Although not as grand as the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar definitely deserves a visit. You don't have to buy anything. The place is oozing with color and aromas that will tantalize your senses. The spices on sale are as a riot of colors as they are an assault to your nostrils. And oh, the dates and other dried fruits and nuts, mostly from the Middle East, are an exotic delicacy. There are still more to enjoy and feast your curious eyes on -- potions, herbal remedies, olive oil soaps, etc. Definitely a feast for the senses.
At the south end of the Galata Bridge, next to the Yeni Camii (New Mosque) is the main entrance to the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar or Misir Carsisi. The bazaar is one of the oldest in Istanbul and the second largest covered bazaar in the city. It was originally built (17th century) to generate rental income for the upkeep of the Yeni Camii.
It seemed most stalls did not sell spices but this bazaar was and is still considered the center for spice trade in Istanbul. The stalls that did have spices had neat cones of colorful spices (chili, saffron, turmeric, etc.). Those same stalls usually sold several kinds of tea as well. Some of the most interesting stalls sold Turkish sweets, honey, nuts and dried fruits. Many stalls sold belly dancing outfits, clothes, household goods, and souvenirs.
The layout of the bazaar is an L-shape with 88 vaulted rooms. The narrow lanes are very crowded and it is easy to get swept out of the Spice Bazaar into the local markets (outside) surrounding the bazaar. (We walked around there for a while and it was interesting to note that the market was set up in sections: clothes, hardware, stationary/packing, wedding dresses, etc.)
The Spice Bazaar was not only too crowded and hot(!) to shop, but expensive as well. I would compare prices if you want to make any purchases - and it's likely you'll need to bargain! We did find in general that things were less expensive outside than at any of the bazaars.
Open Mon - Sat 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
No entry fee.
Allow 30-60 minutes to wander, longer if you plan to shop or visit the outside markets.
After Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market (Misir Carsisi) is the city's second largest covered market.
Its history dates back to 1664 when the market was completed after 67 years of construction. At that time it was part of the New Mosque (Yeni Camii).
Products on offer mainly include spices, dried fruits, nuts and Turkish delight (Lokum).
The Egyptian Spice Market can be found in the neighbourhood of the New Mosque. Both are situated near the southern end of the Galata Bridge in Istanbul's Eminönü district.
The Spice Bazaar is definitely one of the most colourful locations in Istanbul. You can find just about anything in the Spice Bazaar including a wide variety of spices, colourful sweets, nuts and snacks that smell delightful and row upon row of dried fruits. In addition to being a must-see for local and foreign tourists, this historical marketplace is also a favourite shopping centre for residents of Istanbul.
The Spice Bazaar is always a bustling scene of shoppers and has been a must-see destination in Istanbul for centuries. Located behind Yeni Cami (New Mosque) in Eminönü Square, this historic marketplace began to be built during the time of Sultan Mehmet III. Sultan Mehmet IV’s mother, Hatice Turhan, ordered architect Mustafa Aga to complete the Spice Bazaar, which he achieved by 1663.
The bazaar consists of stores lined up along two long corridors and has six entrances. Stone and brick were used during construction instead of wood and the bazaar has a wooden balcony for reciting the call to prayer. In the early days, the bazaar contained mostly herb stores, but in time spice-sellers, candy sellers and stores selling health products began to open here. Herb stores did not just sell herbs, they were also a kind of health consultant for people looking for herbs to heal their illnesses or who were seeking relief with herbal concoctions. Since these store owners knew the benefits of hundreds of varieties of spices, aromatic plants, seeds and their mixtures, they were frequented by people from all walks of life including even royalty from the Ottoman palace. Herb stores did not just sell healthy herbs to people. Thy also obtained herb, root and flower extracts which they then bottled.
Anyone who is interested can find a wide variety of spices and aromatic plants in addition to candy, Turkish delight(lokum), herbal tea and mixed spices. Foreign tourists who come here are particularly attracted to the Turkish delight in the stores. There is a wide variety including rose-hips, pistachios, walnuts and gum mastic, making it almost impossible to walk past one of these counters without having a taste of the Turkish delight. With such an exciting variety of colour, it is very difficult to turn down the Turkish delight offered by sellers for you to taste.
Although much smaller than the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar (also called the Spice Market, Egyptian Bazaar, or Egyption Market) is the place to go for every kind of culinary delight under the Turkish Sun. You can buy countless kinds of spice, seasoning, tea, and candy here. And although you'll be tempted to start buying things the moment you walk in the door, note that the prices get lower and lower the farther you get into the building. And since you can find the same things for sale all over the place, you don't have to worry about missing your chance if you don't make a purchase at the first place you see.
Do yourself a huge favor and buy some Turkish Delights while you're here. In fact, buy LOTS of them and have them vacuum packed so you can take them home and enjoy them later, because they are extremely hard to find outside Turkey. Our favorite kind was the one sweetened with honey and rolled in powdered sugar. We brought back three kilograms of them and ate them all within a couple weeks of returning home!
Misir Çarsisi is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Eminönü, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. Due to the fact that many spices were imported via Egypt in the Ottoman period, the name was favoured by the public. The Spice Bazaar is an “L”-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into an upper and lower story. The bazaar is the center for spice trade in Istanbul. You can also find some special local delights and desserts. The aroma of various spices mix with each other and you feel yourself dizzy with this beautiful scent.
Built in 1664 to help pay for the construction of the Yeni Camii, or the New Mosque, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar has for centuries been a marketplace for food products. It's name comes from the spices that came through Egypt via the renowned Silk Road out of central & southern Asia. Nowadays, vendors still sell such items here - fresh spices, fruits, nuts, meats, & candy, as well as other products like jewelry, carpets, & souvenirs for visitors. As in the Grand Bazaar, you can put your bargaining skills to the test here. Also akin to the Grand Bazaar are many of the shop owners, who can get a little aggressive in trying to show you what they are selling (and hoping you will buy something). But this is the bazaar experience! And if the Spice Bazaar itself doesn't fill your needs, as you walk outside, there is an even bigger outdoor market area, with loads of vendors selling many of the same products!
The Spice Market, commonly called the Egyptian Bazaar, is a world of colours and smells. No one going to Istanbul should skip a visit to this almost magical place.
Curries, nutmeg, saffron, cumin, yellow tumeric , cinamon are some of the spices you can find here. All very well and nicely displayed, they make all our senses move. You can also find here beauty products, such as hena , natural sponges and oils.
Dried fruits are mouth watering, such as dates, nuts and the typical sweets called turkish delights, of all kinds, with pistachios, plain, etc.
I came home with lots of small bags and a suitecase full of wonderful odors. Be sure not to miss a visit to this place. It closes on Sundays !
The Spice Bazaar is also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, Misir Carsisi, because taxes from the sale of Egyptian imports were used to help finance it.
The Bazaar is a colourful mix of sights, sounds and smells. Much smaller and more accessible than the Grand Bazaar it is equally as busy. Traders will tempt you into their shops with a tray of Turkish Delight or offer of tea and once inside you can peruse an array of spices, sweets, nuts and teas.
This is a good place to shop for gifts to take home - spices, Turkish delight, other sweets. Or maybe some Apple Tea to accompany the Tea Glasses you buy at the Grand Bazaar.
The streets around the Spice Market, particularly leading up to the Grand Bazaar, are a crowded, vibrant noisy, confusion of people, shops, stalls and carts. Take your time wandering through them - to be honest that shouldn't be difficult as you try negotiating the busy swarm of people and goods. Go with the flow, the sights, the sounds and experience shopping Istanbul style.
Open: 9.00am-6.00pm closed Sunday
The Spice Bazaar (also known as the Egyptian Bazaar) is the second-largest bazaar (after the Grand Bazaar) in the old section of Istanbul. It traditionally served as the center of the city's spice trade, and still houses numerous vendors of a variety of spices, which you can buy in bulk or pre-packaged. Some of the vendors had very artistic displays of their spices, in which they created designs out of the different-colored spices. In addition to spice vendors, the Spice Bazaar also houses numerous food vendors, souvenir shops, and shops selling ceramics and other decorative items.
Although it is smaller than the Grand Bazaar, we felt that the Spice Bazaar was the more crowded of the two, and also seemed to have more agressive vendors. It was fun to walk through the Spice Bazaar, but we enjoyed the Grand Bazaar more.
On the picture is a typical street in Misir Carsisi with tourists making pictures mostly and local just crossing the market in a hurry.
I dont know why, but sellers talk more spanish or italian... maybe because spaniards are more into spices or Viagra and stuffs... :)
This is the second big covered market of Istanbul.It is part of the NEW MOSQUE complex.
If you go to Istanbul do not miss that market.It s full of wiht spice and colored oriental objects.
Spices,Sweets,Turkish Bacon (Pastirma),Nuts,Delicatessens etc.
The building itself is part of the kulliye(complex) of Yeni Mosque, and rents from the shops within was intended to help pay for the upkeep of the mosque. The structure was designed by the chief court architect Koca Kasým Aða, but completed by architect Mustafa in 1660.
The Spice Bazaar is an “L”-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into an upper and lower story. Monumental gateways are at the ends of both halls, with chambers above each entranceway. The main entrance is in the southwest corner, facing the Yeni Mosque.
Centuries ago in the Byzantine era there was coveredd market place on the location of the current spice market called "Makron Emvolos" and this area was mainly occupied by jews .When it was considered to build a new market place the jews where transferred to Balat district
The construction of the spice market which was the islamic social concept of New Mosque
and this is the second largest covered market place in Istanbul started in 1597 with the instructions of Safiye sultan who was the wifw of the ottoman ruler Murat III and the mother of Ottoman ruler Mehmet III.
You can also visit my tip about the place in my shopping tips
Egyptian Spice Market (Misir Çarsisi) was built in 1664 and is near the Eminönü ferry port and was apparently built as a part of the Yeni Mosque complex to generate money for the maintenance of the mosque.
Not as crazy or as big as the Grand Bazaar and is a wonderfully colourful place. Here you can obviously buy a whole range of spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight), alternative remedies, as well as fresh fruit, veg and cheese from the stalls just outside the Eminönü gate to the market.
The Spice Bazaar also known as the Egyptian Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. It can be found in a large L shaped building at the Eminönü end of the Galata Bridge. This market is the second largest indoor market in Istanbul after the Grand Bazaar.
The name Egyptian Bazaar is likely to have originated during the Ottoman period, when most spices would have come from Egypt. The Turkish name is Mýsýr Çarþýsý with Misir meaning Egypt. However, it also means maize which accounts for the occasional mis-translation as Corn Bazaar.