Egyptian/Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Istanbul's Egyptian Bazaar (or Spice Market, Misir Çarsisi, built 1664) is filled with the fragrance of the exotic East.

Spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, lokum(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).

Stroll through the market (free, 1/2 hr, closed Sunday), and if you have the time, stroll for another hour through the surrounding bazaar.

Hasircilar 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
Uzunçarsi Caddesi from the Grand Bazaar downhill through the Tahtakale market district to the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, and Hasircilar 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 Sultanahmet is via the Kabatas-Zeytinburnu tram along Divan Yolu to Eminönü.

from Spice Bazaar in Istanbul