What To Buy in Istanbul - List of 18 Best Souvenirs

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Istanbul is known to host exotic things. Your trip to Istanbul cannot be completed unless you buy these amazing souvenirs for yourself and others. You have many options for bazaars and shops to buy from. To make your shopping easy, here is a list of souvenirs to buy from Istanbul:

1. Kilim

If you are in Istanbul, and you have not bought a Kilim, then your shopping is incomplete. Handloom carpets and kilims are one of Turkey's most famous handicrafts. Kilim is a flat woven carpet that is colourful and has intricate geometric patterns. You can get two Turkish carpets: knotted pile and pile (textile). The former is the most sought-after. If you do not want to buy a big one, you can buy a smaller one that can fit right into your suitcase. The best place to buy is at the Grand Bazaar. 
Where to Buy: Grand Bazaar, Divan Bazaar, Cankurtaran Mh., Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday-Saturday: 9 AM – 7 PM. Closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
Approximate Cost: Doormat-size rugs start at TRY 60 for basic patterns to about TRY 150 for more detailed, original designs and better quality.

2. Turkish Tea and Coffee Sets

Turkish tea set in copper
If you are a coffee or tea lover, then this is the perfect souevnir for you to buy in Istanbul. The coffee and tea sets are made from tempered glass, porcelain, or even glazed ceramics. These sets range from plates, kettles or coffee pots, sugar bowls, glasses, and even spoons. Turkish coffee is served in unique sorts of cups and saucers that are often rimmed with gold. Turkish coffee cups can be made up of copper or ceramic. However, keep in mind to ask whether the sets are only for decoration or you can drink from them too as many sets also contain paints or metal alloys that are not approved for food ware.

Migros is a well-known grocery chain in Turkey with over 173 stores in Istanbul. Pasabahce is another Turkish store where you can easily find great glass tableware. They are known as the ‘Father of Turkish glassware’ You can easily buy from them.
Where to buy: Pasabahce, İstiklal Caddesi 314, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday-Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM; Sunday: 12 PM – 8 PM.
Approximate Cost: TRY 200 for the decorative set, and handmade set and TRY 15 at Migros for a set to use at home.

3. Lamps

Turkish lamps are superb souvenirs. They are made of various metals, including copper, tin, bronze, ceramics, stained glass, and semi-precious stones. It is easy to get lamps that are unique in Grand Bazaar. You can also buy handmade pieces or customized ones as per your liking.
Where to Buy: A good place to find and buy all kinds of lamps is the Tuncer store (Hoca Paşa, Taya Hatun Sk No:1, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey).
Timings: 9:00 AM – 11:55 PM.
Approximate Cost: TRY 25 – TRY 100.

4. Ceramics

Turkey is famous for ceramic making with a long heritage of making them. Istanbul hosts some of the most beautiful ceramics in the country that range from beautiful tiles plates to jugs and vases and other ceramic items you can add to your list to buy. The most famous town in Istanbul for ceramics is Iznik, where millions of tiles are made. You can even find the old traditional Ottoman designs and others as well that have tulip motifs and floral patterns. Hittite-style jugs and carafes are the most popular souvenirs, which have a circular middle section (Based on the Anatolian designs from the Bronze Age). If you want to buy cheap ceramics, then Grand Bazaar could be the perfect spot for you.
Where buy: Some top places are-An excellent shop, specializing in hand-painted ceramics is Beyoglu El Sanatlari Evi, İstiklal Caddesi No: 180/A, Tünel, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday-Sunday: 9:30 AM – 9 PM.
Grand Bazaar, Beyazıt Mh., Istanbul, Turkey
Also, check out the Arasta Bazaar (behind the Blue Mosque), as the Arasta Bazaar specializes in ceramic stores.
You can also shop at Tree of Life Ceramic (Binbirdirek, Binbirdirek Meydanı Sk. No:3/A).
Approximate Cost: Depends on what ceramic you buy. Small plates start at around TRY 20 and the prices can rise to around TRY 200 for larger, more intricately painted plates

5. Ottoman Jewellery

Turkish jwelery
Istanbul is the Mecca for precious metals and trade in precious stones from all over the world. So, jewels and imitation jewellery are highly recommended items to buy in Istanbul. Especially the ones made of gold and silver are a must-buy as the Turkish craftspeople are experts in making filigrees and setting gems. If you are looking for jewellery in Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar is a one-stop destination. Also, you can look for locally produced jewellery inspired by authentic Ottoman pieces, which you might have also seen in Turkish TV series like Muhtesem Yuzyil (Magnificent Century.
Where to buy:  Eller Sanat Galerisi on Postacilar Sokak just off Istiklal Caddesi next to the Dutch Consulate, İstiklal Cad. Postacılar Sok. No: 4/A Tünel, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM Sunday: 2 PM – 8 PM.
Newa Jewels is a shop that sells artistic pieces (Vezirhan Caddesi No: 49). 
For gold work, you can go to the main street of Kalpakçılarbaşı Caddesi, which has a lot of gold shops.
 You will find silver jewelry shops throughout the entire bazaar.
The Iç Bedesten (Old Bazaar) also has a lot of stores that specialize in silver jewelry, so you can start to look there.
Approximate Cost: TRY 50 for simpler items upwards, according to the metals and stones used. 

6. Clothes and Pashminas

You can buy textiles (including bags, footwear, and accessories) in Istanbul, which is absolutely gorgeous. You must look forward to buying the silk pashmina, which comes in various designs and colours. Also, don’t forget to haggle with the street vendor to get the best prices.
Where to buy: Grand Bazaar, Divan Bazaar, Cankurtaran Mh., Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 9 AM – 7 PM; Closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
You can also buy from the street vendors in Sultanahmet, which is one of the most famous tourist districts of Istanbul. 
Approximate Cost: Starting from TRY 10 for the cheaper ones (to the pure silk pashminas selling at TRY 100 and more.

7. Fashion Accessories and Leather Products

If you are looking for scarves, slippers, hats, or bags, then you can buy everything in Istanbul shops and bazaars. Istanbul has always been known for its silk and leather products. There is also a traditional felt-making tradition, which today produces many highly contemporary fashion items, particularly slippers and hats. The Turks also produce high-quality, affordable leather goods, which range from coats and jackets to purses and belts. All these items are handmade.
Where to buy: Leather section (Kürkçüler Çarşisi) of the Grand Bazaar, Divan Bazaar, Cankurtaran Mh., Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 9 AM – 7 PM; Closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Shops specializing in leather products are clustered together around Fesçiler Caddesi in the southwest corner of the bazaar, as well as along Parçacılar Sokak.
Approximate Cost: Leather belts start from TRY 20 and jackets are around TRY 500 a piece, depending on size, style, type of leather, etc.

8. Art and Antiques

Antiques are one of the top products to buy in Istanbul. You can find them in the neighbourhoods such as Çukurcuma, in the area of Istiklal, which houses valuable historical artefacts, and sometimes prices are a real bargain.
Where to buy: The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest shopping centers where you can find more than 4,000 stalls and everything that you are looking for at a reasonable price. There are almost 400,000 visitors who go there daily. Finding antiques there is easy.
The Spices Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) is located next to the Golden Horn and specializes in culinary produce.
The Eskidji Bazaar (Kocasinan, Sivas Blv. No: 289) is a shopping center famous for the sale of household goods and decorative articles.

9. Turkish Sweets

If you have a sweet tooth, Turkish sweets are a must. The best to buy is Turkish delight, also known as Rahat lokum. It is a kind of fruit jelly made from fruit syrup and covered with icing sugar. They are the most famous souvenirs. Also, you can buy baklava. Another popular sweet is Pismaniye which tastes like Turkish cotton candy.
Where to buy: Cake shop Cigdem (Alemdam, Divan Yould Cd. No: 62).
Another place to try sweets is: Koska, İstiklal Caddesi 122A, Istanbul, Turkey
Timings: Monday - Sunday: 9 AM – 11 PM.
Approximate cost: For rose-flavored Turkish Delight TRY 8 per kg to TRY 29 per kg for the more elaborate ones with various nuts.
Boxed sets of Lokum or Pismaniye range in price between TRY 5 and TRY 10.

10. Turkish Jams and Honey

No Turkish breakfast is complete without jam and honey. The fruits are made into tasty jams and enjoyed all year long. Typical types of jam include apricot, sour cherry, rose, quince, and fig. Istanbul is also famous for its flavorful honey. You can even find Pine Tree honey. Honey can be quite expensive, up to TRY 40 per jar.
Where to buy: Koska, İstiklal Caddesi 122A, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday - Sunday: 9 AM – 11 PM.
Approximate Cost: Prices for jams usually range from TRY 5 to TRY 10 for a jar.

11. Ottoman Spices

You can find all sorts of exotic spices in Istanbul. You can also buy the ottoman spice, a reddish-brown spice that will give a different taste to anything you put it into. Some of the ingredients that it is made up of are sumac, pepper, cumin seeds, salt, oregano, and red chilli flakes. Without a proper mix of spices, no Turkish food is complete. All these spices are from plants, some of which can be used completely, and for others, only certain parts are used, such as flowers, roots, bark, leaves, stems, or seeds.
Where to buy: The best place to buy them is the Spices Bazaar. 
Approximate Cost: TRY 30 per kg. You can also buy the vegetable spice sold under the brand name Hurrem by the name Sebzeli Barateli Cesni which costs around TRY 7 to TRY 9.

12. Raki

Glass of Turkish Raki
Raki is an anise-flavoured spirit that is considered a national drink of Turkey. Raki is also known as Lion’s Milk. You can drink it straight, but usually, Turks prefer to take it with ice and water, which gives it a liquidy white colour. People generally consume it with fish and seafood meals.
 Where to buy: Teşvikiye, Nişantaşı Ihlamur Yolu Sk. No:40A, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday - Sunday: 10 AM - 10 PM.
Migros: Altunizade Mh, Ord. Prof. Dr. Fahrettin Kerim Gökay Cd. No:2, 34662 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday-Sunday: 10 AM – 10 PM.
Approximate Cost: You can buy it at any liquor or grocery store in Istanbul for TRY 40 per bottle (70cl), but you can also buy one up duty-free at the airport when leaving the country.

13. Water Pipes

Turkish Water pipe
Water pipes (nargile) also make up for the beautiful decorative pieces. You can find them in various colours and sizes and attached with the metal pipe along with hose Turkish water pipes are used to smoke fruit-flavoured tobacco/ Smoking Nargile is a part of cafe culture in Turkey and dates back to the time of the Ottoman empire. The water pipe bowls, which are made of ceramics or glass, are also used as decorative pieces. If you want to buy antique nargile, then you can explore it in the Iç Bedesten. Modern nargile can be found everywhere in the bazaar.
Where to buy: Grand Bazaar, Divan Bazaar, Cankurtaran Mh., Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 9 AM – 7 PM; Closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Approximate Cost: Small nargiles start at TRY 20, while the medium-sized ones cost around TRY 30.

14. Backgammon Set

Turkish Backgammon Set
You can find a lot of Turks playing Backgammon in the corner cafes of the street in Istanbul. The tradition says that if you lose the game, you have to take the board game to your home so that everyone sees that you have lost and are now going to practice more with the board game tucked underneath your arms.  
Where to buy: Grand Bazaar, Divan Bazaar, Cankurtaran Mh., Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 9 AM - 7 PM; Closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Approximate Cost: Travel-size sets start at TRY 20.

15. Turkish Musical Instruments

Traditional Turkish music has a number of instruments that can be easily packed into your suitcase. Wind instruments, such as Kaval, Mey, and Sipsi, as well as stringed instruments, known as Baglama, are unique gifts for both music lovers and collectors.
Where to buy: Galata Mevlevihanesi Müzesi (music instruments museum) Galip Dede Cad. 15, 34430 Istanbul - Avrupa, Turkey.
Timins: Monday - Sunday: 10 AM – 8 PM.
Approximate Cost: Starting from TRY 30, you can buy Mey. A basic Baglama can be bought for TRY 100. The Prices of the instruments vary with the different quality.

16. Handmade Olive Oil Soap

Turkish Olive Oil Soap
Handmade olive oil soaps are locally made natural health and beauty products. Make sure to buy this high-quality soap for various skin types. These are on the rise because of the Hammam culture in Istanbul.
Where to buy: Spice Bazar, Eminönü Meydanı, 34440 Istanbul, Turkey.
Operation Hours: Monday - Saturday: 8 AM - 7:30 PM; Sunday: 9:30 AM – 7 PM.
Approximate Cost: TRY 100.

17. Hammam Accessories

This is not one of the things you might think of buying instantly on your trip, but Turkey's hammam (bath) traditions have been famous, and if you want to experience that, you should have some accessories before going there. Turkish bath towels are known to absorb and dry pretty quickly. In addition to that, they are also compact and lightweight, which makes them a perfect souvenir for you.
Recommendation: Traditional fringed stripe-design towels, handwoven cotton peştemals, bathrobes, and towels.
Where to buy: Jennifer’s Hamam.
Address: Rasta Bazaar, no: 135 Ogul Sokak NO: 20 (showroom, 34400 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey.
Timings: 8:30 AM – 10 PM.
Approximate Cost: Starting from TRY 15.

18. Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

The coffee was originally from the Middle East, but the Ottoman Empire was greatly influenced by it and developed a coffeehouse culture. To make Turkish coffee, you must first boil the ground coffee in a pot, which the Turks generally do in a special pot known as cezve with sugar. The coffee powder will slowly begin to settle down, and you can find the foam at the top. The Turks usually turn their cups upside down after consuming the coffee. A fortune teller then proceeds to predict the future of the drinker from the cup.

Where to buy: Any grocery store.
Average Price: Turkish coffee is just under TRY 2 for 100g.

Other important items that you can buy are onyx items, ottoman-style slippers, lemon cologne, etc. Overall, there are a wide variety of interesting and authentic souvenirs to buy from. So, if you are looking to go on a shopping spree, then Istanbul is the perfect location for you.

This post was published by Aayushi Shukla

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