What to buy in Turkey: as a gift to relatives and friends? Or as a souvenir, for memory, for personal use? What products are worth bringing home from Turkey? What about sweets and ceramics, alcohol and cosmetics, jewelry? From which sum traveler can demand a VAT refund in 2023 – figured out good Time for Trip.
Few of the tourists who go to sunbathe and relax in Bodrum or Marmaris, Antalya or Kemer, visiting Istanbul, do not think about what they need to bring home from Turkey. No wonder they study the issue in advance, so as not to blunder on the spot.
After all, everyone wants to have something left to remember the trip. And at home stood or hung authentic things peculiar only to the visited country.
Many people buy in Turkey the most ordinary things. Which are presentable or can be useful in everyday life. For example:
Remember that for 100 Turkish liras in 2023 give just 5 euros. Which literally convinces Europeans (and Americans as well) to make purchases.
Do not forget to bargain: in souvenir shops and bazaars. And remember that the first listed price in Turkey is always too high.
If possible, you can issue documents for a VAT refund (tax-free). In those stores where this service is available, you can find a blue sign on the doors.
So, if you are not a resident of Turkey and can indicate this, demand a VAT refund.
Porcelain and ceramics, accessories, cosmetics, household goods in an Asian country are subject to an 18% rate. The minimum purchase amount for a refund is 118 liras.
The rate on shoes, textiles, clothes, bags and carpets, products – only 8%. The minimum check for “tax free” is 108 liras. More details – globalblue.com/tax-free-shopping/turkey/.
Popular Gifts from Turkey
It is hardly possible to list all the curious things that a foreigner can buy both in Istanbul and in other places in Turkey. Therefore, we intend to focus on the main objects that can be interested for travelers. And start we traditionally:
At first list things that are sold in kitties near tourist places right in hotels (too expensive). Such as:
- Mugs with landscapes of a city or a resort
- Printed T-shirts
- Circular amulets
All of them are great travel reminders and they are easy to buy. Almost casually, while exploring the attractions of Istanbul, Cappadocia, Bodrum….
Often such items are used as a small gift to colleagues at work. Like, look – I remember you. A trifle after all, but how nice!
Coffee and Tea Accessories
Coffee connoisseurs will certainly want to bring a copper cezve from Turkey. Even despite the fact that such archaic things have long been returned from use by automatic coffee machines.
However, cezve is sure to decorate your kitchen. Making it a little more original and sophisticated!
An original item is unlikely to cost less than 10 €. Chinese crafts can be bought three times cheaper
Purchasing a cezve traveler thought goes further. Perhaps in line with buying coffee itself.
Please, note that it’s significantly different from the one, that is sold in Europe. At the very least, it has a very fine grind.
And be sure to be cooked in a turk, not in a coffee maker. A thick and strong drink is usually served on the table with a glass of cold water. Usually after you’ve tasted the rest of the traditional foods of the Turkish cuisine.
- In the shops better buy the packets of vacuum-packed ground coffee to preserve the aroma
Two-story Turkish teapots are very popular as souvenirs and practical items. Likewise, tulip-shaped glass or crystal cups for the absorption of this substance, in accordance with high tradition.
To order, buy the tea leaves themselves. Pay attention to the special tea leaf. It’s claimed that the leaf grown in the province of Rize on the Black Sea coast of Turkey has the best well-being.
Like or not the tea itself is a moot point! But the actual tea set will attract attention, deservedly put on the festive table, it will initiate a lot of questions and stories. Useful and as a good gift – here without question!
- Best Months for Traveling to Istanbul
- 12 Top Places To Visit Near Istanbul
- The Most Delicious Dishes of Turkish Cuisine
An excellent choice in this sense will be a tea set of the original color. Or just ceramics with exquisite oriental ornaments.
Pottery is especially well developed in Cappadocia. But judging by the reviews, you will spend much less money on buying original pottery if you do it in Istanbul. And not, perhaps, in Avanos.
The latter, as well as Cappadocia itself, is better to just look around!
Prices on ceramics varies from 5-7 € per modest handmade mug to 20 € and more for large multicolored plate.
Belts, leather handbags, purses – there are no problems with accessories of decent quality and fairly affordable prices in Turkey. As well as with shoes – of course, non-brand ones.
Buying gold jewelry in the bazaars of Istanbul today does not make sense. In most cases, they do not shine with quality, there is a high risk of damaging the fake.
But many tourists in Turkey are souvenirs from onyx – this semi-precious stone is mined in abundance on the Anatolian Peninsula.
Vases, salad bowls, dishes, chess, clocks, beads, just trifles for decorating the interior – for money you will be offered anything!
Note that it is rare that a bus tour from Alanya or Antalya to Pamukkale does not stop at a related production. Spending there is – to the outrage of tourists – a considerable amount of time!
- Best Months to Go to Cappadocia
- TOP-10 Places to Visit from Goreme
- How to Easily Get to Cappadocia from Istanbul
Turkish delight and nougat, baklava and other dessert sets are taken home by every first tourist returning from Istanbul or Bodrum. The recipe for making sweets in this country is not very complicated. But not everyone can make the same ones in their own kitchen.
If you make homemade sweets with your own hands and have some experience, you will have to tinker to get airy baklava. And it’s far from a fact that the resulting one will even remotely resemble the original!
Baklava is a thin puff pastry soaked in sherbet (sugar syrup). And stuffed with walnuts or pistachios, hazelnuts, chocolate.
Sherbet plus dough and pistachios are key ingredients in making another local sweet, kadayifa.
Famous for: Turkish halva and nougat, kings of all local sweets delight. As well as pişmaniye – a dessert made from the finest sugar fibers.
Travelers assure that it is best to buy everything indicated by weight.
- Since such a product is much tastier and cheaper than the one in the branded packaging!
Few bring wine from the Republic of Turkey. And that can be easily explained: Italian, French, Spanish counterparts are usually of better quality and tastier. At the same time, they do not play in another price league.
But the national Turkish anise vodka raki you must brought at least as a souvenir. Most often it is made from grape raw materials with adding anise seeds.
Drinking undiluted such alcohol (40-50%) is not accepted. And when diluted, the crayfish turns white, acquiring a mild sweetish taste.
We talked about coffee and tea above. You should also pay attention to olive oil, local spices and a variety of sauces. Some are easy to find in European supermarkets, others have not been heard of there.
Experienced tourists advise importing soft cheeses from Turkey… Surprise relatives and friends with beautiful “pigtails”!
Inexpensive, but a great souvenir and just a practical thing – rose water. There are both food and purely cosmetic purposes.
Various clay masks with the addition of seaweed are popular. Very good and local shampoos.
Natural handmade soap made on the basis of olive oil is well known outside the country. A rare traveler will not bring a sea sponge from Turkey – a natural and very delicate washcloth.
Fur and leather products you can buy much cheaper than in the UK or in the USA. If you know where to buy, how to bargain and can to choose really high-quality things.
Will you do this during a week-long vacation on the shores of the warm sea? The question is only for you! But in October in Antalya it makes sense to spend day shopping…
Tourists also often bring towels and bathrobes, linen made from natural materials, casual clothes. Jeans and shorts made in Turkey are of high quality and are relatively inexpensive.