Hamedan, Iran: Where Every Corner Whispers a Tale

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ToIranTour - Hamedan

Hamedan at a Glance

ToIranTour - Hamedan in a Glance
Photo by Behzad Alipour on Wikimedia

Hamedan, the capital of Hamadan Province in Iran, is a super important city in Iran. It’s like a history book where famous people like the smart Abu Ali Sina and poet Baba Taher are buried, and many tourists who visit Iran include its attractions in their list.

But Hamedan isn’t just about history! The city offers a cool view of the Alvand mountain, which is 3580 meters tall, and even has a snowy top in summer! And if you’re up for an adventure, check out the ‘Ali Sadr’ cave, the biggest water cave in the world. It’s not far from the city and promises a fascinating journey underground. The city is a mix of old stories and awesome nature, inviting you to explore a city where every corner has a tale to tell and nature puts on a show.

History of Hamedan

Hamadan, with a history dating back to biblical times, holds a diverse cultural heritage. Referenced in the Bible (Ezra 6:1–3), the city has strong ties to Judaism. The tomb often thought to be Esther’s is dedicated to Queen Shushandukht, the wife of Sasanian king Yazdegerd I and mother of Bahrām V. She played a key role in establishing a Jewish community in Hamadan, and both her tomb and the supposed grave of Mordecai attract pilgrims seeking a spiritual connection.

Over the years, Hamadan went through many changes. Captured by the Arabs in 641 or 642, it served as a provincial capital, becoming a center for Islamic thinkers and artists. In the early 10th century, Abū Tammām composed his Ḥamāsah in the city. Notable figures like al-Hamadhānī and the Persian-language poet Bābā Ṭāhir, whose mausoleum is in the city, emerged in later generations. Avicenna, a famous physician and philosopher, passed away in Hamadan in 1037, adding another layer to the city’s history.

However, Hamadan faced challenges too. Destroyed by the Mongols in 1220 and attacked by Timur in 1386, the city endured hardships. Yet, it bounced back in the 17th century, changing hands between Iranian ruling houses and the Ottomans. In modern times, it suffered damage during the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88). Despite setbacks, Hamadan, with its strategic location, reflects a resilient community that stands as a testament to its enduring spirit.

Hamedan Meaning

Digging into the roots of “Hamedan” reveals a cool language story. The name is made up of words like “ham,” “han,” and “ha,” all linked to the ancient “gam” idea, meaning a place where folks gather. “Ham” hints at things happening by chance, and “dan” means having room for stuff.

So, “Hamadan” paints a picture of a place where buddies casually meet up, a friendly spot with space for everyone. It’s like the word itself holds the vibe of people coming together and sharing a space – that’s the charm of “Hamadan.” In each part of the name, you can almost hear the sounds of people hanging out, capturing what makes this place special.

Hamedan Geological Characteristics

Hamedan sits high up at 1800 meters above sea level, proudly claiming its spot as a mountainous city. It’s perched on the slopes of the Alvand mountain range, which stretches to the eastern edges of the Hamedan province. The city enjoys a stunning setting against this mountainous backdrop.

Hamedan Weather/Climate

ToIranTour - Hamedan Weather
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Hamedan experiences a moderate climate during the summer, providing a pleasant atmosphere that turns the city into a sought-after resort destination. However, as winter arrives, the weather takes a turn, becoming cold and snowy.

Winters in the city are known for their length and severity, contrasting with the inviting summer climate that graces the city.

Top Places to See in Hamedan

ToIranTour - Top Places to See in Hamedan
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Let’s explore the top places to see in Hamedan:

Tepe Hegmataneh

In the heart of the city lies Tepe Hegmataneh, an ancient site revealing the history of Ecbatana. Covering 1.4 kilometers, this archaeological gem uncovers the ancient city beneath the modern Hamedan. Explore the smart museum and nearby Armenian churches, discovering traces of the Median and Achaemenid civilizations. Despite limited excavations, Tepe Hegmataneh provides a captivating window into the past.

Ganjnameh

For history and culture enthusiasts, Ganjnameh is a must-visit spot in this city. Meaning “Treasure Epistle,” it showcases ancient Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian inscriptions, dating back to Achaemenid Kings Darius I and Xerxes I. The site offers not only a historical journey but also a natural retreat, featuring a 9-meter-high waterfall for winter ice-climbing and a path to Alvand summit for summer adventures. Ganjnameh caters to both history lovers and nature enthusiasts in the heart of the city.

Gonbad-e Alavian

Step into the past at Gonbad-e Alavian, a 12th-century marvel showcasing Persian-Islamic architecture. This brick tower, adorned with intricate floral stucco from the Ilkhanid Mongol era, transports visitors to a bygone era. Discover the tombs of Alavian family elders in the small cellar, featuring cube-shaped graves adorned with turquoise bricks. The entrance boasts a rectangular plaque with stucco honeycomb patterns and Quranic inscriptions, providing a glimpse into the region’s cultural and architectural richness.

Masjed-e Jameh

Masjed-e Jameh, the city’s oldest mosque, stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Rectangular in shape, the mosque features a brick dome, a large courtyard with a central pool, and remnants of its original four porches. As you explore, marvel at the impressive brick dome over the disused south entrance and the intricate blue tile work on the north iwan. The mosque’s historical significance is intertwined with the nearby Qajar-era bazaar, accessible through a vaulted passage, creating a vivid tapestry of the city’s cultural landscape.

Bu-Ali Sina Mausoleum

Dominating its namesake square, the Bu-Ali Sina Mausoleum pays homage to the influential Avicenna. Built in 1952, this iconic structure mirrors the ancient tower in Gonbad-e Kavus. Housing a museum with Avicenna memorabilia, a small library, and medicinal herb displays, the mausoleum invites visitors to delve into the life of this medieval Islamic philosopher-scientist. Avicenna’s contributions to philosophy and medicine resonate within the walls of this concrete masterpiece, connecting the present with the past in the heart of the city.

Hamedan Stone Lion

Nestled in Hamedan, Iran, the Stone Lion, locally called Shir’e Sangi, tells a story of the city’s past. Perched on a hill believed to be an ancient burial ground, this weathered yet majestic monument captivates both scholars and locals.

Once part of the Lion’s Gate, the Stone Lion now stands in Sang Shir Park and Square, made of durable yellow sandstone, measuring 2.5 meters in length, 1.15 meters in width, and 2.2 meters in front-facing height. Despite its worn appearance, this legless lion remains a symbol of Hamedan’s enduring history.

Shopping and the Best Souvenirs to Buy: Hamedan Travel Guide

Hamedan’s markets aren’t just places to shop for souvenirs; they’re a vibrant part of daily life. Locals and visitors alike engage in the age-old practice of trading, creating a dynamic blend of tradition and modern commerce.

Hamedan pottery

In the heart of Hamedan Province, you’ll find Lalejin proudly holding the title of Iran’s pottery capital. Just a short 20 kilometers northwest of bustling Hamedan city, Lalejin takes the spotlight for its expertise in pottery and ceramics.

Picture this: for the 55,000 residents, crafting pottery isn’t merely a job – it’s the cornerstone of their livelihoods. Their hands skillfully shape clay, and as the potter’s wheel turns, it’s a captivating dance of tradition and creativity that spans generations. In Lalejin, pottery isn’t just a craft; it’s a way of life.

Handcrafted Treasures

From handcrafted treasures to the soft touch of fine leather, the markets showcase a range of unique handicrafts. Morvarbafi textiles with traditional patterns and wooden carvings tell stories of skilled craftsmanship, adding to the charm of the shopping experience.

Culinary Delights

Explore the enticing displays of local culinary gems like Angosht Pich, Komaj, and Shirmal, adding a flavorful dimension to your visit. The markets not only offer regional specialties but also a warm dose of hospitality from local vendors. Navigate through The Historical Market and lively streets leading to Imam Square, letting the rich tapestry of goods and friendly interactions guide you through an enjoyable journey in this city.

Nightlife in Hamedan

ToIranTour - Nightlife in Hamedan
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Dive into the magic of nightlife in Hamedan, a secret weapon to keep visitors coming back for more. The folks behind the city’s tourism scene have been working hard to give tourists more reasons to stick around, and they’ve found a gem in night tourism. When the sun goes down, the city transforms. Forget about the daytime chaos; the cool night air invites you to explore the city hassle-free. The weather’s great, and you can easily hop around different spots, making the most of your time in this after-hours adventure.

But it’s not just about a pleasant stroll in the moonlight. The nightlife isn’t just a treat for visitors; it’s a boost for the local economy. The city’s evening charm creates opportunities for businesses to thrive and for new ventures to take off. To make this nighttime magic work, though, city managers need to focus on making sure there are enough exciting things for tourists to do after dark. So, as you soak in the vibrant nightlife of the city, remember, it’s not just about enjoying the moment – it’s about setting the stage for a city that comes alive under the stars.

Hamedan Suburbs

ToIranTour - Ali Sadr Cave
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Ali Sadr Cave, located around 70 kilometers north of Hamedan, is a massive underground wonder believed to be from the time of dinosaurs. The cave is like a big maze with dark tunnels, ponds, and cool rock formations stretching for kilometers.

Visiting the cave is like going on a cool adventure – you get to ride on boats in well-lit tunnels, walk on little islands underground, and see ancient drawings and carvings on the rocks. Some experts say it’s one of the longest boat rides in a cave anywhere in the world, covering about 2,000 meters, with more than half of it on boats. Ali Sadr Cave isn’t just a cool place to explore; it’s like stepping back in time and discovering a hidden world beneath the surface.

How to Get to Hamedan

ToIranTour - Get to Hamedan
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Here are accessible ways to get to Hamedan:

By Car

Traveling to the city by car is straightforward. Follow road 48 from Saveh to Khosravi, or take a detour from Tehran via roads 5/AH8 and 6AH/2 towards Saveh. Another scenic route is road 37, linking Takestan to Khorramshahr.

By Bus

Buses offer regular services, running hourly from nearby cities and daily from major Iranian hubs. Secure your seat through Apochi.com for a hassle-free bus journey to the city.

By Plane

Reach the city from Tehran, Mashhad, or Kish Island via available flights. While international flights aren’t yet on the horizon, these domestic connections promise a swift entry to the city.

By Train

Anticipate future train travel to the city with a planned route between Tehran and Sanandaj, passing through Hamedan. Though the tracks are still under construction, the promise of scenic rail journeys adds excitement for those envisioning a different way to explore the city.

Best Time to Visit Hamedan

For the most enjoyable visit to Hamedan, aim for spring and summer. The period from mid-May to late summer offers pleasant weather, making your trip a delightful experience. During these months, the city reveals its natural beauty and cultural charm at its best. Plan your journey during this time to enjoy the warmth and vibrant landscapes that characterize the city in all its glory.

Public Transportation in Hamedan

Train

Ready for a train journey? Head to Malair city station in Hamedan – it connects the province with a long railway project. Covering 411 km, with 267 km to Tehran, this train runs every two days. It’s not just for locals – people use it for trips to Tehran or to Mashhad. Get set for a scenic train ride through Hamedan’s beautiful landscapes!

Bus

Want an easy way to get around this city? Jump on one of the 200 buses cruising the streets, with plans for 30 more. The buses use a handy electronic ticket card system, making it easy for the thousand daily passengers. Wait times are short, usually just 20 minutes.

Subway

Unlike big cities, Hamedan doesn’t have a subway. But that’s okay! The city makes up for it with other fantastic transit options. While you won’t find trains rumbling underground, overground adventures in this city are charming and convenient.

Taxi

For a more personal journey, taxis are the city’s heroes. Whether you’re on a fixed route or exploring the city, taxis are at your service. With fares ranging from 250 Tomans for quick city trips to 1000 Tomans for scenic routes, it’s a pocket-friendly way to get around. For a ride in the digital age, dial up wireless taxis at 1844, 1833, 1828, or 1820 (for the ladies), and you’re on your way!

Terminals

Now, let’s talk about terminals. The city is well-connected with three key hubs: the Hamadan Grand Terminal, the Ekbatan Terminal, and the Sefidabi Terminal. Each serves a purpose, whether it’s taking you within the province or transporting you far and wide. Imagine Hamadan Grand Terminal in Ashura Square as the city’s travel hub, spreading across a vast 240,000 square meters. Ekbatan Terminal on Ekbatan Street is your ticket for travels outside the province, serving 3000-2500 passengers daily. And don’t forget Sefidabi Terminal on Hamedani Badiul Zaman Boulevard, mainly handling local journeys with 8-10 thousand passengers passing through each day. These terminals keep Hamedan seamlessly connected, offering a smooth transit experience for locals and visitors alike.

From Airport to Downtown

To reach Hamedan Airport, just 5 km from the city, you’ve got options. If you’re flying in from Tehran, there are two daily flights to Hamedan. Taxis are usually hanging around the city, making it easy, but if you want to save some money, hop into one of the transit cars to the airport. Unfortunately, the city hasn’t launched public transportation to the airport yet, so most folks rely on city taxis. Whether you choose the quick taxi or the budget-friendly transit cars, Hamedan Airport is all set to greet you and introduce you to the city’s fascinating history.

Hamedan Restaurants

ToIranTour - Persian Food
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Hamedan, a city bursting with stories and culture, isn’t just about history – it’s also a place to savor a mix of delicious flavors. In this part of our guide, we’re diving into the Hamedan food scene, checking out spots that promise more than just meals; they promise memorable experiences.

Aryan Restaurant

Located in Hamedan’s downtown, Aryan Restaurant is the go-to spot for anyone eager to try the city’s famous broths. They make these tasty soups with the best and freshest ingredients, giving you a real flavor of the city. Don’t miss pairing your broth with local buttermilk for an extra delicious experience. A visit here guarantees not just a full belly but also a memorable culinary adventure.

Darush Ganjnameh Restaurant

After exploring Ganjnameh’s historical wonders in Hamedan, head to Darush Ganjnameh Restaurant to relax and enjoy some good food. This spot offers a calm atmosphere for tourists, serving up a mix of Persian and traditional dishes. It’s a perfect blend of history and deliciousness, making it an ideal place to unwind and taste the unique flavors of the city.

Delzhin Italian Restaurant

If you’re craving something different from Persian cuisine, Delzhin Italian Restaurant has got you covered. This place in Hamedan serves up various Italian dishes, like pasta and pizza, all made with top-notch quality. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a great option for those wanting a break from traditional flavors. Delzhin is not just a restaurant; it’s a tasty adventure that lets you explore Hamedan food scene beyond its usual offerings.

Hamedan Hotels

ToIranTour - Hamedan Hotels
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As you embark on a journey through Hamedan, a city steeped in history and culture, the options for your stay are as diverse as the experiences that await. Whether you seek opulence, cultural immersion, or a serene retreat, Hamedan’s hotels cater to every traveler’s desire.

Amiran International Hotel Hamedan

In the heart of Hamedan, the Amiran International Hotel stands tall as a fancy yet cozy spot. Since it opened in March 2017, this 4-star place has eight floors with 55 rooms and suites. It’s not just a place to stay; it’s an experience. They’ve got nice restaurants and separate halls for events, making it one of the best spots in Hamedan. If you’re into a mix of modern comfort and traditional charm, Amiran Hotel is the way to go.

Bu Ali Sina Hotel

Right in the middle of Hamedan, Bu Ali Sina Hotel is all about comfort and quality. This 4-star place on Bu Ali Street is a great pick if you want a cozy stay in the city center. It’s like a gateway to all the cool stuff Hamedan has to offer. Modern and traditional come together here, giving you a memorable stay in Hamedan’s cultural vibe.

Ali Sadr Cave Tourism Guest House

For a touch of nature, the Ali Sadr Cave Tourism Guest House is a chill spot. Running since 1977, this two-star gem is super close to Ali Sadr Cave, one of Hamedan’s cool attractions. The guest house has 25 units on two floors, with a rustic charm that matches the vibe of the place. They did some renovations lately, but just a heads up, there’s no elevator. It adds a bit of adventure to your stay, especially if you’re up for exploring Hamedan’s natural wonders.

Things to Know Before Visiting Hamedan

Choosing the Right Time

For the best experience in Hamadan, pick the months of April, May, and June, or September and October. These times have nicer weather, not too hot or cold, perfect for outdoor fun. Avoid July and August, as it gets uncomfortably hot. Also, stay away from November to March when it’s super cold, especially if you’re not used to freezing temperatures.

Hamadan on a Budget

Hamadan won’t break the bank for your travel plans. It’s not as expensive as other big cities in Iran. Staying, eating, and getting around are generally cheaper. Just remember, the cost of sightseeing, guided tours, and activities can vary. But overall, Hamadan promises a budget-friendly and fun adventure for all kinds of travelers.

FAQs about Hamedan

Q1: What is the meaning of Hamadan?

A1: The term “Hamedan” comes from the roots “ham,” “han,” and “ha” (all from the root “gam”), which collectively mean place or city and gatherings. The name is thought to be “Hamadan” because “ham” signifies coincidence and “dan” denotes capacity, suggesting a place where allies come together.

Q2: What is the ethnicity of Hamedan?

A2: Most folks in Hamadan consider themselves Persian. Hamadan is thought to be one of the oldest cities in Iran. It might have been taken over by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE, and according to the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus, it was the capital of the Medes around 700 BCE.

Q3: What is Iran’s oldest city?

A3: Hamadan is considered one of the oldest cities in Iran. It might have been taken over by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE. According to the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus, it served as the capital of the Medes around 700 BCE.

Q4: What is the history of Hamedan Iran?

A4: The Medes founded Hamadan, and later, it became one of the capital cities of the Achaemenid Dynasty. Hamadan is referred to in the biblical book of Ezra (Ezra 6:2) as the location where a scroll was discovered, permitting Jews from King Darius to reconstruct the temple in Jerusalem.

Q5: What religion is Hamadan?

A5: Hamadan is referenced in the Bible (Ezra 6:1–3), and there’s a belief in a historical connection between the town and the Jewish community. The supposed tomb of Esther in Hamadan is the resting place of Queen Shushandukht, also known as Suzan. She was the wife of the Sasanian king Yazdegerd I, who passed away in 420 CE, and she was the mother of Bahrām V, the renowned hunter.

Last Words: Explore the Best of Hamedan with a Customized Tour

Hamedan, a vital city in Iran, holds rich history with notable figures like Abu Ali Sina and Baba Taher buried there. The city offers a great view of the 3580-meter-tall Alvand mountain, even with snow in the summer. For adventure seekers, the nearby ‘Ali Sadr’ cave is the world’s biggest water cave. Hamedan is a mix of old stories and beautiful nature, inviting exploration of its tales and natural wonders.

Embarking on a journey to Iran is a cultural odyssey, and the city of Hamedan stands as a testament to the country’s rich history and vibrant traditions. To Iran Tour is your gateway to the heart of Iran, offering meticulously crafted Iran tours and travel packages that promise an immersive exploration of Hamedan’s treasures.

When you choose Iran Tours with To Iran Tour, you entrust your journey to seasoned professionals dedicated to providing an authentic experience.

An Incredible Adventure to Discover the Wonders of Hamedan

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