Visit to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul: timetables, prices and advice

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

If you have planned a trip to the tourist capital of Turkey, you absolutely cannot miss a visit to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. The largest covered market in Europe it will surprise you with colors and scents that are symbolic of the city between East and West, where Islam meets Christianity and the Arab world perfectly coexists with European civilizations.

Index

  1. Hours and prices
  2. Online tickets and guided tours
  3. Where is it and how to get there
  4. Useful tips for visiting the attraction
  5. Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
  6. User questions and comments

Hours and prices

Although the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of its most visited places, it is not a mere monument but a active market. For this, admission is free from Monday to Saturday.The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and public holidays, which change from year to year



  • open every day 08: 30-19: 00, closed on Sundays and all religious days of Bayram
  • free admission

Online tickets and guided tours

  • Classic Istanbul Day Tour: from € 85,00 per person - book online
  • Istanbul half day highlight: from € 55,00 per person - book online
  • Half day shopping tour at the Grand Bazaar: from € 30,00 per person - book online

Where is it and how to get there

The Grand Bazaar is located on a hill in central Istanbul, west of Sultanahmet and has around 22 entrances, each facing different streets. Taking the Blue Mosque in Istanbul as a reference, you can reach an entrance in a few minutes on foot or by bus.



  • On foot: 950 meters from the Blue Mosque, about 15 minutes to Peykhane Cd and Yeniceriler Cd streets - Get directions
  • By bus: about 10 minutes from the Blue Mosque. Take bus T1 towards Bagcilar at the Sultanahmet stop and get off at Cemberlitas

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

As we have said, the Grand Bazaar is an active market. Its maximum activity develops in the morning, so it is the busiest but also the most folkloristic time to visit it.

  1. Get up early: In addition to being in full swing in the morning, the Grand Bazaar has over 4.000 shops located in about 60 covered streets. The visit takes time: you can decide to dedicate a whole day or so.
  2. Bargain: if you have decided on a purchase, be prepared to haggle over the price. Not only to avoid being cheated but also because here it is customary to do so: not negotiating the price with the merchant is almost a sign of rudeness. On the contrary, it is disrespectful to bargain the price if the object is of little value.
  3. Beware of pickpockets: being packed with tourists, the place is also well populated by pickpockets. Pay close attention to your belongings and avoid using the pockets on the back of your trousers or carrying backpacks on your shoulders.

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief

Construction of the Grand Bazaar began 8 years after Mohammed II conquered Constantinople, turning it into Istanbul. In the fifteenth century it was a small market specializing in building materials. Over the centuries, the Grand Bazaar has engulfed the neighboring neighborhoods, creating thematic streets where the old artisans' shops found their place: thus areas dedicated entirely to goldsmiths, fabrics, carpets and ceramics were born.

During the sultanate of Suleiman the Magnificent, in the sixteenth century, the shops were joined by arcades to which canopies were added that led to the construction of today's covered market.
One of the special features of the Grand Bazaar is that you can turn it freely, without a predefined route, although some routes may be more interesting, such as Cevahir Bedesteni, Kalpakcilarbasi caddesi and Sipahi caddesi.




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