Walks of Turkey

Walks of Turkey

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Artisans & Rooftops Grand Bazaar Tour

Key Details

  • City: Istanbul
  • Duration: 4 hrs
  • Start Time: 9.30AM

Tour Highlights

  • Go behind the scenes at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to meet traditional artisans in their workshops.
  • You’ll meet craftsmen whose families have been creating carpets, jewelry, linens, ceramics or other crafts for generations.
  • During your Grand Bazaar tour you’ll visit 4 special (secret!) rooftops; including the scene of James Bond’s ‘Skyfall’ rooftop chase.
Visiting a traditional carpet weaver Learn the traditional craft of carpet-making Learn the traditional craft of carpet-making Learning how to judge the value of a carpet Meet store owners on our Grand Bazaar Tour Browse a carpet store without the badgering Making original jewelry Showcasing jewelry at the workshop The jeweler Traditional Turkish pipes at the Grand Bazaar Traditional Turkish pipes at the Grand Bazaar The pipe-maker The scene of James Bond 'Skyfall' chase The scene of James Bond 'Skyfall' chase Visiting one of our secret rooftops Peeking into an artisan workshop Artisan workshop Visit a metal-worker Meeting one of the artisans One of Istanbul's hidden hans Meet the linen-maker who creates Star Wars costumes A traditional loom in one of the workshops Silks made in one of the workshops we visit Secret rooftop view Secret rooftop view Lamps at the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Antiques at the Grand Bazaar Visiting the hans at the Grand Bazaar Coffee is an important part of shopping at the bazaars Working behind the scenes at the Grand Bazaar Copper-polisher at the Grand Bazaar Istanbul The last rooftop on our tour Aladdin's trove, the Grand Bazaar Istanbul Ceramics at the Grand Bazaar The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

Meet the artists behind incredible crafts at the Grand Bazaar

Join us for an adventure beyond the storefronts of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, exploring the history and mastery behind its crafts. Led by our local guides, you’ll visit the workshops and stores of carpet-weavers, jewelry-makers, antique-collectors, pipe-carvers and ceramic artisans (to name just a few).

With your guide as translator, you’ll learn about the history of these traditional crafts and meet craftsmen who learned their trade from their fathers who learned it from their fathers and on and on. For every store in the Grand Bazaar is a backstreet workshop (or han), where an old man sits over a piece of marble or a woman perches at her loom. These are the people you’ll meet on our behind-the-scenes tour.

Visit the scene of James Bond’s rooftop chase

Climbing hidden staircases, you’ll gain access to rooftops even locals don’t know about. In four such visits you’ll witness incredible views over the Bosphorus, the Grand Bazaar and all of Istanbul. You’ll even go to the exact spot where Daniel Craig rode his motorbike across the red rooftops of the Bazaar during the opening scenes of James Bond ‘Skyfall’.

Insider shopping tips from your local guide

Throughout this 4-hour tour your local guide will give you tips on how to spot the best goods in the Grand Bazaar and how to get the best prices. Traveling in a small group of 12 people or fewer you’ll find your guide easy to interact with and hard to lose in the twisting, turning streets of the Grand Bazaar.

Importantly, pay a small monetary contribution to the workshops we visit (including the carpet shop) so you will never face any pressure to buy – in fact, most of the stores you visit don’t even sell goods. So you can relax and enjoy your backstage tour of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

Sites visited

  • Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
  • Various workshops usually including carpet-makers, jewelers, copper-makers, fabric-weavers and more.
  • Four special rooftop views
  • Tour ends at Spice Bazaar

Included

  • Guided tour of the workshops of the Grand Bazaar
  • Access to four secret rooftops
  • Contribution to workshops visited
  • Live tour commentary provided in English

Reviews

5-stars from over 2 Customer Reviews

A fabulous tour, terrific guide, very knowledgeable and likeable. Very easy and responsive to individual requests. I felt that he took us to the best vendors and craftsmen and appreciated his flexibility. I realize that we were very lucky with all our guides as with the exception of the Topkapi Palace Tour, we were the only visitors on the tours. So we got a lot of individual attention.
The roof tops were wonderful. We appreciated the guided tour of the grand bazaar and the artisans workshop as it gave us a full understanding of the Grand Bazaar and it's many functions.

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

Guests should be advised that the tour includes walking down and up steep hills and that often the ground is uneven. The rooftop views also require climbing uneven and high steps - some without railings - onto real rooftops. We ask our guests to pay extra attention to safety when climbing. For this reason we cannot accommodate guests with mobility impairments or strollers on our group tour. Please contact us at [email protected] and we will work with you to find a suitable alternative.

This tour is a “shopping free” tour. Your guide will in fact remain with you throughout the tour instead of letting you explore the Bazaars on your own. You are welcome to continue your exploration of the Grand Bazaar and shop after the tour.

A fabulous tour, terrific guide, very knowledgeable and likeable. Very easy and responsive to individual requests. I felt that he took us to the best vendors and craftsmen and appreciated his flexibility. I realize that we were very lucky with all our guides as with the exception of the Topkapi Palace Tour, we were the only visitors on the tours. So we got a lot of individual attention.
The roof tops were wonderful. We appreciated the guided tour of the grand bazaar and the artisans workshop as it gave us a full understanding of the Grand Bazaar and it's many functions.