Istanbul Spice Market
The Istanbul Spice Market (also known as the Egyptian Market) was one of my favorite places in Turkey. While the Grand Bazaar is massive and decidedly touristy, the Spice Bazaar sprawls out with meat, produce, clothing, hardware, toys, party supplies and even pet shalls which all seem to cater to local shoppers. If you visit the market, you just have to make it past the touristy shops at the entrance (where cruise ship passengers are entertained en masse) because the market is expansive and fascinating!
We bought a bag (5TL worth) of pistachio and coconut Turkish Delight from the shop below to snack on while exploring. It was really amazing stuff – incredibly flavorful and fluffy, like eating a marshmallow wrapped in ground nuts.
Beside the pigeons, ducks and peasants available in the “pet” section of the market, I was most surprised to find leeches for sale! The sign here translates to “Traditional Istanbul Leeches” while another stall had a sign on their jar claiming you could purchase “Dr. Suck”. If there are medicinal leeches for sale, maybe I’ll stick to just browsing today!
All photos by Daydream Tourist.