My passion for local markets is definitely not a secret, so could I miss such a temptation in the vibrant capital of Iran? Of course not. In my quest to capture Tehran in pictures, I wandered the streets of old and new neighborhoods, I struck up a conversation with whoever spoke a bit of English and I nibbled the local delicacies along the way.
Wandering the streets of the Iranian capital I stumbled on many mouthwatering sweets shops, countless nuts stalls and one of those local markets that give the idea of fresh produce just arrived from the countryside.
I adore dawdling about such places, it feels like soaking up in the country’s social norms and daily routine, it feels like integrating into the hosting society and identifying with the locals, and this is precisely why I try to never miss visiting such markets anywhere I go.
Tehran in pictures, a temptation of local markets, sweets shops, and royal palaces
Tehran is extremely photogenic, whether you are in the old town, in more modern areas or in its green spaces. The charming interplay of royal palaces, hectic bazaars, and beautiful parks makes it heaven for photographers and travelers who wants to bring home images of Tehran and build memories of a wonderful Iran trip.
For lovers of all things nuts and dried fruits, Iran is a blessing and its capital couldn’t disappoint. There are so many shops selling goodies that you really need to pack light for Iran so that your backpacks and suitcases will have room for all the Iran souvenirs you want to buy for yourself or your friends. Sour-seasoned pistachio, walnuts, salty and crunchy almonds, the golden sugar-saffron nabat to sweeten your tea, plumpy raisins and more are among the treats you will find in shops lined up along major roads such as cypress-lined Valiasr Street and smaller alleys, where shopping and your passion for photography will find the tastier common point.
Among the fantastic places to see in Tehran, one that I would recommend to anyone visiting Iran for the first time, or the second, is the city’s grand bazaar. A huge market sprawling through different neighborhoods, at Tehran’s Grand Bazaar you can find just about everything from carpets to herbs and spices, to clothes to kitchen appliances.
The main Grand Bazaar is not the only market in the city, obviously. Apart from other larger markets such as the lovely Tajrish Bazaar, small markets of fruits and pistachio stalls can be found all over Tehran. Teeming with locals chattering and haggling the prices, whoever is trying to capture Tehran in pictures cannot possibly miss a jaunt at a local bazaar to have a juicy hint of the city’s and country’s soul, society, and traditions.
In the fresh produce markets you can find the nuts and fruits when they are still fresh, including pistachio and berries such as sour cranberries. Local fruits, sauces, and dressings complete the scene of a colorful daily routine of Iranians grocery shopping for their homes and meals. Not only government offices, museums, historical landmarks, and palaces then, but also a busy lifestyle offers plenty of opportunities for great images from Tehran.
Not only markets but also restaurants, small eateries, local fast-foods, and coffee shops teeming with young people all over the city and serving tea, hot chocolate, all types of soft drinks, and unhealthy, gluttonous cakes. Fat-dropping shawarma, a tall tower of pieces of meat, can be spotted almost everywhere turning around the skewer, making one of the most authentic images of Tehran you would want to build some reliable travel memories.
With kebabs ever-present in the Iranian tables whether you are dining out or at home, this is also a veracious image if you want to capture the flavours of Tehran in pictures. A frame of roasted and fermented veggies accompany the mains of chicken or lamb kebab and saffron rice. Even though not the only dish on Iranian menus, this is really one of the never-missing courses.