The very chill owner of Arasta 79 has one of the best shops in Istanbul. Ikat scarves, knotted silk jewelry strung with chunky jewels, delicate crochet strings of flowers, pestemals in every weave and color, bright Suzani and Uzbeki ceramics. If you have time for only one stop, this should be it.
Arasta Çarşı No:79
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Tea, Textiles, and Turkish Delight
Nestled in the shadow of the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, the Arasta Bazaar is undoubtedly for tourists but is blessedly free of the ogling busloads.
I had a fine tea at the cafe, delicious Gözleme from one of the vendors, and even bought a rug at Troy Rug Store. Things I've found it difficult to do while being hounded at the Grand Bazaar, surrounded by the hordes.
Bargaining is kept to a minimum, as is the pressure from shopkeepers. If you're near the end of your visit to Istanbul and on the hunt for gifts to take home, look no further.