Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and JoJan
Istanbul can easily claim to be one of the most interesting cities in the world. Located on the very edge of Europe, it later expanded into Asia resulting in a mixture of both cultures. When it comes to shopping you will be amazed by the variety of goods you can buy here and the way everybody bargains - even in the grocery store. Take this tour and explore the legendary bazaars and the hidden shops of Istanbul.
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) Arasta BazaarArasta Bazaar is a well-known bazaar in Istanbul. If you're tired of the huge crowds of the Grand Bazaar, but you're willing to buy carpets, jewelry or even spices, Arasta Bazaar is the best place to come.
Operation hours: Monday - Sunday 9 am – 7 pm.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and shioshvili
2) Haseki Hamam Carpet & Kilim Sales StoreHaseki Hamam Carpet & Kilim Sales Store should be first on your list if you are searching for a typical Turkish carpet(kilim). At Haseki Hamam Carpet & Kilim Sales Store you can find some of the the best carpets, including great replicas of originals found only in museums, but you won't get the best prices.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Fabien Dany
3) Grand BazaarThe Grand bazaar or the Kapalicarsi meaning the “covered bazaar” is a famous covered market in Istanbul. This bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in the world, and has more than fifty eight covered streets, and more than four thousand shops. Anywhere from a quarter to half a million visitors visit the bazaar daily.
The Grand Bazaar was built from 1455 to 1461, and has been open ever since. It is famed for its exquisite Turkish jewelry, silver decoration pieces, spices, Turkish delight (a famous Turkish sweet), pottery and carpet shops. Visitors can also find leather goods, gold and diamond jewelry and clothing in various parts of the bazaar.
The bazaar is famous for the “Turkish Evil Eye” which is an amulet made of blue and white glass, and is considered to ward off evil. Almost every street has an “evil eye” stall with, many variations of the amulet being sold to tourists.
Originally the bazaar contained bedestens, these are domed structures used for storage, and it was enlarged during the 16th century. After a major earthquake in 1894, the bazaar went under major restoration. Today, the Grand Bazaar contains two hammams (Turkish baths), two mosques, four fountains, many cafes and restaurants.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Osvaldo Gago
4) Egyptian Spice MarketThe Egyptian Spice Market is one of the most famous bazaars in Istanbul. Here you can find almost any spice in Europe and Asia. This is due to the fact that the Egyptian Spice Market was the terminus of the world famous Silk Route. From ancient times, goods from India traveled through Egypt(the reason behind the market's name) to get to Istanbul, from where they were re-distributed into Europe.
Operation hours: Daily 8 am – 7:30 pm.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Graham Bould
5) Ali Muhiddin Haci BekirAli Muhiddin Haci Bekir offers the best choice for any visitor to Istanbul interested in trying the typical Turkish desert - lokum. Actually, the reason why this is the best store to buy it from, is simply that it was founded by the person who invented lokum - Ali Muhiddin.
Operation hours: Monday – Saturday 8 am – 8 pm, Sunday 9 am – 8 pm.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Chris Buttigieg
6) Karakoy Fish MarketKarakoy Fish Market is the best place to buy fish in Istanbul. If you want to practice your bargaining skills or have the best fresh sea food at the lowest price possible - Karakoy Fish Market is the place to go. You can also come and see how the locals do it and get a glimpse into their every-day life.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and LWY
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