Souvenir shopping in Tehran is not as enjoyable as working your way through the atmospheric bazaars of Isfahan and Shiraz.
However, the range in Tehran is bigger and the prices usually smaller. It’s well worth giving yourself a half-day to wander through the Tehran bazaar , where if you can’t find what you’re looking for, a carpet salesman will almost certainly find it for you – after you’ve stopped for tea, of course.
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.
Souvenir shops, of course, can be found near or inside most mid-range and top-end hotels. Other souvenir shop strips include Ferdosi St around Ferdosi Sq and Taleqani Ave (opposite the US Den of Espionage).
Prices are ‘fixed’ but fall fast if you show any bargaining form. Locals claim that Valiasr Ave is the
world’s longest thoroughfare and it’s one of Tehran’s major shopping districts. Ladies, this is also a good place to start looking for a manteau (overcoat). Stores around Valiasr Sq and Vanak Sq sell a decent selection, both in the long, conservative style and more trendy, shorter modes. You can expect to pay about IR150,000 for a standard manteau, up to IR2,000,000 for something ‘sexier’ in the boutiques of Afriqa Hwy, near Vanak Sq. Further south, both sides of Dr Labafinezhad St, just west of Valiasr Ave,
are lined with women’s clothing stores.
It might be surprising, but Tehran is a good place to shop for European-style clothes and shoes, which sell for a fraction of their cost back home. For shoes, women should head for the boutiques along Mozaffari St in southern Tehran, while men can see the head-spinning
choice on Enqelab Ave, east of Ferdosi Sq. For threads, see the stores on the corner of Jomhuri-ye Eslami Ave and Ferdosi St.