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Best Markets in Istanbul

By: Cityseeker
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Spice Bazaar

Sharing a square with the New Mosque near the tip of Istanbul's Golden Horn, the Spice Market has catered to travelers seeking a taste of the globe since 1663. The market's location has remained unchanged for centuries, cementing the site as the focal point of Istanbul's rich history, having functioned as the central hub for Medieval spice traders. Heaps of brightly colored spices, vessels overflowing with nuts and boundless pyramids of Turkish delicacies are harmoniously crammed side by side, under lanterns suspending from arched ceilings casting a mellow glow throughout the market. Owing to its monumental sprawl, Spice Market's collection is nearly limitless, luring droves of locals and tourists who test out mounds of exotic tea, sample a variety of rich dryfruits, experiment with sweetened baklavas, or even simply saunter through its labyrinthine alleyways. Resting behind a quintessentially Turkish dome-topped facade, Spice Bazaar is one of the largest of its kind in the city, hence attesting to the country’s long-standing mercantile history.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Grand Bazaar

From swathes of silk to intricately designed carpets, from filigreed Turkish tea pots to ornate Ottoman lamps, the lantern-laced alleys of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar are home to the city's finest treasures. Vaulted archways are covered with wall-to-wall wares of traditional Turkish souvenirs and products in this historic retail paradise. A walk through the medieval alleys brings on as much awe and delight as it does a smidgen of entertainment. The bedesten, or warehouses date back to the thriving times of the 15th Century, when the Grand Bazaar was first proposed to be built by Sultan Mehmet, in a bid to encourage economic progress in the then-city of Constantinople. Today, the bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, its meandering alleys filled with as many as 4000 shops, and its grand sprawl consisting of nearly 61 shopping streets and alleys.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Arasta Bazaar

Take a leisurely walk through Arasta Bazaar and pick up amazing souvenirs to take home. This market is more relaxed than others in the city and attracts visitors who would rather not deal with huge crowds. Textiles, spices, clothing, accessories, jewelry, hookahs, and other Turkish specialties can be found here. It's a great shopping destination in Istanbul.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Atlas Bazaar

When you think of Istanbul, you think of the famous Grand Bazaar. Atlas is a great addition to the city's happening shopping scene. Over 40 shops line the lively stretch on Istiklal street. On sale are a range of clothing, bags, accessories and shoes catering to every budget. It is a popular shopping destination among locals and tourist throngs looking for gifts and souvenirs at arguably the best rates in town. Its selling point, its diverse collection, has the place always bustling with barter.

Istanbul, Turkey
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