Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Istanbul Part 5: Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar is one place that everyone visits on their stay in Istanbul, bustling with people of different nationalities and turkish vendors trying to strike a deal with the tourist. This bazaar is a sensory overload, its amazing.
The main bazaar is lined by different shops, the street is pretty wide initially it becomes narrower and narrower as you go further in the market. There are around 4000 or so shops, this place is truly huge, a maze of narrow streets. The general feel of the bazaar is like 'Zainab Market' in Karachi, without the ugly stares of the shopkeepers and the general 'awam' (I'm sure Karachi waley know what I'm talking about).

The easiest way to reach the bazaar from Taksim is via funicular and tram.

From Taksim take a funicular to Kabatas, from there take the tram to Beyazit-Kapalicarsi (Grand Bazaar)

You will find anything and everything here, from clothing to gold to household stuff and all of this at a very reasonable price. So buy whatever your heart desires.

If you are looking for souveniers to take home, this place is where you will get the best price, make sure you bargain. The vendor will go down 70-80% of the price he originally quotes, so there is a huge margin for bargain here.
We did buy a lot of stuff here, my most favorite are the coasters, such unique and pretty designs. I bought 12 for 20 TL (2.300 OMR / 615 PKR)

We saw beautiful bedding, towel sets, table and bed runners, which can make very nice gifts for new brides. So unique. (done ave a picture of those though)

We had lunch at a small Turkish dhaba type somewhere in the bazaar, I dont even recall the name, the only thing I remember is the fragrance that hit us when we walked by, the fragrance of grilled meat and turkish tea. Stopping for lunch right than was the best decision we made that day.
We both ordered chicken shish touk platter, which was 22 TL (2.5 OMR / 680 PKR)
This was hands down the best shish touk I've ever had. The chicken was oh-so-tender, perfectly grilled served on a bed of spiced barley with a piece of bread and salsa in a tangy sauce on the side.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now. So yum!

For dessert we had vanilla ice cream topped with sweet semolina from a small vendor in the bazaar for 3 TL (0.350 OMR / 100 PKR). I love contrast in my food, sweet and salty, hot and cold, so this was right up my alley. The ice cream was cold and the semolina was warm, this was marriage made in heavens. So so good. Must try.

So much of my banter already, I'll let the pictures do the talking below.

Suleymaniye Mosque, near the grand bazaar

Outside the mosque
While I wait for Najia

Until next time!

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