Spice Bazaar is located in Eminonu, one of the busiest districts of Istanbul. You can experience the traditional shopping style of the city in this 350-year-old historical bazaar. In this article, you can find insider tips you need to know about the Spice Bazaar.
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About Spice Bazaar
Spice Bazaar was originally a place where only spices were sold during the Ottoman period. However, with the development of tourism in recent years, many jewelery and souvenir shops have also been opened.
The Bazaar was built during the Ottoman period together with the New Mosque (aka Yeni Cami) next to it. This L-shaped bazaar is very similar to the famous Grand Bazaar. However, since it was recently restored, it looks even more beautiful than the Grand Bazaar.
Things to buy at Spice Bazaar include herbal tea leaves, dried fruits, nuts, Turkish delight and saffron. You don’t have to go to separate shops to look for each of these products. All of these are sold all together in a typical shop.
Istanbul Spice Bazaar Opening Hours 2023
Istanbul Spice Bazaar opening hours are between 09:00 in the morning and 7:00 in the evening as of 2023. The Bazaar is open every day of the week. Thus, it is a good alternative to the Grand Bazaar, which is closed on Sundays.
Please also note that Spice Bazaar is closed on religious holidays. For this reason, if your visit coincides with the Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan Feast) or Eid al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) periods, you may not be able to visit the inside of the bazaar.
Also Known As Egyptian Bazaar
The name of the bazaar is also known as the Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) among the locals. Because at that time, spices transported from Asia by caravans first reached Alexandria. Afterwards, they were loaded onto ships from Egypt and brought to Istanbul.
There are local markets around the bazaar, which are very popular among Istanbulites. You can see some of the popular shopping places while walking on Uzuncarsi Caddesi (Street of the Long Market), which is adjacent to the bazaar.
However, there is the more popular Mahmutpasa Yokusu (Yokus means sloping road in Turkish) in the streets behind the bazaar. Cheap clothing items can be found in dozens of shops lined up on this slope.
If you take the Spice Bazaar and the sea behind you and go up Mahmutpasa Yokusu, you can walk all the way to the Grand Bazaar. So you can explore the places where the locals shop.
Places around Spice Bazaar
Around the bazaar, the New Mosque and Rustem Pasha Mosque are worth seeing. There are priceless Ottoman tiles inside the Rustem Pasha Mosque, which dates back to the 16th century.
The New Mosque is a mosque built by the mother of the sultan (Valide Sultan). For this reason, it is one of the special mosques of Ottoman history. Although its name is “new”, the history of the mosque goes back 350 years.
You can also find popular street foods such as doner, pide and kebab at the local restaurants around the Spice Bazaar. Eminonu district, where the bazaar is located, is among the main stops of Istanbul street food tours.
If you walk to Sirkeci after touring around Spice Bazaar, you can also visit Hocapasa Street. Local restaurants lined up along this street offer the most delicious traditional dishes of Istanbul.
Written by Serhat Engul