Market shopping in Tehran
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The maze of bustling alleys and the bazaris that fill them make Tehran Bazar a fascinating, if somewhat daunting, place to explore. Traders have been hawking their wares on this site for nearly a thousand years, but most of what you see today is less than 200 years old; it’s no architectural jewel. The bazaris are a conservative bunch and there will be far more chadors than bleached hair.
If you can catch Hossein Hosseiny between buying missions, we found this young man from a family of carpet bazaris to be straight up and offering fair prices on his mainly nomadic carpets. His small store is in the interesting little Serai Parsa bazaar, off Kababihah Alley, with merchants who usually supply to larger shops, so prices can be good - ask for directions.
The bazaar is an excellent place to shop for carpets, in particular, and buying here usually means you won't have to carry it around. Qalyans are also a good buy in the bazaar, where you'll get the genuine working article rather than the more elaborately decorated and expensive souvenir shop variety.