Bazaars of Istanbul

While in Istanbul, we had the chance to visit both the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, the two primary markets here.  Both had so much to offer – too much in fact that it becomes overwhelming.  And yet at the same time, it was so much fun to meander around the markets here.

The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest covered market in the world!!  Built in the mid 1400s shortly after the Ottomans took over Constantinople, the Grand Bazaar is comprised of more than 60 streets and approximately 3600 vendor.  The tough part about having that many vendors though is that you often see the same products over and over again – how do you figure out which ones are the best?  The other challenge is that the vendors are constantly trying to hustle you into their stores to buy products – there is so much competition that this must be the best way to survive in this type of environment.  I hate feeling pressured so I did my best to ignore them, but then felt rude doing so.  However, we now have 80 euros worth of apple tea so I guess I didn’t do a good job of not succumbing to the pressure!

Lunch before the Bazaar

Lunch before the Bazaar

Entrance to the Grand Bazaar

Entrance to the Grand Bazaar

This reminds me of the Paris Casino in Las Vegas with the buildings inside the buildings look to it.

This reminds me of the Paris Casino in Las Vegas with the buildings inside the buildings look to it.

Beautiful domed ceilings

Beautiful domed ceilings

Can you see the kitten near the golden dome?

Can you see the kitten near the golden dome?  You can click to enlarge the picture.

As you walk, you can see where new additions have happened over the years just by the change in style.

As you walk, you can see where new additions have happened over the years just by the change in style.

One of the 3600 shops

One of the 3600 shops

I am obsessed with these lights - if only I had somewhere to hang them!

I am obsessed with these lights – if only I had somewhere to hang them!

More shops

More shops

More modern side of the bazaar

More modern side of the bazaar

The Spice Bazaar was much smaller by comparison to the Grand Bazaar with only about 85 shops but still an impressive site to behold and also one of the largest markets in the city.  It makes you realize just how huge the Grand Bazaar is! The Spice Bazaar was built around 1660 so much “newer” as well – if you can define almost 400 years old being new!  Apparently in recent years, some of the spice vendors have been replaced with other non-spice businesses – a shame if you ask me.

Tiny kitten on our way to the spice bazaar

Tiny kitten on our way to the spice bazaar

Outside the Spice Bazaar

Outside the Spice Bazaar

Entrance to the Spice Bazaar

Entrance to the Spice Bazaar

Some of the many shops

Some of the many shops

If only I could cook - maybe I could use some of these!

If only I could cook – maybe I could use some of these!

More spieces

More spieces

And more....

And more….

Seriously, how do you know who to go to when there are this many vendors selling spices?

Seriously, how do you know who to go to when there are this many vendors selling spices?

IMG_3850 IMG_3851

This was interesting - near the Spice Bazaar, by the Galata Bridge, there were these

This was interesting – near the Spice Bazaar, by the Galata Bridge, there were these “restaurants” where the meals were cooked on the boats and then passed over a channel (which had a tarp in between so no food would fall in the water) to the waiter who would then serve it on land.

Mosque by the Spice Bazaar

Mosque by the Spice Bazaar

It was fun checking out both markets during our visit and getting to sample some of the goods – we’ve got a lot of apple tea, Turkish Delight and assorted candies coming back to the Netherlands with us!

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s