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A Tour of Istanbul’s Best Markets

The tradition of establishing markets in Turkey dates back to the Ottoman Empire. Over 200 markets are set up in downtown Istanbul every week. The bazaars of Istanbul provide much more than fruits and vegetables.  Markets like the ones mentioned here tend to focus on textiles, so it’s no wonder that so many celebrities and high society figures can be spotted there without looking shy at all. Visiting the markets is one of the best things to do in Istanbul!

The Grand Bazaar or Kapaliçarşi

This iconic covered market is one of the oldest and largest in the world. It is in Istanbul’s old city, near the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Sultanahmet Camii. The small shops are packed in long corridors in this historic building. Visitors can find literally everything you could want in a single shopping trip. And with 4000 stores a lot of potential for price negotiation! The Bazaar offers lamps, backgammon, souvenirs, scarves, leather clothing, cafes and restaurants at higher prices than what can be seen elsewhere. Turkish is not an easy language to negotiate, so expect steep prices unless your Turkish is good enough. It is easy to get lost in the market so take a good look at the site map before entering.   Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Close on Sunday.

Beşiktaş Market

Although it has a smaller scale of 400 stalls, Beşiktaş bazar carries still most of the goods you might find elsewhere, such as shoes, bags, cool jewelry, and home decor items. However, the emphasis is on clothing. The market begins to develop at dawn and stays until dusk. Take bus 43 from Taksim to Ihlamur to get to Beşiktaş Market. The market is located near Beşiktaş Pazar. You can take a taxi to get there.

Fatih Market

The Fatih district is the oldest and largest market square in Istanbul, and is best known as the Çarşamba Pazarı because the market day is called Çarşamba or Wednesday. Several thousand vendors, nearly a thousand stalls, and around two thousand vendors under the streets and squares of Fatih. You can find almost everything in the Bazar of Fatih, fruits, vegetables, clothes and all kinds of household products. Moreover, tourists can experience the real middle-class life of the locals. You can get to Fatih market by taking bus no. 87 from Taksim Park. It is an old market and the largest market in Istanbul.

The  Yeşilköy Market

Yeşilköy is another respected market is located in the relatively green frame and most exclusive of Yeşilköy. Yeşilköy bazar has 2000 stalls that cover twelve thousand square meters. There are also flower stalls, scattered tea and coffee shops, and restrooms. Credit cards are accepted at most stalls, but prices can be higher than in some other markets. You can also take the train at Sirkeci station and get off at Yeşilköy stop, and take free transport to the market square. Take bus 72T or bus 81 from Taksim A and Eminönü A, and get off at Park station.

Eskidji Bazaar

If you need to buy something to fix or assemble your new home, this is without a doubt almost paradise. Here you will find a wide variety of essentials for the home: beds, sofas, electronics, furniture, etc. You can get to the bazaar from Yenibosna metro station (line 1). Outside, a free van that runs hourly between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. will get you there for free.

The Egyptian Bazaar (Bazaar Mısır Çarşısı)

This historic market is also known as the Spice. It lies near the Golden Horn and is located in the Eminönü district. Here you will find spices, dried fruits, cheeses, nuts and seeds, lokum, and many more delicacies.  The city of Istanbul has a variety of markets. And do you think we only introduced you to the markets on the European side? Crossing the Bosphorus one can find many other markets, the Kadiköy markets along the Asian side, for example. This makes it the ideal place to make purchases, whether you are a student from Africa or elsewhere, or a simple tourist.