Bartering in the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

We took great pleasure in visiting the Grand Bazaar (which is where the latest James Bond film Skyfall was set, although James Bond got more of a “brief overview” than we did. That’s what happens when you ride your motorcycle on the roof).

Near Grand BazaarThe Grand Bazaar was really quite big, stretching on for what seemed like miles, with main corridors and tiny alleyways to squeeze through. There were jewellery, bags, pashminas, trinkets, clothes – you name it, it was there. We spent a few hours just getting lost in there.

Grand BazaarWe got the usual encouragement to come in and buy various wares and some vendors called out “we sell your size”. One young lad shouted after me: “We have your size….. Extra Small!”. Now I’m certainly not a small, but it made me laugh! Cheeky young whippersnapper! 🙂

In Grand BazaarSpices in Grand BazaarThe markets didn’t stop outside the Grand Bazaar and we enjoyed many happy hours browsing the stalls and purchasing a few items. It’d be rude not to contribute to the economy now wouldn’t it? 😉

Outside Grand BazaarFood-related Travel Tips:

  • Try the Baklava – we found it expensive but I have never had such sumptuous Baklava. It is made fresh.and is dripping with honey. I haven’t eaten it since in the UK as I know it won’t compare to the stuff I had in Istanbul!
  • Kebabs. In the UK I would consider these as cheap, low quality fast-food that most people only have at 2am after a night out. Think again – in Turkey (and Greece) these are fresh, tasty and reasonably priced and make a good lunch!
  • Vegetarianism. Specifically on Airlines. Now I am not a “Meat Person”. I like my veggies but will eat meat in moderation. Turkey (the country, not the meat) is exactly the same! Typically meals will have some meat, but also some veggies like tomato, aubergine, onion etc. I loved it! It was unfortunate however that some months earlier, I had selected the Vegetarian option on the plane.   In the UK, “Vegetarian” means “does not eat meat”, but in Turkey it seems to mean “Only eats Vegetables / does not like nice food”. So my BF tucked into the normal meal of smoked salmon starter, followed by aubergine and spicy mince with rice, followed by chocolate brownie. Meanwhile, I sulked and ate my salad starter, followed by steamed fish and vegetables, followed by fruit salad. Please read again the deliciousness of my BF’s meal, compared to my puritan meal. You have been warned! 😉

Next blog: Cruise on Bosphorus, Istanbul

Previous blog: Mosques in Old Town, Istanbul


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