While in Istanbul we spent one entire day indoors. Several hours went into wandering all around the Grand Bazaar, which is one of the most intense and adventurous shopping arenas I have ever entered into. We got completely lost and turned around several times and somehow we ended up buying a carpet. I'm still not too sure how that happened.
The cats in Istanbul can be pretty shy.
Until they realise you have food. They have fine-tuned the art of the awkward stare to perfection.
I find shopping a bit stressful at the best of times, so shopping in an environment where people are actively trying to sell you something can be very overwhelming. Having said that, the Grand Bazaar was one of my favourite things about the city. Setting aside the usual designer knockoffs and the tourist memorabilia, the place was full of genuinely beautiful handmade jewelry, scarves, paintings, lamps and carpets. I have to confess, I definitely spent a bit too much.
We also went to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar which was much smaller and a bit more manageable, but much more touristy - so much so it almost wasn't worth it. I think if I go back to Istanbul, I would visit the Grand Bazaar again but give the Spice Bazaar a miss.
A day spent shopping really takes it out of you, even if you take the occasional break to fuel up on baklava, so we spent a relaxing evening watching the sun set over dinner on the Galata Bridge.