Located on the Blue Mosque Square in Istanbul, Arasta Bazaar has been one of the most charming shopping centers since it was erected by the ingenious Ottoman officials in the 17th century. Following excavations conducted in 1930, it was discovered that the bazaar was built upon the ruins of a palace from the Byzantine Era.
During the Ottoman era, this historic building was frequented by cavalrymen, as there were many resources available for them. As such, it was popularly known as the Sipahiler (Cavalrymen) Bazaar. The market consists of approximately 70 shops located on Torun Street. Although it is smaller than the impressive Grand Bazaar, this relatively tranquil and charming market has a variety of goods for sale in its shops, including eye-catching jewelry, carpets, souvenirs, ceramics, Turkish tiles, apparel, and more.
In the last days of the Ottoman Empire, the market was destroyed by a fire, necessitating its demolition. However, the breathtaking building was rebuilt and reopened by the General Directorate for Foundations in 1981.
The roofs of each shop are adorned with tall and thick rafters in order to reflect Ottoman Style.
When you come here, you can visit the Great Palace Mosaics Museum which displays a compilation of mosaics excavated from the site of the Byzantine Great Palace of Constantinople. Furthermore, to enjoy the time at the Arasta Bazaar, both tourists and locals can explore the tea garden (which also functions as a restaurant) for a meal, sample endless cups of çay (tea) or enjoy a nargile while watching the free nightly Whirling Dervishes Show.
Thanks to its tranquil and laid-back atmosphere, Arasta Bazaar is a great low-key shopping option for traditional goods in the Sultanahmet area. It is also renowned for its visits from Hollywood stars, politicians, and other prominent figures such as Shakira, Megan Fox, Ellen DeGeneres (host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show), and former US President Bill Clinton.
Visiting the Arasta Bazaar is one of the best ways to truly experience and understand Istanbul. The bazaar has something for everyone – from traditional Turkish clothing to souvenirs for your friends and family. The Arasta Bazaar is also a great place to experience the vibrant culture of Istanbul – from the lively music and performances to the warm hospitality of the locals, you can truly immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful city.
Arasta Bazaar is renowned for its plethora of carpet stores, all of which offer handcrafted carpets from all around the country. For a more affordable option, inquire about their selection of kilims; although still hand-made rugs, they are usually thinner and therefore less costly. You can also find tiles, clothing, bags, and a range of tourist souvenirs such as keychains, fridge magnets, and hats with ‘Istanbul’ printed on them.
At Tour Maker Turkey, we offer a wide range of tours that will take you to the Arasta Bazaar and other amazing attractions in Istanbul. Our experienced and knowledgeable tour guides will ensure that you get the most out of your visit to Istanbul, while also ensuring your safety and comfort. Join us to experience the history and culture of Istanbul, and let us show you the hidden gems of this amazing city.