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The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Market’; also Büyük Çarşı, meaning ‘Grand Market’) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among the world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors. The Grand Bazar at Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the world.
I feel two stars is an appropriate rating for the grand bazaar because it is historically significant and is worth seeing. However aside from that its one star. The prices assume you will negotiate so you don't really know what a fair price is. I have been a professional negotiator for almost 30 years so it's not that I don't know how, but knowledge is a critical component to negotiating and as a buyer if you don't really know the relative quality of what you're buying you don't have a basis to negotiate from. Also, you are solicited by sellers every 25 to 50 feet that you walk. That adds up quickly.
Practically a maze, you better keep yourself oriented as it is easy to get lost. It's amazing to see such a large bazaar still operational and you will love the vibe. Only issue is that it felt more touristic then authentic. Regardless it's a must visit and of you are going to buy anything you must learn how to haggle.
This is a top of the list must go to if you are visiting Istanbul. You will experience the true Turkish negotiation with the locals and try to get a good deal. All the products are fake, nothing is original but they are far less expensive and well made, as in it is very difficult to find differences between a Turkish fake and an European / American original. The Bazaar is indoor, so if it's too hot or raining outside this the perfect place to be. With a very large range of products, you can easily spend half a day wandering around.
Fantastic experience. So much more than could have imagined. So many shops / stalls piled into once place. All covered so weather is not an issues and can find from rugs, to shirts, to bags and leather. Absolutely everything and anything is on offer. People are relatively friendly and not too pushy. Can easily walk around without anyone hassling you and if you stop in front of a stlal may be asked to look around. Very good experience and plenty of bargains. Definitely would recommend visiting
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most fascinating places, where you can experience oriental shopping. I was amazed at how friendly the shop owners were - of course wanting a sale but polite and not “pushy”. It covers 60 streets, houses 5,000 shops and employs over 20,000 people,had 22 gates, there are 2 mosques, 4 fountains, 10 wells, 2 Turkish baths! But “The Grand Bazaar cannot be compared with a shopping mall because it has historical and cultural value”
The bazaar is indeed grand. The sheer size of it is overwhelming. Take note, though, that 80% of the shops sell the same things: teas, delights, scarfs, Turkish memorabilia.. It's the other 20% that make this place interesting. You will need to to travel the many side streets within the bazaar to locate these gems. The shop owners are also amazing salesmen (yes, it is all men). They will do everything to close the sale. Also note that the original price quoted for anything is most likely 3-4 times higher than the actual price. Bargain hard.
About 4000 shops.Items sold largely are ceramics crockery n flower vase, spices and Turkish delight, carpets, various lamp shades. Almost 300-350 shops will be for these items. Rest dressing material jewellery and small momentos. Don't expect anything more. Old structure but historic. Enjoy the mood of a big market with less variety
I'd recommend this place to anyone going to Istanbul. I wouldn't recommend it because of the prices, as it's largely based on negotiating. However, it is a real experience. Every few steps you'll be stopped by one of the shopkeepers and they'll offer you to show you around their store. My wife and I were offered sweets by about fifteen different shops, each tasting amazing. All in all, a great experience even if you only plan on walking around the vast area that it covers and looking around.