One major attraction of Middle East travel to this inveterate shopper and browser are their wonderful bazaars. In a world where shopping malls share the same franchises whether they be in London, San Francisco or Brisbane, it’s exhilarating to step back what seems centuries to soak in the colour and chaos of the Middle East’s exotic bazaars. Sadly, browsing through some of my favourite bazaars, such as Damascus and Aleppo in Syria, is now virtually impossible. And with recent events caution would now be advised visiting Istanbul’s famed Grand Bazaar and Cairo’s labyrinthine Khan el-Khalili. So discovering Iran’s kaleidoscopic equivalents, like Isfahan’s addictive Bazar-e Bozorg, is an exciting prospect for bazaar junkies. If you’re visiting Iran and Isfahan is on the itinerary definitely hold off until your stopover here to buy your souvenirs.
This is definitely the place to find all manner of local arts, crafts, and must-have items: beaten copperware and metal platters; colourful scarves; herbs and spices – especially prized saffron! – carpets; pistachio nougat and other sweets; bright woven backpacks and bags; elegant Iranian fashions; ceramic tiles; hand-drawn miniatures; block printed cloth; hand-painted Islamic Persian copper embossed enamel. It’s a true Aladdin’s cave of treasures jumbled in with restaurants, coffee shops, antique stores, and outlets for virtually anything else you may want to buy.
Hand-beaten copper cookware; decorative metal platters.
Scarves are in great demand in Iran.
Fresh veges, aromatic spices, nuts..
Colourful and practical bags, elegant Iranian robes.
Eccentric tea shop in the bazaar’s back-streets.
Miniaturist at work.
Islamic Persian copper embossed enamel artists in their bazaar workroom.
Block printing a table cloth.
I’m not sure about the customer base for this but it looks like a taxidermied chook and chickens.