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Spice Market Istanbul

Spice Market Istanbul Visit, its history and general information

You can smell cumin with saffron. Look no further, you are well arrived at the Spice Market Istanbul

On the European shore, in front of The Galata Bridge next to the new mosque, open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day, the Spice Market Istanbul is ready to welcome you.

Visiting it is infiltrating a universe of perfumes, colors and flavors. The carefully crafted stalls offer you a magnificent spectacle of color gradations, harmoniously presented to the delight of the eyes.

Originally, the Spice Market Istanbul sold mainly medical plants and spices. Today the range of goods is significantly enlarged, an incredible choice of sweets with varied colors and scents are offered for tasting.

The covered part has 88 shops, some of which have been there for more than 200 years, each sheltered by a dome giving a very beautiful outside view.

You can access the Spice Market Istanbul by 6 different doors. The main door of the is named EMINÖNÜ KAPISI.

The surroundings are just as interesting and pleasant to discover, you can see the market for fresh products like cold cuts, cheese, fish, flowers and many streets of textiles, electronics and toys, you would almost get lost in it.

Spice Market Istanbul
Spice Market Istanbul

The history of the Spice Market Istanbul

The Egyptian Market or The Spice market Istanbul was built in 1597 and 1664 in the complex of the new mosque (Yeni Cami), the rent of the stalls being planned to finance the maintenance of the mosque.

The Spice market Istanbul is the second covered market in Istanbul after the Grand Bazaar. It is Sultan Hatice Turhan (the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV – he became Sultan at 7 years old, his mother Hatice Turhan ruled the Ottoman Empire for 34 years. She is one of the most powerful women of the Ottoman Dynasty of 6 centuries) who commissioned the construction of the market from the imperial architect Mustafa Aga.

The market was built like caravanserais, but in the shape of an L, unique for the Bazaars among the Ottomans.

The market was built by the taxes collected in Egypt, that is why the Bazaar took the name of Egyptian Bazaar. The first traders who occupied the premises from the XVII century were the Venetians who already owned concessions in the vicinity. Later the Armenian, Greek and Muslim merchants settled there. Today we find at the Spice market Istanbul still some traders of Greek and Armenian origin.

Istanbul was the end of the Silk Road, the goods were directed to their final destination, Europe.

The atmosphere is oriental, exotic in the Spice market Istanbul, take your time to discover this part of the city so distracting.

Nowadays, we find in the Spice market Istanbul in Istanbul leeches for headaches, jewelry, haberdashery, clothing, home accessories, Turkish souvenirs, wicker baskets, perfumeries, dried fruits, jam of all kinds, olives, smoked ham with garlic (pastirma), sucuk sausage and all kinds of honey and caviar, green cumin, red pepper, sesame, walnuts grated coconut, dried eggplant, beans, dried peppers strung on strings, henna, a wide variety of rose water oil, horsehair gloves (kese).

In the Spice market Istanbul, there is also an infinite quantity of herbs which you do not even imagine exist, rabbit fat, pine resin, peach kernel powder, sarsaparilla root, aloe, licorice root, donkey milk, parsley grain, gunpowder for hemorrhoids, stems, grains, leaves, bark of all kinds…

Turkish delight / Turkish coffee (kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi) known since 1871 where people stand in line for their little bag of TURK KAHVESI.

In the parallel aisle, not so long ago, animals of all kinds were sold there no matter how: chickens, ducks, dogs, turkeys, cats, fish, chicks, rabbits, etc. However, animal protection associations have set foot and nowadays the sale is prohibited, only accessories and some fish are still present, ; But lately, secretly, by permit, or derogation, they have unfortunately taken over this animal trade.

At the Spice market Istanbul from 2 PM, tourists mix with the Turks coming to do their shopping, making the air unbreathable. This is why Alltourstostanbul advises you to go there in the morning between 9 AM – 12 PM.

You are going to have plenty of time to stroll, chat, negotiate with the vendors and breathe in all this mixture of spice smells. Perfect for making your purchases of handcrafted Turkish Delight, you will not regret it! Do not hesitate to negotiate, haggling is part of the custom, tasting is free with no obligation to purchase. Tasting before buying is a fairly pleasant criterion when we do not know the specialties.

This is what the Spice market Istanbul in Istanbul is today: a spiral of scents, colors, amazing things that we do not see every day, let yourself be caught by the warm atmosphere that emerges, walk around safely without being harassed, or even touched, many souvenirs to bring back, the sellers will be happy to concoct you a pretty packaging to gift.

The Istanbul Spice Market Istanbul is 350 years old, All Tours to Turkey also offers tours with visits to Istanbul, must-see monuments.