Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (Kapalı çarşı): photo, map, website, description

Grand Bazaar (Turkish name: Kapalıçarşı or Kapalı çarşı) is a historical market in Istanbul, which is one of the main attractions of the country, as well as one of the oldest and largest markets in the world.

The birth of the Grand Bazaar was started in the winter of 1455-1556 by Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (now the city of Istanbul).

The construction of the bazaar was part of a broad initiative to promote economic prosperity in Istanbul through trade. It was not just a bazaar - it was one of the most important economic projects of the state, designed to ensure the continuity of the product identity and the greatness of the Ottoman Empire, as well as to create international competition and emphasize the "symbol of power". The bazaar was engaged not only in trade, but also in economic and financial transactions, and even in the slave trade.

Initially, two stone buildings were created, with domed ceilings - bedestans. Then, during the history, the Big Bazaar gained momentum, grew and, accordingly, was partially rebuilt. It also experienced earthquakes, fires and collapsed, but each time it was quickly restored.

In this regard, the Grand Bazaar can be considered as one of the first shopping centers in the world.

Today, the Grand Bazaar is world famous. It is visited by many tourists every year, thus the Grand Bazaar is one of the most crowded places in the world.

The Grand Bazaar is located on the European side of Istanbul, in the old part of the city, and occupies 30700 m2. It has both a covered historical part with domed painted ceilings, as a result of which this part of the bazaar, along with its main function - trade, can be considered both a historical landmark and an open part, which is located on nearby streets.

In total, the bazaar covers 66 streets, where there are shops and shops, of which there are more than 4,000 in total.

The range of goods sold at the Grand Bazaar is very large, although it is monotonous from shop to shop. These are mainly jewelry and jewelry, antiques, shoes, bags, leather and fur products, textiles and articles made of it (clothing), carpets, souvenirs, herbs and dried fruits, lamps, ceramics and wood products, tableware, hookahs, Turks, etc.

Inside the Grand Bazaar there are also restaurants, tea shops, coffee shops, hookah bars, ateliers, currency exchange offices, living quarters, fountains, the Ottoman Nuruosmaniye Mosque (Nuruosmaniye Camii) and a cemetery.

The open part (streets) of the Grand Bazaar, including the Mahmutpaşa Clothing Bazaar, which is one of the most famous Turkish shopping streets in Istanbul and starts from the gate of the Mahmutpasha Grand Bazaar and stretches to Vasif Çınar Cad Street.

To get inside the Grand Bazaar was the gate through 11: Beyazit (Beyazıt), Carsikapi (Çarşıkapı), Chukhajyan (Çuhacıhan), Kuyumcular (Kuyumcular), Mahmutpasa (Mahmutpaşa), Nuruosmaniye (Nuruosmaniye), Arugula (Örücüler), Sepetjian (Sepetçihan), Takecolor (Takkeciler), Tamakazura (Tavukpazarı) and Zannedilen (Zenneciler).

Map of the Grand Bazaar


The Grand Bazaar is huge, hyped and designed mainly for tourists. Sellers actively invite to their shops, but do not pull their hands. It is better to pay with Turkish lira. Goods, basically, are so-so; prices are inflated - it is necessary to bargain. There are fakes of world brands: Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Chanel, etc.

Even if you are not going to buy anything, you can still visit the Grand Bazaar, at least in order to have an idea of the historical covered building and a large oriental bazaar, as well as touch the local flavor. !!! This is a subjective opinion, many people like the goods, and they willingly grab them.

The Grand Bazaar sells mainly non-food products. If you want to visit the food market, it is better to go to the small Egyptian Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı), where trade is based on dried fruits, sweets, teas, spices and herbs (also mainly a tourist place, but colorful). Learn more about the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul...

Practical information

The Grand Bazaar is located in the old part of Istanbul, in the Fatih district. About 15 minutes walk from Hagia Sophia Mosque or Blue Mosque.

Coordinates of the Grand Bazaar: 41°00'38.0"N 28°58'04.0"E (41.010556, 28.967778).

Entrance to the Grand Bazaar is free (free).

Up-to-date information about the Grand Bazaar, including existing retail outlets, opening hours, etc., can be clarified on the official website:

All accommodation facilities in Istanbul, including in the historical center, on the European and Asian sides of the city, can be viewed and booked here booking

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