Whether you are shopping for clothes, shoes, food, furniture, electrical goods or household items there are a variety of shops and shopping experiences to choose from including boutique shops, supermarkets and local markets.
You can find everything you need here in North Cyprus whilst enjoying an alternative experience at the same time and although the shopping experience might not be quite the same as back home; with the typical brands names you may be used to, North Cyprus has its own brands that are equally accessible. For example: Koton, Mavi Jeans, LC Waikiki, DeFacto, Collezione, to name but a few. You will however, find some international brand names including Adidas, Nike, Benetton, Vans and Converse.
Many of the shops on the tourist paths will have imitations products for sale including jeans, watches, handbags and international designer names. It is important to mention that bargaining is not something that you do here and that the prices are fixed.
Whilst you can go over to the Greek Side and spend your money, why not help the local community by supporting local businesses and the local economy by purchasing local products. When doing so you are paying the local sales taxes which in turn help the community provide services for the youth, for education, for the elderly and the disabled. Some suggestions for helping you do this for example might be by putting your local shops first, dine out in local restaurants, go to local doctors and dentists and buy your cars and electrical goods locally.
The supermarkets are selling local produce including imported goods. 10 years ago, because of the restrictions on trade, you would not have been able to purchase many international items but now you will see many different products including cereal, a variety of biscuits, cheeses, crisps, chocolate and some pork products. Probably not such a good thing as sticking to a Mediterranean style diet is acclaimed for its health benefits.
Astro, Lemar, Önder, Tempo and Starling are big names in the supermarket chains in North Cyprus, however, fresh produce including fruit and vegetables are in abundance in any of the local markets. 1001 are also opening a number of larger supermarkets across North Cyprus. A recent study for February 2016 based on a shopping basket of 44 products, food prices were 16% cheaper in the North than the South.
Behind the Old Harbour in Kyrenia there are many shops located in the narrow streets. Many selling souvenirs and trinkets including the many traditional Cypriot items for example, wood carvings, local pottery, rugs, basketry, handicrafts such as Lefkara lacework, silk worm pictures, silver and copper products and jewellery. The open market in Kyrenia operates on a Wednesday from 10am to 2.30pm near the Police Station.
If it is craft markets you are looking for, Chateau Lambousa Hotel in Kyrenia has a Saturday market which is popular with the expat community. This market is a great meeting place and there are many events scheduled including amateur drama and choral groups. There is a small café for resting in between shopping. Goods available include plants, books, paintings, crafts, jewellery and clothes. Another popular market is the Carpenters Bar in Kyrenia which is on a Friday in Karaoğlanoğlu. Here you will find stalls with homemade pickles and jams plus organic products grown in the villages. You can also find crafts, clothing and charity stalls.
Similarly shopping in Famagusta you will find all of the above shops in the Old City Famagusta with the larger boutique shops on the main Salamis Road. Liquor and cigarettes are on offer in many markets and can be purchased relatively cheaply. The open market in Famagusta is on a Thursday in the main bus terminal where the locals buy their fruit and vegetables plus fresh fish, fresh cheese, olives and bread from the villages plus a variety of dried fruits and Turkish delight. Here you will also find a number of stalls with a variety of goods including shoes, clothes, underwear, household items, table clothes plus garden items and plants.
If you venture into Nicosia the main meeting point is the Büyük Han where there are a number of crafts shops. The Bazaar area is near the mosque on Arasta Sokak where you will find an assortment of stalls selling clothes, baby items, material, household items and cheap jeans or you could head to the covered market or Bandabulya. If you want some of the high street shops you should head for the Dereboyu area.
We have up until now not embraced the shopping Mall experience here in North Cyprus but that is about to change. As local entrepreneurs are beginning to understand the advantages of a consumer economy there are a number of Malls being established with the view to accessing the global markets once the embargoes are lifted.
The City Mall in Famagusta costing 15 million Euros will occupy a 50,000 square meter site with a covered area of 30,000 square meters of shopping, entertainment and many eating experiences under one roof. The Mall will include a supermarket, hardware store and play area. It is hoped that the mall will bring a higher standard of shopping and entertainment to North Cyprus with four floors of shops, a number of fast food outlets, cinema halls and a bowling facility. A similar complex has been opened and is now operational close to the Airport. Both complexes will bring a much needed boost to the Northern Cyprus economy whilst at the same time providing a number of job opportunities. A further complex is planned for the Kyrenia area.
If all that shopping doesn’t make you hungry why not check out our Restaurant Guide.