Whether you have a shopping addiction or not, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to buy authentic and beautiful souvenirs on your trip to Iran. In other words, a trip to Iran wouldn’t be complete without its fair share of souvenirs and eye-catching handicrafts.
Everywhere you go in Iran, you will find souvenirs on display in colorful stalls in its traditional bazaars, as well as in specialized shops and workshops and even in modern shopping centers. There is an astonishing variety of dazzling souvenirs from Iran, including spices, handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, copper, furnishings, art and much more small and exotic products for most travelers to take home.
Iranviva Group has provided a traveler’s guide to Iran on what souvenirs to buy in different cities, focusing on the products locally made and where to find them.
To enjoy your visit to Iran more, read the following article.
Iran Souvenirs, Handmade Iranian Textiles
Among the colorful souvenirs you can find on your trip to Iran, are different types of elegant Persian textiles, which have been produced throughout history, especially represented in the regional clothing of ethnic groups and nomads in the country.
Along with its colorful local clothes, Iran is also famous for the various local tablecloths made out of Persian textiles, the bright colors and amazing patterns of which will definitely catch your eyes in every bazaar in the country.
As an example of the Persian handmade textiles, there is a kind of decorative, hand-painted, block-printed cotton textile known as “Qalam-Kari” (Calico) that is originally from Isfahan. Another must-buy Persian textile is the mesmerizing handwoven “Termeh“, which has been admired even by the Greek historians. Now, Yazd is the center of designing, producing and marketing of Termeh. Another Persian famous textile is the elegant colorful “Pateh” that originated from Kerman. This needlework folk art is done in silk and with flourishes of paisley patterns.
Iran Souvenirs, Persian Carpets
Iran has the most beautiful and high-quality carpets in the world. The versatility in design, function, and color of the Persian carpets are what makes them so special. Persian carpets and rugs of various types woven in different cities like Tabriz, Kerman, Mashhad, Kashan, Isfahan, Nain and Qom, are characterized by their specific weaving techniques and use of high-quality materials, colors and patterns like gardens, flowers, medallions, and animals.
Handwoven Persian carpets are typically made of wool, silk, or a wool-silk blend. Silk carpets are more recognized for their ever-lasting natural shine and brightness. Depending on the material, weaving technique, and size of the carpet, Persian carpets are sold at different prices in Iran.
You can also visit and spend time with locals while they are weaving their handmade masterpieces on the Iran nomadic tours provided by Iranviva Group.
Iran Souvenirs, Ceramic and Pottery
The art of ceramic which is a part of pottery has a very long history in Iran, dating back to the Neolithic Age. Ceramic decorations and splendid tilework are the most distinctive features of ancient palaces and mosques in Iran.
Different objects like vases, plates and many decorative objects are still handmade today in many regions of Iran. Some cities in Iran are famous for their beautiful potteries like Lalejin in Hamedan Province, Meybod in Yazd Province, and Kalpuregan, a small village in Sistan and Baluchistan.
Iran Souvenirs, Elegant Iranian Minakari
Known as the heaven art developed in Persia 5000 years ago, Minakari is the art of painting, coloring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing brilliant colors painting mesmerizing designs of birds, animals, and flowers over different objects. This delicate enamel work is the most iconic decorative art in Iran, originating from Isfahan, where you can find unique exquisite pieces in its bazaar and artists workshops.
Minakari is one of the best souvenirs travelers to Iran can buy and bring home.
Iran Souvenirs, Khatam Kari
“Khatam Kari”, an ancient Persian technique of inlaying and marquetry, is made by decorating the surface of wooden articles with as many as delicate 400 multi-colored pieces of wood, bone and metal precisely-cut intricate geometric patterns. This kind of art are used in decorating doors, windows, mirror frames, Qur’an boxes, pen and pen holders, lanterns and even in shrines.
You can find objects made with aluminum, silver or gold at different prices. Creating such exquisite eye-catching pieces of art requires both a great deal of time and the extraordinary skills of the craftsmen. These beautiful masterpieces of art can be found in the different shops and workshops in Isfahan and Shiraz bazaars.
Iran Souvenirs, Ghalamzani (Metal Work)
“Ghalam Zani” is also one of the most famous Persian handicrafts, originated from Isfahan. It’s a specific technic of carving superb designs on various metals such as copper, brass, silver and gold, as a result of hammering. It’s an ancient art used to decorate vases, boxes, dishes, and any other metal object.
Iran Souvenirs, Local Handmade Dolls and Puppets
Traditional dolls and puppets have been an important kind of local and regional handicraft in Iran. Traditionally made by mothers and grandmothers, the traditional dolls are not just used as toys for kids. They carry a story in them which reflects the beliefs, culture and lifestyle of the society they come from.
There are many types of stitched dolls with their specific forms, colors and fabrics, which belong to different regions and communities in Iran. For example, “Dotuk” is from South Khorasan, “Layli” is from Lorestan, and “Dokhtuluk” is made by rural women of Qeshm Island, etc.
Some of these traditional dolls are not only regional, they also carry a cultural significance, for example, “Takam”, a doll which is used during Nowruz, the Persian New Year, or “Beybeyak”, a doll which belongs to the Zoroastrian community. Local dolls in Mazandaran province called “Taduneh” are made from wood and people believe it protects them from bad people.
Iran Souvenirs, Saffron, Spices and Herbs
The bright red, yellow, and green colors of the spices piling up on the stalls catch the eyes of any visitor to the traditional bazaars in Iran. Spices, used in Iranian daily food, can make an affordable and savory souvenir for the tourists who travel to Iran.
Saffron is the queen of all spices which is inseparable from the Iranians’ kitchen. Iran is the first saffron producer in the world and there is no better place to buy it than Iran. The stigmas of the special flowers are handpicked carefully every year in the fields before being distributed to the bazaars.
Turmeric, as well as cardamom and cinnamon, is another spice extensively used in Iran, with lots of proven health benefits.
Buying spices as souvenirs from Iran, you will take a taste of Iran to your country. For example, take some small red barberries called “zereshk” to serve your rice with; pick some amazing dried limes to add to your stews; and make your choice among dozens of dried herbs (“sabzi”) with unique aromas.
Iran Souvenirs, Tea and Flower Essences
Tea is the national drink in Iran and a significant part of Iranian culture. Tea lovers are the most welcomed people who travel to Iran. Black tea has been grown in centuries in the northern regions of Gilan and Mazandaran in Iran. There are also other natural herbal teas cultivated in Iran that Iranians enjoy drinking, from rose petals to bitter orange blossom.
Persian black tea can be brewed in a few minutes. One of the best kinds of tea is Ceylon with very rich flavor, aroma and quality. Sweeten your hot beverage with saffron candy rock (“Nabat”) and enjoy drinking it.
As a cold drink, you can make your favorite delicious “sherbet” (syrup) with essences like rose, orange, or willow water.
Iran Souvenirs, Sweets and Nuts
One of the most popular souvenirs from Iran among the tourists from around the world who have visited Iran and are interested in food are Iranian nuts and sweets. Iranians love eating different kinds of nuts, from pistachios to almonds, walnuts, and cashews among which pistachio is the local souvenir of Iran from Kerman. There are mixes of various nuts that you can buy.
Tourists who visit Iran love Iranian sweets, among which we can name “Gaz” as the most popular one, which is a kind of nougat made in Isfahan. Moreover, don’t miss “Sohan“, an extremely delectable Persian saffron brittle toffee made with wheat sprout, flour, rose water, saffron, and cardamom mostly in the city of Qom.
Iran Souvenirs, Turquoise Jewelry
Stunning beautiful Turquoise has been mined in Iran for more than 5000 years. Buying this Persian precious stone could be a tempting reason to pay a visit to the traditional bazaars in Iran.
Persian turquoise is extensively found in Iran’s northeastern city of Neyshabur in Khorasan Province with its significant mines. Gems are solid and hard by themselves, which makes them a perfect material to make pieces of jewelry from.
Turquoise is not only a beautiful piece of ornament, but it’s also a purification stone. It is believed that turquoise balances and aligns all the chakras, stabilizing mood swings and instilling inner calm. It is excellent for depression and exhaustion, and it also has the power to prevent panic attacks. Turquoise promotes self-realization and assists creative problem solving.
To get more acquainted with Iran and choose this country as a travel destination, read the rest of the article.
Iran Souvenirs, Persian Calligraphy and Miniature
Miniature painting is an ancient art. It is difficult to trace its origins, as it reached its peak mainly during the Mongol and Timurid periods (13th – 16th Century). This delicate art was mostly used around the world to decorate ancient manuscripts in the past. However, it’s still produced by the really skilled contemporary artists in Iran. A Persian miniature is a richly detailed miniature painting. It is a small piece of painting on paper, whether a book illustration or a separate work which depicts religious or mythological themes from the Middle East.
The glorious art of calligraphy is also one of the reputable and famous arts in Iran. It has a really long history which leads us to the 7th century.
As a tourist who travel to Iran, you will have lots of opportunities for buying souvenirs and gifts during your trip to Iran, from metalwork to ceramics, food, and clothes. The best place to meet your expectations are the traditional bazaars, which offer a variety of objects, with different quality, size, and prices.
As each part of Iran has its own specific handicrafts, note the local handicrafts and delicacies of the various cities and regions you visit in Iran. Iranviva Group will help you to find the best souvenir shops and buy the best souvenirs to take home from your trip to Iran.