Istanbul Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi) + Local Expert Shopping Guide

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi) is a plus 550 years old covered market situated in Beyazit, in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. It is also one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Grand Bazaar is a popular points of interest and a perfect place with the tourists to end their Istanbul visit by shopping for some souvenirs for their family and friends before leaving for the airport.

Top Tours to Experience Grand Bazaar

If you are looking for a best value for money, satisfaction guaranteed Istanbul shopping tours with local advice and guide, trust our recommendations, save time and money, than you can feel free to check out the below tours.


What to Expect, See and Buy?

Covering an area of 47,000 m2, the Istanbul Grand Bazaar consists of a series of covered labyrinthine streets, passageways and corridors featuring 64 streets, 4,000 shops, 22 entrances and 25,000 employees.


You are able to find about anything here in Grand Bazaar from the finest silky shawls and scarves in traditional patterns to traditional items, from antiques, leather goods, ceramics to the famous carpets, from spices, beautiful handicrafts to gold and jewelry.

Grand Bazaar is also the heart of the gold and foreign exchange in Turkey. Especially the jewelry shops take the most interest.

Grand Bazaar is not only a place to make shopping, but also a great historical site. You can experience and enjoy a journey in the company of the enchanting scents of the spices, lively colors of the markets, impressive handicrafts, Turkish delight and the tempting smell of the Turkish coffee.

A great day out at the Grand bazaar is one of the best attractions as for shopping in Istanbul.

The Grand Bazaar also houses a historical coffee house, that you are able to find the best Turkish coffee cooked on coal fire. There is also a restaurants offering traditional Turkish cuisine.


No Regrets Booking Advice




Some History

History of the Grand Bazaar dates back to the 15th century, to the Byzantium period. There was a small series of shops at the site of the covered bazaar, during the Byzantium period, one of the oldest markets in the world.

And after the conquest of Istanbul, the bazaar is widened with big constructions in 1456-61, by the order of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet during the Ottoman era and called as the “Big Market”.

The bazaar was a popular center for fabric trade in that period, and all the revenue from the market were transferred to the Hagia Sophia, with the order of the Sultan.

During the period of the Kanuni Sultan Suleiman, the Grand Bazaar has become a magnificent center of the Empire. It has been widened more than today’s situation with its mosque, tomb and school along the site and more than 4,000 big shops, 2,000 small shops, 20 inns and 16 fountains in the bazaar area.

Majority of those constructions were damaged by the big fires and earthquakes. And after the very big earthquake in 1894, the Grand Bazaar very badly damaged and the trade were about to stop during that period.

The bazaar reconstructed with the big efforts of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, and took its today’s condition. You may see the tughra of the Sultan Abdulhamid II at the gate of the Grand Bazaar facing the Beyazit direction.

Mastering the Art of Haggling in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

Immersing yourself in the lively hustle and bustle of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is an experience not to be missed, and honing the art of haggling will elevate your shopping adventure. Here’s your guide to navigating the vibrant world of negotiation within this historic market:

Tip: Start by offering half of the initial price and negotiate gradually.

Start with a Friendly Greeting: Engage sellers with a warm greeting and a smile. Establishing a friendly rapport creates a positive atmosphere for negotiation.


Show Genuine Interest: Express interest in the products you’re eyeing. Ask questions about the craftsmanship, materials, or the story behind the item. Sellers appreciate genuine curiosity.

Be Prepared to Walk Away: One of the most powerful tools in haggling is your ability to walk away. If a vendor isn’t meeting your desired price, politely express your thanks and start to leave. Often, this prompts them to reconsider their offer.

Know the Market Value: Do some research to understand the general price range for the items you want to purchase. This knowledge equips you with a benchmark and prevents you from overpaying.

Bargain with Confidence: Approach the negotiation with confidence but remain respectful. Make a reasonable counteroffer, and be prepared to meet in the middle. Negotiation is a dance, and finding a fair compromise benefits both parties.

Buy in Bulk for Better Deals: If you’re eyeing multiple items from the same seller, inquire about a package deal. Many vendors are willing to offer a discount when you buy in bulk.

Be Patient and Polite: Patience is key in the art of haggling. Avoid appearing rushed or agitated. A calm and polite demeanor can often lead to more favorable outcomes.

Enjoy the Process: View haggling as a cultural experience rather than a transaction. Embrace the banter, share a laugh, and enjoy the interactive aspect of negotiating in the Grand Bazaar.

Visiting Hours & Admissions

Opening Hours

Grand Bazaar is open every day except Sundays between 10:00-16:00

Closed on Sundays + national holidays

Tip: We recommend you to keep in your mind that the visits to the Grand Bazaar can be restricted during the Muslims’ Friday worship at noon, because of the lack of space in the nearby Beyazit Mosque.

Admission

Entrance to Grand Bazaar is FREE of charge.

How to Get to Grand Bazaar?

Location

Grand Bazaar is situated in the Beyazit neighborhood of Fatih district, along the Beyazit Square. See the location map.

Transportation

The most practical way to get to Beyazit is via Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).

  • The closest tram stop is Beyazit.
  • From Taksim, take the funicular to Kabatas (from taksim Square) or funicular to Karakoy (from Tunel square) and than take the tram.
  • If you stay at the Sultanahmet hotels, than you easily walk to the Grand Bazaar, or take 5 minutes tram.

Contact Details

Address: Kalpakçılar Cad., Kapalıçarşı, Beyazit, Fatih, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 519 12 48


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