Cappadocia is a shopper's delight. Right from the intricate and unique pottery to the amazing variety of gorgeous carpets, and the special brands of Turkish wine to numerous other local memorabilia such as the ‘Turkish blue eye', ornate plates, chess sets, mugs and ashtrays, you are sure to face some tough decisions! Clothes, particularly hand knitted garments, are also a speciality here. However, whatever you pick up from your Turkish sojourn, beware of imitations and remember to bargain hard.
Turkish spices are famous and their good quality is apparent from the strong spicy smell that pervades your senses in the Turkish markets.
Our Cappadocia shopping page below will give you an idea of where are the best places to shop throughout the region, as well as some great Cappadocia gift and souvenir ideas. We also have more shopping information about Turkey as a whole. And don't forget to enjoy a nice local meal in one of the many restaurants in Cappadocia.
Turkish carpets have a huge demand in the international market. Unlike Persian carpets, the carpets here are woven mostly by women, both in workshops and at home. Kayseri, located in central Turkey, is one of the oldest and established centres of carpet and Kilim weaving. You can go into the homes of the weavers to have an experience of the process. The carpets here come in a host of designs, quality and sizes.
You can buy the extraordinarily beautiful silk carpets, which are very expensive and come in smaller sizes. Pure silk carpets have 600,000 to 700,000 knots per square metre. Other equally beautiful varieties are also available such as the artificial silk and wool (floss) carpets, or the natural wool and Bunyan carpets.
Weavers are usually attached to particular shops, buying the yarn and selling their finished products there. The floss and silk mix carpets look quite similar to the pure silk ones and are a favourite with European tourists because of their attractive designs and cheaper price, as compared to the pure silk carpets. These carpets are dyed with chemicals because of the floss used for the knots. The warp and the weft are of cotton. They are similar to Bunyan carpets in that they have the same size, design and number of knots. However, they are much smaller in size than Bunyan carpets.
The silk and wool mixed carpets are very popular in the foreign markets and are eagerly picked up by dealers. Bunyan carpets are made from a mix of cotton yarn and wool dyed in vegetable colours. The designs usually represent classic oriental floral patterns. As compared to the silk carpets, 120,000 to 150,000 knots are made per square metre. You can buy a Bunyan in various sizes, right from a pillow sized one to one that is a huge 16 sq m. The natural wool carpets made in Kayseri do not have the burst of colours that is characteristic of the Bunyan. Made mostly in staid colours such as shades of brown, white, cream and black, these too have the same number of knots as the Bunyan.
Cappadocia pottery is unique to the region and distinctive to the history of the land. Avanos, in particular, is famous for its pottery and the red clay, which goes in making these is found on the banks of the river Kızılırmak. The art is mainly concentrated in family-run enterprises. You can try your hand at the potter's wheel, and if you are good enough, can take home your handcrafted pottery. Also choose from an array of beautiful pottery to carry back as gifts for family and friends.
Buy the ‘nazar boncuk', a very distinctive Turkish amulet found all over Turkey, worn as bracelets, or earrings or on necklaces by the women. This is used to ward off the ‘evil eye' and is also found in front of houses and in cars, or tied to baby clothes. The amulet is round in shape, and blue in colour but can be of different sizes.
Cappadocia is one of the earliest wine producers in the world, going back to 3200 B.C. Poets from Ottoman times have written about wine. Though the flavours of Turkish wine cannot match the French ones in number, they do compete on their distinctive taste. Pick up a few bottles, as you will not find them easily outside Cappadocia.