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Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.

Rug Shopping in Istanbul

Handmade rugs and carpets are a perfect addition to any home. These pieces of art are so much more meaningful than machine-made ones. If you can throw in an interesting shopping experience, you have a story to share with future generations, likely as you pass down these rugs and carpets to them. For these reasons, and others that we'll dive into later, Sarah and I decided to go rug shopping in Istanbul. This magical experience was incredibly fun, but can be wrought with peril if you do not do your due diligence beforehand. Having spent many, many hours researching this topic, here is our quick guide to help you purchase the perfect rug or carpet for your family.

Why We Traveled to Istanbul

The first question that pops into your head is likely “Why would you go rug shopping in Istanbul? Can't I buy those rugs in any major American city (or even in my small town)?” Yes, you likely can buy Turkish, Iranian, or similar rugs in a town or city close to your home. However, you will likely pay a premium for the convenience. Simply stated, you can travel to Istanbul and buy your rugs and carpets there for a fraction of the cost. Plus, you get a fun trip to one of the world's best cities.

Additionally, the Turkish Lira has been free-falling versus the US Dollar for many years. If you are willing to go rug shopping in Istanbul, rather than doing so in the USA, you'll get much more bang for your buck.

rug shopping in istanbul
TRY to USD over the last 5 years.

Travel Details for Rug Shopping in Istanbul


As award travelers, we relied on credit card points & miles to pay for our trip. For our flights, we transferred 45,000 Capital One miles per person, each way, earned from our Venture and Venture X Business cards to Turkish Airlines for business class seats. The total roundtrip cost for business class for 2 was 180,000 Capital One Miles and $350. Turkish Airlines business class experience is always a treat and this trip was no exception. (Note: As of January 2024, these flights are now 65,000 Turkish Airline miles per person, each way).

rug shopping in istanbul


For our hotels for our rug shopping in Istanbul trip, we stayed 1 night at the Park Hyatt Istanbul and 2 nights at the Hagia Sophia Mansions. We thoroughly enjoyed both of these properties, as mentioned in the reviews. Thanks to points and miles, these stays were free.

Total out-of-pocket cost of our travels to Istanbul for 3 nights of hotels and roundtrip business class flights: $350. You can see why we decided to travel to Istanbul, rather than shopping in the USA!

Rug Shops in Istanbul

Reputable Rug & Carpet Shops

Once the flights and hotels were booked, I began doing the research necessary for rug shopping in Istanbul. I say this research is necessary, because it is. If you do not do your research in advance, it is highly unlikely your trip is successful (or fun). The first step is doing research on authentic rugs and carpets and how to spot the differences between real and fake. I will not do a deep-dive on this subject, as there are plenty of guides out there breaking it down. However, you should familiarize yourself with the process and commit it to memory before traveling.

The second step is finding reputable shops. During hours and hours of research, the same shops kept getting rave reviews and I believed them trustworthy. These included:

It is important to note that this is likely the most important step in the process. Find a shop that YOU are comfortable with. This is a major purchase and you need to fully trust the shop you choose. It is unlikely you see your rugs and carpets for 8+ weeks after you go rug shopping in Istanbul, so find a repuatable shop that you trust completely. The above shops seemed trustworthy to me, but this is in no way a guarantee or my vouching for them. Do your own research and make your own decision.

Rug Shopping Survival Guide

The main thing to remember during while rug shopping in Istanbul is negotiation is your friend. If you are uncomfortable negotiating, this is likely not a good endeavor for you. Consider taking a trusted friend or family member with you, as you will save more money than the cost of trip!

Even in the most reputable shops, the first price you hear for a rug or carpet is exorbitantly priced compared to what you can get it for. Even if buying only one rug or carpet, you can generally buy for 50% of the initial price. Purchase more than one and you can go even lower. However, do not mention that you are considering multiple pieces until it is time to negotiate prices. Start very low and work your way up. Remember: competition is your friend. If you cannot get to a price that you want, another rug shop is right around the corner and will have similar rugs.

rug shopping in istanbul

Our Shopping Experience

Even though we'd completed hours and hours of research before traveling, we arrived for our rug shopping in Istanbul experience without fully deciding on a rug shop. While chatting with the concierge at Hagia Sophia Mansions, he mentioned Punto Carpets as his favorite shop. This sealed the deal for us, as it was already in our ToP 2 shops.

After finishing breakfast, we wandered towards the Grand Bazaar and Punto Carpets. We were not quite sure what to expect, but we were excited. We hoped to purchase 3 rugs and carpets for our new home. Colors were completely up-in-the-air, but we did have specific sizes for our living room, bedroom, and dining room. We planned to pick pieces for each size before mentioning another size and to never let the shop know that we actually purchasing a rug of any size before moving on.

Entering the Shop

Immediately upon entry, the games began. No, not “games” in a bad way, more so that everyone was ready for action. We were the only customers in the shop around 9:30 a.m. and they were ready to help us.

rug shopping in istanbul
An empty rug store at 9:30 a.m.

The Shopping Experience

Arriving at Punto Carpets

Once we were inside the shop, we were seated against the wall (in the bench to the left in the above photo). As the carpets starting appearing, we were offered tea or coffee as we shopped, which is a wonderful part of any Grand Bazaar shopping experience. Both were delicious!

One by one, we saw carpet after carpet. In total, we viewed 100+ carpets. The workers were very, very wise and could immediately figure out your wants and preferences from your decisions on a color, size or style. If you said you liked a particular pattern or color, a dozen or so similar carpets appeared within minutes. The process repeated itself over and over until we narrowed down our favorites.

The Buying Experience

Once finished, we purchased 3 rugs for our new home. In total, we left the shop paying 42% of the original cost of the 3 rugs and all 3 cost only slightly more than the cost of 1 similar carpet in the USA. It took us 1.5 hours or so to select the rugs and another 1+ hour to negotiate the price. This included two different times where we packed up and starting walking out of the shop. Could we have negotiated the price even further? Most likely, yes. But we were comfortable with this number and was what I was shooting for based on our research. We consider our rug shopping in Istanbul trip as a total success!

The above cost included all taxes, fees, and shipping. I also negotiated a credit card transaction without any additional costs. We wanted the credit card points, of course, but also purchase protection and the ability to dispute the transaction if our carpets did not arrive. We chose to pay with my Capital One Venture card for 2x miles on the purchase and no foreign transaction fees.

rug shopping in istanbul
Our shopping trip was a success!

Post-Shopping Experience

Once we left the shop, we did not hear anything from Punto Carpets for 4-6 weeks. We did not fear, however, as the workers told us we would not hear anything until our rugs safely arrived in the USA. Sure enough, almost exactly to the day we were told to expect a call, Punto's representatives in New Jersey contacted us to schedule delivery. The carpets arrived within a 2 hour window a few days later. Total time in transit was 6.5 weeks from purchase to delivery.

One note here to alleviate any concerns: Punto Carpets attached a ticket to each rug, put identifying information on each ticket, and asked us to sign it and take a picture. Each rug arrived in our home with the tickets attached. It was very easy to confirm that each rug was the exact rug we selected while rug shopping in Istanbul.

Rug Shopping in Istanbul: ToP Thoughts

It is easy to be intimidated by shopping abroad, especially something like rug shopping in Istanbul. Do your research in advance and hopefully our guide can assist you in your planning. Once you have a plan, let the fun begin. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, hope to do it again some day, and believe you can also enjoy it too!

Have you gone shopping abroad and/or gone rug shopping in Istanbul? Come over to our Facebook group and let us know.


We promise to keep things short, sweet, and packed with awesome insights!