It’s impossible to visit the Balkan countries and not fall in love with some of the traditional products and homemade objects that can be found in the local markets and boutiques. A region fond to its heritage and traditions, the Balkan Peninsula is a paradise for shopaholics who are searching for one of a kind products, unique souvenirs and precious memories.
Although most cities in the Balkans offer plenty of opportunities for shopping, there are a few cities that are known as excellent destinations for shopping, and tourists from all over the Europe come here to buy from herbs and homemade treats to clothing and jewelries. Here are the Balkan cities you need to pin it on your map if you want to discover the ultimate Balkan shopping experience:
Dominated by the presence of the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul is without any doubt a city where you cannot leave without adding a few new items to your luggage. Shopping is more like a tradition in Istanbul, a city which used to be situated on the ancient trade route between East and West. You will find here from Ottoman antiques and fine carpets to gold jewelry and traditional costumes.
Despite its strong Oriental influences, the city is also open to the new fashion trends, being home to many shopping centers, chic boutiques and concept stores. The most popular things that tourists usually buy during a trip to Istanbul are:
Carpets and kilims – authentic handmade masterpieces;
Fabrics and linen – from bedspreads and pillow covers to quilts and scarves;
Jewelry – it is a known fact that Istanbul is the home of European gold jewelry, many of the jewelry shops being located inside the famous Grand Bazaar;
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Art and antiques – Istanbul has a great market for art and antiques, where you can find from ceramics and sculptures, statues and icons, silverware and embroidery to clocks and engravings;
Food and spices – the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, is the place to visit if you want to buy spices, Turkish delights, cheeses, dried nuts and fruit, stuffed figs, caviar, coffee and herbal teas;
Label shopping – the core of label shopping is the district of Nisantasi; you can find pretty much everything under one roof at the department store Beymen;
Mall shopping – check out the Istinye Park, a mini village populated by an overwhelming number of stores, and Kanyon, where you can find everything from Harvey Nichols to Wagamama.
Athens is a great destination to do your shopping, especially if you love handmade items such as jewelry and leather bags, natural beauty products, herbs and especially traditional Greek products. As expected, the Greek olive oil, olives and honey make the best souvenirs from a trip to Greece.
Many of the best boutiques in Athens belong to artisanal cooperatives and you will find plenty of them located alongside each other in the main neighborhoods. Of course you can find several shopping centers and malls in Athens, but most tourists prefer to do their shopping at the local boutiques.
Souvenirs and urban clothing – the main souvenir shops and plenty of boutiques that sell trendy clothes can be found in the Monastiraki neighborhood;
Jewelry and traditional Greek products – for homemade Greek products and delicious treats, as well as fine jewelry check out the boutiques on the Pandrossou Street Market;
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Art and handcrafted accessories – the Plaka district is a well rounded shopping area where you can find original works of art and accessories, as well as European fashions; this district is also home to many cafes and restaurants;
Popular international brands (Mango, H&M and Benetton) – more than 100 stores are situated on Ermou Street, that connects the Syntagma Square to Monastiraki, a pedestrian-friendly street which offers shoppers a little bit of everything in terms of selection and price range;
Luxury shopping – all the luxury labels such as Armani, Prada and Dior are situated in the upscale district of Kolonaki;
Each neighborhood has a Hondos Center department store where you can find cosmetics, fragrances, clothing, travel accessories, shoes and everyday items.
Belgrade offers quality shopping opportunities which can easily compete with the shopping offer in other European capitals. A cosmopolitan city, Belgrade doesn’t lack in luxurious shopping malls and supermarkets, but tourists are mostly drawn by the traditional way of shopping and prefer to visit the local markets or buy the bread from bakeries and apples from the greengrocer.
The thing we love about Belgrade is that if you want to do some shopping, you just need to head to the city center. This is where all the important boutiques and souvenir shops are concentrated, and the place where you will find everything from traditional products to modern clothing and accessories. The city center is also home to the main street of Belgrade, Knez Minailova, a boulevard lined with stores, cafes and restaurants.
Serbian and international brands – as mentioned before, these are the to be found on the pedestrian Knez Mihailova Street and its surrounding area; at the end of the street, tourists are also charmed by craft stalls that sell handmade gifts and souvenirs;
Upscale shopping – international and local luxury brands await on the Kralja Milana Street, the most exclusivist stores showing up the closer you get to Slavija square;
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A little bit of everything for everyone – for bargain shopping, an open-air bazaar and some trading in the street head to the Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra, the place where shopping street rules;
Shopping center – the largest shopping center in Belgrade and, as a matter of fact, in the region, is the Ušće Shopping Center which accommodates about 150 shops, restaurants and leisure outlets, being home to brands such as Zara, New Yorker and Marks & Spencer.
The beating heart of shopping in Budva is without any doubt the Old Town (Stari Grad) where you can find a large number of fashion shops and boutiques that sell pretty much everything from traditional products to designer clothes and fine jewelry. From fashion boutiques and jewelry shops to bookshops and children boutiques, the Old Town in Budva has it all. Of course, whenever you’re feeling tired from all the shopping, you can stop for a few moments at one of the many restaurants or chic cafes located on the picturesque streets of Old Budva.
Another popular shopping destination is the main promenade in Budva, a place that houses the summer bazaar where you can find plenty of beach accessories, all sorts of souvenirs, retail goods and garments.
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Close to the Old Town of Budva you will find a few department stores and a vegetable market.
We hope you enjoyed the 4 best shopping cities in the balkans. Which is city do you prefer as shopping destination?
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