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Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul

4.0
#10 of 129 in Shopping in Istanbul
A genuine Turkish experience in and of itself, Arasta Bazaar sits right in the city's historical center. Adjacent to the Blue Mosque, the bazaar dates back to the 17th century, when the revenues paid by shop owners were used to finance the upkeep of the mosque. Today it's one of the city's main tourist attractions, drawing visitors from all over the world who seek authentic Turkish goods and atmosphere. Shop for handmade kilims, jewelry, artwork, spices, and other local products. Stop by a traditional coffeehouse and immerse yourself in traditional tastes and aromas. While at the bazaar, you can also visit the Mosaic Museum, which displays mosaics from the Byzantine Great Palace, which once stood here. Put Arasta Bazaar into our Istanbul itinerary builder to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Istanbul.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
586 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • August 12, 2017
    Very well maintained and organized bazaars within walking distance of the Blue Mosque. Some "touristy" but it's certainly worth a jump. Who knows what might come across some "bargain" ...
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  • August 7, 2017
    I loved this bazar as it was close to blue mosque.. small yet neat with very hospitable shopkeepers who were keen to help and bargain :) my kids liked the souvenirs and my husband loved the turkish te...  more »
  • July 29, 2017
    Located in the Centre of Istanbul Sultanahmet Mosque, arasta market behind the small market. Small and cosy market. Nice and interesting for arasta giftware market tturist you will know how to find. But Blue is a less expensive and tourist attractions.
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Google
  • A good bazaar to buy souvenirs of all kinds and sweets. Much more cheaper and more laid back than the grand bazaar.
  • Nice and lean with lots of ethnic goods. There's a really cozy cafe at the entrance with great baklava and Turkish coffee.
  • You can find lovely rugs and handmade items at this small but charming bazaar
  • Nice bazar/market to buy Turkish sweet and other items, however, it is very expensive compaired to other Istanbul markets
  • The Arasta is an infinitely better place to shop than the Grand Bazaar. The prices are significantly lower, the hassle you'll experience is an order of magnitude lower and finally it's easy to find pieces of art and handicraft of quite excellent quality. There's a good proportion of tat too of course, but that's a universal state of affairs.

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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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