Istanbul box front: merchant in a turban holds out a handful of rubies while others sell and transport goods in the background


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Hustle and bustle in the bazaar district of Istanbul: merchants and their assistants are hurrying through the narrow alleys attempting to be more successful than their competitors. Good organization is key: wheelbarrows have to be filled with goods at the warehouses and then swiftly transported by the assistants to the various destinations. The goal of the merchants is to be the first to collect a certain amount of rubies.

You are leading a merchant and four assistants through the 16 Places of the bazaar. At each Place, you can carry out a specific action. The challenge is that, to carry out an action at any of those Places, your merchant needs the help of an assistant and has to leave him behind. To use that assistant again later, your merchant has to come back to that Place and pick him up. So plan ahead carefully to avoid being left with no assistants and thus unable to do anything …

In Istanbul you assemble a marketplace using tiles that represent the various areas, shops, and facilities of the Grand Bazaar. You can assemble different markets by laying out the tiles in various configurations.

During the game each player represents a merchant house that is trying to get rich by buying, selling, trading, and interfering with other merchants.

In 2014 Istanbul won the Kennerspiel award at the Essenspiel convention in Germany, being recognized as the best “gamer’s game” of the year!

Game Info
2-5 players
Ages 10+
40-60 minutes playtime

16 places
6 wheelbarrows
18 wheelbarrow extensions
2 sticker sheets
6 merchant disk
30 assistant disks
6 family member token
24 goods (cubes)
26 bonus cards
16 mosque tiles
12 demand tiles
72 coins (lira)
4 mail indicators
5 overview sheets
1 starting player marker
1 governor
1 smuggler
42 rubies
2 dice
4 expansion places
8 tavern tiles
18 expansion bonus cards
20 guild cards
30 bags of coffee
1 baksheesh tile
1 barrier
1 coffee trader
5 expansion places
24 kiosk tiles
28 expansion bonus cards
36 letter tiles
5 companions
1 courier
1 caravan tile