Shopping streets, Malls, Vintage

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Shopping in Turkey runs the gamut from cheap, knock-off souvenirs to high-end, authentic keepsakes. There are several top shopping spots to check out as you explore the country. In quiet seaside Kas, you’ll enjoy walking the ancient streets and stopping in the handful of nice shops along the pedestrian streets.

Small Avanos, in central Turkey, is a great place to buy ceramics, while in Urgup you’ll have an easy time shopping for carpets and silver. Kaleiçi’s streets are also home to some nice shops. And of course, no trip to Turkey is complete without at least walking through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets.

The giant shopping center boasts over 4,000 shops, attracting 250,000 to 500,000 visitors daily. It’s overwhelming, but if you can bear the crowds, you’ll be rewarded with some nice purchases. Serious shoppers should set aside an entire day for this experience. There are a few items travelers will want to keep an eye out for.

Carpets are a big hit, and in Turkey you can find nice tapestry-woven carpets (called kilims) for good prices. The stunning silk varieties are found in Kayseri and Hereke. The Ottomans were skilled potters, and their skills are authentically reproduced in the Iznik Foundation’s showroom and workshop in Istanbul and Iznik. The traditional design incorporates red and cobalt tile, while porcelain made in Kuthaya is sold in shops across Turkey.

Shoppers after fine clothing will enjoy Bursa, where silks abound. Bursa and Pamukkale are both home to shops carrying other high-quality textiles in items like towels and robes. If you’re in the market for jewelry, it’s cheap here because the labor is so inexpensive. Try the Istanbul Handicrafts Center, where handcrafted gold and silver is available.

In the town of Urgup, local jewelers make their pieces from the area’s precious stones. Copper is also a popular metal in Turkey, and you’ll find it in traditional tea servers, platters, and bowls. Cadircilar Caddessi, in Istanbul, or Bakircilar Carsisi in Ankara are good spots for a wide selection of these items.