The Egyptian Bazaar is also known as Istanbul’s second-largest bazaar, constructed in the same complex as Yeni Camii (or New Mosque). There are six gates, which make it an attractive exterior. The L-shaped market, together with the mosque, was built for Mehmet IV’s mother, a powerful woman who ruled the harem and, some would say, much of the empire. Although no longer the city’s prime spice trading area, there is still the aroma of ginger, cardamom, pepper, and saffron from the piles of spices sold from many stalls.
These days it is also popular for great varieties of lokum (Turkish delight), small souvenirs, flavoured teas, and local delicacies, including the dubious sounding “Turkish Viagra”. Locals come here to shop for bed linen and towels, as well as for fruit and vegetables, coffee, clothes, pots, and pans in the surrounding cramped backstreets. Outside the market on the Galata Bridge end, is this is the best place to choose olives from huge barrels and many varieties of beyaz peynir (white cheese).