What Gifts to Bring Back for Friends from Antalya?

What Gifts to Bring Back for Friends from Antalya?

What's a trip without souvenirs for friends and family? Antalya has a lot to choose from, with a wide range of options. You can find both classic souvenirs and unique items. Like any other city, you can get souvenirs featuring Antalya's landmarks and sights on various things like cups, plates, glasses, postcards, posters, T-shirts, bags, and magnets. There are also special souvenirs that are unique to Antalya and Turkey, giving you a taste of the city and country. Here are 20 unique souvenir ideas to take back from your visit to Antalya.


Nazar Boncuğu (The Evil Eye Protector)

Many cultures think that the evil eye is real and this idea has been around since ancient times. Back then, people made eye-shaped charms to protect themselves from others' envy and jealousy. They thought that eyes could send out bad vibes, causing bad luck and harm. A recent survey shows that 66% of Turkish people still believe in the evil eye and use charms to keep themselves safe. Nazar Boncuks, which are eye-shaped charms, are usually made from glass and come in many shapes and sizes. You can find them as keychains, earrings, necklaces, on dishes, and many other items. The charm is always blue because blue is seen as a powerful color that can take in the bad vibes and keep the person wearing the charm safe from the evil eye. In some places, people think that those with blue eyes can give the evil eye. They even keep their babies away from people with blue eyes. These charms are not just interesting things to buy but also represent a symbol of Turkey.

Rakı (Famous Turkish Alcohol)

Rakı is Turkey's most famous drink. It is made from grapes that are first fermented and then distilled. To add flavor, anise and fennel seeds are put in, and then it's distilled again. Rakı tastes a bit like licorice. You can drink rakı by itself, but usually, people mix it with water. They also like to have small dishes of food, called meze, with it. When you mix rakı with water, it turns a milky white color. That's why some people call it lion's milk or "aslan sütü" in Turkish. Rakı is strong and contains 40-50% alcohol. Two of the most well-known kinds are called Yeni Rakı and Tekirdağ.

Olive Oil

Olive oil was made for the first time about 8000 years ago. People make it by squashing olives and then pressing them without heat to get the oil out. In Turkey, there are more than 50 different kinds of olives and a lot of different olive oils.

If you want to make some of the food you ate on your holiday at home, you should bring a bottle of olive oil back with you.

Lokum (Turkish Delight)

It is made with sugar, water, and starch. Nuts, almonds, or pistachios are added to it for extra taste. It also comes in different tastes like rose water, cherry, or almond. Back in the old days, only rich people and the upper class could eat this sweet. The rose and almond flavors are very liked by people. You should try it! The person selling it will let you taste it before you decide to buy it.


When you buy a mix of spices from the East, it feels like bringing a bit of vacation back home. In every market, spices are available for sale, and the most well-known market for this is the spice bazaar in Manavgat. Just going to buy spices is an experience worth having because you can smell many different scents coming from the stalls. At the spice bazaar, you can find a lot of different spices like coriander, saffron, cumin, spicy bell pepper, cardamom, and much more. In supermarkets, you often find spices packed in rolls, where you get a sample of 6 to 8 different spices, each packed separately.

Copper Ware

During the Ottoman Empire, people in Turkey really liked using copper for things like jugs, small pans, pots to make coffee, and trays for tea. These items are still popular souvenirs today.

Near the big market in Antalya, there's a little street where you can find shops that only sell copper items. In these shops, they make copper goods just like they did a hundred years ago.


There are big farms where pistachios grow near Antalya. In the old days, people used pistachios to help with tooth pain and liver problems, but today they are not used much in medicine. However, people believe that pistachios are good for the heart and can help lower bad cholesterol because they have a lot of good fats.

You can buy these nuts with salt on them in markets, and they are sold by weight. Stores that sell dried fruits and nuts also have pistachios. In these stores, you can often find them in vacuum-sealed packs. They make a very delicious gift.

Turkish Carpets 

Carpet making is a very old skill in Turkey, going back 3000 years. Turkish carpets are special because they are the only ones made with a double knot technique and their designs change based on where they are from. There are two main types: kilims, which are woven, and hand-knotted carpets. The worth of hand-knotted carpets is known by counting the knots in a square centimeter. Also, these carpets can be made of silk or wool, which makes a difference too. When buying one, you should talk about the price, but remember, the cost can change a lot depending on how good it is and where it's from. If you know about carpets, this can be a very meaningful gift.

Coffee Cups

Turkey is known for having a very old coffee tradition. They mix very fine coffee powder with water in a small metal pot and heat it slowly until it starts to rise. The foam that forms is shared evenly between the coffee cups. They heat the coffee again and then pour it into the cups. Turkish coffee is served in small cups, about the same size as those used for espresso. These cups often have many different designs and patterns.

Ceramic Plates

In markets and local shops, you can find vases, cups, plates, and small decorative items that are colorful. Turkey has a long history of making ceramic items. The porcelain from a place called Kütahya is very famous. These ceramic pieces are made and painted by hand. They are a favorite choice for gifts and to decorate homes. But, you should not put them in dishwashers.

Tea Glasses

In Turkey, people drink tea from small glasses that get thinner in the middle. This shape helps the tea stay hot for a longer time. They also use small plates under the glasses. To make Turkish tea, they use two pots placed one on top of the other, known as Çaydanlık. They boil water in the bottom pot and then pour it over tea leaves in the top pot. After the tea has brewed, they first pour some of the strong tea into each glass. Then, they add boiling water from the bottom pot into the glass. This way, everyone can choose if they want their tea strong or weak. A tea set can be a good item to take home as a memory.

Tavla (Turkish Backgammon Board)

Tavla is a game very much like Backgammon and people believe it was played a long time ago, starting around 50 A.D. This game became popular across Europe during the Middle Ages and had many different names. However, the church didn't like it and decided that all Tavla boards should be burned. That's why people came up with a foldable board that looked like a book so they could hide it. Tavla is really popular in Turkey and people of all ages play it during various events. You might even want to try playing Tavla at home yourself.

Oriental Lamps

Oriental lamps are made from copper or brass. The part that covers the light is made of many tiny pieces of colored glass put together. These lamps can be of any shape or color, and the designs on them change based on where they're from. Usually, they are very colorful and have one main color.

Nargile (Water Pipe)

In Germany, these are known as Shisha, and it is thought that they first came from India or Iran. When you smoke using this water pipe, the smoke gets cooler and somewhat cleaner because it goes through water in a container. In Turkey, where it's called nargile, it's not just for smoking but also getting popular as a decoration. It's a great souvenir for anyone who likes things from the East.

Leather Goods

Leather items are a common souvenir from Turkey. The quality can change a lot, so it's important to look closely before buying. If you prefer, you can also get a leather item made just how you like it. This often takes only a few days.

Traditional Clothing

Traditional clothes in Turkey change from place to place. Back in the Ottoman times, clothes were very fancy and colorful, with a lot of red. People wore different clothes for different events. Today, in big cities, people don't wear traditional clothes too much, but in the countryside, many still follow old traditions. For example, in some small villages, you can know if a woman is single, married, or widowed by looking at what she wears on her head. The most common things people buy as souvenirs are vests and headwear. If you want, you can also try on a Şalvar, which are pants with a blouse that were once popular in Europe too.

Rose Water, Soap, Cream, Jam, and More

In the middle of the country, about 100 kilometers north of Antalya, there are big fields of Damascene roses grown in the Taurus Mountains. They make rose oil from these flowers. This oil is very important for making high-end perfumes. They use the rest of the flowers to make rose water. The local beauty product makers use these flowers to make creams, soaps, and colognes that smell like roses. You should also try jam or sweets made with rose water. It's a special thing to take home.

Brand Products

Branded items are sold everywhere at very low prices. This is because they are not real, but copies. Sometimes, these copies are made well and seem worth the money. But, bringing fake branded items into the EU is not allowed. If customs catches you, you will have to pay a big fine. So, it's better to buy a good quality Turkish product that doesn't have a luxury brand name on it.

Gold, Silver, and Copper Jewelry

In Antalya, you'll find a lot of jewelry shops. They show off many gold rings and bracelets in their windows. Gold costs the same in Turkey because they use the official price per gram. But, the jewelry is made in Turkey and making things costs less there than in many European countries. So, you can get good quality jewelry without spending too much money. Good jewelry stores will give you a certificate to prove it's real.

Peştemal (Hammam Towel)

These towels are usually used in a hammam, which is a kind of steam bath from Turkey. They are made from pure cotton and are meant to wrap around your body when you go to the hamam. Because these towels are thin and light, more people are starting to use them instead of regular bath towels. You can find them in many colors and styles. They make a unique and useful gift.


Antalya has many different kinds of souvenirs that help you remember your visit and show you a bit about the city's interesting culture and history. You can find beautiful gold jewelry that shows the great skills of Antalya's people in making things. There are also Peştemal towels, which are useful and traditional, and bright traditional clothes that have a lot of history. Each item has its own story. These souvenirs capture the special culture of Antalya and let you feel connected to the city's ways and traditions. They are perfect for anyone who wants to bring a piece of Antalya home.


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