Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones, who throughout your life have traveled a lot, seen a lot and done a lot. I’m not. Or rather – I was not, until I met my husband many years ago. I traveled once a year in my childhood, but this was “only” on vacations by car in Denmark and Europe. Although I really appreciate this, I always dreamt about taking a plane and get as far away as possible to a completely different culture. One must say,that I came to live out the dream, when I met my husband Dennis. True, we have primarily travelled to and in Turkey, but I’m not complaining – we’ve been there so often, that it is our second home, and we will not be able to do without it.
I was probably super easy to impress, since EVERYTHING almost by definition, is new and different, when you come to Turkey for the first time – sounds, smells, tastes, impressions. But I’ll never forget the first time, I ever saw a market – one of the real bazaars in the streets inside the inner city. You probably know them as one of those markets, which mainly sells fruit and vegetables, but also everything from dough (yes you read that right) to spices, fish, toy cars, clothes, cleaning supplies and kitchen utensils and much more. What a feast right there in the middle of the street – a life of merchants with their trolleys and shopping bags, children running and playing and tormenting their parents for some new toy, grumpy men and teenagers, who are forced to act as pack rats, women tossing and turning every single product and looking critically at the weekly purchase, tourists looking with eyes wide open and taking pictures of all the beautiful arrangements of fruit, nuts and spices, sellers shouting to make attention for precisely their fine products and good prices and friendly offers delicious tastings, if you seems the least bit interested in their goods.
As you may sense, it’s quite overwhelming and hectic and is about to take your breath away. It did, at least for me. I had never experienced anything like it. Later I have experienced foodmarkets in many places – both at home and abroad, but I still haven’t seen a place, that beats the Turkish bazaars with life and joy.
The first market I saw was just next to the hotel, we stayed in in the middle of town. The night before there was quiet and peaceful in the street and the morning after we woke up early by honking horns, rattling boxes and gentle hum of working people. Several streets in the city center were involved, and there were stalls on both sides of the narrow road, duly divided into themes, so you “almost” could sort out the places, you would go to, if you need to do some serious shopping and wasn’t a tourist like us. I’ve also been to some of the small village bazaars in the mountains, where the choice of old mud-pants and scarves were large, where everyone knows everyone and toke an extra look at you, because you simply weren’t from there.
Where can I find bazaars i Antalya?
I don’t know, if it’s still there, this specific bazaar in the city center of Antalya near the old Talya hotel. In the past several years, we always go to a large covered bazaar at the other end of town, where we usually rent an apartment. The bazaar is called Liman Pazar Yeri and is situated between the large Konyaalti beach and the large industrial port and then 1 km from the coast. It is one of the biggest bazaars in Antalya, and there is a huge range of goods. Although I have come here often, I am still quite overwhelmed by volumes, the colors and all the people. In this bazaar, I almost think, that you can get everything you need for a household, and we shop here everytime we’re in the apartment. It’s open every monday all year round. Although it’s not an obvious tourist destination, I will definitely recommend you to visit a bazaar, if there is one nearby. Some bazaars are permanent (and they have more the impression of being tourist magnets, than for the general population). I cannot recommend them. I’m talking about one of them, that pops up one day and re gone the same evening. They are really exciting and will show you a bit of the real Turkey. Some of them are along the streets, and some bazaars are in large roof-covered halls, which one day is a marketplace and other days serves as parking space. You can inquire at the hotel, where and when there comes a bazaar near you (tell them whish kind you are looking for, otherwise they will send you to a permanent and touristic one). Or just follow the sound … you’ll find it.
Not all bazaars are the same, and it very much depends on which area you are trading in, and whether it is in the city, the countryside or in the mountains. Of course they have quite a few items in common, but in some bazaars you can also buy animals, flowers, carpets and utensils. In general, they open from 06 pm to about 18 pm or until the sun goes down and it is small, more or less private sellers, running in from the countryside to sell their fresh products. The goods are cheaper later in the day, as they become lesser fresh (although you cannot call them expensive). But go early in the day, when there isn’t as hot as mid-day. If you are lucky enough to have rented an apartment during your stay, I recommend you to do your grocery shopping in a bazaar. Do not count on them to speak English, but the prices are on the signs of the goods, so it is fairly easy to figure out and the Turks are also phenomenal for making gestures and make themselves understood. So you’ll manage. Just remember that most prices are per kilogram (but of course you can get smaller amounts). We usually shop here twice a week for fruit, vegetable and cheese for breakfast and lunch. I tend not to make supper, as it is much more fun to go out and eat at different places (and doesn’t cost a lot) . Even if you only lacks a little fruit in the hotel room, to a beach trip or picnic, treat yourself to shop here – it’s a pretty fun experience and a great break for the kids aswell. My children have gradually learned, that the toys, you can buy here, looks like the right thing, but are China-quality (ie not as durable) – it is good to learn, as it has cost many tears and great disappointed with my kids,when the new favorite helicopter only lasts during the holiday.
I have borrowed a few pictures with permission from http://www.apartment-turkey.com.
Go to Google Maps and enter “Liman Mahallesi Kapali Pazar ve track alani”, and you’ll find the big bazaar. Or press here.