Shopping Tour of Istanbul, Istanbul

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.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Shopping Tour of Istanbul Map

Guide Name: Shopping Tour of Istanbul
Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul (See other walking tours in Istanbul)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Author: kane
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Arasta Bazaar

1) Arasta Bazaar

Arasta 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.
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Grand Bazaar

2) Grand Bazaar (must see)

One of the oldest bazaars in the world, the Grand Bazaar or the Kapalicarsi (“covered bazaar”) 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 its various sections.

The bazaar is famous for the “Turkish Evil Eye” – an amulet made of blue and white glass 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, which are domed structures used for storage, and 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, as well as many cafes and restaurants.

Why You Should Visit:
The bazaar's centuries-old history can still be seen from the countless frescoes on the many ceiling arches and ancient columns; however, the main charm lies in its chaotic organization. Every turn is full of unexpected surprises – you will never know what you will find! No purchase is necessary to join this festivity.

Tip:
If you are in need of Turkish Lira cash, this is an excellent place to exchange.
Be prepared to walk away if the seller does not agree with your asking price (and watch what will happen next!).

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-7pm
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Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Spice Market)

3) Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Spice Market)

The 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.
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Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir

4) Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir

Ali 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.
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Karakoy Fish Market

5) Karakoy Fish Market

Karakoy 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.

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Creating your own self-guided walk in Istanbul is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Roman Heritage Walking Tour II

Roman Heritage Walking Tour II

Constantinople was an imperial capital for over a millennium and still contains many sites that demonstrate the importance and greatness of the Eastern Roman Empire. This tour will take you trough the most famous of them, located in the inner city of Constantinople.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Asian Part Walking Tour

Asian Part Walking Tour

Istanbul, Turkey's wealthiest and biggest city is split by the Bosphorus in two parts - European and Asian. In this tour you can experience the eastern side and feel the true spirit of the Orient with small, crowded streets and countless mosques.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Churches Walking Tour

Churches Walking Tour

Constantinople was a center for religion and the orthodox Christianity for over a millennium and even after the Ottomans came many Christians remained in the city. There are many churches in Istanbul and each of them has its uniqueness.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Roman Heritage of Outer Constantinople

Roman Heritage of Outer Constantinople

Istanbul, known as Constantinople in the Middle Ages, was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for over a millennium. Although conquered by the Ottomans in 15th century, the city still preserves many signs of its imperial Roman past that reflect the might and splendor of this long vanished empire.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Roman Heritage Walking Tour I

Roman Heritage Walking Tour I

Constantinople, being an imperial capital for over a millennium, still contains many important buildings and sites that show the greatness of the Eastern Roman Empire. This tour will take you through the most famous of them, giving you a glimpse of the most developed and flourishing city of the middle ages in Europe - Constantinople (Present day Istanbul).

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Walking the Bosphorus Coast

Walking the Bosphorus Coast

What Istanbul is today and what it was in medieval times is due to the geographical location of the city and the fact that it lies on the Bosphorus shore. This tour will take you along the coast so that you can enjoy the beautiful view and admire the city's architecture.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Istanbul Shopping Guide: 16 Turkish Items To Bring Home

Istanbul Shopping Guide: 16 Turkish Items To Bring Home

Istanbul, known throughout history as Byzantium and Constantinople, has been a major center of commerce and trade, a place where merchants and general folk would rush to regularly in search of exotic things. In our days, modern travelers to Istanbul are also bound to enjoy a truly magnificent...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Istanbul for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Istanbul has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Istanbul's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Istanbul Tourist Pass or Istanbul Welcome Card.

A city pass combines all or multiple Istanbul's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Istanbul hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel, Deluxe Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel, Great Fortune Hotel & Spa.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Istanbul, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Istanbul typically costs somewhere between US$20 and US$80 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Istanbul from the open top of a bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (the ticket is valid for both). The ticket provides 24-, 48-, or 72-hour access, plus a free ride on Bosphorus sightseeing boat, and more.

- No visit to Istanbul is complete without savoring authentic Turkish cuisine. Embark on a 5-hour night food tour of Istanbul for a generous dollop of delectable Turkish culinary delights at the food hotspots many tourists don’t even know about.

- Get yourself lost for a while in the aromatic maze of stalls at Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar in the company of a knowledgeable guide, followed by a jaunt aboard a sightseeing boat along the Bosphorus Strait!

- Prepare for an action-packed day of sightseeing visiting Istanbul's top attractions in a single go including historic district Sultanahmet, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the dazzling Grand Bazaar and more.

- Follow an expert guide on a 3.5-hour walk around Istanbul’s must-see attractions to familiarize yourself with the city's contrasting cultures and history.

- Take an opportunity to witness centuries-old Istanbul culture in the form of whirling dervishes performing their dance-like spiritual ceremony accompanied by Persian chanting and traditional Turkish music played by live orchestra.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Istanbul, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Gallipoli, Ephesus, or Cappadocia. For as little as circa US$100 up to US$300+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites (rock pillars, cave villages and subterranean cities), explore World War I battlefields, see the finely-preserved ancient eastern Mediterranean city and walk the pavements once strutted by toga-clad Romans, visit what is believed to be St. Mary’s last place of dwelling, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Istanbul, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus, private vehicle or a plane (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.