Wandering the Markets of Istanbul

We’re not big shoppers, but we love to wander through markets. Street markets, food markets, fish markets, spice markets, animal markets – we love them all. From China to Guatemala, Sweden to Madagascar, we’ve seen the best of the best. So we can say with some authority that Istanbul has some pretty spectacular markets to choose from.

Of course, the two most famous – and visually stunning – are the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar (also called the Egyptian Bazaar). Halls of carpets, walls of colorful lamps, and shops full of jewels, spices and Turkish delight will fulfill any visitor’s wildest dreams of Ali Baba chic. Turkish friends can stop groaning; people need a little exotic romance in their lives. Plus, they are extremely photogenic.

But Istanbul’s market scene goes way beyond the tourist favorites. Market enthusiasts could spend a lifetime exploring Istanbul’s wharves and backstreets: fish markets in Karaköy, shopping streets in Taksim and Kadıköy, or produce markets in Beşiktaş or Tarlabaşi. Really, any side street in Istanbul seems to be filled with people selling stuff. Get out and explore.

Produce fans will love the local produce market in Beşiktaş: walnuts, olives, the biggest cauliflower on the planet, and the most delicious dried apricots I’ve ever had. Friends Leonie and Özgür took us to THE cheese man. Just look for the line.

More Info on Istanbul’s Markets

There are great markets throughout this massive city, just head down any side street and see what you discover. Also check out this article on the ten best markets in Istanbul. We found it after our visit, but it includes our favorites as well as several other interesting options we intend to check out next time. Hilariously, their lead picture is the same as our last picture. If you’ve ever been to Istanbul, you’d realize just how bizarrely shocking that is. I guess great minds think alike. 😉

3 responses to “Wandering the Markets of Istanbul”

  1. avatar Sam says:

    Yes, I love markets too…though I’ve never made it to any of Istanbul’s! That’s a really nice picture with Thomas standing in the market and the light coming down from the roof behind him!

    • avatar Tony says:

      Thanks, Sam. He was kind of annoyed because I kept repositioning him to catch the light. 😉

  2. avatar Mary Grace Dizon says:

    I love shopping in Istanbul….the leather bags is a must buy. Too bad we only had a few hours to shop when we visit the place since we join the cruise tour. Next time, I will visit the place on my own to experience the people, culture and the culture for sure.


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