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History, culture, and nature – Iran boasts of the very bests of everything! Iran has seen the rise and fall of so many dynasties and civilizations. The enticing glory and abundant richness still speak out to this day in the modern world. Today, the stability of the nation might be at risk since it is war-ridden, but that doesn't take away the prestigious historical stories that Iran has to whisper in your ears. The destination has always charmed travel enthusiasts from all across the world. Here is a list of our favorite attractions you cannot miss on your trip to Iran. Take a look.
The capital of the first Persian empire, Persepolis is the abode of Persian civilization. You cannot explore the true taste of Iran without taking a stroll through the footpaths of the city. Walk among the arches, pillars, and remaining majestic palaces. The vast history of ancient Persia is sure to stun you.
The city was believed to be built by Darius I in 518 BC. The construction of the whole place took about 120 years. Though the primary function of Persepolis is yet a mystery, the spectacular ceremonial complexes bring thousands of tourists from around the world.
The place is located 60.7 km northeast of Shiraz and boasts of an incredible historic value. It has earned the acclamation of the UNESCO world heritage site. It is an ideal place to visit during a day trip from Shiraz. You can hire a taxi or contact a tour agency to explore the place.
As the capital city, Tehran is a must-visit in Iran. It is one of the most historical places in the country. Visit the Golestan Palace at Tehran – a UNESCO world heritage site. The majestic historical complex was once the residence of the Qajar dynasty. It displays a remarkable blend of contemporary European architectural design and ancient Persian style. This blend is a characteristic feature of Iranian art during the 19th and 20th centuries. The spectacular halls, gardens, museums, and chambers will surely fascinate you.
After visiting the palace, visit the Azadi tower. Built in 1971, the monument pays tribute to the 2500th anniversary of the Persian empire. The distinct style of the tower merges modern influences with traditional Persian style. Covered with 8000 pieces of marble, the iwan arch will stun you. Azadi square symbolizes the protest during the Islamic revolution in 1979. You can use an elevator or stairs to climb the tower and get a 360-degree view of the city.
Imamzadeh Saleh is yet another fascinating place to visit. Also known as Tajrish mosque, the place demonstrates Saleh's abode. The stunning tilework of the mosque will charm you. The colorful Tajrish bazaar is an ideal place to buy souvenirs and get a glimpse into local life.
Filled with gorgeous mosques, Shiraz is famous for Nasir Ol Molk mosque or Pink Mosque. Built around 1888 in the Qajar dynasty, the mosque is renowned for its multi-colored glass windows that allow the sun to peep into the rooms. For this reason, photographers love this place and it is one of the stunning places across the world.
Visiting Iran without seeing the rainbow colors will be an incomplete trip. You will feel like you are inside a kaleidoscope. Nasir Ol Molk Mosque is fascinating from the outside as well. It has a stunning courtyard and a pond. Its vibrant tilework symbolizes western influence on Iranian traditional architecture in the 19th century. The tiles were usually imported from the UK, France, and Germany.
European art elements like landscape, architecture, and women are depicted on these tiles. You can spend hours admiring the detailing on the interior and exterior of the mosque.
Next, visit the sacred Shah Cheragh Shrine, translated as the King of the Light. The name is indeed interesting. In about 900 AD, a traveler reached here following a light. He stumbled upon a grave of a Muslim figure. Later on, a tomb was built on it and t became an important pilgrimage destination.
Its incredible and intricate mirror works will surely charm you. It is indeed a priceless sight. Here are a few gourmet restaurants in Shiraz: Cafe Hedayat, Haft Khan, Seray-e-Mehr, Shapouri Garden restaurant, Soufi, etc.
If you want to buy souvenirs, visit Saraye Moshir, Vakil Bazaar, Setareh Fars shopping mall, and Shiraz Miniature gallery.
Shiraz International Airport is the nearest one to the city. It is located at a distance of 16 km from the city. You can take a cab to reach your destination.
Naqsh E Rostam
Drive about 10 minutes from Persepolis to reach Naqsh e Rostam. It is a royal necropolis of the Achaemenid empire. Here, you can admire the four majestic tombs of ancient Persian kings. Historians are still not sure about the king's identity inside the tomb. Speculations include those of Darius I, Darius II, Xerxes I, and Artaxerxes I.
Once here, try local cuisines including Dizi, Ash reshte, fesenjan, baghali poli, zereshk polo morgh, khoresht gheimeh, tahdig, etc.
Take a taxicab or local bus to reach Naqsh E Rostam from Persepolis.
Iran is full of city life, historic architecture, sceneries, and more. Pay a visit to the place and preserve the memories for your lifetime.
Esfahan is one of the most glorious and most beautiful cities in all of Iran. It is situated at the base of the Zagros range and is about 430km towards the south of Tehran. There is an international airport in the region so you can fly into the city. You will also get a cab, bus, and train services from major cities such as Tehran, Shiraz, and Yazd.
Esfahan has seen the rein of so many Sultans and Caliphs over the ages and all of them have tried to bring glory and richness into this city. Naqsh-e-Jahan, ringed by mosques with ceramic façade and stunning Safavid palatial buildings, is at the heart of the city and is regarded as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It looks how any rich city is supposed to look like, with brightly colored busy souks (marketplaces), tree-lined lanes and by-lanes, and legendary madrassahs at unexpected corners.
Dizin is one of the best places in Iran to head to if you are fond of adventure sports, especially those pertaining to winters and snow! It is situated about 3000 meters above sea level, perched within the Alborz Mountain Range where the Caucasian ranges merge with the Asian ranges. This small hill destination is beautiful and will give you quite a sense of calm. In fact, it has climbed the ladders swiftly and is regarded as the top destination for winter sports in Iran. If you are traveling to Dizin there are multiple stay options available to you. The alpine-styled hotels would make for a great stay option, especially with a view of the immense Mount Damavand.
If you want to live in a world that seems to be carved out of a fairy tale then Yazd is the right place for you. The city looks like a dreamland from the Arabian Nights and you will have a great time walking through the streets and alleyways of the city. There are regular train services available from Tehran to reach Yazd. You might also undertake a 9-10 hours bus journey from Tehran if you are traveling on a budget.
The roads in Yazd are magical! You will see a random turret towering above a mosque and covered in intricate geometric patterns as you walk through any street in the city. The alleys are filled with the enticing scent of mint tea and incense sticks. The heart of this city holds the enigmatic fire temples of the Zoroastrian faith. The Amir Chakmakh complex is also worth exploring- it holds spiked minarets belonging to the Shia Hussaina. The many souks in Yazd are also worth exploring where you will find all kinds of wares.
Tabriz for one has an incredible story to whisper into your ears. This city is regarded to be as hold as civilization itself, dating back to more than 4,500 years. It is indeed regarded as the oldest city to have been continuously inhabited by civilization. Tabriz is well-connected to the rest of Iran through roadways and railways and you can get here by buses, cars, and trains. If you are flying international, there is an airport in Tabriz that allows regular flights.
The city is known to the world through its fantastic architectural works. The ancientness of the city could be easily beheld as you look into the stunning architectural features that the city has to offer. While you are in Tabriz you have to visit the Blue Mosque of 1465- it is a colossal structure lined with brightly dazzling cobalt blue ceramics. The Bazaar of Tabriz is another place you have to explore- it is one of the outposts of the ancient Silk Road that came from China.
Mashhad is a beautiful city and is quite an important religious site to the Iranians. The tomb of Imam Reza, the 8th Imam of Shia Islam is located in Mashhad making it such an important destination among Iranians. The Reza shrine in the city center houses the tomb and is spread over an immense area of 600,00 m2. Some of the gold-lined minarets emerging from the shrine rise to a height of 30 meters from the base making them one of the best pieces of architecture in the country. There is also a terrific collection of delicious saffron-infused curries that Iran is famous for to be found in the restaurants and street shops of Mashhad.
Rasht Rasht opens up into the Shomal region where there are lush valleys owing to the abundance in rainfall the region receives. The weather is unlike anything that you will find in the rest of Iran. Adding to the picturesque setting, Rasht is also situated along the banks of the Caspian Sea making it an enviable location among the Iranians. One of the best places to visit in Rasht has to be the Golestan National Park. The forested area is as mystical as it can get with misty forests filled with Persian leopards. Another interesting thing that you could see in Rasht is the impressive facades built in the Russian and European styles during the time of Mirza Kouchak, a Soviet sympathizer.
Kish is a fantastical island destination in the waters of Iran that is unlike anything you will see in Iran. This is a stunning place to go to if you have the party spirit within you. The streets in Kish are lined with resort-like hotels and casinos to have a great time here. The island town is located about 19 km away from the coast of Iran into the Persian Gulf and is easily accessible by boats and cruise rides.
Kish is also famous for its many white sandy beaches washed by clear blue waters. The most common activity here would be to laze around on the beaches or take a cool, refreshing swim through the waters. You could also find coral reefs in the area or even go scuba diving for a more comprehensive experience. The shopping scene in Kish is also vibrant and brings in a stream of visitors the souks and duty-free malls of Kish are filled with all kinds of wares and you can shop to your heart's content!
Ramsar is another city that is lined by might mountain ranges on one side and washed by clear blue seawater on the other side. Regular flights are scheduled from Tehran into Ramsar. You could also enter the city through the roadways via the Kandavan road or the Haraaz road. Regular bus services are also available for budget travelers.
The city is nestled between the Alborz Mountain Range on one side and the Caspian Sea on the other. This makes way for quite a dramatic setting making it a very beautiful location to go away from the bustling crowd. The proximity to the sea ensures that there are a handful of great beaches in the city. You can also go on hiking adventures through the forests in the nearby mountains. You will get grand panoramic views of the hills to the northern part of the city. The city also offers visitors the comfort of relaxing hot springs and it is fabled that the healing waters of the city are imbued with magical properties!
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