Turkey is an amazing country filled with culture ,history and a delicious food culture.Having visited Turkey now for the fourth time I have a clear idea of what to bring back home as reminders of Turkey.
Bringing back souvenirs or shopping from your travels is always a great way to keep track of your travels .I find it interesting what souvenirs people collect or bring home from their travels.
Popular things to buy when you travel :
Generally when most people travel the following are items they bring back for themselves or loved ones.Most on the list are typical travel souvenirs and are easy to find everywhere in the world.
1.Fridge magnets are always easy to find around the globe.They are relatively cheap and small to carry.
2.Teaspoons with the country’s flag on it.This was something my Mum used to collect but has since stocked due to moving home.These are lightweight ,not very expensive but can be a bit tricky to find unless in a touristy areas.
3.Postcards are popular as most send them home to themselves or family and later it can be made into a book.They can be found everywhere and are cheap.
4.T-shirts are very popular with popular attractions on them or the famous lines of “my Mum/gf/aunt went to (place) and all I got was this lousy tshirt.The problem with clothing is always sizes and most are not of a very good quality
5.Keyrings a great and inexpensive gift which everyone always needs.Lightweight and always in a variety of styles.
So keeping all of the above in mind prior to my trip to Turkey, I started researching shopping and what are the must buy things to bring back.One of the first things I noted was about haggling of anything you are wanting to purchase and shopping can be done everywhere.
For me personally I love bringing back the following from my travels :
2.Spices/Food related items
On my adventures in Turkey I bought all of the above plus some more.By haggling and the good exchange rate it made shopping in Turkey a lot more easier and fun.Below is my list of what I think you must buy in Turkey :
1.Turkish Delight is without a doubt one of the most popular items brought back from Turkey. They can be found literally everywhere from supermarkets to speciality shops. The speciality shops in the markets offer you samples of all huge variety of Turkish Delight that when I came back home I did not even want to look at any as I had overdosed on eating this sweet treat.
2. Turkish Tea and Coffee which a huge part of the Turkish culture and is available everywhere. Most shops you visit will give you cups of tea and coffee for free. My firm favourites are the Apple and Pomegranate teas. The teas come in a powdered form and are had by adding hot water only and a sugar cube. Besides how delicious these teas are they are served in the most beautiful glasses specially for serving Turkish tea so buy a few of these would be a great souvenir to bring home.
3.Turkish ceramics are available everywhere in Turkey in the most beautiful colours and designs.The designs are traditional and the symbols woven into them have a special meaning.There are tours to these ceramic shops to see how they are made.
4. Turkish carpets are rather unique and also rather expensive.Most are hand-made hence the big price tags however you can buy factory made ones for much less.
5. The Evil eye is widely sold in Turkey in every form be it jewellery to doorstoppers to wall hangings.This item is said to protect the wearer or home from the Evil eye / bad thoughts of intentions of others.I did go a lil crazy buying these in several forms.
6.Turkish Spices there is actually a Spice Bazaar with the most amazing spice shops ever.This bazaar is where locals do their shopping and the fragrant aromas of the colours and spices just mindblowing.I love that your purchases are vacuum sealed which great for travelling purposes.Besides spices one can find all sorts of loose tea leaves with interesting names like “Love Tea” .The shop keepers and assistants are very helpful and even make you sample cups of teas.
7.The dried fruit,nuts and chocolates are of a very high quality.And you are allowed to taste before you buy.I find the method of selling fantastic.
8.Scarves all over Turkey you will find amazing scarves and shawls in all the colours of the rainbow.From pashimas to silks to simple cottons ones and even fancy painted ones with the Istanbul skyline one is spoilt for choice.As Turkey is a Muslim country you will be able to find scarves and a range of modest clothing.
9.Leather goods are also a good buy.All products are handmade and of the highest quality leather.Most tours will include a visit to a leather factory.The prices are in dollars and often are where designer labels get their leather products from.
10. Traditional copper and silver jewellery is found all over Turkey and often very cheap.The designs are typical of the Ottoman designs and colours.Most metals include the Evil eye in their design.A semi precious stone found in Turkey is called Zultanite is a beauty beware of the imitation stones in the bazaars.
Shopping in Turkey is fun especially with the haggling in the bazaars.The sampling of dried fruit ,nuts and Turkish Delight is a great way to find what you really like but make sure you carry a bottle of water for the sugar rush.Beware of the fake goods in the markets and streets.There are large shopping malls with designer boutiques and the usual high street stores like Zara and Gap ,I tend to pop into them just to have a look for unusal pieces.However I also when I travel try to buy locally made products from small bussineses and that support them.I hope you find this guide useful for shopping in Turkey from my list what would you buy and do you collect something specific from your travels?
Be Inspired !