A guide on what to buy in Iran
A trip can be divided into three parts; the pre-planning, the trip itself, and the memories that remained from it. The third part matters just as much as the trip itself; it’s the memories that can make you be eager to go back to the destination or maybe the opposite, by reminding you of the experience. Souvenirs are a way to bring back a part of the land with you, but finding the right souvenir could be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.
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Iran, as a historical country with a rich cultural and artistry heritage, has got an extensive variety of souvenirs to choose from. Iranian souvenirs could vary from city to city, each presenting its own local art. If you are the kind who looks for souvenirs during your travel, follow us to get to know some of the best souvenirs to buy in Iran.
Top souvenirs to buy in Iran
1. Persian Carpet
Persian carpets are proven to be the best in the world. They are known for their unique designs, eye-catching color-scheme, and high quality, which makes them expensive to some extent. As for a cheaper alternative, there is Kilim which is a smaller, rough type of carpet. Kilim and small rugs are among the favorite Iranian souvenirs. Don’t forget to check out carpet bazaars in Tabriz, since its carpets are the best of the best.
In case you are interested in Iranian Carpets and how they are made, here are Iran tours that are focused on Iranian Carpets.
One of the most popular souvenirs in Iran is Minakari. Its origin is Isfahan and it is an ancient art including paintings of animals and flowers on the surface of metals. If you visit Isfahan, their blue and turquoise color, filling a whole store, will definitely catch your eye.
One of the finest Persian artworks is Khatam, which is in fact the art of marquetry. It’s such a delicate art, inlaying pieces of wood, different metals, and bones to create decorative and also practical objects. The smaller the inlaid pieces are, the more valuable the work is. No better souvenir to take from Iran for yourself or to present to your loved ones.
Terme is a handmade silk cloth with threads of gold woven in it. It is particularly made in Yazd and it comes in various products such as tablecloths, purses, shoes, etc. They may be a little overpriced due to the special yarn and design, but be sure they are worth every penny. Nowadays Termeh is made by machines as well, but the handmade ones are certainly of higher value. An exceptional Iranian souvenir to dress your table with!
5. Iran Ceramics and Pottery
The history of pottery in Iran dates back to long years ago, confirmed by the thousand samples kept in Iran museums. This kind of handicraft is mostly made in cities like Lalejin and Meybod, yet in almost all cities of Iran, you can find the track of them in the shops that sell dishes, mugs, and ceramics. These artworks are designed in different colors and patterns, from traditional to modern ones; whichever it is, they can bring all the memories back from the trip to Iran.
Another ancient art of the people of this beautiful land is Ghalamzani which is actually a kind of metalwork. It is the act of carving patterns and drawings on the surface of metals including gold, silver, bronze, and copper by a bar and a hammer in order to make elaborate forms on silverware such as plates or vases. This fine art is mainly done in Shiraz and Isfahan; so, if you were to visit these cities, don’t miss the chance to see this art and also the skilled artists at no cost. Without any doubt, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.
Let’s get to Iran’s national gemstone, turquoise. The pure turquoise comes from the northeastern part of Iran and more particularly from the city of Neishabur. This precious stone is used to make different shapes of jewelry such as rings, necklaces, pendants. It is popular among Iranians not only for its charming look but also for the common belief that claims turquoise has got the power to protect the owner from the evil eye. Therefore, don’t hesitate to choose turquoise jewels as a souvenir to take from Iran.
9. Food and Drinks
– Saffron: Saffron, or the “red gold”, is used extensively in Persian cooking. Iran has a massive role in the production of the worldwide saffron, and it can’t be denied that it produces the best of it. The hub of the industry is Mashhad.
– Pistachio: Dried fruits and nuts are the best-selling Iranian souvenirs for tourists and the natives as well. Even today, with a number of other countries in this field, Iranian pistachio still ranks first in the international market thanks to its rich taste. Kerman’s pistachios, famous in the world as “smiling pistachio”, are the best in the country.
– Sweets: Most tourists, especially Europeans, are amazed by the variety of sweets found in Iran. It’s a heaven for those with a sweet tooth as each city has got its own unique sweet. So, one of the best options as a souvenir from Iran is buying sweets such as Gaz from Isfahan, Sohan from Qom, Ghotab and Baghlava from Yazd, or Reshte Khoshkar from Rasht, the list goes on.
– Spices: Spices play an important role in Iranian cuisine. You can feel their aroma while walking in Iran’s bazaars, tempting you to purchase some. You can choose from cardamom, rose petals, Limoo Amani -a kind of lime-, to add some Iranian taste to your dishes.
– Tea: The most beloved drink in Iran is tea. It is common to drink a cup of tea after you have a dish. The popularity is not just limited to Iran, Persian tea is known to be one of the most qualified ones around the world.
We took a look at some of the products which can serve as a sweet memory of the trip to Iran. Of course, there are many other exotic souvenirs to be bought from Iran and this was only a glimpse of them. Hopefully, it has made it easier for you to make up your mind and choose the one that best fits your taste.