What to buy from Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
In this article, we will review a list of the best souvenirs that you can buy when visiting the Grand Bazaar and introduce you to the most important things that you may want to know about how to deal with the sellers and how to buy your things there.
Be completely confident that the decorated pottery inspired by the decorations of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque will astonish you and you will definitely want to take many of these decorations as a souvenir home with you to remind you of this wonderful Grand Bazaar tour. In the Grand Bazaar, you will be able to see and choose a large number of ornate ceramic pieces locally made in Istanbul. You will find them in all types, shapes, and colors, from the most traditional to the most modern such as hanging ornaments, bowls, plates, mugs, ashtrays, vases, animal figurines, and many more.
Turkish lamps are an ideal souvenir if you like light and bright colors. Turkish lamps are perhaps the most common decorative item in Grand Bazaar stores in general. You will find them in every color, pattern, style, shape, and size from the smallest to those that are office-style, similar to candlesticks or vases.
When you walk through the corridors of the Grand Bazaar, you will notice that it is completely dark, and this makes the bright colors of the lamps stand out more and will draw your attention and attract you to buy them as a souvenir.
Nazar Boncuğu (The Evil Eye)
The Nazar boncuğu, also known as the "evil eye" or the "Greek eye", is one of the most popular things to buy in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. According to the tradition prevailing in Turkey, these round objects with a blue background with concentric circles that draw the shape of the eye are an amulet against the evil eye (the eye of the envious), which is why you will see them hanging in front of the doors of almost any home and shop in Turkey. You will find Nazar boncuğu in various versions and materials, from earrings to key chains, from glass to ceramics and even as a rosary.
Kilims and Carpets
When you walk around the carpet market in the Grand Bazaar, you will be struck by the bright colors of carpets and kilims displayed throughout the place. You will definitely want to buy Turkish carpets and kilims as a souvenir and perhaps give your living room an oriental touch.
The ancient art of weaving decorated Turkish carpets is a craft that is passed on from generation to generation, and it is a long-standing tradition in Turkey that represents a part of its Ottoman civilization. Each region of Turkey has a different pattern of carpets, in the Grand Bazaar, you will find samples of all types that are made in Turkey. Kilims are among the most traditional models as they are woven in different sizes, but the most common and easiest to pack in a travel bag is 2x1 meters size or smaller.
See Also Antique Shopping in Istanbul
Lokum is considered the symbol of Istanbul sweets. Lokum is the perfect souvenir to buy from the Grand Bazaar, it allows your friends and family in your country to taste one of Turkey's most distinctive sweets. In the Grand Bazaar you will find many shops that sell these traditional sweets in many shapes and tastes. We recommend that you try different flavors before you buy them as you can try to negotiate the final price too.
Turkish Bath Soap
Your trip to Istanbul cannot be considered as a complete one unless you try the famous Turkish Hamam. The best way to remember this special experience, and maybe even do it at home, is by buying Turkish bath soap. When you visit the Grand Bazaar you will surely see many places that offer Turkish bath soap in various forms, types and fragrances. Ask the seller about all the types you like and make sure they are made from natural materials such as olive oil, honey or lavender flower.
Smoking hookah to pass the time is an old tradition but still exists in Turkey. Having a hookah in your home will not only add an oriental touch to your decor, but it can also become a special way to have conversations with your guests, even if they are not regular smokers. The Grand Bazaar is home to dozens of stores that sells shisha. There you will find hookah with colorful inscriptions and various distinctive motifs, just like lamps.