My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

The Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul

on January 30, 2013

Dec. 27, 2012 (Spice) Dec. 29, 2012 (Grand)

The Istanbul Spice Bazaar is also called the Egyptian Bazaar.  It was built in 1664 so has a LONG history.  There are 88 spaces/shops that are in an “L” shaped building. There are also a number of shops outside on the W side of the building.IMG_9292 IMG_9291  There is also an animal section towards the E side which was interesting to explore as well. IMG_8742 IMG_8743   This bazaar was right at the base of the Galata Bridge, the bridge we crossed every day.

It is full of spices (of course), dried fruit, teas, cheese, meats, nuts, pickled veggies and olives!!!!   Over the last few years, to the disapproval of locals and visitors, some of the shops now offer jewelry, carpets and other Istanbul treasures.    The Grand Bazaar has many of these items so the feeling is to sale of items  separate.IMG_2172 IMG_2176 IMG_2175 IMG_2174 IMG_2173IMG_8735 IMG_8736 IMG_8741 IMG_8740 IMG_8739 IMG_8738

It is free to go to the Bazaar and it is open every day, so it was good filler for us.  We also spent a lot of time walking around the streets near the Bazaar.  Next to it is the New Mosque which helps round out the point.


The Grand Bazaar was one of the places I was really looking forward to exploring, but instead it ended up being a bit overwhelming.   It is one of the oldest covered markets in the world and was built in 1455-56.   Over the years many disasters have happened to the Bazaar including fires and earthquakes, the last quake in 1894.

There are over 4000 shops and as you can imagine there are many, many, many people that visit it daily, estimated to 250,000-400,000 a day!   There are supposedly different sections of items including, jewelry (gold), clothing, furniture, carpets, lamps, leather, kitchen ware, pottery, etc. and I could see some division, but it is not as clearly delineated as you might expect. IMG_8674

I loved looking at the different items for sale, but did not like the pressure to buy items.  I loved the smaller booths that were down some of the quieter arms of the big rows.  It wasn’t so hectic down some of the side isles.  I did not appreciate “hey lady look at ….” I really just wanted to look on my own without any pressure. IMG_8954IMG_8956 IMG_8957 IMG_8958 IMG_8960 IMG_8959    IMG_8967

I did get a scarf, but after much looking and much pressure.  Happily down one of the quiet rows we found a many with some great jewelry and I bought many pairs of earrings from him.  We also got one pillowcase and lastly I got some ‘belly dancing carves with bling on them’ for my Zumba class.

We also enjoyed the shops on the streets surrounding the bazaar, especially the ones that had antiques.  We got a ‘magic lantern’  (oil lamp) for our travel room back home.IMG_8962IMG_8961IMG_8963

Enjoy the pictures, as the views were my favorite things! IMG_9313 IMG_9312 IMG_9311 IMG_9310 IMG_9308 IMG_9306 IMG_9304 IMG_9303 IMG_9302 IMG_9301 IMG_9300 IMG_9299 IMG_9297 IMG_9296 IMG_9294 IMG_9293 IMG_9289 IMG_8969 IMG_8968

One response to “The Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul

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