For many tourists visiting Iran, the most important factor in deciding which province to visit is how rich that province is in terms of historical architecture.
Knowing this fact, it is no surprise that Qazvin always meets tourists’ expectations. The reason behind this richness is that one of the important capital cities of Iran, Qazvin city, is located in this province. Apart from that, Qazvin province has other important cities which are Takestan, Bidestan, Alvand, and Mobarakeh.
Top Attractions in Qazvin
You may want to start your journey with The Qajar era Caravanserai of Sa’d al-Saltaneh. It is one of the most fascinating sights of Qazvin city and also the biggest indoor caravanserai in Iran.
Walking in this historical place will give you the old middle eastern vibe that you can never feel again anywhere in the region. Do not worry if you get tired of walking because you will find cafes where you can rest and drink herbal beverages.
When you come to Qazvin province, one thing that you can not forget is visiting its diverse historical mosques. Masjed Al-nabi (Soltani Mosque) is one of the most famous mosques not only in Qazvin but also in whole the country. This beautiful mosque is located near Caravanserai of Sa’d al-Saltaneh so it is better to visit both of them together.
A 14000 square meter mosque is not a place you can forget when you visit Qazvin. Another mosque that you should consider visiting is Jameh Mosque of Qazvin. This mosque was built on the ruins of the fire temple of the Zoroastrians. It survived the Mongol invasion, was extended by the Safavids and Seljuks and is recently renovated after a fire so walking in it can take you to diverse periods of the city.
Qazvin Gateway or Tehran Ghadim Gate is a historical gate which was the main protection foundation against attacks and plunder. The colorful tiles used to bright up the gate are fabulous. This entrance was the main entrance to the royal Safavid citadel so the feeling of walking in one of the most important places in the history of Iran will be impressive.
Who can have a journey in historical cities of the middle east and not visit its grand Bazaars? The Bazaar Complex of Qazvin was developed more and more in Safavid and Qajar Period. When Qazvin was chosen as the capital of Iran in Safavid time, construction in this city increased.
This Bazaar Complex is one of the important results of that period’s construction. This Bazaar includes some parts that you should consider visiting.
Hajj Reza Sara which belonged to the merchants of Tabriz with a great yard and Qeysarie which will show you how amazing Iranian architecture can be, are two examples of Bazaar parts that you should visit.
When Iranians hear the name Chehel Sotoun, they often think of one which is located in Isfahan. But there is another Chehel Sotoun in Qazvin which is called Kolah Farangi too. When you enter the second floor, colorful windows will amaze you.
Walking silently on this floor with the colorful lights in the room gives the visitor an essence of old times. The exterior construction of the building is exactly a copy of Isfahan Chehel Sotoun, which is a world heritage site selected by UNESCO.
100KM away from Qazvin city, there is Alamut Castle which is the most popular tourist attraction of Qazvin province. This castle was built by Hassan Sabbah, founder of the Nizari Ismaili state Assassins military group. When visiting this castle keep in mind that you will need to take a long walk so you will need suitable shoes.
If you visit Alamut valley, do not forget to see Ovan lake which has an area of 70000 square meters. If the weather is nice and not too cold, having a picnic around the lake will give you a relaxation that you will never forget.
If you are a mountain climber, there are peaks around that you can climb and then enjoy the amazing view of the lake from there. The best thing about this lake and the area is they are decent place for photography. You will never run out of ideas of taking memorable pictures here.
It is necessary for every tourist to try Gheymeh Nesar, one of the most pleasant Iranian cuisines that is is made up of a whole range of Middle Eastern influences. Do not forget Doymaj too, which is made with dried bread, vegetables and walnut.
If you are drinking hot beverages like tea or coffee, consider serving them with Baqlava, which its sweetness will be delightful for you. A very delicious food that can be served with another food is Kookoo Shirin which is sweet. Ash, a famous Iranian cuisine has some diverse types in Qazvin. Ash-e Doogh and Ash-e Mash are two traditional types of Ash that you should try.
In terms of restaurants, Qazvin is one of the richest provinces of Iran. Nemooneh restaurant is among the top places in this province. The moment you put your first step there, you feel the friendly atmosphere. The staff is greatly polite and they patiently listen to whatever you have to say about the food. If you want to know how delicious Gheymeh Nesar can be, order in Nemooneh.
Eqbali restaurant is an old one with increasing number of customers. Like previous restaurant, Eqbali is an amazing place for trying Gheymeh Nesar but you can enjoy other Iranian cuisines here too. Special Joojeh Kebab, Joojeh with yoghurt and Barg Kebab are among are the examples.
Kermani restaurant is another place where you can enjoy traditional foods from Qazvin and Iran. This restaurant was not a big one at first but as time passed, they showed their quality and became famous.
Kermani can be easily named the best restaurant in terms of volume of volume to cost ratio. You can even order one cuisine for two people because of the high volume of food. Tourists can find whatever Iranian food they want here, from Koofteh to different types of Kebab and rice.
After tasting traditional food in Qazvin, you can try some foreign flavors with great taste in Qazvin city too. Meditaraneh (Mediterranean) restaurant is a place where you can find many Lebanese cuisines which can make you hungry by their looks and smells.
The staff here are Lebanese and they treat customers with the best manners possible. The most popular dish in Meditaraneh is Lebanese Pack. Also, Meditaraneh Mix and Chicken Shawarma are the cuisines you do not want to miss.
Where to Stay in Ghazvin
The most important part of your costs when traveling Qazvin includes hotels and places to stay. The good news is that range of prices and qualities are diverse enough to be affordable for every tourist with every budget.
Iranian Hotel in Qazvin city is located in Iranian tourism and catering complex. This four-star hotel is one of the finest places that you can choose. A nice lovely clean place with gardens nearby, Iranian will offer you tranquility and peace.
It is also important to mention that if you do not want to spend your money on food outside of the hotel, Iranian is one of the best options available. From breakfast to dinner, you can get whatever you want in terms of food. The prices vary depending on room capacity and quality. The cheapest one which is a private single room costs around 20 dollars and the most expensive one, royal 2-bed suites cost around 45 dollars per night.
Traditional Behrouzi Hotel is an excellent choice for travelers visiting Qazvin. The property also features an on-site restaurant to make your visit even more pleasant. Caravanserai of Sa’d al-Saltaneh is next to this traditional hotel so you have easy access to one of the most important places that you should visit.
Behroozi House’s traditional architecture bewitches every viewer by engendering a nostalgic feeling. What is better than a miniature fountain pool full of gold fish, a big yard with high walls and a mansion that is redolent of all great things in Iran? The price of rooms vary between 30 to 70 dollars and they offer you different types of quality.
Souvenirs and Handicrafts of Qazvin
When you enter bazaars of Qazvin, you will see various edible souvenirs. These souvenirs include Paderazi is a tasty sweet made of rice flour, eggs, saffron, milk, ginger powder, and sesame. Baqlava is an Iranian traditional sweet and Qazvin has one special type of its own.
Baqlava has layers of filo, chopped nuts, and syrup. Another delicious souvenirs are Nan-e Berenji , Nan-e Badami and Atabaki sweet.
Famous handicrafts of this province are Jajim, kilim, carved stones, tile making, wood carving, carpet, painting and illuminated manuscripts. Qazvin is considered as one of the important carpet weaving provinces in Iran so you can find excellent carpets and buy them with good price.