While you are in Sultanahmet area, visit Arasta Bazaar. It is a small market located in the heart of Sultanahmet, on the south side of the Blue Mosque. But, despite of its size, there are over 70 shops there which sell a wide range of products. Those shops offer souvenirs, jewellery, ceramics, antiques, carpets and much more.
History of Arasta Bazaar starts from 17th century when the place was used as stables until it was burnt in 1912 and left for a long time. There were nothing just ruins until 1980 when the place was reconstructed and converted into shops. Market was functioning as a source of incomes that helped to maintain and repair the Blue Mosque which at that period was under restoration.
Nowadays, Arasta Bazaar is one of the most popular and most-visited tourist markets in Istanbul.
Treat yourself with a glass of tea or nargile and watch free Whirling Derwishes show which takes place in bazaar’s tea garden from 8 to 10 pm.
While you are in Arasta, enjoy the Great Palace Mosaics Museum which is just behind the Blue Mosque. Its exhibition displays the collection of pavement mosaic from the Byzantine Great Palace. They are images of animals, fantastic objects, landscapes, etc.
Address: Arasta Çarşısı No.107
Wokr hours: 9.00 - 19.00, everyday.
For more information: Check Arasta Bazaar’s official website: http://www.arastabazaar.com