A visit to Kapali Carsi in Istanbul is a must.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The construction started in the middle of the 15th century and has been enlarged during the past centuries. Today, the complex has around 60 streets and more than 3,000 shops which are visited by between 250,000 and 400,000 people daily.
Yep, the Grand Bazaar is GRAND! And it also has two mosques, several cafés and restaurants, banks, and its own police station.
It is a wonderfully exciting shopping experience. Very touristy so it generally is overpriced, you need to haggle and get the items for less than half the price they ask for.
Wandering through all the passages and seeing all the goods on offer was amazing. It is a fantastic opportunity to practice bargaining skills, and on the whole, the shopkeepers are quite pleasant. If you are looking for little gifts and souvenirs, you will definitely find them here.
|Arrival to the Grand Bazaar|
One thing I did quite like about the salesmen was they pride themselves on their linguistic ability and try to sell their wares to you in the language they think you speak, so they will approach people in Turkish, English, French, German, Arabic etc.
|Not very often you will see Fixed prices ;) |
Turkey is a country to haggle, taxi, furniture, food... it will be usually less than the first price they give you
What I bought or What I didn't buy:
Walking and wandering in the Grand Bazaar, I noticed that Bodrum shops and markets have the same items and also the prices were better in Bodrum (where I have my apartment) so I did not buy a lot of things in Istanbul but of course, I would have bought more if I was not staying in Bodrum. If Istanbul is the only place you are going to visit in Turkey then definitely, I will recommend you to enjoy buying more things. Turkey makes lovely leather handbags and beautiful silver jewellery so definitely I would have bought more but as I have much more time and better prices in Bodrum, I did not feel the need to buy many things here. I say feel the need because women "feel the need to buy" even if we do not really need anything, we always feel the need. Do you not agree with me?
So despite of this I bought few souvenirs:
Small handmade ceramic bowls, I though they will look really nice on the table to serve sauces. Also, one more ceramic souvenir to put in the wall with flowers in our garden.
A handbag (they have lovey and good quality leather handbags but I just got a small one, not from the best quality ones)
I also got a dozen of these little bags for all my work ladies (we are all ladies at work) as a souvenir from Istanbul, they were a bargain buying them by the dozen and I though they are lovely to keep the lipstick, lip balm and a few little bits of make up. I did not get Turkish delights which it was my first though to take to work because coming the summer, they are eating healthy for the bikini body :)
If You have been in Istanbul, what did you buy in The Grand Bazaar?
I hope you are enjoying the weekend and you liked my post and of course, I would love to read your comments!