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Grand Bazaar Guide

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Istanbul’s historical Grand Bazaar, which dates back to the 15th century, is one of the city’s most popular sights for both shopping and wandering around. The Bazaar is one of the oldest of its kind in the world and it remains one of the most heavily populated tourist areas of Istanbul. Visitors come in their droves to peruse this ancient mall for its carpets, leatherware, jewellery and souvenirs.

However, the labyrinth of backstreets surrounding the Grand Bazaar are perhaps just as interesting and are where many locals go to pick up cheap clothing, textiles and household items or to pay a visit to the nearby Süleymaniye Mosque.

Next to the Grand Bazaar is Beyazit Square, which was formed in 393AD as the greatest square in the city. It stands on the site of the Forum of the Bulls, named after the bronze bull heads which once graced the arch at its centre. Only a few remnants of this arch remain.

Gates lead from the Square into the Istanbul University complex. Inside the university grounds is the 85m tall Beyazit Tower; special permission is needed to climb.

The Square itself has a number of second hand and antique book sellers at its Old Book Bazaar and it also houses the Calligraphy Museum and Beyazit Mosque. The Grand Bazaar area is a short walk from Sultanahmet and is also easily reachable by tram.

1st photo: Grand Bazaar
2nd photo: Grand Bazaar © Frank Kovalchek

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