Turkey is a virtual Aladdin’s Cave. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is cavernous and full of unusual and everyday objects. Known locally as Kapali Çarsi – the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul’s Old City is a massive conglomeration of shops (some 4000) divided into areas specialising in gold, carpets, leather, souvenirs and clothing. Turkish handicrafts include a rich variety of textiles and embroideries, articles of copper, onyx and tile, mother-of-pearl, inlaid articles, leather and suede products. Jewellery, carpets and kilims represent top buys at the bazaar.
Opening hours: Mon - Saturday 0900 – 1900hrs (closed Sunday).
The Egyptian Spice Bazaar at Eminonu near Istanbul is an easy continuance from the Grand Bazaar or good start point before heading onto the cavernous Grand Bazaar. Here, you can buy a dizzying array of spices at a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay back home. Pine Kernels, peppercorns, real Iranian saffron and other precious commodities are hawkered here at knockdown prices! Real Turkish delight is available by the tonne as well. Why not the milk-based Turkish delight studded with pistachios!
Opening hours: 0900 – 1900hrs Monday – Sunday.
Markets and bazaars abound in other towns, too. During your stay in Turkey, you may visit a leather manufacturer and emporium. Although the quality of some of the jackets and clothing at these places is outstanding, the initially quoted prices can also be rather outstanding. If you do fancy a particular item, it does pay to haggle, even if you are in the confines of what looks to be a smart emporium/showroom.