Turkish coast: shopping guide
Ready for shopping on the Turkish Riviera?
The towns on the Turkish coast have become popular tourist destinations, not only for their unique beauty but also for the shopping experience they have to offer. From carpets, jewelry and leather jackets to spices and ceramics, in the Turkish Riviera bazaars and markets you will find all sorts of goods and, usually, at very good prices!
Whether you are a passionate shopper or an occasional collector, there is no chance you will leave Turkey without some special souvenirs. In this article, we will help you find out what to buy in each town, how to get there from Greece and we will share some tips for you to make the most of your shopping trip:
- Fashion items and local artifacts from Bodrum
- Exquisite carpets in Marmaris
- Clothing and fabrics in Kusadasi
- Antiques in Ayvalik
- Shopping tips
Gorgeous arabian lights, easy to find at a Turkish bazaar
Fashion items and local artifacts from Bodrum
The shopping scene in Bodrum is extremely diverse: from street markets to modern malls, you can find anything your heart desires. In the narrow streets of the city center, there are countless shops to buy leather goods, natural sponges, local blue glass beads, and jewelry, as well as double-knotted Turkish carpets or kilims. The owners usually offer a refreshing drink once you enter their shop!
However, the Bodrum bazaars are the city’s biggest shopping attraction! In their busy wares, you will find all sorts of treasures, from knock-off fashion to artisanal souvenirs. If you are patient enough to search the stalls thoroughly and bargain hard, you will be rewarded with unique items of great value.
+ The Turgutreis market
The open-air market held in Turgutreis is among the largest on the Bodrum peninsula. The stalls there are loaded with delicacies and condiments, as well as clothing and textiles, while the streets near the town marina are a handmade jewelry, ceramic and painting mine!
How to get to Bodrum by ferry from Greece
In the summer, there are 4-5 daily crossings to Bodrum from the island of Kos in the Dodecanese. You can get from Kos to Bodrum by ferry in around 30 minutes. A single ferry ticket costs from €17 to €25.
Colorful brass bells and blue glass beads at a Bodrum souvenir shop
Exquisite carpets in Marmaris
In Marmaris, there are endless shopping options. Visit the Wednesday bazaar at Icmeler beach for excellent pine honey and leather goods. On Thursdays, you will find handicrafts, like ornaments and embroidery, and jewelry with (semi)precious stones at the Marmaris Market and the Armutalan Market. For branded clothes and souvenirs, visit the Netsel marina.
However, carpets are the real Marmaris specialty! The town produces unique hand-woven pieces with natural colors. To buy some exquisite rugs, you can visit the Marmaris Carpet School. The nearby Turgut village also specializes in carpet weaving and is worth a visit if you are looking for exclusive pieces.
How to get to Marmaris by ferry from Greece
You can get to Marmaris by ferry from the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese in about 1 hour. There are up to 2 daily crossings from Rhodes to Marmaris in the summer months and single ferry tickets start at €52.
Neon sign welcoming visitors to the Marmaris old grand bazaar
Clothing and fabrics in Kusadasi
If you are visiting Kusadasi with some serious shopping intentions, it is the Wednesday market that you should be aiming for. It is the town’s most popular market and for a reason: it is paradise for clothes and textiles! At great prices, the Wednesday market is the best place to buy shirts, t-shirts, children’s clothes, and underwear. You will also find cheap and quality towels, bed linen and tablecloths.
Remember that it takes some time and research to unearth the best deals, and always negotiate the prices with the traders! In the summer, it is best to visit the market early as it can get hotter by the hour.
How to get to Kusadasi by ferry from Greece
You can get to Kusadasi by ferry from the island Samos in the north Aegean in less than 1.5 hours. There are 1-2 daily crossings from Samos to Kusadasi in the summer and single ferry tickets start at around €30.
Traditional, beautiful Turkish carpets outside a shop in Kusadasi
Antiques in Ayvalik
The town of Ayvalik is mostly known for its olive oil and curd cheese. However, among its unique products, you can also buy hand-painted kerchiefs, handmade accessories and jewelry. The stalls of the Saturday flea market is the best place to find special cheap items from local sellers.
You can’t claim you did shopping in Ayvalik, though, if you don’t visit its antique bazaar. Its 12 shops are among the most popular places to stroll in Ayvalik. There, you can buy antique furniture, old lamps, chandeliers, ceramics, liquor bottles , paintings, jewelry, old books, and many other retro treasures!
How to get to Ayvalik by ferry from Greece
You can get to Ayvalik from the island of Lesbos in the north Aegean. With about 2 crossings a day, the ferry trip from Lesbos to Ayvalik takes around 1.5 hours and the single ferry ticket costs around €25.
Interested in a day trip to Ayvalik? Check our suggestions on what to do in Ayvalik in 1 day.
Cute miniature lighthouses at an Ayvalik souvenir shop
Tips for shopping on the Turkish coast
We have 6 useful tips that will optimize your shopping experience on the Turkish coast:
- The Turkish lira is the accepted currency in Turkey. In some places you might be able to pay with euros, but you'll always get a better deal if you pay cash and in the local currency. You can exchange currency to lira at ATMs using a debit or travel card.
- There are certain transfer regulations on the goods that you can take with you from Turkey. You can take up to 2kg / 3 cartons of local tobacco products, 5kg of alcoholic drinks or 12 bottles of raki / local drinks, and foodstuffs up to a total value of 100 liras.
- Non-Turkish residents who have not spent more than 6 months in Turkey are eligible for a VAT (Value Added Tax) refund for the goods that they have bought. You can claim it at customs as long as you carry the relevant receipts.
- If you want to take lots of goods back home, it is recommended to travel by ferry. Companies that operate ferry routes from Greece to Turkey and vice versa have no limit on luggage allowance and you can always take your car with you.
- Even in the most reputable shops, haggling is essential to get the best deal. However, it is better not to negotiate if you’ve no intention of buying.
- Avoid buying in the first shop/stall you visit. If you are looking for a specific item, look around several places and pick the one that offers the best quality and price balance.
A “lokum” delight and Turkish tea for some shopping energy
Souvenirs are the best way to keep your memories from your magical trip to the Turkish coast alive. Are you ready for shopping? Book ferry tickets online and pack your bags to your favorite town on the Turkish Riviera, at no hidden costs!