The markets in Istanbul are like nothing you have ever seen before. They sell everything from fresh produce to household goods, and every one of them is bursting with energy and life. The best thing about Istanbul markets? You can always find something unique no matter where you go!
This blog post will explore 20 different Istanbul markets that offer a mix of old-world charm and the modern-day hustle and bustle. From the historic Arasta Bazaar to the more recent Ferikoy Organic Market, some of these markets have been around for centuries – so they must be doing something right!
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This blog article will cover almost every market and bazaar in Istanbul, so we’ll group them into six categories:
- Historic Markets
- Everyday Street markets
- Weekly Food and Clothes Markets
- Farmers Markets
- Antique Markets
- Flea Markets
Essential tips about shopping in Istanbul Bazaars
The bustle of the Istanbul markets is incomparable to any shopping experience. The city that prides itself on its past, you can taste the tradition whilst browsing various unusual but glamorous items. Whatever you’re into, there’s a bazaar for it.
Some bazaars may be a little bit expensive, but the Turks love a good haggle. Negotiation is a refined art form and science in Istanbul. Not everything may be original, and the markets may be crowded, but you will find that the memories you’ll create may be priceless.
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Historic Markets in Istanbul
These are the oldest and most famous markets in Istanbul and are a must-see for any visitor. These ancient, colorful, architecturally beautiful markets have been around since time immemorial, and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular with tourists. However, there is still enough leftover of local character that makes them worth visiting!
1. Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı)
Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, it was built after the Great Fire in 1660 with spices from Egypt. The intoxicating aroma from each of the 85 stalls may invite you in, but it will be the colors that’ll make you lose yourself. 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.
Nowadays, when Istanbul locals hear the name Mısır Çarşısı, they immediately think about the lining streets, backstreets and outside of the Spice Market; the building itself is pretty touristy. Lining its exterior walls are vendors catering more to locals than tourists.
On one side, you’ll encounter a small fish market, and on the other, some businesses devoted to gardening, hardware, pet food, fish tank supplies, and even pet birds. The streets and shops near this 17th-century bazaar are also worthwhile; you may buy many of the same products at a lower touristy price.
Address: Rüstem Paşa, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, Fatih
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2. Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı)
There is an air of the Tale of the 1001 Nights in one of the largest and oldest bazaars. Even those with the best sense of direction may get lost when navigating over 60 narrow streets and 3600 shops. You could visit every day for a whole year and still not become an expert here. Although part of the fun is to see where you end up, another part of the fun is the sights inside this covered bazaar.
Filled with all types of glamorous wares, it would be impossible to leave Grand Bazaar without picking up a gift or three million. Turkey’s famous exports are all here like the kilim, a high-quality, handwoven carpet that’ll have you singing ‘A Whole New World.’
Do the local folks shop at Grand Bazaar as well? Yes, they do, especially for gold. This is where gold and silver buying and selling take place in Istanbul.
Address: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, Fatih
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3. Arasta Bazaar (Arasta Çarşısı)
Hiding behind the legendary Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet, you might find inspiration for your new wardrobe here. It’s not just clothing; the Arasta Bazaar is known for being a petite version of the Grand Bazaar. You might find a bargain amongst less pushy salespeople. Moreover, the streets are quieter. For the more introverted, who still want a feel of the traditional Istanbul bazaars, this will be the highlight of our day.
If the handcrafts aren’t interesting enough, the Grand Palace Mosaic Museum is a stone’s throw away.
Address: Sultan Ahmet, Mimar Mehmet Ağa Cd. No:2, Fatih
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Everyday Street Markets in Istanbul
These markets, unlike the ones above, are jam-packed with local people carrying full bags. If you know what I’m talking about!
1. Kadıköy Market (Kadıköy Çarşısı)
If you’re staying on the European side, this is the perfect opportunity to visit the Asian side of Istanbul. You’ll need to take the kind of ferry ride that’ll have the romantic wind caressing your face, welcoming you to a more personable side of this historic city.
It’s a lively market, Kadıköy Çarşısı is a wonderous visit for those who want to see a more realistic depiction of Istanbul. You may find yourself wandering around the colorful fruit and vegetable stalls, or you might find yourself picking up a bargain at one of those stalls that sell clothes and shoes. This is where the locals’ shop, and for a good reason: the price will always be more reasonable than the European side.
And when you want to sit down for a quick bite, this area also has some of the best local restaurants in Istanbul.
Address: Güneşli Bahçe street, Yağlıkçı İsmail street and surrounding streets
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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
2. Beyazit Book Market (Beyazıt Sahaflar Çarşısı)
This surreal, dreamlike market will satisfy every reading fan’s fantasy. Although a great majority of the books are religious ones, this bazaar hosts stalls selling second-hand books. You might find antiquated titles here that you wouldn’t be able to track down anywhere else.
The bookstores also sell other memorabilia like prayer beads, Middle Eastern scented perfume, bookmarks, and the kind of paintings that will inspire your creativity.
All the bookstores are housed in a romantic courtyard with its historical design; you’ll find yourself feeling a little sentimental. If there was ever meaning of life for a disciple of the literary world, they might find it here.
Address: Mollafenari, No:, Medrese Çk. No:4, 34120 Fatih
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3. Tahtakale Streets
Open Sesame! If there were ever a place that could’ve inspired Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, it would be here. The prices are affordable considering it’s a bazaar in the European, touristic side of Istanbul. You’ll find all sorts of wares that might make you want to come back with empty luggage. Items made of wood, brass, porcelain, glass, and a million other types of materials will have you imagining yourself in a different world.
The backstreets of Tahtakale is known to be a wholesaler market, so if you’re into importing and exporting items, don’t forget to stop by. Don’t have an import/export business? You will be fine on the main streets!
The Rüstem Pasha Mosque nearby is also worth a look.
Address: Hasırcılar street, Kantarcılar street and surrounding backstreets
4. Fatih Women’s Bazaar (Fatih Kadınlar Pazarı)
Off the beaten path, this is the place to go to for ingredients for your trail mix. Famous for its honey, dried fruits, and nuts, this serene market has been a food bazaar since its incarnation: once upon a time, women would gather the types of fruits that were deemed ‘unsellable’ to the rich from the Eminönü market and bring them here to sell to other women.
There are also many authentic butchers in this market, and you will find several of them where you can purchase any cut of meat. There is no portion of the animal that is wasted here.
It’s not just the affordability of the foodstuffs that might tempt you to visit, but so many restaurants surround this bazaar, you’ll have no trouble encountering a dish that hits that sweet spot on your palate.
Address: The area where İtfaiye street and Tezgahçılar street meets in Zeyrek/Fatih
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5. Beyoğlu Fish Market (Beyoğlu Balık Pazarı)
Located side by side with the impressive Çiçek Pasajı and Avrupa Pasajı, Beyoğlu Fish Market is a street with 5-6 fresh fish shops and many seafood restaurants. Though it’s called the Fish Bazaar, don’t let that fool you: you’ll find all sorts of goodies here.
Avrupa Pasaji is worth checking; you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed with the numerous little colorful shops inside this attractive 19th-century arcade.
Çiçek Pasajı is only reserved for restaurants, but do not miss seeing this magnificent construction even if you aren’t hungry.
Nevizade Street, just a few doors down the Beyoğlu Fish Market, is home to plenty of pubs and bars. It’s your best bet if you want to join with locals having Turkish raki or an Efes beer.
Address: Sahne street on Istiklal avenue
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Weekly Food and Clothes Markets in Istanbul
Locals adore these weekly bazaars. They’re only open on a specific day of the week, and they have everything you could conceivably want for yourself or your home; fruits, vegetables, dairy products, clothing, toys, carpets, underwear, handbags, towels, shoes, and more.
1. Kadıköy Tuesday Market (Kadıköy Salı Pazarı)
As the name suggests, you might want to drop by on a Tuesday. If you don’t feel like dressing up, this might be on your to-do list. Dressing down, acting like a local, and generally, haggling will get you the kind of bargains that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear.
The quality of the clothes won’t be as good as that which you can get in a Turkish chain, and you’ll find many of the styles are sportswear, but it’s worth a visit to pad out your wardrobe with cheap items.
Address: Hasanpaşa, Mandıra Cd. No:1, Kadıköy
2. Ortaköy High Society Bazaar (Ortaköy Sosyete Pazarı)
It doesn’t matter you are a millionaire in Turkey, you still visit weekly markets, and Ortaköy Sosyete Pazarı is one of the most popular.
If you’re a little vulnerable, but you want to sample the textiles on offer, we would suggest making your way towards Ortaköy. If the plain-clothed police officers don’t make you feel more secure, then the availability of an ambulance may bring you comfort.
Ortaköy Sosyete Pazarı, unlike other markets, is more focused on fashion, textiles, apparel, and cosmetics than foods and vegetables.
You can visit Ortaköy Sosyete Pazarı every Thursday and Sunday.
Address: Levazım Mahallesi, Çayır Sk. No:4, Beşiktaş
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3. Yeşilköy Bazaar (Yeşilköy Pazarı)
If you want cheap but high-quality products, you can find stalls containing clothing, makeup, accessories, and more here.
Located indoors in a permanent location, it would be a shame to miss Yeşilköy Bazaar, especially when they’re open for 12 hours every Wednesday (from 8 am to 8 pm). However, with around 2000 stalls, you may need all 12 of those hours. While the price may be higher, it is slightly more convenient as some stall owners do accept cards.
Address: Yeşilköy Mahallesi, Hamdullah Suphi Tanrıöver Sk. No:35, Bakırköy
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4. Beşiktaş Saturday Market (Beşiktaş Cumartesi Pazarı)
If shopping from dawn to dusk for the items that’ll complete your look is your thing, then you’ll love this one. Translated literally as the Beşiktaş Saturday Market, the focus may be on clothes, but you won’t be left in the lurch.
If you get tired of hankering after your fashionista friend, pop by one of the local eateries. This is another location where the gözleme comes highly recommended.
Address: Muradiye Mahallesi, Nüzhetiye Cadddesi, Deryadil Sokak. Yıldız/Beşiktaş
Farmers markets in Istanbul
These are also weekly markets, but you can only find fruit and vegetables.
1. Ferikoy Organic Bazaar (Feriköy Ekolojik Pazar)
Just what the doctor ordered: organic fruit and vegetables in season to sustain your body with enough vitamins to help you get through the flu season. If you speak to a vendor, their passion for healthy food may lead to a conversation spanning hours.
The awnings protect the customers from whatever mood the weather is in. Get there early to enjoy breakfast. Grab a gözleme (organic, of course) before shopping, a type of Turkish pancake, that’ll warm your soul. Parking is limited, so your best bet would be public transport.
Address: Cumhuriyet, Semt Pazarı No:8, Şişli
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2. Historic Inebolu Village Bazaar (Tarihi Inebolu Köy Pazarı)
Fresh, polychromatic stalls that’ll excite the imagination of anyone with culinary ambitions or just those with gastronomy as a hobby. You’ll feel like an explorer learning about all the different types of produce that Turkish villagers cultivate.
It’s not just fruit and veg; you’ll find handmade products like apple cider vinegar and even various yogurt-related goodies that you never knew existed. If you don’t know about strained yogurt, ask around for it by quoting: “süzme yoğurt” (souze-may yoo-ouurt).
At Tarihi Inebolu Köy Pazarı, you’ll discover fresh village eggs, homemade jams, bread and cheese, butter and wild mushrooms. You can also find heirloom fruits and vegetables.
Every Sunday, the villagers from Kastamonu travel to this food market to sell their goods. Food and vegetables here are of such high quality that there is always a race to get as much as possible early in the morning.
Address: Fişekhane Deresi Cd. Toprak Tabya Sk. Kasımpaşa
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Antique Markets in Istanbul
In every 2 homes out of 10 in Istanbul, you’ll probably find antiques. Antique collecting is becoming more popular every year, which has increased the number of antique dealers in Istanbul. The following are the four most popular locations in Istanbul to shop for antiques, relics, heirlooms, and collector’s items:
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1. Antique shops of Cihangir and Çukurcuma
If you have all day and there is something specific you want, you may want to pop into the neighborhoods of Cihangir and Çukurcuma. Grab as many coffees as possible from the local cafes; you’re going to need the caffeine! With so many exciting options, you may find time slipping away.
The antique shops are scattered around Çukurcuma evenly, but you can find many of them gathered on Ağa Hamam street, Çukur Cuma street, Sadri Alışık street, and Faik Paşa street.
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2. Horhor Antique Sellers Market (Horhor Antikacılar Çarşısı)
If you ever wished you owned a time machine, this market may be a more convenient option. With 7 floors and more than 200 antique shops, Horhor Antikacılar Çarşısı is one of the biggest antique markets in the world.
The antiques are occasionally priced in US dollars and Euros, so if you forgot to exchange your cash into Turkish liras, this is the place for you. Don’t be intimidated; there are indeed some precious artifacts for sale for $20,000, but it is also feasible to locate great things for every budget and bring back the nostalgia in your house at a low cost.
There are chandeliers, furniture, mirrors, safes, tile stoves, sculptures, coffee tables, armchairs, cabinets, vases, lampshades, telephones, tall trays, gramophone, typewriter, whatever you may look for, you can find it here.
Address: İskenderpaşa, Kırma Tulumba Sk. No:1 D:140, Fatih
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3. Kadıköy Antikacılar Sokağı
This is a fantastic location to visit while in Kadıköy and take a little break. It’s located on one of the oldest streets in town, and it’s a great spot to linger for a short time while visiting Kadıköy.
This street has seen better days. It is not as lively and energetic as before, but there are still four to five antique shops to visit.
Address: Tellalzade street, Caferağa/Kadıköy
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4. Feriköy Antika Pazarı (Feriköy Antique Market)
While it does have a roof, the walls are non-existent, so you may wish to wrap up warm. However, once you get in, you will lose yourself amongst the countless stalls that stretch further than the naked eye can make out. If antiques are your thing, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy shop! Here you will find more affordable antiques.
Note: This is a weekly market that is available only on Sundays.
Address: Cumhuriyet, Semt Pazarı No:8, Şişli
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Flea markets in Istanbul
Heads up: Most locals are unaware of these flea markets. If locals were aware of these markets, most would avoid them. If locals somehow visited these markets, most would feel a little uncomfortable.
It is not dangerous to visit these bazaars, although they are not the safest in Istanbul.
Most sellers depart around noon, so set a reminder for yourself to visit them early in the morning.
1. Dolapdere Flea Market (Dolapdere Bit Pazarı)
For every corner you turn, you’ll find something unexpected. Perhaps there may be a genie lamp hidden amongst the variety of interesting characters. If not, then we’re sure you’ll find the characters to be somewhat fascinating. This is a little different from the second-hand markets you may have visited back in your hometown: items that are from eras past will be here, waiting, hoping, that a new owner will indulge them in a new home.
You may wish to visit this weird and wonderful attraction early in the morning to ensure that you go home with a bargain you’ll be proud of. If you’re visiting in the winter, don’t forget to wrap up. You’ll hear the wind singing its freezing cold aria outside.
You can visit the Dolapdere flea market every Sunday early in the morning.
Address: Yenişehir Mah. Hacı İlbey Sok. No:13 Dolapdere
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2. Küçükpazar Flea Market (Küçükpazar Bit Pazarı)
Only 20 minutes walking distance away from Spice Market, this place may remind you of the start of Disney’s Aladdin (animation). Although it is an upcoming neighborhood, it is still one of the poorer sections of Istanbul. You’ll find yourself wondering what stories these streets may tell and, moreover, what stories the items on sale may tell.
You can visit the Küçükpazar flea market every Saturday early in the morning.
Address: Adjacent streets to Küçükpazar street, Yavuz Sinan/Fatih
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With so many markets and bazaars in Istanbul, it can be challenging to know which ones are worth visiting. We’ve tried our best to list as many of the important markets and bazaars for you as possible with a little bit about each one.
These are the places to hear the heartbeat and see all aspects of the daily life of this diverse, historical metropolis in Turkey. Whether you’re looking for an affordable souvenir or an authentic Turkish handmade carpet, we hope this post will help guide your decision-making process when choosing where to go next!
If you are looking to spice up your Istanbul experience, then our food tours will be the perfect way to do so. We have something for everyone, from exploring some of Istanbul’s beautiful bazaars and a scenic Bosphorus ferry ride to tasting traditional Turkish cuisine at local restaurants! Book your food tour today online here.
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