In Photos: Glass Lanterns in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

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In Turkish, the place is called Kapalıçarşı, or “Covered Market.” But that just doesn't have the same ring to it or sense of awe as “Grand Bazaar.” And let me assure you: this place is definitely filled with wonders!

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar has a long history, dating back to the mid-1400s, just after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. This makes the Grand Bazaar one of the oldest covered markets in the world – it's sometimes heralded as the world's first shopping mall.

You can find everything in the Grand Bazaar – and I do mean everything. The market has over 4,000 shops, selling everything from textiles to knick knacks to glass lanterns.

Out of all the photos I've shared so far from my time in Istanbul, a simple one of colorful glass lanterns inside the Grand Bazaar has been by far the most popular.

So, since you seem to like them so much, check out even more of these gorgeous lanterns:

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

Lanterns, Istanbul

I could have easily taken photos of these all day, and also could have easily spent all my money buying different ones to send home.

Make sure to allow yourself enough time to browse the Grand Bazaar and its varied shops – but don't be surprised if it's more crowded than in some of these photos; the Grand Bazaar sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every single day!

Which lantern shot is your favorite? Which one would you want to take home?


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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30 Comments on “In Photos: Glass Lanterns in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

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  1. I loved seeing Istanbul through your eyes. As I am Turkish I get to travel to Istanbul every once in a while but I guess I kind of take it for granted. Your comments and photos made me see Istanbul in a new angle. And if you ever find yourself in Turkey again you really should visit other cities as well, Turkey has a lot to offer for (though I’m sure I dont need to tell you this, a globetrotter like you) like Denizli-Pamukkale, Nevsehir-Cappadocia, Izmir, Trabzon, Gaziantep, the list can go on. I hope your travels will take you to wonderful new places, lots of love!

      Thanks very much! Istanbul is such a cool city. But yes, I definitely need to see more of Turkey one day!

    So beautiful! They had the same one in Sarajevo and I fell in love with them immediately!

      I still think about them sometimes! Next time in Istanbul, I will definitely have to get some!

    Awesome photos! I was in Istanbul on a layover in July and I bought a lamp for my Dad & a few little votive holders for the rest of my family. If only I had brought a larger suitcase I would have bought one for myself!

    Wow! These pictures are stunning! I have a thing for glass lanterns. In Egypt, I wanted to buy them all, but I wound up only taking one home. I probably shouldn’t go to Istanbul, because I don’t think I’ll have the money to come home.

      Haha, yes, Istanbul could be a very dangerous place for you!

    These are stunning! I’m glad you turned it into a photo essay. 😀 I would’ve been tempted by everything in there!

      Thanks, Audrey! Everyone kept commenting on the lantern photos I was putting in other Istanbul posts, so I figured why not given them their own photo post?? Glad you liked it!

    Oh my God! They are beautiful! I have to admit, after a trip to Marrakesh, my lounge at home in London is starting to look a bit like some of those pictures!

      Haha, I can totally understand! I wanted to buy just about every single one I saw!

    WOW. Love these shots, such amazing colors. Great work.

      Thanks, John! I didn’t realize at the time how many lantern photos I took – they certainly make good subjects!

    It is reminds me the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem.

      I’ve never been to Jerusalem, so I can’t really make the comparison myself. But I believe you!

    So pretty! I remember how overwhelmed I was when I visited the Grand Bazaar for the first time. It’s time to return to Istanbul, I think 🙂

      The Grand Bazaar certainly can be overwhelming! It’s so easy to get lost in… But I loved it!

    These photos make me want to run off to Istanbul to buy a lamp!

    In all seriousness, I don’t like souvenirs just to have something from somewhere I’ve been. I prefer for the things I buy on my trips to have some sort of function in my daily life. A lamp would be something functional but cool and unique, too. It’d be a perfect souvenir!

      Very true about a lamp like this being a very practical souvenir!

    What a fab set of photos. Istanbul is so photogenic – especially the colourful lanterns. Loved looking through these.

      Istanbul is indeed incredibly photogenic! Glad you liked the photos.

    These lanterns are so beautiful, I would have been in my element walking around here!

      I definitely was! The colors and patterns were all SO pretty.

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