Tehran Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and greatest bazaars in Tehran. Bazaars in Persian architecture have always been an important element. Accordingly, bazaars are the main and the prior link to the development of cities. They are considered as places of culture, social interaction, and economy.
Traditional Bazaars can be found in any city of Iran. Tehran Bazaar, located at the southern and historical heart of Tehran, is within walking distance of many important attractions. The Grand Bazaar of Tehran itself is a world of attractions consisting of different parts with different architecture and elements. But what are these attractions and elements? What is the history behind Tehran Grand Bazaar? How is this Bazaar the economic heart of Tehran today?
Overall Map of Tehran Grand Bazaar
In the labyrinth of Tehran Grand Bazaar there are placed several wholesome and retail shops along with some workshops. This Bazaar is one of the best places to walk among the crowd of locals shopping Iranian daily goods, nuts, handicrafts and antiquities (though it mostly consists of wholesome shops). On top of that, what brings most visitors to this bazaar, is a number of famous traditional Restaurants and cafés that serve the most delicious Persian meals and dishes. Some of them have been a part of this Bazaar for over 100 years. Mouslem, Shamshiri, and Sharaf al-Eslami are of these Restaurants. In this article we are going to give you a map of Tehran Grand Bazaar, directions, its history, architecture, and the top things you can do here.
About the History of Tehran Grand Bazaar
· What was Thomas Herbert impression of the Bazaar in Safavid era?
Generally, the construction and building of the Tehran Grand Bazaar is attributed to Qajar era (about 300 years ago). Yet, there is no certain document of when the Grand Bazaar of Tehran was first constructed. According to a travelogue belonging to Thomas Herbert, English historian and traveler, the base of the Bazaar, when it had no roofing, belongs to the Safavid era. This era is an era proceeding before Qajar era.
· Qajar era and the Persian Constitutional Revolution
During Qajar era Tehran became the capital of Iran. Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of this dynasty, extended the Bazaar with adding several caravanserai, chambers, entrances and passageways. The Bazaar of Tehran officially became the Grand Bazaar during the reign of Fath- Ali Shah of Qajar. The main entrance called ‘’The Grand Bazaar’’ was added to the structure by his orders. Also, he ordered the construction of the Jameh Mosque of Tehran in the Grand Bazaar of Tehran. This Bazaar has been a witness to many great political and economical changes of Iran. Accordingly, in the early phases of the Persian constitutional revolution, it was the Shop owners of the Bazaar who closed their shops and stood up with people for the coming changes.
Tehran Grand Bazaar Today
Today, Tehran Grand Bazaar like lots of Bazaars around the country is a reminiscent of traditional covered Bazaars with different sections and passageways. Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz, Ganjali Bazaar of Kerman, Qeisariyeh Bazaar of Isfahan and the largest covered Bazaar in the world which is the Bazaar of Tabriz, are few of the many Bazaars in Iran.
Other Bazaars and shopping centers in Tehran
There are other Bazaars located in Tehran. Namely, Tajrish Bazaar, Jomeh Bazaar, and Rey Bazaar. Visiting Tehran Grand Bazaar would present you the traditional atmosphere and architecture. Nowadays, as everything grows toward modernity, the bigger malls and shopping centers are opening up around the city. Accordingly, visiting the modern city malls of Tehran might be interesting to you too.
Architecture and Parts of Bazaars
Tehran Grand Bazaar’s architecture is a fine example of the traditional architecture of a Bazaar. It is a maze of covered hallways with vaults and designed domes. The architecture of Bazaar does not belong to a certain era. It is a collection of detailed architecture from different eras to the present.
· Things to do and see at Tehran Grand Bazaar
Tehran Grand Bazaar is consisted of several shopping areas with smaller sections called Bazaarche that the shops in each section sell a specific kind of goods. Also, there are bath houses, mosques and other parts that we will get into the most visited ones below.
- Kafashan Bazaar meaning the Bazaar of shoemakers is connected to Mahdieh Timche. Timche is one of the sections of every Bazaar which is a crossroad with 4 passageways. Mahdieh Timche has one of the most beautiful architectural designs in the Bazaar. Cashmere and handicrafts such as works of Calico can be found in Kafashan Bazaar. In the southern part of this Bazaar, Hajeb aldoleh Timche with special vault decorations is located.
- Emam mosque: this mosque, belonging to Qajar era, is also known as Shah Mosque, Sultani Mosque and Imam Khomeini Mosque. The mosque is known to be the second largest Jameh Mosque of Tehran. The other mosque is also located along this Bazaar. It might be interesting to know that, the design and architecture of it, in some places, is inspired by the design and patterns of Vakil Mosque of Shiraz.
- The Jameh Mosque of Tehran as the oldest mosque in Tehran with Prayer halls dating back to 700 to 1000 years ago.
- Chahahr soogh, meaning the cross road of Bazaar, is one of the oldest part of Tehran Grand Bazaar. It is a dome shaped structure placed on an octagonal area with particular designs.
- Lofh Ali Khan Zand’s Grave, is located near the holy shrine of Imamzade Zeyd. Lotfh Ali Khan was the last king of Zand Dynasty who died around 1794. He is famous as one of the chivalrous kings of Persia.
Make sure to visit the smallest café in the world while you are exploring Tehran Grand Bazaar. The coffee house of Haj Ali Darvish only has an area of 2 meters.
When can I visit Tehran Grand Bazaar?
Tehran Grand bazaar’s opening hours:
- From Saturday to Wednesday from 9 AM to 5 PM and the exterior part of Bazaar will be open until 7 PM
- On Thursdays from 9 AM to 2 PM and the exterior part until 5 PM
- On Fridays Tehran Grand Bazaar is closed. The exterior part is open on Fridays. Where is Tehran Grand Bazaar located?
Tehran Grand Bazaar is located in Downtown Tehran. How can I get there?
If you want to drive to the Bazaar, you can take either Panzdah-e Khordad, Molavi or Mostafa Khomeini Street. Due to the traffic limitation your best choice is to get there by metro. Take the Red line which is the line number 1 and get off at Panzdah-e Khordad station. This station is within walking distance of Tehran Grand Bazaar.
Near attractions of Tehran Grand Bazaar
This part of Tehran is where several must-see attractions are located. You can visit Golestan Palace, Negarestan Garden, the 30 Tir street, Church of Saint Mary, the glassware and ceramic Abgine Museum, and several museums including the National and Jewelry museums. You can check out our ultimate 3 day Tehran recommended itinerary which includes visiting these attractions.