What to see in Iran: cities and attractions not to be missed

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Iran, also known as ancient Persia, is a Unique and colorful country, hospitable and surprisingly beautiful. Its territory, formed by a large plateau crossed by streams and surrounded by high mountains, is flat only in correspondence with the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.
A place to be discovered to get to know the "Farsi" culture and the historical and artistic places scattered throughout the country.
Here's a little one for you guide on what to see in Iran: cities and attractions not to be missed.


  1. Tehran
  2. Shiraz
  3. Isfahan
  4. Yazd
  5. Kashan
  6. Abyaneh
  7. Natanz
  8. Persepolis
  9. Kandovan
  10. Nushabad
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Tehran

Capital of Iran, Tehran is a modern city where though there is no shortage of historical attractions and artistic beauties.

We suggest, accompanied by a guide who will make you fully experience this location, to visit the Grand Bazaar, the typical market with shops and shops of all kinds and the smaller but more characteristic Tajirish Bazaar.
Do not miss the Palaces of Niavaran, a complex of historic buildings of the royal families, the Golestan Palace, the residence of the Qajar dynasty and the Palaces of the Sa'd Abad complex which house several museums (opening hours: from April to September from 9am: 00 to 18:00; from November to March from 8:00 to 16:00; admission IRR 150.000, approximately € 4,10).
To visit during the day but also especially in the evening, the Imamzadeh Saleh Mosque in Tajirish and the Azadi Tower, symbol of the city and gateway to the center.

2 - Shiraz

Shiraz is a city that is located in the southeast of Iran and is considered the cradle of poetry. Surrounded by rose gardens and beautiful gardens, it offers several attractions to see.

The Nasir al Mulk Mosque is famous for its stained glass windows while the Vakil Mosque, built entirely of stone, shines with its majolica and rosy decorations.
The mirror mosque, on the other hand, covered with shards of glass and mirrors, is a glittering place of worship and pilgrimage. During your stay in the city you cannot miss the visit of the Eram Gardens inside the University where there is also a fragrant orange grove, the Vakil Bazaar and the citadel of Karim Khan, which looks like a medieval castle (time: 8:00 am at sunset; 200.000 IRR, approximately € 5,41).

3 - Isfahan

Also nicknamed the city of mosques, why here there are some of the most beautiful Muslim buildings in the country, Isfahan, in the center of Iran, is also characterized by splendid hammams and palaces.

You can start your visit from Naqsh-e Jahn Square, one of the largest and oldest in the world where mosques and palaces overlook. Stop at the Ali Qapu Palace with frescoed rooms (opening hours: winter from 9:00 to 16:00, summer from 9:00 to 18:00, admission IRR 200.000, approximately € 5,41), discover the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque decorated with millions of colored tiles, the Imam Mosque considered the main one and the Friday Mosque which differs for its mix of styles. Then spend some time at Chehel Sotoun Palace, Vank Cathedral in the Armenian quarter and finally do some shopping in the Grand Bazaar.

4 - Yazd

This city in the center of the country, in the middle of a wide desert, is known for its traditional Persian architecture and the wind-catching towers that soar into the sky.

Start by visiting the historic center of Yazd, the Jameh Mosque decorated with thousands of blue tiles and the 3-story Amir Chakhmaq religious building which is fully illuminated in the evening. Discover Bagh-e Dowlatabad, an ancient villa with garden and towers (open from 7am to 00pm; admission IRR 23, around € 00), the Fire Temple, the ancient building to which several are linked legends and the Alexander Prison built with unfired clay bricks. If you have time in the area you will also find the Chak-Chak Monastery and the Kharanaq Village, uninhabited but with many millenary buildings.

5 - Kashan

At 1.600 meters high, between Theran and Isfahan, the town of Kashan is surrounded by two deserts and is especially appreciated for its famous historic houses built with typical Persian architecture.

The oldest ones like Casa Abbasi, Casa Tabatabaei and Casa Borujerdi are worth a visit, but the baths of Sultan Amir Ahmad, the Persian garden of Bagh- and Fin with its numerous fountains and the historic mosque of Agha Bozorg are also worth a visit. evening when the lighting gives it an even more suggestive aspect.

6 - Abyaneh

Small village perched in the mountains of central IranAbyaneh, located at 2.235 meters along the road connecting Kashan to Isfahan, is famous for its red clay houses mixed with straw which date back hundreds of years.

Just outside the village is the Castle which is located among the underground shelters used by sheep during the harsh winters.
In Abyaneh ancient traditions are still preserved: a local dialect is spoken that has disappeared in the rest of the country and the women wear a white scarf with colorful flowers.

7 - Natanz

Little known village of Iran, Natanz it is located in the Iranian desert, not far from the great western mountain range halfway between Kashan and Isfahan. Although not a touristy place, it has several attractions to see.

Here is the old service station that was used by caravans crossing the desert, then there is a monastery and the tomb of Sheikh Abdol Samed Isfahani, a mosque characterized by extraordinary mosaics and stuccoes. Don't miss the pottery factory where art is handed down from generation to generation and is produced only with raw materials found in the area.

8 - Persepolis

Just 40 kilometers from Shiraz, in the central southern part of the country, is the ancient Persepolis that was once capital of the Achaemenid empire about 2.500 years ago. The large archaeological site is well preserved and is absolutely worth a visit.

It includes: the Gate of Nations; the Apadana, which was the building used by King Darius the Great for audiences; the Tachara, or the palace of the residence of Darius the Great; the Palazzo delle 100 Colonne, which was used to receive important people; the Treasury, a place where various documents and tombs dug into the hillside are found. TO a few kilometers from here there is also the Necropolis where you can see a series of tombs carved into the rock and finely surrounded by bas-reliefs. The site is open from November to March from 8:00 to 17:00 and from April to September from 8:00 to 19:00, admission costs IRR 200.000 (approximately € 5,41).

9 - Kandovan

This village in Osku province, is famous for its ancient dwellings carved into the volcanic rock and still inhabited today. In Kandovan these houses are called "Karaan" and have been obtained in the volcanic lava flows of Mount Sahand.

Characterized by a typical conical shape, they were inhabited for the first time 7 centuries ago by people who were fleeing the Mongol invasions of Corasmia and who found shelter in this area and in these rocks and saved themselves from extermination. In the village 600 people currently live and besides the typical houses there are a school, a mosque, public baths, a hotel for visitors and a mill.

10 - Nushabad

This small town on the edge of the desert in the central plateau at 1.500 meters high has become very important since the largest underground city in the world has been unearthed.

Created 1.500 years ago to defend against enemies in the 13th century, during the Mongol invasion, it is built on 3 levels of depth that extend for 4 kilometers. During the visit you walk among tunnels, dark caves and passages which perfectly give the idea of ​​how people lived here at the time.
Visits are available every day from 9:00 to 16:30 and admission 200.000 IRR (approximately € 5,41).

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 79.000.000
  • Capital: Tehran
  • Languages: Persian (Farsi), Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish
  • Local currency: Iranian riyal (IRR) / € 1,00 = 46.755,63 IRR
  • Weather: continental with very cold and snowy winters and very hot summers with 40 °; strong thermal excursions especially in the desert area, while in the mountains temperatures can reach a minimum of -20 °; May, September, October and November are the best months for a trip to Iran
  • Time zone: + 2 hours and 30 compared to Italy
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is

    Iran is a Middle East country 5 times the size of Italy and located in the western part of Asia. It borders to the north with the Caspian Sea, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, to the south with the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west with Iraq and Turkey and to the east with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Security, visa and necessary documents

    • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of 6 months; tourist visa valid for 30 days before departure through the Embassy, ​​Consulate or special agencies preceded by online pre-compilation (cost € 50,50), to obtain the visa it is essential to take out health insurance; alternatively you can take the visa on arrival, always after pre-filling and stipulating health insurance (cost € 75,00).
    • vaccinations: no compulsory vaccination; but you have to be careful about the sanitary conditions, it is recommended to consume cooked food and vegetables and drink bottled water and soft drinks without ice; during the rainy season, from April to November, in the provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormozgan and Kerman (located in the tropical part) anti-malarial prophylaxis recommended
    • Restrictions: it is mandatory to declare sums greater than 1.000 USD or euros to avoid possible problems leaving the country; each visitor can export articles up to a value of 160 USD and carpets for a total area not exceeding 12 square meters; the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited as well as that of drugs, the penalties are very severe
    • Safety: in the main cities there is an increase in common crime, such as mugging and theft; there is a continuous and steady increase in the activism of terrorist organizations and anti-system forces; it is not recommended to go to the areas near the borders with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the south-eastern areas of Iran; keep yourself constantly updated on the official website of the Farnesina in the Iran section
    • Useful Tips: to comply with Islamic rules of conduct and clothing, women must cover their heads with a scarf, wear a shirt and long trousers, for men the use of shorts is prohibited; in public it is not allowed to greet a woman by shaking her hand and vice versa, only for close observers; always adopt a careful and vigilant attitude and avoid demonstrations, gatherings and crowded places; it is advisable to travel by relying on tour operators and specialized agencies

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