Grand Bazaar draws attention with its gigantic dimensions and hosts more than 3000 shops spread over 67 streets. Although Istanbul is famous for its modern shopping centers, shopping in the unique atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is one of the must-do things in Istanbul. In this article, you can find insider tips you need to know about the Bazaar.
About Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is located in the middle of the Historical Peninsula. The bazaar was built in the 15th century after the Ottomans conquered Istanbul, and over time it became a giant shopping center by merging with other structures in the surrounding area.
Among the things you can buy at the Grand Bazaar are handmade Turkish rugs, historical Iznik tiles, gold and jewellery, traditional clothes and tulip-shaped Turkish tea glasses.
Inside the Bazaar, there are specialized shops that have been run by the same family for generations. In this way, you can find jewelry, carpets and tiles made by local masters.
There are many hidden gems inside the Bazaar, apart from the shops that stand out at first glance. Because there are more than 3000 shops in the bazaar. Local tour companies make full-day tours to promote this place to Turks.
When you look at it this way, the Bazaar is complicated enough even for Turks who have lived in Istanbul for years. For this reason, it may take a long time for tourists to explore all the details.
Istanbul Grand Bazaar Opening Hours 2023
Istanbul Grand Bazaar opening hours are between 09:00 in the morning and 7:00 in the evening as of 2023. The Bazaar is closed on Sundays. For this reason, if you only have a Sunday, you can visit Spice Bazaar as an alternative.
The Grand Bazaar is also closed on certain days of the year. The bazaar is closed on national holidays such as 23rd of April, 19th of May and 29th of October, and on religious holidays such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.
Grand Bazaar Shopping Tour 2023
The Grand Bazaar can be overwhelming for those visiting for the first time. If you want, you can join a half-day shopping tour in this historical bazaar and learn to bargain like a local.
The Grand Bazaar shopping tour takes approximately 4 hours and includes transfer from the hotel to the bazaar. You can register for this enjoyable activity by clicking this link.
Grand Bazaar tours are under the guarantee of GetYourGuide. You can cancel your reservation with a full refund up to 24 hours before the activity.
There are many shopping places not only in the bazaar but also around it. The first of these is Mahmutpasa Bazaar, which is located on the slope descending from the bazaar to the sea side.
Mahmutpasa Bazaar (locally Mahmutpasa Yokusu) is a place where you can shop for cheap clothes. Young girls come here for dowry shopping. By following this road, you can also reach Spice Bazaar, which is on the sea side.
The Grand Bazaar has dozens of gates. Among these, gate number 1 opens to Nuruosmaniye Mosque. This 18th century mosque is one of the most beautifully decorated Ottoman mosques in Istanbul.
When you leave the Grand Bazaar and pass through the courtyard of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque, you reach Nuruosmaniye Street, which takes you all the way to Sultanahmet. It is pleasant to sit in one of the cafes in this elegant street and people watch.
There are also many high-end jewelery and carpet shops on Nuruosmaniye Street. Punto Carpet, one of Istanbul’s most famous carpet shops, is also near this street.
Things to Do around Grand Bazaar
Things to do around the Grand Bazaar include exploring the local markets, visiting the Suleymaniye Mosque and tasting street food. The streets surrounding the bazaar are ideal for those who want to wander around the city like the locals.
There are excellent eateries both in and around the bazaar. For example, Gaziantep Burc Ocakbasi is a famous kebab shop inside the bazaar. In addition, Donerci Sahin Usta is one of the first stops for those who want to try street food.
The Suleymaniye Mosque, on the other hand, is the largest mosque in Istanbul and represents the pinnacle of Ottoman architecture. After visiting this place, you can take a Turkish bath in Suleymaniye Hammam, which is one of the best Turkish baths in Istanbul.
Written by Serhat Engul
David Nayer says
Do you know if the Grand Bazar and or the Spice Market will be open or closed on Saturday April 22nd for Eid-El -Firt or will it only be closed on Friday April 21?
Serhat Engul says
Hello David, historic bazaars in the Old City, such as the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, are closed during religious holidays. This means that both of them will be closed on 21, 22 and 23 April, the Eid-al-Fitr in 2023. The same goes for Eid al-Adha.
The Grand Bazar will be closed on Saturday 15 July (Democracy & National Solidarity Day) ?
Thanks in advance,
Serhat Engul says
Hello Antonio, unfortunately I do not have exact information on this subject. However, since the Grand Bazaar is closed on all religious and national holidays, it will probably be closed on July 15 as well.
David and Mary Gayle Sartwell says
Interesting reading. My wife and I will be coming to Istanbul Sunday July 30 and will have the 31st free to see the sights before leaving on a cruise on Tuesday. Are you available on July 31 to show us the Bazar, spice market, etc.?
Serhat Engul says
Dear David and Mary, I think you had sent me a tour request via the contact page. You can find an answer with availability and price information in your email address.