The Egyptian Market (Misir Çarsisi) or Spice Market is the Second Largest of Istanbul Markets:
The Egyptian Market (Misir Çarsisi) is a spice market in Istanbul. After the Grand Bazaar, the Egyptian Spice Market is the second largest of Istanbul’s covered market.
Construction of the Misir Çarsisi began in 1597 by order of the mother of Sultan Mehmet III. It was only completed in 1664 and formed part of the Yeni Camii (New Mosque) complex.
Remedies at the Spice Market
For centuries, the Turkish people have been coming to the Spice Market to buy herbal remedies to help alleviate symptoms of diseases and remedies for infertility, weight loss and other ailments.
Although it is no longer the main spice trading area of the city, there is still plenty of aromatic spices here.
What’s for Sale at the Spice Bazaar
Apart from spices, there are all kinds of cheeses, salamis, stacks of dates, various nuts, dried foods and much more. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find a large variety of inviting Turkish sweets including lokum (Turkish delight). The Turkish delight comes in all types of flavours, including one with Viagra.
If seeing all the food gets you feeling peckish, there is also cooked food that you can buy. At one of the kebab sandwich stalls, the owner was offering tastings of his kebabs. We politely declined as we don’t eat meat, so he then offered to pose in our photo.
Outside the Spice Market, the surrounding backstreets are cramped with all kinds of shops. Locals come here to shop for coffee, tea, pots and pans, clothing, shoes, fruit and vegetables and just about anything.
To get to this bustling spice bazaar, head for the Eminönü district and you’ll find it at the southern end of the Galata Bridge which is near the mouth of the Golden Horn. From the Sultanahmet area, the Kabatas-Zeytinburnu tram travels along Divan Yolu to Eminönü.
A visit to the Egyptian spice bazaar is a very colorful experience and one not to be missed.