Nothing beats the thrill of finding a bargain, specially when it’s becomes as tricky as a treasure hunt. Flea markets are a paradise for those who seek the unusual and Jomeh bazaar or the friday market of Tehran is bound to bring out the adventurous side of you. Almost 8 floors of a parking lot are there to explore. Anything from stamp collections, pre-revolutionary memoirs, Persian carpets, clothes and jewelry are to be found. Whether you’re collector of antiques, seek nostalgia, love a bit of design, or simply look for something quirky, here’s the place to find it.
But what’s in it for you as a traveller?
#1 People watching at Jomeh Bazaar!
Flea markets always make one of the top attractions of every destination. It’s where local life takes place. They are not specific to a group of people or a certain economic level. Everybody loves a flea market and people from all walks of life happen to find it a great option to spend their weekend.
#2 Shop the dress-code
Now ladies, if you’ve read all about the dress-code and searched high and low in your city to find the suitable clothing but you still think you’re not there yet, then you just need to head over here. I’d suggest arranging a visit to the friday market right at the beginning of your trip. I know you’ll be able to find scarves and mantos almost everywhere in Tehran, but what makes the Jomeh bazaar so special? Well, first of all it’s cheap. Keep in mind that the clothing sold here is all new and actually beautifully designed. Some of them might be the ordinary stuff you find everywhere, but I’ve seen some really good designs for very reasonable prices. The variety of scarves is also out of this world. It might be a bit tricky since you don’t have fitting rooms, but everyone finds a way for it and I’m sure you will to.
#3 Support local businesses
Iran is flooded with Chinese products just like anywhere else in the world. Even when it comes to buying stuff likes scarves and mantos. Although Jomeh bazaar is not free of anything Chinese, it hasn’t been completely invaded yet. Here’s where you can buy stuff genuinely Iranian. I personally adore the carpet section and the jewelries. There are arrays of hand-made items made by young students who could use the extra cash. Since the variety is huge, people actually put an effort into presenting something that’s different with competitive prices, so it’s a great chance for you to find the best deal while helping a local.
#4 History is not always kept in books and museums
After all the museums, palaces and mosques, we could all use a break and who doesn’t love a bit of shopping? Who says shopping has to be either out of necessity or amusement. When done at the right place, it could be as educative as a history lesson itself. Wandering around Tehran’s Jomeh Bazaar is like going down history lane and travelling all across the country. Handmade items and souvenirs from almost every region of Iran are on display and rows of antiques, collection of coins, music, stamps, photos and utensils gives you an idea of what Iranians cherished in the old days.
How to get there?
The best way would be to take the metro to Saadi station and walk to the market from there.
- Tehran’s Jomeh bazaar is open from around 8-9 to 3 in the afternoon, but get there early or it’s going to be flooded with people.
- Be cautious with your belongings. I haven’t had anything happen to me or my friends but this place is busy and full of people from all backgrounds. It’s easy to get robbed if you’re not being careful.
- Don’t waste too much time on the first floors and miss out on the last. Many of the good stuff our actually on the upper floors and they are usually less crowded.