Bargain away! More than 10,000 vendors and an endless corridor of shopping opportunities.
To enter the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul's old town is to plunge into an oriental world -- one that will not let go so quickly. The covered business district (created by Constantinople conqueror, Sultan Mehmed II) is more than 500 years old, but in terms of experiential value, it overshadows any modern shopping mall. The labyrinth of passageways in the great bazaar extends to more than 344,000 square feet -- getting lost is pretty much guaranteed. The market is traditionally divided according to different trades and several handicraft "neighborhoods" have developed. You can haggle (and how!) over the price of carpets, jewelry, leather goods, hookahs, icons, all possible souvenirs, and much more. Often, a successful deal -- even a purchase of a profane pair of Levis jeans -- is celebrated on the spot with a glass of tea.