hafez shirazi

Top 10 Iran Destinations and Most Famous Tourist Attractions for your Next Perfect Holiday

Are you looking for an exotic destination to commemorate your recent retirement? Are you a newlywed couple looking for a beautiful country to celebrate your recent wedding? I am telling you to look no further. I’ll give you ten reasons to see one of the most historic and equally beautiful countries in the Middle East and that is Iran.

Iran is not always the first pick when people think about the perfect holiday. But what they don’t realize is how much they are missing out simply because they are not considering Iran as a destination. Iran may not have white sandy beaches or snowy mountains for skiing, but what Iran has is its thousands of years of history, their culture, and of course, the delicious iranian food.

I have traveled far and wide to find and share with you my top ten Iran destinations for your perfect holiday. Without further ado, here they are.

Top 10 Iran Destinations for your Next Perfect Holiday

Golestan Palace, Tehran

Let me start this exciting tourist guide with a palace that sits right in the capital of Iran and that is Tehran. The palace I am talking about is the breathtaking Golestan Palace.

kakh golestan palace

The Golestan Palace is a magnificent site of magnanimity. It houses 15 different sites, all of which are marvelous on their own. Some of the most endearing sites in Golestan Palace that you have to really see for yourself are the following:

  1. Hall of Mirrors or Talar E Aineh – I want to first talk about this site inside the Golestan Palace that is called Hall of Mirrors or Talar E Aineh in Farsi. This site or hall houses intricate artistry of mirror work, a skill which Iranians have been practicing for more than a hundred years. It is said that mirrors used to be flown in from Europe and instead of having aluminum or tin as reflective film, people used silver in order to create the reflective surface. Broken mirrors were quite common due to the fact that they were being transported from Europe. For the mirrors to not go to waste, skilled Persians would create mirror mosaics, a form of art which is evident in Talar E Aineh. This practice continues even to this day.
  2. The Edifice of the Sun or Shams ol Emareh – Next on my this list of the sites to visit inside Golestan Palace is the Edifice of the Sun or otherwise known as Shams ol Emareh in Farsi. It is recommended that anyone visiting the Golestan Palace to go to the Edifice of the Sun because of the unparalleled view of the whole city it offers. Shams ol Emareh has two identical towers whose facade are designed with tile work and highly embellished windows.
  3. Containers Hall or Talar e Zoruf – The Containers Hall houses all of the chinaware gifts that the European kings gave to the Persian kings. These containers or vases tell stories that happened more than a hundred years ago. Some of the famous historical events documented in these vases were the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte. Others are more of a spectacle of what the dedicating country could offer. An example of which was a vase adorned by jewels that were given by Queen Victoria, which served as an indicator of how opulent their kingdom was at the time it was given. If you’re a huge fan of vases, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss going to Talar e Zoruf.
talare zoruf historical

Sa’dabad Complex, Tehran

The Sa’dabad Complex is a 300-hectare complex built by the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties. It is situated in Shemiran, Greater Tehran, Iran where the official residence of the President of Iran is close by.

Within the huge complex are different museums which tourists can visit. Museums in the Sa’dabad Complex house different iconic Iranian articles that range from clothing, dishes weapons, and also, calligraphy.

Nasir ol molk Mosque, Shiraz

Mosaic is like the trademark art of most of the Middle Eastern countries where Iran belongs. You could see it in floor tiles, on their walls, and their windows. One destination in Iran that truly exhibits this art is the Nasir ol Molk Mosque located in Shiraz. Another name that this artistically constructed mosque is known for is the Pink Mosque because its glass windows are mostly pink.

It is also fun to know that this mosque was built sometime between 1876 and 1888 during the Qajar dynasty. Despite being a popular tourist spot, it is important to respect this site as it is a place of worship for the locals.

nasirolmolk shiraz

Eram Garden, Shiraz

If you’re flying in Iran during the cooler seasons in the Winter and Spring, you must not skip visiting Eram Garden that is also situated in Shiraz. This garden is a showcase of Iranian architecture and landscape artistry.

Eram Garden, like many other Iranian structures, is adorned by mosaic tiles, arches, columns, and an irrigation system that sits right in the middle of the 12-hectare land. The garden houses different trees including oranges, persimmons, and cypress, and flowering plants that bloom into roses, petunias, and chrysanthemums.

Women’s, as well as men’s, selfies at this garden, will surely get multiple Facebook and Instagram likes! so they have many postal card for buy souvenirs form iran

shiraz eram

Tomb of Hafez, Shiraz

It’s not very usual that people are memorialized by having structures dedicated to them. The legendary poet Hafez, is an exception to this.

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī or otherwise known by his pen name, Hafez, was born in 1315. For someone who writes and has published works that have outlived the writer for more than hundreds of years, there isn’t much information that you can find about the life of Hafez. His poems are mostly about love and are targeted towards religious hypocrisy. Here’s a sample of one of his most famous poems about love:

“I have no use for divine patience –

My lips are now burning and everywhere.

I am running from every corner of this earth and sky

Wanting to kiss you.”

Hafez did not only become an influencer in Iran. Once his works of love and friendship have been translated by Sir William Jones, his words reached the ears of Goethe, Henry Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. They have even praised him as a poet’s poet.

Qavam House, Shiraz

The Qavam House is located right in Fars Province in Shiraz. It is considered very traditional in terms of Iranian architecture which is easily identified by a large garden and irrigation in its open space. The Qavam House is palatial and just like the Eram Garden, it features a lot of trees and flowering plants that bloom beautifully during spring time.

Aside from the garden, the interior is adorned by mosaic tiles as well. These mosaic tiles feature paintings of life at the time. This palatial house also features stained mosaic glass for its arched windows where it catches the natural light.

If you really want to feel like a royalty, men and women and children alike should come and visit the Qavam House in Shiraz with its scenic yard that doubles as a garden along with its other features. Anyone who would visit this house will have their hearts falling for its one of a kind architecture.

ghavam palace shiraz

Allahverdi Khan Bridge, Isfahan

We’ve gone to the north of Iran with the Golestan Palace and Sa’dabad Complex in Tehran, we’ve visited the south of Iran by discovering Eram Garden and the Tomb of Hafez, now let’s take it right in the center of Iran with a destination that’s definitely worth sightseeing, the Allahverdi Khan Bridge.

Allahverdi Khan Bridge is more famously known by Si-o–se-pol, which translates to “The Bridge of Thirty Spans”. In order to convince you to see this architectural wonder, let it be known that this bridge is the biggest of the ancient bridges on the largest river in Isfahan.

This four centuries old bridge was built sometime between 1599 and 1602. For a long time, it served as both a bridge and a dam for the people living in this plateau.

Ālī Qāpū, Isfahan

Since Iran was ruled by kings and royals you can best expect to do lots of touring some of the palaces with scenic panorama-view, just like Ali Qapu in Isfahan.

Al Qapu checks all that one expects from a palace:

A large yard? Check.

Fresco art? Check.

A music hall? Check.

High ceilings? Double check!

Ali Qapu is another grand exhibit of palatial architecture. But, just an additional awesome fact, Ali Qapu is a combination of a Persian word and an Azerbaijani word. Ali, in Persian means “great” and Qapu, in Azerbaijani means “gate”. It was due to the fact that this palace was originally meant to be like an opening to the Safavid empire’s seat of government.

alighapu isfahan

Vank Cathedral, Isfahan

Vank Cathedral goes by three different names; aside from Vank, it is also known as the Holy Savior Cathedral and Church of the Saintly Sisters. The word Vank is actually not Farsi, it’s an Armenian word that translates to “convent”.

The cathedral is almost like the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This is because of the influx of the waves of European missionaries who have come during the time of the Ottoman period. The art that mainly adorns the church’s ceilings is called fresco. Frescos are achieved when wet plaster is painted with watercolor. Artists who practice fresco painting work fast so that their painting dries together with the plaster.

kelisaye vaank

Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yazd

Ever wanted to witness a fire that had been burning for more than 1,500 years? You can definitely see one when you go to Iran. The Zoroastrian Fire Temple is located in Yazd. Having been built in 490 AD, the temple is ancient at 1,549 years old and houses a fire that had been burning since its inception.

The Zoroastrian religion is one of the oldest living religions of the world. It is way older than Islam and Christianity. Today, Zoroastrianism is being practiced mostly in India.

This Fire Temple in Yazd or otherwise known as Yazd Atash Behram, was not always open to the public. Such a decision was respectable since it is a place of worship. But in the 1960s, the Zoroastrian officials opened their doors to people who do not practice the said religion.

zartosht

Some Answers to your Iran Travel FAQs

How many cities are in Iran?

The 18th largest country in the world by land area has a total of 31 provinces and 1,245 cities. This does not include the ancient cities of ruins like Persepolis.

What are the largest cities in Iran?

The top five largest cities in Iran in terms of population are the following:

  1. Tehran
  2. Mashhad
  3. Isfahan
  4. Karaj
  5. Tabriz

What is famous in Iran?

If you search for an answer on Google about what Iran is famous for, the top answer will be Saffron. Indeed, Iran is among the largest producer and exporter of Saffron in the Middle East together with Afghanistan, but being the travel blog that we are, Iran is also famous for being the ancient city of Persia.

In terms of a specific site to tour, there will be many. I think I will leave it up to you to decide what you think is the most famous tourist destinations in Iran will be.

Summary

Are you looking for an exotic destination to commemorate your recent retirement? Are you a newlywed couple looking for a beautiful country to celebrate your recent wedding? I am telling you to look no further. I’ll give you ten reasons to see one of the most historic and equally beautiful countries in the Middle East and that is Iran.

Iran is not always the first pick when people think about the perfect holiday. But what they don’t realize is how much they are missing out simply because they are not considering Iran as a destination. Iran may not have white sandy beaches or snowy mountains for skiing, but what Iran has is its thousands of years of history, their culture, and of course, the delicious food.

I have traveled far and wide to find and share with you my top ten Iran destinations for your perfect holiday. Without further ado, here they are.

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