Our group spent the greater part of a day shopping and exploring at two of Istanbul’s bazaars – the famously huge Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar (also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, because taxes from Egypt during the Ottoman Empire were used to construct it). The Grand Bazaar has over 3,000 shops, and I’m guessing my friends and I saw only 100 or so. You could buy anything at the Grand Bazaar (except food, but even then, there were several cafes).
The Spice Bazaar had more food, tea, and desserts than trinkets. Don’t worry, mom – I didn’t buy any of the meat that was being chopped up on display. I was, however, lured into buying some baklava and Turkish delight because the shopkeeper offered me the “ginger discount” – 12% off just because of my hair color.