Brace yourself for a colourful burst of fabrics, ceramics, chandeliers, leather, carpets, scarves, jewellery, and really any other sort of souvenir that you would associate with the shopping capital of the East. Istanbul's Grand Bazaar was built by the order of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and later expanded by Suleiman the Magnificent. It has been a source of inspiration for other indoor shopping centres for centuries. The Grand Bazaar covers 66 labyrinthine streets encased by beautifully decorated domes. It is home to more than 4,000 shops and visited by millions every year. The world’s original shopping mall sprawls over an area of 30,000 square metres. Even the local shoppers get lost in here!
Don't be surprised if shopkeepers offer you a cup of tea while browsing. Follow this list below, compiled by Luxos with local designer and Grand Bazaar expert, Sevan Bicakci, to ensure that you get your money's worth on your Grand Bazaar experience. Take our map with you and enjoy the spoils that the Silk Road lays before you.
Recommended by Sevan Bicakci:
Ä°çbedesten Åžerif AÄŸa Sokak 24
Tel. +90 212 5135 473
Nick Merdenyan’s shop in the Bedesten area sells beautiful calligraphy and miniature pieces applied on dried plant leaves.
Sofa Art & Antiques
Nuruosmaniye Caddesi 53/A
Tel. +90 212 5202 850
This famous antique store is a treasure box of goods handpicked by the owner, Kasif. If you’re looking for collectible ceramic pomegranates, you'll find them here.
HalÄ±cÄ±lar Caddesi 62
Tel. + 90 212 5281 613
Fes Café is every visitor’s favourite coffee and lunch break spot. It is one of the pioneers that contributed to the revival of the Grand Bazaar as a popular shopping destination among the locals.
Nuruosmaniye Caddesi 83, CaÄŸaoÄŸlu
Tel. +90 212 5138 317
“Though they've never really interested me, I sometimes find myself staring at the exquisite carpets in Cinar Hali’s storefront,” says Bicakci. Cinar Hali’s hand-woven silk rugs are even in the historic Dolmabahçe Palace’s reception rooms.
Vezirhan Caddesi 70, ÇemberlitaÅŸ
Tel. +90 212 5137 610
One of Istanbul’s best home-cooking joint according to Bicakci, Aslan Restaurant is located just outside the Bazaar’s Nuruosmaniye Gate and serves no-frills Turkish staples. Do not expect linens or napkins here!
Alibaba Türbe Sokak 25, Nuruosmaniye
Tel. +90 212 526 3684
From the owners of Fes Café comes a store for the bathing enthusiast! Bathrobes, traditional ‘pestemal’s, towels and other bath accessories with a focus on natural materials make Abdulla a must-see store for Grand Bazaar visitors.
Kürkçüler ÇarÅŸÄ±sÄ± 22-46
Tel. +90 212 5275 553
With another shop in Nisantasi, Koç Leather is a must when it comes to leather goods. You'll find the leather jackets and furs you've been looking for here.
HalÄ±cÄ±lar Caddesi 38
Tel. +90 212 5283 515
The felt hats covering Cocoon’s wall will definitely catch your eye as you pass the storefront. The colourful designs on handcrafted bags, jewellery and other objects make Cocoon popular with young shoppers.
Özlem Tuna / Design Zone
Alibaba Türbe Sokak 21-4, Nuruosmaniye
Tel. +90 212 5279 285
Ozlem Tuna’s Design Zone features original souvenirs that blend contemporary design with an Ottoman touch. If you're in the market for some Turkish coffee cups, check out Tuna’s silverware.
Tel. +90 212 5205 061
One of the city’s best-kept secrets. Karabet Kürkçü designs beautiful jewelry only for the country’s elite. Don’t forget to book an appointment.
Takkeciler Sokak 58-60
Tel. +90 212 5276 841
Kilims reinvented. Featuring designs for the contemporary home, Ethnicon has the largest inventory of original kilims that you will definitely take away with you.
Istanbul City Guide