Bazaars are places that mirror the spirit and identity of cities, give peace with their architecture and atmosphere, and make shopping fun. Our country is home to numerous old-established bazaars, and the cities, which were at the fore during the Ottoman period, bear the traces of such bazaars.
Attracting tourists especially from abroad, these bazaars also bring brand value to the cities they are located in. We have listed some of these bazaars, which still keep the traditional form of shopping alive in the modern age, while appealing to the eye with their architectural features. The travel-lovers can also take a look at our article Museums with Free Admission in Europe. Here are 5 must-see, popular bazaars in Turkey…
1. Kapalicarsi (Grand Bazaar) (Istanbul)
Kapalicarsi (Grand Bazaar), one of the most important sites in the historical peninsula in Istanbul, is a very popular, old place visited by more than 90 million domestic and foreign tourists annually. With 4.000 shops and stores, Grand Bazaar holds an authentic and mystical identity with its labyrinth-like passages and streets.
In addition to savory delicacies like roasted, ground coffee, Turkish delight and spices, this historical place also hosts shops and stores selling carpets, jewelery, antique pieces, souvenirs and more. Dating back to the Byzantine period, Grand Bazaar, which was enlarged by Fatih Sultan Mehmet after the conquest of Istanbul, was rebuilt and took its current form with the initiatives of Sultan Abdulhamid II, after it was damaged by the great earthquake in 1894. Attracting visitors with the smells, colors and its atmosphere, the Grand Bazaar is one the places that add value to Istanbul.
2. Misir Carsisi (Spice Bazaar) (Istanbul)
Located in Eminonu, one of the oldest settlements in Istanbul, Spice Bazaar neighbors New Mosque and Flower Market. Built by Hatice Turhan Sultan, the mother of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV, Spice Bazaar, unlike its peers, was built with cut stone, rubble stone and bricks in 1660-1661.
The smell and dimmish lighting of Spice Bazaar, which hosts not only shops selling spices and herbs but also shops selling Turkish delight, nuts and dried fruit, take you to a different world. Took its current form in the 1940s after the restoration works, Spice Bazaar attracts especially foreign tourists.
3. Ulu Carsi (Bursa)
With its historical sites, mystical atmosphere and natural beauties, Bursa, one of the capital cities of the Ottoman Empire, can be listed among the branding cities in Turkey. Neighboring Bursa Grand Bazaar and Coppersmiths Bazaar, Ulu Bazaar can be called as the center of towels, one of the most important symbols of Bursa.
With towel shops lined up side by side, shops and stores selling dowry items, home textile products, watches and eyeglasses, as well as restaurants with local delicacies of Bursa, Ulu Carsi is one of the most popular places in Bursa.
4. Historical Kemeralti Bazaar(Izmir)
The historical Kemeraltı Bazaar, one of the oldest places in Izmir, is also one of the oldest bazaars in the world. With a history of 2.400 years, the bazaar dates back to the Hellenistic period. With stores selling coppersmith goods, herbs, shoes and more, Kemeraltı Bazaar, regarded as an important hub of social, cultural and business life in Izmir, offers not only shopping but also good time.
Hosting approximately 2.000 registered buildings, the bazaar is also home to churches, mosques and synagogues standing side by side in peace. The Historical City Center of Izmir, which also includes Kemeralti Bazaar and its surroundings, was deemed worthy of being included in the World Heritage Tentative List of UNESCO in April 2020. Bringing a different pleasure as you get lost in its labyrinth-like streets, Kemeraltı Bazaar continues to be in the limelight thanks to its lively and dynamic atmosphere.
5. Gaziantep Bakircilar Carsisi (Coppersmiths Bazaar)
Located on Eski Saray Street that is also known as Sahinbey, Gaziantep Coppersmiths Bazaar is one of the most important historical sites of the city. With copper craftsmanship dating back to almost 400 years ago, Gaziantep is famous for its Coppersmiths Bazaar. Located opposite each other in narrow streets, the shops also offer the visitors the pleasure of watching.
In this bazaar, which promises the pleasure to witness the hard work of the craftsmen while they are making things out of copper and the things created, the hammer sounds and the melody from the copper are worth to be experienced. We recommend you to visit Coppersmiths Bazaar if you happen to visit Gaziantep, which is famous not only for its cuisine but also for its cultural heritage and richness.