Istanbul, Day Two

grandbazaarentranceWe got up early and made our way over to the Grand Bazaar before the crowds.  It was definitely the call.  We were there just as the place started to wake-up.  The store owners were kibbitzing with each other, having their morning coffee and just beginning their day.

hallWe essentially roamed the halls freely with very little crowds.

lampsThe Bazaar has over 4000 stores inside and out.  It is an incredible place filled with thousands of entrepreneurs.  Lanterns,


waterWater outlets.

linensTowels. Fabrics and jewelry, leather goods, souvenirs and plenty of other items.

trimIt reminds me of NYC areas.  There is the lighting district, the trim district, etc.

1664After leaving the Grand Bazaar we walked over to the Spice Market.  A small bazaar filled with some of the same stores but mostly spice shops.  The building was built in 1664.

datesLots of different types of dates.


fetaSome of the better food stalls are outside the spice market.  Feta and cheese stands.



coffeeCoffee beans

driedfruitDried fruit.

vacuumEach place has a vacuum sealer so you can easily take your wares home.

hamaviewFor lunch we stopped at Hamdi.  The owner of this restaurant started with a small grill making the best kebabs around.  Soon the lines began and he expanded into a small shop.  Then he had made enough to buy a three story building.  That is where we ate.  The story is so great.  These are the views from our table.

eggplantWe had a salad to start.  Eggplant kebab to split.

lambLamb kebab to split too.

tomasAfter lunch we took the tram across the water to the Istanbul Modern.  They have a wonderful collection.  The building is two open floors.  Worthwhile stop.  This piece is part of their permanent collection, Tomas Saraceno.

bookceilingDownstairs was the installations.  This ceiling is near the cinema and library.  Super cool with books hanging from the ceiling.

exhibitOne of the exhibits was a retrospective of Mehmet Guleryuz.  Broad range of work.  This was my favorite, the Tutu.

dahliThe other exhibit was fantastic.  Magnum Contact Sheets.  Photographers who had captured images that have become iconic.  Their stories and the contact sheets which are the original unedited photos before they chose which one was the one to print.  This one is of Dali.  Really enjoyed this installation.

We were starting to get a little burnt out from the day so we made our way back to the hotel for a little nap before our next event.

peraWe had dinner that evening at Mikla.  The night before was at Bebek Balikci.  Nothing so amazing that I felt the need to give either of them a separate post.  One thing is that at the top of the Pera Hotel is Mikla.

pera1The roof of that hotel has a bar that as a 360 degree view of the city.  It is pretty spectacular.  I highly recommend going for a drink and watching the sunset.  We did before we had dinner.


Comments (Archived):

  1. CCjudy

    Buy the sumac spice!

    1. Gotham Gal

      You can taste it in everything. Especially the breads

  2. William Mougayar

    wow. nice battery of images. it’s like we went there and back with you 🙂

  3. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’d buy all the lanterns and olives 🙂 Looks like a really romantic adventure!

  4. Yinka!

    Love the Saraceno piece and the ceiling installation! Did you have any dondurma?

  5. Christine

    when we were in Istanbul (maybe 10 years ago? for the Biennale) we bought a POUND of beluga at the bazaar for something insane, maybe 50 dollars. We sat in our hotel room and ate the whole thing with a bottle of vodka

    1. Gotham Gal

      that’s brilliant.

  6. cemilturun

    You have found all the good places in such short time!

    1. Gotham Gal

      years of experience!

  7. pointsnfigures

    We bought a really cool kilim in the Grand Bazaar. Loved the mezza at the Turk places we ate at. Also really liked their breakfasts. The Turkish tile is pretty cool too if you find a reputable dealer. We found one by Chora Church.