It is no secret that souvenirs are an essential part of a travel especially when it comes to a pilgrimage. It is customary for Iranian pilgrims to return to their hometown with lots of gifts for their loved ones. They actually tend to spend much more on the souvenirs than travel expenses in holy cities like Mashhad.
In old times, in the absence of modern transportation methods, a pilgrimage was once-in-a-lifetime experience. When people made journeys to holy cities, they used to bring back souvenirs as tokens of remembrance during the trip. That’s basically why bazaars developed in holy cities and souvenir shops evolved around religious sites.
There are a plethora of shopping centers and traditional markets with vaulted roofs packed with souvenir and handicraft shops near Imam Reza Holy Shrine. There you can find anything from richly-colored hand-knitted carpets, stress-relieving jujube, barberry, raisins, candy and saffron rock candies, to prayer tablets and rosary beads. A framed turquoise jewelry will also reveal it to any Iranian that you have visited Mashhad.
But that’s not all. We’ve saved the best for last, and that is saffron. Mashhad’s saffron has global reputation. No visitor should simply leave the city without the world-famous ‘red gold’.