You will need to make your shopping plan in Istanbul according to the object you will buy. Locals of the city know that there is a different neighborhood where each item can be purchased at an affordable price. In order to answer the question of where to buy a Turkish carpets in Istanbul, it is necessary to know certain areas.
For example, Horhor Street for antiques, Mahmutpasa Street for cheap clothing, Sirkeci for electronic items and Galata for lighting items. I shared very detailed information on these topics in a blog post titled best shopping places in Istanbul.
Foreign visitors coming to Istanbul think that bargaining is a part of everyday culture. However, bargaining is not welcomed except for the Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar. Especially in the modern centers of the city, such as Beyoglu or Besiktas or Kadikoy, the price of everything is clear and bargaining is not accepted.
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What to Buy in Istanbul
The answer to the question of what to buy in Istanbul is leather, jewelry, tile and carpet. However, it should be noted that you do not have to buy these goods from bazaars close to touristic places.
It is very difficult for first-time travelers to buy something in the historical bazaars of Istanbul. In these places where shopping takes place through bargains, you can never be sure that you have found the real price of a good.
For this reason, you may buy some items from modern neighborhoods, instead of the Historic Peninsula (Old City) of Istanbul. So what products can you buy from modern shopping malls of Istanbul where prices are fixed?
1. Jewelry and Leather
You can buy jewelery and leather from modern shopping malls or streets. Brands such as Desa, Deriden and Derimod offer very high quality leather products. These brands have a branch in each shopping mall.
Likewise, you can choose well-established brands such as Atasay, Altınbaş and Koçak Gold for jewelry. You may prefer these brands for silver and diamond shopping in Istanbul.
You can consider Grand Bazaar to buy gold. Because the Grand Bazaar is traditionally the center of the Turkish gold market. For this reason, the best goldsmiths in the city and their designs are also found here.
The answer to the question of “whether the locals do shopping at the Grand Bazaar” will be yes if the subject is to buy gold. The gram price of gold is fixed and will give you an idea of pricing.
3. Turkish Rugs and Iznik Tiles
I have said that you can easily find jewelery and leather outside of Old City. However, I cannot say the same for Turkish rugs and Iznik tiles. Carpets and Tiles, which are products of traditional art, are found especially in Sultanahmet and its surroundings.
It is hard to find hand-knotted Turkish carpets and hand-painted Iznik Tiles. Because the number of people who can do this job is small and the job requires great skill. Carpet and tile workshops are located in the cities of Anatolia and have a traditional structure.
Since Istanbul is the city where carpets and tiles are sold the most, they are brought to the shops here. However, it is not an easy task to select, buy and sell these products at the right price. That’s why you need to choose the right place to buy Turkish carpets in Istanbul.
History of Turkish Rugs
In this article, I will try to give information on how to buy handmade Turkish carpets in Istanbul. However, you must have an idea of carpet art before going to the place where you will buy a carpet.
In order to find out in which region the carpets started to be woven for the first time and how they became popular around the world, I recommend you to read the article titled history of Turkish carpets.
Turkish carpets were first started to be woven in Asia. However, the character of today’s Turkish carpet emerged when the Turks settled in Anatolia.
Turkish carpet art, blending the surrounding cultures, has gained worldwide fame since the 14th century. Famous painters such as Lorenzo Lotto, Hans Holbein and Hans Memling painted their Turkish carpets in full detail.
Best Places to Buy Turkish Carpets in Istanbul
In the lines below, I will introduce you to the best places to buy Turkish carpets in Istanbul. You can find references in many travel guides about these reputable carpet stores. You can find handmade carpets, rugs and kilims of various sizes in these famous carpet shops of Istanbul.
However, keep in mind that even locals do not have enough information about authentic Turkish rugs. In order to understand whether a carpet is original, it is necessary to be an expert.
Therefore, if you are going to shop yourself, I suggest you to be careful. You should really know what you are looking for in order not to be disappointed. Going to a reliable shop will at least ensure you get decent service.
1. Nakkas Oriental Rugs
Nakkas Oriental Rugs stands out among the best carpet shops in Istanbul with its collection of thousands of carpets. The shop, which consists of several floors, has an incredible collection of carpets and rugs.
Nakkas Rug is located very close to Hippodrome, a Roman era structure in Istanbul. In the 1500-year-old cistern below the shop, there is a museum about the chariot races held in the Hippodrome of Constantinople during the Roman and Byzantine periods.
2. Punto Carpet
Punto Carpet is located on Nuruosmaniye Street, which is a shopping street very close to the Grand Bazaar. Punto has become one of the most popular carpet shops in Istanbul in the last two decades.
Punto Carpet has a very large collection of carpets and rugs and is one of the carpet stores in Istanbul with the highest customer satisfaction rate. You can find the shop in the back street of Kahve Dunyasi, a local coffee chain.
3. Sisko Osman
So far, we have talked about carpet shops outside the Grand Bazaar. When it comes to the carpet shops in the historical bazaar, Sisko Osman should be placed first.
Sisko Osman has been known as the carpet shop of celebrities in the Grand Bazaar for decades. Many famous names of the Western world, especially Hollywood stars, shopped here.
The shop was identified with its owner, Osman. The mission of Osman, who became famous as an expert carpet seller in the 80s and 90s, is now being carried on by the next generation.
You can find this carpet shop named Sisko Osman in Zincirli Han, located in the northeastern part of the Grand Bazaar. The shop is located in a small courtyard accessible from the bazaar.
4. Sengor Halı
Sengor Halı is a carpet shop with roots going back a century and has been specializing in the business for four generations. For this reason, it is known as one of the oldest carpet shops in the Grand Bazaar.
Sengor Halı is located on Takkeciler Sokak, a wide street in the middle of the Grand Bazaar. The current owner of Sengor is “Semsettin Sengor” in his 90’s. He has a vast knowledge and experience as he has been trained in this business since his childhood.
Although Sengor is not a very eye-catching shop at first glance, it has a large collection of carpets and rugs. You can find many types of carpets here as well as listen to their stories.
5. Dhoku Rugs
With its modern style, Dhoku Rugs differs a little from the carpet makers I’ve recommended so far. At Dhoku Rugs, you can find carpets that blend traditional carpet art with modern decoration.
Dhoku’s rugs mostly feature geometric patterns and go well with modern designer furniture. I think people who like contemporary art will like Dhoku’s carpets more. You can find Dhoku on Takkeciler Street just like the previous Sengor.
Written by Serhat Engul