Let me start by telling the truth, haggling and bargaining is not a required skill in Kusadasi.
I know your tour guides will tell you other stories, but please bear in mind that your tour guides will probably get commissions from the shops they take you to. For this reason, your tour guides may not be unbiased.
If you love haggling and bargaining, you will be in heaven in Kusadası. Yet, bargaining activity is seen as a service by local shop owners, and most of the time, it is more expensive when you bargain.
The fact is western-style simple shopping is the actual norm among the Turkish locals.
As a local who spends most of his summers in Kusadasi, I will tell you everything you need to know about shopping in Kusadasi. When preparing this post, I am not only telling my experience; I also took the advice of three shopping experts, my wife, my mom, and my sister.
Here is the map of the location and areas I mention in my post.
Before I tell you about shopping, I want to give general advice on shopping in Turkey.
If you liked this guide, check out my Kusadasi page by clicking here to discover all my articles about Kusadasi.
Three essential advice for tourists
1. Do your shopping as you would do in your country
The sellers in the bazaar and around the old town can be pretty aggressive and persuasive. Bear in mind that
- You do not need to drink tea or chat with the shop owner.
- It is the shopowner’s job to present their merchandise.
- It is not rude to look around and ask about the prices of the items and simply leave.
- You do not owe anything to the shop owner because he treats you nicely. He is just doing his job.
Do not let shop owners put pressure on you. Shop owners may try to make you feel you need to make an urgent decision.
You do NOT need to make an urgent decision. There are countless shops, jewelry, and carpets in Kusadasi. There is always the next dream carpet or necklace.
Check the looks and the price, and it is perfectly okay to leave for the next shop.
2. Check at least 10 stores before buying anything.
Do not spend your time in one shop. There are thousands of stores, hundreds of carpet and jewelry shops in Kusadasi.
Visit at least 10 shops and then decide which one to buy. After seeing 10 shops, you will also have more insight, and you are less likely to buy something you will regret.
3. Buy from the places that locals buy
Check the customers around you. If locals are buying from the same place, take this as a sign of quality and reasonable pricing.
Locals know the place better than you, and if they are shopping from that store, then there should be a reason.
Don’t be afraid to chat with locals in cafes or other places and ask for advice on where to buy certain items.
If you wish to check online shopping prices or see comparative prices in Turkey, you can also check my online Turkish shopping websites guide.
The Places to Shop in Kuşadası
For most of my needs, I would go to the shopping malls.
Malls offer a western-style and easy shopping experience. Only price tags, no tea service, no other oriental drama.
For original fakes, you should visit bazaars. They are full of “genuine original fakes”.
Malls have real quality Turkish and International brands, but bazaars are filled with fakes.
Turkish locals prefer malls for quality, bazaars for fake products, and rarely shops from the old town area.
Before I tell you about shopping, I want to give general advice on shopping in Turkey.
Turkish Fashion brands are high quality and have good pricing. Check out Turkish Fashion Brands before buying fake products.
1. Old Town Area Kusadasi
The Old Town area is the neighborhood marked as 1 on the map.
This area is on the touristy side of Kusadasi. Most shops are designed for tourists.
Locals rarely shop at these stores. Shops mostly sell at higher prices than local rates. Shop owners can be persistent. There can be lots of haggling, bargaining, and drama. Please follow the advice above.
2. Scala Nuova Mall
Scala Nuova Mall is marked as 2 on the map.
This shopping center is an excellent place for eating, drinking, or enjoying a night out. The mall has an amazing sea and a town view. It is a good place to chill, but I would not recommend it for shopping.
Scala Nuova’s most shops are similar to old town shops. I do not remember a quality fashion brand opening a store in this mall.
Overall, shops in Kusadasi center need to sell their products expensively to pay their high rents and overall costs. Locals mostly stay away from Old Town because of their touristy approach and prices.
3. Setur Marina Shopping Centers
Setur Marina Shopping Center is an excellent place to enjoy a friendly chat and good quality cafes and restaurants.
Additionally, Setur Marina has some quality shops, yet it has a very small shopping area. You can buy quality Turkish fashion brands without any haggling.
Twist and Mudo Marina are our favorite fashion shops that my wife frequently visits.
Scala Nuova Mall is marked as 3 on the map.
If you are wondering what to do in Kusadasi, please check my article on Things to Do in Kusadasi
4. Bazaars of Kusadasi
The best place to buy fake or no-brand clothes accessories is Sosyete Bazaar (translates roughly to high society bazaar).
In Sosyete Bazaar, original genuine fakes are everywhere. You can find watches, bags, and any fashion item at low prices. I did not count, but there are around 100 shops in this bazaar.
You will buy more cheaply at Sosyete Bazaar because there is competition between multiple vendors. Also, vendors’ rents and costs are lower, which translates as lower prices. You can bargain freely here; even locals bargain here.
Sosyete Bazaar is marked as 11 on the map.
There is also a market area in the Kusadasi city center. The market is open Sunday for clothes vendors and Friday for food vendors. The market area is marked as 10 on the map.
In terms of shopping, Long Beach is the best place to shop in Kusadasi, and Old Town is more expensive.
If you are planning to come to Kusadasi check out my guide on Where to Stay in Kusadasi? to learn more about Kusadasi districts and the Best Hotels in Kusadasi.
Suggested Reading: Check my article Is Kusadasi Safe? to learn more about Kusadasi.
5. Kusadasi Open Air Shopping Mall
If you want to buy outstanding quality products, you should explore real malls in Kusadasi. In these malls, you can lose yourself in trouble-free shopping.
Do not try to hassle in shopping malls. In these regular shops, the price tag is final.
The best shopping mall in Kusadasi is Kusadasi Open Air Shopping Mall, which is a large shopping mall with hundreds of shops. You can buy all your fashion needs, your daily needs, and quality souvenirs.
Additionally, there is another outlet with 20 textile shops. This outlet is also adjacent to the Kusadasi shopping mall. If that’s not enough, there is another smaller shopping center just across the road.
I usually buy my Starbucks coffee and watch my nephew and daughter enjoy the theme park. Meantime, my wife, my sister, and my mom wander shop by shop.
If your children are older than mine, you can take them to the bowling area. And there is a theme park in Kipa Shopping Mall, which is across the road.
Kusadasi Shopping Mall is marked as 12 on the map.
You can also check the Biletix website for concerts in the open theatre of the shopping mall. In the tourism season, many local and international singers give concerts in Kusadasi.
Soke Novada is also a western-style mall with price tags. Bargaining is not an option.
Soke Novada is another excellent mall for shopping, but it is 20 minutes driving distance from Kusadasi town.
We occasionally go to Soke Novada Mall, because of its factory outlets. If you are into serious shopping, this place is cheaper and worth traveling.
Soke is famous for its cotton, and it is a textile town with many factories. In these factory shops, you can find apparel at bargain prices.
We usually come here at the beginning of the summer, to buy all our summer clothing and at the end of the season to buy our autumn clothing.
Soke Novada Mall is marked as 14 on the map.
For Turkish Delight and Natural Sweets
Before telling my personal experience, I wish to say to you that other than being an average customer, I have no relation with Tugba Kuruyemis. I just love their products.
They only sell natural products, and they are of the best quality and top choice of locals.
In my childhood, Tugba Kuruyemis was a small chain in Aydın, and they grew to be one of the biggest national brands in Turkey in time. They have three stores in Kusadasi. I marked them all on the map. (Spots 4,5, and 6 on the map.)
You can buy many souvenir foods at local prices, and no bargaining is required. All products have price labels.
Let me tell you a personal anecdote. When Tesco was operating in Turkey, I was legal counsel in Tesco Turkey. Tesco made a deal with Tugba Kuruyemis, and they started selling their products in Tesco Kipa stores. Tesco Turkey’s sales tripled in categories where Tugba was selling its products. Their products are that good and strongly recommended.
SUGGESTED READING: Travel Tips That You Need to Know Before Coming to Kusadasi
Shopping for your daily needs in Kusadasi
If you want to cook or buy groceries, Tespo and CarrefourSA ( Spots are 8 and 9 on the map) are the biggest supermarkets near the town. There is a big Migros supermarket in Kusadasi Open Air Shopping Mall.
If you will stay in Kusadasi for a long time and need some home decoration, garden tools, and other appliances, Koctas (Spot 7 on the map) is the biggest place to look.
An Excellent Place for Buying Local Produce and Enjoying Turkish Breakfast
This is my last tip on this guide. Melek’s Place is the 15th place on the map.
In Melek’s Place, locally produced fruits and vegetables are sold. We usually come here to buy our fresh groceries. The place also has a tasty Turkish breakfast.
If you wish to eat Turkish breakfast or buy high-quality food at reasonable prices, I strongly recommend this place. You can also taste many Turkish dishes in this place.
Melek’s place is a clean restaurant, and local women villagers operate the business.
I tried to give you a local’s perspective on shopping in Kusadasi. If you liked this guide, please check out all my articles on Kusadasi by clicking here.