The Beating Heart of Shiraz
Best time to goThe best time to travel to Shiraz is Spring when bitter oranges blossom and give their fragrance to the wind and when colorful tulips paint the city’s garden. Although Shiraz has hot summers, it is a four-season city and you can visit it in any season
Shiraz is known as the city of poetry, passion and love; it’s like an old quilt composed of pieces with various patterns and designs. Shiraz’s is a journey to innumerable attractions visiting all of which takes days. Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rustam, gardens such as Delgosha, Afifabad, Narenjestan-e Ghavam and Eram, Hafiz and Saadi’s tombs, Citadel of Karim Khan, Nasir-ul Molk Mosque and Vakil Mosque and Bathhouse are only a few of the attractions of this beautiful city. Vakil Bazaar, however, is the beating heart of this city, its main economic center. It has been said that when Karim Khan Zand- the just king of the Zand Dynasty who was Vakil-al Ra'aya (Deputy of the People) observes the Gheysaryieh Bazaar of Lar City, he decides to build a similar bazaar in the heart of Shiraz, capital of Iran at the time, hence the name of the beautiful Vakil Bazaar. Situated at the center of the city, the bazaar still accommodates some part of the city’s business activities and its corridors and galleries are still bustling with buyers and sellers.
The scent of spices, colors of textiles, and the magical patterns of carpets and rugs in the bazaar take you back to the past. Walking around the corridors and galleries of the bazaar is a pleasing excursion. You can close your eyes and be enraptured with the music and delightful ambiance of this old bazaar.
Vakil Bazaar is one of the most charming bazaars of Iran made of an intersection with a domed arch and four bazaars perpendicular to each other. The bazaars of drapers, wholesalers, saddlers, and silk sellers make up the main sections of Vakil Bazaar. The corridors of this bazaar are made of three parts: a passageway for customers, the frontage of the shop which is generally two steps above the ground and the shop itself as the selling space. The materials used in constructing the bazaar include plaster, brick and lime and some of the arches are embellished with medallion designs. In addition, several caravanserais such as Roghani, Ahmadi and Gomork were built later and added to Vakil Bazaar complex. Don’t miss Shiraz’s springtime afternoons; walking the streets and gardens of Shiraz at sunset and when the fragrance of bitter oranges fill the air will the best moments of your trip to the city of poetry and passion. Working hours of the bazaar are between 9 AM and 5 PM, but in Spring it is usually open until midnight. You may buy some of your souvenirs and mementos from this bazaar: masghati, various distillates, lime juice and Yukhe sweets are some of Shiraz’s souvenirs. While in the bazaar, don’t forget to eat Shiraz’s fallodeh with lime juice and sour cherry juice. There is also an old restaurant by the bazaar where you may try local Shirazi cuisine including Kalam Polo (Rice and Cabbage) with Shirazi Salad, Aloolapolo (Plum-in-rice) and Dopiazeh aloo (Potatoes and onions).