At a Glance
Located: Eminönü, European Side
Great for: Getting souvenirs, spices/tea shopping.
Open: Weekdays 08:00-19:30. Sundays 08:00-20:00. Saturdays 09:30-19:00.
Time needed: 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Cost: Entrance is free.
Transportation: Detailed information is below!
Spice Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in İstanbul, located in Eminönü/Fatih. In old times, spices, valuable stones, silk clothes, rugs and many more different things from East and Arabia were gathered in İstanbul to send them all to Europe. Many goods were coming to İstanbul from Europe too. All these goods were unloaded in the harbours. From there, they were distributed to the bazaars and the covered bazaars. From those times, Eminönü plays an important place thanks to its location. This bazaar is one of the bazaars that left from those old times.
The construction of the bazaar started as a part of the Yeni Mosque Social-Complex in 1597. It finished in 1663. The Sultan’s death (Mehmed III) was the main reason why it tooks 66 years to complete. The mosque and the bazaar were seperated when a road passed between them in 1941.
In its history, the Spice Bazaar had two big fires. The fire that happened in 1688 wasn’t a very big fire. However the fire in 1691 burned down the whole bazaar and made a great damage. The bazaar were renovated between 1940-1943.
What to get/see in this bazaar
The bazaar has 4 big, 2 small doors. So it has got many entrances actually that you can choose whichever the closest to you at the time.
Let’s look at what you will find in the Spice Bazaar.
- Nuts: You can find many different types of nuts. If you are going to abroad and don’t eat them for a while, they can vacuum the bags for you. In that way, they would stay fresh for a long time.
- Spices: Various kinds of spices are waiting you here! This is what gives the name of the bazaar. Thyme, peppermint, black pepper, cummin, sumac, Urfa Red peppers( a very hot pepper), curry powder, mahalep, cinnamon, saffron are some of the spices that you will find inside.
- Tea: You can’t believe in your eyes when you see all those types of tea! From those kinds, the most famous one is the Apple Tea. You should definitely try this out!
- Souvenirs: There are bag, cloth, silver, phone case shops and many more…
- Jewellery: In the bazaar, there are jewellery shops as well!
- Food: There are restaurants inside. Pastries from Baklavacı Güllüoğlu is very famous but those pastries are only coming out in the morning!
How to go
This bazaar is located in Eminönü so you need to get to Eminönü. I will explain some ways to go there!
- By Ferry: From Anatolian Side: If you are in Üsküdar, you can use the ferries. Timetable here!
From European Side: From Sarıyer, İstinye and Beşiktaş, you can take this ferry!
- By bus, you can look at this Route Planner in the website. Basically write down “from where” to “where to” and it shall give you the bus options!
Enjoy your visit!