Istanbul Sights

Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı)

  • Market/Bazaar

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

The enticing Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, is much smaller than the Grand Bazaar but more colorful—though not as colorful, perhaps, as it was in the 17th century, when it was built to generate rental income to pay for the upkeep of the Yeni Cami (New Mosque) next door. In those earlier days the bazaar was a vast pharmacy filled with burlap bags overflowing with herbs and spices fresh off the ships from Egypt and the Spice Islands. Today, although an increasing number of souvenir shops have opened up in the bazaar, you can still wander past numerous stalls chockablock with sacks of spices (including highly sought-after Iranian saffron), bags full of dried fruit and nuts, and delicacies including lokum (Turkish delight), caviar, and Turkish coffee and tea. The maze of narrow streets around the back of the bazaar is filled with open-air booths and shops selling similar foodstuffs at generally cheaper prices—as well as everything from household items to medicinal leeches. At the time of this writing, much of the bazaar's historic architecture was covered by scaffolding and undergoing renovations, but the trade inside remains as bustling as ever.

Sight Information


Yeni Cami Meydanı, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey



Sight Details:

  • Summer, weekdays 8–7:30, Sat. 8–8; winter, Mon.–Sun. 9:30–7

Published 07/06/2016


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