You can chose to do the classic cultural Turkey itinerary – Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus. Or add some beach resorts in the Turkish Riviera to your itinerary. I am sure Turkey left quite an impression. When you do leave, make sure you take artisanal Turkish products or food stuff or some other souvenir from Turkey to remember your trip. Even if you visited only Istanbul attractions, you would find many Turkish souvenirs in Istanbul to take back with you.
Turkey is a treasure chest of unique things and there’s a lot to buy, especially if you are shopping for souvenirs. I remember buying a beautiful tea set, a good example of copper ware in Istanbul, that is both pretty and functional. And here are some great ideas on souvenirs in Turkey, and most are available in Istanbul.
Food related Turkish products
On our Istanbul walking food tour, we went to small eateries and tasted many sweet and savoury dishes. Bringing some food product would make a good gift as well as would help linger the taste of Turkey. See these food related souvenirs for inspiration.
Baklava is a very sweet dessert and needless to say, is a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. It is a layered filo pastry with a filling of nuts with walnuts, pistachios and almonds most often used. The pastry is soaked in either honey or syrup. The quality of the ingredients and crispness of the pastry makes a big difference to the taste.
Nobody knows the origin of baklava. One story is that it came from the kitchens of the Topkapi Palace in Instanbul where it was produced as a gift from the Sultan to the Ottoman army.
On the 15th day during the month of Ramadan, a tray of baklava would be presented to all the warriors in a ceremony called Baklava Alayi.
The best places to buy baklava are dedicated baklava shops in the area around Sultanahmet and Taksim. Baklava is also sold in the bazaars. Bazaars might be an atmospheric place for Turkey shopping but the quality of baklava is not as good as the one you get in the dedicated shops.
Most baklava stores will let you try a small piece of each variety before deciding on whether to buy it or not. Since it is sold by weight you can buy as much or as little as you want. It is also easy to bring back home. If stored in an airtight container it lasts for at least 2 weeks, even when stored at room temperature.
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One delicious and unique souvenir to buy in Turkey is pomegranate molasses. This tangy and sweet culinary gem will let you bring home a taste of Turkish cuisine in a bottle. This thick, dark syrup makes an excellent Turkey gift for foodies and adventurous cooks. Its distinctive taste adds complexity to both sweet and savory dishes. Pomegranate molasses (nar ekşisi in Turkish) is available in local markets and food stores across the country.
The use of pomegranates and pomegranate syrup in Turkish food has ancient roots.
While pomegranates are grown throughout Turkey, they have a long history of cultivation in the Cappadocia region. Here you can hike through pomegranate orchards and drink freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Pomegranates symbolize prosperity, fertility, and good luck, making them a popular ingredient in traditional celebrations and dishes. The molasses itself is crafted by boiling down the fruit’s juice until it reaches a rich, concentrated flavor. The syrup is then used in various mezze dishes, salad dressings, and even desserts.
Pomegranate molasses typically costs between $5 to $10 per bottle, depending on the brand and size. It’s a budget-friendly way to bring a touch of Turkish flavor back home.
Don’t miss the opportunity to bring home a taste of Turkey with pomegranate molasses. Affordable, distinctive, and culturally significant, it’s the perfect edible souvenir to remember your travels.
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If you’re looking for delicious Turkish souvenirs, look no further than spices! Turkey is home to a wide variety of spices, each with its own unique flavor. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or savoury flavours, you’re sure to find a spice that you love. Some of the most popular spices in Turkey include red pepper flakes, black pepper, cumin, allspice and sumac.
While these spices can easily be enjoyed on their own, blending them together creates the most unique Turkish flavors, including Baharat seasoning, a mouthwatering rub for fish and meats.
While you can find spices all over Turkey, the best place to buy them is in the Spice Market (Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar) in Istanbul. The Spice Market is an intimate market offering the best in Turkish spices and food products. This area is also one of the best places to stay in Istanbul for access to all of the city’s historic sites.
The price of spices varies depending on the type of spice and the quality. You can expect to pay anywhere from a couple of dollars for a small bag of red pepper flakes to a few hundred dollars for a large bag of sumac or saffron.
What’s great about bringing home spices as a souvenir from Turkey for family and friends, is they will actually use it! Recreating Turkish dishes in their own kitchen will be a spectacular way of experiencing a trip to the cultural country without actually buying a plane ticket. Plus spices won’t just sit on a shelf collecting dust. As it is customary in Turkey to bring spices to someone’s home as a symbol of hospitality, spices make the perfect Turkish souvenir to bring home to your loved ones.
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If you are looking for an amazing gift to bring back home, Turkish Delight should definitely be at the top of your list!
This traditional sweet treat dates back more than 500 years to the Ottoman Empire and is still enjoyed by many today.
Not only are Turkish delights incredibly delicious – they also come in so many different flavours! The classics are rose and pistachio, but if you want to try a mixture of them all, get a mixed box.
Prices for Turkish delights vary depending on the quality and where you buy them, but they usually start from around 72.50 TL for traditional ones. This makes them an affordable gift that can be enjoyed by anyone.
The packaging of Turkish delights is also perfect for transporting them no matter where you’re going. They come in beautiful boxes with intricate designs that are sure to impress everyone. It’s a good idea to take lightweight luggage on your trip to fill up!
So if you’re looking for a unique gift to bring back from your trip, or just want something special to treat yourself, don’t miss out on Turkish delights. With its long history and delicious flavours, you can be sure the recipient will love it too.
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Turkish dried fruits and nuts
If you are on a budget and need help deciding what souvenirs to buy in Turkey, consider some dried fruits and nuts. Surprisingly, Turkey is one of the world’s leading exporters of high-quality hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, and other nuts, as well as a variety of dried fruits like apricots and figs.
The unique climate and soil conditions in different regions of Turkey allow these fruits and nuts to develop rich flavors and textures that are hard to find elsewhere.
There are many places to buy dried fruits and nuts in Turkey, but the beautiful Turkish city of Istanbul is arguably the best place. Travelers can visit the Grand Bazaar here, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, spanning 61 covered streets and houses over 4,000 shops.
You’ll find all sorts of souvenirs here to take home from Istanbul. Not only can you find cheap dried fruits and nuts here, but exploring the Grand Bazaar is a cultural experience that you can’t miss when visiting Istanbul. Just make sure you do a little bit of haggling when shopping at the Grand Bazaar (and most of Istanbul matter of fact), because the vendors tend to overcharge tourists.
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Coffee & Tea related souvenirs in Turkey
One of the most famous proverbs in Turkey is, A cup of coffee has a 40-year memory (Bir fincan kahvenin kırk yıl hatırı vardır), which means that every cup of Turkish coffee has a memory and a story.
Besides being one of the most popular Turkish idioms, it also shows how important coffee is in Turkish society — and why it’s one of the most popular souvenirs!
Turkey’s history with coffee goes back to the 15th century, when the Ottoman governor of Yemen officially introduced it to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who popularized it across the empire. More than 500 years later, Turkish coffee remains a much-loved beverage in Turkey and abroad.
There are dozens of Turkish coffee brands, but the most famous is Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, which was founded in 1871. If you’re in Istanbul, be sure to visit their headquarters near the Egyptian Bazaar (Rüstem Paşa, Tahmis Sk. No:66), see how they roast and package the coffee beans, and buy a few bags for yourself!
Other popular coffee brands include Koska, Hisar Kahve, and Kocatepe, among others. Turkish coffee can be found in many bazaars. We recommend buying it at major stores (like Migros, BIM, Carrefour, etc) to save money and avoid being overcharged. You can expect to pay about 30 TL for a 100 gram pack of Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi coffee.
Turkish coffee products make an excellent gift thanks to their authenticity, taste, and packaging. For some of the most beautiful packaging, we recommend buying Turkish coffee at Koska (which makes colorful metal coffee tins) or Hafız Mustafa 1864 (their coffee sets are gorgeous and include traditional coffee cups).
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Turkey is known for its rich history and diverse culture, and between its grand mosques, bustling bazaars, and breathtaking landscapes lies a tradition that is as old as the nation itself: Turkish tea. Deeply intertwined with Turkish customs and hospitality, tea is one of the best souvenirs from Turkey to take back home.
Turkish tea, or “çay” as it is known locally, is a cornerstone of social life in the country.
This warm, dark amber-colored beverage brings people together, from bustling city cafes to serene countryside tea gardens.
In Turkish culture, tea is not merely a beverage but an invitation to connect and share stories. Whether it’s a heartfelt conversation between friends or an essential part of welcoming guests, tea is central to building bonds and fostering a sense of community. Locals either drink it alone or pair it with Turkish delights or Simit, a round-shaped pastry that’s an integral street food in Istanbul and Turkey.
Traditionally, it is prepared using a two-tiered teapot, with water boiling in the bottom and loose black tea leaves in the top compartment. The result is a strong yet smooth tea, often served in small, tulip-shaped glasses.
You can easily find packages of high-quality loose tea leaves in various shops and markets across the country. Popular places to purchase authentic Turkish tea include the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, local markets, and specialty tea stores. The approximate price point for a 100-gram package of loose tea ranges from 50 to 200 Turkish Lira, depending on the brand and quality.
You can also create a gift set for your tea-lover friend or family member by pairing the tea with traditional Turkish tea glasses or intricate tea sets, allowing your loved ones to experience a slice of Turkish culture from afar.
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Culture-related Turkish souvenirs
Whether you’re looking for authentic Turkish souvenirs for yourself or a Turkish gift for a coffee lover, a traditional Turkish coffee maker is always a great idea. Turkish coffee has a long history dating back to the Ottoman Empire, which brought coffee to Europe.
Traditionally, Turkish coffee was made in a brass, copper, gold, or silver cup called the Briki or cezve, but nowadays you can find them in all sorts of materials.
It’s made by adding water, finely ground coffee, and sugar (if you want) into a briki, which is brought to boil twice, after which the coffee is poured into cups.
Depending on the amount of sugar you added, Turkish coffee has a strong and sweet espresso-like flavor with heavy sediment at the bottom. Because of the sediment, you need to add sugar upfront, as stirring the sediment will leave you with an awful coffee experience (trust me, I’ve tried). A fun fact about the sediment is that it has been a source of fortune-telling for centuries, and for those who still enjoy a bit of mystery, you can even find apps that will help you with Turkish coffee reading.
If you’re looking to buy a briki in Istanbul or anywhere in Turkey, all you have to do is head to a bazaar, such as the Grand or Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. Prices typically start around $10 (300 TRY). Though if you don’t feel like the hassle of bargaining at a bazaar, simply check out Turkish shops that sell regular household items, and you will be able to score a briki too.
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Ceramics and Iznik Tiles
Ceramic vessels and colorful tiles are the perfect Turkish souvenirs to purchase on your trip. Whether you’d like a beautiful serving bowl for your kitchen or some color on your walls, Turkish ceramics are sure to amp up your personal space.
Turkey has a long history of ceramics, with pottery production in Cappadocia dating to prehistoric times.
However, the art of glazed tile making grew and prospered only in the 15th century under Ottoman rule. Soon, Iznik, a small town in northwestern Turkey, became the hub for tiles and ceramics production.
Iznik tiles became a part of daily Ottoman life and began to adorn important public buildings and religious spaces. As you travel around Turkey today, you can still see these beautiful tiles decorating mosques and palaces including the beautiful Topkapi Palace, giving them a characteristic Ottoman flavor. Purchasing an Iznik tile or a ceramic bowl is like taking back a bit of Turkish history with you.
While the cheaper, mass-produced tiles are available for as low as $5, real handmade pieces can be priced at hundreds of dollars. The best places to shop for Iznik tiles and ceramics are the bazaars of Istanbul. Be sure to stop by the magnificent Grand Bazaar or the colorful Arasta Bazaar, a hidden gem in Istanbul, to get your stash for your Turkey shopping.
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Red clay pottery is a great souvenir and gift to bring home from a vacation in Turkey.
It is commonly made in the pottery town of Avanos, a central region near Cappadocia in Turkey.
While in Avanos you can attend a pottery workshop. The tour and workshop includes a
pottery demonstration where guests will be taught by the master potter. A guest
will often have the opportunity to work with the clay. The master potter informs how the
pottery is made from the clay that is found in the adjacent river, called Kizilirmak, which
means Red River. He will show everyone how it is transformed into a work of art on the foot-
powered pottery wheel.
A pottery workshop, found at several local shops in Avanos, will have a wide selection of
handmade souvenirs in their quaint shops behind the pottery studio. Not only do they sell
their red clay pottery creations, but they will also sell other souvenirs like ceramics. The
pieces are not only beautiful, but also useful and functional.
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Turkish mosaic lamps are an unique and popular souvenir to buy from Turkey. The lanterns have intricate and colourful mosaic patterns, and are handcrafted using small pieces of coloured glass or glass beads. This makes each lamp unique and artistic – the perfect souvenir to bring home for family or friends, or even for yourself!
Lamp crafting has a long history in Turkey, and these lamps reflect the rich cultural heritage and craftsmanship of Turkey.
Plus, in Turkish culture, mosaic lamps are often considered to bring good luck and protect against evil spirits, making them even more meaningful as a souvenir or gift!
The Turkish lamps come in various shapes and sizes, from small tea light holders to large pendant lamps. They make for a great addition to any home as they add a warm and exotic ambiance to any room.
As Turkish lamps are a popular souvenir for travellers visiting Turkey, you’ll find lots of shops and markets in Turkey offering a wide range of lamps, especially in Istanbul. One of the best spots for Turkey shopping is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar is a famous historical market in Istanbul with numerous shops selling Turkish lamps. The lamp stalls here are very impressive and make for some of the best photo spots in Istanbul!
The price can vary depending on the size and complexity of the design. Generally, you can find small tea light holders starting from around $10, while some of the larger mosaic lamps can go for a few hundred dollars. Haggling in markets is common, so don’t hesitate to negotiate the price. Pick whichever design you like, just make sure to wrap up your lamp well so it doesn’t break!
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The Turkish Evil Eye or “Nazar Boncugu” is undoubtedly one of the best souvenirs from
Turkey and you will see them nearly everywhere in this country. These charms are believed to protect your loved one from someone casting an evil eye on them, which makes them a perfect gift to bring home from your trip.
Their history dates back approximately 5,000 years and in Turkey, people often put them on their new car, in their new house or even on their newborn for protection.
You will find plenty of souvenirs featuring the Turkish Evil Eye nearly everywhere in the country. This is one of these items that come in many forms, from keychains and magnets to jewellery and home or garden decoration. Thanks to this, it is good to know that there is an Evil Eye
souvenir for any taste or budget!
All in all, the Turkish Evil Eye is probably the most popular souvenir from Turkey and one that is also perfect to gift to your loved ones. It is one of these charms that you will come across all the time during your travels in Turkey and once you see it at home, it will remind you of your trip.
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Turkey is home to unique handicrafts and delicious foods. Turkish people enjoy tea like no other and it is no surprise that Turkey is the ultimate consumer of tea all around the world and it is locally called çay.
Hence a Turkish tea set makes for the perfect souvenir you can buy from Turkey. You can customise your tea set by choosing from various tea glasses, teapots and saucers. You can buy a traditional double teapot, called çaydanlık or a normal one, based on your preference. There are plenty of options to choose from such as glass, ceramic or metal tea sets and each one of them is just as beautiful.
Turkey is known for its unique tulip-shaped tea glasses and they will look absolutely adorable on your table.
You can buy tea sets from any of the markets in Turkey. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul has 4000 shops and 61 lanes and is a great place you can head to for some great tea sets. They will cost you anything from 70 to 150 Liras. You will have to make a good bargain and be convincing when it comes to shopping in Turkey.
A Turkish tea set is also the perfect gift for your friends and family. Not only does it add to the aesthetics of your home but it also holds cultural significance. Tea is an important part of Turkish culture and you will be surprised to see shopkeepers often offering tea to their customers. It is considered an insult to refuse to have tea when someone offers it to you. The Turkish also have a unique style of preparing tea. They will often hold a sugar cube in their mouth while sipping tea. Overall, it is a complete experience to have tea in Turkey.
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Turkish Bath Towels
A Turkish bath towel can be an amazing gift for travel lovers. It can serve as a camping gadget or a beach gadget. You can find this Turkish souvenir scattered all over the over the markets.
What makes it a special towel is that it is lightweight made of long woven fiber. It can be absorbent and can dry fast, which is why it should be as part of your beach itineraries. The Turkish beach towel is also compact and serve as space saving comparing to the regular Terry cloth towel.
A good example of such a towel is the Parachute Fouta Stripe Towel. It is durable and super absorbent, which makes it a great gift for beach lovers. This classic cotton Turkish towel contains fluffy fiber, which makes it dry fast and lightweight. It definitely would be a good upgrade to your everyday bathroom towels. This towel is made from 100% natural cotton, which gives it a smooth and soft feel.
The Parachute Fouta Stripe Towel costs about 39$ dollars. It might be a little more expensive compare to a regular towel, but it is totally worth the investment because it is luxurious that can fit with the design of your bathroom and a long lasting towel that can last for years.
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Buying a Turkish rug as a souvenir from Turkey can be a wonderful way to bring a piece of the country’s rich cultural heritage home with you.
Turkish rugs are renowned for their intricate designs, high quality, and durability, making them a valuable investment as well as a beautiful addition to any home.
When shopping for a Turkish rug, it’s important to consider a few key factors. One of the most important factors is the materials used to make the rug. Silk is the most expensive and most durable material, while wool rugs are more affordable and still of high quality. Other materials used in Turkish rugs include cotton, jute, and camel hair.
Another important factor to consider is the number of knots per square inch. The higher the number of knots, the more intricate and detailed the rug’s design will be. However, rugs with a higher knot count will also be more expensive.
When shopping for a Turkish rug, part of the experience is haggling over the price. Most rug dealers will expect you to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to make a counteroffer. As a general rule, aim to pay about 60-70% of the dealer’s initial asking price.
A reputable rug dealer is very important when making such a big investment. The Istanbul Handicraft Center in the Grand Bazaar is one option. However, if Cappadocia is on your itinerary for Hot Air Balloons or Cappadocia Cave Hotels, you might be surprised to know that it’s one of the best places to find high quality rugs. The Cappadocia Rug Collection is a reputable dealer that will help educate you as they share beautiful rugs that they are happy to ship home for you. So amongst other things to do in Cappadocia, put this on your list.
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Do you shop for souvenirs on your trips? Any particular souvenir that you loved bringing home? Share in the comments below.
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