20 Things to Do in Iran as a Tourist

21 things to do in Iran as a tourist

Iran is a country that’s often associated with its tumultuous political history, but there’s so much more to this beautiful nation than what’s often portrayed in the media. From picturesque landscapes to stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage, Iran has something to offer everyone. If you’re planning a trip to Iran and wondering what to do, look no further. In this post, we’ll explore the best things to do in Iran that will give you a glimpse into the beauty and diversity of this fascinating country. So, buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Middle East!

A Visit to the “Pink Mosque” of Shiraz: Nasir al-Mulk

Shiraz, in southern Iran, is known for its stunning gardens, ancient history, and beautiful architecture. One of the must-see sites in Shiraz is the Nasir al-Mulk mosque, also known as the “Pink Mosque” due to its rose-colored tile work.

Built in the late 19th century, the mosque is renowned for its intricate tile work, colorful stained glass windows, and stunning architecture. We recommend visiting the mosque early in the morning, when the sunlight streams in through the stained glass, creating a magical rainbow effect on the walls and floors.

From the outside, the mosque appears modest, with a simple facade and a small entrance. However, upon entering, visitors are transported to a breathtaking world of intricate brickwork, tile decorations, and geometric patterns. The main prayer hall is an especially awe-inspiring space, with tall arches, intricately painted ceilings, and stunning tile work covering the walls and floors.

We suggest taking your time exploring the mosque, admiring the colors and patterns, and soaking in the peaceful atmosphere. Be sure to bring your camera, as the mosque is one of the most Instagram-worthy sites in Iran. Don’t forget to remove your shoes before entering and dress modestly.

A visit to Nasir al-Mulk mosque is an unforgettable experience and one that we highly recommend to all visitors to Shiraz.

21 things to do in Iran
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Exploring the Magnificent Ruins of Persepolis

Located just outside of Shiraz, the ancient ruins of Persepolis are some of the most impressive and majestic historical sites in Iran. Persepolis was once the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, built over 2,500 years ago, and today the ruins provide a glimpse into the lives and customs of a long lost civilization.

As you walk through the expansive site, you’ll be struck by the scale and intricacy of the ruins, with massive stone columns, intricate carvings, and elaborate gateways. You’ll also see the remains of palaces, halls, and fortifications that were once essential to Persian life.

Persepolis has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. The details and artistic flourishes that have survived for thousands of years, such as the intricate stone carvings that adorn the walls, the beautifully crafted columns, and the stone staircases that wind up the hillside are truly breathtaking.

During your visit, we recommend taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and architecture of Persia. Our knowledgeable guide explained the significance of each of the buildings, the rituals for specific areas, and the stories of the former inhabitants, making the experience even more meaningful and informative.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as the heat in Persepolis can be intense. But don’t let the heat discourage you from exploring this remarkable ancient site. Perhaps the best time to visit is just before sunset, when the golden light of the setting sun illuminates the ruins.

A visit to Persepolis is like stepping back in time to an era of splendor and grandeur that is steeped in history and legend. No trip to Iran is complete without exploring this incredible site of ancient architecture and artistry.

21 things to do in Iran
Photo by Alireza Estilaf on Unsplash

Discovering the Opulent Palaces and Gardens of Golestan in Tehran

The Golestan Palace in Tehran is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic buildings in Iran. Built in the 19th century, the palace was the residence of the Qajar dynasty and is renowned for its intricate architecture and beautiful gardens.

The palace is divided into different buildings and sections, each with its unique design and atmosphere. One of the highlights is the Mirror Hall, where the walls are covered in mirrors and the ceiling is a sparkling array of chandeliers. The Marble Throne Room, which was used for royal ceremonies and receptions, is another impressive space, with a large throne made entirely of solid stone.

The palace also has beautiful gardens that provide a tranquil oasis in the midst of bustling Tehran. The gardens are adorned with colorful flowers, fountains, and small lakes, and are perfect for a relaxing walk or picnic. The oldest tree in Tehran, an enormous plane tree that is over 400 years old, can also be found here.

A visit to the Golestan Palace is an opportunity to marvel at the opulence and history of the Iranian royalty. The intricate designs, detailed tile work, and ornate carvings are a testament to the skill of the craftsmen who built them centuries ago. The palace is also a great place to learn more about Iranian culture and history.

Visitors should plan to spend at least half a day at the palace to fully explore all of its buildings, gardens, and exhibits. The palace can be crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so we recommend visiting during the week and getting there early to avoid long lines.

Golestan Palace
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Exploring the Bustling Bazaars of Isfahan

Isfahan is known for its beautiful architecture, intricate tile work, and vibrant bazaars. The bazaars in Isfahan are not just a place to shop, but also a way to experience the local culture and traditions.

The bazaars are an exciting and bustling labyrinth of narrow alleyways and small shops, selling everything from carpets and handicrafts to spices and local cuisine. We recommend taking your time and getting lost in the maze of the bazaar, wandering down the narrow alleyways and taking in the sights and sounds of the market.

One of the oldest and most fascinating bazaars in Isfahan is the Grand Bazaar, known for its vaulted ceilings, intricate tile work, and carved wooden doors. The Armenian Quarter in the city also has a bazaar, where you can find beautiful handicrafts and textiles, as well as traditional Armenian sweets and pastries.

Another highlight of the Isfahan bazaars is the chance to try the local cuisine. There are small restaurants and eateries scattered throughout the bazaars, where you can sample dishes like dizi, a traditional Iranian stew, or kofte, meatballs made with herbs and spices.

One of the most interesting and unique sights in the bazaars is the copper and brass workers. The craftsmen use traditional techniques to create beautiful and intricate pots, trays, and other objects. Watching them work and seeing their creations up close is a true delight.

Visiting the bazaars in Isfahan is a great way to experience the local culture and to pick up treasures to take home as a souvenir. Bargaining is expected, so don’t be afraid to negotiate with the shopkeepers. Just remember to be polite and respectful, and to have fun exploring the vibrant and colorful bazaars of Isfahan.

A Serene Escape: Picnicking in the Beautiful Gardens of Fin

Kashan is a small desert city located between Isfahan and Tehran. Despite its small size, Kashan is home to one of the most beautiful gardens in Iran: the Fin Garden.

The Fin Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It was built over 400 years ago during the Safavid dynasty and was a favorite retreat for the rulers of the time. Today, the gardens are open to the public and are a peaceful escape from the bustling cities.

The garden is known for its lush greenery, beautiful pools, and intricately designed pavilions. We recommend bringing a picnic to enjoy the serene surroundings and to soak up the sun. You can also rent a traditional Iranian “takht” or picnic mat from vendors in the garden and enjoy your meal in traditional Iranian style.

As you wander through the garden, you’ll come across beautiful fountains and small waterfalls, and see the beautiful Qanat system, an ancient irrigation system that still provides water to the garden today. The garden is especially beautiful in the spring, when the flowers are in bloom and the air is filled with the sweet scent of blossoms.

One of the highlights of the Fin Garden is the beautiful Safavid pavilion. The pavilion is decorated with intricate tile work and beautiful stained glass windows, and was once used as a summer retreat for the royal family. The pavilion has been restored and is now open to visitors, providing a fascinating glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Safavid rulers.

21 things to do in Iran
Photo by behnam mohsenzadeh on Unsplash

A visit to the Fin Garden in Kashan is a peaceful and serene escape from the city, and a chance to admire some of the most beautiful gardens in Iran. Don’t forget to bring a camera, a picnic blanket, and a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Paying Tribute to One of Iran’s Greatest Poets: A Visit to the Tomb of Hafez

Iran has a long tradition of poets and poetry, and one of the most revered poets in Iran is Hafez, known for his beautiful and profound verses. A visit to the tomb of Hafez, located in the city of Shiraz, is a must for any poetry lover or cultural enthusiast.

The tomb is a beautiful and peaceful park, with trees, flowers, and a serene atmosphere. The tomb itself is covered in beautiful tile work, and is surrounded by small pools of water and gardens. Visitors are expected to remove their shoes before entering the tomb, and to dress modestly out of respect for Iran’s traditions and customs.

Inside the tomb, visitors will find a small room with the tombstone of Hafez, inscribed with his poetry. Persians have a tradition of opening up Hafez’s book of poetry, or “Divan,” at random and reading the first poem that they see. It’s believed that the poem will give insight and guidance into the reader’s life. You can purchase a “Divan” at the site if you’re interested in trying this practice.

The tomb is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and it’s known to be an especially beautiful and peaceful place at night, when it’s illuminated by soft lights. Some people even come to the tomb to hear live performances of Hafez’s poetry recited by traditional musicians.

A visit to the tomb of Hafez is a chance to pay tribute to one of Iran’s greatest poets and to learn more about Persian culture and history. The tomb is not just a site for tourists, but also a beloved site for Iranians to come and reflect on the beauty and power of poetry.

Sipping Tea and Soaking in the Views: A Visit to a Traditional Tea House on the Caspian Sea

Iran is known for its delicious tea, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than in a traditional Persian tea house. One of the most picturesque tea houses in Iran is located on the shores of the Caspian Sea, in the city of Ramsar.

The tea house sits on a hillside overlooking the sea, with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and coastline. The design of the tea house is traditional Persian, with beautiful woodwork and intricate tile work adding to the ambiance.

Visitors can choose from a variety of teas and snacks, including traditional sweets and pastries, while taking in the stunning views. We recommend trying the “Polo Ba Morgh,” a traditional rice and chicken dish, or the “Kebab Koobideh,” a type of grilled meat, for a taste of local Iranian cuisine.

As you sip your tea, you may be joined by musicians, who will play traditional Persian music for a small fee. The music, combined with the natural beauty of the surroundings, creates a serene and enchanting atmosphere.

During the summer months, the tea house can be quite crowded, so we recommend visiting during the week or early in the morning for a more peaceful experience. The tea house is open year-round, and visitors can enjoy the view and the delicious tea in any season.

Admire the intricate tile work and mosaics at the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan!

One of the must-see places in Isfahan is the Jameh Mosque, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture dating back to the 12th century. The mosque’s elaborate decorations, especially the tiles and mosaics, are fascinating examples of the craftsmen’s artistry at the time. The fountain in the courtyard and the wooden ceiling of the iwans are also noteworthy. Visitors can sit and absorb the peaceful ambiance and admire the stunning colors and intricate designs.

Explore the ancient houses and villages in Kandovan!

Kandovan is a unique village situated in Osku, East Azerbaijan, Iran. It is an ancient village that is known for its chimney-rocks, a geological phenomenon formed by volcanic ash that erupted around 60 million years ago. The rocks have caverns inside, which the villagers carved to make their dwellings. Some of the homes are still inhabited today, giving visitors a glimpse of the ancient lifestyles led by the original inhabitants of this region. Local crafts such as carpet weaving and pottery are also famous in the village.

21 things to do in Iran
Photo by Soroush Bahramian on Unsplash

Check out the ancient Zoroastrian ruins of Chak Chak!

The Chak Chak shrine is a famous pilgrimage destination situated in the central desert of Iran, near Yazd. According to the Zoroastrian faith, it is the site of the miracle of the last Sassanian princess, who was fleeing from the Arab invasion in the seventh century. The princess stopped here and prayed, and the mountain opened up to provide shelter. The site consists of a natural spring where visitors can drink water, and a shrine built on the mountain face containing ancient inscriptions and carvings. The views from the shrine are stunning and offer visitors a glimpse into the Zoroastrian culture.

Take a traditional Persian cooking class and learn how to make delicious kebabs and stews!

One of the best ways to experience Persian culture is through its food. A cooking class in Tehran or any other city will give visitors an opportunity to learn how to create delicious traditional Iranian dishes like kebabs, stews, and rice dishes. The cooking classes often include a trip to the local market to shop for fresh ingredients, followed by hands-on cooking and a chance to taste the final product! It is an excellent way to learn more about Iranian food and culture.

Visit the beautiful and historic Armenian churches of Isfahan!

The Armenian Refugees arrived in Isfahan during the 16th and 17th centuries to escape the Ottoman Empire. They weaved themselves into the Isfahanian life and the architecture, leaving a prominent mark in the city. The neighborhood of New Jolfa is where you can find some of the most beautiful Armenian churches in Iran. The Vank Cathedral is the most famous, featuring a blend of Iranian and Armenian architecture. The vibrant frescoes, murals, and carvings depict biblical and historical events.

See the stunning rock formations at Valley of the Stars in Qeshm Island!

Valley of Stars, also known as the Stars Valley, is an extraordinary natural wonder located on the island of Qeshm in the Persian Gulf. The valley is dotted with stunning, surreal rock formations created by weathering and erosion over millions of years. Some of the shapes resemble human faces, animals, or hands, which become even more remarkable at sunset when the colors of the valley come alive.

Take a cable car ride up Mount Tochal and enjoy panoramic views of Tehran!

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Tehran, a visit to Mount Tochal can provide a refreshing retreat surrounded by nature. A cable car will take visitors to Tochal’s summit, where a breathtaking panoramic view of the city awaits. However, the stunning view is not the only attraction of Tochal. The mountain itself offers a fantastic trekking experience, with various hiking trails suitable for all skill levels.

Explore the ancient underground city of Ouyi in Hamadan!

The ancient city of Ouyi lies beneath the small village of Tappa, near Hamadan. The subterranean city dates back to the Medes era and was later used by the Sassanid Empire. Visitors can marvel at the intricate network of tunnels, chambers, and aqueducts that were carved into the mountain’s heart. The city served as storage for food and grains and as a shelter during times of war.

Visit the historic and beautiful Bagh-e Eram Gardens in Shiraz!

The Bagh-e Eram Gardens, also called Eram Garden, is one of the most magnificent Persian gardens in Iran. The lush greenery, colorful flower beds, and playful fountains create a surreal atmosphere in Shiraz. The garden’s central pavilion and pool mirror the surrounding environment, and the garden’s paths are lined with cypress and fruit trees to provide shade. A stroll along the brick pathways and wooden bridges will transport visitors to an idyllic paradise.

Take a walk through the charming village of Abyaneh!

Abyaneh is an enchanting village near Kashan that encapsulates the essence of traditional Persian architecture. This small, picturesque village boasts of striking red mud-brick houses that line its charming alleys, making it a fantastic destination for tourists. One of the highlights of visiting Abyaneh is witnessing the locals dressed in their classic costumes, showcasing the village’s unique cultural heritage. The warmth and hospitality of the locals are remarkable, and you’re sure to make some unforgettable memories while exploring this charming Iranian village.

Visit the historic Arg-e Bam fortress in the desert!

Arg-e Bam, an ancient fortress located in the heart of the desert, is a must-see attraction in Iran. This magnificent structure was built with mud bricks and was once the world’s largest mud-brick fortress. It was a UNESCO World Heritage Site before most of the fortress was destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 2003. Despite the destruction, restoration work is underway to preserve the remaining structures and keep the fortress’s history alive.

Go sandboarding in the Dasht-e Kavir desert!

For those looking for adventure and a rush of adrenaline, sandboarding in the Dasht-e Kavir desert is an excellent option. The vast desert is known for its towering sand dunes, which create the perfect terrain for sandboarding. Surfing down these dunes is an unforgettable experience that is sure to thrill anyone who loves adventure sports.

Take a day trip to the beautiful pink lake of Maharloo near Shiraz!

The pink lake of Maharloo near Shiraz is a serene and beautiful destination that makes for a perfect day trip. The lake’s stunning pink color is due to the algae that thrive in the salty waters. The breathtaking view of the sunset over the lake is truly awe-inspiring and unforgettable. The place creates a peaceful ambiance that is perfect for relaxing, having a picnic, or taking a peaceful walk. A visit to the Maharloo lake is a must for anyone looking for a peaceful and serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Experience the Best of Iran with Customised Tours by ToIranTour

If you’re planning a trip to Iran and want to make the most of your time, a customised tour is the way to go. Iran is a country with a rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes that you don’t want to miss. To truly experience the best things to do in Iran, it’s important to have a well-planned itinerary that fits your interests and preferences.

That’s where ToIranTour comes in. We specialize in providing tailored Iran tours and travel packages that are designed to meet your specific needs. Our team of experienced travel experts will work with you to create a customized itinerary that suits your interests, travel style, and budget. Whether you’re interested in exploring the ancient ruins of Persepolis, tasting the delicious Iranian cuisine, or admiring the natural beauty of the Caspian Sea, we’ve got you covered.

At ToIranTour, we understand that every traveler is unique, and that’s why we offer customised tours to Iran that cater to your individual preferences. We take care of all the details, from transportation and accommodation to sightseeing and activities, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip.

Our Iran tours are designed to give you an authentic and immersive experience of the country. We’ll take you off the beaten path and show you the hidden gems that only locals know about. Our knowledgeable guides will share their insights and stories about Iran’s history, culture, and traditions, giving you a deeper understanding and appreciation of this fascinating country.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable Iran tour that is tailored to your preferences, look no further than ToIranTour. We’re here to help you have a great experience in Iran and create memories that will last a lifetime. Contact us today to start planning your customised tour of Iran.

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