Shopping in Istanbul

Today we have a guest post from my friend Michele who just returned from a trip to Turkey. Enjoy!

A special thanks to Sarah and Jess for allowing me to make a guest appearance on their blog.  I had the wonderful opportunity to travel for two weeks to Istanbul, Turkey and they offered me the chance to share that experience with you.  Here is just a glimpse into some of the aspects that make Istanbul one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Istanbul is made up of several neighborhoods.  Each neighborhood has its own personality but almost all have bustling shopping centers.  Basiktas (pronounced Bashkitash) is right on the Bosphorus and so fittingly has a large fish market. 

One can’t talk about Istanbul without talking about the Bosphorus.  This is the strait that divides the Asian and European sides of Istanbul (Istanbul is the only city in the world on two continents).  This strait also connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and into the Mediterranean Sea.  This is the main trade route for Russia and you see large freighter boats passing frequently. 

This is the entrance to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.  The market has been in operation since 1481.  Once upon a time it was a food and slave market but these days it is filled with jewelry, ceramics, rugs, scarves, and table cloths. 

There are over 60 streets inside so it’s very easy to delve in.  Vendors expect you to haggle and it is expected that whatever the asking price is, you would counteroffer 30%.  This gives you plenty of room for negotiations.  Remember, there are always more vendors selling what you want in the Grand Bazaar so walk away if a vendor won’t give you the price you want.  Someone down the road will.

Outside of the Grand Bazaar is very crowded too.  There are many shops selling everything from touristy tee shirts, to expensive rugs and handmade leather.  While we might think of Turkey as a place to buy rugs, they are world renowned for their leather and ceramics.  Almost all of the items you see are made in Turkey so it is a great place to buy gifts. 

The Spice Market is another great shopping area.  There are so many amazing smells here.  We spent time with a vendor who let us try all these delicious spices.  I also got some great tea which is fitting as everyone drinks tea in Turkey. 

That is all for now, next time I will share with you a look at some of the historical sites of Istanbul.

Thanks Michele, I can't wait to read more. ♥Jessica


Post a Comment