Top 10 bazaars around Turkey
1-Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
The famously known Spice Bazaar among tourists, the large covered bazaar got its name "Mısır Çarşısı" (Egyptian Bazaar) when it was built in 1660 in the city's busy Eminönü quarter because the taxes were collected from Cairo. Additional names were also given to the bazaar like "Valide Çarşısı" (Valide Sultan Bazaar) and "Yeni Çarşı" (New Bazaar). The Spice Bazaar significantly suffered during the two large fires -- in 1691 and 1940. During the Ottoman period, the bazaar was the address of exotic spices as well as herbal medicines and precious textiles. This scene has not changed much as the historic bazaar is bursting at the seams with locals and tourists with its jewelry stores, herb and spice sellers and gift shops.
2-Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Lying on Istanbul's historic peninsula, the Grand Bazaar, without a doubt, is a popular destination among expats and tourists looking to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Tourists can easily get lost while wandering around the city's oldest covered market that attracts up to 400,000 visitors daily. With a long history going back to the 15th century, the bazaar is devoted to textile and gem trade and even today the shops at the Grand Bazaar offer some of the best products, ranging from home decor to apparel. The covered bazaar is not limited only to shopping but also has historic restaurants and cafes that suit every taste.
3-Arasta Bazaar, Edirne
Within the Selimiye Mosque, a masterpiece by Ottoman court architect Mimar Sinan, Arasta in Edirne is a historic attraction with dozens of shops. Ottoman-era traveler Evliya Çelebi describes the bazaar as "Kavaflar Çarşısı" (Shoe Sellers' Bazaar) in his travel accounts. A symbol of Edirne, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, the Arasta Bazaar has shops selling Kavala almond cookies, almond paste and beautifully scented "mis" soap as well as handmade brooms with mirrors.
4-Kemeraltı Bazaar, İzmir
Turkey's largest open-air bazaar, the Kemeraltı Bazaar in the western İzmir province, draws locals and tourists alike and houses hundreds of stores. Reflecting the city's colorful ambiance, the bazaar is where tourists can purchase handmade crafts, jewelry and a myriad of fresh spices. Make sure to have some Turkish coffee at the Kızlarağası Inn.
5-Coppersmiths Bazaar, Gaziantep
Spanning a history of over 400 years, the art of the coppersmith has a long legacy in the southern Gaziantep city boasting a rich culinary culture. For years, the bazaar is where artisans and coppersmiths make handmade crafts and earn their living. Still, the place has some of the finest examples of this art for tourists.
6-Yemeniciler Bazaar, Safranbolu
A UNESCO heritage site, the town of Safranbolu town in the city of Kastamonu boasts an authentic urban architecture of the Ottoman period and its historic bazaar – "Yemeniciler Çarşısı" enjoyed its heyday with craftsmen, most of which specialized in designing "yemeni" (flat-heeled shoes). Only very few "yemeni" masters are left at the bazaar now but the small souvenir shops sell Turkish delights and soaps made of saffron, a highly valuable spice.
7-Mardin’s historic bazaars
There are many things to discover in Turkey's southeastern city of Mardin and its bustling bazaar sbeing home to local arts and crafts is no exception. You can find almost anything in this vibrant spaces, not limited to traditional food and drinks but apparel, accessories, bridal dresses and even live animals. To enjoy fresh roasted chickpeas then head to a local bazaar where you may find the best taste.
Lying in a very central location, the historic covered bazaar in the southeastern city of Kahramanmaraş is named after coppersmiths like the one in Gaziantep. From wood engraving to jewelry making and blacksmiths, the bazaar is one of the liveliest scenes where traditional craftsmanship is still kept alive.