The Grand Bazaar
Istanbul is one of the largest covered
markets in the world with 60 streets and
5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000
and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known
for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics,
carpets, embroideries, spices and antique
shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are
grouped by type of goods, with special areas
for leather, gold jewellery and the like.
The bazaar has been an important trading
1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two
bedestens (domed buildings), the first of
which was constructed between 1455 and 1461
by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.
The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th
century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman
the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a
major restoration following an earthquake.
houses two mosques, four fountains, two
hamams, and several cafés and restaurants.
In the centre is the high domed hall of the
Cevahir Bedesten, where the most valuable
items and antiques were to be found in the
past, and still are today, including
furniture, copperware, amber prayer beads,
inlaid weapons, icons, mother-of-pearl
water pipes, watches and clocks,
candlesticks, old coins, and silver and gold
jewellery set with coral and turquoise. A
leisurely afternoon spent exploring the
bazaar, sitting in one of the cafés and
watching the crowds pass by, and bargaining
for purchases is one of the best ways to
recapture the romantic atmosphere of old
The Grand Bazaar has
four main gates situated at the ends of its two
major streets which intersect near the
southwestern corner of the bazaar.
Monday to Saturday
9:00 - 19:00. Closed Sundays and bank holidays.
Section of Ephesus,
Istanbul Castles, Istanbul Bazaars