The Inspirational Eminonu Square, (Eminönü Meydani)
The insanely beautiful country of Turkey has so much to offer. With quaint fishing villages, crystal clear waters, and fantastic beaches, the Turkish coast is one of the most immaculate. The culture of this country is remarkably diverse because it is a mixture of both oriental and European elements. The imperial and magnificent cities like Istanbul, and Cappadocia, sweet treats like baklava and Turkish delights, and majestic places like Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace make this country ideal for tourists. Eminonu Square is another addition to this list. It is one of the most dynamic and bustling tourist areas in Istanbul. Confused about what to do in Eminonu Square? Keep reading to discover. Wait! Let us first have a glimpse at the history and status quo of Eminonu, the place that hosts Eminonu Square.
Eminonu – The Past and the Present
Brief History of Eminonu
Until April 2008, Eminonu was considered one of the 32 central districts of Istanbul. But as new regulations were applied in city planning, Eminonu was no longer a district among the 39 districts. Today, it is the neighborhood within the district of Fatih.
From Byzantine times till now, Eminonu has always been a valuable site. Being at the entrance of Golden Horn, it was the hub of old Constantinople.
Many remarkable stone buildings like the Post Office and a big train station were built during the late Ottoman era. It was improved further during the Republic period. A large square was opened, the Spice market was reorganized, the Galata bridge was replaced with a more prominent bridge, a tram line was established, and roads were widened.
Present Status of Eminonu
Even with the expansion of Ankara and Istanbul, Eminonu is still a bustling place full of human activity. Besides possessing the busiest ferry crossings for the Marmara Sea and Bosphorus, Eminonu hosts the only mainline railway terminus and the only car ferry across the Bosphorus. People reach the area through boats, trains, buses, and the light metro from Aksaray.
The area is full of merchants, shoppers, locals, and tourists in the daytime. There are some important government buildings in the area, including the main branch of Istanbul University in Beyazıt and the governor’s office.
Eminonu Square is located between the New Mosque (Yeni Camii) and Galata Bridge. The area remains filled up with locals and tourists throughout the day. The ferry docks and tram stops, Egyptian Spice, and Yeni Camii Mosque are all situated by the square.
Things to Explore in Eminonu Square
While wandering around Eminonu Square, you have a lot of chances to enjoy yourself. You can take a deep breath in the company of historic buildings, visit the market area, watch the ferries, walk by the sea, eat fancy at restaurants, or rest at the hotels. Below are the places worth seeing at Eminonu Square:
The Egyptian Bazaar or Spice Market
It is the mystical and colorful spice market banded with spice stalls on the Eminonu coast, close to the New (Yeni) Mosque. This one of the famous covered markets is a noteworthy point of attraction for visitors. It is ideal for tourists to finish their Istanbul journey by shopping for some souvenirs for their loved ones before exiting the city.
The Egyptian Spice Bazaar is sheltered in a building constructed in 1660. It was named after the Egyptian Caravans who used to bring goods for trade from the far east, including India, during the Ottoman era.
There are 100 shops and two restaurants in the covered streets of this bazaar. This bazaar is called Spice Market because many shops sell spices and herbs in the bazaar. So you can find every type of herb and spice here. You can also purchase ingredients for cooking, Turkish coffee, and Turkish delight.
Eminonu Bazaar Opening Hours: The famous Egyptian Bazaar opens at 9 am and closes at 7 pm. You have to reach there early if you want to explore the bazaar.
The Eccentric Yeni Mosque
This mosque is also called the New Mosque. The word ‘Yeni’ itself means ‘new.’ With its spacious courtyard and the blue, turquoise, and white Iznik tiles, this mosque is indeed one of the remarkable landmarks on the Eminonu coast.
The Giant Galata Bridge
Situated at the mouth of Golden Horn, Galata Bridge connects Eminonu and Karakoy neighborhoods. There are numerous restaurants and cafes under the bridge. You can have a spectacular view of the city while walking through the bridge.
If we glance at the history of this bridge, it dates back to ancient times. During the Byzantine era, work was done to construct this Bridge on the Golden Horn, but it was destroyed during the Crusade in 1204.
Later, an offer was given to Leonardo Da Vinci to build the bridge here, which was rejected. There were many bridges constructed after that. Now the bridge we see is the 5th bridge. There is a magnificent sight at this place with people fishing on, restaurants, and cafes under the bridge. You won’t forget the historical and panoramic views while passing the Golden Horn and walking on the bridge.
This area is surrounded by cultural and historical attractions like New Mosque and Egyptian Bazaar bordering the Galata Bridge. It is famously known as the heart of old Istanbul. The old pastel-colored wooden houses, passenger boats, and elegant Byzantine and Ottoman landmarks add to its beauty.
Delicious Eminonu Fish Sandwich
Have the yummiest Balik Ekmek (fish sandwich) while touring Eminonu Square. It is the most loved delicious street food offered by the fishing boats. With salad stuffing, raw onions, and grilled white fish, this sandwich is classic for tourists and locals.
How to Get to the Adorable Eminonu Square?
Eminonu Square is a central hub so you can reach there by many forms of transportation. You can ride on a tram, bus, or taxi to the Eminonu stop. The most helpful way to get to Eminonu Square is through the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).
There is also a walking distance from the chronological neighborhood of Sultanahmet. One of the city’s central ferry piers, Eminonu Pier, makes the square easily reachable from the Asian side of Istanbul.
Best Time to Get to Eminonu Square
This place is often active and becomes extraordinarily bustling in the afternoon. So it is advisable to head over earlier if you wish to beat the crowds. The area becomes very quiet in the evening after the Spice Bazaar closes.
The entry is entirely free, so you do not need to worry about that.
Besides other famous Turkish attractions, Eminonu Square is the one you would love. Once you visit it, you will want to come here again and again.