I’ve never really been a shopping person, but for once the Bazaars excited me. Back in last October, on my trip to Istanbul I made it a point to specially take a day off and visit the many historical bazaars in this gorgeous city! I couldn’t resist, had heard tales about the shopkeepers in these bazaars, their charm, hospitality and persuasive powers.
They had never stressed enough, ‘cuz the experience was like no other!
Types of Bazaars
1.Grand Bazaar & Spice Bazaar
Boasting of the old town charm, the grandeur of the Grand Bazaar and the vibrance of the Spice Bazaar left me mesmerized. For once, shopping seemed desirable with all the pretty colorful things ranging from foods to accessories, to cutlery and more handicrafts! The bazaars were enough to get lost, in a good way (often in a bankrupt way too).
PS. The Portakal (Orange) Juice is a must try while shopping, ‘cuz it’s awesome!
2. Street Shopping
Street shopping is a total contrast to these bazaars. Walk down the Istiklal Caddesi towards Galata Saray and you’ll see lesser men hounding around you to buy their products. Instead there are more products on the middles of the street up for sale that will catch your eye and draw you to the shop. It’s more silent and personal. But a treat to your senses for various reasons!
3.Bazaars in Kadikoy
Bazaars on the Asian side of Istanbul are exciting to a whole new level. There are crowds and smells and commotion and a variety of things right from fresh fish to vintage collectibles. There’s a happy vibe with a lot of rush, sweet shops, eateries and there are a lot more locals on this side of the city as opposed to the tourist crowd in the other markets. These are best for fresh produce, local brands and cheap buys.
Turkish salesmen are the best at what they do. They most certainly love their job! Charming, good looking, persuasive, ice breakers and great talkers, they are all of them.
They can catch your attention, talk in as many as 15 languages, identify your nationality and make references accordingly. Absolutely anything to have you stop by their store and get talking!
The signing of note for the ladies especially could be being asked out for dinner or exchanging numbers.
The Turks and their hospitality will leave you surprised beyond imagination. You could get a rose or a flavored tea, even better you could be offered honey soaked dry fruits without even showing enough interest in shopping. The Turks believe in investing in experience. 9/10 you will walk out happy.
Quite often you’ll fall trap to this sugarcoated goodness and end up buying things you don’t require.
Bargaining has been an ancient tradition in the Ottoman Empire. While many believe it is dying out in modern Turkey, it still remains intact pertaining to the customers who actually cares and dares to bargain!
Use a few Turkish phrases here and there and you’re bound to win the Shopkeeper’s heart!
If the pictures and their stories aren’t enough to make you want to shop, then what will? Tell me did you enjoy the visual shopping experience and what are your favorite places to shop?
Photos by: Parampara