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What you should know about Grand Bazaar
The Kapalicarsi, or Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, is the shopper's Shangri La. In the 15th century, Mehmet the Conqueror had the huge market area built after he invaded the city, and it remains the world's oldest covered market. You'll find dozens of streets inside, with vendors selling everything you can imagine, including leather goods, jewelry, shoes, and home decor items. Istanbul is an undeniable melting pot, and Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences can still be seen and experienced in the Grand Bazaar. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time shopping here, you should use Hotels.com to help you find hotels around Grand Bazaar, Instanbul. The city may be ancient, but you'll find sophisticated listings on Hotels.com that are very close to the world famous shopping area.
What's Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Like?
The Grand Bazaar is massive, with different streets focused on specific goods. There are items for sale from all over the world, with many offered at bargain prices. The bazaar can become extremely crowded as the day wears on. The best time to avoid the deal-seeking hordes is early morning. Arrive a bit after dawn and have a Turkish breakfast of eggs, butter, bread, and cheese. Then you should find a traditional Turkish coffee vendor, buy a cup, and sip on the sweet, thick, dark morning beverage. Other street fare you should try is the balik ekmek, a fish sandwich garnished with lettuce and onion, and the donor kebab, a delicious treat made of shaved, roasted meat. Not far from the bazaar are streets where there is 24/7 action, if you crave a bit of bar-hopping after all that retail therapy.
Tips for Getting Along with Locals in Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Bargaining used to be a beloved tradition in the Grand Bazaar, but today's shops insist on fixed prices for most goods. There are shops for all budgets in the Grand Bazaar, so take some time to find the best deals on the clothing and souvenirs you want. Be polite to the shopkeepers, and compliment their goods even if you don't buy anything. Most are friendly and speak English fluently. The locals are friendly as well. They are normally very willing to help you if you're lost, advise you on their favorite hangouts, and explain local customs and words. There is so much unique history in Istanbul, and her people are proud of the past. You will find that the people here love to tell you Istanbul's many stories, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
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