Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

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Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul
Iznik Ceramic Pottery work

Istanbul which is a shopper’s delight offers a variety of things which range from local produce to locally handcrafted items, artisan products, handwoven textiles, and many Turkish products. Istanbul which was once known as Constantinople and Byzantium has been an important trade and commerce center between Europe & Asia since ancient ages. The strategic location of this city made it a favorable place where merchants & traders used to meet and exchanged their goods from two different continents. Hence trading of Turkish products and other things flourished since ancient times.  So purchasing Turkish souvenirs is highly recommended for things to do in Istanbul. Let’s get lost into the amazing shopping maze and take a virtual tour of Turkish souvenirs and know about what to buy in Turkey in this post.  Read more about Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul. 

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Best Places to buy in Istanbul, Turkey | Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

  • Shops nearby SULTANAHMET
  • Shops nearby GALATA TOWER (SERDAR-I EKREM)
  • GRAND BAZAAR.
Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul
Colorful shops & houses near Galata Tower
Click here to read – ISTANBUL CITY TOUR GUIDE.

Must buy in Istaknbul, Turkey | Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

THE BLUE EVIL EYE OF TURKEY – NAZAR BONCUGU

Nazar Boncugu which is a Turkish blue bead with a black spot in between looks like an eye and is believed to protect you against the evil eye. There are traditions and superstitions in Turkish to keep this bead at your home, office, car or worn by yourself which protects you from all evil eyes. You can find Blue evil eye stuff everywhere in Istanbul. They are available in many forms like armlets, bracelets, necklaces, key-rings, wall hangings, and much other stuff made out of this glass blue colored bead.

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Price Range – It starts from USD 1 which depends on the size and number of beads.

How to carry – Very easy to carry as these beads are having not weights, unless if you buy huge wall hanging made up of it. Even you can wear it and walk down. 

Best Place to Buy – Anywhere

TURKISH MOSAIC LAMPS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Ottoman styled bring and colorful mosaic lamps will truly captivate your attention in the markets of Istanbul.  These hand made mosaic lamps originated 5000 years old. Made from the mosaic of glass pearls of different colors by local Turkish artisans are world-famous for its craftsmanship.

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Price Range – Starts from USD 20 and maximum it can buy anything because they come in various sizes and styles.

How to Carry – Carrying these lamps as souvenirs are really difficult as it will take space and also very delicate to handle. Look out for dealers who can deliver it to your place instead of carrying with yourself.

Best Place to Buy – Grand Bazaar – But lots of bargaining is required

IZNIK CERAMICS – TURKISH CERAMICS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

A 15th-century art that involves hand-painted pottery with blue, red and colorful Ottoman style of patterns.  The designs include Arabesque and Chinese elements and this technique developed in the town of Iznik, located in western Anatolia. You will spot many walls, ceilings and pottery in Turkey with these Iznik patterns. This Iznik patterned stuff can be bought in the form of crockery, decorative articles like an ashtray, small tiles, fridge magnets and much other stuff like that. 

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul
Turkish Pottery

Price Range – Starts from USD 10 but can go up to any limit as it depends on size and craftsmanship.

How to Carry – Pack carefully and ask your dealer to give it in special packing. Better to carry small-sized stuff.

Best Place to Buy – Shops near Galata Tower, Sultanahmet, and Grand Bazaar.

TURKISH TOWELS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Also known as Peshtamel and these 100% cotton towels are very high absorbent and durable.  Available in various colors, these towels are hand made and are easy to carry because they are thinner than normal machine-made towels. Originated in the 17th century these towels are favorite of various Hamams and spas.

Price Range – USD 10 to USD 20

How to Carry – Very easy to carry and also a good gifting option to your friends and relatives.

Best Place to Buy – Everywhere in Istanbul, Plz check the label for handwoven as you get machine woven towel similar to like this also.

TURKISH TEA & GLASSES

Guide To Vegetarian Turkish Food – Complete Istanbul Food Tour
Turkish tea

Turkish tea is very famous and is unique due to its strong flavor of black tea and infused herbs. Turkish tea is infused with some herbs and is served hot in a cylindrical tulip-shaped transparent glass container. Called çayı in Turkish. It is made in a two-tiered special teapot called Caydanlik in Turkish. Sugar cubes are served with it to add sugar in it as some people like heavy black tea without any sugar.

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Price Range – USD 2 onwards

How to Carry – Very easy to carry, you can buy loose tea measured in kgs or grams or you can buy readymade packets.

Best Place to Buy – Spice Bazaar, Shops nearby HodjaPasha Cultural Center in Sultanahmet and Grand Bazaar.

TURKISH DELIGHTS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Turkish candy which is chewy and very sweet is favorite among locals and tourists too. Made up of starch and sugar it is loaded with many flavors and nuts. It comes in various shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. The most common and favorite flavors are rose, pistachio, and cinnamon.

Price Range – Starts from USD 5 onwards and it depends on the size or weight of the box.

How to Carry – Very easy to carry if you are not carrying a lot many boxes and can also be consumed while traveling. Check the expiry date of the sweets.

Best Place to Buy – Many sweet and confectionery shops at Istiklal Street, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and all over in Istanbul.

TURKISH SPICES

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Turkey is famous for fragrant, aromatic and exotic spices.  The most famous Turkish spices are Sumak, Pepper powder, Cumin, Coriander, Chilli, Turkish mint, Oregano, Thyme, Fenugreek, Mastic, Nigella seeds, Sage, Saffron, and many more such aromatic spices. There is a special and exclusive Spice Market in Istanbul from which you can make out, how much spices are important to Turkish cuisine and to this place also.

Price Range – Depends on the type of spices as some of them are very expensive and some are very affordable – You can buy from traders who sell loose spices and pack in front of you and also packed ones. It starts from USD 1.

How to Carry – Very easy to carry but ask your dealer to vacuum pack the packet for you.

Best Place to Buy – Spice Market & Grand Bazaar. But you will find spices everywhere in Istanbul and even in supermarkets too.

TURKISH DRY FRUITS & NUTS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Turkey is one of the leading exporter of dry fruits in the whole world with special produce of dried raisins, apricots, figs and plums. Anatolia is the largest producer of these fruits in Turkey.  Being Turkey as the leading producer of these products you can find Turkish cuisine is totally influenced by the use of nuts and dried fruits.

Price Range – USD 10 onwards

How to Carry – Easy to carry if not carried too much in bulk. Also, ask for vacuumed packing by your dealer if purchasing in loose.

Best Place to Buy – Grand Bazaar & Spice Market. You will find Turkish dried fruits everywhere.

TURKISH KILIM RUGS – FURNISHINGS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Turkish Kilim rugs are flat tapestry-woven carpet or rug which is mostly woven in countries of the former Persian Empire, Iran, Azerbaijan, the Balkans and the Turkic countries of Central Asia. These rugs are very authentic and special too, as they are handwoven, colorful and intricacy of woven designs. It is created by the flat-weave technique. Not only carpets or rugs, but you can find cushion covers, sofa covers and other furnishings too in same patterns. 

Price Range – USD 250 onwards for rug or carpet. Small pieces like cushion covers can be bought from USD 50 onwards

How to Carry – Rugs are difficult to carry. But cushion or pillow cover can be carried easily.

Best Place to Buy – Grand Bazaar and Shops in Sultanahmet.

TURKISH POTS & PANS (COPPER UTENSILS)

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Turkey is famous for their copperware utensils too. So if you are purchasing tea or coffee then why not buy a coffee making copper pot too. These special copper-bottomed handcrafted pots are unique in shape. They are made from heavy copper sheets by the local coppersmiths and are known as Cezve. These pots are coated up with 100% Tin so that you can cook in a copper pot. 

Price Range – USD 30 onwards.

How to Carry – Small pieces can be carried easily.

Best Place to Buy – Everywhere in Istanbul like Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet, Shops nearby Galata Tower.

TURKISH ARTWORK

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Ottoman style of paintings with many colorful motifs. You can buy Turkish artifacts with many local cultural depicts like dervish dancers statues, crystalline, and Meenakari showpieces.

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Price Range – USD 30 onwards

How to Carry – Easy to carry if not big in size. But it can difficult to carry if you purchase big paintings or statues.

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Best Place to Buy – Shops nearby Galata Tower and Sultanahmet.

TURKISH JEWELRY

Turkish style of jewelry is word famous for its designs and craftsmanship. Their expensive range or artificial range, Turkish jewelry are always great to buy. Gold and silver come in various beautiful patterns and designs. Even their special Zircon crystals are very famous. Also, you can find many semi-precious stones like Agate, Turquoise, Aqeeq, Emerald and Ruby. If you are not looking for a very expensive range then you can buy some metallic pieces with colorful Meenakari work.  Glass beaded and embroidered funky pieces are too worth buying.

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Price Range – Depends on the material.

How to carry – Very easy to carry and can be worn too.

Best Place to Buy – Grand Bazaar for authentic traditional jewelry and expensive pieces too,  Istiklal street for funky pieces, Shops near Galata tower for designer pieces, Shops in Sultanahmet for artificial authentic Turkish wear.

TURKISH SILK PRODUCTS

Turkish Silk souvenirs

Istanbul is at strategic location from the start of the journey into the story of silk as it was the Western-most stop on the Silk Road connecting Europe and the Far East.  This place which was located on Silk Road has an ancient connection with silk and its produced goods.

There are no proper records of how silk fabric was introduced to the world and according to China, it says, the first silk production started around 2,700 BC, but its secrets remained hidden to the rest of the world. Many Romans believe that manufacturing of silk started in the 1st century AD. But according to many historians, it is said that a couple of  Christian missionaries from the East smuggled silkworm larvae to Bursa – a region nearby Istanbul, Turkey in the 5th century. This Turkish city on the banks of the Marmara Sea had the perfect climate for the mulberry tree, on which silkworms are reared and therefore this region becomes the country’s largest silk producer.  Bursa’s silk soon became a status symbol among the elites of both the continents. You see the fine and soft silk with a beautiful Ottoman style of patterns in beautiful colors. The best things to buy are silk scarf, silk Kaftan, silk top, and silk dresses.

Price Range – Silk Scarf from Bursa ranges from USD 5 onwards.

How to carry – Very lightweight and fine material, so it is very easy to carry.

Best Place to Buy – Shops nearby HodjaPasha Cultural Center in the Sultanahmet region.

TURKISH HAND MADE SOAP – BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Naturally handmade Turkish bathing soaps are also known as Hamam soaps. They are infused with many enriching herbs which are good for skin and have been used lot of spas and hammams for exfoliation. They are made from local produce like olives, goat milk, honey, pomegranate, red rose, tea tree oil, jasmine, lavender and many more ingredients. Turkish black soap is also famous for exfoliation.

Price Range – USD 10 onwards

How to carry – Very easy to carry

Best Place to Buy – Shops nearby Galata Tower, Sultanahmet, and Grand Bazaar

TURKISH MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

People of Turkey loves music and they have their own local musical instruments. So you can buy those authentic musical instruments if you love to play music on your own. There are many special musical instruments sold all over Istanbul, which you will find very unique and not found anywhere else.  Even though many street performances you can make out the significant difference of western music to Arabic music. You can buy Saz and Balgama which are special musical instruments and played instead of guitar.  You can also spot Daf or Dafli (also played commonly in India too) and many drums like Tabla (Indian drum)

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Price Range – Expensive. Mostly USD 200 onwards

How to Carry – Difficult to carry

Best Place to Buy – Near Galata Tower. You will find lots of musical instrument shops here with lots of unique instruments.

I hope you enjoyed reading what to buy in Turkey for souvenirs or souvenirs from Istanbul. Now you must keep some space in your suitcase or bag pack to bring back some beautiful and unique Istanbul souvenirs. Plan your Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul and bring some beautiful Turkish products back home to relish your memories.

If you love branded and Mall kind of shopping then head towards –

  • Mall of Istanbul
  • Cevahir Mall

SOME TIPS FOR Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul

Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul
Strolling in Grand Bazaar
  • At many places, you will have to bargain, so test your bargain skills here.
  • If you are buying expensive products then check all the things in advance like packaging and other specifications given by dealers.
  • For food products ask for vacuumed packing and also know the expiry date of the product.
  • Istanbul is also known for fake high-end products and so be careful in purchasing those fake branded stuff or copy of branded stuff.
  • It is better to buy small pieces, instead of bulky items so it is easier to carry.
  • Shopping in Istanbul needs some time, so do not do this in haste and reserve half-day or full-day for it as shopping here is also like to know more about Turkey and its products.
  • Visit ancient lanes and markets to enjoy shopping and purchase something local and handmade.
  • Markets open till late night and are always crowded.
  • All famous markets are well connected with Public transport.
  • Not only there are shops to buy for, but nearby you can find many places to munch on favorite local snacks if you feel hungry in between shopping.
  • Shopping in Istanbul is a delight for females, foodies, home décor lovers.
Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul
Markets of Istanbul

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Shopping Guide of Istanbul, Turkey

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75 Comments

  1. Great detail about the treasures to find in Instanbul! The towels look great for travel – cotton and so thin! That with some tea and I’d be all set 🙂

  2. We don’t buy a lot of souvenirs. But we do like to visit local markets to see the local crafts for sale. Although we are always tempted by food and drink we can buy. This does not sit around the house too long. Hubby loves to buy tea. But I must admit we have a whole cupboard of it now. Probably none of it fresh any longer. Turkish delight candy might not make it all the way home! I will send hubby in to bargain as I really suck at it. Thanks for some ideas for people looking to get Turkish souvenirs.

  3. This is such a beautiful post in the sense of all the photos! I haven’t been to Turkey, but I would love to buy all of these! They look so beautiful!

  4. Turkey is one of my top destinations to see this year. That said, you’ve given me some good inspiration on what to buy when we do visit. I really like the pottery colourful bowls and the stunning mosaic lamps. They’ll suit my collection nicely 🙂

  5. Great list!! Turkey has always been my favorite country as you’ll find a little bit of everything there and loads of lists for souvenirs too. I remember buying tons of tea packages and their scrumptious sweets and nuts. I would love to travel their again and get me some of their artworks as it looks really decorative.

  6. Great list of items here which one can buy to take home. I haven’t been to Turkey before but can’t wait to get out there and I am sure I would be bringing back a gift or two. However I haven’t had a chance to barter a price down on an item before so it looks like this is the place to do it. 🙂

  7. A bar of olive oil soap and a kese are ideal gifts for recreating that “just been in a Turkish Bath” feeling and smell. Turkey is a great place for buying small gifts that don’t take up much space.

  8. I’ve never visited Istanbul or Turkey before, but it’s on my list. Because I travel light and on a budget, I never buy a lot of souvenirs. Instead, I tend to stick to food items (like those spices and teas, which also make for great gifts) or things that I can use on my travels (like the towels). Love this guide of the best things to buy and where to buy them, so useful.

    1. I too don’t buy much souvenirs which are very bulky, but I like to buy some food items, or something which is useful like soaps or towels.

  9. I think I need the protection of a blue evil eye in my office at work! The mosaic lamps are gorgeous! I would be concerned about getting it home safely. I really like the colorful towels, these would be great to bring back as gifts with some spice and Turkish delights. These are great suggestions!

  10. Nice photos of all the souvenirs. I’ve only been in the airport in Istanbul on a layover, but I’ve seen some of the stores with souvenirs (of course you don’t buy them from the airport if you can help it); the displays are so pretty and colorful!

  11. Wow, I would definitely love to go shopping in Istanbul–so many great items to take home as souvenirs. Thanks for all the great ideas and lovely photos.

    1. Can I just fill my suitcase with Turkish Delight? HA! Honestly though I love so much of this I would have a hard time choosing what to bring back. I have never been good at negotiating, that is something I would have to practice.

  12. Your photos look amazing and make me want to buy some souvenirs and dried food there. The problem is that we travel light and simply would have no place to store everything in our backpacks. How much did you bay?

    1. I do buy some light items like silk and cotton. Also buying food items is great, because while traveling we can have it too.

  13. I just love the Turkish Marketplaces, so much colour and energy! I think I could fill my home with the pottery, silks, towels and perhaps a bit of tea and soap.

  14. What a great guide, I love it! Istanbul is a shopping paradise and the way your structured the article make it easy to navigate the local offering 🙂 I remember buying lots of Turkish delights and tea the last time I was there 🙂

  15. I enjoyed reading through this shopping choices! My favorites are the blue evil eye stuff and the Iznik ceramics. The picture of the statues and bowls look so beautiful!. I must add Istanbul to my bucket list. 🙂

  16. I love how your list of souvenirs is full of useful, beautiful things! So often most of the souvenirs marketed toward tourists are tacky junk, but many of these pieces are so pretty and I would actually use and enjoy them. I especially like the mosaic lamps and of course the Turkish rugs. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them if I visit Istanbul!

  17. That’s a lovely collection yu have presented here. the isnik ceramics look amazing, I’d love to bring them home when I go there. Turkish tea sounds interesting too!

  18. Wow, this is such a colorful post. A shopaholic like me was drooling over it. I have not visited Turkey yet but I did have a transit at Istanbul airport recently and I couldn’t help shopping a little bit. The Turkish eye was the first thing that I could think of. The ceramic and hand made works are so amazing. I have Turkish silk scarf too, thanks to a friend.

  19. I love all these great ideas for souvenirs! The tea is a wonderful idea. When I was there I bought some pottery. I have an informal collection of serving dishes and bowls from various places around the wall. They all have at least some blue in them so it’s fun to use them for a gathering, because even though they’re all very different, the color pulls them all together. I would have loved to have more time shopping when I was there.

  20. I remember Istanbul had some fabulous items in their markets. I didn’t buy any as thought they won’t look right in my home but I’m moving soon and those bowls would be perfect in my kitchen.

  21. I actually had no idea that Istanbul had so many beautiful souvineers to buy. WhenI visit, I’ll be taking my biggest bag but packing next to no clothing so I can fill it with all these wonderful items. I really love those colourful Ottoman lanterns and the fresh tea.

  22. I’ve always imagined the markets of Istanbul would be some of the best shopping imaginable. You proved my theory to be correct in your post – what spectacular things they have on offer!

  23. Shopping in Istanbul markets sounds like an enjoyable experience. Istanbul is on my bucketlist and if I have a chance to visit, I would surely want to try shopping there.

  24. I like to pack light so that I can fill my backpack with wonderful souvenirs and Istanbul is the perfect city for shopping! With such beautiful markets one can even have a stroll only for photography purposes… 🙂

  25. These are such great ideas! I adore the lamps, but they would be hard to take home. I think it’s fabulous that you included carrying instructions. The earrings and Turkish towels would be super easy to tote along the way. The jewelry is so lovely!

    1. Thanks for finding some useful shopping ideas in Istanbul. I too find carrying of fabrics and jewelry very easy and can be stuffed in handbag too.

  26. Hi Yukti, thanks for the lovely blog on Istanbul. Turkish products are very popular in handcraft and artisan products so lots of different types of products we can see at the local market. In your blog you have nicely described about things to buy and where to buy. There are so many local things like Nazar Boncugu, mosaic lamps and many more. These all are really reasonable. In my opinion, the best thing is Peshtamel and Turkish tea.

  27. Wow! There is so much to choose with those Turkish souvenirs! I would definitely go for the candies and the tea! Those earring also look very stunning ! I love handcrafted stuff like that so I definitely have to plan a trip soon !

  28. I love local handmade souvenirs a lot compared to the mass factory produced ones. The second picture thrilled me – I have the same one, I picked it from Athens. Turkish towels, tea and spices are all so tempting. You have given us a great choice of souvenirs there.

  29. When I visited Istanbul a few years back, I had my backpack and no space for much. Only brought a scarf or two but really regretted not getting more for the family! Especially the beautiful lamps and ceramics! Loved the vendors too, they were so kind and always asked me to go to their stalls for Turkish tea 🙂

      1. I have always wanted to visit Istanbul and shop at its street market. The trinkets and items are so colorful and very unique. I am to take note of your tips as soon as I visit Turkey.

  30. I have not been to Istanbul and I am thankful I am not there now. I would be unable to resist buying up everything in the marketplace. I have a weak spot for jewelry especially the eastern kinds like you show in your pictures. The wonderful cotton towels , absorbent and all would be always have places in my closets and the most irresistable of all would be the ottoman mosaic lamps. They create such an ambience at the right place in the home.

  31. Looking at this list, I fear bankruptcy. Each of them are quite unique and gorgeous. The evil eye charm is great for giveaways, while for my home I want one of those carpets and the lamps. Food of course, needs to be taken along and well, those bowls look gorgeous too. In some way, the whole scene reminds me of the shopping in Udaipur.

    1. Yes some things are very colorful and it relates to shopping in Udaipur. Also shopping in Istanbul is fun with so many things to buy with less amount of space and little budget.

  32. Such a lovely colorful post. I am yet to be in Turkey but perhaps this is the best post that I have seen which would sort of be my guide. Lovely coverage and loved reading.

  33. Haven’t go the chance of visiting Istanbul yet, but market exploration in Istanbul, has always been there on my radar for quite some time now. I love shopping souvenirs but not in the wildest dreams, could i imagine this much of variety to choose from. I really liked the part where you’ve mentioned about the ease of carrying the souvenirs.

    1. Thanks for finding this post useful and sometimes carrying of souvenirs are very important part and without planning we cannot carry many stuff, though lots of temptation is there.

  34. We are planning to visit Turkey this year and I am so excited after reading your post. There is so much to shop, I am sure I will go crazy. I have bookmarked your post to refer back as can’t processed so much info now ;). Glad that you have mentioned the shop names, location and price range , makes it quite easy to refer to in case of any confusions.

  35. Istanbul is one of my favourite cities to shop. Wish I had read your post before my visit. Still I had a ball shopping. I visited most of the markets you mentioned and did maximum shopping from the Grand Bazaar. Bought so much stuff from there – Iznik pottery, spices, tea, lamps, towels and what not.

  36. That’s a huge list of things to buy in Turkey and I guess i will definitely be buying most of them and returning with excess baggage lol. Turkey has always been on my list of places to visit but never thought of doing some shopping there. I will definitely be buying jewelry, pots , rugs and lots of sweets and snacks. Thanks for the list and making it easy to decide what to buy

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