Tabriz Bazaar

Top choice in Tabriz

500px Photo ID: 117838489 -

Behzad Kalantari / 500px

The magnificent, labyrinthine, Unesco-listed Tabriz bazaar covers some 7 sq km, with 24 caravanserais (sets of rooms arrranged around a courtyard) and 22 impressive timches (domed halls). Construction began over a millennium ago, though much of the fine brick vaulting dates to the 15th century. Hidden behind innocuous shopfronts, it's surprisingly easy to miss, but the open Ferdosi mall is a good entry point. Take a GPS waypoint below the tourist information office, then abandon yourself to the closest laneway.

There are several mozaffareih (carpet sections) according to knot size and type. The Amir bazaar, with gold and jewellery, is immediately behind the tourist-information office. The spice bazaar has a few shops selling herbal remedies, henna and natural perfumes. A couple of hat shops (in the Kolahdozan bazaar) sell traditional papakh (Azeri hats) made of tight-curled astrakhan wool. Other quarters specialise in leather, silver and copper, general household goods and fruit and vegetables.