Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul will reopen on June 1

The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hours will be limited, the mask will be mandatory, and there will be strict controls for vendors and customers.

The iconic Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the great destinations for tourists visiting this Turkish city with its 559-year history and thousands of shops, will reopen its doors to visitors on June 1 after having been closed for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to information published in Turkish media, the reopening of the historic bazaar will be carried out under strict precautionary measures, including entrance controls for vendors and visitors. In addition, the hours of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, which normally opens between 8 am and 6 pm, will be limited to 6 hours between 10 am and 4 pm.

All employees and visitors will be required to wear a mask and comply with social distancing rules, and they will be checked for fever before entering the premises, which has been closed since March 24 as part of the control measures against COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey, although some workshops have continued to operate within it with permission.

An estimated 250,000 people work in the 4,000 stores spread across the 60 covered streets that make up Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, construction of which began in 1455, two years after the Ottoman conquest of ancient Constantinople by Sultan Mehmet II. As a curiosity, each street of the bazaar is named after those who formerly sold in the place, such as Altuncular (gold sellers), İplikçiler (fabric sellers) or Fesçiler (fez hat sellers).