Bazaars in Iran were the heart of old cities, surrounded by Jameh mosques, schools and Hammams (Bathhouses). They were social centers for trading various goods, including aromatic herbs and luxury carpets. Merchants played a significant role in social and political activities, even protests. Each historical bazaar has main elements like corridors related to guilds called “Raasteh,” junctions connecting four corridors called “Chaharsoo” or “Charsoo,” and caravanserais, where merchants rested and accommodated. Exploring these bazaars is essential for a trip to Iran, and these are some recommended places to visit while in Iran.
Tehran Grand Bazaar
- Step into a labyrinth of over 10 kilometers of corridors at Tehran Grand Bazaar, each specializing in different types of goods.
- Marvel at the eye-catching arches and traditional air-conditioning systems that add to the bazaar’s unique and complicated architecture.
- Discover the main center for distributing various products of Iranian handicrafts, sweets, nuts, and spices at Tehran Grand Bazaar.
- Get lost in the maze-like structure and stumble upon hidden treasures and surprises around every corner.
- Experience the hustle and bustle of one of the most famous bazaars in Iran and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
- Explore the largest bazaar in Iran, the majestic bazaar of Tabriz, a UNESCO World Heritage site with interconnected brick corridors, stores, mosques, and local restaurants.
- Discover the historical significance of this bazaar as a hub for commercial and cultural exchange between the west and east, and a stop along the ancient Silk Road.
- Marvel at the beauty of Timcheh Mozafarieh, a stunning traditional building within the bazaar.
- Indulge in local treats and handmade products, including traditional candies, leather goods, and Persian carpets.
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling Tabriz Bazaar and experience the rich history and culture of Iran.
Ganjali Khan Bazaar in Kerman
- Step back in time and explore the Ganjali Khan Bazaar of Kerman, a historical complex with a bathhouse, caravanserai, and stunning copper stores.
- Be mesmerized by the beautiful wall paintings in the bathhouse and the intricate ornaments on the dome of the Chahar Soogh.
- Watch skilled craftsmen make copper objects with hammers, a tradition that has been passed down for generations.
- Indulge in the delicious local treats like Kolompeh, Qutu, and Qowat, and discover the unique handicrafts of Kerman such as Patteh Doozi and Ajideh Doozi.
- Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Kerman as you wander through this time-worn city and explore its many historical bazaars.
Minab Thursday Market
- Step into the past and experience the vibrant energy of Minab Thursday Market, a historical local market that dates back 500 years.
- Immerse yourself in the bustling crowd of locals trading fresh vegetables, seafood, and unique handicrafts like handmade burqas and wicker baskets.
- Discover the rich history of this market, where each village was required to provide only one good for trade.
- Feast your eyes on the colorful array of products and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of one of Iran’s most fascinating bazaars.
- Don’t miss the chance to witness the traditional craftsmanship of embroidery textiles and potteries, passed down through generations of skilled artisans.
Qeisariyeh Bazaar of Isfahan
- Step back in time and explore the Qeisariyeh Bazaar of Isfahan, a luxurious trading center dating back to the Safavid Dynasty.
- Marvel at the grandeur of the royal Qeisariyeh Gate, which opens up to the breathtaking Naqshe Jahan Square.
- Discover the best of Iranian handicrafts and carpets, all produced in the stunning city of Isfahan.
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of this bustling bazaar, where history and culture come alive.
- Don’t miss the chance to take home a unique souvenir or gift from one of Iran’s most iconic and historic markets.
- Indulge in the flavors of Rasht, the city of creative gastronomy, where the fertile soil and abundant fishing resources create a food lover’s paradise.
- Explore the heart of Rasht’s economy at the traditional bazaar, one of the most thriving markets in Iran.
- Discover colorful and local fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and delicious homemade pickles at every step of the Rasht Grand Bazaar.
- Experience the charm of traditional teahouses, where you can sip on a cup of Iranian tea and soak up the bustling atmosphere.
- Don’t miss the unique experience of being serenaded by sellers singing simple rhymes to invite customers to buy their produce.
Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz
- Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of Vakil Bazaar, a stunning complex built during the Zand Dynasty.
- Marvel at the ingenious brick ceiling, designed to keep the bazaar cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Experience the vibrant atmosphere of an authentic oriental bazaar, complete with apothecary stores, colorful textiles, and nomadic carpet traders.
- Get lost in the maze of winding alleys and discover hidden gems around every corner.
- Take home a piece of Persian culture with a unique souvenir from one of the many artisanal shops.
Bazaar of Kashan
- Step into the past and witness the bustling activity of locals at the historical bazaar of Kashan, a masterpiece from the Safavid Era.
- Marvel at the intricate designs of Timcheh Amin-o-dowleh, a plaza originally built for commerce but now used for religious ceremonies.
- Explore the diverse range of trades, from copper utensil makers to antique traders, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
- Take home a piece of Persian culture with handmade carpets, special cookies, rosewater, and Baklava – all famous products of Kashan’s bazaar.
- Discover hidden treasures and unique finds as you wander through the maze-like alleys of this fascinating destination.
- Step back in time and experience the vibrant energy of the Qazvin Bazaar, a historic trade hub that connected Iran to the west and north.
- With an impressive 14 hectares of space and three main entrance gates, this bazaar is a must-visit destination for any traveler.
- Don’t miss the stunning Qeysarieh Bazaar, known for its beautiful Iranian Architecture style and intricate details like arched portals and traditional windows.
- Take home a piece of Qazvin’s culture with handmade handicrafts and delicious pastries like the famous rice bread.
- Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of this bustling marketplace, where history and commerce collide in a truly unique way.
- Step into the past and explore the traditional bazaar of Qom, a historical structure made of adobe, brick, clay, and stone.
- Discover the two roofed new and old lines, stretching for approximately one kilometer and covered with a dome to protect from the harsh desert climate.
- Marvel at the intricate handicrafts and products unique to Qom’s bazaar, including carpets, brick and ceramic works, latticed works, and the famous sweet Sohan.
- Take home a piece of Persian culture with rosaries, vessels of stone and gypsum, decorative articles, porcelain, and special silk Persian carpets.
- Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of this vibrant marketplace, where centuries of history and tradition come alive.
Iran’s rich cultural legacy is exemplified by its medieval bazaars. These marketplaces have long been a vital aspect of Iranian culture and are still going strong today. A visit to one of these bazaars should be on the agenda of anybody visiting Iran, as they give an exceptional shopping experience and a rare window into Iranian culture. Every bazaar has its appeal and selection of goods, from the Grand Bazaar in Tehran to the Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz. Iran’s old bazaars are a shopping haven for anybody searching for fine carpets or traditional handicrafts.