Gifts From Istanbul: What To Buy For Your Loved Ones?

During your Istanbul trip, there are lots of souvenirs and gifts you can buy for your friends or family. If you want to know what are your options, here’s the right place for Istanbul gift ideas. Let’s see what are the best gifts from Istanbul Turkey.

Table of Contents

General Istanbul Souvenirs

Istanbul is known for its specific features. A glance will be enough to know that it’s from Istanbul. So, here is the list of general gifts from Istanbul:

  • Turkish coffee set
  • Turkish tea set
  • Mosaic lamps
  • Sculptures
  • Magnets
  • Keychains
  • Bottle opener
  • Lokum
  • Spices
  • Ceramics
  • Turkish Tea
  • Turkish Coffee
  • Lemon Cologne
  • Cups
  • Kilim

Turkish Coffee Set

A copper Turkish coffee set is one of the best gifts to bring back from Istanbul to your hometown. Turkish coffee requires low to moderate heat, this is why these Turkish coffee pots are made in copper for the best outcome. As long as these pots are maintained properly, they can be used permanently.

Turkish Tea Set

Turkish tea is the symbol of Turkey. If you know a friend or relative who loves drinking black tea as much as Turkish people, a tea set for them undoubtedly will be one of the best gifts to buy from Istanbul.

Mosaic Lamps

Mosaic lamp shops are especially found in historical bazaars in Istanbul. These mosaic lamps have traditional unique motives and are colorful. They can be an excellent choice for a working room which is a bit gloomy.


Mini or big, you can find lots of sculptures in Istanbul souvenir shops. A mini Bosphorus, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, or Galata Tower can be great decorations for one’s house. You should also grab one for yourself to remember the memories of Istanbul.

Fridge Magnets

Magnets can be the most practical little Istanbul gifts you can buy for your friends. They come in all sizes, shapes, and designs. They can be about nostalgic Taksim tram, the Bosphorus, mosques, the Maiden’s Tower, seagulls, or just Istanbul itself.


Keychains are safe choices no matter which country you visit. They are cute and remind someone easily of you. For example, a tiny Galata Tower in your friend’s backpack or pocket can make them think of you whenever they use the keys. However, check if the keychain has any sharp points because they can hurt the person.

Bottle Opener

A bottle opener with a specific popular Istanbul location can be a great idea for a gift. Some bottle openers can also be fridge magnets, so if you find one it is two birds with one stone!

Turkish Delights (Lokum)

If your friends or family have a sweet tooth, lokum is the best gift for them. There are countless flavored Turkish delights and it will be a challenge for you to pick the best of them. Also, as long as kept in a dry environment away from sunlight, Turkish delight can last for a month without going bad. So they are the ideal Istanbul gift for people you love.


Turkish cuisine uses numerous delicious spices to add more flavor to the dishes. Some of them are eaten during breakfast. For example, there’s a mixture of spices which is called “zahter” in Turkey. You mix zahter with olive oil and dip your bread in it. Along with other spices, especially buy zahter if you find it.


You can lots of cups, plates, and bowls made of ceramic that are decorated with memories of Istanbul in Turkey. Either for usage or to hang on the wall, you can buy your loved ones a ceramic plate, cute Bosphorus or Galata Tower cups, or bowls with flowery motives.

Turkish Coffee

You are in the heart of Turkish coffee production in the world. Bringing several packs of Turkish coffee would be the sweetest gift. The most Turkish coffee brand in Turkey is Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi. They have several branch offices in Istanbul where they sell fresh Turkish coffee. If you don’t come across one, you can always find it in markets.

Turkish Tea

Black tea is almost every Turkish person’s daily drink. It is also seen as a cultural drink of Turkish. So, buying a pack or two would be great for anyone you know who loves to drink tea. They will know how Turkish tea is different from other black teas they drank before.

Lemon Cologne

Cologne is quite popular and commonly used in Turkey. Especially during family visits or after leaving a restaurant, the hosts offer cologne to their visitors. The main reason for offering cologne is to sanitize the visitors’ hands and make them smell good. Cologne is made of 80% ethyl alcohol which kills bacteria easily.


Kilims are like colorful, woven stories in Turkey. People use them as rugs, blankets, or decorations in their homes, and each design can tell a unique tale. They’re not just for looks; they’re practical and often have sentimental value, passed down through generations. In Turkey, they’re more than just pieces of fabric; they’re part of the culture and history.

Unique Gifts From Istanbul

If you don’t want to buy something general and want to buy something more unique gifts from Istanbul to your loved ones, here is the list:

  • Handmade backgammon or chess set
  • Copper wares
  • Handmade jewelry
  • Ashtrays
  • Coasters
  • Soaps
  • Rakı
  • Rakı glass set
  • Turkish jams
  • Sports clothes
  • Wooden pencils

Handmade Backgammon or Chess Set

Both backgammon and chess are famous tabletop games in Turkey. For this reason, many craftsmen produce and sell handmade backgammon and chess sets in Turkey. All you have to do is find a notable shop for its works and buy the set. It will be a classy souvenir for the receiver

Copper Wares

Other than Turkish coffee pots (cezve), there is more copper kitchenware being sold in Turkey. Copper is a great conductor and makes your food cook evenly. For this reason, they can be an excellent gift to buy from Istanbul.

Handmade Jewelry

Handcrafted jewelry in Turkey showcases the artistry of local artisans. With a wide range of styles and materials, you can find unique pieces to suit any taste. From elegant designs to simple pieces, handmade jewelry is a fantastic gift choice to buy in Istanbul.


Turkish ashtrays often feature beautiful landmarks and they can serve as both functional items and decorative pieces. They make a unique and practical Istanbul souvenir for your friends who like smoking.


Coasters adorned with traditional Turkish motifs and patterns are not only functional but also a stylish addition to any home. They are a practical gift that can tune up the environment with their beautiful designs.

Olive Oil Soaps

Olive oil soaps are a popular Turkish product known for their high quality and natural ingredients. They make for a lovely and skin-friendly souvenir, available in a variety of scents and shapes. But be careful because there are so many brands that claim that they are all-natural. For your information, real natural olive oil soaps are very light beige toned and look simple.


Rakı, the iconic Turkish anise-flavored spirit, is a great choice for those who enjoy trying local beverages. Also, it’d be great if you know how to drink it properly so you can explain the way of drinking rakı. Lastly, don’t forget about the liquid restrictions in your luggage as well!

Rakı Glass Set

To fully enjoy Rakı, a set of traditional Rakı glasses can be a perfect addition alongside the rakı. These glasses are designed to enhance the drinking experience and can be a thoughtful gift for Rakı enthusiasts.

Turkish Jams

Turkish jams are famous for their rich flavors, made from a variety of fruits and often with a touch of Turkish tradition. Surprisingly, Turkish people make a lot of jams and some flavors even disgust the locals. If you want you want to surprise your loved ones with anchovy, mint, hot pepper, onion, eggplant, carrot, or walnut jam, Turkey is the right place to shop. Or, you can just buy classic strawberry, fig, peach, or cherry jam to go safe.

Sports Clothes

Turkey is known for its sports culture, and you can find a wide range of sports-related clothing. If you know a person who’s a fan of Turkish football clubs such as Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, or Beşiktaş, you can even buy them a team jersey from the team’s branch offices as well!

Wooden Pencils

Turkish wooden pencils are literal wood-carved pencils with lead inside the wood. Their middle is carved into the sapwood vertically to write one’s name with a laser. Back in the years, they were so popular that everybody had one. Even though these pencils lost their popularity, it still is a unique gift from Istanbul.

Religious Gifts From Istanbul

Turkish people are mostly religious and show their faith in many ways with different types of crafts. This also opens a door for tourists who are religious or for people who are into collecting such items. If you are thinking about buying religious souvenirs from Istanbul, you can get:

  • Prayer rug (Sajjada)
  • Prayer beads
  • Prayer caps (Taqiyah)
  • Pashminas
  • Mosque themed souvenirs
  • Evil eye accessories
  • Prayer books
  • Whirling dervish figurines
  • Azaan clock

Prayer Rug (Sajjada)

Prayer rugs, known as Sajjada, are an essential carpet-like item for Muslims during their daily prayers. They often feature intricate designs and make for a meaningful and practical gift or souvenir.

Prayer Beads

Prayer beads, or Misbaha, are used for counting prayers or meditative recitations. They are not only a religious accessory but also a meaningful souvenir. Some people also love collecting beads made with different types of stones, so it can be a great opportunity for you to impress your friend.

Prayer Caps (Taqiyah)

Taqiyahs, also known as prayer caps, are commonly worn during Islamic prayers. These caps often come in various styles and materials, and they can be a symbol of faith and a thoughtful gift.


Pashminas are delicate and versatile shawls that come in a range of colors and designs. They make for stylish and practical souvenirs or gifts, particularly for those seeking a touch of elegance.

Mosque Themed Souvenirs

You can find numerous souvenir shops around specific mosques like Hagia Sophia or Blue Mosque. Sculptures, magnets, or keychains can be charming for your friends who love such structures.

Evil Eye Accessories

The evil eye is considered a protective charm in Turkish culture. It is believed that if there’s an evil eye in the house or one is wearing it, bad energy will be repelled. If you know a person who believes in such energies, evil eyes are thoughtful presents for them.

Prayer Books

Prayer books, also known as “dua” books, are an essential part of religious practice for a devoted person. These books contain a collection of prayers and supplications for various occasions, helping individuals connect with their faith.

Whirling dervish figurines

Whirling dervishes are iconic figures in Turkish culture, symbolizing spiritual devotion. Figurines or artworks depicting them can be meaningful and artistic souvenirs.

Azaan clock

Azaan clocks are similar to alarm clocks but for prayer times for Muslims. It is a unique gift choice for someone who is living with the rules of Islam.

Where to Buy Souvenirs In Istanbul?

Here are all the places you can buy souvenirs in Istanbul:

  • Grand Bazaar
  • Spice Bazaar
  • Antique Shops
  • Galata
  • Ortaköy
  • Malls
  • Shops in the streets
  • Airports of Istanbul

Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı)

Grand Bazaar is known for having almost everything you can find. But, as it is one of the main tourist attractions, the prices can be higher than usual. Still, you should take a look and have an idea about what to bring back home.

In Grand Bazaar you can find:

  • Kilims
  • Jewelry
  • Accessories
  • Ceramics 
  • Turkish coffee pots in all sizes
  • Turkish delights
  • Spices
  • Teas
  • Leather goods
  • Collectibles
  • Keychains
  • Magnets

Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı)

Eminönü Spice Bazaar is the second most popular marketplace for tourists. The main attraction of this bazaar is of course spices but also other goods such as sweets, herbs, teas, and much more. Here is the full list of what you can in Spice Bazaar:

  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Lokum
  • Baklava
  • Candied fruits and nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Teas
  • Types of coffees and beans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Essential oils

Antique Shops

The most known antique shop is Feriköy Antique Marketplace in Istanbul. However, some quality antique shops are in the middle streets of Kadıköy as well as other districts. You can find vintage and antique goods there and can be pricey if you find a good piece.


The streets of Galata have lots of souvenir shops as well as street artists who sell their crafts. Since the end of Istiklal Avenue leads to Galata Tower, you can find countless gift options for your relatives and friends while going there.


Right behind where Kumpir stands are located, there’s another entry that leads you to souvenir and accessory stands. There, you can find scarves, accessories, jewelry, bags, and clothes. Tourists often shop there after eating their kumpir along the coast.


Malls are everywhere in Turkey and naturally, most malls in the country are in Istanbul with the number of 114. The most popular malls among tourists are:

  • Galataport
  • Kanyon
  • Istinye Park
  • Zorlu AVM
  • Vialand
  • Cevahir
  • Trump AVM
  • City’s Nişantaşı
  • Forum Istanbul
  • Venezia
  • Mall of Istanbul

Shops in the Streets

While walking in the streets of Istanbul, you can always find a shop with interesting goods that can catch your attention. Always check the display of shops even though you won’t buy something at that moment. The items you see can give you an idea or remind you of someone who would love it. So, keep your eyes open while walking in the streets of Istanbul.

Istanbul Airports

If you don’t or won’t have enough time to shop during your Istanbul trip, you still have a last chance at airports to put a smile on your loved ones’ faces with small gifts: Shops in the airports. Although the prices can be expensive there, it won’t be a big deal if you are not buying for many.