Qom province is the second smallest province of Iran. It is located in the center of the country and is considered as one of the most important religious cities not only in Iran but also in the entire middle east. The southern and western parts of Qom are covered by high mountains and, thus, have a mild climate.
Though, the eastern, central and northern regions have vast deserts. So if you explore all parts of the province, you will face different environments. The province contains the cities of Qom, Jafariyeh, Dastjerd, Kahak, Qanavat & Salafchegan and has only one county named Qom.
Top attractions in Qom
Every year, thousands of Shi’i Muslims travel to Qom to honor Fatima Masumeh and ask her for blessings. The Shrine of Fatima Masumeh (Haram-e Hazrat-e Masoumeh) is considered one of the most significant Shi’i shrines in Iran. The shrine has three courtyards called the new courtyard (Atabaki courtyard), the old courtyard and the courtyard of Saheb Al-Zaman, each built in different years.
The old courtyard, with its four beautiful porches that surround it, gives a lively look to the shrine. Atabaki courtyard is one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of the holy shrine and consists of four porches north, south, east and west, each of which leads to a separate entrance. Each porch has been designed delicately, which took eight years to complete.
Jamkaran Mosque is located 6 km from the city of Qom on the road to Kashan near the village of Jamkaran. Because of its history of construction, Jamkaran Mosque attracts many people every year, especially on Tuesday and Wednesday nights each week. Decorations of the mosque were made during the Qajar period.
The entrance area was designed and constructed in the southern part of the courtyard with six iron pillars and an old inscription. Jamkaran Mosque is one of the incredibly unique and interesting sites of Qom province.
The Bazaar in every historical city of the middle east is usually the first place you go shopping, as it is both a living history of the town and useful products can be found there. The Qom Bazaar is one of the most beautiful markets in Iran, especially when we look up and see its roof. The smell of fresh Sohan (special kind of sweet found in Qom) delights every visitor walking in this traditional market.
Some large sections of Bazaar, like Bazaar Kohneh, were built in the Safavid era and some other parts were added to it by the end Qajar period. It is also interesting that you can find ten mosques in this Bazaar.
Howz-e Soltan Lake, also known as Saveh-Qom Lake and Shahi Lake, with an area of approximately 240 square meters, is located in the south of Alborz Mountains. In autumn and winter, when there is heavy rain, the water input gets higher, unlike what we see in spring and summer. Thus the water level of the lake is continuously fluctuating.
The lake is made up of two separate pits. The western hole is known as Howz-e Soltan and the eastern one is called Howz-e Marreh. The best time to visit this lake is early spring and mid-autumn.
On Shahid Rouhani Street of Qom, There is a small garden called Bagh-e Gonbad-e Sabz (The Green Tomb Garden) that has three monuments dating back to the 15th century. This garden was registered as one of the Iranian national heritages 110 years ago. In these three buildings which are unique examples of plastering art, the former independent rulers of Qom are buried. You will find masterpieces of architectural art with the presence of plastering decorations worked on scrolls, ceilings and arches of these domes.
Each province’s food culture is rooted in its customs and climatic conditions. In Qom province’s food list, there is an excellent variety of Abgoosht (a traditional Iranian stew which is called Dizi too). Apart from that, you can taste many local kinds of foods in Qom which taste so much different from each other.
In the province of Ghom, due to the saltiness of the water and the elimination of harmful minerals, they use lunar cabbage (Kalam-e Qomri) in their food. Qomnabit Abgoosht is one of these kinds of foods. It also includes mutton, peeled wheat, white beans, paste and onions. It is highly suggested that you try this Abgoosht when you visit Qom. Abgoosht-e Havij Bargeh (leafy carrot) is another delicious Abgoosht.
This wonderful and traditional dish is one of the most nutritious and yet beloved foods found in the people’s diet program in Qom province. They cook this tasty Abgoosht with a blend of Qomi carrots (the color of this carrot is yellow), meat, red beans, onions, salt, turmeric and dried mint. The hot peppermint aroma and its combination with other ingredients can make you so hungry.
Like other provinces, Qom has its kind of Ash (thick soup). Qonbie Ash is perhaps the most famous one that people tend to eat in Ramadan and while fasting, because this tasty food can provide the body with energy and nutrient all day long. It includes peas, beans, lentils, onions, cabbage, turmeric and pepper. Mashab is another kind of Ash which has lots of fibers in it. Its smell is so lovely and you surely will like the taste a lot.
If you ask Qomi people what the best restaurants in the province are, they probably will pick two options. Arg-e Salarieh restaurant and Khadem restaurant. The first one is the most beautiful in the region. Its atmosphere is fantastic and so lively and You can have unforgettable moments in it. In fact, the design of this restaurant is a blend of traditional and modern and attracts visitors’ attention. It is also important to note that there is a special place for baking fresh bread in the restaurant and it makes the experience even more delightful.
The second one, Khadem restaurant, is also a great choice if you are looking for a delectable and high-quality food which is cooked with the fresh and proper ingredients. The restaurant offers a variety of popular and authentic Iranian dishes, such as so many kinds of kebabs and grilled chicken. The interior design of the restaurant is also stylish and makes a cozy place for all the guests. If you visit Khadem, do not forget to order Chelo Gardan, as it is one of the most delicious cuisines here.
Where to stay in qom
As the name implies, The International Hotel of Qom (Hotel-e Beynolmelali-e Qom) is an excellent option for foreign tourists for many reasons. The staff at this hotel have tried to provide world-class accommodations for travelers.
The hotel restaurant with Iranian and French cuisines is ready to serve residents with delicious dishes. This hotel is also located in a short distance from important attractions if Qom city such as shrine of Hazrat-e Masoume. The cost of rooms is dependable on the number of beds and quality and range from approximately 50 to 110 dollars.
If you are looking for a cheaper option with high quality, Olympic Hotel (Hotel-e Olampic) is a nice choice. This hotel is placed in the heart of Qom and like the previous one, is not far from the famous tourist attractions. The Berelian restaurant located inside the hotel will satisfy every guest with every food taste. The costs of residence are between 30 and 60 dollars.
Souvenirs and handicrafts of Qom
Qom is known among Iranians for its Sowhan, which is a traditional Iranian sweet. It is said that Sowhan was made in the Qajar era when a cook served some special kind of sweet for a royal ceremony and a noble person liked it so much that he ordered the cook to make that sweet (now called Sowhan) for the king, too.
Today in Qom there is not only one kind of Sowhan and you should try different types of it to understand which one suits your taste well. Honey Sowhan, Almond Sowhan, Nut Sowhan, butter Sowhan and … are the different kinds of this delicious sweet found in Qom.
Qomi carpet is one of the most exquisite rugs in Iran. This carpet is unique in terms of ridge number, color variety, compact texture and number of knots. Carpet weaving has a long history in Qom and it goes back to eighty years ago. If you are looking for precious souvenirs in Qom, a silk carpet is the best option.
In Qom province and more so in its rural areas, handicrafts play an essential role. Even though today it is to a lesser degree, but is still a means of earning a livelihood. Other famous handcrafts of Qom are brick and ceramic work, latticed work, rosaries, vessels of stone and gypsum, decorative articles and porcelain. You can also find high-quality fig and pomegranates in Qom province.