Visit one of the biggest market in the world: Grand Bazaar Istanbul. But first, see the Istanbul online market!
Right in the center of Istanbul is a huge establishment consisting of more than four thousand shops. Spread across 61 streets, each shop is bustling with activities. In this one area of more than 30.000 square meters is the Grand Bazaar Istanbul. The word “grand” does not even do justice in describing how big this place is. It will take you days to explore Grand Bazaar Istanbul thoroughly. And it can be overwhelming. Lucky for us, there is an easier way to explore the shops and browse the products. You can visit Istanbul online market instead! This can also be a great start to your bazaar exploration. By the time you’re able to be physically present at the market, you would already know what to look and which street to go.
A brief history of Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Before modern malls were standing tall in any part of the world, Grand Bazaar Istanbul has already attracted people from all over Istanbul, which then followed by people from other parts of Turkey and later the world. An old photograph taken by Armenian photographer shows that this market was already bustling with activities in the 1890s.
The truth is the Grand Bazaar was first constructed in the 1460s. Sultan Mehmed II instructed the construction to help boost the economy of Istanbul. This took place not long after the Ottoman conquered Constantinople.
At first, the Grand Bazaar Istanbul was called Cevâhir Bedestan. The word “bedestan” is derived from a Persian word “bezestan” which loosely translates to “bazaar of cloth”. Even though it started as a hot spot of textile trading, Grand Bazaar has turned into a vibrant bazaar of anything Turkish, from clothing to sweet delights.
All 61 streets between ancient Fora of Constantine and Fore of Theodosius are filled with establishments. Even if you are not interested in shopping, walking around the bazaar itself can be a great experience. Not to mention tons of Instagrammable photos you get to take home.
Thousands of shops in Grand Bazaar Istanbul offer their authentic products. You can find anything from clothes, pieces of jewelry, lanterns, teas, to cafés. Each store has its story, uniquely to itself. Even some stores still keep their original shape and decorations from earlier centuries.
Inside, there are four marble drinking fountains you can use for free. Unlike most street markets, Grand Bazaar Istanbul is semi-indoor. All of its 61 streets are covered by beautiful lead and concrete domes. Each street, each section, has its unique wall decorations. Definitely a sight not to miss!
Unfortunately, there is no proper toilet facility in Grand Bazaar Istanbul. It is a part of ancient life anyway. However, renovation after renovation has been and will take place to make the bazaar even better.
Visit Istanbul online market for a taste of Istanbul shopping
The online market is like the virtual tour of the Grand Bazaar itself. All the products sold at the bazaar can be found online. A huge selection of Turkish delights is right there on your computer or gadget’s screen. All kinds of Turkish fabric are also available for you to choose from. You will not miss anything, except for not being there physically. Besides, this online version makes shopping so much easier especially when you are stuck at home and cannot go anywhere.
Instead of having to go to each store in every street, you can browse the products based on the category. Are you looking for the best Turkish tea? Look under the “beverage” category. Do you need the authentic Turkish tea glass to serve it properly? Look for that one under “glassware”. Shopping has never been so easy!
Enhance your experience!
Of course, there is nothing like visiting the Grand Bazaar Istanbul itself. There is not enough amount of photos and articles that can replace the once in a lifetime experience. However, it takes a lot of effort to find the best products at the best deal in a market with thousands of shops. So, visit Istanbul online market to give yourself a head start by browsing through the stores and the products they have to offer. This will make real experience even better!