Isfahan Souvenirs

Esfahan is a souvenir shopper’s dream. The bazaar going all the way around Naqsh-e Jahan square is packed with shops selling all sorts of handicrafts, food, pastries and spices. Even if you don’t have any plans to purchase something, window-shopping here is a joy. What I exclusively love about here is the fact that you get to see the behind process of all the beauties in some shops.

Iranian souvenirs to buy in Esfahan:

#1 Qhalam Kari tablecloths

These table clothes are to die for. They are handprinted with intricate designs, come in all types of shapes and sizes and are a great way to give your dining table a Persian twist. Compliments are guaranteed and there’s something for everyone’s budget.

The Qhalam kari art doesn’t only come on table clothes, you’d find them on beddings, bags, cushions and a lot more.

How much does it cost? 10-40€ and above.

Where’s the best place to buy? You’ll find a lot of shops selling them around Naqsh-e Jahan square but I’d personally go into the grand bazaar of Esfahan for more variety in size and design.

 

#2 Minakari

Minakari is the art of hand painting delicate floral patterns on utensils, vases or basically anything. The dominating blue colour is a beautiful Persian blue that is bound to catch anyone’s eyes in the room.

How much does it cost? 10€ and above

Where’s the best place to buy? Bazaar of Esfahan

 

#3 Khatam Kari

Khatam kari is a Persian version of marquetry, the art of decorating wooden surfaces with small and delicate pieces of wood, bone and metal. It’s applied to almost anything. From mirrors, jewellery boxes, pens and furniture. Hours of work goes into a small piece, so if you see something to be too cheap, you might want to doubt it.

I’ve heard that there are fake versions sold in the bazaar where instead of actual wood, patterned stickers are pasted on wood and sold for Khatam kari! You might want to be a bit careful with this one.

How much does it cost? 10€ and above

Where’s the best place to buy? Bazaar of Esfahan

 

#4 Metalworks

Whether it’s silver, aluminium or copper, we Iranians take it to a whole new level. If you’re looking for something a bit more special and don’t mind spending the extra cash, metal works of Esfahan are a great Iranian souvenir to splurge on. The diversity is infinite and the design is unlike any other in the world.

How much does it cost? 15€ and above

Where’s the best place to buy? Bazaar of Esfahan

 

 

#5 Miniature paintings

Esfahan is home to some of the best miniature artists and you can see inspirations from them on wall paintings in Chehel Sotun palace. Miniature is done on all sorts of surfaces and even on ivory. I’m sure some of you will have second thoughts on paying for ivory like myself, so make sure you ask about the material used in the artwork.

How much does it cost? Depends very much on the size and the artist but they can start from 20€ for a small piece and above.

 

#1 Gaz

Out of all the Iranian sweets, I’ve found foreigners to love Gaz the most. It makes for the perfect Iranian souvenir and is a combination of egg whites, sugar, rose water, pistachios and almonds and goes perfectly well with a cup of brewed tea.

How much does it cost? 5€ a pack and above. The price depends on the brand and the percentage of pistachios.

Where’s the best place to buy? They are sold all over Esfahan, but I know to get the really good ones you should go to specific local shops. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the place in Esfahan, but I’m sure asking a local would sort that out.