The visitors to North Cyprus can find a wide range of consumer goods and services. Many of the popular imported brand names are readily available and can be found in local supermarkets. Fresh lo cal produce can be purchased from a variety of markets and small stores and there is wide selection of wines and spirits at very low costs: For example, local brandy retailing at approximately £1.10 per bottle. VAT (KDV) is levied on most goods and services with rates ranging from 20% down to 2%. The chain of food supermarkets in North Cyprus is provided by Lemar and Astro most frequently.
Best selection of shops can be found in Kyrenia and Nicosia. Alcohol and cigarettes can be bought cheaply, but remember to check the customs allowance.
In North Cyprus fake designer clothes are an excellent buy; however the quality and price will vary from shop to shop. There can be found some really good shops in North Cyprus that follow the latest fashion and also the shops selling accessories of great many sorts are frequent. Also you can find cute and colorful clothes for children.
Gold and silver covers most of the shops in the centre of the major towns in North Cyprus. The prices are reasonable and the designs are unusual. The pieces of gold and silver are usually weighed before being sold. On the whole there are many jewellery shops to choose from, offering the pieces of different shapes, sizes and combined with colorful stones.
Bazaar shops with amazing collections of Turkish pottery, tiles, silk, cushion covers, scarves and ornaments of all descriptions cover the villages and towns in North Cyprus. Basketry products (sesta or paneri in Turkish) seem refined, and comparatively expensive; one can find really strong, large baskets suitable for clothes hampers in North Nicosia and the village of Edremit, though as in the South the items tend to be made elsewhere, in the remote villages of Serdarli, Gonendere and Gornec.
In Nicosia and Famagusta there is a limited number of junk and antique dealers with a stock of old copper and household ware. In North Cyprus great many products are imported from Turkey, including textile and carpets predominantly, as well as ceramics, copper lanterns and other household items.
The markets in North Cyprus are found in major cities, like Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia and local people call them bazaars. Visitors to the markets can find fresh fruit and vegetables there and also cheap clothes, shoes and stalls with souvenirs, handicrafts and other household implements.
If you follow Girne Caddesi (Kyrenia Street) from Sarayonu towards the Green Line, you come across the pedestrianized Arasta Sokagi, the heart of north Nicosia's main shopping district. The visitors purchase cloth and clothing, especially inexpensive jeans predominate, with machinist and junk metal depots in surrounding streets. Just to compare, a century ago the city had 26 different bazaars. A section of Girne Caddesi is still called the Eski Kadinlar Pazari or 'Former Women's Bazaar'. This is the place where women used to sell a variety of textiles and household items of interest to other women. Arasta means a bazaar either physically built into the ground floor of a mosque, or if separate, one whose revenues go to the upkeep of a religious foundation. In this case the foundation concerned was most probably the Selimiye Camii (originally the Roman Catholic cathedral of Agia Sofia). The church can be reached by following Arasta Sokagi east until you get to the covered bazaar and the Bedesten (originally a Byzantine church). The Belediye Pazari, or covered municipal covered market is popularly known as "Bandabulya" It was the main marketplace of the city during the Ottomans and still remains a pleasant local market for fresh vegetable and meat, as well as Turkish delights and souvenirs.
Location: Arasta Sokagi
Open from: Monday - Friday 6 am - 3pm, Saturday 6 am - 1pm
Location: Between bus terminal and Lemar store, open every Friday.