One of the oldest and famous bazaars in Istanbul is Spice Bazaar. Because of its historical and architectural structure; it is also a touristic attraction center for hundreds of tourists thanks to its various kinds of spices and traditional tastes.
Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar was built in the 1660s as a part of the adjacent New Mosque (Yeni Cami) complex that overlooks Eminonu harbor. The Spice Bazaar underwent two big fires in its history and after the restorations; it was re-shaped as “L”. It’s one of oldest and busiest marketplaces of the city where the historic Silk Road joined the maritime Spice Route. Although it was firstly called Yeni Carsi or Valide Carsi by earlier chroniclers, it was named as the Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) as many of the products and spices were imported from Egypt that time.
There are many arrays of herbal teas, nuts and dried fruit splayed out next to colorful Turkish delight of many flavors and varieties. Also you can find many gift options such as exotic oils, genuine fake perfumes, jewelry, and fabrics.
If you would like to try some traditional Turkish flavors, look for sumac, pul biber (dried red pepper flakes), isot/Urfa biber (smoky hot pepper flakes), kekik (Turkish dried thyme), or nar eksisi (pomegranate concentrate used in salad dressings). All the prices are in TL, Euro or Dollar, so you won’t have difficulty while buying something. Of course for delicious, heavenly baklava, you can visit Gulluoglu or other famous shops like Hacı Bekir Kunc ve Ogullari near Spice Bazaar.
You can reach the Spice Bazaar, by taking the ferry or tram to Eminonu, then passing in front of the towering Yeni Cami (New Mosque) to reach the row of nuts, dried fruit and cheese sellers. Spice Bazaar will welcome you with its mesmerizing smell!