Spice up your life!
Looking for a nice place to do some shopping in Istanbul and you’d rather visit it with local guide Istanbul private tours?! Or you might be looking for a colourful location in Istanbul?! The Spice Bazaar – a world of spices and smells is where you can enjoy these both. Misir Carsisi, the Spice Bazaar, is the second largest covered market after the Grand Bazaar. It has been a must-see destination in Istanbul for centuries.
The Spice Bazaar was constructed in the 1660s as part of the Yeni Camii complex. It was built to provide rent for the upkeep of the nearby mosque, the Yeni Camii. It is located in Eminonu and began to be built during the time of Sultan Mehmet III. Sultan Mehmet IV’s mother, Hatice Turhan, ordered architect Mustafa Aga to complete the Spice Bazaar, which he achieved by 1663. The historic marketplace is an “L”-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into an upper and lower storey.
When you visit the Bazaar, preferably with local guide Istanbul private tours, you will see there are six entrances. Stone and brick were used during construction instead of wood and the bazaar has a wooden balcony for reciting the call to prayer. In the early days, the bazaar contained mostly herb stores, but in time spice-sellers, candy sellers and stores selling health products began to open here. Herb stores did not just sell herbs, they were also a kind of health consultant for people looking for herbs to heal their illnesses or who were seeking relief with herbal concoctions.
Since these store owners knew the benefits of hundreds of varieties of spices, aromatic plants, seeds and their mixtures. They were frequented by people from all walks of life including even royalty from the Ottoman palace. Herb stores did not just sell healthy herbs to people. They also obtained herb, root and flower extracts which they then bottled.
Although commonly referred to in English as the Spice Market, its original traded commodity, Misir Carsisi actually means “Egyptian Bazaar”. The Spice Market was called the Egyptian Market because it is thought that it was initially endowed with taxes levied on goods imported from Egypt.
On the west side of the market there are outdoor produce stalls selling fresh foodstuff from all over Anatolia. Also here is the most famous coffee supplier in Istanbul, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Mahdumlari, established over 100 years ago.
During your daily Istanbul tour, when having the Spice Market stop, you can find and buy a wide variety of spices and aromatic herbs. As well as candy, Turkish delight (lokum), herbal tea and mixed spices.
The Spice Bazaar is a favorite shopping centre for residents of Istanbul too.
Still looking for a nice place to do shopping in Istanbul? Then get local guide Istanbul private tours and visit the second largest indoor market in Istanbul after the Grand Bazaar – the Spice Market. An absolute must-see destination in Istanbul on customized Istanbul tours!