Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

A major trading hub for centuries, Turkey is one of the most important shopping destinations in West Asia. Malls are found in the larger cities, but more authentic merchandise can be acquired elsewhere. Street stalls and markets are the best places to shop for bargains. The original price stated is nowhere near the real value, so don’t be too quick to give in when negotiating.

Carpets and Kilims

Carpets are one of the most sought-after Turkish exports, and street stalls everywhere feature traditional kilims. Expect to find different designs and even materials across the regions as historically carpets have been an important symbol of local families.

Leather Goods

Turkey is also one of the world’s leading leather producers and clothes and accessories like handbags are much cheaper than elsewhere in the world. For the best variety, head to a number of districts in Istanbul, including Laleli, Mahmutpasa and Beyazit. Practice those negotiating skills first, though, as you will definitely need them!


Turkey’s silk is some of the most beautiful in Eurasia. Women will be able to buy dresses or have one made from scratch. Scarves are in abundance in Bursa. Great bargains can be had if you’re willing to put in the work.


Turkey has a lot of antiques, which can be somewhat expensive, but are worth every penny. Be careful though because by law, it’s illegal to take antiques 100 years or older out of the country. If you’re found to have such items upon leaving, customs will confiscate them.

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