To help inspire you for your trip to Iran, we’ve put together a photo gallery of the best bazaars to visit in Iran from the Grand Bazaar in Tehran to the Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz. 

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For centuries, the bazaars have been the colourful and exotic glue that kept Iranian society together. They’re the place the locals go to drink tea, to shop, to hang out, to do business, and to pray. The lack of tacky souvenirs and pushy merchants make a stroll through these marvellous markets an authentic experience with new, unexpected sights waiting around every corner.

Further reading: All of our articles about the amazing country of Iran

The Bazaars Of Iran

From the outside, the grand bazaar doors bear no sign of the bustling maze that lies behind them. With narrow alleyways constantly branching out left and right, you can stroll from a packed main street straight into a quiet corner only frequented by lost gringos and the occasional local housewife hunting for some obscure trinket. Wherever you go, you’ll hear the constant sound of hundreds of men and women yelling, laughing, and chitchatting away as you squeeze through the crowds.

Shop keeper selling golden boxes in the bazaars of Iran

Persian Rug Anyone?

Although they might seem unorganized to the untrained backpacker eye, the bazaars are actually divided into sections. One is dedicated to fabrics, flowing over with anything from wool dyed in all the colors of the rainbow to fabric rolls ready to turn into colorful wedding dresses. Any self-respecting bazaar in Iran will also have a large Persian rug area where you can purchase a $6000 souvenir for your mum if you have some spare change kicking around. Or perhaps she’d prefer a framed rug replica of Mona Lisa to decorate the walls?