Egyptian Spice Market / Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) + Spicy Shopping

The historical Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) or so-called Spice Market, is a colorful and mystical covered spice market lined with spice stalls in Eminonu coast, near the Yeni Mosque, in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. It is also one of the most popular covered markets in the world, together with famous Grand Bazaar.

It is a popular points of interest and a perfect place with the tourists to end their Istanbul visit by shopping for some souvenirs for their beloved ones before leaving Istanbul.

Spice Market Facts

Nestled in the heart of Istanbul, the Spice Market, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, stands as a lively testament to the city’s rich history. Constructed in the 1660s as part of the New Mosque complex, it is one of Istanbul’s oldest covered markets. Its name is derived from the myriad of merchants who traded spices, medicinal herbs, and similar products imported from Egypt.

The bazaar is ingeniously designed in an L-shape, comprising 88 domed chambers. Beneath its intricate architecture, the market boasts six gates, with the Haseki Gate section being two stories tall. In its heyday, the upper floors served as a court, where merchants resolved issues with customers and among themselves.

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During the Ottoman era, the Spice Market was not just a hub for spices but also a place where herbal medicines, adhering to ancient prescriptions, were crafted and sold. Today, the bazaar is a sensory delight, offering an array of traditional flavors like spices, herbal teas, dried fruits, delightfully chewy Turkish delight, alongside jewelry, fabrics, baskets, and an assortment of unique souvenirs.

A stroll through the Spice Market is not just a shopping experience; it’s a journey through time and the vibrant tapestry of Istanbul’s past and present.

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What to Expect, See and Buy?

Egyptian Spice Bazaar is housed in a building that was built in 1660 and named after the fact that the goods for trade from the India and far east was arriving to this place over Egypt by the Egyptian Caravan, during the period of the Ottomans.

Egyptian Spice Bazaar Istanbul consists of a series of covered streets featuring 100 shops and two restaurants along the gates. The nickname “Spice” was given for the majority of the shops’ selling herbs and spices.



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You are able to find about every kind of herbs and spices at the market, and as well as ingredients for cooking, Turkish delight and Turkish coffee.

Spice Market Visiting Tips

Why is Spice Market famous?

The Spice Market, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, gained fame for its historical significance, dating back to the 17th century when it was established as part of the New Mosque complex. Its name is derived from the rich spice trade that flowed through Egypt to reach this vibrant market.

Renowned for its kaleidoscope of colors and fragrances, the Spice Market has become an iconic destination in Istanbul, offering an extensive array of spices, herbs, teas, dried fruits, nuts, and traditional Turkish delights. It’s a sensory haven, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Turkish culinary culture while surrounded by the market’s historical charm.

Is Spice Market worth it?

Absolutely, the Spice Market is worth a visit, especially for those with a penchant for culinary exploration and cultural immersion. Beyond being a marketplace, it’s an experiential journey through Istanbul’s history and gastronomic identity. The lively ambiance, unique products, and the opportunity to sample a variety of goods make it a standout destination.

The Spice Market’s central location facilitates easy inclusion in your itinerary, and the experience can be tailored to your level of interest. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, history buff, or a casual tourist, the Spice Market offers a delightful and authentic taste of Istanbul’s vibrant culture.

What should I buy from the Spice Market?

The Spice Market presents a treasure trove of delights for shoppers. As you explore its stalls, consider purchasing a variety of spices, including saffron, sumac, and Turkish red pepper flakes, which are integral to Turkish cuisine. Aromatic teas, dried fruits, and nuts are also popular choices.

Don’t miss out on the Turkish delight, a sweet confection that comes in various flavors. Additionally, explore the array of local products like natural soaps, essential oils, and unique kitchenware. The market is a haven for those seeking authentic Turkish ingredients and souvenirs that capture the essence of Istanbul.

How long do you spend at Spice Market?

The amount of time you spend at the Spice Market depends on your interests and how deeply you want to explore its offerings. On average, plan for at least 1 to 2 hours to thoroughly enjoy the market’s vibrant atmosphere, interact with vendors, and shop for spices, teas, and other delights.


If you’re a passionate foodie or enjoy haggling for the best deals, you might find yourself engrossed for even longer. The market’s labyrinthine layout encourages a leisurely pace, allowing you to savor the experience without feeling rushed.

What time should I visit the Spice Market?

The Spice Market is typically bustling throughout the day, but mornings are an excellent time to visit for a more relaxed experience. Arriving early ensures you can explore the market at your own pace before it gets crowded with tourists.

Additionally, the vendors are generally at their freshest in the morning, and you’ll find a wide selection of goods. However, the market retains its charm in the afternoon and early evening as well, making it accessible at various times depending on your schedule.

Visiting Hours & Admissions

Opening Hours

Egyptian Spice Bazaar is open every day from 09:00-21:00 (11:00:19:00 on Sundays)

Closed on national holidays

Admission

Entrance to Egyptian Spice Bazaar is FREE of charge.

How to Get There?

Location

Egyptian Spice Bazaar is situated in the Eminonu neighborhood of Fatih district,just across the Eminonu Public Ferries Port, near the Yeni Mosque. See the location map.

Transportation

The most practical way to get to Eminonu is via Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).

  • The closest tram stop is Eminonu.
  • From Taksim, take the funicular to Kabatas (from taksim Square) or funicular to Karakoy (from Tunel square) and than take the tram.
  • If you stay at the Sultanahmet hotels, take tram to Eminonu.
  • From the Asian side, you may take public ferries to Eminonu and from there, you take the tram to get to grand Bazaar.

Contact Details

Address: Mısır Çarşısı No.: 92, Eminonu, Fatih, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 513 65 97


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