This morning we decided to visit the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. We entered the bazaar through the main gate and were amazed at the huge number of jewelry stores lining the street, selling watches, diamonds and gems of all kinds. Then we entered the leather district, full of jackets and hand bags. A salesman who was eager to make his first sale of the day stopped us. He soon realized we weren’t interested in buying anything but he was interested in what our impressions of “his city” were and also made some suggestions of places we should be sure to visit while in Istanbul. Many of the shopkeepers call out as you pass, offering bargains and trying to entice you into their shops. Everything you could possibly want was for sale, one street was lined with shops selling wedding and formal gowns, traditional clothing for the Turkish women, shoes, and lingerie. Another street had a zipper shop, one selling only buttons, fabric shops of all kinds, stores with sequins, lace and thread, definitely a dressmakers dream!!!! We walked around for a couple hours, but didn’t come close to seeing it all. When we stopped to purchase a few souvenirs, we enjoyed conversations with the shopkeepers about Canada, sports and the history of Turkey.
From the Grand Bazaar it is a short walk to the Spice Market. It was easy to know when we were getting close because of the wonderful aromas of spices. As well as spices, there were cheeses, olives, coffee, fruits and nuts and other items for sale. We sampled a few of the spices before buying some paprika and we also enjoyed tasting the chocolate covered lokum (Turkish delight candy) which offered at many of the stalls.
3 years ago