When it comes to shopping in Kos, ditch the hotel gift shops that sell all the regular tourist tat and souvenirs and head for the small pedestrian streets in the island's towns and villages for the best deals; Psalidi, Zipari, Asfendiou, Zia and Lagoudi all offer tourist shops selling traditional wares and these are usually much more charming, authentic and reasonable than the resort shops. The old part of Kos Town offers high-end fashion stores, such as La Coste and Tommy Hillfiger, as well as smaller shops selling local goods like leather, jewellery and ceramics, all of which make popular souvenirs.

Eleftherias Square is a good place for locally made souvenirs, oil paintings and Byzantine icons, while the local markets are usually the best places to pick up fresh goods and hand-made produce, such as the local red cheese, tyri tis possas matured in red wine, or candied tomato sweets, glyko tomataki. Kiosks selling everything from food and snacks to cigarettes and postcards abound on Kos and many of these are open 24 hours a day. Kardamena also offers fantastic shopping opportunities, including the market on Bodrum, across the water in Turkey, on Tuesdays.

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