The Central and Southern Aegean Coast Sights

Kemeraltı

  • Market/Bazaar
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

Konak Meydanı marks the start of this energetic marketplace that spills into a maze of tiny streets, filled with shops and covered stalls. Wide, unbeautiful Anafartalar Caddesi runs around the outside of the bazaar, and there are lots of cafés and restaurants along Fevzipaşa Bulvarı. You'll have more fun exploring the smaller side streets, where you'll find tiny districts dedicated to musical instruments, leather, costume jewelry, and accessories, among other things. Begin at a restored Ottoman kervansaray, the Kızlarağası Hanı, completed around 1745 (kızlarağası translates as "lord of the girls" and was the title of the powerful eunuch in charge of the palace harem). İzmir's answer to Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, it houses many vaulted shops selling cheesy souvenirs, as well as some purveyors of quality Turkish goods, such as jewelry, miniatures, and prayer rugs for the Hajj pilgrimage. The quieter upper floor, where some artisans still have their workshops, is

a peaceful spot for a cup of tea or for poking through the antique dealers' old books and records. The nearby, late 16th-century Hisar Mosque (one of the largest and oldest in İzmir) is worth a peek, and is surrounded by kebab joints shaded by large trees. Go farther into Kemeraltı and you'll wind up at the Kestane Pazarı (Chestnut Bazaar), a smaller, outdoor version of Istanbul's Spice Bazaar, where you'll find a good selection of spices, fruits, tea, coffee, fabric, and a vast number of confectioners. Among this labyrinth of streets you'll also find the crumbling remains of numerous old synagogues. The bazaar can be crowded, so mind your wallet. If you're a lone female traveler, Kemeraltı should be fine, but it's probably not the best place to try out that new miniskirt.

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Sight Information

Address:

Konak, Izmir, 35000, Turkey

Published 07/06/2016

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