Walking around the Grand Bazaar

My family and I recently returned from a three-week trip to Pakistan to attend a cousin’s wedding. We were also able to stop in Istanbul for a couple days, which was a great addition to the trip.

I love traveling and visiting foreign countries. One of the best parts is being able to shop in a new environment for things that will be unique back home.

I’ll talk about shopping in Pakistan later, but this week is all about Istanbul.

We, of course, spent time at the big tourist spots in the gorgeous city: the Blue Mosque (pictured above), Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia (pictured below).

But no trip to Istanbul is complete without a trip to the Grand Bazaar. It’s one of the largest markets in the world.

Now, I’ve been to Marrakesh, which also touts a huge market, or souk. It’s an open market with dozens and dozens of lanes filled with vendors selling everything from trinkets to clothes to home goods.

The Grand Bazaar is similar, but it’s covered, which is actually pretty nice. I wish I had thought to take more pictures; our family isn’t the greatest at pulling out the camera.

Anyone who has traveled in a foreign country knows that you have to prepared for people shouting out at you about their wares as you walk through the bazaar. I think that’s the best part. The markets are so lively.

The one thing I’m horrible at, though, is bargaining. I think I’m constantly converting the costs into dollars, and, in comparison, it seems like a great bargain. I’m sure the shop owners are thrilled when American tourists who don’t have bargaining skills come by.

I was able to get a few items, mostly gifts for friends. My sister also found a cute sweater that would have been at least $20 to $30 here that she was able to get for $8.

And if you’re into jewelry, there’s no end to the number of shops hawking earrings, rings and bracelets. I love getting at least one piece of jewelry from every country I visit because it’s nice to have a little reminder of where you’ve been and to have a unique item to wear.

I definitely feel lucky to have been able to shop at the Grand Bazaar.
Next week: Shopping in Pakistan!

Pop Culture Hijabi is a weekly column by Nadia Malik. Malik is a former newspaper reporter based in Chicago who’s now making her way as a freelancer. She spends entirely too much time watching TV and reading pop culture, fashion and TV blogs. She also occasionally consumes serious books and news. No, really. You can reach her at info@hijabtrendz.com with “pop culture hijabi” in the subject line, follow her at www.twitter.com/nadiamalik or simply leave a comment below.

This article has 8 comments

  1. Shereen

    I love your photos, Nadia.

  2. afshi

    i was just in Bangladesh these past two weeks and like you, im the worst in haggling. My sister in law and I were convert everything into CDN dollars and thougt everything was such a good deal! lol. Had a stopover in Kuwait and hit Marina Mall there. Even the Amercian/British stores there had great deals!

    love the pics! can’t wait to see the Pakistan pics! I love love love shopping there!

  3. Jodi

    This trip sounds so wonderful Nadia. I can’t wait to hear more! It’s been a long time since I’ve been overseas and now I’m really itching to go badly! Thanks for the beautiful pics.

  4. HijabiTopia

    Omg! It’s so nice to see pictures of Istanbul! The covered bazaar is the best place. They usually charge tourists 3-4 times more. So here is a tip for anyone planning to visit. Whatever price they tell you only pay a quarter of it! That’s probably what it’s worth. You’re right- it’s one of the most lively places to visit. Thx for the pictures!

  5. Mariam Sobh

    Nadia you are making me want to visit Turkey now ) I haven’t been overseas in more than a decade. Sad isn’t it? Well I’ll have to add this to my list of places to go. Maybe if I make Turkish food I can make up for it for the time being 😀

  6. Deniz

    *sigh* i do miss it! i had my wedding in Istanbul in 2008 and visited the Grand Bazaar, too. It is very nice isnt it?! I too bought a pair of earrings, a bag, a mosques snow globe, fridge magnets reading Allah (swt) and Muhammad (saw), hand made bowl, neck scarves, and more. they have everything dont they!? i just wish i had bought hijabs because Turkish designs are so nice, but i wasnt a hijabi back then. glad you had a good time 🙂

  7. Natalie

    Very beautiful, Mashallah!! I have always wanted to visited some kind of Muslim country especially Istanbul. I just love the way it is pronounced Is tan bul with more emphasis on the Istan. Anyway enough of my blabbering. Can’t wait for your pics on Pakistan. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Walking around the Grand Bazaar | Hijab Trendz | Hijab Styles … — Pakistan Realtor

Comments are now closed.