Where to Buy What Quality Souvenirs in Istanbul

Souvenirs from Istanbul found in Derviş shop in Grand Bazaar.

by Erlend Geerts

in Shopping

Actually, the question is not only what souvenirs to buy in Istanbul, but how to make sure the gifts are original and of excellent quality! With Istanbul’s vast history and different influences, you get easily overwhelmed while looking for a gift or a souvenir. Not in the least because you’ll run into a low quality souvenir shop or stand on almost every street corner.

In this article, I will not only provide you with highly practical suggestions, but I’ll also tell you exactly where locals like me get the best quality for their money.

Derviş

The products below come from various regions of Anatolia, so they reflect pure authenticity.

  • Turkish Bath accessories like 100% cotton towels and pestemals (hamam bath cloths), scrubbers, carved wooden clogs, copper bowl and soap cases.
  • 100% natural hand-made soaps which contain virgin olive oil with rose, oregano and other herbs.
  • Tribal mohair covers which are 100% hand spun goat hairs in natural colors.
  • Hand carved natural big soaps.
  • Fur covers made in patchwork design.
  • Hand woven spreads, cloths and covers.
  • Ethnic products such as accessories, dresses, shirts, felts, dowry cloths, which are all hand embroidered and more than 40-50 years old.

Address: Keseciler Caddesi No: 33-35, Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar), Eminönü – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 514 45 25
Website: www.dervis.com

Haremlique

Haremlique specializes in high quality bed and bath linen products, sleepwear line and other accessories which offers Ottoman themes in elegant modern designs. The other specialty of the shop is Turkish coffee. You can find traditional flavour or different aromas like chocolate, cardamon, cinnamon or mastic.

This is the place to be, if you feel like taking back home stylish utilities for Turkish cooking coffee, like an elegant silver coffee pot, spoon, tray or coffee cups.

Address: Şair Nedim Bey Caddesi No:11, Akaretler, Beşiktaş – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 236 38 43
Website: www.haremlique.com (for the linen range) & www.selamliqueistanbul.com (for coffee & utilities)

Souvenirs found in Haremlique.

Souvenirs found in Haremlique.

Cem Lokmanhekim

Cem Lokmanhekim has been designing, manufacturing and selling his own own jewelry since mid 90s. His unique, hand crafted and custom made designs are the essence of the admiration for him.

Address: Ihlamur Yolu 2/2, Nişantaşı – Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 231 50 65
Website: www.cemlokmanhekim.com.tr

Backgammon

Here are some tips to get a good board. The best wood type is walnut for longlasting usage. It generally comes in brown or black. Some have pearl inlay (sedef kakma) designs and they look quite authentic but the pearls may not always be authentic.

Turks love this ancient board game and have been charmed by it since the sixteenth century Ottoman times. You can get a backgammon set almost anywhere, especially around Eminönü, Tahtakale and Grand Bazaar. The following shop in Grand Bazaar is specialized in two items: backgammon boards and seramic hanging balls, mostly in tulip and infinity patterns.

Dilek Gift Shop / Mehmet Özyurt
Address: Halıcılar Caddesi No:26, Kapalıçarşı (Grand Bazaar), Eminönü – Istanbul
Phone: +90 532 457 8676

 

What's Next

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaska General Merchanise Ltd June 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Thanks for the services. Good work.

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 24, 2012 at 12:16 am

Thanks a lot. Comments like yours are a boost and make it all worthwhile.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

izza November 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

Hi, i am looking at getting traditional or classic-patterned jewellery from the grand bazaar. However, the choice of shops are overwhelming. Can u please recommend a few trustworthy sellers with reasonable pricing so that i can narrow down my options? where do the locals shop at? Im looking more for classic designs rather than contemporary ones. Thank you in advance. Im looking forward to visiting the shops you recommended.

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

Hi Izza,

Well, locals shop in the Grand Bazaar as well as other local shops. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you as to where to shop precisely. As you can imagine, I don’t know every shop in Istanbul.

I suggest to just go in, find a few shops that sell what you like, compare the prices, and start bargaining until you think you have reached a good price/quality balance.

Good luck,
Erlend

Reply

izza December 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Its alright! Thank you for the response Erlend! :))

Reply

Kevin October 22, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Erland,

I’ve enjoyed your articles, and took your (good) advice about the longer Bosphorus Cruise Tour last weekend.

I came across this article using a Google search for golden gum mastic. I’m hoping to find that and some salep. I’m sure it’s obvious why I’m searching for those two items. So far, though, no luck. If you can direct me to a merchant that sells those, I would be most appreciative.

As it turns out, I was shopping today at the grand bazaar and happened to buy some ceramic balls at a vendor there. It was a great experience beyond just the purchase. Even after he had my money, he was very willing to visit and talk, which I haven’t found to be too common. He was interesting and unhurried, with very good English skills. Anyway, as I read the article the name “Dilek” jumped out, so I checked the business cards I collected, and it was at that shop I made the purchase! I can wholeheartedly agree with your endorsement of him, not just because of the merchandise, but also because of Mehmet.

Reply

Mona February 2, 2014 at 5:10 am

Hi Erland, how much would a nice backgammon cost from the gift shop you mentioned? Thanks!

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hi Mona,

This all depends on the quality of the wood used and the design.

Erlend

Reply

Lennart May 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Hi Erlend,
Preparing for a long weekend in Istanbul, I have read some of your advice and truly enjoy them – Thanks for enlightening us visitors! During my short stay I would very much like to purchase a puzzle ring, and I guess My question is obvious – where should I go? Any other advice, like authentity of the gold, gold stamps etc? I read somewhere that prices of gold can be expected to be gold price + 20-30% for labour, any thoughts about that? Hoping for some feedback from you and truly looking forward to getting to Istanbul! best regards from Gothenburg Sweden! Lennart

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 6, 2014 at 10:04 am

Hi Lennart,

I haven’t looked for puzzle rings yet, but my guess would be the grand bazaar since they have a nice gold and silver tradition. As for the craftsmanship price, it depends on the quality and difficulty. But your rule seems about right.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Regina June 5, 2014 at 7:43 am

Hi Erlend,

Thank you so much for this blog. I’m learning so much for my upcoming trip to Istanbul. One thing I can’t find in all of my reading (your blog, a few others) is shipping or mailing items from Turkey. How reliable is the postal service to ship items to the USA? Would I be better off with shipping via FedEx or UPS? Do you have any info about a mailboxes etc type place that would help with shipping? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Hi Regina,

Let me start by saying that the Turkish Postal Service is extremely slow and inefficient. They are literally snail mail. On top of that, they are unreliable for mail coming from abroad or sent within the country. On the flip side, I’ve never experienced problems for outbound mail (except being slow).

So, if it is something precious or important, I would not use the Turkish Postal Service.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

rumen grigoroff August 15, 2014 at 4:09 am

Hi

I saw a silver plate saladin helmet in a museum gift shop, at the Toptaki palace I think. Can someone tell me or put me in the contact with the supplier.
regards
Rumen

Reply

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