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What is worth buying in Turkey?

Shopping is a favorite pastime for tourists in any location. Don’t miss shopping in Istanbul when in Turkey. Visitors to the capital of Turkey may be drawn to the exoticism of the Middle East, the variety of goods, and the frequent haggling over prices, which we are not accustomed to in the Czech Republic. Where should you direct your steps, what is worth buying in Istanbul, and what should you be careful of? You’ll find out below. 

Shopping places in Turkey 

Istanbul is probably the most diverse shopping place in Turkey. Which areas should you not miss in the capital? 

  • Grand Bazaar: It is known for its rich history and the diversity of goods offered. You can get lost in it for the whole day, as there are over 4,000 stalls covering an area of ​​around thirty hectares. 
  • Istiklal Avenue: Around 3 million people pass through here daily. You’ll find more than just clothing and shoe stores here. 
  • Bahariye Street: A shopping street in the Kadikoy district. If you want to shop for clothing in Turkey, this street is known for stores with international fashion brands like Adidas and Nike, as well as local brands. 
  • Opera Onur Passage: It offers plenty of quality yet inexpensive clothing. 
  • Mall of Istanbul: A huge shopping center with fashion, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment. 
  • Kadikoy: You don’t always have to head to a specific shopping street to find a great shopping spot. Throughout the Kadikoy district, you’ll find plenty of shops and food markets: a fish market, a renowned bakery and pastry shop, and many place you can taste traditional Turkish cuisine. 
  • Atlas Pasaji (Passage): A lane in the Beyoğlu district with alternative fashion stores. You’ll find more than just cheap t-shirts, dresses, and accessories here. 
  • Nisantasi District: A paradise for luxury international fashion brands and quality local brands. 
  • Arasta Bazaar: A market where you can find ceramics, carpets, spices, and handicrafts. 

What’s worth buying? 

You should be particularly attracted to goods that are typical of Turkey. Take a look at what items should definitely not escape your attention: 

  • Carpets: Hand-woven Turkish carpets have a huge tradition dating back to ancient times. You can find them in several price ranges; besides hand-woven ones, you can also buy cheaper machine-made ones. If you’re eyeing a truly high-quality hand-woven carpet from Turkey (you can recognize hand weaving by the knots on the underside), prepare a decent amount of money. It takes around 100 days to produce 1 m² of carpet. 
  • Ceramics: Turkish ceramics have a history spanning thousands of years, and it can be said that Turkey is the “land of ceramics”. You’ll find plenty of colors and patterns here, with plant motifs being popular. You can buy mass-produced ceramics as well as handmade ceramics. 
  • Clothing: Especially in Istanbul, you’ll find a diverse mix of colors and styles of clothing. Turks often dress in a European style, combining traditional and modern elements. Silk or wool scarves are a common head covering for women. Far from just plain scarves, they can be very extravagant. 
  • Spices: Turkey is one of the largest exporters of spices. At the markets, stalls selling spices will catch your eye with their colors and scents. Try, for example, urfa biber (smoked pepper flakes), black cumin, or sumac. 
  • Sweets: You probably know baklava and halva. But what about soft sugar cubes, lokum? Or Turkish rice pudding, Sütlaç? 

What to be careful of when shopping in Turkey 

Are you looking for cheap shopping in Turkey because bargaining is possible in many places? It’s true that prices in Turkey are often negotiable (but not always and everywhere), and Turks are experts in bargaining. Before you leave, it’s better to study local customs regarding shopping and tips and tricks. So, you don’t unnecessarily lose money and, at the same time, don’t offend anyone. 

If you plan to take a carpet home, don’t forget to have a purchase receipt. You might also be interested to know that the export of antique items (100 years old and older) is not permitted

And what to say in conclusion? 

Turkey is the gateway to the Orient and offers plenty of unique and original goods and food. It’s worth shopping here, especially for items typical of Turkey, to acquire authentic souvenirs from your travels. However, as in any country, be careful not to fall into the so-called tourist trap – don’t overpay or fall victim to scams. 

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