While the shops offer a wide selection of quality goods, local items can be bought in the many bazaars. Purchases include hand-carved, inlaid woodwork, carpets, rugs, silks, leather goods, mats, tablecloths, gold, silver, glass and ceramics. Bargaining is customary. Shopping hours are generally 9am-1pm and 3pm-8pm.
Wander around Tehran's massive bazaar in the city's south. The main entrance on 15 Khordad Avenue, leads to a labyrinth of stalls and shops that were once the engine room of Iran's commodity markets and one of Imam Khomeini's greatest sources of conservative, pro-Revolution support. As usual shops are clustered according to the products they sell. If you're planning on heading out into remote areas, the bazaar is an ideal and cheap place to stock up on almost anything you need.
Shopping malls are almost everywhere in the city. Vali Asr Street and Tajrish Square (also includes a traditional bazaar), are just two of the many locations full of shopping centres in Tehran.
MasterCard is accepted in some places, but credit cards should not be relied on as the sole means of payment. Be aware that if the card was issued in the USA, it may not be usable due to the US trade embargo. ATM machines exist in most cities, and there are point-of-sale devices in some larger stores for only Iranian customers, but only local bank cards are accepted. Since the domestic ATM network is prone to malfunctions, and point-of-sale devices aren't common in stores, having cash (either rials or foreign currency) is still recommended.