The bazaar always played an important role in the city’s economy and many important decisions that changed Iranian history were made here. That’s because many of the bazaris, or the owners of shops and stalls, are very wealthy and have a lot of political influence. They represent the religious and politically conservative part of society.

Those who are familiar with the bazaars in Istanbul or Marrakech, may get disappointed when they visit their Tehrani counterpart, though. While those are very touristy, well adorned and exotic, with beautiful decorative artefacts, the Grand Bazaar is more down to earth, and is a true (giant) local market, where locals trade gold, paper, food, copper and the odd nick-nack. Only one or another section has true appeal to those who are looking for cute exotic things.