Wandering around the winding alleys of the old-city bazaars is a head-spinning assault on the senses. Things to look out for include jutti (embroidered and brocaded leather slippers), dupatta (women’s scarves), woollen shawls and bangles (including the steel kara bangles worn by Sikhs).
The Golden Temple sits on the edge of a mesmerising maze of crowded market streets, where anything and everything can be found, from ceremonial swords to wedding suits. Start your explorations at the main entrance to the Golden Temple. From here, stroll northwest (so, to your left if you have your back to the Golden Temple) to the end of the temple compound and duck into the atmospheric Kathian Bazaar for blankets, stationery, tin pots and red-and-silver wedding bangles. At the far end, turn right onto bustling Guru Bazaar Rd, past shops full of glittery womenswear, then take the first significant left into Shashtri Bazaar, where dupattas give way to fancy woollen shawls. At the end of the bazaar, turn right then right again beside a string of food and fruit stalls, into frenetic Katra Jaimal Singh Bazaar, crammed with tailors and fashion stores. At the T-junction, turn left into narrow Tahali Sahib Bazaar, piled high with glittering satin dupattas (scarves), before popping out by Brothers' Dhaba.
Tip: Follow this walking tour to get your bearings before doing another circuit, this time exploring the myriad narrow alleyways that branch off these main bazaars. Alternatively, take the excellent Heritage Walk, run twice daily by the Tourist Office. It also focuses on these bazaars.