Kermanshah is one of the oldest provinces in Iran, located in the western parts of the country. The rich history of culture and art has made Kermanshah a must-visit tourist attraction.
Out of three thousand historical attractions in this province, Iran’s national heritage List has registered 716 ones. In addition, Bistoun is named as a cultural heritage site by UNESCO.
The capital of the province is the city of Kermanshah and its other major cities are Eslamabade Gharb, Javanrood, Qasre Shirin, Gilane Gharb, Kangavar, Paveh and Sahneh.
It shares borders with Iraq on its west, and neighbors the provinces of Hamedan on the east, Kurdistan on the north and Lorestan and Ilam on the south. This province produces considerable quantities of wheat, barley, rice, beetroots, citrus fruits and dates.
Kermanshah on map
Top attractions in Kermanshah
Bistoun is located 27 kilometers away from the northeast of Kermanshah, near the mountain of the same name and Hamedan to Kermanshah main road. Because of the Bistoun mountains and the Gamasiab river in this region, this historical area has a mild climate and average annual rainfall reaches 500 millimeters. Bistoun historical area holds a high position in the history of southwest Asia and ancient Iran.
The Bistoon inscription (Katibe-ye Bistoun) is the largest, most famous and first known Persian text of the Achaemenid period. This inscription describes Darius the Great’s victory over the swarms of rebels , and the rebuilding of the empire according to his saying.
When you visit Bistoun, the inscription is not the only significant site you must see. The Bistoun Caravanserai, also known as Shah Abbas Caravanserai. The architectural style of this building is an example of how great the Safavid era was in terms of designing art.
If you love rock reliefs do not miss Taq-e Bostan. It is one of the most precious monuments of Asia. This magnificent and magical building from the Sassanid era attracts thousands of tourists each year.
Taq-e Bostan was built in the third century AD and is located in the northwest of Kermanshah. Petroglyphs in this area show some crucial moments of Persian history like the coronation of Khosrow, Ardashir II and Shahpour II. The inscriptions are another spectacular part of the monument.
Tekyeh is a place where Shia Muslims gather to mourn in Muharram month. They look like mosques but are used only during Muharram. There are various Tekyehs throughout Iran, one of which is the oldest known as Tekyeh Moaven al-molk in Kermanshah.
In terms of architecture and tiling, Tekyeh Moaven al-molk is considered perhaps the most beautiful one in the world.
One of the main reasons for this the uniqueness of its tiles in terms of colors and size.This Tekyeh is one of the most beautiful and magnificent monuments that has survived from the Qajar period in Kermanshah.
The Anahita Temple (Ma’bad-e Anahita) is Iran’s largest stone building after Takht-e Jamshid, which belongs to the before Christ period. According to historical records the temple was used as a shrine to honor Anahita, the goddess of water.
This ancient monument dates back to the Achaemenid era. Its other name is Kangavar Historical Complex. The Anahita Temple is located in Kangavar town.
Qoori Qaleh Cave, approximately 90 kilometers from Kermanshah, is another must-visit special place in the province. This 12-kilometer long cave is considered as the longest one in the middle east.
The unique nature and eye-catching nature of this cave in Ravansar County make it a major tourist destination. Quri Qale cave is placed in one of the spectacular valleys in Kermanshah province. It is also important to note that the cave is listed as one of the national natural wonders.
It is impossible to list beautiful places in provinces of Iran and forget to mention at least one mosque in each area. The Sunni Shafi’i mosque is one of the most beautiful and magnificent mosques in Iran, which has become a historical masterpiece.
Built by a group of Sunni benefactors and surrounded by beautiful landscapes, The mosque’s interior design is adorned with the Holy Qur’anic verses. Please note that the mosque is not open for tourists in some hours around praying times.
Koohestan Park, located in the north of Kermanshah City and close to Taq-e Bostan, is of particular importance in this city. This park is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in the west of the country with two beautiful waterfalls.
The park welcomes many domestic and foreign tourists every year. From this park, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the city.
Hashilan wetland (Talab-e Hashilan) at 35 km northwest of Kermanshah city is home of 116 species of plants. This magnificent wetland is located in Allahyar Khani rural district on the slopes of Khorin and Veis mountains and Kermanshah-Ravansar road.
In addition to a lot of plant species, you can find different kind of animals such as snake, fish, wolf fox and rabbit inside or around the Hashilan wetland. When the weather gets cold and autumn rainfalls start pouring down, lots of migratory birds come to this area from central Asia.
Kebabs are one of the traditional Iranian foods that are served in a wide variety of forms in each province. Dandeh Kebab is perhaps the most delicious and famous one in Kermanshah.
This kebab contains lamb ribs broiled especially. Dandeh Kebab has a tasty kind of sauce that is made of tomato paste, salt, pepper, lemon juice and saffron. Every traditional restaurant in this region serves this food, so do not forget to taste its fantastic flavor.
Alongside Kebab and Aush, different kinds of stews are also an essential part of Iranian cuisines. Khoresht-e Khalal (Slivered Almond Stew) is one of the most delectable and yet most popular traditional foods of this region.
A nutritious and fragrant stew that is prepared using almonds, meat, butter, barberry, onions, tomato paste, rose water, saffron, cinnamon stick, salt and turmeric. Eating delicious stew alongside rice, yogurt and vegetables will be a delightful experience.
Heidary restaurant is where you can find delicious Dandeh Kebab. It is located near Taq-e Bostan, so if you visit there, do not forget to experience tasty foods in Heidary.
It is even possible to take a look behind the curtains and to visit the kitchen, where the flesh was grilled and the bread was baked.Heidari restaurant is crowded most of the time, so if you plan to have a meal, it is better to get there early.
Where to stay in Kermanshah
Bistoun Laleh International Hotel is located on the hillside of Bistoun mountain, in the center of the Bistoun historical area. The most important thing about this place is that it’s near the Bistoun world heritage site.
You can stay here during the night and visit Bisotun the next day. You are not far from Kermanshah, so you can go to the city and get back for lunch or dinner. Laleh hotel rooms cost between 20 and 50 dollars per night.
Five-star Parsian Hotel is one of the best and most luxurious hotels in the west of Iran. The friendly and professional staff, quick reception, good quality breakfast and high-speed internet are some of the things that make Parsian a pleasant hotel.
The cost of the rooms is dependable on the number of beds and quality. The cheapest and the most expensive ones are approximately 40 and 80 dollars.
Souvenirs and handicrafts of Kermanshah
You will find few people in Iran who have not heard of delicious Nan-e Berenji of Kermanshah. This particular kind of cookie’s ingredients is rice flour, eggs, sugar, oil and cardamom. Baking of Kermanshah Nan-e Berenji dates back to the Qajar era 150 years ago, and this cookie has been considered one of the best souvenirs of Kermanshah since.
Kaak or Youkhe is another traditional cookie of Kermanshah. These cookies are light and tasty and are made in forms of thin sheets. It is interesting to know that Kaak is listed among Iranian Spiritual Heritages. Nan-e Khormayi (a kind of pastry made of date) is also a kind of cookie that can be found in every bakery of Kermanshah.
A special kind of oil is made in Kermanshah that has a spectacular fragrant and taste. Using this oil in cooking will change your food’s flavor so much that you will not use any kind of oil after! Roqan Heyvani (animal oil) is the name of this magical ingredient. But where does this oil come from and why people call it animal oil?
Kermanshahi farmers heat the animal fat derived from cow and sheep milk and yogurt and by doing this, the fat becomes pure special Roqan Kermanshahi. If you buy this product, be careful not to use it too much cause high amount of cholesterol can be harmful.
Handcrafts such as rugs and carpets are woven around every corner of Iran and Kermanshah in no exception. In fact, these products from Kermanshah are considered as best ones. Also, Jajim is hand-woven wool used as a warm overcoat and is woven by most tribal and rural families.