The magnificent, labyrinthine covered bazaar covers some 7 sq km with 24 separate caravanserais and 22 impressive timchehs (domed halls).
Construction began over a millennium ago, though much of the fine brick vaulting is 15th century. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site. There are several carpet sections, according to knot-size and type. The spice bazaar has a few shops still selling herbal remedies and natural perfumes.
A couple of hat shops (Bazaar Kolahdozan) sell traditional papakh (Azari hats, from US$12) made of tight-curled astrakhan wool. Other quarters specialise in gold, shoes and general household goods.
For such a huge construction, the bazaar is surprisingly easy to miss. A useful entrance is the second narrow passage east of the tourist information office. This takes you into the jewellery section.
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