Crowned the European capital of culture in 2010, Istanbul has been an ideal location to take advantage of the influences of the East and the West. With almost 13 million inhabitants, it offers an incredible number of cultural diversities. To grasp all the contrasts, there’s nothing like walking in the colourful city bazaars and browsing the huge mazes that lead from one market to the other. Sometimes noisy, sometimes disorganised, the bazaars of Istanbul offer an immersive dive into the daily life of the inhabitants.
Eclectic merchandise of Kapali Carsi, the Grand Bazar
Among the most impressive of the Turkish capital’s bazaars, the Grand Bazaar, in place since 1461, is one of the main favourites. With an amazing variety of more than 5000 shops, it is the ideal place to do some shopping. There are not only textiles, jewellery, spices and dishes, but also objects of art, local crafts and typical souvenirs of Istanbul.
The 17th century Egyptian spice bazaar
The bazaar of Eminönü is often nicknamed the “Exotic Spice Bazaar”. Located right next to the Grand Bazaar, there are many culinary specialties for all tastes. The Egyptian Bazaar is a paradise for photographers who can take colourful pictures. Walking around here, is to travel to the heart of the flavours and aromas of the Orient in a most authentic atmosphere. In addition to spices, there are also olives, different kinds of oils and many Turkish specialities.
The fruit and vegetable bazaar
Every Sunday, the Inebolu market honours the Anatolian cuisine. Located in the District of Kasimpasa Beyoslu, this bazaar has hundreds of stalls offering organic food, warm bread, herbs, coloured flowers and nuts.
The Sahaflar book bazaar, a meeting place for poets and artists
In Turkey, it is quite rare to find books in local markets but at the Sahaflar Bazaar, the book has been a specialty for centuries. It was in the 15th century that this bazaar experienced its finest moments, because then it was the meeting place of scholars, poets and writers of the city. There are many old books and stationery.
The great bazaar of Besiktas jewellery
Smaller but just as fascinating as the other bazaars of Istanbul, the Besiktas bazaar, in addition to its fish and fresh vegetables, offers a multitude of precious items of jewellery. The simple jewellery is particularly appreciated by those who can’t afford more precious stones. It is impossible to not fall under the charm of this special place!
The appliances in the bazaar of Bakirköy
Looking for original household equipment which does not exist anywhere else? This bazaar is for you! The locals and tourists come to unearth the latest novelties and bargains in a relaxed atmosphere. There are also shoes and food.
Negotiation is obligatory in the bazaars of Istanbul
In Istanbul, negotiation is a real philosophy. It is practised at all bazaars and absolutely necessary in the world of locals and tourists alike. Prices are always higher than the actual value of the product, so make sure you get the best value for money by negotiating.
Dreaming about the bazaars of Istanbul? You’ve only to find the hotel that suits you best. In terms of accommodation, Istanbul offers a variety ranging from the most basic room to the most luxurious suite.