If you’re looking for a true shopping adventure, look no further than Turkey. This vibrant country is home to some of the best markets and bazaars in the world, each one brimming with unique treasures just waiting to be discovered. In Turkey, markets are a place of locals gathering together, purchasing fresh produce, sharing daily news and gossip.
There are a lot of historical markets around Turkey that reflect the culture of the country. From bargaining for souvenirs in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to exploring the colorful stalls of Gaziantep Coppersmith Bazaar, there’s something for every shopaholic in Turkey. We’ve gathered a small list of 14 markets in Turkey if you’re curious.
Good to know:
“Pazar” or “Pazarı” in Turkish usually refers to a weekly market.
“Çarşı” or “Çarşısı” in Turkish usually refers to a large building or a street where there are many shops within.
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1. Alaçatı Antika Pazarı – Izmir
A touristic favorite, this place is filled with antiques, windmills, street art, colorful restaurants, and bars. There’s nothing you can’t find within these cobbled streets. The market dates back to the early 2000s, so it’s not too old, but there’s still history here.
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2. Çarpa Pazarı – Eskişehir
Another typical market in Turkey, especially considering that it’s in Anatolia. The difference between the usual shops and these markets is that the produce goes straight from farm to table. Besides, the daily news of what Ayşe Hatun (a neighbor) called her baby is worth the visit. Head on down on Wednesdays to get a feel for life in Turkey.
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3. Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar ) – Istanbul
Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered markets, not just in Asia or Europe but the world, and it dates back to the 1450s. This market existed before the Republic of Turkey. It would be strange to visit this country without stopping by – even if it is just for a bite to eat. You will get lost exploring, and there will be a crowd, but it’s worth seeing. Shopkeepers are pushy, but just leave the shop if you feel pressured to buy anything.
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4. Mısır Çarşısı (Spice Market) – Istanbul
Officially on the European side of Istanbul, this market dates back to the 1600s. If you can navigate the narrow alleyways, you can surely negotiate with the shopkeepers. Prices are higher than what the shopkeeper expects you to pay. The affable bazaar operators will remain in your memory as they offer you a sample of exotic goods such as rose-flavored Turkish delight. It’s not just culinary delights; you’ll even find cosmetics like pure henna powder.
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5. Tire Salı Pazarı – Izmir
Suppose you’re afraid of altered olive oil. In that case, you can buy unprocessed olives from here to do as you wish. This is one of many street markets in Turkey, and it has close to 7,500 merchants. You can trust the products as they were all produced by the seller or the merchant’s friend.
This is an example of the types of typical markets that the citizens of Turkey gather to share the daily news or gossip and buy everything they need. These exist more in a rural town than the big cities. You can find everything from fresh vegetables, honey, jam, and molasses to wooden spoons.
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6. Kemeraltı Çarşısı – Izmir
A fire in 1922 destroyed many of the historical buildings, but the Kemeraltı Market remains. You’ll find a variety of goods, including produce, to purchase at reasonable prices. The market bustles to life with 2000 tradesmen, including working-class women selling lace needlework.
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7. Bakırcılar Çarşısı – Gaziantep
Copper is a favorite amongst cooks for its even distribution of heat. It is corrosion-resistant and hygienic compared to other pots and pans. If that sounds like something you want to invest in, there are handmade pots, pans, egg poachers, and even Turkish coffee pots (cezve) here. You’ll also find rows of colorful, dried vegetables to take home from the 19th-century market.
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8. Kapalı Çarşı, Ulu Çarşı and Koza Han – Bursa
Bursa used to be the capital of silk production and, even today, its textiles are beloved in Turkey. This is three markets rolled into one where you can find jewelry, silk, and those traditional Bursa towels. You’ll also find cafes, tea gardens, and restaurants to fully unwind.
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9. Uzun Çarşı – Hatay
There is so much variety of goods that the side streets are reserved for different occupation groups. The market is so far in Asia that it’s not even in Anatolia anymore. Yet, there are brilliant monasteries, mosques, and museums nearby. This spot is a little reminiscent of the more significant markets in Istanbul like the Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar.
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10. Safranbolu Çarşısı – Safranbolu
As part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites since the 90s, Safranbolu used to be famous for selling saffron spice. It’s now known for the wooden Ottoman houses. Follow down the cobbled streets to find a variety of souvenirs from Turkish delights and Aladdin lamps. Moreover, there is a 225-year old Blacksmith Market that must be seen to be believed.
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Taste of Two Continents Tour
-Secret local restaurants & one-of-a-kind boutique markets
-Visit locals favourite Kadikoy market
-Taste the world famous Turkish ice-cream & baklava
-It is not just food, it's Turkish culture with an expert's insider view
11. Alipaşa Çarşısı – Edirne
Edirne is one of the few cities in Turkey that’s in Europe. Local residents refer to it as the Grand Bazaar of Edirne for its 130 shops. This market dates back to the 1560s when Ali Pasha commissioned Mimar Sinan to build this spot. Although it was restored after a fire in the 90s, you’ll find the traditional architecture, as well as whatever else you’re in the mood to buy, here.
12. Aynalı Çarşı – Çanakkale
Aynalı Çarşı, meaning Mirrored Market, has become famous thanks to the popular song which dates back to Gallipoli Campaign in 1915. This market was founded in 1890 by Eliyahu Hallio, a prominent member of the local Jewish community. Its original name is the Halyo Passage. It’s named after the mirrors at the entrance. It’s worth visiting just to see the picturesque small windows by the ceiling and the multiple chandeliers. In the west of Turkey, this market has been restored after being heavily bombed in WWI. Due to the Province being split between Europe and Asia, Çanakkale took quite a hit in WWI.
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13. Taş Han – Erzurum
500 years ago, Erzurum was a town that was a central part of the silk road. Rüstem Paşa, the son-in-law and Grand Vizier to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, commissioned this Han to be built. A Han, also known as a Caravanserai, were like hotels where traders from Asia would settle in before heading to Europe.
This market still trades in East Turkey and is known for Oltu stones, rosaries, and necklaces.
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14. Ankara Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu
In Çıkrıkçılar, you’ll find a variety of textiles, including curtains, scarfs, and dresses. You’ll also find what is considered trousseaus, the traditional doweries in Turkey. You can bargain with the shopkeepers to get a great price on high-quality curtains here. This marketplace dates back 500 years and is close to the spice and flea markets in Ulus.
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