Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

The Arasta Bazaar on the southeast side of Istanbul's Blue Mosque is worth visiting for its many shops selling carpets, kilims, Turkish tiles, apparel and souvenirs.

While you're here, you can visit the Great Palace Mosaic Museum beneath the Arasta.

An arasta is a series of shops built beneath or near a mosque. Rent from the shops provides money for the maintenance and repair of the mosque.

These shops were empty and derelict for many years until the tourism boom of the late 1980s and 1990s convinced those in charge to restore and rent them. Now the Arasta Bazaar (marked on some maps as the southwestern continuation of Kabasakal Caddesi) is among Istanbul's most-visited tourist markets.

At its northeastern end by Mimar Mehmet Ağa Caddesiare several open-air cafes, snack stands andrestaurants, one of which has highly-amplified Turkish music until about 01:00 am.

To stroll through the Arasta Bazaar is to be invited in by dozens of accomplished, polished salesmen, speaking unaccented English (and a half dozen other languages), with bottomless treasure troves of ironic humor and topical jokes, to have a look, take a seat, sip some Turkish coffee or tea and consider the purchase of what is obviously a priceless treasure...or two or three.

 

Best Shops in the Grand Bazaar:

Ethnicon/Dhoku Carpets 

Owner Memet Gureli runs EthniCon and Dhoku in Istanbul to sell some of the highest quality Turkish carpets to consumers from around the world. He is a third generation carpet salesman who has been selling in the Grand Bazaar for 45 years. As the most award-winning rug company in Turkey, EthniCon offers outstanding prices for their Turkish carpets of the highest quality and style without overcharging customers, as many carpet shops do. 

Tell Dhoku/Ethnicon Carpets that "Turkey Travel Planner sent you" for best pricing, often times additional discounts, and assurance of an excellent experience because of the valued TTP recommendation!

Iznik Works Ceramics

Iznik Works has been a trusted name in Turkish ceramics for years, located in Grand Bazaar, and featuring a vast selection of reproductions of Seljuk and Ottoman works. There are 4 locations to choose from in the Grand Bazaar so don't miss out on this shop that brings history and traditional artwork together for it's customers.

Tell Iznik Works that "Turkey Travel Planner sent you" for best pricing, often times additional discounts, and assurance of an excellent experience because of the valued TTP recommendation!

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