Ancient trades: Ottoman life in Safranbolu Market, Turkey

Shopping Essentials

Where: Safranbolu, near the Black Sea in Turkey
What’s in store: Traditional trades & crafts preserved since Ottoman times
Best Buy: If you’re not to nifty on your feet, this is the ultimate place to buy a walking stick

Where It’s At

Set in Central Anatolia, 65km west of the Black Sea and at the agricultural heartland of turkey, Safranbolu is an important market town. It’s an ancient civilisation which dates back to 3000 BC. Two hours north of Ankara, it is seldom visited by tourists and arguably has Turkey’s finest architecture and is deemed a World Heritage Site. Safranbolu hasn’t been overexploited by tourism yet, and here you will find a glimpse of the real Turkish way of life where traditional trades and crafts are still practised by local artisans and farmers as they were in Ottoman times.

Shopper’s Paradise

The bazaars are situated in the centre of town and the market square forms the focal point of the sprawling town. The narrow pedestrians streets are crammed with beautiful buildings with overhanging kissing balconies and tiny stores packed along the cobbled streets. The streets are organised into guilds for each trade – grocery, leather crafts, wood crafts and metals.

The town is famous for wood products like walking sticks as well as the food, meat and metal crafts on sale here. While you’re there, try the local speciality of chai tea and hazelnut sweets.

More Information

Mideast travelling
Contains a historic and cultural guide to Safranbolu in Turkey