Even though I enjoyed browsing the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (previous post), I found it to be overwhelming because of its size and how crowded it was. My lovely friend S suggested that I check out Arasta Bazaar in the Sultanahmet area for a better shopping experience. So I took her advice and I'm so glad I did. The bazaar, which was built at the same time as the Blue Mosque in 1617, was less crowded and offered traditional merchandise like textiles, ceramics, and carpets, but better quality and different than anything I saw at the Grand Bazaar, in my opinion at least. Yes, the prices were also higher, but if you want something unique wouldn't you pay a little bit extra? Oh! And don't buy souvenirs from Arasta, as you will find them half the price in shops located off-the-tourist-path areas.
One shop I strongly recommend visiting is called Er & Ne & Met, it had the best selection of carpets, kilims, ikat fabrics, vintage caftans, pillow cases... etc I have ever seen during my stay there. We stumbled upon it by coincidence and we ended up buying three carpets and several pillow cases. The funny thing is that when the sales guy found out that we're from Kuwait, he told us that they're currently working Williams-Sonoma, a high-end American furniture store, to provide them with wholesale merchandise. I've heard that AlShaya Group is supposed to open Williams-Sonoma in Kuwait and the region sometime in the future. Anyhow, here are some photos of Er & Ne & Met. Also scroll down for another cute shop recommendation.
The photo above is showcasing a beautiful vintage piece available at Er & Ne & Met
A stunning vintage piece also spotted at Er & Ne & Met
Here's another cute find recommended by my lovely friend S. The store is called Cocoon and it sells the most adorable accessories and leather goods for kids and adults. It also sells pillow cases, leather goods, beanie hats (the kind that would make Bryan boy green with envy), vintage caftans, and more. The shop is located very close to the Arasta Bazaar