I wandered through the labyrinth of streets, feasting on the colour and sheer chaos and energy of the place. I discovered a myriad shops and cafes and ogled at souvenirs, carpets, tiles, leather and kilim bags, and ornate chandeliers.
4000 shops, 61 streets, 21 entrance gates even a post office, a police station, and a mosque - this was a mind boggling exercise!
Founded by Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul may be one of the first shopping malls of the world.
From Ottoman times, historically each street, alley, of the bazaar was dedicated to a particular craft or item, and they still bear those names.
I got used to the aggressive shopkeepers shouting out to me at regular intervals!
- Hello, you Indian, Bollywood? I have a cousin there!"
- "Are you lost??"
- “You want to buy Turkish carpet?”
- "You want to see some lovely tiles in my shop?"
- "Would you like a cup of coffee?"
The architecture- tiled arches and decorative touches and the sheer colour makes a visit to the Grand Bazaar worth it. Touristy it may be, but photo ops galore!
Some things which caught my eye at the Bazaar
Finding Your Way around the Grand Bazaar
Its simple- just wander around, prepared to get lost...there are exit signs everywhere so fear not!