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Wondering what neat and unique souvenirs you can buy during your visit to Bursa? Looking for gifts to take back home to share with your family and friends? Here’s a list of ten distinctive Bursa items that you might want to consider picking up as you peruse Bursa’s shops and bazaars.
Tiles and pottery. Nearby Īznik’s handmade, hand painted tiles are beautiful and famous. The best pieces are made from quartz, but you’ll pay a hefty price for such quality. Ceramic is considerably less expensive and can be bought in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. Plates, bowls, cups, trivets, coasters, table utensils, and figurines of all kinds are hand painted with colorful traditional designs. The best place to buy Īznik tiles and pottery is, of course, in Īznik. But you can readily find them in many Bursa shops. Start your search at the gift shops around Yeşil Tomb, in Eski Ayna Kapalı Çarşı, in Balibey Han, or on Irgandı Bridge. Take a look at our ceramics buying guide.
Silk. Bursa was once a major trade center in the world’s silk industry and an important terminal on the Silk Road. Back in its heyday Bursa silk was an internationally recognized luxury item. Though those days are in the past, local silk production is making a comeback and locally produced scarves, ties, clothing, and décor can be purchased in many downtown shops. Look for your piece of silk in one of the many shops in and around Koza Han, but be sure to ask for authentic Bursa silk and skip the cheap imported stuff. Read more about Bursa silk shopping in our silk buying guide.
Textiles. One of Bursa’s hallmark industries today is textile manufacturing. In fact, Bursa is considered an important world textile production center. You can buy locally produced textiles—fabric, towels, linens, and clothing—in many shops in the downtown market.
Karagöz & Hacivat. These two zany shadow puppet characters are local celebrities and, along with their friends, can be purchased in a handful of Bursa gift shops. Traditionally, shadow puppets are made from camel, ox, or sheep skin, but you can also find them in less expensive wooden and plastic versions. You’ll find a good selection of authentic Karagöz shadow puppets in many sizes and styles at the Karagöz Antique and Gift Shop in the Eski Ayna Kapalı Çarşı. If Mr. Çelikkol, the store owner, is there, ask him to show you some of the secrets of shadow puppet theater. He’s a renowned master puppeteer.
Rugs and carpets. Turkish rugs and carpets are not specific to Bursa, but you can find them in many downtown shops. Some shops sell traditional, handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces. Visit Yunus Vurmaz’s Anadolu Gift Shop near Yeşil Tomb and ask to see his collection of authentic, antique handmade rugs that he personally brings in from all over Turkey.
Ottoman period antiques and replicas. Being the original Ottoman city, Ottoman antiques and replicas can be purchased throughout Bursa’s central marketplace. Such items are often made of copper. In particular, look for Ottoman antiques and replicas in the shops around Yeşil Tomb and in Eski Ayna Kapalı Çarşı.
Local art. Balibey Han and Irgandı Bridge, in particular, as well as the area around Kayhan Pazarı, are home to a number of small artisan and metalwork shops. Handmade metal art, clothing, jewelry, glass mosaics, pottery, traditional ebru paintings, calligraphy, custom knives, and really neat wire and nail pictures (filography) can be purchased in many shops directly from the artists.
Bursaspor team gear. Bursaspor is the local football team, and a green and white jersey or scarf could make a good souvenir for a sport fan. Look for Bursaspor gear in downtown shops or visit one of the official Bursaspor stores.
Olive oil. The hills around Bursa are famous for their olives, and locally produced olive oil is excellent. Many local producers even pack their oil in travel-friendly metal cans. The Gemlik and Mudanya areas are recognized for their high-quality olive oils, and we suggest you get your Gemlik olive oil from our favorite olive farmer.
Kestane şekeri. If you’re looking for a unique local taste to take back home and share with your friends, pick up a box or jar of candied chestnuts. Bursa is famous for these sweet treats, and you can find a wide choice of chestnut-filled goodies in many shops throughout the city.
There you have it. These are, in our opinion, the top ten Bursa souvenirs. Next time you’re wandering through Bursa’s winding streets and bazaars, keep your eyes open for these distinctive gifts and souvenirs. For more information on Bursa’s shopping scene, please visit our Stay, Eat, Shop page.