Well, not really skip it; go there just to say you did because it's expected of you. For a more relaxing and charming experience, visit the Arasta Bazaar in the shadow of the Mosaic Museum and Blue Mosque. Shops line both sides of the street, and while the prices may be higher (I couldn't really compare the prices with those at the Grand Bazaar because I couldn't wait to get out of there), you'll have a far more enjoyable experience. We could actually wander without being harassed by merchants and we had time to chat with those who interested us. We had a nice lesson in Turkish ceramics from one shopkeeper, and the obligatory apple tea/carpet chat with a rug seller, the "John Travolta of Istanbul." There's a lovely cafe where you can stop for a refreshing beverage or experience smoking a hookah. We found a few decent deals on souvenirs and learned a lot in the process.
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