The development of high-end malls has made many of us forget the joys of shopping on the streets, which include haggling with the shopkeeper for prices and finding your way through a crowded maze to get to the main road, dragging your shopping along the way. While malls have made shopping a more pleasant experience with their indoor air-conditioned environment, the top street markets of Lahore are where you should go if you want to buy some of the best crafts of the region at a bargain.
So, let’s get your shopping spree going with the top street markets of Lahore:
1. Anarkali Bazaar
Nestled between Urdu Bazaar and Lahore’s famous Mall Road, Anarkali Bazaar is where you should be when shopping for gorgeous wedding dresses or formal wear for parties and other occasions. Divided into old and new sections, the bazaar is also home to stalls selling handicrafts and gifts along with a range of ready-to-wear apparel for all occasions. While the older part of the bazaar hosts food stalls, the newer section attracts the most buyers, particularly young girls and women. The clothing stores here also sell formal wear for men.
Along with being one of the top street markets of Lahore, Anarkali Bazaar is also one of the oldest markets in Asia, as its history dates back 200 years. It is located in front of the Lahore Museum.
2. Liberty Market
Located next to the Main Boulevard in Gulberg, Liberty Market is a haven for shoppers with endless varieties of silk, lace, footwear, ready apparel, and more. There are also a number of eateries here where you can relax after a day spent in shopping. While the shops at the front might be appealing, delve further into the market, and you’ll find a variety of shops on the other side of the market selling a range of local goods, including jewellery.
3. Ichhra Bazaar
One of the most economical among the top street markets of Lahore, Ichhra Bazaar is the place to go if you are shopping for your wedding on a budget. The fact that this market is affordable makes it very crowded. However, you can find some of the best deals here on jewellery, clothing, shoes, toys, as well as electronic goods. For many, it is the best alternative to Anarkali Bazaar. Located on Ferozepur Road, Ichhra Bazaar also offers a range of cultural dresses and desi food including samosas, pakoras, karahi gosht, and fried fish for locals and tourists alike.
4. Shahalmi Market
Shahalmi Market is situated close to the Shah-Almi Gate of the Old City of Lahore. It is a hub of wholesale goods. You need to have polished bargaining skills to secure the best deals here. From ready-made clothes to cosmetics and jewellery, everything is sold here at wholesale rates.
5. Hall Road
Need to buy a new mobile phone? Head to Hall Road, as this is a market dedicated to the wholesale of mobile phones, electronics, appliances, and related accessories. Retailers also have their stores here though. From original kits to good quality copies, if you want anything tech related, you can find it here. Hall Road is located near the Mall Road, with the area dating back to the British rule, when the British had four halls built here for parties and gatherings. Today, the halls have been converted into commercial spaces, but the name remains.
6. Urdu Bazaar
Next on our list of the top street markets of Lahore is Urdu Bazaar, a market for every avid reader. Regardless of what era the book is from, if you’re searching for it, this is where you’ll probably find it. Stationery shops, printing presses and publishing houses also call this market their home. From academic to fiction, history, and geography, every type of book can be found here in new and used varieties, often at wholesale rates.
7. Kashmiri Bazaar
Situated inside the Delhi Gate of Lahore, this market brings you closer to some of the oldest parts of the town, with clothing, both formal and casual, shoes, and artificial jewellery being sold here at extremely economical rates. Before partition, Kashmiri Bazaar was home to booksellers and publishers. They moved to Urdu Bazaar after the independence of the subcontinent. The bazaar is quite colourful due to the beautifully embroidered clothes on display. If you want some extra energy to haggle, have a breakfast of ‘halwa puri’ in the area before beginning your day in the historic bazaar.
The top street markets of Lahore sell everything from wedding formals to traditional outfits, along with jewellery, shoes and other accessories to match. Some even have their own unique selling points, but one thing remains constant. When visiting street markets in Lahore or any other city of Pakistan, bargaining, and haggling is a must to get some good deals. If your haggling skills are not up to the mark, some easy tips can help you bargain like a pro.