Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shopping in Tehran

Tehran, Iran's capital and biggest city is choc a bloc with the colors and flavors of Persia.

Tehran's fashion conscious people, blend of the modern and traditional make it a great place to shop, eat and mingle with people. Here is a look at some shopping options you can explore on your visit to Tehran.

The Grand Bazaar

You can begin your shopping sojourn in Tehran with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, a must-see tourist attraction located in southern Tehran. Traditionally, this bazaar was split into several corridors, each of which was a hub for sellers specializing in different types of goods. The corridors here are over 10 kilometers in length teeming with a variety of goods such as carpets, copper, spices, and precious metals, gems, jewellery as well as small traders selling a range of goods.

There are several entrances to the Grand Bazaar some of which are locked and guarded at night. It is difficult to say exactly when the "bazaar" first appeared, but in the centuries following the introduction and spread of Islam in Persia, historians believe that trade and commerce spawned in this very location way back in time. The Grand Bazaar is a continuation of the legacy of this growth.

Tehran Bazaar

Tandis Center

If you are looking for good quality products in Tehran then head to Tandis Center where you will find the best brands in almost every type of product. Home to brands like Levis, Dior, Espirit, Zolo and Zara among others this shopping center is a great place to buy textile products like the termeh, garments, scarves, trench coats, shoes, furniture and home décor products, basically whatever you need.

Tandis Center is great place to grab a bite with its many restaurants, fast food centers and coffee shops too.

Tajrish Bazaar
A charming place where you can window shop, soak in the atmosphere and buy everything that's colorful and interesting from fresh fruits and vegetables to home décor products and textiles.

Prices here are relative and you can bargain to strike a good deal. Everything has its own relative price, and even you can discuss the prices.

Currency and Other Related Information for Shoppers

The official currency of Iran is the Riyal. However the currency commonly used for everyday life is called 'Toman'. 10 Riyals make 1 Toman. Be sure to check the units used for the prices.

It is important to note that Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are not widely used in Iran. Iran has its own local debit/credit system. Consult with your travel agent before travelling to Iran. Even though some hotels and traditional handicraft shops accept credit cards you cannot rely on credit cards for most transactions.

A shopping trip in Tehran as is anywhere else in Iran is an experience in itself. The bazaars are colorful and bustling with families eager to buy or simply window shop. You are sure to spot tea sellers in their colorful attire as juggle tea cups in one hand while they pour the aromatic beverage with the other. The aroma of freshly baked bread is in the air as people line up at bakeries to get a freshly baked loaf of bread while others stop for a glass of sherbet or juice. A shopping trip is a great opportunity to go bazaar hopping while mingling with the local people.

Mariam Noronha