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Published on Feb 28, 2007
http://www.tourvideos.com/ After you have had enough of the bazaar, be sure to take a walk through the streets nearby, which are also packed with shops and have a lively atmosphere. Book-lovers can stroll a block over from the bazaar's southwest corner to the book stalls along Sahaflar Carsisi. An intellectual atmosphere pervades this long courtyard, with jumbled displays of second-hand books spilling out of the little shops onto sidewalk tables, and with tiny cafes tucked away.
Istanbul University is just two blocks further, so you will undoubtedly see students milling about as well as many older characters. Notice the street vendors in front of the big Beyazidiye mosque at the end of this bibliophile alley, with cheap clothing strung over their arms -- especially denim pants for the students. You are in the middle of Beyazit Square, one of the liveliest places in the Old Town, with several nice sidewalk cafes and many people passing through.
If you are keen to see more mosques, have a look inside the Beyazidiye Cami'i, built from 1501 in what is considered the first classical-style design, with an attractive courtyard in front and entrances on three sides. Don't linger here too long because a much bigger and more magnificent mosque is waiting 500 yards away on the other side of the university, the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. The Spice Market is one of the oldest shopping centers in the world, dating back to the 7th century. Inside they sell exotic spices that you would never see at home, along with nuts, candy and dried fruits. Remember to bargain for the goods. The L-shaped market is also called the Egyptian Bazaar and has shops on two floors with a nice café upstairs. It is not nearly as big or touristy as the Grand Bazaar and has an attraction all its own, so don't think that you can skip it because you've already seen the larger market. They are both worth your time.
Among the unusual items you can find in this and most other markets is Turkish Delight, a sweet treat popular among locals that makes an excellent gift to bring home. Buy several extra boxes, however, because once you have a taste of it, you are going to want to eat it all. It has an almond flavor that is not overly sweet, but addictive.