Look for the bustling bazaar at the heart of Tashkent's Old Town and discover a genuine oriental-style shopping experience brought to life before your very eyes. Tashkent's most famous farmers' market is the perfect place to find a souvenir or gift, or to taste some of the finest produce the area has to offer. Chorsu Bazaar, the center of public life in the city, is located behind the distinctive 16th century Kukeldash Madrassah and the Friday Mosque in central Tashkent.
A history of commerce
Since the beginning of time, bazaars appeared on the intersections of trade roads and on big squares in cities. They played the role of the main spots in the city where merchants, traders, and common people gathered to discuss important news and current prices. Also bazaars were the main places of entertainment the city, for shows such as theatrical performances. Chorsu Bazaar, located on the Silk route, has always been located on the main square of the city, Eski-Juva. Old buildings and constructions have come and gone, but the design remained unchanged: large domed premises. This was the only way to protect people from the heat and dust of the hot and dry Asian climate. The construction of such bazaars with a complex of covered premises began in the 11th century and went on up to the 13th century.
An authentic shopping experience
The modern bazaar is a unique complex of trade halls crowned with interrelated blue domes. The central part of this market is the main magnificent domed construction with a diameter of nearly 350 meters, patterned with oriental decoration. On the counters, you'll find fresh fruits, amber-colored dried fruits, saffron, ginger, lepeshka (toasted bread), and kazy (horse meat sausage), among other delicacies. Next, head for the local handicraft shops, which sell beautiful handmade souvenirs to pick up as a gift or two for your return home. There are shoe stores and stalls that sell traditional clothes. Note the huge number of stalls selling national tyuboteyka, the traditional Uzbek men's cap. There are also stalls selling jewelry, ceramics, carpets, pottery, housewares, and much more. Next to the bazaar there are cozy choykhanas (Uzbek cafés), where you can taste amber yellow pilaf, fragrant shashlyk (grilled meat), and hot shurpa (soup). Even if you do not intend to buy, this buzzing market is a must-visit while you stay in Tashkent. It's open every day of the week from early morning until late in the evening, leaving you plenty of time to make the shopping trip of a lifetime.