This is a store with cheap souvenirs, not only from Ankara but from all the popular regions or cities, that’s why you can see tshirts from Istanbul, plates from Capadokia, mugs from Bodrum, handmade tile from Kutahya but also ceramics, glass ware, bone boxes, silver jewelry, pillows, pashminas, evil eyes, etc And numerous cats from Ankara of course :)
I wouldn’t bother to come here but it was on our way and we took a look inside. The English spoken staff was very friendly but the prices not so low as we thought, normal but definitely more expensive than the castle area.
Before visiting the castle we noticed next to the entrance a row of stalls where you can find numerous dry fruits, nuts etc. It’s so picturesque that is really worth to stop for a while. And it was a great chance to try again some of our favorite dry fruits (which a great snack as you tour the city).
In many of the side streets we saw a lot of souvenirs (magnets, frames, small figures like the typical white cat of Ankara, pic 3), clothing etc
Check also the shops with kilims/carpets (pic 4) and some antique shops.
There were also some shops with silver items, some of them unique, you could see them making them in front of your eyes (pic 5). A hard job though that wont be around the next generation…
A lot of women were selling cheap souvenirs like necklace, bags etc in ridiculy low prices so we bought some things because even if you don’t like the items you may help them (the area is very poor so it wont cost you anything to spend 1-2 euro or dollars).
The problem started when we bought some bags and another lady came (holding similar bags, we bought one from here too and 2 more ladies came but we felt very uncomfortable saying no this time. We thanked, smiled and walked away but we heard them fighting each other!!
On our way out of the castle we noticed a store with carpets (pic 4), some selling bashmine (pic 5) for 10TL each!(less than 5euro in 2011)
the shop is a peerless place for any collector or enthusiast in its chaotic, but captivating atmosphere. welcomes one with most sincerity and makes believe you have been a 'member of the club' since the beginning. it is perhaps one of the best sources for rarities, hard to find local pressing LPs of all genres and also some philatelic and ephemeral collectables. even if you are broke, it is a must visit while you are in Ankara to inhale the atmosphere or at least to be offered tea regardless of who you are. .
What to buy: ask for scarce items you are looking for even if you can not see them around in the store. the owner is a serious collector himself and easily spots the serious collector. he is also generous to curious minds, but if you are after the real gem, he will understand that and the real deal begins.
What to pay: the range of prices for tough finds differ a lot, but getting the optimal price is assured when compared to other places. there is no cheating, but there seems to be no bargaining either.
pirinc han is a block with a nice courtyard where you have several antique stores and good cafes in the courtyard.
it's a very bohemian and trendy place and also a good spot to watch turkish intellectuals.
it's located near the castle in a street called "pirinc sokak"
if you are in the area and feel like a coffee then go there.
the place has a great ambience.
What to buy: Antiques.