Istanbul: Shopping at the Silk Road.

 Istanbul is an ideal place to go to acquire magnificent fabrics at a low price, as well as all kinds of beads, accessories and art material. I invite you to wander around intricate alleyways of its bazaars, and bargain when you find what you were looking for (or something you did not know you were looking for, but once you have seen it you love it). 

“Istanbul is inspiring because it has its own code of architecture, literature, poetry, music.”
Christian Louboutin

         

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Una de las entradas del Gran Bazar

 

 

GRAND BAZAAR AND EGYPTIAN BAZAAR

The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar deserve a visit simply to see them. Getting lost in its labyrinthine alleys and having a look at its stalls and the original and nice ways that sellers have of attracting our attention is worth it.

However, perhaps they are not always the most indicated site if we want to find good prices, since they are very oriented to tourism. Even so, all posts work by bargaining, so in theory it is feasible to get a price to suit us. For this it would be advisable to be clear about what we are looking for, to know how much it costs and once we know it, to offer the price we want in bargaining (within reasonable prices on our part). The sellers are not going to be surprised that we have a price in mind, since this is how the sale works in the Grand Bazaar (it is one of their traditions, and part of its charm), but of course, you have to be very firm. They have more bargaining experience than us!

You can also find different items in the Egyptian or Spices Bazaar, but mainly has all kinds of spices, Turkish delights and different foods and preserves.


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EMINÖNÜ

I recommend, however, to take a look around the shops in the neighborhood next to the Grand Bazaar and Sultanahmet, in the neighborhood of spices bazaar: Eminönü. In Eminönü we find numerous shops of fabrics, beads, costume jewelery and very interesting wholesale. Of course, it is not customary to haggle outside the Grand Bazaar.

 

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Muestra de telas en una tienda de tejidos de Eminönü

 

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Tejidos  y traje típico

 

KADIKÖY MARKET, ON THE ASIAN SIDE

If you have more time in your visit to the city, I recommend taking the ferry that goes to the Asian part, specifically Kadiköy. It is caught in the port of Eminönü. After twenty minutes of incredible views, we disembarked in the neighborhood of Kadiköy. Strolling through its market, which is open every day, and through the stores near it, can help us find real treasures, at very good prices. Through the alleyways to the right of the main avenue of Kadiköy, there are numerous shops of fabrics, remnants, fine arts material, beads, paintings. I suggest to take a look carefully, since it is a highly recommended place not only to find the most diverse materials at a good price, but simply to walk and see it, it is a very old market and many of its stalls and shops will surprise us not only for their products, but by their way of exposing.

 

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KOZA HANI: THE SILK BAZAAR IN BURS

Bursa is the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire, and acquired great importance in the past due to its location at the western end of the Silk Road. You can reach it by ferry and bus from Istanbul, and it’s about two hours away. It is a highly recommended excursion for those who have more time.
Due to its important location on the Silk Road, in Bursa the tradition of trading with fabrics from China and Pakistan, among others, takes centuries.

Bursa has had a key commercial location on the Silk Road. Its silk market is famous (Koza Hani). It is a building that has two floors, and in which we can find an immense variety of fabrics, colors, patterns … There is a variety of prices too, since not all fabrics are entirely silk in their composition.

It is a perfect place for those who want to buy good quality raw materials, affordable prices and incredible designs. Of course, the prices are variable, the quality of the materials too, so you have to know how to search well and not forget the bargaining!

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As a conclusion,  I would say that Turkey is a country with an ancient and fascinating textile and artistic tradition, and its bazaars and stores are very interesting places to acquire  all kinds of raw materials. 

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