More than 200 markets take place every week in various neighborhoods around Istanbul, offering fresh produce, textiles, crafts, kitchenware, souvenirs and really almost anything you can imagine. These markets offer a glimpse into the vibrancy and color of a particular neighborhood and provide a great opportunity to interact with locals and get some good bargains.
A 15 minute walk from the Aya Sofya/Blue Mosque area, Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. Beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparel made of leather, cotton and wool, meerschaum pipes, alabaster bookends and ashtrays, and all sorts of other things flood the market. A dozen restaurants in the bazaar allow you to have lunch in the midst of your shopping.
The Grand Bazaar is opened each day except Sundays and bank holidays from 9:00 am until 07:00 pm.
Egyptian Spice market:
The Egyptian Bazaar also known as Spice Market, is located just behind the Yeni Mosque at Eminonu district, at the entrance of the Golden Horn.
Spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts and seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles fill most of the shops, though jewelry and other high-margin goods have begun to move in. The Spice Market has 86 shops inside and there stands a plant market on one side and a food market on the other. There are 6 gates on an L-shaped Bazaar. The ceiling is higher respect to Grand Bazaar and this is also covered with domes.
The market is open from 08:00 am to 06:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, it opens a little later at 09:00 am and stays open till 06:00 pm.
Known as the “Green Village”, the market is perfect for someone who is looking for a less frantic experience. The vase Wednesday weekly market is known for its relatively greener and upper classy setting. The high quality products include including excellent fake silk scarves, makeup from Mac to Maybelline, available at up to 50% discount, and the best fake Louis Vuitton in the city.
Yeşilköy pazarı covers 12000 square meters with 2000 stalls organized in designated areas, floral displays, scattered tea cafes and toilet facilities.
Most stalls accept credit cards, but prices may be a bit higher compared to other markets.
Çarşamba Pazarı in Faith:
Held in Fatih district on every Wednesday, it is one of the oldest and biggest markets in the city, featuring around 1,300 vendors, 4,800 stands and about 2,500 peddlers spread around the historic streets of Fatih. Disorganized and wholly unruly, you get flogging fruit and veg, eggs and cured meats, outrageous stilettos, gadgets, branded clothing and anything and everything you can think of at rock-bottom prices. This is a place famous amongst locals to purchase most of their supplies.
The market is open from 05:00 am – 09:00 pm.
Another traditional market that takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays in Kadıköy, on the Asian side of Istanbul. A 25-minute boat journey from the piers at Beşiktaş, Kabataş and Eminönü, this down-and-out haggling pit for those seeking the perfect peach or ultimate bed sheet is located in Hasanpaşa, a 10-minute walk from the ferry terminal. Covering an area of around 39,000 square meters with 1900 stalls, Sali (Tuesday) Pazari stocks everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to clothing, vitamins, carpets, ceramics, electronics, white ware and much, much more. There are several food stalls scattered about and a coffee house. You can also reach there by bus from Taksim Square.
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