Turkey is often referred to as the land of “genuine fakes” when it comes to shopping.
I must confess that I love a spot of retail therapy and bagging a bargain.
So Turkey really is the perfect shopper’s playground for me.
I personally love a good mooch at the local markets (bazaars) as the choices for bargain hunting babes like me are endless.
You see the so-called land of the “genuine fakes” never fails to throw you a retail life raft whether you’re in search of the latest (fake) designer handbag (that will rival Victoria Beckham’s latest cute clutch), designer shades (that your friends will think are the real deal) or the perfect gift for friends or family back.
When I look back I used to love spending a day in a shopping centre, nestled in large department stores back home in the UK, browsing, trying on and buying clothes.
But there is something simply wonderful about being greeted by a colourful and bustling open air market, on a warm sunny day.
Bazaars here are lined with rows of colourful fruits, vegetables and spices which radiate amazing smells.
And then they’re endless supplies of stalls selling brand name shoes, bags, watches, jewellery and accessories – in Turkey’s magical (and sometimes mayhem like) marketplaces.
When walking through the open air, I feel so free, “but” I have to remember to stay alert as everyone is vying for my attention as they want me to buy from them.
So I always have my “haggling hat” on ready to barter for my wares with the local market salesman (and sometimes they are cheeky and charming, so stay cool).
I also love the fact that the markets have small cafe areas that serve snacks.
I’m seriously addicted to a banana and honey pancakes (they are so sweet and yummy in my tummy).
The downside of market shopping is that you cannot try on most items of clothing items (no changing rooms) and there is no returns policy!
Don’t expect a receipt; just expect your change and wide smile.
More formal shopping malls can be found in cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya.
The city malls are home to popular mainstream high street stores, but keep an eye out for tax which is often added onto the final price of individual garments.
And lookout for sales (indirim) – it’d be rude to miss the opportunity to bag a bargain.
Happy shopping :)