The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Istanbul has been historically a shopper’s town. Constructed in 1464,  the famous  Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi in Turkish)  is one of the the largest covered markets in the world with 5,500 odd vendors operating 4400 shops in 65 streets and with 22 entrances/exits.  The bazaar had multiple restorations over the years due to destructive earthquakes and extensive fires. At first sight, this bazaar can appear rather overwhelming but it’s actually not that complicated. All you have to do is to be aware of where the main street (jewelry street) is. This place is truly a shopper’s mecca and at every turn, one can catch shopkeepers hawking their wares and cajoling shoppers in a dozen different languages, determined to get at the trawling sight-seeing visitors’ wallets and purses. Some people don’t mind the attention while others are put off by shopkeepers’ hustling.

The Grand Bazaar is actually a much more ‘kinder and gentler’ place than it was years ago. Shopkeepers came to the realization that hardcore hustling is bad for long-term trade and have toned it down quite a bit. The bazaar has a plethora of cafés, a police station, little mosques, and numerous tourists information points in the bazaar.           There are literally tens of thousands of things one can find and purchase in the Grand Bazaar. The list of stuff in the market varies from Silk carpets to leather coats and from gold to fake brand T-shirts. Serious shoppers should be prepared to spend at least three hours for this mammoth shopping expedition. We recommend bringing a notepad, a calculator for working out exchange rates and your best poker face. When you come across something you like, note the price down and the location of the stall. Move on and see if you can find the item elsewhere and if you do, get more quotes. See which shopkeeper offers you the best price and go back to seal the deal.

You may find that often shopkeepers quote wildly varying prices for the same item, this doesn’t means the shopkeeper that quoted the higher price is trying to rip you off. Shopkeepers price their goods according to their needs and how quickly they need to turnover their goods. If you’re lucky, someone will be happy to settle for a quick, cheap sale in order to pay bills or requisite new stock.                                                                    When walking around the Bazaar, you might be approached by some people inviting you to see their carpets. These people work on commission from the carpet shops and are known as commission-men. Initially they might seem insistent but if you ignore them, they will eventually leave you alone. However if you are interested in buying a carpet, keep in mind that the carpet shops are usually spread out to smaller parallel streets. With so many carpet shops offering different designs, materials, and varying levels of workmanship, the purchasing decision is usually very hard. Upon entering a carpet shop, you’re first offered coffee, tea or coke without any obligation of buying usually with a warm smile. You will then be introduced to different qualities of carpets (usually from the cheapest to the more expensive ones).

North Kalpakcilar Caddesi, Koloncilar Sokak is lined with shops that carry a typical mix of souvenirs, tea sets, water pipes, chess sets, ceramics, carved wood and silks. It crosses Keseciler Caddesi (location of the quality rural crafts shop Dervis) before making a beeline for the ancient heart of the bazaar, the Old Bedesten. Over here you will find dealers in Ottoman-era prayer beads, icons, firearms, pocket watches, chess sets, painted miniatures, snuff boxes, Soviet memorabilia and art nouveau jewelry.

If you are in Istanbul for a short visit or long term stay, consider staying at Fraser Place Anthill Istanbul. This brand new luxury serviced apartment is located in the prestigious Anthill premier residential development in the Bomonti district of Istanbul. Our property offers beautiful 360° magnificent views over the Bosphorus Strait, the Blue Mosque and the historic town.

Comprising of 116 luxurious contemporary apartments, we have one, two, three bedroom apartments and four bedroom Penthouses with floor to ceiling windows which will allow you to take in the spectacular unobstructed views over the city skyline. Each of our stunning apartments is fitted with the finest oak wood flooring, fully-fitted open plan kitchen boasting the best in fittings and furnished with beautifully appointed contemporary furniture and state of the art entertainment system.

The Anthill residence complex has an array of shops ranging from Carrefour gourmet for your own convenience, restaurants, a pharmacy, dry cleaning, a hairdresser, a Spa with 12 treatment rooms and one of the largest fitness complex complete with facilities; an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, steam rooms, Jacuzzi, an outdoor tennis court, a squash court, an indoor ski slope, a billiard room, and extensive choices of classes, Fraser Place Anthill is the ideal choice for your stay in Istanbul.

Fraser Place Anthill is located in Bomonti, ŞiŞli area of Istanbul.
Nearest Metro stations: Osmanbey: 15 minutes walk  and Sisli: whoch is a 20 minutes walk.                                                                                                                                                    A wide selection of public transports is available from Mecidiyekoy to all the main districts.                                                                                                                                               Istanbul has two international airports:  Ataturk Airport Yesilkoy: approximately 35 minutes by car  and the Sabiha Gokcen Airport: approximately 60 minutes by car. Airport transfers can be arranged upon request.

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