Kapalı çarşı otherwise known as the Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in the World and is a must visit when you’re in Istanbul. With more than 3,000 shops you can find anything from carpets, Turkish delight and jewellery to bags, handmade bowls, mosaic lamps and leather jackets.
It definitely isn’t a relaxing mooch around the shops and it will probably leave you feeling frustrated and disoriented (I always end up getting lost!) but it’s full of colors, character and something you should experience when in Istanbul so you can soak up the history and vibrance of the city….
Last month I spent a few (very wet) days in Istanbul so to shelter from the rain I grabbed my camera and headed to the bazaar. It was really nice to just wander around taking photos, chatting to the persistent shop keepers and enjoying a nice cup of Turkish coffee in one of the little cafes in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
These colorful lamps are my favourite! I spent ages snapping them from all angles, thankfully the shopkeepers were cool with it but if there’s a sign saying ‘No Photos’ just ask first and more often than not they will say yes.
Although there are prices displayed you can always haggle over the price. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the seller won’t budge on a price you’re unwilling to pay. There are heaps of shops within the Bazaar with multiple sellers selling exactly the same merchandise.
They will offer you tea, Turkish delight and usually their life story but never feel pressured into buying something. I remember the first time I ever came on holiday to Turkey and the shop keeper went so out of his way to please me, bringing me food, drink, a chair and even a fan because it was 40 degrees that I felt unable to walk away without purchasing something. Don’t. They are not just being extra friendly to you, they are like that with everyone and it’s just part of their sales patter.