My personal rule when it comes to souvenirs is to buy something you’d actually use in everyday life, rather than trinkets that tend to add clutter. I love textiles, homewares, jewelry, leather bags or sandals, and scarves. In Istanbul, we picked up four beautiful dessert bowls with a matching salad bowl. They’re hand-painted and apparently pretty hardy, so here’s hoping we can take them with us if/when we next move.
We also picked up a set of Turkish tea glasses from the supermarket! We saw them for sale in all the touristy shops, but given they are a staple in every Turkish household, we figured we could find them at a better price in a local store. We have a bad habit of smashing glasses (I swear we’ve been through multiple sets here in Nairobi already) so it made sense to buy a cheap basic set rather than splurge on the ornate options we saw in the markets.