31 Turkish Souvenirs: What To Buy In Türkiye In 2024

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Wondering what to buy in Turkey as gifts or souvenirs? Then check out these fantastic Turkish souvenirs.  In my guide to souvenirs of Türkiye, I cover all manner of ideas, from candy and clothes to soaps and spices.

Turkey Travel Blog_Best Souvenirs To Bring Home From Turkey

Few European countries, maybe even the world, can match Turkey when it comes to shopping, bargaining, haggling, eating, and indulging in the finer things in life. Shopping in Turkey is not something you do to get items—it’s an experience on its own, it’s an activity.

Every time I go to Türkiye, I love to shop because I can always find so many cool Turkish souvenirs to bring home. Shopping can be done in every destination in Turkey, especially in the bustling markets of Istanbul and Izmir.

Local tip: when looking for the best souvenirs in Türkiye, you should buy them from local shops. Buying from locals is a good idea for two reasons. It supports local businesses, craftspeople, and artists while you get genuine and authentic Turkish products, which are often handmade – and not made in China.

Best Souvenirs From Turkey

What to wear in Turkey - What to wear in Istanbul

Traditional souvenirs from Türkiye adorning your living room as part of your kitchenware or showcased on your souvenir shelf are much more meaningful than collecting kitschy, mass-produced products.

Whenever you look at, use, or even consume—if you buy tea or coffee, these Turkey souvenirs will be able to take you back to your wonderful time in Türkiye immediately. The word “souvenir” is, after all, French for “memory.”

If you’re wondering what to buy in Turkey, continue reading to see the best gifts from Türkiye you can get, from carpets and pashminas to spices, soap, and ceramics.

1. Turkish Carpets

Turkish Souvenirs - Best Gifts From Turkey - Carpets In Turkey

Carpets are easily one of the most popular products made in Turkey. You can find these quintessentially Turkish crafts throughout the country. During your vacation in Türkiye, you’ll probably meet a carpet salesperson, but remember to ensure you’re buying authentic products. (Plenty of knock-offs go around on the busy local markets.)

Also known as Anatolian rugs or Turkish rugs, Turkish carpets make for a fantastic souvenir. Although they are by no means cheap things to buy in Turkey, they’re high quality and will last decades. And, of course, they’ll look amazing on your living room floor—or even as a unique wall cover.

Since full-size Turkish carpets are too big to carry in your suitcase, many carpet businesses in Türkiye will ship your carpet to your home.

2. Pottery From Cappadocia

Turkish Souvenirs - Best Gifts From Turkey - Pottery From Cappadocia_avanos ceramics

If you’re looking for unique regional Turkish gifts, consider buying a red clay pottery product in Cappadocia. This is one of Turkey’s most famous and spectacular places to visit, so why not commemorate your time there with a traditional homemade pottery item?

You can find locally made pottery in Cappadocia in many Turkish shops in the area, while you might even have the opportunity to try making your own pottery!

3. Turkish Tea Set

Turkish tea set at the bazaar
Ornate Turkish tea set

While coffee is Türkiye’s more traditional hot beverage (see below), tea has become increasingly popular since World War II. You can find all kinds of tea in many shops, markets, and bazaars, from regular black and green teas to herbal teas. Apple tea is my favorite.

For a long-lasting souvenir from Turkey, it’s also a good idea to buy a tea-making set, which includes the typical tulip-shaped Turkish tea glasses and a teapot.

4. Decorated Tea Glasses

Turkish teacups are made of glass, not ceramic, and you can find hand-painted and decorated glasses everywhere for a reasonable price.

Make sure you purchase the small plates and spoons that go with them, as they make a beautiful gift for friends and family back home.

5. Unique Turkish Tea Flavors

We all know about traditional Turkish tea and even apple tea (Elma), but in Sultanahmet, Istanbul especially, you’ll find stores that sell all manner of types of tea, from sleep tea to weight loss tea! Whether it actually works or not is debatable, but it tastes great!

I’d definitely recommend the raspberry tea; it’s delicious. They’ll even shrink-wrap it for you so it’s easier to pack in your suitcase when you go home.

6. Halva

Halvas - Semolina Pudding

Halva is a sweet treat that’s popular in Turkey but also across much of the Middle East and the Balkans. You’ll find it in different flavors, but the regular vanilla one is the best. It’s made of butter, a thick paste, and sugar, with different flavors added if you want. 

It’s a lovely addition to a glass of tea, and you’ll find it everywhere. However, try and go for the fresh type, which is cut and weighed in front of you, rather than the boxed version; it’s much fresher and tastier.

7. Baklava 

Baklava - Bakery & Sweets In Istanbul

Baklava is a traditional Turkish sweet you’ll find in every single Turkish town, resort, and city, and it’s genuinely delicious. You can try the different versions on offer and choose your favorite, or go with the traditional type.

Either way, ask for it to be packaged up well, and you can take it home. It will last for a few days if you buy it on your last day. Again, try and avoid the boxed version; it’s not tasty at all. 

8. Cezerye

If you visit Istanbul in particular, you’ll no doubt see cezerye stacked up in windows in various colours, trying to grab your attention.

This is a type of sweet that’s different to Turkish delight as it’s more crunchy than soft. However, it’s delicious and comes in all different types. It’s made of coconut, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, and a sugar/honey mixture, and it’s an excellent gift for a vegan friend or family member. 

9. Turkish Coffee

Ordering Coffee in Greece - All you need to know

Few things are so ingrained into Turkish culture as coffee. Drinking coffee is nothing less than a ritual in this country, and lovers of the black beverage will find themselves in absolute coffee heaven here.

If you relish your regular cup of coffee, don’t leave Türkiye without a bag of Turkish coffee. This is easily one of the best things to buy in Turkey, whether for yourself or those coffee enthusiasts in your life. Additionally, a real cup of Turkish coffee is made in a traditional Turkish coffee pot, so get one of those, too.

10. Turkish Ceramics

Turkish Souvenirs - Best Gifts From Turkey - Turkish Ceramics

The crafting of stunning ceramics in Turkey dates back to the 8th century and grew into a massive industry during the heydays of the Silk Road. Needless to say, they’re one of the most traditional Turkish handicrafts you’ll find in the country.

In fact, mosaic lamps and painted ceramics became such a characteristic part of Türkiye culture many mosques were decorated with them. You’ll see them, for example, at the spectacular Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a great place to shop for Turkish ceramics, but you’ll also find these beautiful products in many souvenir shops across Turkey.

If you’re looking for Turkish household items that double as souvenirs, traditional ceramic plates, bowls, or mugs are lovely things to buy in Türkiye. Just remember that because the products are handmade, there may be minor differences in their colors and patterns if you want to buy a set of plates or bowls.

11. Firca Ceramic Selcuk

The Firca Ceramic store (and workshop) is a must-see when visiting the town of Selçuk, not far from the ancient site of Ephesus! This historic spot is famous for its beautiful and intricate ceramics. The skilled artisans here create truly one-of-a-kind pieces that are perfect for gifts or your own home. You’ll be amazed by the colors and patterns on display when you step inside.

Glow in the dark ceramics in Turkey

If you’re lucky enough on the day, you’ll find Mehmet ready and available to show you how he makes the pieces from clay – and he may even let you try to hand it like he let my sons. Even if he isn’t there working, you have to ask to go downstairs to view the glow-in-the-dark ceramics.


I purchased this bowl from them; though it does not glow in the dark, it does look special in my kitchen. Be sure to haggle for the best price – it’s all part of the fun!

12. Small, Multicolored Bottles

You’ll find these cute, multicolored glass bottles everywhere, and they come in different sizes and shapes. They’re ideal for putting in your window or on a balcony/garden, and you can put lights in them to show off the different colors. They’re a great gift, and they’re very low in cost.

13. The Evil Eye Bead – Turkish Eye – Nazar Boncugu

Turkish Souvenirs - Cappadocia, Turkey- Tree hanging Nazar amulets

Everywhere you go in Turkey, you’ll see the Evil Eye. It is easily one of the most widespread Turkish items you can find. With its dark blue background and teardrop-shaped white, light blue, and black eye, this ancient glass talisman was used in Turkish culture to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

So technically, contrary to what the name might imply, the Turkish Evil Eye is not evil at all, but it’s instead a very good thing. While this has become one of the most ubiquitous and popular Turkish souvenirs, it’s also still used by many people in Turkey, who keep it in their cars, offices, and homes for good luck.

You can buy the Evil Eye in many forms, from keyrings to badges and bracelets. They are cheap and make great good-luck gifts from Türkiye, especially as a Christmas stocking stuffer.

14. Turkish Smoking Pipe

Whether you smoke them or not, Turkish smoking pipes are one of the most incredible Turkish items to buy as a souvenir. Known as “nargile” in Turkish, water pipes or hookah pipes are as big a part of Turkish culture as coffee, spices, and grilled food.

And you don’t need to be a smoker to appreciate the craftsmanship of making a traditional Turkish water pipe. Many of them are absolutely beautiful and make for a unique decorative piece in your home.

Every time you look at your decorative “nargile,” you’ll remember where you bought it and maybe even how proud you were to have successfully negotiated the price.

15. Raki

Turkish Raki - What to buy in Turkey

Many countries worldwide have their national alcoholic drink; in Turkey, that’s raki. This anise-flavored liquor is available in nearly all liquor stores and most grocery stores, but you may save some money by picking up a bottle at the duty-free area at the airport.

This is a great Turkish gift idea for people back home, especially since this typical Turkish liquor might not be easy to find in other countries. Don’t forget to get a bottle for yourself, too, though!

16. Turkish Bath/Hammam Towels

What to buy in Turkey - Turkish bath towels

If you need an extra towel for the beach or shower, you can easily pick up a Turkish hammam towels in many of the markets. While highly practical and superior in quality, these bath towels from Türkiye are also fantastic souvenirs. You can continue to use it at home after your trip! Authentic Turkish bath towels are 100% cotton, dry quickly, and lightweight and compact.


Tips for caring for your Turkish towel

Turkish cotton is lauded for its durability and strength, with softness and absorbency increasing over time when cared for properly. Before using a Turkish towel, let it soak in cold water (e.g., a bathtub) for 12 hours, then wring it out and hang it dry to make it softer and more absorbent.

When washing the towels, be sure to machine wash in cold water with similar colors and tumble dry on low or medium heat – using too much heat can cause the cotton thread to become brittle and reduce softness.

Avoid bleach and fabric softener, as the former will change colors while the latter decreases absorbency; instead, use 1 cup of vinegar once every month to kill bacteria naturally.

What’s better, Turkish or Egyptian towels

In the end, Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels differ in absorbency and drying speed. While both kinds of cotton offer long, absorbent fibers, Egyptian cotton tends to be more absorbent and slower to dry; Turkish cotton is slightly less absorbent and quickly dries.

17. Turkish Olive Oil

Turkish souvenirs - Turkish olive oil

Turkish olive oil is made from the olives that are grown in the country. The oil has a smoother taste than those from Italy or Greece. It is also very dense and has a high smoke point. Turkish olive oil is ideal for use in salad dressings, marinades, and baking. It can also be used for frying or sautéing. The oil has many health benefits, including reducing inflammation and cholesterol levels.

Buying Turkish olive oil as a souvenir gives you more than just a delicious oil. You’re also getting a piece of Turkish culture and history. Turkish olive oil has been produced for centuries from various olives, including the native black Izmir olive.

Buying Turkish olive oil is a great way to support local producers and get a taste of the country’s culture. It makes one of the great Turkish gift ideas for foodies and cooks, and it’s sure to be enjoyed by anyone who loves good-quality olive oil.

We found Turkish olive oil in the tin when we were souvenir shopping in Izmir. After wrapping it in a think jumper, I was confident that it would have less chance of breaking than the glass jar olive oil option. 

18. Dried Fruits

The great thing about dried fruits from Turkey is that although they’re dry, they’re fresh – if that makes sense! Apricots, pistachios, and figs, to name just a few, are collected at harvest and then dried immediately for the winter months. They’re then used in cooking across the cold season until the harvest appears again.

You can purchase these very easily and use them in your own cooking or beauty concoctions.

19. Authentic Gold Jewelry

Compared to many other countries, the price of gold in Turkey is low, and the quality is exceptionally high, with higher carats on offer. You’ll find countless jewelers no matter where you and they will spend time talking to you about what you want and showing you options. You may also be able to have your own piece designed.

If you’re looking for a piece of jewelry and you’re heading to Türkiye soon, certainly wait until you’ve been and look if you can find a higher quality piece at a lower price on your travels. You can also try bargaining for a lower price.

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Best Gifts From Istanbul

You can find numerous typical Turkish souvenirs throughout the country, but the best shopping in Turkey is in Istanbul. This sprawling city, spread across Europe and Asia, is home to several huge markets.

If you’re wondering where to buy souvenirs in Istanbul, places like the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market are chock-full of Turkish shops and stands selling everything from spices and soaps to clothing and candy. Below, you’ll find the best souvenirs to buy in Istanbul.

20. Turkish Delights

What To Buy In Turkey - Great Turkish Souvenirs To Take Home - Turkisk Delight

Arguably one of the most famous things to buy in Türkiye, Turkish delights are fantastic to bring home from your trip and share with your friends, family, and colleagues. They come in a variety of tastes, from gummies to filled with nuts or fruit. This traditional Turkish candy is a cubed and colored jelly, making for a fantastic dessert or treat.

You can find many Turkish delight vendors at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Buy a box or two filled with Turkish delights for the people back home. Often, you can sample them before you buy. You might even be able to negotiate a lower price if you buy in bulk.

21. Art & Photographs

If you head to the Galata area of Istanbul particularly, you’ll find some beautiful artwork to purchase, including photography. Many of these aren’t expensive as they’re created by amateur local artists who want to get their name out there, and you’ll own a unique piece to showcase in your house.

Don’t worry about size either; most will fit in your case easily, but if not, many stores do ship internationally.

22. More Ceramics

Turkish souvenirs - Handmade ceramic meze platter set

While roaming the many shopping options in Istanbul, I saw over and over teal blue-colored bowls, and I really wanted plates to use for desserts and salads at my table. After much wandering, I finally found a store with six – I wanted eight, but alas, no one had them in this size. Score. So, now these are my new dessert plates. I also managed to score the matching meze platter set to boot. One delighted shopper here. 

23. Musical Instruments

You don’t have to play musical instruments for them to look pretty impressive in your house! Turkish instruments have a distinctive sound, and you’ll find smaller versions and full-sized options on sale in most large towns and cities. If you’re in Istanbul, head to the Galata area again, as this is where many musical instrument shops can be found. 

Check out the saz, chalice drums, kaval, and longneck flute to get you started.

24. Turkish Spices

Turkish spice mix_142512_Souvenirs from Turkey_Shopping in Istanbul
Turkish spice mix – baharat spice mix. A blend of black pepper, paprika, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom & red pepper

Although you can buy spices in numerous places in Turkey, nothing compares to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. When wandering around these sprawling indoor marketplaces, you’ll immediately notice the scent of spices and herbs floating through the air.

What to buy in Turkey - saffron and spices
We got this saffron bag for 20 Lira – 1 euro!

Spices are essential to Turkish cuisine, as they are to cooking worldwide. Good seasoning is paramount whether you cook meat, chicken, lamb, fish, seafood, or even when grilling vegetables. You’ll find every spice under the sun at Istanbul’s Spice Market and Grand Bazaar. There might not even be a better place on the planet to buy fresh spices than here.

So yes, as far as famous things to buy in Istanbul go, spices are absolutely on the list. Also, consider purchasing a nice copper spice set to store your spices in.

25. Book About Türkiye

What to buy in Turkey - book

If you’re planning a trip to Turkey and want to learn more about the area before you go, buying a book is a great idea! If you did not, buying a book when you arrive is also great. There are plenty of titles to choose from; we always do this on arrival at each new country to get more out of the trip and look for new things to experience when you’re actually there.

26. Chess Board Set

When in Türkiye, be sure to buy a chessboard set as a souvenir! Not only are they beautiful and intricate, but they make for a great addition to any home. Chess is a popular game in Turkey so that you can find sets of all different styles. You will find the perfect set whether you want something traditional or more modern.

Chess board_Souvenirs from Turkey_Shopping in Istanbul
Crusaders Vs. Ottomans Chess Set

You can find Ottoman-style hand-painted chess pieces at the markets that are truly unique and exciting souvenirs from Türkiye. They are perfect for any chess enthusiast and make a great addition to any collection. The intricate designs and beautiful colors will impress anyone who sees them. These pieces will surely be a conversation starter and add a touch of luxury to any home.

My ten-year-old son loves to play chess, and he spotted these Ottoman vs. Crusaders pieces at the Arasta Bazaar in Istanbul. He begged for them and ended up using his Christmas money to buy them – with the help of his Dad, negotiating the best price. 

27. Backgammon Set

One of the most played games in Turkey, backgammon, originated in the Middle East almost 5,000 years ago. It remains extremely popular to this day. During your time in Istanbul, you’ll almost certainly see locals playing backgammon in cafés.

You can buy your own backgammon set in souvenir stores, and you might be surprised by how delicately and intricately the boards are designed and crafted. Some of them are real masterpieces of craftsmanship, making them one of the best traditional Turkish gifts and souvenirs to buy.

28. Handmade Soaps

What to buy in Turkey - handmade soaps

In addition to Istanbul’s numerous food products, there are also various beauty and health items that are excellent Turkish souvenirs. One such item is handmade soaps. These locally made soaps represent the centuries-old wellness tradition of Turkey’s hammams.

Olive oil soaps are made with premium-quality olive oil along with other extracts. Other such soaps are rose and donkey’s milk. You can find these soaps and many different beauty products at Istanbul’s Spice Market.

29. Turkish Lanterns

Best Places In Turkey To Visit For Every Kind Of Traveler - Istanbul Bazaar

While strolling through the bustling Grand Bazaar, easily one of the best places to shop in Istanbul, you’ll see typical Turkish lanterns dangling from the ceilings of many shops.

These mosaic glass lamps are one of the classic Turkish souvenirs to buy. They come in countless varieties, colors, and designs; your biggest challenge will be picking the one you like most. (You can always buy more than one to decorate your house.)

You can find these lanterns and lamps in many Turkish souvenir shops, but one of Istanbul’s covered markets is the most convenient place to buy one. Remember to ask the vendor to wrap it up properly to prevent it from breaking during transport.

30. Pashminas


What to wear in Turkey - What to wear in Istanbul

If you’re looking for wearable souvenirs from Türkiye, it doesn’t get much better than a pashmina. These authentic Turkish scarves are made with a combination of silk and cashmere, making them incredibly soft and durable.

Make sure to visit several places while shopping in Istanbul for pashminas. They come in many colors, price points, and/or fabric combinations. You’ll find pashmina vendors at the Grand Bazaar and on the streets of Sultanahmet. You can also buy a pashmina in other destinations in Turkey.

31. Leather Products

Are you still wondering what to buy in Istanbul? The last item on our list, although certainly not the least, is Turkish leather. Leather is significantly cheaper in Türkiye than in much of the Western world, so relatively speaking, it may be one of the most inexpensive things you can buy in Turkey.

Most leather items in Turkey are handmade, meaning nothing is the same. You’ll get your unique piece of leatherware, whether it’s a jacket, wallet, belt, bracelet, or purse. This is undoubtedly a fantastic Turkish souvenir idea.

Tips For Bargaining In Türkiye

Let’s be honest; bargaining or haggling doesn’t come naturally to most of us. It feels awkward, and you wish the vendor would tell you a price you can pay. But in many markets and bazaars, that’s not how it works!

If you want to bargain like a pro, remember these quick tips:

  • Take your time: If you’re buying something significant, like a carpet, browse a few different shops to get a sense of what people are asking for before you go in there and start your bargaining. This also helps you find the best quality
  • Always seem a little uninterested: Don’t show that you really want to buy something or that you’re feeling eager. The vendor will put the price up because they know you like it! Be cool
  • Choose what the item is worth: But this has to be what it’s worth for you. That’s the best starting place
  • Ask for a price first: When you decide to buy something, ask the vendor for a price first. If they say, “What do you want to pay?” keep pressing them for a price. If you go first, you might end up paying way over what the vendor initially expected. Let them make the first move
  • Ask for a discount for bulk buys: If you’re going to buy a few items, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount
  • It’s OK to walk away: If you’re not getting a reasonable price or you’ve changed your mind, it’s perfectly OK to say, “Thank you, I need to think about it,” and then walk away. You’re not obligated in any way

Can you buy souvenirs from Istanbul Airport

Yes, but they are expensive! The Turkish delight they sell in the airport isn’t fresh or cheap! You’re far better at doing your shopping in the markets in and around the city than waiting until the last minute. This is especially true if you want to buy Turkish delight.

Where to buy cheap souvenirs in Istanbul

Price of ceramics in Istanbul

You’ll find countless small souvenir shops around Istanbul, including in Sultanahmet; however, this is where you’ll spend more. Avoid Taksim for souvenir shopping, too, and instead, go to places like Besiktas and Kadikoy. You’ll find less in the way of full-on tourist shops, but you will find local and authentic items you can take home.

What can’t you take home from Türkiye?

As long as you stick to your duty-free limits, you can take most things home with you. However, foodstuffs, such as fresh food, meat, cheese, etc., will be flagged up when you arrive at the airport.

You should also be very careful if you buy loose tea from any souvenir shop. Of course, it’s tea, and it tastes like tea, but it looks like something else entirely – especially apple tea, which tends to look a little white and powdery. If you’re buying tea, it’s best to get it in a labeled box so you don’t get too many questions at customs. You don’t want misunderstandings when you’re trying to get home!

Is it reliable when a shop says they’ll ship to your home address?

If you spend some time finding a reputable and trustworthy store, then yes, it’s entirely reliable. Items such as carpets are often shipped to overseas addresses with no problems at all. But don’t just jump for the first store you see; take your time to ensure you don’t have a bad experience. It is also a good idea to google the shop name – to see how many (if any) complaints are made about the store not honoring the shipping requests. 

Is it best to pay by card or cash?

If you’re bargaining, you will need to pay by cash. Yes, they have card machines, but asking to pay by card won’t win you any fans. However, if you’re in a regular store with set prices, you can pay by card or cash with no problems.

Is card payment widely accepted?

You’ll be able to pay by card in all large stores, cafes, and restaurants in Istanbul, most of these in other locations. However, it’s worth carrying some change to pay for small items as not all tiny shops accept cards or don’t want to accept them.

Are ‘genuine fakes’ worthwhile?

You can get some fantastic fake bags, hoodies, trainers, etc., in Turkey, but check the quality before committing to buying. If it’s a reputable store with good quality items, the shopkeeper won’t mind you looking closely at the thing, checking zips, etc.

I was shocked at how real the fakes looked. I never purchased any, but on my flight home to Zagreb from Istanbul, I saw many “YSL” and “Louis Vuitton” bags slug over the shoulders of the passengers. 

Hopefully, this long list of Turkish souvenirs has helped you decide which gifts from Türkiye you’d like to bring back from your trip. Again, the Turkey shopping experience is a highlight of any visit to the country, so take your time, browse and bargain, indulge, and enjoy!

Comments (4)

  1. Thank you fue such a great and detailed content. We are heading right now to the Grand bazaar to spend few hours buying things for friends and family. Wish us good luck☺️

  2. Thank you for this insightful guide on Turkish souvenirs! As someone who loves exploring new cultures, I’m excited to add some of these unique treasures to my collection from my next trip to Turkey.

  3. Great guide for finding the perfect Turkish souvenirs; can’t wait to explore these unique gifts on my next trip to Türkiye.

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