Shopping in Istanbul’s bazaars is a blast.
Bazaars provide such quality and just outright cool items that it proves almost impossible to select ones as not only souvenirs, but also as practical relics of an enchanting town.
As a tourist in the historical and cultural marvel that is Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, I was quickly overwhelmed by the explosions of color, smells and sounds that surround this spellbinding city.
Furthermore, here are some staples from these markets that I recommend, some of which I instantly picked up for myself—and others that to this day I wish I had.
1. Hookah Pipe
Undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching sights amidst Turkish bazaars is its extravagant selection of hookah pipes, or what are often commonly referred to as “nargiles” in Turkey. Whether you’re a fan of the fruit flavored tobacco or not, the aesthetics of the pipes will surely provide your eyes with candy-colored delights. A popular pastime in Turkey, nargiles have become one of its specialties and therefore come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So take your pick, at the very least they’ll provide a decorative object for your home—you’ll undeniably find a shade that matches your décor. And if you do happen to enjoy its smoky charm, be sure to stop for nargiles at a Turkish café for some of the smoothest and tastiest hookah in the world.
2. Tea sets
Nothing reminds me of the breezy streets of Istanbul quite like the taste of Turkish tea (apple was my personal favorite). In fact I had it almost every day without fail during my stay. On the final day of my stay, the thought of not having Turkish tea to look forward to anymore deeply upset me, so I bought myself a Turkish tea set and some tea to go along. The distinctive design of the elegant glasses and the elongated tiny spoons take me back to Turkey whenever I so much as catch a glimpse of them in my kitchen, and every so often I make myself some apple tea to reminisce.
Perhaps the most colorful assortment of products in Turkish markets comes in the form of scarves. Upon arriving in Turkey it becomes clear why the Turkish specialize in making scarves, given that most women flaunt them in various styles. Scarves can provide an excellent accessory to any outfit, and the array of colors and designs available at the Turkish marketplace prove that they are indeed one-of-a-kind. No matter what the occasion, there will surely be a scarf to match.