Istanbul’s Bazaar Quarter is one of the world’s biggest open-air commercial centers, crowned by the planet’s largest covered market, the Grand Bazaar. It is not only a sprawling marketplace specializing in everything from knitting yarn to knockoff purses, but a historic center of small craftsmen
who still carry on their tradition in the atmospheric caravanserais — Ottoman-era trading posts — that dot this area. With all of the shopping, people rarely open their eyes to the culinary treasures of this area, which are well-protected by the merchants and craftsmen who dine here everyday.
Starting in Sirkeci, end point of the fabled Orient Express, we’ll explore the historic caravanserais, meet some traditional craftsmen in their tiny workshops and eat in those hidden-gem restaurants, which, like the merchants themselves, reflect the regional diversity of Turkey. We’ll start the day with a full breakfast celebrating the best of the dairy highlands in Eastern Anatolia, followed by an unusual wedding soup from Konya. Then we’ll make our way through the garment district to a cluster of Ottoman-era hans (traders’ inns), home to a guild of traditional craftsmen in their tiny workshops. There we will have an unforgettable, freshly baked pide before grazing our way in, out and around the Grand Bazaar, taking in a perfect kebab, a bite of Edirne-style liver, and a spread of seasonal, vegetarian mezes. We will drink tea and Turkish coffee in out-of-the-way places, while the sweet notes on this route begin with kadayıf, an Arabian-influenced love letter from the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, and end with a delicious milk-soaked cake that made its way from Albania to the Istanbul. It’s Istanbul’s Bazaar Quarter as it’s never been seen — or tasted — before.
Note: This walk does include some hills and stairs. Though punctuated by plenty of stops, it can be strenuous at times.
Start / End : 9:30am - 3:00pm
hotel - 1 night