was most notable for its production and transportation of silk and silk products, known as “Eastern Rome”, Constantinople’s geographic location made it ideal for East-West economic exchange.

lamps on display at the grand bazzar

During the crusades, the city’s wealth and beautiful goods were noted, with fine cloth, jewels, and silk shocking the crusaders. Following a significant drop in trade, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II set out to entirely rebuild the city, after which followed a boom of trade. Soon, Ottoman ceramics, stained glass, and calligraphy were being produced in Istanbul, spreading these trades to traveling merchants and across the world throughout the 16th century.

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