Spice Bazaar of Istanbul

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Spice Bazaar, one of the oldest covered bazaars in Istanbul, attracts the attention of many local and foreign tourists with its orientalist atmosphere. So much so that when it comes to places to visit in Istanbul, the Spice Bazaar is one of the attractions which is at the top of the list just like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, or Bosphorus. Located in Eminönü, this bazaar is a well-established trade center. Previously, there were pharmaceuticals, spices, etc. from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. That’s the reason why many Turks even today call it ”Egyptian Bazaar” since products from this land were sold here.

Spices in Spice Bazaar of Istanbul
Spices in Spice Bazaar of Istanbul

In the Spice Bazaar, which used to serve as a ‘natural pharmacy’, prescriptions made from certain herbal mixtures were hung in front of the shops, and these mixtures were offered to customers who wanted them. This tradition continues even today. Many shops sell different mixtures of spices and herbs that are known to be cured of various diseases.

Arched Halls of Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar

The history of the Spice Bazaar dates back to the Byzantine period. Eminönü coast has been in an important location for maritime trade since the Byzantine period. Therefore, during this period, there was also a bazaar called ”Makron Envalos”, where shops selling spices were located.

I got lost in the Grand Bazaar many times, but getting lost in the Egyptian Bazaar is not that easy 😄. There are about 100 shops in the Spice Bazaar. The Spice Bazaar has a total of six gates, four of which are large and two are small. You can clearly see the traditional traces of Ottoman architecture on this building. It has such a nice smell that one inevitably feels the urge to pass through it which makes you want to pass and breathe in his scent.

In addition to natural medicines, spices, rare plants as well as food products are also can be found. The shops in this bazaar also serve on Sundays. It is also stated that this bazaar is active throughout the day. Istanbul, which acts as a bridge between East and West, has been serving as an effective commercial center making Spice Bazaar a transit point between Europe and the Arabian Peninsula.

Hire A Tour Guide For Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar will be in the top 3 places that I totally recommend to visit in Istanbul for any tourist coming from any country. Smells, tastes, and stories mix very well with each other in this authentic spot. Contact me to learn more about Spice Bazaar and to hire a tour guide for Spice Bazaar. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.

A song named Baharat (Spice in Turkish) by Turkish artist Göksel Baktagir

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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