Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı, or Covered Market) is Turkey’s largest covered market offering excellent shopping: beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparel made of leather, cotton and wool, meerschaum pipes, alabaster bookends and ashtrays, and all sorts of other things. This colourful and chaotic bazaar is the heart of the Old City and has been so for centuries. Starting as a small vaulted bedesten (warehouse) built by order of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1461, it grew to cover a vast area as laneways between the bedesten , neighbouring shops and hans (caravanserais) were roofed and the market assumed the sprawling, labyrinthine form that it retains today.
The bazaar has been an important trading centre since 1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake. A dozen restaurants in the bazaar allow you to have lunch in the midst of your shopping. Note that the bazaar is closed entirely on Sunday. When here, be sure to peep through doorways to discover hidden hans, veer down narrow laneways to watch artisans at work and wander the main thoroughfares to differentiate treasures from tourist tack. It’s obligatory to drink lots of tea, compare price after price and try your hand at the art of bargaining. Allow at least three hours for your visit.
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 9:00 – 19:00. Closed Sundays and bank holidays.
One of the most exciting adventures anyone can take is a road trip across Turkey It gives you the freedom to set your own path. Turkey is a treasure trove for travellers; it might sound clichéd, but it can’t be denied. From stunning coastlines, to the Eurasian city of Istanbul and the natural landmarks of Cotton Castle and Cappadocia, there are so many places to see. In a country of size Turkey, there is a lot of travelling involved to see it all and there’s no better way to do it than on a road trip.
The west, the home of the beautiful Aegean coastline, is generally the most popular destination for road trippers and boasts open roads with plenty of attractions to keep you entertained, fantastic cities to explore and small villages to unearth, adding a traditional Turkish theme to your time here.
Choose from one of the many hire cars at Izmir Airport and visit attractions such as Bodrum castle, Ephesus, the Greek village of Sirince and the windsurfing resort of Alacati.
Alternatively, Antalya to Fethiye with the Turquoise coast as your back drop is another popular option. You can pick up a car from Antalya airport and visit attractions such as the rustic resort of Cirali, Patara beach, the sunken ruins of Kekova and the simple but appealing place of Butterfly Valley.
Remember that the best part of a road trip is the flexibility to change your itinerary at the drop of the hat so get on the road and have fun!
Next on our list is the Turkish Night Show which highlights the dance traditions of various regions of Turkey, complete with traditional costumes and of course, exhilarating belly dancers. This lively performance is a great way to enjoy traditional Turkish music, dancing and join in the festivities during audience participation. Turkish Night Show is organized not only to let you experience Turkish culture and traditions but also to have a real entertainment and show after a relaxing day.
The show begins with Turkish folk dancers entering the stage and start dancing. Dancers, including the bride and groom, perform the traditional way in which a girl gets married in Turkey. The bride dressed in a beautiful red dress dances in the middle and the groom arrives to put on different shows for her. He first shows how handsome he is, and then how strong he is and finally how rich he is. After rejecting all these shows one by one, the bride accepts to get married with him when the groom tells that his heart beats for her. While they are starting their wedding dance, all the guests are invited to dance with them, as well.
After a couple of other folk dances from different parts of Turkey, the highlight of the night comes: Belly Dancer! She makes her breath-taking dance and then goes around all the tables to take one man from each table. The men have a great time while they are learning the secrets of belly-dancing with some basic movements. After some other dances and shows like fire dance, Caucasian dance with knives and drum show.