Shiraz souvenirs and handicrafts; What to buy in Shiraz?

shiraz souvenirs

Shiraz, renowned as Iran's cultural heartland, is a treasure trove of traditional handicrafts and unique souvenirs. This historic city is not just about poetic legacies and beautiful gardens; it's a vibrant hub where centuries-old craftsmanship comes to life. Strolling through Shiraz's lively bazaars, visitors are immersed in a world of colorful textiles, exquisite inlaid woodwork, intricate carpets, and detailed enamel art. Each of these items is more than just a souvenir; they're a piece of Persian culture and history. This article guides you through the artistic streets of Shiraz, introducing you to the must-have souvenirs that embody the essence of this enchanting city.

Historical Background of Shiraz Handicrafts

The handicrafts of Shiraz are deeply rooted in the city's rich history and the broader tapestry of Persian culture. For centuries, Shiraz has been a focal point of artistic excellence, with its craftsmen inheriting and perfecting skills passed down through generations. The city's strategic location on ancient trade routes contributed significantly to the evolution and diversification of its crafts. Influences from different eras of Persian history are evident in the designs, techniques, and materials used. From the intricate designs of the Safavid era to the bold patterns of the Qajar period, each craft reflects a unique chapter of Iranian history. These traditional crafts are not just artistic expressions; they are historical narratives woven, carved, and painted by the hands of master artisans. Understanding this historical context enriches the experience of buying and appreciating Shiraz's handicrafts, connecting the buyer to the ancient legacy of Persian art and culture. Let's dive in without delay and explore the unique souvenirs and handicrafts you can discover in Shiraz.

Popular Handicrafts and Souvenirs

Shiraz is a paradise for those who appreciate traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, each with its own story and significance. Here are some of the most sought-after items:

Persian Carpets and Rugs: Shiraz is famous for its Persian carpets, known worldwide for their intricate designs, exceptional quality, and unique color patterns. Made from high-quality wool or silk, these rugs often feature traditional motifs that symbolize elements of Persian culture and history.

Persian carpet and rug

Khatamkari (Inlaid Artwork): This is the art of decorating surfaces with intricate patterns made from tiny pieces of wood, bone, and metal. Khatamkari pieces, ranging from jewelry boxes to picture frames, are known for their precision and detail, reflecting a centuries-old tradition.


MinaKari (Enamel Work): MinaKari is the art of painting and coloring the surface of metals by fusing over brilliant colors. This craft is visible in various objects like vases, plates, and jewelry, showcasing vibrant colors and intricate designs.


Termeh (Handwoven Textile): Termeh is a luxurious handwoven fabric made from wool and silk. Known for its intricate patterns and rich colors, Termeh is used in making tablecloths, bedspreads, and scarves.


Additional notable souvenirs and handicrafts include:

Firoozeh Koobi (Turquoise Inlaying): This involves inlaying small pieces of turquoise stone on dishes, jewelry, or decorative objects, creating a stunning contrast against dark backgrounds.

Wood Carving: Shiraz is also known for its wood carving, where artisans create beautiful designs on different wooden objects, including furniture and decorative panels.

Ceramics and Pottery: Traditional Persian ceramics and pottery from Shiraz often feature elegant designs and are a testament to the city’s long history in ceramic art.

Metalwork: Intricate metal crafts, including engraved copper and brassware, are also popular, and often used to make vases, plates, and traditional Persian samovars.

Each of these handicrafts and souvenirs from Shiraz not only serves as a beautiful reminder of your visit but also supports the local artisans and their centuries-old traditions.

Local Delicacies as Souvenirs

Shiraz is not only famous for its handicrafts but also for its delightful range of local delicacies that make perfect souvenirs. Here are some must-try items:

  • Faloodeh Shirazi:

This traditional Persian frozen dessert, unique to Shiraz, is made from thin vermicelli noodles frozen in a semi-frozen syrup made from sugar and rose water. It's often served with lime juice and is a refreshing treat, especially in the warm climate of Shiraz. If you want to try the number one Faloodeh in Shiraz, you better go to Naser Khosrow Street in Shiraz Northern side of the Karim Khan citadel to taste the most delicious sweet of all Shiraz souvenirs.

  • Masghati and Shirazi Halva and Yokhe Shiraz:

Masghati is a soft, translucent confectionery, flavored with rose water, saffron, and pistachios. Shirazi Halva, on the other hand, is a dense, sweet dessert made with flour, sugar, rosewater, and flavored with saffron and cardamom.

Youkhe is a kind of sweet from Shiraz souvenirs that are made with thin paste, sugar, and cinnamon, and is wrapped like Kermanshah Kak and slices thin. You can buy Youkhe from the Shiraz baker shop that is named “Keshavarz” on South Ambassador Boulevard.

  • Spices and Herbs:

Shiraz is known for its aromatic spices and herbs, which are central to Persian cuisine. These include unique blends used in traditional dishes, like Advieh (a mix of spices used in Persian cooking), dried limes, saffron, and various herbal teas.

Additional local delicacies to consider:

  • Dried Fruits and Nuts: Shiraz offers a variety of dried fruits and nuts, including pistachios, almonds, and the famed Persian walnuts. These are often flavored or candied and make for a delicious and easy-to-carry souvenir.
  • Shirazi Wine: Although less common now, Shiraz was historically known for its vineyards and wine production. You can find non-alcoholic versions that capture the essence of the traditional grape flavors.
  • Rock Candy (Nabat): A popular item in Persian tea culture, these crystalline sugar sticks often infused with saffron are a sweet treat and a staple in many Iranian households.
  • Lavashak (Persian Fruit Leather): This tangy, chewy snack made from different fruits is a popular treat in Iran, offering a burst of natural flavors.

These edible souvenirs from Shiraz not only allow you to savor the flavors of the city but also make excellent gifts that share a taste of Persian culture with friends and family.

Where to Buy: Best Markets and Bazaars in Shiraz

Shiraz is home to several bustling markets and bazaars where you can find a wide range of authentic handicrafts, souvenirs, and local delicacies. Here are some of the best places to explore:

Vakil Bazaar:

Steeped in history, Vakil Bazaar is not just a shopping destination but a cultural experience. Built-in the 11th century, this bazaar is an excellent example of Zand architecture, with beautiful courtyards, caravanserais, and bathhouses. It's a great place to find Persian carpets, spices, copper handicrafts, antiques, and traditional jewelry. The lively atmosphere, coupled with the range of goods available, makes it a must-visit.

Saraye Moshir:

Located at the southern end of Vakil Bazaar, Saraye Moshir, also known as the Guild Bazaar, is renowned for its intricate tilework and architecture. This bazaar specializes in antiques and handicrafts, including inlaid work, enamel work, and handmade textiles. The central courtyard with its fountain and tea houses adds to the charm, making it a pleasant place for both shopping and relaxation.

Additional places to consider:

These are some good places for shopping.

Shapouri Pavilion and Garden:

While primarily a historical house and garden, Shapouri Pavilion also offers a variety of traditional handicrafts and souvenirs in its surrounding shops.

Eram Garden Bazaar:

Located near the famous Eram Garden, this bazaar is a good spot to find traditional Shirazi souvenirs and handicrafts in a picturesque setting.

Shiraz Art House:

For those interested in contemporary and traditional Persian art, Shiraz Art House is an ideal place. It showcases a wide range of local artwork, including paintings, ceramics, and sculptures.

Local Artisan Workshops:

Venturing into some of the smaller streets and alleys of Shiraz, you may find workshops where local artisans create and sell their crafts. These are excellent places for authentic and unique finds.

Each of these markets and shops offers a unique aspect of Shiraz's rich cultural heritage and provides an authentic shopping experience. Whether you're looking for traditional crafts, local delicacies, or unique souvenirs, these markets in Shiraz are sure to have something special for every visitor.

Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Shiraz

Navigating the bustling markets of Shiraz and selecting the perfect souvenirs can be an exhilarating experience. Here are some tips to enhance your shopping experience:

Bargaining Tips and Cultural Norms:

  • Bargaining is a common practice in Shiraz bazaars and is often expected. Start by offering a lower price than what you're willing to pay, but do so respectfully.
  • Be friendly and engage in light conversation with the sellers. Building a rapport can make the bargaining process more enjoyable and effective.
  • Understand that while bargaining is customary, it should be done fairly, respecting the craftsmanship and effort involved in creating the items.

Identifying Authentic Crafts and Avoiding Counterfeits: 

  • Do some research beforehand or ask locals about the characteristics of authentic crafts. Knowing the key features of genuine products can help you distinguish them from counterfeits.
  • Buy from reputable shops and bazaars known for selling authentic goods. Vakil Bazaar and Saraye Moshir are good places to start.
  • When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask the seller about the origin and making of the item. Genuine artisans are usually proud of their work and happy to share details.

Best Times to Shop for a Local Experience: 

  • Early morning or late afternoon is often the best time to shop. The markets are less crowded, and you'll get more attention from the shopkeepers.
  • Avoid national holidays or religious events as many shops may be closed.
  • Weekdays are typically less crowded than weekends, providing a more relaxed shopping experience.

Remember, shopping in Shiraz is not just about purchasing items; it's about immersing yourself in the local culture and traditions. Take your time to explore, appreciate the craftsmanship, and enjoy the unique atmosphere of Shiraz's markets.

Last Word

Shiraz offers more than just historical sites and poetic landscapes; it is a vibrant center of Persian craftsmanship. The city's bazaars and markets are treasure troves of unique handicrafts and souvenirs, from exquisite Persian carpets to delicate inlaid artwork and colorful enamel pieces. Each item embodies the rich cultural heritage of Shiraz, crafted with skills honed over centuries.
For tourists, exploring these markets is an opportunity to not only take home a piece of Iran's artistic legacy but also to support local artisans. Purchasing these handicrafts contributes to preserving traditional crafts for future generations. So, as you wander through the charming streets of Shiraz, let yourself be captivated by the array of beautiful souvenirs, each telling its own story of this enchanting city.

Post your comment
Full name : Maria | Date : Monday 29 January 2024 15:51

Lavashak was out of this world. I strongly recommend this!