Best Things to Buy in Grand Bazaar – Istanbul’s Haven for Shoppers

traveller Nimisha

The best things to buy in Grand Bazaar include a variety of items. Shops in Grand Bazaar serve the most delightful things that a visitor wants to buy. This place is buzzing with visitors and has around 4000 shops – some under a cover and some outside in the open area.

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul receives thousands of visitors daily. They include not just the local people but travellers from far and wide. This market is a haven for shopaholics. Everybody shopping here keenly looks for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar. After all, this place offers you a wide range of clothes, teas, herbal products, handbags, jewellery, food items, spices and whatnot.

Don’t allow the huge crowds here to scare you off. Instead, enjoy your visit here. This market is unique in so many ways and is sprawling with such amazing things. Grand Bazaar is also one of the best places to buy souvenirs for your loved ones.  Your friends and family would want to visit Istanbul just for visiting the lovely Grand Bazaar. In my current blog, I will elaborate on the best things to buy at Grand Bazaar, especially for first-time visitors.

things to buy in grand bazaar

Grand Bazaar is a huge market selling a lot of things including ceramics, spices, lamps, etc. That’s me trying out a Mexican hat.

Best Things to Buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Grand Bazaar comprises such a huge variety of things and shops that picking just a few items is difficult. You need to stay for a while in Istanbul to understand the beautiful things being sold in Grand Bazaar.

I am a die-hard shopaholic. I like stuff that is unique to a region. Hence, in my current blog, I will share everything I know about the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar and will also share my experience as a visitor.

Based on my extensive backpacking experience in Turkey, I would recommend the following as the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar as a first-time visitor:

Turkish handmade soaps
Turkish lamps
Lokum (Turkish delight)
Turkish chai (tea)
Turkish Kahve (coffee)
Antique items
Scarves and neck ties
Carpets and rugs
Cool and quirky lighters
Istanbul embroidered caps, hoodies and sweatshirts


5 Things to Know Before You Start Hunting for the Best Things to Buy in Grand Bazaar 

After spending some time in and around Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, there are certain things I noticed which I want you to know before you start looking for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul. Keep these 5 points in mind before you head shopping for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul.

Head to the Grand Bazaar as early as possible

Do not delay going to the Bazaar in the evening, instead, head straight to the Grand Bazaar at around 10 a.m. just an hour later the opening time. This is ideally the best time to shop since it is not crowded at this hour.

The first customer gets the best deal

Another reason as to why you should reach out for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul as early as possible is that you are likely to get things at a lower price if you tend to be the first customer. The salesperson wants to reach is daily quota and hence to start his day, he doesn’t mind selling his very first customer at lower prices earning not much commission. Hence good timing plays a key role in getting you the best deals.

Scan all the shops

When you reach the Grand Bazaar, for the first 10-15 minutes go around strolling in the market. See what all items are the shops in the market selling and randomly ask them the price for the things you like and then walk away to scan the other shops for the same items. You will notice how similar are all these shops but have a different pricing strategy for the same item. So get an idea of their pricing strategy before heading to shop for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul.

Always carry a shopping bag

Best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul are various, no wonder you will end up buying so many things from here. Therefore do not forget to carry a shopping bag with you or else you will have a tough time carrying all the polybags in your hands.

Do one lane at a time

Did you know that the Grand Bazaar boasts a total of 64 streets and about 22 entrance gates? That’s crazy. Even the map of the Grand Bazaar seems like a puzzle to me. The map didn’t help me but left me even the more perplexed. Hence the best way to get the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul is to do one lane at a time. Every lane and entrance would land you up in a different pavilion here. So it is better to scan one entire lane selling a particular type of items and to buy from the shop that gives you the best price.

things to buy in grand Bazaar istanbul

There are many things you can buy from Grand Bazaar. In the picture, you can see a lane selling clothes crowded by visitors.

Grand Bazaar Istanbul: Important Details 

Since I stayed in Turkey for quite some time, I was able to explore the best and cheapest souvenir shopping all around Turkey. However, no other market came close to the grand bazaar in its ‘grandness’.

Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest markets, not just in Istanbul but in the entire world. It has a lot of history to it. That is why this place comes across as unique to visitors.

One of the good things about this marketplace is that you can find almost everything here.

Before I proceed further, here are some basic details that will help you as a traveller:

How to Reach Grand Bazaar?

Grand Bazaar is situated in the Fatih district. You can take the metro named T1 Kabatasand to get down at Beyazit station. There will be an announcement in English about the same. You can easily walk to the main entrance of the Grand bazaar from here.

Timings of Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is open all days except Sundays and Public Holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

things to buy in grand bazaar

Apart from well known Turkish items like lamps, ceramics, also look out for quirky items like these bags when shopping here.

What is the Story Behind Grand Bazaar?

Istanbul has a number of prominent markets that are a delight to shoppers. Grand Bazaar happens to be the grandest and most popular of all. Since Grand Bazaar has around four thousand shops, there is a lot of stuff that can be bought here. Owing to the hugeness of this place, the footfalls and hence the visitors here are really high.

Owing to a large number of shops and visitors, this place gets really crowded but still remains majestic. Hence, it gets its rightfully earned name of Grand Bazaar.

Safety of Travelers at Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar has shopkeepers that might appear cheesy at first but they don’t mean ill for you. It’s just a marketing gimmick. So do not take offence to what they tell you.

As a solo traveller (especially women), make sure you take charge of yourself and stay alert at all times. Stay focused on the best things to buy at Grand Bazaar. Make informed choices, explore well and then get back to your hotel in time. Here’s a blog I wrote on traveller safety in Turkey, check it out for some safety tips

If you are a traveller visiting with kids, do not visit the bazaar during peak hours. Kids might get lost around the crowd if you are not careful

You can also go in for day tours of Grand Bazaar. On my second visit to Grand Bazaar, I saw a group taking this tour and that’s how I got to know about it. The guide was efficiently navigating them through the market and introducing them to the products and local traders. I recommend this kind of tour to those who have limited time or are travelling with young kids. 

Shop selling authentic Turkish items

When in Grand Bazaar, make sure you buy some authentic Turkish items. Here is a shop selling such items like ceramics lamps, etc. 

What sort of discounts should you be aiming for at the Grand Bazaar?

The answer to this question really depends on person to person and cannot be generalized. But just to give you a rough idea, I will share my experience of getting discounts on the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar Istanbul. While shopping here, 20% discount on the quoted price is the minimum that I had settled for. In other cases, it can go up to a 50% discount as well too. There is no guarantee that this strategy will surely work for you. It totally depends on what you are buying and how much are you willing to pay for the same.

How to Bargain Well at Grand Bazaar?

Since you’re here for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar, you have got to learn to the craft of bargaining. Trust me, it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But for the ones who know it, get the best deals out of everything.

If you’re an early riser and can manage to visit Grand Bazaar right after it opens, you surely will be able to buy the best things in Grand Bazaar at very reasonable prices. The reason for this is simple. The shopkeepers want to start selling stuff early and so if you’re there, they will offer you a discount.

The next thing I would suggest you is to not look super focused in just one shop. Keep strolling around and the shopkeepers around will do anything to lure you into buying from them.

The next piece of advice I’d like to offer as far as bargaining is concerned is to never quote your preferred price. If you end up doing so, the shopkeeper will raise the price even more and fool you by making you feel that you’re getting a good bargain deal.

The last thing regards to bargaining at Grand Bazaar would be to not go over the top as far as discounted costs are concerned. Sure, you are here to bargain and get a good deal. But if you end up being unreasonable, you will have to return empty-handed.

A flirtatious Shopkeeper in the grand bazar

Shopkeepers at Grand bazaar will stop at nothing to get your attention. Here’s a flirtatious shopkeeper trying to sell us things

Tips to Shop for the Best Things to Buy in Grand Bazaar

I’d like to very modestly offer you a few suggestions and tips. These will assist you in your shopping for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar.

Do not get distracted by the large crowd here. Focus and you surely will find the right shops and things to buy.
Take care of your personal belonging at all times.
Look keenly for some really good deals and discounts.
Keep bargaining with the shopkeepers till you get a discount.
Do check out the lanes outside the covered area of Grand Bazaar.
Get out of your comfort zone and shop for things exotic to you.

I hope the above tips help you while shopping for the best things to buy in Grand Bazaar. If you’re in Istanbul, do not miss out on this very unique place.

Trust me, you will end up having a damn good time. 

Happy wayfaring 🙂



Nimisha Modi

Nimisha Modi started traveling early in life and went on a three month spree across the cultural landscape of Turkey. A cheery Instagram enthusiast, Nimisha loves capturing pictures and keeping her memories alive.