Iran’s infinite bazaars are one of the country’s main attractions. Regardless of the city you choose – a market there will definitely be on the list of major sights. Always packed with life and colors, each, nonetheless, has a unique feel to it. You can spend hours exploring the small shops and stalls, relaxing at one of the many teahouses or chatting with carpet merchants. Persian bazaars are a treasure trove of goods. But a visit here is not only an opportunity to shop – above all, it is a chance to get a glimpse of the local populace.
- Traditionally, Persian bazaars contained not only shops. They were home to multiple banks, guest houses, and even mosques and hammams.
- Merchants and sellers who work in a Persian bazaar are called bazaaries. In the past they used to be powerful enough to influence the policies of the country.
- Most expensive goods are usually sold in Tim &Timcheh: an enclosed area with wonderfully decorated roofs.
- The most beautiful part of the bazaar is called chaharsu. Usually located ay the intersection of the main passageways it is a perfect point to admire market’s architectural grandeur.
- The Grand Bazaar is a historical market situated in the southern part of Tehran.
- It has several entrances, some of which are locked and guarded at night. Its many corridors are over 10 km in length.
- In the past Tehran bazaar was split into corridors, each – dedicated to a specific type of good, such as carpets, spices or copper.
- Today this division still persists – but in the last decades many new modern goods were added to the range.
- Tehran bazaar continues to play an important role in the life of Tehran – however, it has been reduced in recent years as much of the trade has moved to the northern part of the city.
- The reduced amount of attention from locals has been fully compensated with tourist interest. Plans are in place to construct a hotel in nearby area to attract more visitors.
- The bazaar is busiest around midday, and an hour or two before closure. Even after the end of day, wandering around the bazaar is fun – you get to see merchants and sellers after work chatting, grabbing a bite or having fun riding bazaar streets.
- In Esfahan the bazaar is part of a larger architectural complex – Imam Khomeini Square, one of the most impressive squares in the world.
- Tabriz’s bazaar – arguably the most beautiful in Iran, with unique architectural style, multiple arcades and even a few beautiful mosques inside.
- The beauty of Tabriz’s bazaar was praised for centuries. “… Upon arrival in Tabriz , we approached a great bazaar named Qazan. It was the best bazaar I had ever seen in the world.” These were the words of a Moroccan traveller who visited Tabriz in the yearly years of 14th century.
- In the past Tabriz’ s bazaar was a major point on the route of trade caravans that were going from East to West. It is where Asian goods were exchanged for European ones.
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