Shiraz’s ancient trading district is comprised of several bazaars dating from different periods. The finest and most famous is the Bazar-e Vakil , a cruciform structure commissioned by Karim Khan as part of his plan to make Shiraz into a great trading centre. The wide vaulted brick avenues are masterpieces of Zand architecture, with the design ensuring the interior remains cool in summer and warm in winter. Today, it’s home to almost 200 stores selling carpets, handicrafts, spices and clothes and is one of the most atmospheric bazaars in Iran, especially in the early evening when it is fantastically photogenic. As usual, it’s best explored by wandering without concern for time or direction, soaking up the atmosphere in the maze of lanes leading off the main thoroughfares.