- Type: Shopping
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Located a little more than a mile west of Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest and oldest indoor shopping markets in the world. It regularly overwhelms visitors with its thousands of shops, each accompanied by an overzealous vendor. Products range from carpets and clothing to art and chessboards, and you can also find restaurants, cafés and even mosques here.
Despite the size and the chaos of the place, you will find yourself strangely at ease with the rhythm of the market place. As Fodor's says, "Oddly enough, though, the sales pitches, the crowds, and the sheer volume of junky trinkets on offer can be hypnotizing, and you'll probably find it hard to spend less than a couple of hours wandering through the maze."
Some travelers warn that the Grand Bazaar is essentially a massive tourist trap. The vendors usually start with huge marked up prices and will only come down after some serious haggling. Also be forewarned that many of the products found here aren't of the highest quality, so make sure to thoroughly examine the wares before you throw down some lira. Pickpockets are another concern -- keep an eye out and your wallet/purse/bag in front of you.