Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Iran

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Iran is the 18th-largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km2, has a population of around 75 million. Iran is a country with massive cultural and historical attractions which draw in landmark number of tourists through out the year from all around the world. Due to its historical background and sustainable social and cultural evolution, has a lot of diverse worth seeing sites that satisfy tourists with different tastes. The country of Iran offers plenty of attractions to every traveler. Fifty things that you can do in Iran along with your family are listed below:

1. Tehran 

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province; it is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Iran. It is the largest city of Iran in fact one of the largest cities in Western Asia. The city of Tehran offers plenty of things to do and see and the city is also home to various spectacular historic monuments such as mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. Modern Tehran is a modern city featuring many structures, of which the Azadi (Freedom) Tower and the Milad Tower have come to be symbols of Tehran itself.

2. Isfahan

The city of Isfahan is amazingly attractive and among the top tourist destinations of Iran. It is situated towards the central part of Iran plateau. This place of Iran holds a lot of historical significance and famous for its rich history and handicrafts. Major tourist attractions of Isfahan are Chehel Sotun Palace, Jameh’Mosque , Chaharbagh School , Imam Square , which includes its self three magnificent buildings :Imam Mosque , Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, , and Place of Ali Qapu ,Khaju Bridge,Sio-Seh Pol and tens of Imamzadeh, Shrines and tombs, can be pointed.

3. Shiraz

Another most significant tourist destination of Iran is Shiraz. It is located in Fars province, which is among the major provinces of the Old Persian Empire. The city of Shiraz is renowned in the entire world as the city of roses and poets, and is situated in a specious region of the oldest human civilizations of the world. Shiraz is indeed one of the most visited tourist destinations of Iran. The notable attractions of Shiraz include the empire of Achaemanads, Perspolis, Naqsh-e-Rostam, and Pasargad. Once here you will also find various interesting historical and cultural places such as Bagh-e-Eram Narenjestan, Vakil Mosque,Bazaar and Castle, Aghigh Mosque.

4. Yazd

Yazd is one of the immensely popular tourist destinations of Iran. Once here you will witness the huge desert and scanty rainfall, these are said to be the major causes of unique architecture emerged in Yazd. Yazd offers plenty of historical monuments that date back to Sassanid period, are also counted of the attractions of this city. Jame’ Mosque, Amirchakhmagh Mosque and Bazaar, Fire Temple are among the various attractions of Yazd.

5. Kerman

The province of Kerman is one of the most attractive tourist destinations of Iran situated towards southeastern of Iran. It is considered a province of great antiquity. You will find here various interesting monuments dating back both to pre-Islamic and post-Islamic periods. The governor of Kerman Ganj Ali Khan, founded notable buildings, most of which have survived and now are called Ganj Ali Khan Complex. Among the monumental buildings in Kerman we can notify Bazaar and the Dome of Jabliyeh. The style of building in Kerman is high walls, narrow alleys and domed roofs.

6. Abyaneh

Abyaneh is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Iran. It is considered a village of great historical importance. It is in fact like a living architectural and anthropological museum. The village is expanded along the river, and its configuration indicates that the past people showed much consideration for security. The well known tourist attractions of Abyaneh are the Jam’e Mosque, Yarzaleh, Hajatgh Mosque, and Zeyaratgah are notable.

7. Yarzaleh Mosque

One of the most notable tourist attractions of Iran is the Yarzaleh Mosque that is to be found one of the most ancient neighborhoods of Abyaneh. It is among the most impressive sanctuary. The mosque dates back to 14th century Hajat gah Mosque Located beside Mt Sakhreh Kuh, this mosque dates back to the Safavid period. Its sanctuary has pillars of wood, on which some verses of the Koran have been inscribed.

8. Qazvin

Among the most impressive places of Iran is the city of Qazvin. It is situated towards the western side of Tehran. This magnificent city was established during the time of Sassanid Shapour I, more popularly known as Shad Shapour, the main reason was to prevent the invasions of Dialameh and it was gradually developed as the main nucleus of Qazvin city. After the invasion of Arabs to Iran and commencement of Islamic conquests, the city was surrounded by one of the famous Arab commanders and in the year 25th it became one of the military bases of Arab forces. You will find plenty of historical buildings and monuments in this city of Iran that is surely worth a visit. Famous tourist attractions include the Jame’ Mosque, Castle of Alamout, Yaleh Gonbad and Kafar Gonbad domes, and several caravanserai, gates, mosques and castles.

9. Castle Of Alamoot

The Castle of Alamoot is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions of Iran. It was built by Hassan Sabbah the leader of Ismaillieh movement during the fifth century. It was attacked by Mongol Holakoo and has seen prolonged clashes and wars between central government and Ismailieh. The visit to this castle is worth it.

10. Shaykh Safi Tomb

The Shaykh Safi Tomb is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of Iran. The collection of Sheikh Saffieddin Ardebili’s Mausoleum includes architecture of different periods of Iran. Initially it was the residence of Sheikh Safi. Once here you will witness that there are two domes one above Sheikh Safi’s tomb and the other over Shah Essmaiel Safavids’s tomb. Buried in the tombs of the king and his princes, there are some wooden boxes, which are adorned and artistically carved. Its history dates back to around 2500 years ago, Hamadan, the cradle of Median civilization, has plenty of historical monuments, which are among the best attractions of this place. You will find it situated right in the mountainous area of Zagros in the western Iran. In Hamadan we can also find the Mausoleum of Avicenna and Baba Taher the great Iranian doctor and scientist.

11. Masouleh-Gilan

One of the most interesting places to visit in Iran is the Masouleh-Gilan. It is located towards the south of Caspian Sea; it occupies an area of 14709 sq kilometers. It is also bounded to Talesh Mountains westward and Alborz mountain range southward. Once her you can enjoy an impressive natural beauty, a pleasant climate, lofty mountains covered with lush vegetation. It is among the must visit places of Iran that is blessed with beautiful scenery. You will also find here some of the best luxuriant forests, the province of Gilan is one of the most visited tourist destinations.

12. Hamadan

Another most significant place to visit in Iran is the Hamadan that dating back to over 2500 years ago. It is situated in the mountainous area of Zagros towards the western Iran. It is well considered as the cradle of Median civilization and offers plenty of amazing historical monuments. The city of Hamadan the ancient name of which is Ecbatana, has been given an account of the great Median palace of Hegmetaneh, the remains of which are in the central part of Hamadan as a hill. During the Seljuk period it was the capital of Iran for 50 years.

13. Tabriz

Tabriz is considered as the center of Azarbayjan is a huge area in the northwestern Iran. It is the center of trade and tourism over a long period of time. The city is blessed with various beautiful antiquities and has been the capital of Iran in different periods, as a result of which monuments of rich variety are found in it. Among the notable tourist attractions of Tabriz include the Blue Mosque, Arg of Tabriz,IL Goli , , the historical Bazaar, Jame’ Mosque, City Hall, Clock Tower, Castle of Rashidieh, and many other attractions.

14. Mashhad

Mashhad the provincial capital of Khorasan, containing the holy shrine of Imam Reza, is the most pilgrimage place to visit in Iran. Mashhad is also responsible for increasing the province’s importance. This is the most important pilgrim in Iran. You will also find the holy shrine and all its courtyards here that are considered most significant of the Islamic architecture. The sepulcher is enclosed by a golden transenna made by craftmen from Isfahan. Aqiq and Azadi courtyards belonging to Gowhar Shad are eye-catching places. Aqiq and Azadi courtyards belonging to Gowhar Shad are eye-catching places.

15. National Museum

The National Museum of Iran is one of the immensely popular museums and holds a lot of significance to the country. This famous Archeological Museum is situated in Tehran and well preserves the ancient Persian Antiquities including pottery vessels, metal objects, books, coins etc. The museum building was designed by French architect Andre Goddard in the early 20th century. The museum is divided into many sections and each section displays collections of different era. The artifacts that you will find inside the museum are very impressive. The post-Islamic part of the museum contains various pieces of pottery, textiles, texts, artworks, astrolabes, and adobe calligraphy from 1400 years of Islamic history in Iran.

16. The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Iran, to be found towards the southern part of the country’s capital. Its many corridors are over 10km in length. Today the bazaar is mainly associated with the 19th century; its roots go back much further. Through the centuries following the introduction of Islam, travelers reported the growth of commerce in the area now occupied by the current bazaar. The Grand bazaar is a continuation of this legacy.

17. Jameh Mosque

Jameh Mosque of Yazd is one of the most impressive mosques you will find in Iran. It was constructed on the site of 12th century building believed to have itself replaced an earlier fire temple. It is well said about this mosque that there is no more remarkable gateway in Iran than this great towering 14th century structure. The mosque is beautifully crowned by a pair of minarets that is considered as the highest in Iran, its height is 48m; the portal’s facade is decorated from top to bottom in dazzling tile work, predominantly blue in color.

18. Imam Square

The Imam Square is one of most notable tourist attractions of the city of Isfahan. It is also known as Naghsh-i Jahan (World Portrait) Square to be found right at the center of the city, is one of the largest city squares in the world that is also an important historical site of Iran as well as the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Once here you will witness that the square is surrounded by significant historical structures from the era of Safavid. The square covers an area of 82,500 sq. meters and was used for parades, military reviews, polo games and festivals during Safavid era.

19. The Golestan Palace

The Golestan Palace also known as the Palace of Flowers is one of the major tourist attractions of the city of Tehran. It is considered as the oldest of the historic monuments in the country’s capital. This palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel). Today the Golestan Palace is the result of approximately 400 years construction and renovations. The buildings at the contemporary location each have a unique history. It is one of the exceptionally beautiful places to visit in Iran.

20. Karimkhani

Karimkhani is regarded as the largest and the most significant structure of Zand Dynasty has been the residence of Karim Khan and where he ruled from. It is one of the major tourist attractions of the city of Shiraz. The structure is having four circular towers, one of which on the southeastern side has a distinctive slope. The area of whole place is 12800 square meter (42,240 sq. ft), the height of each tower is 14 meter (46′).

21. AliQapu Palace

Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan, situated towards the western part of the Naghsh-i Jahan Square. The palace is among of the major tourist attractions of the country. This magnificent palace was originally designed as a vast portal. It is forty-eight meters high and there are seven floors. This structure is another wonderful Safavid edifice that was constructed by decree of Shah Abbas the Great in the early seventeenth century. It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors, and foreign ambassadors.

22. Dowlat Abad Garden

The Dowlat Abad Garden is one of the spectacular and most impressive tourist attractions of Iran. This garden has a collection of different structure which was build and designed during the time of Mohammad Taqi Khan in the Zandieh era, it was actually his residence. The wind trapper of this garden is 33 meters high and is considered an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the Yazdi architects’ genius, mental ability, talent and art. The landscape architecture, irrigation method, and in the richness of architectural design is worth appreciating.

23. Bam

Bam is considered as one of the most attractive cities of Iran and has lots of historical significance. You will find it just 200 kms towards southeast of Kerman. Dates, citrus fruits and henna are the most important crops cultivated in Bam. It was on silk route that dates back to 2000 years ago. The ruins of the ancient city of Bam called Arg-e Bam are of great attraction. It is considered among the wonders of world occupying 6 sq. kms, Arg-e Bam is the greatest mud-brick construction in the world. Surrounded by lofty walls and towers and a moat, it includes a great number of houses encircling the seat of the ruler, which stand in the center.

24. Sheikh Lotfolloh

Sheikh Lotfollah that is also known as the Ladies’ Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture. The mosque is among the top tourist attractions of the city of Isfahan. You will find it standing towards the eastern part Naghsh-i Jahan Square. The mosque was constructed during the year 1615 by the orders of Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty. The mosque is well decorated with best mosaics of 17th century era, the tiles of the dome changes color from cream to pink depending on the lighting.

25. Saadabad Palace

The Saadabad Palace is a beautiful palace that was constructed by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran in the Shemiran area of Tehran. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Iran. This garden was the residence of Qajar Dynasty during summer residence. It occupies an area of 110 hectares. It is believed that Reza Shah was the first to live there in the 1920s. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi moved there in the 1970s. After the Iranian Revolution it became a museum.

26. Kahaju Bridge

The Kahaju Bridge is one of the most famous bridges of Iran that was constructed by Shah Abbas II during the year. It also functions as a dam, and has always been as much a meeting place as a bearer of traffic. It is 132m in length, has two levels of terraced arcades: the lower containing locks regulating water flow.

27. Reza Abbasi Museum

The Reza Abbasi Museum is one of the most interesting attractions to be found in Tehran. This museum was named after one of the great artists of the Safavid era; Reza Abbasi Museum is administrated by Iranian Cultural Heritage & Tourism Organization. Inside the museum you will witness some of the finest collections that belong to a period from the 2nd millennium BC to the early 20th century which corresponds to the end of Qajar period. The displays are arranged chronologically, so visitors can have a chance to observe the development of art, culture and technology during this time interval.

28. The Treasury of National Jewels

You will find the collection of the most expensive jewels of the world inside the highly impressive “Treasury of the National Jewels”. It is said that these jewels are collected over centuries. The value of the objects exhibited is incomparable. You will surely fall in love the rich collection that reflects the creativity and taste of Iranian craftsmen and artists during different eras and represents the highly rich cultural heritage of a vast country. These decorative jewels were served as evidences for glory extravagance, power and wealth of the rulers over the past dynasties.

29. Si-o-Se Pol Bridges

The Si-o-Se Pol Bridge is one of the most impressive bridges of Iran to be found in Isfahan. This 298m-long bridge was constructed between 1599 and 1602 to link the upper and lower halves of Chahar Bagh Boulvard. The meaning of si-o-se in Farsi is 33 and the bridge is called so because it has 33 arches. It’s also known as Allahverdi Khan Bridge after one of favorite generals of Shah Abbas I.

30. Mausoleum of Avicenna & Baba Taher

The Mausoleum of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) is one of the major tourist attractions in Iran. He was the great Iranian philosopher and his mausoleum was constructed during the year 1954. You will also find an interesting library with a number of manuscripts in this building. The tomb of Baba Taher-e Oryan (C. 1000 after 1055), the Iranian poet and mystic, was constructed on a wonderful park northwest of Hamadan in recent years.

31. Alisadr Cave

the most astonishing caves in the world and among the major tourist attractions of Iran. You will find it situated 60 kms north of Hamadan. It is a huge cave with a beautiful lake and a labyrinth of chambers along which one can sail for tens of kms. Once here you can find that the clear water of the cave is numerous meters deep and the cave’s walls, floor and ceiling are covered with an abundance of marvelous stalactites and stalagmites and various natural stones that have taken the shape of animals.

32. Chehel Sotun

The Chehel Sotun Palace (Forty Columns) is one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Iran. The palace was constructed amidst a vast garden, is a triumph architecturally. One of the most impressive things about the palace is their beautiful walls that were painted by the famous of the Safavid period are superlative in their kind.

33. Imam Mosque

The imam mosque is one of the most impressive mosques of Iran that is located towards the south of Naqsh-e-Jahan square. This magnificent mosque was construed during the reign of Shah Abbas, tile work and architecture of this mosque is amazingly superb. The minarets of the mosque are having the height of 48 meters. Imam mosque is considered as one of the finest monuments in the world.

34. Chaharbagh School

The Caharbagh School is one of the frequently visited madresseh (school) in Isfahan. It was established upon the initiative of Shah Sultan Hossein’s mother. In order to finance the school, Hossein’s mother got a large caravanserai built nearby, the income of which went to the foundation. The blue and gold flower-decked cupola flanked by two magnificent minarets can be photographed from the balconies of the hotel rooms.

35. Fin Garden

This Garden is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions of Iran. These magnificent gardens are situated six km of Kashan and were built under the command of Shah Abbas Safavid to be used as a water supply for Kashan. The architecture of the garden is in the Old Iranian stile, due to which it is of great significance among the monuments of the town.

36. Borujerdis House

The House of Borujerdies is among the most impressive tourist attractions of Iran. The house was constructed during the 19th century. It is said that it took around 18 years, almost 150 architects, painters and artists to complete the construction of this structure. Once here you can witness the spectacular wall paintings of Qjars Kings portraits, plasterwork, decorations with mirrors and beautiful wind towers above the roof, is an architectural triumph, which attracts numerous visitors each day.

37. Old City of Yazd

According to the UNESCO, The old city of Yazd is one of the oldest towns on earth. This impressive town of Iran is among the major tourist destinations of the country. It is also considered and ideal spot to get a feel for the region’s rich history. Almost everything here is made from sun-dried mud bricks, and the resulting brown skyline is dominated by the tall badgirs (windcatchers) on almost every rooftop.

38. The Ganj Ali Khan Complex

The Ganj Ali Khan Complex is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Iran. Inside the complex you can find a mosque, bath, bazaar, school, caravanserai, reservoir and a vast square. This complex is a fine example of Iranian history and culture. The bath, containing many statues representing different stages of taking bath in traditional fashion, is used as an anthropological museum. The tile-mosaic used in the complex is of considerable beauty.

39. Badgirs

The Badgirs is one of the major tourist attractions of Iran. And if you are travelling during summer to Yazd then it is a must visit spot for you. Once here you can experience the fresh and for cool air. It was actually constructed to fulfill the need of wind tower. These ancient systems of natural air-conditioning, which can also see in the towns and villages of the Persian Gulf coast, are designed to catch even the lightest breeze and direct it to the rooms below. If you stand directly beneath a badgir, the air is considerably cooler, and while not quite as cold as modern air-con, it’s a whole lot healthier.

40. Mahan

The town of Mahan is one of the most impressive towns of Iran. You will find it around 42 kms towards the northeast of Kerman, which is said to have established during the Sassanid period. The town has plenty of things to do and see such as the spectacular natural sights and the Mausoleum of Shah Ne’matollah-e Vali, the renowned Iranian mystic and poet, and the Garden of Prince, make it a point of interest. In Mahan you will also find the most beautiful minarets of Iran.

41. The Quran Gate

The Quran Gate that is also popularly known as the Darvazeh Quran is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Iran. You will find it situated right at the entrance Shiraz. The Darvazeh Quran is a beautifully constructed gate that is said to attractive plenty of tourist. It was actually was the place where two huge Qurans, known as the Hefdah-man Quran were kept. All who entered or left the city had to pass through Darvazeh Quran, thus passing underneath the Holy Quran. Most Muslims believe that if a man walks on the Holy Quran before he sets out in a trip, he will safely return home. The two Qurans are presently kept in the Pars Museum.

42. Pol-e-Kohne

Pol-e Kohne, is also known as the Old Bridge is one of the major tourist attractions of Iran. The bridge is having the herring bone arches that are made of bricks, and Jam’e Mosque that dates back to the 18th century. The bridge is well designed with beautiful brickworks and plasterworks. The major tourist attractions of this place are Bisotun and Tagh-e Bostan, which are both among the astonishing attractions of Iran.

43. Tagh-E Bostan

Tagh-E-Bostan is one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Iran. It is considered one of the major monuments of the country that dates back to the Sassanian period. It is situated 5 km towards northeast of Kermanshah. This monument renowned world wide and has two magnificent arches carved on the mountain with extreme dexterity. You will find the one of the parts of the carving represents a hunting scene in which the king is hunting and some animals are running away. Another part of the carving shows the ritual of taking crown from God.

44. Moayed Ice House

The Moayed Ice House is a cone-shaped Safavid-Era building, is one of the major tourist attractions of Iran. The function of this ice house is keeping the food-stuff cool in the summer time. This is now renovated so well that it looks new. Inside is now changed to children play-ground.

45. Tus

The city of Tus is among the major tourist destinations of Iran to be found around 24 kms west of Mashhad. The city was the home of Ferdowsi (c.935-1020) the great Persian Poet who spent about 35 years writing his great epic, Shahnameh.

46. Hafez Tomb

The Hafec Tomb is the tomb of the well known poet and mystic of 8th century Iranian, who lived in Shiraz during the 14th century. The place is also having a garden with pools, very pleasant, relaxing and restful. The tomb is of completely made up of Marble tombstone, engraved with the poet’s work, placed by Karim Khan in 1773. In 1935, an octagonal pavilion supported by eight stone columns was put over it. The place also has a small library, a teahouse, and a good souvenir and bookshop.

47. Rasht

You will find the beautiful place of Rasht situated right in the center of the plateau of Gilan, it is 323 kms distant from Tehran. Once here you can enjoy a mild humid weather. This attraction of Iran has been a significant center for trade and agricultural activities right during the pre-Islamic period. The major tourist attractions of this city include The Park of Qods, Saafi Mosque, Haj Mohammad khan Mosque, the town hall, and the Mausoleum of Mirza Koochak Khan.

48. Alexander’s Prison

The Alexander’s Prison is one of the most amazing tourist attractions of Iran. It is a 15th-century domed school and is known as Alexander’s Prison because of a reference to this apparently dastardly place in a Hafez poem. Inside the prison you will find a display of Yazd old city inside. The nearby 11th-Century brick Tomb of the 12 Imams is almost next door.

49. Anzali

The town of Anzali is one of the famous places to visit in Iran. It is located 40 kms northwest of Rasht. Anzali is the most significant northern seaport of Iran. It is a peninsula, 33 kms long separating Anzali swamp from the Caspian Sea. Fishing, exporting Caviar and tourism are among the main sources of income in Anzali. The most famous tourist attractions of this place are the Pol-e Ghazian, the palace of Miyan posht. In Anzali you will also find fascinating landscapes, attract many visitors. The seaport links Iran with Black Sea via Volga-Don channel.

50. Orumieh Lake

The Orumieh Lake is one of the incredible and most beautiful lakes of the world. People used to refer it as “The most beautiful blue” in the world to describe that water, which contains a concentration of salt almost as heavy as that of the Dead Sea. The ancient Persians called it the “Royal Sea”.

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