Exploring the Bazaars of Istanbul

bazaars of istanbul

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The bazaars of Istanbul leave no pebble left unturned. The city has no shortage of markets to choose from. They have a bazaar for everything, from flea markets with organic produce and thrifty finds to antique markets with trinkets and rarities, and of course, we can’t forget Istanbul’s historic grand bazaar.

In one of the world’s most ancient cities, you’ll be able to find all sorts of treasures— the only problem will be fitting them in your suitcase when it’s time to leave.

With so many markets in Istanbul, it can be hard to keep track of them all. That’s why I’ve made this complete Istanbul Bazaar list. It outlines:

  • Historic Markets in Istanbul

  • Istanbul Flea Markets

  • Antique and Vintage Markets

  • Farmers Markets

While the markets are a great activity for exploring the city, don’t count out the incredible vintage and antique and vintage stores that are scattered across the city. I’ll link to my favorites at the end of the article.

Historic Markets in Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul (Kapali Çarsi)

Of all the bazaars of Istanbul you’ve likely hear of, the grand bazaar is the one. 

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a labyrinth of stalls that have been shopped for thousands of years. It’s one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets— at an impressive 30,700 m² with 4,000 shops.

It can be overwhelming for those who don’t like crowds, but it’s something that you have to experience while you’re in Istanbul.

I love to wander through it thinking about all the people over the years who have come to sell and buy goods from all over the world. It always brings me back into the moment and awareness of where I am and what makes Istanbul so special.

If I am being honest, I don’t actually buy things from the Grand Bazaar, since it’s become a huge tourist attraction, the prices have followed suit. For a bargain, or more authentic items I go to the Arasta Bazaar (see below).

Grand Bazaar Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Location: Beyazit, Kalpakçilar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul

Spice Bazaar (Misir Çarsisi)

The spice Bazaar is a whirlwind for your senses. The vibrant colors of the piles of Egyptian spices, to the floral and fruit-scented teas.

While we call it the spice bazaar, the actual name, Mısır Çarşısı, translates to Egyptian bazaar— getting its name from where the spices are originating from. However, you can find more than just spices and herbs here. It’s also filled with quality Egyptian textiles— if you’re looking for a Turkish bath towel this is the place.

Spice Bazaar Opening Hours: Daily from 8 am to 7 pm

Location: Rüstem Pasa, Erzak Ambari Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/Istanbul

Arasta Bazaar (Arasta Çarsisi)

As I was saying before, the Historic Bazaars of Istanbul are generally geared toward tourists— so if you want a more traditional, but equally thrilling experience Arasta Bazaar is where to head. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the grand bazaar, located behind the Sultan Ahmet Mosque.

Here you’ll be able to find similar things that the grand bazaar is selling; pottery, candles, jewelry, wooden items, lamps, carpets, etc. The prices are much more reasonable and the stall owners are usually up for a bargain.

Arasta Bazaar Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Location: Sultan Ahmet, Mimar Mehmet Ağa Cd. No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

Istanbul Flea Markets

Besiktas Saturday Market (Besiktas Cumartesi Pazari)

This weekly market has everything you could need from fresh produce, bakery, and home goods to clothing and jewelry. It’s an extremely affordable market that is mostly frequented by locals and ex-pats living in Istanbul.

You shouldn’t expect all the vendors to speak English because a lot of them won’t. Come prepared with a couple of key phrases written down and try to master the numbers for the prices— don’t worry if all else fails, hand gestures and google translate can easily get you through.

Besiktas Saturday Flea Market Opening Hours: Saturdays 8 am till dusk

 Location: Nüzhetiye Cd. No:66 Türkali, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Besiktas Public Market

Right around the corner from the popular Akaretler street, you’ll find the daily Beşiktaş Public Market. This place truly has EVERYTHING, and for every budget. You could easily spend the entire day here— which is completely possible since it’s open all day, often way past their closing time of midnight.

Besiktas Public Market Opening Hours: Daily 7 am to Midnight

 Location: Sinanpaşa, Ihlamurdere Cd. & Hattat Tahsin Sk. 19/1, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Ortaköy High Society Bazaar (Ortaköy Sosyete Pazari)

This is one of the most official markets in Istanbul— with an ambulance, security, changing rooms, and other amenities it’s truly living up to its name of the High Society Bazaar.

While this flea market has a little bit of everything the main draw is the surplus export items of name-brand clothing and home textiles.

Since Istanbul is producing much of the world’s clothing and textile goods you can find all levels of quality of garments. If you’re looking for a bargain on brands you know, this is the market that is not to be missed.

Ortakoy High Society Bazaar Opening Hours: Saturday and Thursday 8 am to 7 pm

 Location: Levazım Mahallesi, Çayır Sk. No:4, Beşiktaş

Küçükpazar Flea Market (Küçükpazar Bit Pazari)

If you want a truly local experience there’s a flea market off of Küçükpazar street every Saturday. While it’s only a twenty-minute walk from the spice market, it’s in one of Istanbul’s poorer neighborhoods so it’s not on the main tourist track.

You’ll find all sorts of things here, baskets, to copper, to wood-wares—all at the lowest prices. Once you’re done at the market, the surrounding streets are fascinating to wander around and get lost in.

Kucukpazar Flea Market Opening Hours: Saturdays 8 am onward

 Location: Adjacent to Küçükpazar Street

Carsamba market

The direct translation of the market’s name is Wednesday Market. As the name suggests this market only happens on Wednesday. Located in the conservative Fatih neighborhood, this is another market that is super local.

You can find everything here, from knockoff Kylie lip kits for $1 or fresh produce for the lowest prices. If you’re in Istanbul on a Wednesday, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s always lively, and bustling and the vendors are always excited to chat with foreigners.

Carsamba Market Opening Hours: Wednesdays from 6am

 Location:  Zeyrek, Nevşehirli İbrahim Paşa Cd. No:30, 34083 Fatih/İstanbul

Istanbul Farmers Markets

Ferikoy Organic Bazaar (Feriköy Ekolojik Pazar)

If you’re staying in Istanbul long enough to need to buy some fresh produce, this is the place to do it. Every Saturday local farmers bring their organic produce to sell. The prices are extremely reasonable and the quality is incredible.

Ferikoy Organic Bazaar Opening Hours: Saturday from 9 am till mid-afternoon

 Location: Cumhuriyet, Gökkuşağı Sk 19 B, 34380 Şişli/İstanbul

Historic Inebolu Village Bazaar (Tarihi Inebolu Köy Pazarı)

Off the beaten tourist path, there’s a farmer’s market every day in the quaint neighborhood of Kuzguncuk. The neighborhood alone is worth the trip. It feels like you’ve left the madness of Istanbul and ventured into a European village with colorful houses and numerous organic shops.

It’s directly along the Bosphorus with a nice little park to enjoy a small picnic (maybe with the stuff you buy at the market?)

Historic Inebolu Village Bazaar: Daily from 8am onward

 Location: Kuzguncuk, icadiye Cad. No:34, 34674 Üsküdar/istanbul – Asya

Vintage & Antique Markets in Istanbul

Horhor Antique Sellers Market (Horhor Antikacilar Çarsisi)

If you want to feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, this market is for you. It’s a seven-floor sellers market with more than 200 antique shops. Needless to say, it’s one of the biggest antique markets in the world.

Horhor Antique Sellers Market: Daily from 9am – 7pm

 Location: Iskenderpasa, Kırma Tulumba Sk. No:13, 34080 Fatih/istanbul

Feriköy Antika Pazari (Feriköy Antique Market) - Sundays

If you love Antiques this is a must-do while you’re in Istanbul. While the prices aren’t exactly cheap, you can find almost anything in the Feriköy Anique pavilion. It’s a covered market, so rain or shine they are there.

If you are going with purchasing in mind, I would get there early— the good stuff tends to sell quickly.

Ferikoy Antika Pazari: Saturday from 9am – Midafternoon

 Location: Cumhuriyet, Gökkuşağı Sk 19 B, 34380 Şişli/İstanbul

Kadiköy Antika Pazari

If you’re on the hunt for antique goods at a good price you will enjoy the antique market in Kadıköy. You’ll need to get up early to get to the market in the morning before the good stuff has been picked over, but it’s 100% worth the early wakeup call.

Kadikoy Antika Pazari: Sunday and Tuesday from 8am onward

 Location: Hasanpaşa Mahallesi, Uzunçayır Cd. No:2/34, 34722 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Kadiköy Tarihi Sali Pazari Parki

If your heart is set on finding some unique vintage and secondhand fashion. Friday mornings are the day to be up bright and early and headed to Kadıköy Tarihi Salı Pazarı Parkı.

It’s a thrifters paradise. You’ll find incredible pieces for extremely reasonable prices. I’m talking vintage dresses for under $10, and purses for $5

Hours: Fridays, 8 am onward Clothing/Textile:

Kadikoy Tarihi Sali Pazari: Friday 8 am onward 

 Location: Hasanpaşa Mahallesi, Uzunçayır Cd. No:2/34, 34722 Kadıköy/İstanbul

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