Shop Until You Drop in Turkey

Turkey has very good shopping with a wide range of unique and beautiful arts and crafts available from handmade carpets and kilims to leather goods, hookahs etc.. Also other products with a distinctive Eastern flavour that will give your home a touch of exotic class and remind you of a fantastic vacation in one of the world’s most exciting countries.

Istanbul has many traditional markets, including the vast covered bazaar at the heart of the city, but there are also numerous modern department stores where you can pick up all manner of electrical and consumer goods. There’s nothing quite like spending an afternoon wandering around the stalls, especially when the muezzin is belting out a call to prayer from the local minaret.

Before we continue, we all know that Istanbul is world renowned for its great shopping but don’t discount the rest of Turkey as shopping is to be found everywhere. If you’re looking for specific products in particular you may wish to look into cheap car rentals. There are many sites that will get you to those less known and accessible shopping destinations.

Turkish carpets are justly renowned across the world. Carpet making is a craft and skill that has been practised here since ancient times. A really good Turkish carpet is a rare piece of art and can set you back several thousand pounds, but there are cheaper varieties and they all look thoroughly authentic. You’ll find everything from spices to vintage omega watches for sale.

Although the price of gold and silver is fixed internationally, in Turkey you can still pick up items for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay in Germany or the UK. This is because of the reduced labour costs. The same applies to leather goods, and these are amongst the best to be found anywhere, with many of them headed for Italian designer outlets. Only premium grade leather is used by craftsmen to create beautiful products by hand, using traditional methods.

Hand-painted ceramics from Iznik are especially sought after by residents and tourists alike. Most of the Iznik tiles that have survived from the time of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent have lost none of their original splendour. They use a unique glazing process to create Islamic designs unsurpassed for their brilliant colours and innovative patterning.

Morning is the best time to go shopping in Turkey because the salesmen will have more time to assist. Traditionally, the first customer of the day is believed to have been sent by God and the shopkeeper has to please him or her to bring luck throughout the rest of the day. So the lesson there is to be first to get your foot through the door.

Be prepared to haggle, too. It’s perfectly normal in Turkey, even expected, and there’s something of an art to it. Shopkeepers will routinely offer a glass of tea or soda water and sit down for a long chat. It’s all very different to shopping in London. Start at 25 per cent of what you’re secretly willing to pay and you could walk away with a great bargain.

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