Grand Bazaar
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Our most recommended Grand Bazaar Activities

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

1. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

You will start at the old Hippodrome of Constantinople which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major works of art including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II, constructed by the Germans. From there, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are a key fixture of Istanbul’s skyline. Next, head for the Topkapi Palace, which was home to the Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. Move on to the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Behold the dome and stunning Byzantine mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then visit the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Also stroll around the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight.

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Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

2. Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipporome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum, to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The 8-hour excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia  or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, more officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You will also pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Your day won’t be complete, however, without a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of Bosphorus. There are also magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them! Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

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Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

3. Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: The Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of Bosphorus. There are also magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name — in Turkish, Dolma means "filled" or "stuffed," and bahce means "garden". Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

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Turkey: 7-Nights Tour of 5 Cities Starting from Istanbul

4. Turkey: 7-Nights Tour of 5 Cities Starting from Istanbul

Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul Welcome to Turkey! Upon your arrival at Istanbul Airport and/or Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport, you will be assisted with your luggage and transferred in a private vehicle to your Hotel. Stay overnight and get an evening of rest before your adventure starts in the morning. Day 2: Full-Day Istanbul Tour  Start your day with a delicious breakfast at your hotel. Your journey begins in Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. For the duration of the day, you will sightsee through some of this fascinating and ancient city's most significant landmarks. Marvel at the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. In the afternoon you will visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping before enjoying an overnight stay in Istanbul at your hotel.  Day 3: Istanbul to Cappadocia by flight & Cappadocia Tour Start your day bright and early at your hotel with a transfer service to Istanbul airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival at Cappadocia you will meet with your guide. After a short meet and greet with your friendly guide/driver you will commence your sightseeing. Visit places like Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup and the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and the deepest craters out of 200 others in Cappadocia. After your tour of these monumental places, you will be transferred to your hotel where you will enjoy an evening of rest. Day 4: Full-Day Cappadocia Tour Start your morning with a view of the lunar landscape of Cappadocia - rock formations beyond belief in the Devrent Valley. Whilst making your way through this magical place, witness its troglodyte houses and visit the fairy chimneys where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve. Stop in Avanos for a delicious lunch and the chance to marvel at some of the terracotta artwork it is famous for. Whilst here you will get to stop by a traditional pottery workshop.  In the afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th-century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. After the tour program transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay in Cappadocia. Day 5: Cappadocia – Konya – Pamukkale Start your day with a bright and early departure for Pamukkale. On the way, you will visit the 13th-century masterpiece, Sultanhan Caravanserai before arriving in Konya. After your visit to the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic, enjoy a scenic drive to Pamukkale and spend an overnight stay in a Thermal Hotel where you can relax and go for a refreshing swim. Day 6: Pamukkale – Kusadasi In the morning, go on a visit to the ancient Hierapolis and marvel at the Theatre, Apollo Temple and magnificent Necropolis, and graveyard. You will then enjoy a relaxing, scenic drive to Kusadasi where you will enjoy an overnight stay. Day 7: Kusadasi – Ephesus – Istanbul by flight Start your day with a visit to Artemis Temple, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Continue on to Ephesus and walk through history along marble streets lined with fascinating landmarks such as the The State Agora, Odeon, Memnius Monument, the Temple of Domitian, Polio Fountain, Curetes Street, The Trajan Fountain, The Baths of Scholastica, Hadrian Temple, Latrina, Celcus Library, the gate of Mihridates and Mazues, Commercial Agora and The Grand Theater - two of the most impressive buildings in Ephesus. After your trip to Ephesus, you will drive to Izmir airport for a flight back to Istanbul. Arrive back in Istanbul where you will be met by a guide who will transfer you to your hotel for an overnight stay.  Day 8: Home After your delicious breakfast, check out from your hotel and relax in a private transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight back home.

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Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia 6-Day Tour

5. Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia 6-Day Tour

Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul Welcome to Turkey. On arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, a tour representative will meet you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it. You'll have a private transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Day 2: Full-Day Istanbul Tour After breakfast, you'll be picked up from your hotel to begin your tour of Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul – its three names span more than 2600 years of history. You'll visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping. Then overnight in Istanbul. Please note: The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. When day 2 falls on a Sunday, the Grand Bazaar will be visited on day 3. Day 3: Full-Day Istanbul Tour After breakfast and pick up from your hotel, you'll visit the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar). The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. Then enjoy a boat trip on the Bosphorus River. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. In the afternoon, visit an underground cistern. Overnight in Istanbul. Day 4: Fly to Cappadocia and Tour You'll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Istanbul airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Cappadocia where you can leave your luggage. Then head out to explore. The first stop is Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup. Then you'll head to Pigeons Valley and learn the importance of pigeons in Cappadocian culture. Finally, descend toward the center of the earth in the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and the deepest of the underground cities in Cappadocia. Overnight at a cave hotel. Day 5: Cappadocia Tour and fly to Istanbul After breakfast, you'll be picked up for the drive to Devrent Valley where you'll take a walk through this lunar landscape with its unusual rock formations. You'll see some of the best examples of fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley, before proceeding to the town of Avanos. Avanos is famous for its tile and pottery workshops. Later visit the Goreme Open Air Museum where you will enjoy the fantastic rock churches and beautiful frescos decorating the walls. Then drive to the Uchisar Rock Castle for a breathtaking panorama view. You'll end the day visiting Esentepe Windy Hill for more panoramic views before transfer to the airport for the flight back to Istanbul. In Istanbul, you'll be transferred to the hotel for the night. Day 6: Home After breakfast check out from the hotel and enjoy your private transfer back to Istanbul Airport or to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport for your flight home.

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Istanbul Private Guided Tour

6. Istanbul Private Guided Tour

Discover the highlights of Istanbul on a private full-day tour that takes in the major attractions. Begin with a walk through the lively streets of Turkey's largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia; a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. It is the mosque's striking blue tiles that give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul's most iconic attractions. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You'll also get to check out the gazebo-like German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Finally, stop at the Grand Bazaar; one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee.

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Full-Day Walking Tour of Istanbul's Old City

7. Full-Day Walking Tour of Istanbul's Old City

The historic Old City in Istanbul is stunningly beautiful, and we can help you make the most of your visit with this full-day guided walking tour. Our professional local guide will take you through all the sights of the Old City, giving you valuable insight into the history of this fascinating place. The tour starts at the Hagia-Sophia Museum before you head to the world heritage monument. We will then walk to the Blue Mosque to see the glorious architecture of this historic building, which dates back to the early 1600s. Then it’s off to the Roman Hippodrome Square, where your tour will show you the Egyptian Obelisque, Roman Pillar, Greek Column and the German Fountain. Then it's off to a recently discovered Cistern. Afterwards, walk to the Topkapi Imperial Palace, the largest palace in Istanbul. Once the residence of Ottoman Sultans, the palace is now a museum, which houses different collections, each fascinating in their own way. The tour winds down at approximately 17:00, after a short walk to the entrance gate of the world famous Grand Bazaar.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

8. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

Meet your private guide at your hotel to being your tour. Marvel at the iconic tiles and minarets of the Blue Mosque, built in the 1600s for Sultan Ahmet. Feast your eyes on the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia and discover a stunning and seamless blend of Christian and Islamic influences. Amble through the world's largest (and oldest) covered market on a tour of the Grand Bazaar and see the Basilica Cistern, an underground water storage. Travel back further to the Byzantine Empire, when the city was known as “Constantinople” at the Hippodrome and its 4 monuments; the Fountain Of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk Of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Column Of Constantine. Go to Topkapı Palace to see the last Imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans, and the seat of the Parliament.

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Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

9. Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

Your 6-hour tour begins in the morning with a short drive from your hotel to the the ancient Byzantine Hippodrome, where your guide will show you the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and Fountain of Wilhelm II. Afterwards you’ll visit the Blue Mosque, known for its 6 elegant minarets and blue Iznik tiles. See the Saint Sophia Museum, built as a church during the reign of Emperor Theodosius and destroyed in the fire of Nika Revolt in 532 A.D. After a lunch break at a local restaurant (included in the tour price), you’ll visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence and administrative center of the Ottoman sultans. You’ll also have the chance to shop for some Turkish handicrafts before the transfer back to your hotel.

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Istanbul: 4-hour Turkish Shopping Experience

10. Istanbul: 4-hour Turkish Shopping Experience

From the ancient Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry, to ceramics and leather goods; to the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight; it is mind blowing to the first time visitor. This is not helped by the traders shouting out and tempting you in with various offers, many of which will be quickly forgotten should you venture inside. This is a part of Turkish culture and trade, and very common in other countries where negotiating and barter is the norm. To the Westerner who is not used to this, it can be quite a daunting prospect and visitors sometimes fall prey to the more unscrupulous traders. To prevent this and to ensure a pleasurable and happy shopping experience your guide will bring you to the right places to make your purchases. Many of these can only be found on the backs streets outside the two bazaars, in places you would likely never find or enter by yourself. The whole Turkish culture and tradition of buying from recommended traders is still observed. You will be encouraged to: · sit and drink huge quantities of tea · talk about yourself · ask questions · look at a huge array of merchandise · negotiate, as no trader is happy if you just accept their first price This is part of the whole process, one where making friends is as important as the purchase itself. The one secret to negotiating is not trying to drive the price down to the absolute lowest possible point, as you have no idea what that is. Each trader will assess each customer differently on any given day. Mood will play its part as will how much they like you and get on with you, hence the reason for going through the sociable elements before buying. If you can’t agree on a price you are free to walk away but if you do you will leave with the comfort of knowing your purchase is genuine and not some back street fake. What to Buy Carpets/Kilim The Turkish carpet/kilim has a long history dating back hundreds of years. An original Turkish carpet is handmade using only natural fibres and dyes from plant extract. The process is long and slow and obviously the time taken to make one depends on how big it is. Smaller carpets, with their bright colours are quite often used to hang on walls just as you would with a picture. There are many different characteristics to the Turkish carpet, depending on where the material is from and this also influences the design and price. The carpet shops recommended by your guide will take time to explain everything to you and offer advice on what might be your best choice. Ceramics The production of Turkish ceramics dates back to the 15th Century and developed from the appreciation of Chinese porcelain by the Ottoman Sultans. Being unable to produce porcelain they manufactured fritware, which is a low-fired body comprised mainly of silica and glass. These ceramics are more commonly referred to as Iznik Pottery after the region where they were first produced and the real collector’s items are hand painted. Consequently no two pieces are ever the same. Your guide will only take you to the shops and markets selling authentic pieces. Jewellery With 500 years of Ottoman Rule and their desire for opulent jewelry, a whole industry is devoted to keeping the traditions alive with craftsmen passing their knowledge and skills on from one generation to another. The result is an abundance of unique pieces both for design and the gems which adorn them. On your tour you can have confidence in the designers and craftsmen, who will work with you in finding or creating your own unique family heirloom. Leather Turkey has a thriving leather industry offering bags, jackets, coats and trousers, but you have to be very careful as there are so many fakes on the market. That said you can buy exceptional quality leather goods at prices which are usually way below what you would normally pay in your home country. Your guide will only take you to the leather stores and factory outlets, which have a reputation for honest trading and no fakes.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Grand Bazaar

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What people are saying about Grand Bazaar

Mahmed (Mohamed) was an amazing tour guide, very patient and professional, he explained the history behind the attractions giving us that little extra bit of information. We were never rushed or felt pressure to do or buy anything. Will definitely recommend this tour and will do it again in the future!!

Izki is an amazing guide. She was so smiley and with an abundance of knowledge delivered in the perfect amount. We learnt so much. Thanks again.

Hello very pleasant and very interesting thank you to Mr. Mehmet, the very kind and very cultured guide. See you soon.

The tour guide was very resourceful and informative. He was very helpful and I had a great tour.

Beautiful sites and very knowledgeable tour guide Amet