Read more about Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul.
Best Things To Do In Beautiful Istanbul City Tour – A Complete Istanbul Guide
Istanbul which is a shopper’s delight offers a variety of things that 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 the ancient ages. Let’s get lost in the fantastic shopping maze and take a virtual tour of Turkish souvenirs and know about what to buy in Turkey in this post.
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.
Must buy in Istanbul, Turkey | Shopping In Istanbul – Buy Turkish Souvenirs From Istanbul
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.
Currency of Turkey – Turkish Lira. Carry US Dollars or Euros with you and near Istiklal street, there are many money exchange centers. They give you good rates and convert your currency to Lira from there.
— All rates are mentioned in USD to maintain a global practice on the blog. But you need to pay in local currency – Turkey Lira in Turkey.–
Istanbul City Video Tour
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.
It is one of the most popular Turkish souvenirs.
Price Range – It starts from USD 1, depending on the size and number of beads.
How to carry – Very easy to maintain as these beads are having no weights, unless if you buy a huge wall hanging made up of them. Even you can wear it and walk down.
Best Place to Buy – Anywhere
TURKISH MOSAIC LAMPS – Shopping in 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 is world-famous for its craftsmanship.
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 it with you.
Best Place to Buy – Grand Bazaar – But lots of bargaining is required
IZNIK CERAMICS – TURKISH CERAMICS
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 was developed in the town of Iznik, located in western Anatolia. With these Iznik patterns, you will spot many walls, ceilings, and pottery in Turkey. 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.
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.
Also known as Peshtamel, these 100% cotton towels are highly absorbent and durable. These towels are handmade and easy to carry in various colors because they are thinner than ordinary machine-made towels. Originating in the 17th century, these towels are the 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
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 to it as some people like heavy black tea without any sugar.
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 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.
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 herbs are essential 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
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 is loose.
Best Place to Buy – Grand Bazaar & Spice Market. You will find Turkish dried fruits everywhere.
TURKISH KILIM RUGS – FURNISHINGS
Turkish Kilim rugs are flat tapestry-woven carpet or rug which is mainly woven in countries of the former Persian Empire, Iran, Azerbaijan, the Balkans, and the Turkic nations of Central Asia. These rugs are very authentic and memorable, too, as they are handwoven, colorful and intricately of woven designs. It is created by the flat-weave technique. Not only carpets or rugs, but you can also find cushion covers, sofa covers, and other furnishings in the 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)
Turkey is famous for its copperware utensils too. So if you are purchasing tea or coffee, 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.
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.
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.
Best Place to Buy – Shops nearby Galata Tower and Sultanahmet.
Turkish style of jewelry is word famous for its designs and craftsmanship. Their expensive range or artificial range, Turkish jewelry is 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.
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
Istanbul is at a strategic location from the start of the journey into the story of silk as it was the Westernmost stop on the Silk Road connecting Europe and the Far East. This place 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, the first silk production started around 2,700 BC, but its secrets remained hidden from the rest of the world. Many Romans believe that silk manufacturing began 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 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 scarves, 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
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 a 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
The people of Turkey love 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 through many street performances, you can make out the significant difference between 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)
Price Range – Expensive. Mostly USD 200 onwards
How to Carry – Difficult to carry
Best Place to Buy – Near Galata Tower. You will find many musical instrument shops here with many 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
- You will have to bargain in many places, so test your bargaining 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 creation.
- Istanbul is also known for fake high-end products, so be careful in purchasing those fake branded stuff or copies 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 a half-day or full-day for it, as shopping here is also like knowing more about Turkey and its products.
- Visit ancient lanes and markets to enjoy shopping and purchase something local and handmade.
- Markets open till late at night and are always crowded.
- All famous markets are well connected by Public transport.
- Not only there are shops to buy from, but nearby you can find many places to munch on your favorite local snacks if you feel hungry in between shopping.
- The Istanbul shopping tour is a delight for females, foodies, and home décor lovers.
So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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I wish I had read this guide before going to istanbul last year! So many good tips here and products I didn’t even think of looking for to buy! Really wonderful ideas here. I did buy lots of tea and Turkish Delight which were amazing!
I too bought many sweets and eatables from Turkey as they are really worth buying.
I generally do not buy much in the way of souvenirs when we travel. But that does not stop me from wandering in local shops and admiring the crafts. But we do bring home food and drink that we can consume! I love all the different flavours of Turkish delight we might find. Dried fruit would be great to fuel us during our walking days.
Yes, eatables are great to buy as they are consumed and a great way to remember travel while eating.
Love the entire collection of Istanbul artefacts . Reminds me of my days there
Good to know you too loved shopping in Istanbul.
What a great list! I actually did bring back a couple of the things you are suggesting. I have a large plate with seven of those little bowls in different bold colors – love them!