Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, Istanbul

Istanbul‘s Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı, built 1664), at the southern end of the Galata Bridge near the Eminönü ferry docks (map), is filled with the fragrance of the exotic East.

Spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts and seedslokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles fill most of the shops, though jewelry and other high-margin goods have begun to move in.

It’s no wonder: this is prime retail space, right at the southern end of the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn in the Eminönü district, right next to the New Mosque (Yeni Cami).

After extensive renovations, the Spice Bazaar re-opened in May 2018.

Snacks and Spices in the Egyptian Market
Spices, nuts, dried fruits, cheese, jams & snacks in abundance!

Stroll through the market (free, 1/2 hr, open 7 days a week), and if you have the time, stroll for another hour through the surrounding bazaar streets on all sides of the market building.

Hasırcılar Caddesi, the narrow bazaar street running west from the market building, is particularly colorful, with lots more shops selling spices, snacks and housewares.

A few blocks westward along Hasircilar is the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, one of Istanbul’s finest small architectural gems.

You can take my Istanbul Bazaars Walking Tour along Uzunçarşı Caddesi from the Grand Bazaar downhill through the Tahtakale market district to the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, and Hasırcılar Caddesi, ending up at the Egyptian Bazaar—a great way to explore Istanbul’s most famous markets in only an hour or two.

The easiest way to get to the Egyptian Market from Sultanahmetis via the Kabataş-Bağcılar tram along Divan Yolu to Eminönü.

—by Tom Brosnahan


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