Grand Bazaar
of Istanbul

Travel tips you can trust


Why Istanbul's
Grand Bazaar
in Istanbul is special

This picturesque 550-year-old urban complex is the world's famous covered market.

Grand Bazaar of Istanbul
tips and insights

Truly grand

It's a sprawling maze of five dozen alley-width streets lined with thousands of small shops selling seemingly everything, including jewelry, antiques, carpets, copperware, and leather apparel. This picturesque market draws a quarter million people daily.

History in brief

The Grand Bazzar began in 1461 and has undergone several major renovations due to fires, earthquakes, and normal wear and tear. The last renovation was in 1894. A new renovation is in the planning stage.

Losing its
traditional character

When I first visited this wonder in 1966, tourists were in the minority. Today, tourists predominate, especially in the market's main streets. Locals are the main buying force in many of the Grand Bazaar's smaller interior streets as well as in the shops situated just outside the market.


The sightseeing is interesting, but you can usually find better prices (and genuinely hospitable merchants) beyond the Grand Bazaar.

Location in Turkey

More turkey tips and insights

In Istanbul

Basilica Cistern
Blue Mosque
Dolmabahce Palace
Grand Bazaar
Hagia Sophia
Topkapi Palace

In other Turkey areas

Ephesus Ruins
Mount Ararat
Nemrut Dagi
Pergamon Acropolis
Ruins of Troy

Home page

Turkey Wonders - Top 10 rankings


Grand Bazaar photo by Frank Kovalchek - CC BY 2.0


Turkish Culture and Tourist Office


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