Turkey has many beautiful historical sights and bazaars. The Egyptian Spice Bazaar is a colourful array of outlets which offer a variety of Turkish delights, Turkish tea, spices, scarves and much more.
It is really worth visiting this bazaar if you are looking for Turkish specialities and they even offer 'free taste before you buy' so you can eat an array of Turkish delights before you choose one you like.
The Egyptian bazaar is not as big as the grand bazaar which is also located nearby and has everything you can imagine. However the Egyptian spice bazaar really gives you a flavour of Turkey at its best.
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Tourists should visit the Kapali Carsi (Grand Bazaar). The shop owners try to catch tourists' attention with calls. It’s a unique experience.
On the other hand, in the Tahtakale market district, workers shout and make jokes with each other. You can find a variety of fantastic objects here.
Noisy, busy, easy to get lost in, hard to get out of but always fun.
If you enjoy shopping and bargaining you'll love it. If you find bargaining and being approached by people a little uncomfortable then the Grand Bazaar is probably not for you.
Yes, it's very touristy. There are endless shops selling apple tea classes, Turkish coffee cups, belly dancing outfits etc. However you can also buy beautiful jewellery, fine fabrics, good value leather goods and, of course, carpets and kilims.
The shop keepers can be persistent but are always hospitable. Often an invitation into a shop will be accompanied by an offer of apple tea or Turkish coffee. If you don't want to buy anything just politely refuse. If you do, then get set to bargain. Offer about half the asking price, or below, and work from there. Have in your mind what you want to pay and stick to it.
Remember, always be polite. And if you do get exhausted with haggling there are plenty of little cafes to sit down in, have a drink and admire the bargains you've bought.
There are various entry points to the bazaar including Nuruosmaniye Gate, near the Nuruosmaniye Mosque and Beyazit Gate, near the book bazaar and Beyazit Square
The Spice Bazaar or Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Bazaar, because taxes from the sale of Egyptian imports were used to help finance it) is a colourful mix of sights, sounds and smells. Much smaller and more accessible than the Grand Bazaar, it is equally as busy. Traders will tempt you into their shops with a tray of Turkish delight and once inside you can peruse an array of spices, sweets, nuts and teas.
A good place to shop for gifts to take home. Or some apple tea to accompany the tea glasses you buy at the Grand Bazaar.
The streets around the Spice Market, particularly leading up to the Grand Bazaar, are a crowded, vibrant noisy, confusion of people, shops, stalls and carts.
Cami Meydani Sok/Yeni Cami Cadessi; Open: 9.00am-6.00pm closed Sunday
The colours, the smells, the crowds. A vibrant, hyperreal place. Much more exciting than the rather touristy grand bazaar (not to say that's not worth a visit). Actually full of locals doing their everyday shopping. And the sweets are delicious.
Go down the hill from the Grand Bazaar towards the Golden Horn
The Grand Bazaar is another experience not to be missed although somewhat daunting if large crowds aren’t your thing.
Here you can buy practically any type of merchandise from authentic rugs, to leather goods and jewellery. Haggling is obligatory of course, but beware of pickpockets.
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