Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Spice Market

The first among the bazaars of Istanbul is certainly the Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) which is also called Büyük Çarşı “big market”.

And it’s really big: just think that here you can buy pretty much everything and that the bazaar is home to about 4.000 shops, restaurants, cafes and service shops spread over 61 covered streets .

The market is located in the Fatih district and was founded around 1455 after the Ottoman occupation of the city.

There are 22 gates that lead to the various streets where the endless rows of shops line up, over 250.000 people pass here every day.

Moreover, as well as being large it is also beautiful: walking through the covered streets it is worth raising your eyes and admiring the historic architecture, the fountains, the marble kiosks dating back to the 17th century and the walls decorated with tiles.

Mısır Çarşısı also known as the Egyptian Market is one of the largest bazaars in Istanbul and it is second only to the Grand Bazaar.

The origin of its name is curious: according to some manuscripts of the time it is said that the name “Egyptian market” derives from the reason that to build it they used the tax money that Egypt paid to the Ottoman Empire in the years between 1660 and 1664.

In total, the spice bazaar is made up of over 80 shops but all around there are small streets in turn full of shops of various kinds.

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