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25 Things to Know Before You Visit Iran

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  • Last Updated: February 6, 2024

We’ve been all around the world, spent a lot of time in a lot of different countries, and if there’s one thing we can honestly tell you it’s that we’ve never felt as welcomed, fascinated and humbled as we did when we visited Iran.

Iran is such an incredible country to travel. The architecture will amaze you, the friendliness of the people will leave you speechless, the culture is fascinating and the landscapes are out of this world.

Iran is also very misunderstood, with many people believing whatever propaganda they hear on the media about how dangerous or difficult it is to travel there.

Imamzadeh Saleh Shrine Visit Iran

Table of Contents

Iran is Safe!

There’s a lot of customs to follow, you need a visa for iran, have a head scarf in your carry-on luggage before arrival, bring a phrase book or have google translate on your phone, bring a lot of cash, the currency has two names, bring comfortable footwear, research the food and don’t just eat kebabs, bring a backpack rather than a suitcase, draw up an itinerary, but keep it flexible, let your guard down and talk to locals, always ask the price before buying, book domestic flights with your accommodation or travel agent, team up with other travellers and share tours, be on time for your appointments, the traffic is horrible, you need a vpn to access some social media platforms, there is wifi, but be patient with it, pick up a local sim card, iran has its own uber called snapp, you can drink the tap water, good coffee is hard to find, there’s a female-only carriage on the metros, what to know before you visit iran.

The truth is travelling in Iran definitely has its quirks, and being an Islamic country means there’s a few things you need to know about the religion and culture before you go so you can show absolute respect.

Luckily these are easy enough to know before you go if you do a bit of research. We spent one month travelling around Iran and learnt so much during our time there.

To help put your mind at ease about travelling in this incredible country, here’s our list of the most important things to know before you visit Iran.

Women Mosque Yazd Visit Iran

All of the mainstream media outlets portray Iran as an unsafe country, somewhere that you’ll be at risk if you visit.

The mainstream media is wrong.

We did not feel unsafe once through the whole 4 weeks of us backpacking independently in Iran.

We weren’t with a tour group, had no tour guides, don’t speak the local language, took public transport and taxis, wandered the streets on our own – basically everything you shouldn’t do if you’re in a dangerous country.

And guess what? Nothing bad happened to us at all!

The Iranian people are so friendly and helpful. They want you to have a great time and tell your friends so more people will come and visit.

We were walking around one morning on a quiet street when a car passed us and turned around. A group of young people stopped the car, came up to us, and asked if we were ok or if we needed help.

Once we told them we were just looking for a coffee they pulled out their phones and started showing us where the cafes were on a map.

They even offered us a ride, and said if the cafes were closed they had coffee at their home and would love to make us some.

This is just one example of dozens of interactions that happened to us when we were in Iran. Iranians love that tourists are coming to their country and travelling around.

The locals know what the media says about them and what a lot of the world thinks of their country, and the people just want to show that they are nice, generous people.

Theft against tourists is very rare and even the Religion Police (secret police) tend to leave tourists alone.

Just be careful around the bazaars and crowed places for pickpocketing. We didn’t have any issue and didn’t hear of any other travellers having problems, but this is common sense in any busy place in the world.

With all that being said, there is a large military and police presence in Iran. Do not photograph any military areas or government buildings, and stay away from any protests if you see them.

Obviously there are some areas of Iran that are no-go zones, such as the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, so do your research and talk to locals if you’re thinking about going anywhere near them.

When you travel somewhere you want to take in everything about the country and its people, and that includes the culture and customs.

Iran has quite a few local customs that may take some getting used to, so it’s important to learn about them before you go so you don’t accidentally offend or disrespect anyone.

Some of the most common ones that throw tourists off are:

  • Women must wear hijabs (headscarves) at all times in public. They must also wear loose-fitting clothes that don’t show their figure.
  • Giving a thumbs-up sign is considered rude, similar to giving the middle finger in Western society.
  • Men can wear short-sleeved shirts, but long pants must be worn at all times.
  • Men and women who aren’t related shouldn’t touch either. That means no shaking hands or hugging someone of the opposite sex.
  • If you are travelling with your significant other, avoid any public displays of affection.
  • Always bring a gift if you are invited to someone’s house. Candy, pastries or flowers are fine.

Now we want to give a special mention to ta’arof – This is a hospitality trait where it’s customary for someone to refuse payment for a service, and is probably the most confusing thing for any tourist to get their head around.

Basically what happens is if you make a purchase (a souvenir, taxi ride, etc), the person may refuse your payment out of politeness. It is then up to you to insist despite their refusals that you want to pay. After two or three times they’ll then accept your money.

If they still keep refusing then perhaps you have just experienced some amazing Iranian hospitality! But chances are they’ll accept the payment once the process has been completed. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.

The locals are so lovely, that if you do something wrong someone will approach you and nicely let you know. For example, if you are a lady and your headscarf falls off without you knowing, a local will kindly let you know.

Don’t stress about getting your outfits beforehand as shopping in Iran is cheap. Just bring one headscarf and set of loose-fitting clothes, and buy more once you get there.

The culture is the best thing about visiting Iran, and after a few days, you’ll start to understand and fall in love with it just like we did.

Shah Mosque In Isfahan

In order to visit Iran, you’re going to need to get a tourist visa. This used to be a very difficult process, but luckily things have gotten easier with the introduction of visa on arrivals in 2016

On the 14th February 2016, the Ministry of Iran announced that citizens of 180 countries can now apply for VOA of 30-days at most international airports, including Tehran, Shiraz, Mashad, Tabriz and Isfahan.

There’s an exception to this rule though, and if you are from Canada, the UK or the USA, we have some bad news for you…You can only visit Iran if you join a guided tour, so no chance of getting a VOA and travelling independently.

Your tour company will help organise your visa for you.

Check out our article on how to apply for a  Visa On Arrival in Iran.

Iran Visa On Arrival

You Need to Dress Appropriately

This follows on from the customs section above, but in a bit more detail.

Iran is an Islamic country, and as such you need to follow the Islamic dress code. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Women need to cover their arms, legs and head. This including a Hijab, loose long length shirt with long sleeves and pants.

Leggings or tight jeans are ok as long as your top is long and covers your bottom. When wearing pants, you need to be covered down to your ankles.

The most common way to cover your head is with a scarf. The local women wear bright colours and are very stylish with their clothing, so don’t think you need to wear all black.

Black is still worn a lot but not so much among the younger generation.

You can wear sandals. Some guesthouses and hostels will allow you to take your headscarf off on their premises but do check first.

Men aren’t allowed to wear shorts in public, so bring long, lightweight pants as the best option. T-shirts are fine to wear in public. Men can wear sandals too.

If you do wear inappropriate clothing it’s not the end of the world, and besides some angry looks from some of the older generation, you’ll probably just end up having a friendly local let you know what’s best to wear.

In Tehran, the locals push the limits in terms of what they wear in public. At the end of 2017, an uprising occurred and supposedly women were no longer required to wear the Hijab in public in Tehran, but wait until you are in the country to find out for certain.

When you land at the airport, it is respectful to put a scarf straight on your head ladies. This will cause no trouble for you by locals or the officials at the airport.

Once you’re in the air on an international flight you’ll see most young ladies take their hijab as soon as the plane leaves the ground. Just follow what the locals do.

Girls At Mosque

We were quite surprised to discover that a lot of Iranians could speak a little bit of English, but that wasn’t always the case, so do yourself a favour and bring along something that can help translate English to Persian.

We always travel with Google Translate and offline languages saved on our phones, but at times having a phrasebook is the best (and most social) way to interact with people who don’t speak any English.

Remember, you are in a country that doesn’t have English as an official language, so don’t be that rude tourist that gets upset if people aren’t understanding you.

Persian (Farsi) is difficult, and no locals expect you to learn much beyond hello and thank you while you are there, but do your best anyway as a few extra words will go a long way in showing respect.

Also don’t be surprised if you are constantly invited out for tea with people so they can practice their English. If the opportunity comes up, make time for it, as it’s an amazing experience for both the local and yourself.

Don’t forget your cash when visiting Iran, as none of the ATMs in the country accepts foreign credit or debit cards thanks to the embargo. So if you forget to bring all of your cash for your entire trip, you’re out of luck.

Figure out what your usual budget is for a trip ($50 a day, $100 a day, etc), then bring a bit extra just in case. USD is best for all around the country but Euros and British Pounds are also accepted in Tehran.

There’s two exchange rates in the country – official rate and black market rate – and the black market rate is of course much better.

We actually found an exchange booth at Tehran airport that gave pretty close to the black market rate, so we traded some cash there.

As a tip don’t exchange all of your foreign cash into Rials at once, because you’ll either get ripped off on the exchange rate back if you have any left over, or you’ll be unable to trade it outside of the country.

Also don’t be too concerned about travelling around with thousands of dollars in your backpacks. As we mentioned earlier theft is rare. Do keep your money stashed in different spots though just in case.

UPDATE: If you’d prefer not to carry all your cash with you, can actually pre-order a local Iranian debit card from the company, Mah Card . It works just like a normal debit card in your home country.

You order it on their website and they’ll deliver it to your hotel in Tehran when you arrive. They have an online system too where you can top up the funds if you’re running low.

Use the code ‘ NOMADASAURUS ‘ at check-out to get a 40% discount on the card when ordering. Instead of a 19 Euro issue fee, our code brings it down to 11 Euro.

“Toman or Rial?” Get used to asking that question, because if you don’t it could end up being a costly mistake.

The currency in Iran is officially known as the Rial, and is valued at roughly 30’000 IRL to USD$1. That’s a lot of zeros, so what the locals have started doing is dropping a zero and calling the new value a Toman.

1 Toman = 10 Rial

When you hear prices quoted in Tomans you need to add a zero on the end and pay the amount in Rials. It sounds confusing, but you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

That’s why it’s important to always ask Toman or Rial, so you don’t accidentally pay too much on an item. Most vendors quote in Tomans anyway, so chances are if the price seems too good to be true, you need to multiply it by 10.

Rumour has it that Iran will officially introduce Toman as a currency in the coming years, but that hasn’t come into effect yet.

Iranian Money

You are going to do a lot of walking in Iran, so bring comfortable footwear. The towns here are so amazing that you’ll probably end up walking at least 10km every day, so look after your feet.

These don’t necessarily have to be hiking boots (unless you’re planning on doing some treks). Just make sure you have some flat shoes that you can wear all day without a problem.

Don’t bring heels. You don’t need them, and you won’t wear them. We had a pair of hiking shoes each and a pair of sandals. That was perfect.

Persian food is varied and delicious, and there’s plenty of different styles to try, so be adventurous!

Most people travelling on a budget will end up eating falafel sandwiches when they’re in Iran because they are cheap ($1 !), filling and delicious, but there’s plenty more to Iranian cuisine then just kebabs.

We don’t consider ourselves to be foodies, but luckily we were travelling with our good friends Dan and John and they are all about culinary travel, so they had a huge list of food they wanted to try. And boy were we thankful they did!

They had looked up the different types of food they wanted to try, so we basically followed their advice and tried it all. Of course, it was super delicious too.

One particular dish we all loved was dizi. It’s quite confusing how to eat the first time, so we had the restaurant owner show us how to mix and grind all the ingredients. If she didn’t show us, we wouldn’t have a clue how to eat it.

If you are a vegetarian, there are food options but they can be limited. There is a lot of eggplant, lentil and chickpea dishes. There are simple salads and rice also.

Try to get away from the popular tourist areas as well, as the prices are going to be a lot higher than the average place.

Move away and you will be surprised how much the price drops, and the portions are larger. If you are passing a local restaurant and it is packed with locals, that is going to be a winner.

Iranian Food

We always recommend people travel with a backpack rather than a suitcase, but this is especially useful when you visit Iran.

The road and paths are uneven, and wheeling a suitcase would be a nightmare. A lot of hotels don’t have lifts, so unless you’re feeling strong it’s going to be hard to carry your suitcase up a lot of flights of stairs.

Always choose a lightweight backpack that fits you perfectly for the best support.

There are also hybrid backpacks, that have harnesses and wheels on the bottom for the times where you just don’t want to carry it.

Unless you are on a whirlwind 7-day trip of the country we recommend you design an itinerary of what you want to see and do, but don’t book anything until you are in the country.

Iran is one of those countries that is best to research beforehand so you can make the most of your time and you don’t miss anything, but don’t be surprised if some places you end up liking more than others.

Be willing to change your plans if you get somewhere that you want to stay an extra day, or if you meet a backpacker that raves about one town you hadn’t considered before.

Don’t stress about booking buses, flights or trains before you arrive. Everything can be booked in-country, for a much cheaper price than you’ll find online.

By not locking in your travel plans, you can change and swap your itinerary easy enough.

Disclaimer:  The one time that you may need to book everything ahead of time is during Nowruz, which is the Persian New Year. If you’re planning on travelling to Iran during this time (it happens around the spring equinox in March) you’ll find things are extremely busy with millions of locals travelling around the country to spend time with their families too.

Looking for somewhere else to check out when you visit Iran? Don’t miss our article on the best  things to do in Shiraz!

Hydraulic Dam In Shushtar

One of the best experiences you will have in Iran is spending time with all the friendly locals. And trust us, you’ll get plenty of opportunities if you are open to it.

The city squares are usually where locals will approach you to welcome you to their country, have a chat and practice their English.

Don’t shy away from this, even if you are a solo traveller. We found out so much information about Iran and how the locals live simply by chatting away.

Most people asked us questions about where we are from and were very happy to answer our questions. It was a true insight to Iran and we made some beautiful friends from it (many of whom we still keep in contact with).

Don’t be surprised if you get a lot of invitations to people’s homes as well, and this may be one of the few countries where we’d say hanging out with strangers is highly encouraged. The Couchsurfing scene is huge here too if you’re into that.

Do be wary of some people who will take you to an expensive tea house though. They are nice people, you will have great conversations, but they can be a little cheeky.

Also always look at the menu before you start ordering to make sure they haven’t taken you somewhere that has crazy prices.

Some will invite you out and try to sell carpets to you. If you are not interested just be firm and move on with the conversation.

We only had this happen to us once out of more than a dozen great experiences, and once we made it clear we weren’t buying a carpet we still had a great chat with him.

There is only one thing with all this – Expect to be stopped every few minutes by people wanting to chat! Make sure you’re mentally prepared when you go out around town to have a million friendly conversations.

You shouldn’t just do this in Iran, you should do this everywhere you travel, but it’s important to keep in mind.

In some countries, there are tourist prices and local prices. To be honest, we almost never felt ripped off here, but it did happen occasionally.

Before you buy anything, whether it’s a souvenir, a meal, a pot of tea, a tour, a taxi ride or whatever, ask to see the menu or how much it will cost to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Get out of the tourist squares too. Chances are if you walk a couple of blocks outside of those popular areas, the prices will drop dramatically.

When buying survivors, ask the price at a few places, get the vibe from the person/place and then buy. Try your bartering skills, but don’t be offensive.

We always try to settle in the middle so both parties are happy. This is their business and they need the money more than you do.

Man Going Through His Carpets At The Market

If you are flying domestic, book through an agent or your local guesthouse in the country. All the local airline pages are in Persian, and these are where the best deals are.

Online booking agencies like Skyscanner and Momondo will not bring up these flights. We were in the west near the Iraqi border and wanted to fly to Tehran. Our local guesthouse helped us out and we booked it for $50 USD including snack and bags.

They were charging $200 USD on one of those online booking agencies above. We never were questioned at the airport about the local price and everything went smoothly.

If you’re not travelling in a group of four, ask at your guesthouse or talk to other travellers to see if you can share the cost of a driver with them.

Sometimes hiring a driver between towns as private transport would work out to be the same price as 4 bus tickets. You get there faster and can stop when you like along the way.

This will save you money and you might even make some awesome friends out of it.

Iranians are very punctual. If you plan to leave for a tour at 8am be in reception at 7:45am, and the driver will most likely already be there.

Buses and trains also won’t wait for you if you aren’t there. The last thing you want to do is miss your tour because you slept in or hadn’t packed yet.

If you’re heading to the airport, bus or train station make sure you leave plenty of time in case of bad traffic.

Varzaneh Desert Dunes

When we say horrible, we’re being polite. The traffic in Iran is actually insane.

If you’re exploring Tehran don’t be surprised if you have plenty of “Holy s**t!” moments as you go to cross the street or you get around in taxi.

It’s not that Iranians are bad drivers…they just don’t have a concept of space when driving around. In one way it’s almost as entertaining as it is scary.

No one is actively trying to run pedestrians down, but if you do try to run the gauntlet of crossing a busy road it’s best to wait for a local to join them on their hell-bent journey to the other side.

Some social media platforms are banned in Iran and you cannot access them without a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

You cannot access Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest. You can access Instagram , but the rest only with a VPN.

We used ExpressVPN and had no issues. Here is a link to get your first 30 days for free .

Make sure you download your VPN before you arrive in Iran, because a lot of the VPN sites are blocked by the government.

If you can, we also recommend having access to a few different VPNs, because every now and then one might be blocked in Iran.

ExpressVPN worked for us during our trip, but some people have reported that it didn’t work during their own trip. Last we heard it’s back up and running properly now though.

Most of the guesthouses we stayed at had free wifi, but don’t expect it to be fast.

Some hotels had wifi available in the rooms, while others were only in the reception area or dining rooms. It all depends on how upmarket your place is. In popular cities, tea and coffee houses had wifi also.

One thing to keep in mind though is that just because there is wifi at your hotel, be respectful on how much you use it.

There are no unlimited data plans in Iran, so the hotels have to pre-purchase data in small packets.

Please don’t be that person that streams Netflix or tries to download the new season of Game of Thrones, because all that will happen is you’ll end up using all the net for everybody else in the hotel, and cost the owner more money.

Yep, we met a guy that did just that in Varzaneh, and because it was a weekend it meant nobody in the hostel could get internet until Monday. Thanks, mate.

Ladies Mosque At Night

Despite what you may have been told, you can buy a local sim card in Iran as a foreigner, and it’s a great idea to do so.

This way you can call hotels to make bookings use WhatsApp and Snap (more on that below) on the go, and keep in touch with friends and family back home.

We bought up a sim card with the telecommunications company IranCel through our hostel in Tehran, however, they marked the price up by double.

We found out later that you can buy sim cards at the airport or at any store, so our suggestion is to do this yourself.

When going into the phone store bring your phrasebook or a local friend. You will not need to show any ID, just pay in cash, but it helps to have your passport with you just in case.

You can top up at little general stores that display the IranCel sign. They will do it all on your phone and charge a small fee for their time. Please don’t argue with that, it’s maybe 25c USD.

We were getting 5GB of data for about $10 USD.

There is an app in Iran called Snapp, and it is similar to Uber. It’s a rideshare app where drivers register and customers can order cars to get around town.

This was a lifesaver for us!

What makes Snapp so great is that a price is determined by the app and you pay in cash once you get to your destination. There’s no metre, so the driver will take the most direct way possible.

When you book it you’ll get the driver’s name, their car model and their registration number, so you know you’re getting in the right vehicle.

Yo drop a pin on a map for where you want to go, so there’s no need to try and explain it to the driver in case he doesn’t speak English (or your pronunciation is crap).

The other added benefit is you can rate the drivers afterwards, so they are more likely to be honest rather than a taxi driver.

The only thing is you cannot easily download it onto an iPhone, as Apple is an American company and does not support Iran. It doesn’t show up in the App Store.

If you go to the Snapp website  you can download it to your Apple phone through a special link there. Downloading it on an Android phone is easy with no issues.

Driver Iran

This one was a big surprise to us, but you can drink the tap water just about everywhere in Iran.

It’s totally safe to drink, even if you’re new to the country, so don’t worry about buying plastic water bottles everywhere you go.

Bring a reusable water bottle instead and simply fill up as you go.

Don’t drink river water tough if you are out hiking.

Iran is a nation of tea drinkers, so it’s no surprise that you’ll get delicious fresh tea for cheap (or free) just about everywhere.

But what about us coffee drinkers??

The bad news is that getting good coffee is very hard in Iran. Despite their close proximity to places like Turkey, the coffee culture phased out years ago and so now the best you’ll find is usually those horrible instant packets.

There is a silver lining though, and some entrepreneurial locals have discovered that coffee is basically the second greatest thing on earth (after a delicious IPA, which you also can’t get in Iran), and some Western-style coffee shops are popping up in major towns.

They’re not cheap, but when you need that caffeine hit in the morning it’s totally worth it.

When you catch the metro around Tehran or Esfahan, there are carriages designated just for women, which is great if you’re a solo female traveller.

These are basically sections that males aren’t allowed in to stop accidental touching of non-related mixed genders, but it also adds a sense of security for women taking public transport.

Occasionally if the mixed carriages are full you’ll see one or two men in the female ones, but they tend to stand next to the door away from everyone.

Friday Mosque Yazd

[box] Those were just some of the things you need to know before you visit Iran. Has the article helped you? Do you have anything else to add? Leave a comment below and let us know![/box]

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

Alesha and Jarryd

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

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Hello friends, I read your comments and I wish I could say that I am happy that you think so naively about the Iranian regime, but the truth of Iran and its people is not what these friends say, and unfortunately the bitter truth is that all those media that They present this regime and the leaders of the Islamic Republic as terrorists and a bunch of dishonorable and inhuman people, they are telling the truth and only the oppressed people of Iran understand this! you can ask them. But for you tourist friends, yes, this country can be a paradise because your money is worth many times more than ours, and not you tourist friends, but the unfortunate people of this cursed country feel the pressure. Our only wish was to have normal rights and a normal life like you, but this regime stole that life from the people of Iran and blackened the lives of the people of this country. Hoping for a day when this terrorist regime, which has made the Middle East and the whole world insecure, will be destroyed and we Iranian people have good and sincere relations with the people of other countries of the world . That day we will have at least a normal life and the world will not recognize this country as a criminal terrorist country. Written by a 27 young Iranian.

hi I want to just say now ( 2023-15-11 ) that the US dollar is 510000 Rials and here is heaven for people of countries where the currency is the dollar and Iran just is Hell for local people thanks to the Iran government for this situation!!!!!!

Hi dear Alisha and Jerry My name is Raziyeh. As an Iranian, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for your kind words and appreciation of our beautiful country. Contrary to media propaganda, Iran is safe, and Contrary to media statements, we are hospitable and genial people who do everything to ensure you have a fun time in Iran. Please do not believe the lies that social media tells about our country. We’ll be happy to see tourists and give information to them. I hope you revisit our country. Best regards, Raziyeh.

Hi everyone I’m from Iran. I’m happy that you liked your trip to Iran. Iran has a lot of museums and attractive places if you’ll come you should visit them. And we’ll be happy to see tourists and give informations to them.

Iran is an extremely lovely place to travel. Thank you for the trip advice. I adore your article.

For foreigners especially Westerners Iran is a very dangerous country. There is a high risk of being arrested on fake charges. Atleast 50 foreigners have been arrested recently and sentenced without a fair trail. The “friendly” citizens of Iran will not help you out unless you pay them witg Euro or Dollars…..

Well! I accidentally found this while surfing the net, and it’s a bit sad that each dollar is 450000 Rials… People are still friendly to tourists though, no matter how hard our lives are. I hope you visit our country again, after all these sad events, of course.

22 days later and its 510000. when will these evil leaders leave us alone

We are glad that you were satisfied with your trip.You pointed out great points like someone who has lived inside for years… Our people believed, but the government has crushed the people so much under the economic pressure that they have become a little unfair to each other. Be sure to use SNAP inside Iran.. Be sure to check the price before buying.. Our common currency is Toman and Rial is nominal. For example, now every 1 dollar is equivalent to 33000 Tomans.. To eat a pizza, you need 6 or 7 dollars.3 cents are required for 1.5 liter of taqriya water.. If you have an acquaintance in Iran, you can be much easier.. Don’t pay too much attention to the capital because it has very beautiful cities with a very old history. Thank you for choosing which country for your trip. Good luck

Thank you for the excellent information and for taking an interest in the lovely country. really nice tips for visiting Iran.

I’m glad you liked Iran. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty in managing economic affairs, the Iranian people suffer from the high cost of goods. Now each dollar is equivalent to 277,000 rials, which is really terrible, of course for our people! Of course, Iran is still full of beautiful places and amazing places! I hope you have good trips …❤

Hi guys I am Ava. I am from Iran/ Isfahan. If you want to come to Iran I would be happy to help you. I have a beautiful Iranian old house.

Can you please write about traveling in Iran at the moment. I would be traveling on a New Zealand passport. Thank you. Evan.

Iran holds many surprises for visitors; like the climate which can fluctuate greatly, depending on the area and time of year, dispelling the long-held myth that Iran is nothing more than a vast, sweltering desert. But Iran is a historical place and i like to visit this type of places that is why few days ago i read this type of article on another site it contain huge information. While some surprises are nice when travelling, it’s important to be as well prepared as possible.

Is $1000 for 7 days visiting 5 cities everything included except airline tickets a reasonable price? Please let me know what you think! Cities included are Tehran, Yazd, Esfahan, Shiraz, and the desert side with Caspian sea. Thanks,

Definitely if you stay at budget accommodation, take public buses as transport and not eat at fancy restaurants. Have a good trip

it’s very good

Indeed it is 🙂

I am Iranian. You described Iran very well. I am glad that you visited Iran

Thank you for your comment Masoud. We really enjoyed travelling around Iran. 🙂

Hi Thank you for your essay about Iran. As an Iranian I do hope you have good memories generally from Iran. No country is perfectly free of any trouble but please do not believe propaganda against Iran unless you travel to Iran and live with Iranian for a couple of weeks (at least) and then judge.

Hi there! I’m an Iranian, and i’m REALLY happy that you loved our country! I hope other tourists enjoy their travel to Iran, and I wanted to say, that Pinterest doesn’t need VPN! 🙂 And also about hijab, if you’re thinking that it’s gonna make you struggle, well, it definitely isn’t. I mean, it’s not such a big deal, and you’ll get used to it and continue enjoying! Anyways, hope you like our country

Reasons for a Group Visit to Iran Experienced travelers may want to look away. Guided tours can really be the best option for some travelers going abroad. Of course, they limit you a little and lose a little freedom. You will not have enough time to fall in love with a place and you will not have enough time to stay there, and other companions may not be with you. But no matter what the veterans might say, there are good reasons to tour for those who want to.

Salaam All, I’ve travelled extensively in the Middle East (Egypt, Palestine, Lybia, Qatar, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Iran and India. My wife, daughter and myself went on holiday to Iran in 2012 and 2015 (for my 60th birthday). An Iranian couple came to sing happy bithday to me in farsi. It was an inexplicable experience, no crime on the street, no fighting, very, very safe, people very friendly and warm, food and confectionary very good, not expensive to shop but hotel accommodation could be expensive, public transport (bus and metro rail) very good and effecient, metro stations very clean and very easy for foreigners to use. Although we were based in Northern Tehran (Eliheyah), we once drove by luxury coach to Ishfahan to spend one week there (2012), the other trip we flew to Shiraz to spend one week there (2015). I fell in love with this country, it’s absolutely beautiful. In Tehran, we even went in the cable cars on the Azborg mountains. O, I just cannot stop raving about IRAN. I’ll visit there anytime. Please don’t believe the media with their negative reports, go see for yourself and discover this amazing country. Salaam from Riedwaan Salie (Cape Town, South Africa.

That is so nice. What a great birthday trip. We are so glad you had a wonderful time with you family. We found the country very welcoming and friendly also. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

Your itinerary was perfect! I hope you come back again very soon! I heard now you should ask for visa only from agencies. Also now for your money matters you can use a local debit card like Daricpay to charge and transfer money online

We hope to visit again one day. Take care

Hi Im am an iranian person and your information was totally correct about iran I am very glad to see you were anjoyed traveling to iran If you come to iran again you can visit other cities like shiraz,Tabriz,Isfahan,Hamedan they are as beautiful as Tehran

Thank you so much for your comment. 🙂

Hi all, I have been 2 weeks in Iran the last month, my friends and I were travelling the west part of this huge country touring the famous cities and recommended places over the countryside. I could never thought how beautiful were every little point that we stopped by: landscapes, restaurants, seacoast, food… persian landmarks will remind forever in my mind. As we were travelling by car we trusted (company removed, you can message below if interested), a notorious iranian company which offers a wide variety of car for rent. The service was excelent and they provided us whatever we need in order to make our trip easer. I would definetely recommend this company If you are thinking about renting a car to shuttle from a place to another, they are serious and reliable. Thanks persian people and the company for making our dreamt trip happen!!

We love Iran!!!!

Sounds like you had a great trip. We are so glad so had a great time.

Hi Alesha and Jarryd, Thank you for the useful info and your interest in my beautiful country. I’m Zahra Mazaheri an English – Farsi translator. I would be more than happy to help the tourist to Iran in having a pleasant journey.

Glad you liked our article. All the best

Iran is a wonderful country for all nations to visit. Whether you’re interested in going to cultural and historical places, try local food, shopping, or visiting new people, the country is one of the best places for all of these.

Thank you for your comment. It is a magnificent country

thanks so much for your tips, and i want to add this there is something that we call it “Taarof” This is a polite exchange that takes place in all aspects of life in Iran, in shops, in streets, in businesses, at homes. Simply stated, it is a form of one person making an offering and the other, refusing it. This ritual may repeat itself several times before the individuals finally determine whether the offer and refusal are real or simply polite. Be very careful how and with whom you taarof so that it does not interfere with your stay. Use common sense as to when to do it and when not to.

Thank you so much for this. After travelling the country for 3 weeks, we only experienced this once in Tehran on the outskirts of the city, We ate locally, bought locally, stayed locally, bought a lot of items on the street but only experienced it once. We were shocked. We had read about it and was waiting every time but it never came. Maybe if you are a foreigner they don’t do it as much. Thank you the explanation.

I really appreciate for your thoughts on this topic. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

Hi Alesha and Jarryd, this was so helpful. We’re off to Iran in a couple of weeks and great to get some tips re luggage, local currency cards and communication options. thanks david

Hi David, We are so happy the article was helpful. You will have a great time in Iran. Do not over pack. Woman have to be covered. Loose clothing is a must and a long top/dress is best as it covers the figure. Her arms and legs have to be covered. Sandels can be wore. A hijab is a must so bring scarfs. For the men, your arms do not have to be covered. Do bring pants as you need it for mosques. Our advice is to bring zip off pants. They are great. We did not use local currency cards. We bought all our cash in euros and exchanged it in Tehran on day 1. We did it with our guesthouse. They gave us a great rate. As for communication, do download Farsi offline before you go so communication can be easier. Surprisingly a lot of people do speak broken English. have a great trip.

Hi guys. Im so glad you had a good time over here. I believe Iran is the most misunderstood nation (thanks to media!) and articles like this may help people see Iran for what it is. One thing i need to point out is the currency exchange rate. the rate of 30,000 to 1 USD is no longer valid. 1 USD would be exchanged to about 110,000 rials now (11,000 Toman). Hope to see you back here soon! cheers

i promise to passengers ( our guess ❤) that we can make nice memory for you , and hope you enjoy that

Hi guys, great article! Just wanted to suggest that you include information about the Pocket WiFi and Travel Debit card services offered by MahCard ( as well… We travelled from Amsterdam to Iran during January this year and we used both services from MahCard and they really made our trip much easier…

Thank you for your tip Lotte. We have never heard of these guy. Definitely would be helpful. We strongly encourage travellers to do their on research on companies and make their own judgements. All the best

Hello! Very useful info about Iran. I am preparing a trip with car from UAE to ROMANI so it will be Bandar Abbas to Turkey Border. Any info and advices are welcomme! Thx

Hi Als, not too sure about that border. We flew in to Tehran. All the best.

Hello Dear Guys, I’m really glad to find your blog. It’s really interesting to me. I should say thank you to you for giving this good information about my country to people. It would be our honor to be host in your next travels to Iran.

I have been to a lot countries. I have been to super cold areas like Norway and have lived in the snowy Switzerland, and have also been to warm countries such as Bali, Sri Lanka, etc… What I love about Iran is that whenever and in whatever season you go, there are always 4 seasons. The southern part (Persian Gulf) is known for its golden beaches and hot climates, other areas such as Shemshak, Darbandsar, etc… are known for their snow and mountains. I recommend going to ski resorts in winter, and as a person who has lived in Switzerland I can tell that they are better. At the same time where you find snow in Iran, you can also travel to the other side where there are hot deserts. I recommend you go to these desert areas with a local tour called RONATURE, which is an ecofriendly tour and provides vegan and vegetarian food, furthermore supports locals and the environment. The Persian Gulf is unimaginably beautiful. Qeshm island in the south is probably the most beautiful place in the world, unfortunately there are not many photos of this island online because not many people know about it yet, but I do recommend taking diving courses there. The water park in Kish island is the best I’ve ever seen, much better than the ones in Dubai. I could go on for forever but you go to Iran once and experience all the four seasons. You get snowy mountains and sunny beaches. You go skiing and after a short flight you are tanning on the beach. This is a miracle and not something other countries dont have to offer. I can say nothing more but to recommend this marvellous country. Do not listen to the media, Iran is safer than Europe and Im not even slightly exaggerating.

Thank you for helping people to travel to Iran, I believe everyone should visit Iran beyond the media portrayal.

We totally agree with you Vahid. Never listen to the media about a destination, we don’t. We really enjoyed our time in Iran and encourage people to experience this country for themselves. 🙂

Sorry, I won’t support Iran. The government is evil. They imprison and torture their own citizens and they execute gay people. How can you support a government like that? Oh, and if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport, they won’t let you in. That’s ok with you?

We don’t support the government, we support the people of the country, who are among the friendliest, most genuine and hospitable people we have ever encountered. If we were to boycott countries with corrupt and evil governments, we’d start with the US.

I recently moved to Iran, as I am Iranian-American (well, now mainly just Iranian). I really appreciate all of the sweet and insightful comments and your wonderful website. Since the last time I lived here I was a child and have only visited every few years, when I arrived I was definitely feeling like a Persian that came back from a lost time warp of sorts, and had to learn the deeper levels of what you all already thoughtfully mentioned like tarof and the culture. Iran is a BEAUTIFUL & AMAZING country and I am lucky to be here. Just to let people know, everything I read here is true and helpful. 🙂 Even riding a bus from Iran into Armenia (to access my american bank for my final paycheck), I started out feeling slightly awkward as the 99% Persian only passenger peers around me were playing cute little games with each other laughing, with LOTS of incredible Persian music… I started getting many happy flashbacks of American-Iranian dance parties… but this was the REAL thing! Within minutes I joined in after being invited to clap my hands and a few girls were doing little hand dances in their seats… within about 10 minutes half the people on the bus were all SINGING together, it was precious. I felt like I was home, with my (native) Iranian people, and I got little happy tears in my eyes. YOU CANNOT FIND THESE MOMENTS IN AMERICA or EUROPE where nearly everyone around you surrounds you with welcoming bright eyes all at the same time. It’s like they are making you part of their family. I recommend visiting Iran for ANYONE… You will see that Iranians are good hearted and loving, even with all the sanctions. Give them a genuine smile, and you will get 100 smiles back, with tea and poetry. 😀

What a beautiful moment. That is great you are going back to your roots. We hear you. Iranians are good hearted and so generous. It is a beautiful country. Have a great time and hope you settle in quickly. All the best

Thanks for visiting my country. Hope tourism breaks all the wall of this global village.

We hope so too. It is a beautiful country with many beautiful people. We loved our time there

Thank you so much for this amazing article! I am going to visit Iran, but just for one week, so I need to take everything that I can from this short trip. I didn’t know that I need a VPN, that is a surprise! I have Surfshark subscription. Maybe you know how it works in Iran?

Not too sure if it will work or not. We used VPN Express and had no issues. There are free VPNs if you get suck and find yours does not work. Have a great trip.

So disappointing to learn that Canada is not one of the countries included on the Visa on Arrival program…I really want to spend a week in Tehran but it looks as though that won’t be possible. That’s really too bad 🙁

I know. It is a little more of a hassle but worth it. I know Canadians, UK and USA citizens have to go on a tour but there are many great tours within the country. If you want a tour that is not a tour, check out Yomadic. He’s tours are informative but relaxed and have great reviews. All the best.

I was 10 days in Iran (Teerah, Esfahan, Yazd and Siraz) and … is a great country, good food, culture and fantastic people. Thank you Iran!

Glad you had a wonderful time Vitor. 🙂

hi im ghazal from kermanshah iran! a offer all to come here and feel how friendly people are


I’m sorry for this government rule.

Your welcome. I hope you back soon in my country.

hello,im shahzad from iran. thank you so much for your excelent content about Iran. all of the sentences are true about my country and u knew it very so happy that you had good times here. As the other iranian people said,now 1 USD is equal with 141,000 Rials :).so Iran is a very cheap country for tourists,too:). come to my country and enjoy,it would be your best trip with no debt:)

Hi Shahzad, We had a wonderful time there. Thank you for the update with the exchange rate. We recommend all travellers to visit Iran. 🙂

Thanks for this guys! I am super excited leaving for Tehran on Monday I booked a small tour as I felt anxious about travelling independently first time ever in Iran. If I like it -and I am sure I will – I shall go back. I was advised to take a day travel backpack and a medium sized wheely which I hope to fill up with things bought locally. Of course I shall take essentials. Is a long skirt allowed? It might be cooler than trousers. What do you think?

Hi Alex, I hope you are having a wonderful trip, That great you booked a small tour. Sometimes it is the best way to see the country and learn about the people and culture. There is so many great souvenirs to buy. Unfortunately my bag wasn’t big enough. 🙂 Absolutely a long shirt is allowed but not a tight body fitting one. Long sleeve and maxi dresses are perfect. Trousers are great just make sure you top is loose and long past your bottom. Have a great trip.

Wow, Thanks for this. I’am glad, that I found your page. I’ll travel in october alone to isfahan. I’m already so excited

That’s amazing. You will have a great time. The Iranians are so friendly and welcoming. There is so much to do there. Here is a video we made about Isfahan if you want to check it out.

Great points!

Regarding bringing a load of cash though, I found a solution. In my last trip to Iran, I got a DaricPay card. It made everything easier!

Thank you for your suggestion and information. Glad that worked for you. We still recommend visitors to take cash as not everywhere will accept cards.

Hello everyone. This is Ali, an Iranian. This page is a good guidance; LIKE ! Iran is a country of different climates and has very beautiful historical monuments and natural areas. Contrary to propaganda, Iran is safe and a good choice for travel. Come to Iran and have nice time here.

Thank you Ali. 🙂

This is great ! Thank you! I’m preparing to go there in June and your article answered a lot of questions! I will come back to it just to remember everything. Thanks again.

Glad the article could help. Have a wonderful trip Joanna.

Great i read your experiences you had great fun in Iran. Everyone should need to aware about your guidelines before visit.

Hi Eric, thank you. We had a great time in Iran. Definitely everyone should read up on the guidelines, not just what we have written but from other also. It is important to do your research before travelling to a country. 🙂

Hey, great article on Iran tourism. What should I plan in terms of budget, if I want to plan a 7-day trip to Iran and cover major tourist/historical destination.

How would you rate food for just vegetarians. Thanks!

We budgeted $80 USD a day for a couple. We came home with a little bit of money but we rather have more than less as there is no ATMs that work for foreigners. As for vegetarian food, there are many options.

This is awesome article, I’ve read a ton of articles online these past couple of months as I’m traveling to Iran in May. I’ve already bought a NordVPN subscription regarding the social media access, I hope it will work fine too, saw some recommendations for it too. Other than that I really cannot wait for the trip, so I keep reading about it. Thanks 🙂

Awesome Steve. Have a great time. The people there are so friendly. It is an amazing country.

hi steve, i recommend, first travel to iran then try free vpn then buy subscription.because some vpn in iran dose not work. instagram and what up don’t need vpn.have a nice trip!

Hi I am very pleased to be pleased with your trip to Iran I hope that one day we will be able to travel to other countries as well These days, people in my country are very sad.

Hi Mostafa, thank you for your message. We did enjoy visiting your country but did hear this from many locals. We hope that one day it all changes and travel will be a lot easier for Iranians. We saw nothing but friendly and welcoming people. The most friendliest country we have visited. We hope happiness comes soon.

Glad to hear that you had good trip in Iran guys. However things get worse and now 110,000 rials = 1 USD which is good for tourists. Lol.

Thanks for that Mohammad. Not good for the locals. We thought it was cheap when we visited last year. Sorry to hear that

I glad to read this site My country has very beautiful natural scenery and tourism, as well as very caring and kind people… I hope to see you in my city, Isfahan, the city of culture and art, and we can spend good times together^_^ I hope that there will always be in all countries, including my country

Hello I am Iranian I am very pleased that you have been satisfied with traveling to Iran I wish you success

Thank you for stopping by. We loved travelling Iran. The people were so welcoming and we had a lot of great chats with many. We are looking forward to returning one day.

You were ok travelling without a guide? Is it easy to travel around without one? And is it possible to hire guides to specific places, such as Persefone of some mosque? My wife and I are planning to visit Iran on April or October? What’d say? Thanks a lot.

Absolutely. We met so many local people and had so much fun. It is an easy country to get around in. Their transport system within the cities were easy and great. Their bus system across the country was comfortable and faster than the train. You can hire guides at main attractions as you go. The hotels can help with that also. Have a great trip.

If you are from the USA, Canada or UK you need to go on a tour.

Hi We are older Australians and are wanting to go to Iran. We usually plan our holiday booking accommodation and transport before we go so are a little hesitate going without anything booked. We have not been on a tour before and they don’t appeal to us.

Thank you so much for this valuable information. My mother and I are trying to book an organized trip with Intrepid Travel. They told us that we were not allowed to be out and about without the accompaniment of a male. Which they say we would have to stay in our hotel during our free time unless we go with a male. Have you heard of this before?

I am Mehdi and I am from, Shiraz Iran. I welcome your arrival to Iran in advance. Staying you in your hotel during your free time in Iran is not right. You can go out without a male. I can help you if you have any question. please don’t hesitate to ask me. you can contact me at [email protected] . I hope you have a nice trip in Iran. Regards; Mehdi

Hi Cathy, that is so strange they would tell you this. That is wrong on Intrepid Travel to tell you this and if they are concerned about this for their guests they should provide tours for you free of charge as staying in the hotel room is not a very good experience at all. I hope you wrote to them to express your disappointment with this.

As Mehdi said above, that is not right. When we were travelling throughout Iran there were many woman travelling on their own that out and about by them selves. We did not hear of any issues. Obviously have your wits about yourself. The people of Iran are so friendly. The friendliest we have come across in our travels. I hope you got to experience this and see a lot of the beautiful country.

Hi Cathy, I’m an Iranian person, this is not right, you can go out without a male. Iran is full of friendly people and I’m sure you will enjoy your time and this would be one of the most unforgettable trips.

Hello kathy I’m very surprised by your talk I am from Iran and I assure you that it is not

Hey guys! This is one of the *very* few articles about Iran that I completely agree with. Oh, apart from one sentence: “Iranians are very punctual”… I actually laughed out loud. You must have got lucky. In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed your time, and hope we cross paths one day.

(also, feel free to edit this out: the photo of Alesha at Friday mosque in Yazd is actually Friday mosque in Esfahan)

Thanks so much Nate! Glad the piece got the seal of approval from the Iran expert himself! And I guess we did get super lucky with the locals being punctual. For the whole month we were there we were never left waiting. Will count our lucky stars, and make a note that perhaps it’s not always the case.

And thanks for the correction on the Friday mosque! Have amended it now. Happy travels mate.

Hi dears! I’m an iranian girl & I love my country… Actually my father is a tour guide & I’ve heared such lovely words from so many tourists… they mostly say they had heard many bad things about iran and they have experienced the bests when they came here… I’m so glad to here such nice words by many travelers and i really appreciate you cause you ‘re telling the truth about my amazing country!!!! I love you all dears!!

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The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Iran » 15 Best Places to Visit in Iran

15 Best Places to Visit in Iran

Iran might not seem like your usual tourist destination, and it’s certainly true that theocratic juntas, a fervor for all things nuclear, and tales of autocratic shahs from decades gone by don’t make for the most enticing of travel cocktails. But Iran isn’t like most Middle Eastern countries.

Millennia of rising and falling civilizations – the Persians, the Parthians, the Safavids – have all gone before the modern nation, and their glory and richness have done something to instill today’s country with a pride and stability that’s the envy of many neighbors (even if they won’t admit it). Today, that means Iran is hurtling headlong into the future whilst still clinging steadfastly to its dazzling past – it’s a curious dichotomy that really informs the whole place.

You can flit between boho coffee shops and avant-garde art galleries in Tehran, or seek out majestic madrassahs in cities like Esfahan and Yazd. You can carve the pistes at Dizin or trace the footsteps of Xerxes and Darius at Persepolis.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Iran :

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Esfahan

Gilded with the riches of more kings and sultans and Muslim caliphs than you can shake a cobalt-blue ceramic pot from a Zagros Mountain village at, the glorious city of Esfahan is unquestionably one of the most beautiful in all of Iran.

Its heart is dominated by the colossal Naqsh-e Jahan Square; a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s ringed by ceramic-fronted mosques and gorgeous Safavid palaces.

Elsewhere and babbling fountains give way to tree-dotted avenues, legendary madrassahs pop up on the streets, and arabesque souks burst with multi-coloured stacks of spices and tassel-fringed carpets from the east.

In short: Esfahan is the Iran you really have to see.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz

Eulogized and eulogized over and over again by romantic poets and travelers, and revered as the birthplace of the great Persian wordsmiths Hafez and Sa’di, Shiraz is a city steeped in heritage and culture.

Visitors will be able to spot the great tombs of those writers nestled between the palm-dotted, flower-sprouting gardens of Afif abad and Eram, along with the intricate arabesque interiors of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque and the 1,000-year-old Qor’an Gate.

Rather surprisingly, the town also lends its name to a popular strain of wine, and, despite the cascading vineyards of the Fars Province long since having dried up, it’s thought that some of the world’s earliest white tipples were produced here nearly seven millennia ago!

Azadi Tower, Tehran

One’s thing’s for sure: Tehran certainly isn’t a looker like Shiraz or Esfahan.

Apart from the rugged wall of snow-tipped Alborz Mountains that rise like a phalanx on the northern edge of town, the place is largely dominated by concrete and packed with smog-creating traffic jams aplenty.

However, like it or loathe it, this sprawling metropolis is the epicentre of the country’s politics and economy, and that surely counts for something, right? Well, a lot actually.

Great monuments like the Azadi Tower have been raised here, while the glimmering wonders of the Treasury of the National Jewels and the mummified princes of the National Museum of Iran are just some of the awesome relics to see.

Add to that a clutch of stylish teahouses and coffee shops, frantic bazaars and youthful student energy, and Tehran really isn’t all that bad!


Perched nearly 3,000 meters up in the snowy heights of the Alborz Mountains, where the European Caucuses crash into the Asian ranges, the small hill station of Dizin has firmly established itself as one of Iran’s top winter sports destinations.

With a clutch of good groomed pistes ranging from moderate difficulty to challenging runs, and a selection of cableways and chairlifts that were first installed in the 1960s, the soaring resort is one of the top places to don the skis and salopettes here.

There are also some alpine-style hotels, and awesome views of the cone of massive Mount Damavand in the distance.

Amir Chakhmakh, Yazd

The adobe warren of the Yazd old town is like something out of Arabian Nights.

Here and there, turrets gilded in intricate geometric designs loft above the mosque domes; the scents of incense and mint tea twist and turn from the cafes.

Meanwhile, the middle of the city is dominated by mysterious Zoroastrian fire temples and the spiked minarets of the Shia hussainia that is the Amir Chakhmakh complex.

And then there are the souks, where dust devils twirl between the cotton and silk emporiums, and shisha pipes puff in the background.

Yep, it’s precisely the sort of place you’d expect to trace the footsteps of one Marco Polo!

6. Persepolis


Great kings by the name of Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes all set foot between the sun-scorched streets of Persepolis once upon a time, for it was here, amidst the arid erstwhile vineyards of Shiraz and the babbling Pulvar River, that the mighty Persian Empire made its home from the 5th century to the 3rd century BC. Today, only traces of this once feared power in the east remain, with a clutch of looming marble columns and a couple of stele all that’s left to mark the great compound out amongst the rising hills of Rahmet Mountain.

Travelers can immerse themselves in the history, and even see the tomb of the revered king Darius I.

Blue Mosque

With a history of more than 4,500 years, there’s evidence to show that Tabriz is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the entire world.

That deep past now reveals itself in the layers of architectural majesty the place is known for, at spots like the colossal Blue Mosque of 1465, which comes gutted with shimmering ceramics of a deep cobalt blue.

Another real must see is the sprawling Bazaar of Tabriz, which is known as one of the great trading outposts of the old Silk Road.

Today, the vaulted ceilings and alcoves of this ancient merchant centre still burst with shimmering gold jewellery and blood-red carpets, sweet-smelling Turkic pastries and oodles of spice from the east.

Ali al-Ridha

Mashhad is hallowed ground for many Iranians. It houses the revered tomb of the eighth Imam of Shia Islam: Ali al-Ridha (or Imam Reza). It’s a seriously holy place, and is appropriately marked by the colossal Imam Reza shrine, which sprawls over nearly 600,000 square meters in the middle of the city; a glimmering mass of gold-clad minarets that go over 30 meters into the ski and great domes inlayed with precious metal (it’s definitely one of the country’s most breath-taking pieces of architecture).

Away from that must-see and Mashhad also has clean streets and curious sculpture art, not to mention some saffron-infused curries that are sure to set the taste buds a-tingling!


For Iranians, Rasht represents the gateway to the Shomal – a region of verdant hills and high rainfall that’s really unlike anywhere else in the country.

The unique climactic conditions of the high ridges that surround the town are made possible by its enviable location on the edge of the Caspian Sea, which also happens to imbue it was an array of other curious attractions.

We’re talking about the USSR-themed relics relating to the Soviet sympathiser Mirza Kouchak, and the leafy European-style facades of the Shahrdari in the center.

However, it’s trips out to see the gorgeous Golestan National Park, where the misty forests house Persian leopards, that usually come up trumps!


Encompassed by the sweeping deserts of the Iranian south, the old trading outpost of Kerman still clings to the bustling mercantile character it has had since the days when major trading routes between Arabia and India passed this way.

Check out the sprawling bazaar in the heart of the city, where five spice mixes with chilli and coriander powder between the vaulted emporiums.

There are also earthy Turkic hamams to bathe in, and a warren of mud-brick streets to wander.

And once the city’s done and dusted, be sure to strap on the boots and go intrepid into the ochre-hued hills of greater Kerman Province.

Ameri House

Kashan sprouts from the deserts of northern Iran midway between Esfahan and the capital at Tehran.

An oasis town, it’s packed with blooming pockets of date palms and green gardens that are fed with babbling irrigation streams.

The buildings are distinctly adobe and brown though, except – of course – for the elegant mansions of the Tabatabaie Residence, the Ameri House and the domes of Aqabozorg.

These are remnants of the Qajari royals, who came here and raised magnificent residential structures in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There’s also a throbbing bazaar and beautiful views of the mountains on the horizon.


Just 19 kilometres south of Iran’s coast, in the sparkling waters of the Persian Gulf, more than one million people discover the island of Kish each year.

They come to wallow in a place that’s quite unlike its mother country in many ways; a place where huge casinos converge on the palm-dotted gardens of opulent resort hotels.

However, there are two other attractions that ensure a steady stream of visitors on Kish: shopping and beaches.

The first of these comes with the duty-free malls that ring the main town, and the latter comes in the form of sparkling white sands, coral reefs, and awesome SCUBA diving to boot.

13. Hamadan

Tomb of Avicenna

Forged by the Medes and the Assyrians, the Persians and the Parthians, this once great city might not be the legendary metropolis it was in antiquity, but it still comes steeped in all the culture you’d expect of a place with so many thousands of years of history behind it.

It’s perhaps most famed as the home of the Tomb of Avicenna, which chronicles and honors the life of arguably the most totemic scientific thinker in the Islamic world.

And there are other awesome sights to see too, like the Ali Sadr Cave, which is the largest in-cave lake on the planet, and the inscriptions of the Ganjnameh, made by the ancient Persian kings Darius and Xerxes.


Qom is considered one of Iran’s most holy cities.

It’s packed with soaring minaret spires and the turquoise-hued domes of totemic mosques (don’t miss the uber-handsome Ahlulbayt Mosque). One of the country’s cultural and religious centers, it’s also got some acclaimed madrassahs and draws massive crowds of pilgrims throughout the year.

Most come to wonder at the filigrees and pay their respects at the Shrine of Fatima-al-Massumeh, which is the resting place of the sister of the eighth Imam of Shia Islam.


Ramsar sits neatly sandwiched between the rugged rises of the Alborz Mountains and the lapping waters of the Caspian Sea.

It’s a truly enviable location; one that imbues this town of neo-classical hotel fronts and palm-peppered avenues with a wealth of good beaches and some seriously jaw-dropping panoramas of the hills that rise to form the Caucasian chains of Azerbaijan to the north.

The place has long been one of the top seaside retreats for Iranian luminaries, and continues to draw with its bubbling hot springs and fabled healing waters.

15 Best Places to Visit in Iran:

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Iran's Most Wild and Beautiful Places

Discover the breathtaking landscapes that make up this captivating nation.

Iran is home to one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, where turquoise-domed mosques, glittering palaces, and the tombs of long gone poets reveal the mysteries and intrigues of the ancients. Yet beneath the footprints of man lies an even lesser known, wilder Iran, brimming with remarkable geologic formations, ancient forests, and overgrown monuments that nature has reclaimed as its own.

Badab-e Surt

the travertine terrace in Badab-e Surt, Iran

The rising sun illuminates the stacked terraces of Badab-e Surt, Iran.

In the northern Mazandaran Province, a striking panorama of rust-colored travertine terraces cuts across the mountains. The stepped, limestone formations were created over thousands of years by the flowing and cooling of water from two mineral hot springs. While travertine terraces are found in other places—like Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone and Pamukkale in Turkey —Badab-e Surt’s distinctive coloring results from a high concentration of iron oxide sediments. Not only does it make for dreamy views, but one of the springs is thought to have healing properties due to its high salinity and mineral content.

Mount Damāvand

hikers on Mount Damavand in Iran

Hikers descend Mount Mount Damāvand, the highest peak in the Middle East.

Forty-one miles northeast of Tehran, Mount   Damāvand’s iconic ivory-frosted cone soars 18,605 feet (5,671 meters) into the clouds, claiming the title highest peak in the Middle East. Located in the Alborz mountain range, the 1.8 million-year-old dormant volcano is literally a thing of legends, immortalized in ancient Persian folklore and poetry. Climbers can take one of 16 major routes up Damāvand in two to five days, navigating its rocky terrain, mineral hot springs, and rich flora and fauna. Mount Damāvand was nominated for World Heritage status in 2008 and remains on Iran's Tentative List .

Dasht-e Lut

a rock formation in Dasht-e-Lut, Iran

A rock formation rises from the desert floor in Dasht-e Lut, Iran.

In southeast Iran, the shifting sands of Lut Desert forge a living work of art. Between June and October, subtropical tempests sweep over the landscape, creating aeolian forms—corrugated ridges caused by wind erosion. The same phenomenon has also been observed on other planets like Mars, giving it an otherworldly quality. In 2016, Dasht-e Lut was inscribed as Iran’s first and only natural UNESCO World Heritage site for being “an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.” It’s also one of the hottest places on Earth, according to NASA. In 2005, it reached a record temperature of 159.3°F (70.7°C), beating out the previous record held by El Azizia, Libya.

the salt lake in Urmia, Iran

Certain climatic conditions produce a type of algae that periodically turns Lake Urmia bright red.

Nestled in the Iranian territory between East and West Azerbaijan , Lake Urmia was once the largest saltwater lake in the Middle East. Over the past 45 years the lake has shrunk at an alarming speed due to decreased rainfall, agriculture, and irresponsible environmental practices—it now holds less than 10 percent of its original volume, an issue that has prompted thousands of Iranian protestors to take to the streets in recent years. What remains of Urmia’s salt-caked shores continues to increase in salinity as more water evaporates, promoting a breeding ground for a specific type of algae that periodically turns the emerald lake bright red .

Turkmen Sahra

the hills in Turkmen Sahra, Iran

The verdant hills of Turkmen Sahra in Golestan Province, Iran

Bordering Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea, an endless tableau of rolling green hills announces Turkmen Sahra, a region of Golestan Province inhabited by seminomadic Iranian Turkmen. Notable landmarks are the Khalid Nabi cemetery, known for hundreds of mysterious genitalia-shaped tombstones, and Gonbad-e Qābus , an 11th-century Ziyriad tower and UNESCO World Heritage site. The structure is considered a testament of cross-cultural exchange, and “an outstanding example of early Islamic innovative structural design based on geometric formulae” that became a prototype for tomb towers across Iran, Anatolia, and Central Asia.

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a salt cave on the island of Qeshm, Iran

Qeshm's salt caves are among the world's longest.

Off the southern coast of Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, Bandari villages, monumental forts, and ancient shrines dot the rocky coastline of Qeshm , whispering of a long, storied past. The significance of the island—the largest in the Persian Gulf—dates back to the pre-Islamic era, when it was a strategic trade and navigation center, and consequently a frequent target for invaders. Today the islanders are primarily fisherman, salt miners, and date and melon farmers. The biodiverse isle is also home to salt caves, mangroves , coral reefs, turtle hatching sites, and the Hara forests—features that earned its place as Iran’s first UNESCO Geopark .

Margoon Waterfall

the Margoon Waterfall in Iran

Margoon Waterfall—meaning “snake like”—surges through Iran's Fars province.

Shiraz will forever be the birth and resting place of Iran’s most beloved poet, Hafez, but just an hour west, the 197-foot (60-meter) Margoon Waterfall surges through the northwest Fars province. True to its name—which translates to “snake like” in Persian—water streams down its slopes in a serpentine fashion. The region is also home to several plant communities and wildlife, including eagles, bears, hyenas, and boars. Scientists have warned that unregulated tourism has led to the erosion of these ecosystems, and called for increased protections.


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Iran Travel Stories

iran country tourism

Aug 6, 2014 • 5 min read

Tehran is the city travellers love to hate, with many avoiding a stay here altogether en route to Iran's more popular tourist destinations. But as Mike…

iran country tourism


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Visit Iran: Travel to Iran, Discover Five thousand years of culture

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General information

Iran (officially the Islamic Republic of Iran) is a large country located in the Middle East. It is bordered to the north by the Caspian Sea and the south by the Persian Gulf. With an area of 1,648,195 square kilometers, Iran is the 17th largest country in the world. It is a proof you have to spend more than a couple of days in Iran!

Tehran, the capital city of Iran, is the country's largest and most populated city. Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad are other major cities of the country.

Persian (Farsi) is the official language of the country and is widely spoken. A large number of people also speak other languages/dialects namely Azeri, Kurdish, Luri, Arabic, Baluchi, Gilaki, Mazandarani/Tabari, and Turkmen.

boardering countries & coastlines2

Bordering Countries & Coastlines

Located in southwestern Asia, Iran shares its entire northern border with the Republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan (all parts of the former Soviet Union). Of all the 2,670 kilometer northern borders, 650 kilometers is coastline border with the Caspian Sea. Iran's western borders are shared with Turkey in the north and Iraq in the south. Afghanistan and Pakistan are Iran’s neighbors from the East. To the south, Iran’s border is the long coastline of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.

Persian Gulf is the shallow marginal part of the Indian Ocean. The sea area of 240,000 square kilometers start from the Arvand Rud delta to the Strait of Hormoz, which links it with the Sea of Oman. It is bordered on the north, northeast and east by Iran, on the northwest by Iraq and Kuwait, on the west and southwest by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and on the south and the southeast by the UAE and partly by Oman.


Iran has the largest number of islands in the Persian Gulf, the most important of which are as follows: Minoo, Kharg (Iranian oil terminal, site of one of the world's largest deep-water oil ports), Sheikh Sa'ad, Sheikh Sho'ayb, Hendurabi, Kish (a free zone and the largest island of Iran in the Strait of Hormoz), Farur, Siri, Abu Mussa, the Greater and Lesser Tumbs, Qeshm, Hengam, Larak, Farsi, Hormoz, and Lavan.

The southern part has many ports too. The most significant Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf are Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar-e Imam Khomeini (former Shahpur), Mahshahr, Deilam, Genaveh, Rig, Bushehr, Bandar-e Lengeh, and Bandar-e Abbas.

Several rivers are flowing inside Iran mainland, the only navigable of which is the Karun (920-km). Other large rivers are: The Atrak (535 km), Dez (515 km), Hendijan (488 km), Jovein (440 km) Jarahi (438 km), Karkheh (755 km), Mand (685 km), Qara Chai (540 km), Sefid Rud (795 km), and the Zayandeh Rud (405 km). During the summertime, there is little water flowing in the mainland rivers.

Mountainous Areas & Deserts


Iran has two mountain ranges. The high Alborz range in the north rises 5,670 meter at Mount  Damavend  (the tallest peak in the country) and spreads from the southern part of the Caspian Sea all the way to the east close to the border lines of Khorasan. Zagros Mountain Range is another mountain range exceeding from northwest to southeast.

The eastern part of Iran country is the location of two salt deserts:  Dasht-e Kavir  and  Dasht-e Lut  with 1,287 km total long.

Car Factory

The economy of Iran is run by different forces; central planning, state ownership of oil production, agriculture, and private trading and service ventures joined together to move the economy.

Iran's Official unit of currency is the Iranian Rial but Iranian people always use a more colloquially and historically known denomination of Tomans.  

10 IR = 1 Toman. Everyone uses this word instead of Rial except for some special cases. It is common in Iran for a shop keeper to ask for 100 Tomans for an item that costs 1000 Rials.

If you follow the Iran news, you may be aware that the government cabinet has approved a call from the country’s central bank to change the currency from Rial to Toman. It is unclear when new Toman coins and notes will be minted and printed. If you are planning to exchange your money before arriving in Iran, it wouldn’t hurt to check the news beforehand.

Iran expects to attract billions of dollars of foreign investment by providing more favorable investment ground, such as reduced restrictions on tourism bureaucratic process and free-trade zones like in Kish Island.

Iran is one of the largest oil producer in the world and enjoys the world's second largest natural gas reserves. However, the government is putting an extra focus on non-oil revenue by increasing state investments in tourism, agriculture, and marketing.

The export-based agricultural products include dates, flowers, and pistachios. Iran has also developed a successful biotechnology, nanotechnology, and pharmaceuticals industry. Iran's trading partners are Germany, France, Italy, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.



Agriculture is one of the historical industries in Iran. Domestication of goats dates back to 10,000 BC. Fruits like peaches were first imported to Europe from Persia. Natural archeological studies proved tulips were first cultivated in ancient Persia. It is interesting to know the terminology of the herb “spinach”; the word spinach is derived from the Persian word Esfenaj. The Chinese referred to it in 647CE as 'the herb of Persia'.

History can be very delicious knowing ice cream was made in Persia since 400 BC, and cookies family tree lead them to Persian kulucheh in the 7th century.

The domestication of chickens dates back to 5,000 BC. It is funny to know that mid fifth century BC poet Cratinus (Athenaeus) calls the chicken "the Persian alarm". In Aristophanes’ comedy The Birds (414 BC) a chicken is called "the Median bird", which points to its introduction from Persia.

Roughly one-third of Iran's total surface area is arable farmland and less than one-third of it is irrigated. The western and northwestern parts of Iran have the most fertile soil.

It was in late 1990s that agriculture covered about one-fifth of the country’s GDP which led to employment of  significant population of the workforce. It was at the same time that Iran became self-sufficient in food production.

Temperature fluctuates widely in different parts of the country which make cultivation of various crops including cereals (wheat, barley, rice, and corn), fruits (dates, figs, pomegranates, melons, and grapes), vegetables, cotton, sugar beets and sugarcane, pistachios, nuts, olives, spices e.g. saffron, tea, tobacco, and medicinal herbs possible.

Iran was the world's largest pistachio producer with 40% of the world's output in 2005 and the world's largest producer with 81% of the world's total output.

When you are leaving Iran (to prepare to come back again very soon!) make sure to buy some pistachio and saffron as a souvenir for your family and friends. We guarantee that they will appreciate it a lot!

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Iran Travel: The Complete Guide You’ve Been Waiting For!

ToIranTour - desert in Qom province - Iran Travel

Table of Contents

Welcome, fellow explorers and adventure seekers! If you’ve ever dreamt of embarking on a journey to a land where ancient history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality converge, you’re in for a treat. In this Iran Travel Guide, we’re about to unravel the secrets of Iran, a country that has captivated the hearts of travelers for centuries.

Whether you’re considering Iran Travel as your next trip or you’ve already booked your ticket, our aim is to equip you with the knowledge you need to make your trip an unforgettable experience, from understanding the intricacies of obtaining an Iran visa to managing your finances while in the country, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also delve into the nuances of Iranian etiquette and dressing codes, ensuring that you navigate this beautiful nation with grace and respect.

So, get ready to embark on an enriching journey through the enchanting realms of Iran. Pack your curiosity, an open heart, and a sense of adventure because Iran is waiting to reveal its treasures to you. Let’s begin this odyssey together!

Iran Travel Guide: Why Visiting Iran?

ToIranTour - Vakil Mosque - Shiraz - Iran Travel

Visiting Iran is an absolute must for any adventurous traveler! With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm-hearted locals, Iran offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Imagine wandering through ancient cities like Isfahan, where stunning mosques and palaces adorned with intricate tile work transport you to a bygone era.

Don’t miss the mesmerizing beauty of the deserts, where the sand dunes seem to stretch on forever under a sky painted with stars. And, of course, the delicious cuisine will tantalize your taste buds with aromatic kebabs, fragrant saffron rice, and sweet baklava. But what truly makes Iran special is the warmth and hospitality of its people, who are eager to share their culture and stories with visitors. Here we listed a few reasons why to visit Iran:

1. Embrace the Timeless History

Iran boasts an ancient civilization that dates back thousands of years, and its historical significance is awe-inspiring. From the magnificent ruins of Persepolis , a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the grand Golestan Palace in Tehran , each structure is a testament to the country’s glorious past. Wander through winding alleys of historic cities like Isfahan and Yazd, where intricate architecture and the echoes of the past transport you to a bygone era.

2. Immerse in Vibrant Culture

Iran’s culture is a tapestry of diverse influences, from Persian, Arab, and Turkish to Central Asian and European. Experience the warmth of its people as they welcome you with open arms and indulge you with their hospitality. Marvel at the vivid colors of traditional clothing and savor the flavors of Iranian cuisine , renowned for its aromatic spices and delicately prepared dishes.

3. Mesmerizing Landscapes

ToIranTour - North Khorasan Province - Iran Travel

Venture beyond the cities, and Iran unfolds its breathtaking natural beauty. From the lush greenery of the northern forests  (Hyrcanian Forests) to the stunning deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut , each landscape is a masterpiece of nature’s artistry. Don’t miss the serene beauty of Mount Damavand or the otherworldly Kaluts, where wind-sculpted sand dunes create a surreal landscape.

4. UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Iran is home to an impressive array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites , and exploring them is like traveling back in time. Discover the ancient city of Bam and its adobe citadel, the awe-inspiring ancient aqueducts of Shushtar , and the magnificent Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran. Each site offers a unique glimpse into the country’s diverse heritage and architectural brilliance.

5. Dazzling Art and Architecture

Iran is an art lover’s paradise. Delve into the mesmerizing world of Persian carpets , renowned for their intricate designs and craftsmanship. Admire the mesmerizing beauty of Islamic architecture in mosques like Nasir al-Mulk in Shiraz , where colorful stained glass windows cast a rainbow of hues on the floors.

6. Experience Festivals and Traditions

Plan your visit to coincide with one of Iran’s vibrant festivals, and you’ll be treated to an immersive cultural experience. Witness the exuberant celebrations of Nowruz , the Persian New Year, or be part of the spiritual fervor during Ashura . These festivals offer a window into the soul of Iran’s traditions and values.

7. Warmth and Hospitality of Locals

Iranians are known for their exceptional warmth and hospitality towards visitors. Prepare to be embraced with open hearts and enjoy a genuine connection with the locals. The enriching interactions you’ll have will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your travel memories.

8. Safe and Welcoming Environment

Contrary to misconceptions, Iran is a safe country to visit. The people are warm and friendly, always ready to assist travelers. While you should exercise usual caution as with any foreign destination, Iran’s reputation for safety is well-deserved.

9. Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

If you yearn for unique experiences, Iran has plenty to offer. Explore the enigmatic village of Masuleh, nestled in the Alborz Mountains, where houses are built into the mountainside. Trek through the lush valleys of Golestan National Park, spotting rare wildlife along the way. These off-the-beaten-path adventures will leave you with unforgettable memories.

10. Photography Paradise

ToIranTour - Isfahan Architecture - Iran Travel Photography

Photographers will find Iran to be a haven of visually stunning landscapes and architectural marvels. From the colorful bazaars to the ancient ruins, every corner of Iran is a potential masterpiece waiting to be captured through your lens.

Persia or Iran: Are They the Same?

Have you ever wondered if Persia and Iran are the same thing? They’re often used interchangeably, but there’s an incredible history to each.

Persia refers to the ancient Persian Empire , which existed around 550 BC to 330 BC. Persia was famous for its amazing art, culture, and architecture back then. It left a big mark on the Middle East and beyond. Today, we use “Persia” to talk about this old kingdom and its impact.

In 1935, the country officially switched its name from Persia to Iran , which means “land of the Aryans.” This change was meant to highlight Iran’s deep ties to the Aryan people who came to the region thousands of years ago. Nowadays, we use “Iran” to talk about the modern-day Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East.

Even though people often use Persia and Iran interchangeably, it’s cool to know the history behind each name. By learning about the fascinating history of Persia, you can better appreciate the rich culture and heritage of this beautiful country.

When we dive into Persia’s awesome history and how it influenced the world, we can start to really admire Iran’s amazing culture and heritage. So, let’s explore and learn!

Can Everyone Travel to Iran?

Iran has become a popular travel destination that attracts wanderers from all over the world thanks to its rich history, captivating culture, and breathtaking landscapes. However, some prospective travelers may have lingering questions about whether everyone can travel to Iran. Let’s answer that question!

The answer to whether everyone can travel to Iran is a resounding yes ! Iran, in recent years, has taken significant steps to facilitate travel for visitors from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. The Iranian government, recognizing the potential of tourism and the desire of travelers to explore its wonders, has streamlined visa procedures, making it easier for tourists to obtain necessary travel permits.

While some nationalities can enjoy visa-free entry for short stays, most visitors can apply for a visa through a simple process. The option of a visa on arrival at major airports has also been extended to many nationalities, further enhancing accessibility. These measures reflect Iran’s commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive travel destination. We will talk about getting Iran visa in detail later in this article.

Safety and security are crucial considerations for travelers, and Iran stands as a country with a relatively low crime rate. Misconceptions surrounding its geopolitical situation often overshadow the reality on the ground. The Iranian people are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness towards visitors, making travelers feel welcomed and safe throughout their journey.

Cultural sensitivity plays a significant role in ensuring a smooth travel experience in Iran. The country has a rich cultural heritage, and respecting local customs is essential. While the dress code is more conservative compared to Western norms, adhering to it when visiting public places and religious sites is not only a sign of respect but also fosters positive interactions with the locals. If you’re interested in reading about someone’s experience traveling to Iran with To Iran Tour, we have a fantastic travelogue from one of our guests below. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Iran Travel Story: A Memorable 15-year-old’s Wanderlust Through Iran

Iran is making strides in improving accessibility for people with disabilities. Although there may still be challenges to overcome, many public places, hotels, and tourist attractions have taken steps to accommodate travelers with mobility challenges. Efforts are continuously being made to make Iran a more inclusive destination for travelers of all abilities.

When traveling to Iran, some people may worry about language barriers since English may not be commonly spoken. However, this should not discourage anyone from discovering this fascinating country. The Iranian locals are renowned for their kind-heartedness and eagerness to help tourists communicate, often using hand gestures and basic English phrases. Additionally, many young Iranians speak English as a second language, and it is taught in high schools.

Financial transactions and currency exchange are essential aspects of travel planning. Iran’s official currency is the Iranian Rial (IRR) . While international credit cards may not be widely accepted, travelers can use US dollars or euros and exchange them at official exchange offices or banks. Carrying sufficient cash is advisable, especially when visiting more remote areas where ATMs may not be readily available.

Iran has its unique cultural norms, particularly regarding gender segregation and LGBTQ+ rights. Travelers need to approach these considerations with cultural sensitivity and respect. Understanding and adhering to local customs can create a harmonious travel experience and foster positive interactions with the local community.

Healthcare is a crucial aspect of any travel experience. Iran boasts a well-developed healthcare system with competent medical professionals. While the likelihood of medical emergencies is low, having comprehensive travel insurance is recommended to ensure peace of mind throughout the journey.

To sum up, Iran has made significant strides in improving its travel accessibility in recent years, making it a warm and inclusive destination for visitors from all over the globe. With simplified visa processes, increased safety measures, and a commitment to meeting diverse needs, Iran warmly welcomes travelers. Adapting to local customs, respecting cultural sensitivities, and being open to new experiences will undoubtedly enhance the travel experience in this captivating country where history, culture, and natural beauty unite seamlessly.

ToIranTour - Anzali Lagoon

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the historical tapestry of Persia and Iran. Now, we want to extend a personal invitation to each one of you. If you’ve been captivated by the allure of Iran and are considering a visit, or even if you’re just curious to learn more, I invite you to explore our Iran travel guide. It’s a labor of love, crafted to share the magic of Iran with fellow travelers. From general steps to plan your travel to Iran to everything you need to know about Iran visa that might confuse you, our guide promises to be your trusted companion on your Iranian adventure.

How to Plan Visting Iran? (12 Steps)

ToIranTour - How to plan travel to Iran

Traveling to Iran, with its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, requires meticulous planning to ensure a smooth and fulfilling journey. Follow this step-by-step guide to efficiently plan your trip to this captivating destination.

Step 1: Research and Itinerary

Start by researching Iran’s diverse attractions and destinations . Identify the places you wish to visit and create a detailed itinerary. Consider the duration of your trip, the activities you want to engage in, and the must-see landmarks you don’t want to miss. You can check ToIranTour packages and customize your desired tour itinerary.

Step 2: Visa and Travel Documentation

Check the visa requirements for your nationality. Most visitors can obtain a tourist visa for Iran through the Iranian embassy or consulate in their home country. Alternatively, you can opt for a visa on arrival at major airports or use of visa services of an authorized tour operator/travel agency. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. There is more information about getting Iran visa in the rest of the article and also on our blog .

Step 3: Best Time to Visit

Consider the best time to visit Iran based on your preferences. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer mild temperatures and pleasant weather, ideal for exploring the country. Also, the best time to visit depends on the tour and activities. However, each season has its unique charm, so choose according to your interests.

Step 4: Cultural Awareness

Familiarize yourself with Iranian customs and etiquette to show respect for local traditions. Note that women should wear modest clothing that covers the arms, legs, and hair when in public places. Understanding and embracing the culture will enhance your travel experience.

Step 5: Language and Communication

While English is not widely spoken, the Iranian people are known for their warm hospitality. Learn a few basic Persian phrases to facilitate communication and connect with the locals. This will enrich your interactions during your journey.

Step 6: Accommodation and Transportation

Book your accommodation in advance to secure the best options that suit your budget and preferences. Iran offers a range of accommodations, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Plan your transportation within the country, whether by domestic flights, trains, or buses, to efficiently navigate between destinations. You can check the accommodation and transportation with a local tour operator. 

Step 7: Health and Travel Insurance

Prioritize your health and well-being by consulting a healthcare professional for any required vaccinations or health precautions before traveling to Iran. Additionally, consider purchasing comprehensive travel insurance to provide coverage in case of unexpected medical emergencies or trip disruptions.

Step 8: Currency and Money Matters

Familiarize yourself with Iran’s currency, the Iranian Rial (IRR), and its exchange rates. While credit cards are not widely accepted, carrying sufficient cash is advisable, especially when traveling to remote areas where ATMs may not be readily available. Also, read about travel costs in Iran to plan accordingly.

Step 9: Safety and Security

Iran is considered a safe destination for travelers, with a low crime rate and a welcoming local population. However, exercise standard safety precautions and stay informed about local conditions to ensure a worry-free journey.

Step 10: Respect for Religious Sites in Iran

Iran is home to numerous significant religious sites. Show respect when visiting mosques, shrines, and other places of worship by adhering to dress codes and rules for visitors.

Step 11: Iran Local Customs and Traditions

Respect local customs and traditions to foster positive interactions with the Iranian people. Greetings, gestures, and dining etiquette -which we are going to talk about later in this article – may differ from your home country, so be open-minded and willing to embrace cultural differences.

Step 12: Packing Essentials

Pack appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions and cultural considerations. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle for staying hydrated.

DIY or Tour for Traveling to Iran? Our Iran Travel Guide Perspective

ToIranTour - DIY Trip to Iran

When you’re thinking about having an awesome trip to Iran, you’ve got to decide if you want to plan everything yourself or join a guided tour . Each option has its own good and not-so-good points, so it’s important to pick what suits you and your travel goals best. In this comparison, we’ll look at the perks of DIY travel to Iran or going on a tour for visiting Iran. We’ll highlight why it’s a great idea and show you why tour services are valuable.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Travel to Iran

  • Freedom and Flexibility: DIY travel offers the freedom to create a personalized itinerary, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations at your own pace. It caters to adventurous spirits who relish the thrill of independent exploration.
  • Cost Control: Traveling independently allows budget-conscious travelers to choose accommodations, transportation, and dining options that align with their financial preferences.
  • Authenticity in Interactions: With DIY travel, you have the opportunity to interact with locals on a more personal level, leading to genuine cultural experiences and connections.


  • Logistical Challenges: Planning transportation, accommodations, and activities can be time-consuming and potentially overwhelming, especially in Iran with language barriers and unfamiliar customs.
  • Navigating Language Barriers: English is not widely spoken in Iran and this will lead to communication challenges in certain situations.
  • Cultural Awareness: Researching and adhering to local customs and etiquette may require extra effort to ensure respectful interactions.

Travel to Iran by Tour

ToIranTour - Travel to Iran with Tour

  • Reasonable Pricing: Contrary to common misconceptions, tours to Iran often offer excellent value for money, including a comprehensive package of services and experiences at a reasonable cost.
  • Local Knowledge: Tour guides possess extensive knowledge of Iran’s history, culture, and landmarks, providing enriching insights and context to enhance your understanding of the destination.
  • Close Connections with Locals: Tour operators often have well-established relationships with local communities, facilitating authentic encounters with Iranians and unlocking hidden gems inaccessible to DIY travelers.
  • Awareness of Subtleties: Experienced tour guides are attuned to cultural nuances, ensuring that travelers navigate social interactions with grace and sensitivity.
  • Authentic Experiences: Tours curate experiences that offer a balance between must-see landmarks and off-the-beaten-path wonders, providing a more authentic and immersive travel experience. Since Iran is a less-known destination, this issue becomes more important.
  • Fixed Itineraries: Tours operate on pre-planned itineraries, which may not cater to individual preferences for spontaneity and exploration. To solve this problem, you can use individual and customized tours. ToIranTour can help you in this matter.
  • Group Dynamic: Traveling with a group may limit personal freedom and require compromise on specific preferences. However, using the services of tour operators who are committed to organizing tours with small groups can solve this problem to a large extent.

While both DIY travel and guided tours have their perks, let’s talk about why you might want to consider taking an Iran tour. Tours in Iran are like having a friendly local show you all the best stuff. They know the coolest places, the tastiest food, and the most interesting stories.

When you join a tour, you don’t need to worry about all the nitty-gritty details of planning. The tour guides take care of everything, so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Plus, they know all the ins and outs of Iran’s beautiful landscapes, so you won’t miss a thing.

But the best part? You get to connect with the local folks, discover hidden gems, and dive deep into Iran’s rich history and culture. It’s an adventure you won’t forget! So, if you’re looking for a stress-free and amazing way to explore Iran, consider joining a tour .

How Can I Buy Iran Tours?

To make sure your trip is fantastic and easy, you need to think about a few important things when choosing your tour. We’re here to help you with that. Check out these key factors to find the perfect tour for your travel to Iran:

1. Attractiveness of the Itinerary

Examine the tour itinerary closely to determine its appeal and alignment with your interests. A well-crafted itinerary should encompass a balance of must-see attractions and off-the-beaten-path gems, offering a comprehensive exploration of Iran’s diverse landscape. Look for unique experiences, cultural encounters, and opportunities for authentic interactions with local communities.

2. Licensed Tour Operator

Verify whether the tour operator is licensed and accredited by relevant authorities. A licensed operator adheres to specific standards, ensuring compliance with safety regulations, customer protection, and quality of services. This validation offers peace of mind and enhances the reliability of the tour.

3. Right Price vs. Misleading Pricing

Price is a crucial consideration, but it should not be the sole determining factor. Be cautious of tours that offer significantly lower prices than competitors, as they may compromise on the quality of services and experiences. Compare the inclusions of each tour to assess its true value and avoid being misled by seemingly inexpensive options.

4. Customer Support

Good customer support is integral to a satisfying travel experience. Look for a tour operator who is responsive to inquiries, provides detailed information, and is attentive to your needs and preferences. A reliable tour operator should be readily available to address any concerns before, during, and after your journey.

5. Communication with the Tour Operator

Efficient and clear communication with the tour operator is vital for a seamless travel experience. Ensure your Iranian tour operator is accessible through various communication channels, such as email, phone, or chat. Prompt responses and transparent communication demonstrate the operator’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

6. Group Size and Dynamics

Consider the group size of the tour and how it aligns with your preferences. Smaller groups offer a more intimate experience, while larger groups may foster camaraderie with fellow travelers. Choose a group size that complements your travel style.

By picking a tour that matches your interests , you can have an incredible adventure exploring Iran’s history, culture, and beautiful natural sights. So, get ready to discover the magic of Iran and enjoy every moment of your unforgettable journey!

Local Tour Operator or International Tour Operator?

ToIranTour - Beach - Iran Travel

When you’re planning your trip to discover the amazing attractions of Iran, you have two choices: you can either go with a local tour company or an international one. Each of these options has its own good sides and not-so-good sides, and they’re better suited for different kinds of travelers. In this comparison, we’ll focus on why using a local tour company can be a great idea. We’ll talk about what they’re really good at and how they can make your travel experience even more special.

Local Tour Operator

  • Reasonable Pricing: Local tour operators usually have great prices because they really know the local scene. They can talk with suppliers and get good deals, often saving you a lot of money – up to 80-100% less than international tour operators. One reason is that local operators have lower taxes. On the flip side, many international tour companies team up with locals to run their tours. When they add an extra layer like an intermediary, costs go up, and so does the price for you.
  • Local Knowledge: Utilizing the expertise of a local tour operator grants travelers access to a wealth of insider knowledge. Local operators possess an in-depth understanding of Iran’s history, culture, and attractions, allowing for enriching insights and personalized recommendations.
  • Close Connections with Locals: Local tour operators have well-established relationships with local communities, leading to meaningful cultural interactions and authentic experiences that might not be possible with international operators. Local tour operators are attuned to cultural nuances and customs, ensuring that travelers navigate social interactions with respect and grace, leading to more immersive and respectful experiences.
  • Flexible Itineraries: Local operators can offer more flexibility in tailoring itineraries to individual preferences, allowing travelers to focus on specific interests and personalize their journey.
  • Unknown brand and trust: Naturally, international tour operators have a more well-known brand, and it is easier to trust them. Of course, you can trust local tour operators who have an official license and also have good performance in their previous services. On the other hand, you can book your tour with just a small deposit.

International Tour Operator

  • Global Expertise: International tour operators often have a wider network of destinations and resources, offering comprehensive tour packages that cover multiple countries or regions.
  • Ease of Booking: International operators usually have user-friendly websites and customer service in various languages, making booking and communication more accessible for a diverse clientele. 
  • Higher Costs: International tour operators may have higher overheads and administrative expenses, which can be reflected in the pricing of their tours, making them comparatively more expensive.
  • Limited Local Insights: While international operators offer broad coverage, their understanding of the local culture and customs in specific destinations may not be as deep as that of local operators.

ToIranTour - Business Visa in Iran

Are you having trouble with the Iran visa application process? You’re not alone. Getting a visa for Iran can be tricky for many travelers. It’s important to determine if you’re eligible and what rules you need to follow.

Generally, visiting Iran needs a visa, except for a few countries that can travel to Iran visa-free. There are some countries that can get their visa on arrival, but some countries are not eligible for Iran visa on arrival, and they must get their visa before their trip (which normally takes about 3 to 7 days to get your visa). There are some countries that don’t need any visa for visiting Iran. Keep reading to find out which group you belong to.

To get your visa, you can go to Iran’s embassy in your country, or apply for your Iran visa online , or even easier, use an authorized tour operator to do the process for you.

For some countries like the US, the UK, and Canada , things might be more complicated. Their governments don’t have good relationships with Iran’s government, which can make getting a visa even harder. Right now, there’s no Iranian embassy in the US.

Don’t let this process stop you from exploring the great things Iran has to offer. With some planning and looking into things, you can make the visa application go smoothly. Make sure you know what your nationality needs and give yourself enough time.

Even though getting a visa can be tough, Iran is an amazing place to visit. There are ancient cities with beautiful buildings, delicious food, and friendly people who will make you feel welcome. So, don’t let the visa process hold you back. Start planning your trip to Iran today, and To Iran Tour can help you make getting your visa easier .

How to Get an Iran Visa on Arrival?

Feeling a bit stressed about getting your visa to Iran? Well, here’s some good news! If you’re from one of 180 countries, you might not need to stress too much.

Starting from February 14, 2016, Iran’s Ministry announced something cool. They said that at their airports, they can give 30-day visas to people from those 180 countries. This makes things super simple if you want to visit Iran and see all its amazing stuff.

But hold on a second! Not everyone from those 180 countries can just show up and get a visa. It might depend on where you’re from, and there could be some rules you need to follow. Before you pack your bags for Iran, make sure to check what you need to do based on where you’re from.

If you’re allowed to get an Iran visa on arrival, you can do it at different airports, like Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA), Mashad Airport, Shiraz Airport, and more. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Answer some questions about your Iran trip,
  • Show them where you’re staying (like a hotel reservation),
  • Share a copy of your travel insurance,
  • Prove you have a return flight ticket

By keeping yourself informed and being careful, you can have a great and safe trip to Iran!

Iran Visa Requirements: Best Guide 2023

Travel to Iran Without a Visa

There are 14 countries in 2023 that can visit Iran without any visa at all. These countries include Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Malaysia, Oman, Venezuela, China (for 21 days), Hong Kong, Macau, Egypt, Armenia, Lebanon, Bolivia, and Syria. To read more about Iran travel without a visa, read the article below:

Travel to Iran Without a Visa in 2024: Your Ultimate Guide

Non-eligible Nationalities for Iran Visa on Arrival

It’s important to know who can get a visa when they arrive in Iran. If you’re from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Somalia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, you can’t get a visa on arrival.

If that’s the case for you, don’t worry! You can still get a visa in a few different ways. You can go to the Iranian embassy in your home country, apply online, or ask an authorized tour operator to help you out , which is the easiest option.

How to Get an Iran Visa; A Complete Guide

What is the Iran Visa Authorization Code

This code is necessary for everyone who wants to apply for an Iran visa and serves as a determining factor for your visa application’s approval.

For those who plan to travel in a group, the tour operator will generally process the visa process and get the authorization code.

For solo travelers or those who don’t have a tour agent, ToIranTour can be a reliable option that offers essential travel services for visiting Iran. Alternatively, you can source an Iranian travel agency or seek direction from the embassy where you plan to obtain your visa.

When applying for the Authorisation Code, you’ll need to specify the embassy or airport where you’ll be processing your visa (unless you’re American, Canadian, or British because Iran doesn’t have embassies there). This can be a bit challenging for those traveling without solid plans or those who plan to visit multiple cities in Iran. It’s wise to choose an embassy in a city you’re likely to fly into Iran from, taking into account the processing time required for your visa application.

Remember, the Authorization Code isn’t your visa . It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get one. Once you have the code, you have to collect your visa label at the embassy/Iranian airport within three months . It’s a good idea to apply well ahead of your trip to handle any delays or issues. So, by getting the Authorization Code and applying for your visa early, you can have a smooth and fun trip to Iran.

Iran Tourist Visa Cost

ToIranTour - Iran visa application costs

When planning to obtain an Iran tourist visa, it’s important to budget for the costs of the visa. The cost of the visa service varies depending on the agency, usually with an administration fee of 30 to 50 euros, unless booked along with a tour package.

To Iran Tour offers the most affordable service for this situation, and they even have promotions where it can be free. Plus, if you book a tour with To Iran Tour , you won’t have to pay for the visa service.

However, the price of an Iran tourist visa depends on your nationality and the embassy where you apply for it. There isn’t a fixed fee for the visa, so it’s essential to inquire about the current fees at the embassy where you intend to obtain it. Consequently, the visa cost can vary depending on the location where you submit your application. For instance, one traveler paid €180 for their visa in Tbilisi, Georgia, while another paid a slightly higher amount to process their visa in Paris.

An IMPORTANT note is that to pay the cost of a visa at the airport, have enough cash in your pocket as in Iran, international payment cards are not valid. We have travelers who put their cash money in bags and do not have access to their money when check-in and have administrative problems, So keep enough cash in EUR/USD by yourself while getting your stomp visa at the airport.

It’s recommended to budget for the highest possible cost when planning your trip, as visa fees can change without notice. By budgeting accordingly and planning in advance, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free visa application process and enjoy your trip to Iran with ease.

Iran Visa Timings

Obtaining an Iranian tourist visa is not a time-consuming process, but travelers should plan accordingly to avoid any last-minute stress. It’s important to be aware that the Authorisation Code, necessary for obtaining a visa label, could take 3 – 7 working days to process except for US, Canada, and Britain passport holders, which take more time (around 30-45 working days). Even if you fast-track the process, it’s likely that the code will arrive with only a few days to spare before your planned arrival in Iran or tour start date.

This means that before any trip to Iran, especially when traveling on a tour, you’ll need to plan in advance and be prepared to rush to the embassy to process your authorization code. You may have to pay extra for fast-tracking and organizing your flight ticket to Iran at the last minute, which doesn’t always guarantee the best price. So, it’s a good idea not to book your flights to Iran or any travel arrangements until you know your Iran visa will be processed.

By planning ahead and being aware of the potential delays and challenges in obtaining an Iran tourist visa, travelers can have a stress-free and enjoyable trip to this beautiful country. 

How Can US citizens Travel to Iran?

ToIranTour - Iran visa for US citizens

For American citizens, exploring the wonders of Iran can be an enticing prospect, but it comes with a unique set of considerations due to the complex relationship between Iran and the United States of America.

When it comes to visas, Iran has stricter conditions for American citizens, and the United States has similar policies for Iranian nationals. While the process of obtaining a visa for American citizens traveling to Iran may require more time and effort, it is entirely possible with the right approach . Here’s a brief explanation of the process.

1. Visa Application Process:

If you plan to travel to Iran, it’s best to start the visa application process well before your intended departure date. It’s recommended to begin the process at least two months in advance to ensure there is enough time for processing.

2. Contacting the Iranian Interests Section or Embassy

American citizens seeking to obtain an Iran visa must contact the Iranian Interests Section located at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C. This is due to the absence of any direct embassy or consulate representation of Iran in the United States. Alternatively, they may choose to contact an Iranian consulate in a third country.

3. Application Documentation

Applicants will need to submit specific documentation to support their visa application, including a completed visa application form, a valid passport with at least six months’ validity beyond the planned departure date, passport-sized photographs, a detailed travel itinerary, and their resume which you can download its sample resume here .

4. Letter of Introduction

If you’re an American citizen planning to visit Iran, you’ll need something important: a special letter. This letter can be easily obtained through a trusted travel agency in Iran. They’ll help you get this letter from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This letter is like your travel pass. It should explain why you want to visit Iran, your travel plans, and if someone in Iran is helping you, they should be mentioned too.

5. Group Tour vs. Independent Travel

American citizens can choose between traveling as part of an organized group tour or in a private tour.

IMPORTANT note: Both should be escorted by an authorized tour guide. Joining an organized group tour can simplify the visa process, as the tour operator may assist with obtaining the letter of introduction and navigating the application procedure.

6. Additional Screening and Processing Time

Due to the sensitive nature of the bilateral relationship, visa applications from American citizens undergo additional screening, which may contribute to longer processing times compared to citizens of other countries. However, it is crucial to remain patient and diligent throughout the process.

7. Visa Validity and Duration

After approval, the visa will specify its validity period and the permitted duration of stay in Iran. It is crucial to strictly adhere to these limitations to prevent any complications while traveling.

Therefore traveling to Iran as a US citizen may require navigating a more intricate visa application process due to the existing differences between Iran and the United States. However, with careful preparation, proper documentation, and patience, obtaining an Iranian visa is entirely possible. By adhering to the specified requirements and following the recommended steps, American travelers can embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the rich history, culture, and beauty of Iran, making memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Iran Visa for US UK and Canada Citizens: A Comprehensive Guide

How Can British and Canadian Citizens Travel to Iran?

ToIranTour - Iran visa application for UK and Canadian citizens

British and Canadian citizens can travel to Iran following a similar process as American citizens . They must apply at the Iranian embassy in England or Canada, considering the required documentation and a letter of introduction from an authorized travel agency in Iran. Notably, these nationalities cannot obtain airport visas and must only use escorted tour services through a tour operator.

If the office of the custodian of Iran’s interests in Washington or other embassies located in Canada and England is far from your place of residence, or if you cannot visit them for any reason, you can receive your visa through the postal service. You should send the necessary documents, including your passport and your photo, along with a special form filled out by mail to the office of Iran’s Interests Protector or the embassy of your choice. After completing the administrative formalities, they will send the passport along with the visa to you.

Visa Refusal Possibilities

Travelers need to be aware that there is a risk of visa refusal for Iran if there is proof that they have traveled to Israel. This is due to the political tensions between the two countries and the Iranian government’s strict stance on the matter.

Additionally, visitors who work in certain industries, such as journalism or media, may also face scrutiny from Iranian authorities. This is because the Iranian government is sensitive to the portrayal of the country in the media and may view journalists and media workers as a potential threat to their national security.

If you have traveled to Israel in the past, it’s important to be transparent about this when applying for an Iran tourist visa. While this may increase the likelihood of visa refusal, it’s important to be honest to avoid any potential legal issues or complications during your visit.

It’s also recommended to avoid discussing any sensitive topics related to politics or religion during your stay in Iran, as these may be viewed as provocative and lead to unwanted attention from authorities.

Nationality Restrictions- Israelis Travel to Iran

It’s really important to know that if you’re from Israel, you can’t go to Iran. The two countries don’t get along right now, so this rule probably won’t change for a while.

We understand that it might be disappointing if you’re from Israel and you want to visit Iran to learn about its amazing culture and history. But it’s super important to follow the rules and not try to sneak into Iran. If you do, you could get into big trouble with the law, and your safety could be in danger.

Even if you have another passport from a different country, don’t try to go to Iran if you’re also an Israeli citizen. It’s just not safe.

Travel Insurance for Visiting Iran: Insights from Our Iran Travel Guide

ToIranTour - Travel Insurance in Iran

When you’re getting ready for a trip to Iran, remember this: You need travel insurance to get your visa. It’s like a permission slip for your trip.

But not just any insurance will do. Make sure your insurance covers all of Iran and all the stuff you want to do there. Some insurance might say no to certain places or activities, so read the fine print!

You can also ask your tour guide to set you up with health insurance from a company like Saman Insurance. This insurance will help if you get sick or have an accident, and it can cover up to 50,000 Euros in medical bills.

So, if you want to stay safe and have a blast in Iran, get good travel insurance and be careful. Happy travels!

Booking the Best Tour

ToIranTour - Naqsh-e Rostam - Iran Travel

Booking an Iran tour package is a fantastic way to dive into the country’s incredible culture and history. It’s especially great if you want a smooth and stress-free trip. This might be your only option if you’re from the UK, the US, or Canada. You see, these countries have special rules that say you must join an official Iran tour operator or hire a private Iran guide.

Now, there are so many Iran tour packages out there that it can feel a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry! If you pick a trusted tour company like To Iran Tour , you’re in for a memorable adventure. We’ll take you to amazing places in Iran, ones that you might not easily reach on your own or using public transport. Plus, your local guide will be a treasure trove of info about Iran’s ancient history – perfect if you’re a history and culture fan.

You might think being in a tour group means you’re stuck all the time, but that’s not the case. You’ll still have plenty of free time to explore each place at your own pace. Even in a small group, we had loads of opportunities to discover Iran’s hidden gems on our terms.

Now, one thing to remember is that Iran tour packages can be quite packed. There’s not much downtime or rest days on the schedule, which might feel a bit rushed if you prefer a slower travel pace. But in just 12-14 days, you’ll see and experience so much that you’ll never forget.

All in all, booking an Iran tour package is an awesome way to soak up this incredible country and its rich culture and history. With a bit of planning and research, you’ll find the perfect tour that matches your interests and travel style. You’ll make memories that will stick with you forever.

Private Guided Tours of Iran

For those who prefer a more personalized travel experience, hiring a private tour guide in Iran is a great option. While it typically requires a minimum of two people, it offers the flexibility to customize your itinerary and travel at your own pace.

Private guided tours of Iran are particularly appealing to those who may have visa restrictions or prefer to avoid traveling in larger groups. With a private guide, you’ll have the benefit of local knowledge and expertise, and you can tailor your itinerary to suit your interests and preferences.

One of the advantages of a private guided tour is that you can have an intimate and authentic experience of Iran’s culture and history. Your guide can take you to off-the-beaten-path destinations and provide insights into local customs and traditions, giving you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country.

Additionally, a private guided tour allows you to avoid the hassle and stress of planning logistics and transportation on your own. Your guide can handle all the details, from arranging accommodations and transportation to helping you navigate local customs and etiquette.

Iran Independent Travel

ToIranTour - Alamut in winter - Qazvin Province - Iran Travel

While solo and independent travel to Iran can be moderately easy for those with a free nationality, it’s important to note that the country is not yet well-trodden on the independent travel path. Hostels and guesthouses are scarce, and big, expensive hotels dominate the landscape, especially in Tehran. It’s also rare to come across a group of solo travelers to join.

However, that doesn’t mean that solo travel in Iran is impossible or unsafe. On the contrary, it’s a rewarding and exhilarating experience that offers a unique glimpse into the country’s rich culture and history. While it may require a bit more planning and effort, traveling independently in Iran allows you to create your own itinerary and explore at your own pace.

One of the advantages of independent travel is the flexibility to stay in smaller, locally-run accommodations and eat at local restaurants, giving you a more authentic and immersive experience. It also allows you to connect with locals and learn about their way of life, which can be a highlight of any trip.

Of course, traveling independently in Iran also requires some caution and common sense, such as being aware of local customs and dress codes and taking necessary precautions for safety. It’s also important to do your research and plan ahead to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Couchsurfing in Iran

ToIranTour - Iran Travel

Couchsurfing can be a popular option for budget-conscious travelers looking to connect with locals and experience the culture firsthand. However, it’s important to note that Couchsurfing in Iran is officially illegal. While many independent travelers have reported using the resource and finding local hosts to be excellent guides, there are some risks involved.

One of the main concerns with Couchsurfing in Iran is the lack of official filters in place for hosts listed online. This means that travelers must exercise caution and take responsibility for their own safety. In the event that anything goes wrong, Couchsurfing hosts cannot be held responsible.

Despite these risks, Couchsurfing in Iran can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to take the necessary precautions. It provides an opportunity to connect with locals and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s rich culture and history.

It’s important to note that while Couchsurfing may be illegal in Iran, it does happen anyway. However, travelers should be aware of the potential risks involved and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This may include carefully vetting potential hosts, staying in public areas, and communicating clearly with your host about your expectations and boundaries.

Solo Female Travel to Iran

Traveling alone as a woman in Iran can be a bit tough sometimes, but it can also be incredibly rewarding if you’re open to experiencing the unique culture and people here. While women might have some more rules to follow compared to men, many solo female travelers have found Iranians to be really friendly and kind.

Here are some things to keep in mind to make your trip smoother:

  • Respect Local Customs: Especially in smaller and more traditional places like Yazd, Kashan, and Qom, it’s essential to dress modestly. That means avoiding clothes that are too revealing, as it might come across as disrespectful.
  • No PDA: Public displays of affection, like hugging or kissing in public, aren’t allowed in Iran. However, friends of the same sex usually hug or kiss each other on the cheek and it’s considered normal.

Despite these things to watch out for, Iran is actually considered one of the safest countries for tourists . You can confidently explore its beautiful landscapes and rich culture, knowing that most locals will be warm and welcoming.

Just remember to be cautious like you would anywhere else. Stay away from poorly lit areas at night and keep an eye on your surroundings in crowded places. With some careful planning and an open attitude, traveling solo as a woman in Iran can be a really enriching experience that might change your life.

In the end, while it might require a bit more effort and attention to local customs, it’s a unique and rewarding way to discover this amazing country and make unforgettable memories.

Best Time to Travel to Iran

Iran is a year-round destination with diverse climates and landscapes, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a variety of experiences. However, the best time to visit Iran depends on the region you plan to visit and your personal preferences.

For the classic route , which includes popular destinations like Tehran , Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd , and Shiraz, the best time to visit is during the two high seasons. The first high season runs from early March to late May , while the second high season runs from early September to late November . During these periods, the weather is generally mild, and the landscapes are lush and green, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

If you’re planning to explore the Northwest and West route along the Zagros mountains , which includes destinations like Ardabil, Tabriz, Zanjan, Hamedan, Kermanshah, and Sanandaj, the best time to visit is during the high season from mid-April until mid-November . During this period, the weather is generally pleasant, and the landscapes are at their most picturesque.

If you’re thinking about visiting ski resorts in the northern part of Tehran like Dizin, Shemshak, and Tuchal, or if you’re headed to places in Southern Iran such as Ahwaz, Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, and the Persian Gulf Islands , the perfect time to go is from late November to late March . This is when the weather is cooler, and the ski resorts are at their busiest and most fun!

Keep in mind that July to September in Iran can get really hot, which might make the usual travel route not so comfy. But don’t worry! If you plan well and keep an eye on the weather, you can still have a great time visiting Iran during this time.

So, the ideal time to go to Iran depends on what you like and where you want to go. Iran has all sorts of landscapes and weather, so no matter when you decide to visit, you’ll always find something cool to do in this awesome country. For more detailed information about the best time to visit Iran based on your destination and weather, check out this article below:

Best Time To Travel To Iran: Your Ultimate Guide 2023

Iran UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Iran is a treasure trove of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that will leave you awestruck. With 26 sites recognized by UNESCO, including 24 cultural and two natural wonders , Iran boasts an ancient lineage that Iranians take pride in.

Each of these sites is the result of years of research and presentation of evidence to prove their significance to the world. From ancient palaces to stunning natural landscapes, these sites offer a glimpse into Iran’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Visiting all of these sites would require multiple trips to Iran, but the effort is well worth it. Some of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran include the ancient ruins of Persepolis , the stunning Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil, and the beautiful Masjed-e Jāmé in Isfahan .

Other notable sites include the historic city of Yazd , the ancient hydraulic system of Shushtar , and the Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, which is one of the largest covered bazaars in the world.

If you’re into history, nature, and culture or want a fantastic travel adventure, Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites have something for you. So, get your bags packed, plan your trip, and let’s explore the awesome things this amazing country has to offer. You can even join the UNESCO tour with To Iran Tour to see it all!

Dress Code in Iran

ToIranTour - a woman standing in mountain landscape - Iran dress code

If you’re planning to visit Iran, it’s good to know that they have a dress code that you need to follow. As a woman, you should wear loose clothing that covers your body and a headscarf. But don’t worry, you don’t need to wear a burka or anything too concealing. You can still show off your personal style and wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. Just keep in mind the local customs and you’ll be all set!

Even though there is a strict dress code in Iran, you’ll quickly see that it’s not as stereotypical as you might think. Iranian women are very fashionable and take pride in their appearance. Fashion is a way for them to express themselves and make a statement, and you’ll notice them wearing beautifully designed headscarves and stylish clothing that still comply with the Iranian dress code .

It’s also worth noting that the dress code applies to both men and women. Men are required to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover their legs. 

While it’s true that there is a “morality police” in Iran, whose job is to enforce the dress code and other moral codes of conduct in public, it’s important to note that they are not actively targeting foreign visitors. So, as a traveler to Iran, you don’t need to worry too much about being chased down by the morality police.

In general, if you show respect for local customs and adhere to the dress code regulations, you can have a secure and enjoyable travel experience in Iran. Therefore, don’t allow concerns about the morality police or any misunderstandings preventing you from exploring all the amazing things that this country has to offer.

Packing Tip for Travel to Iran

ToIranTour - Travel Packing for Iran Travel

Packing for a trip to Iran can be a bit daunting, especially with the strict dress code regulations. However, with a little bit of preparation and the right mindset, you can embrace the local customs and still express your personal style.

The most immediate essential item to pack for Iran is a headscarf, also known as a ‘Roosari’ in Farsi. But don’t worry if it falls off – just put it back on again. While wearing a headscarf is mandatory, it’s common for Iranian women to wear it a little loose and halfway back on their head, with a high bun or ponytail to keep it in place. And if you’re worried about showing a little bit of hair, don’t be – it’s granted.

When it comes to tops, loose-fitting ones with three-quarter-length sleeves are ideal, especially in the heat. The general rule of thumb is that your body should be covered, and your arms should not be bare. As for trousers, they should be baggy, but tight, brightly colored leggings worn with a long, loose-fitting top are also acceptable, as long as your legs are covered down to the ankles.

The myth that you need to dress in dark colors or black tunics is just that – a myth. Embrace fashion the way the locals do, and bring some color into your Iran packing list! Open-toed sandals are OK, especially on hot days, and sports shoes are fashionable in Iran, especially in bright colors, so pack some for longer day trips.

If you’re worried about not having enough appropriate attire, fear not. As soon as you arrive in Tehran or Shiraz, hit the bazaars and local markets for plenty of options. And if you’re traveling with children, it’s worth noting that young boys can wear shorts and t-shirts, and girls under ten are not required to wear a headscarf.

For men, dressing in Iran is more straightforward, much like in Western countries, except for no short shorts, super short sleeves, or extremely tight-fitting clothing.

Overall, remember to approach the dress code with an open mind and respect for local customs. And don’t be afraid to express your personal style while still adhering to the guidelines. With the right attitude and a well-stocked suitcase, you can have a comfortable and enjoyable trip to Iran.

Is Iran Safe to Travel?

Even though some Western media might paint a different picture, Iran is a safe and friendly place for travelers. You might worry about safety because of politics and cultural differences, but the truth is that Iran is a great place to visit.

The people in Iran are super welcoming. You’ll meet lots of friendly locals who are excited to have you in their country. Whether you’re exploring busy markets or historical sites, Iran offers a one-of-a-kind travel experience.

Like anywhere else, it’s essential to be cautious and aware of your surroundings when you travel. But honestly, the chances of running into safety problems in Iran are pretty low. Many travelers say they feel safer here than in other popular tourist spots.

So, if you’re thinking about visiting Iran, don’t let safety worries stop you. With the right mindset and some preparation, you can have a safe and unforgettable trip to this fascinating country.

Iranians are known for their hospitality. They often go out of their way to help visitors, whether it’s giving directions, suggesting a great local restaurant, or offering you a ride. They might even share their contact info, just in case you need assistance. This shows how much they want you to feel welcome and at ease during your stay.

It’s also worth mentioning that Iranians want to break away from the negative image sometimes shown in the media. They’re proud of their culture and want you to see the beauty of their country and the warmth of their people.

As a visitor to Iran, you have a special chance to bridge cultural gaps and show Iranians that the world outside isn’t as unfriendly as they might think. By approaching your trip with an open mind and a desire to learn, you can make meaningful connections and get a deeper understanding of Iranian culture.

In the end, the hospitality and friendliness of the Iranian people are some of the best parts of traveling to this amazing country. So, don’t hesitate to engage with the locals and fully enjoy the rich cultural traditions that make Iran such a unique and captivating destination.

Is Iran Safe to Travel RIGHT NOW?

When thinking about visiting Iran, like any other place you might want to go, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the news about politics and how your own country is getting along with Iran. But don’t worry too much because Iran is actually one of the safest countries in the Middle East for travelers.

Now and then, people in Iran might have protests about politics or money issues, but these usually stay in one place and don’t put tourists in danger. Just be smart and avoid those protest areas, like you would anywhere else.

Remember, Iran follows Islamic rules pretty strictly. So, things like drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or having romantic relationships with locals can get you in big trouble – like being kicked out of the country, getting arrested, or worse. But if you respect their way of doing things and follow the rules, you’ll have a great and safe time in Iran.

Overall, as long as you keep an eye on what’s happening and are careful, there’s no need to be super worried about going to Iran. If you go with the right attitude and prepare well, you’ll have a fantastic trip to this remarkable country.

Is Iran Safe to Visit 2024? A Comprehensive Overview

Essential Things to Remember When Visiting Iran

When you plan to visit Iran, it’s really important to be respectful and well-informed. Iran is a Muslim country where they take their rules seriously, especially Islamic law. So, it’s not a good idea to act like a clueless tourist and think you won’t get in trouble.

You see, what might be okay back home could get you into real trouble here. Iran has strict laws and customs, and it’s super important to follow them.

But here’s the good news. If you respect the local ways and follow the rules, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Iran. So, don’t let the strict rules scare you away. Come with an open mind and a desire to learn about the unique and fascinating culture of Iran. You’ll have a great time!

Is Iran an Arab Country?

There is a common misconception that Iran is an Arab country, fueled by its location in the Middle East, Muslim religion, and some similarities in culture and language. However, it’s important to note that Iran is not an Arab country, and Iranians are not Arabs.

Iranians speak Persian, also known as Farsi, which is not the same as Arabic. While there are many languages spoken within Iran, including Kurdish, Turkish, and Khuzi Arabic, the primary language is Persian. This is due to the many different ethnic groups that exist within the country, each with its own unique language and cultural traditions.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that misinterpreting Iranians as Arabs can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Although Iran has certain similarities with Middle Eastern Arab nations, it possesses a unique culture and history that distinguishes it.

In essence, when traveling to Iran, it’s vital to maintain an open-minded attitude and a genuine desire to explore the country’s distinctive cultural traditions and history. By recognizing the differences between Iran and its neighboring Arab nations, you can develop a greater appreciation for the richness and diversity of the entire region.

The Iranian currency system can be a bit confusing for those unfamiliar with it. Iran uses two units of currency, the Rial (IRR) and the Toman.

The Rial is the official currency of Iran. It has been the official currency since 1932, and the symbol for the Rial is “﷼”.

The Toman is not an official currency but is widely used in everyday transactions in Iran. The Toman is equal to 10 Rials. This practice of using the Toman as a unit of currency dates back to the early 20th century when the value of the Rial significantly decreased due to inflation. 

To convert Rials to Tomans, you remove one zero from the Rial amount. For example, 1,000 Rials is equivalent to 100 Tomans. In practice, prices are often quoted in Tomans rather than Rials. For instance, if an item costs 10,000 Rials, it would be referred to as 1,000 Tomans. This pricing convention is used in everyday life, in markets, shops, and sometimes even on price tags.

The official currency notes in Iran are denominated in Rials, not Tomans. When you’re working with important papers, like contracts or international deals, you’ll often use the Rial as the currency.

The currency notes come in various denominations, including 1,000,000 Rials, 500,000 Rials, 100,000 Rials, 50,000 Rials , and so on.

Although the official currency is the Rial, the Toman is more commonly used and understood by Iranians in their daily lives. For example, if someone says a product costs 500,000, they most likely mean 500,000 Tomans, which is equal to 5,000,000 Rials.

Iran Travel Costs 2024: The Best Detailed Guide for Tourists

Currency Exchange in Iran

To get the best exchange rates , it’s recommended to take US Dollars or Euros with you and exchange them at reputable exchange offices. Let’s figure out more about exchanging money in Iran:

There are a few ways to exchange your money into Rials, and some are safer than others:

  • One option is to go to the currency exchange at the airport. It’s a secure choice, but the exchange rate there might not be as good as what you’d find in the market.
  • Another way is to exchange your money at the hotel or exchange offices in some hotels. Their rates are similar to what you’d get at the airport.
  • If you’re in Tehran, you can also sell your foreign currency on Ferdowsi Street or at exchange offices in the city. These places have a wider range of rates, and they’re usually better than the airport rates.

The only catch is that you might not be headed to Ferdowsi Street on your trip. If you plan to visit the Tehran market, you can ask your guide (if you have one) to take you to Ferdowsi Street for currency exchange.

Just remember, it’s not a good idea to deal with people on the street who are buying and selling currency. Stick to the official exchange places for your safety.

Credit and Debit Cards during Iran Travel

ToIranTour - Credit card and Debit card in Iran Travel

If you’re planning a trip to Iran, it’s essential to understand the financial landscape and the options available for making transactions. Unfortunately, using credit or debit cards from outside of Iran is not possible due to the lack of an international card network.

This means that the best option is to bring enough cash with you to convert to an Iranian Rial. However, there is now a new option available for tourists and temporary visitors like the Mah Card and Irani Card .

The Mah Card is a prepaid debit card that can be used in Iran. Like most travel cards, you can instantly add funds to your card in your preferred or home currency, and it will be converted to Iranian Rial. The advantage of using the Mah Card is that it’s more convenient than carrying cash, protects you from unauthorized purchases, and is accepted country-wide.

So, if you’re looking for a safe and easy way to make transactions during your trip to Iran, consider getting a Mah Card. With this handy tool in your pocket, you can enjoy your travels without worrying about carrying large amounts of cash or the inconvenience of finding exchange offices.

Of course, there are other solutions, such as gift cards that are issued through banks, and to use this unofficial solution, you should ask your tour operator for help.

Public Transport in Iran

Exploring Iran’s cities is an adventure in itself, and luckily, there are plenty of public transport options available to help you get around!

Best Inner-City Transport Options

Metro (subway).

ToIranTour - Tehran Metro - Iran Transportation

The Iranian Metro is a modern and efficient way to explore the city, especially in Tehran, Shiraz, Tabriz, Mashhad, and Isfahan. It’s the ideal option to get around Tehran, and the stations are easily accessible by taxi or bus.

The ticket price for one trip is about 3000 Tomans, which is equal to approximately 0.1$ in 2023, I know, it’s so cheap. Additionally, you can purchase a card to pay for the metro trips and even the buses in Tehran. Rush hours are typically from 7-9 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.

The metro guidance can be easily found in each station, but if you want to be prepared for your metro journey, check out the Tehran Metro website or other cities’ maps.

Buses are another popular option for inner-city transport in Iran. They are widely available and offer an affordable way to get around the city. Bus fares vary depending on the distance you are traveling, but they are generally inexpensive.

There are two main types of buses in big cities: Regular and BRT. You can pay for the buses using your Metro card, and fares typically range from 3000 to 10,000 Tomans (10 to 25 cents) per trip. You can easily locate all the bus and BRT stations on Google Maps.

In comparison to subways, buses are somehow time-consuming because of traffic jams. So, if your destination is near a subway station, our suggestion is to take the subway instead of the bus.

Another way to get around in the city is by taxi. There are different types of taxis available, including shuttle/shared taxis (Khatti in Farsi), private taxis (Darbast in Farsi), and non-registered taxis (Shakhsi in Farsi). Shuttle/shared taxis are a cheaper option, but they are for fixed destinations, and you may have to wait for the taxi to fill up. Private taxis are readily available, but you should negotiate the fare before getting in. Non-registered taxis are driven by people who are not licensed taxi drivers, and you need to negotiate the price with them too. It is advisable to get a shared Taxi or Private Taxi and not a non-registered one for your safety.

Of course, platforms such as Snapp and Tapsi have been launched, which have a function similar to Uber. You can download their applications from Google Play or directly from their websites and register with your Iranian SIM card.

Finally, if you need a taxi in a hurry, you can call the numbers 133, 1828, and 1833 in major cities in Iran to request a taxi wherever you are. This service is called “Bisim Taxi” and is available 24/7.

10 Essential Apps for Traveling to Iran: Empowering Your Exploration!

Intra-City Transport Options

Buses are a common and affordable way to travel between cities in Iran. There are two types of buses available: regular and VIP buses. VIP buses offer more legroom and comfortable seating, with space to almost lie down.

You can purchase bus tickets from the hotel front desk, local travel agencies, platforms such as SnappTrip, or directly from the bus terminal. Prices vary depending on the type of bus and the distance you are traveling. For instance, a VIP ticket from Tehran to Shiraz costs around 200,000 Tomans ($15).

There are three bus terminals in Tehran: Jonoub Terminal (South), Sharq Terminal (East), and Qarb or Bayhaghi Terminal (West). From these terminals, you can easily buy and board a bus and start your trip to other cities in Iran.

The train network in Iran is relatively extensive and offers a comfortable and scenic way to travel between cities. The trains are well-maintained and offer a range of seating options, from economy to first-class; But their speed and being on time cannot be compared with the European rail transport system.

Trains are the best and safest option for intercity travel in Iran. There are different types of trains available, including 4-bed, 6-bed, and bus trains. You can also choose between express and regular trains.

Book train tickets through online apps, local travel agencies, hotels, or directly at the train station. Prices vary depending on the distance and the type of train. For example, a ticket from Tehran to Yazd costs between 150,000 and 300,000 Tomans ($5 to $10).

Private Car

If you prefer a more flexible and personalized way to travel, you can also consider renting a private car with a driver. This option is more expensive than buses or trains, but it offers the freedom to explore at your own pace. 

The Maxim platform has also provided the possibility of renting a car with a driver at a very reasonable price all over Iran. You can download its application from Google Play and register with your Iranian SIM card.

Domestic Flight

Finally, if you’re short on time or traveling long distances, you can opt for a domestic flight. The major cities in Iran are well-connected by domestic airlines, making it easy to get around the country quickly and efficiently.

Online platforms for selling Air tickets, such as Alibaba, provide the online purchase of domestic and international flight tickets.

By understanding the different transport options available in Iran, you can choose the one that suits your needs and budget and explore the country with ease.

Separated Men’s and Women’s Carriages in Iran’s Public Transport

ToIranTour - Teheran Metro women only

It’s important to note that there are some separate men’s and women’s carriages on public transport in Iran, both on the metro and buses for those women who prefer to use them. While subway cars are generally mixed-gender, women who want more privacy can choose to ride in the first and last wagon on both sides. On buses, there may be designated seating areas for men and women, with women sitting in the back and men in the front, or vice versa. However, couples can sit together in the men’s section but not in the women’s section. Respecting these gender-segregated arrangements while using public transport in Iran is essential.

Pre-register with the Foreign Office of Your Country

Before embarking on your journey to Iran, it’s important to research the specific travel regulations, rules, and warnings for your home country. Each country has its own guidelines, and it’s critical to be aware of them before setting off on your adventure. 

To ensure your safety and peace of mind, it’s also a good idea to pre-register or alert your foreign office about your travel plans. This step is particularly important for British citizens , as there is no embassy representation in Iran. By registering with your foreign office, you can stay informed about any updates or changes in travel regulations or warnings.

It is important to note that certain travel insurance providers may ask you to inform the appropriate authorities about your travel plans before you can obtain coverage. To ensure that you are fully protected, it is essential to identify which authorities you need to inform before you leave.

By taking these steps before your trip, you can travel to Iran with confidence, knowing that you have done your due diligence to ensure your safety and security.

Internet Access during Iran Travel

ToIranTour - Internet in Iran

When traveling to Iran, it’s important to anticipate limited internet access and mandatory “digital filtering.” The Internet connection in Iran is known for being frustratingly slow, and many popular social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and WhatsApp are blocked. Additionally, you need to pay fees for a good connection.

Make sure that you inform your family members or friends that you may be out of touch and to prepare for unreliable internet.

Recommended SIM Cards to Use in Iran

When it comes to buying a SIM card in Iran, Irancell is the top phone operator and offers temporary SIM cards specifically designed for tourists. These SIM cards come pre-loaded with a credit balance and 4G internet access, allowing you to stay connected with ease. They are sold at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport and are valid for 30 days.

Irancell’s temporary tourist SIM cards provide affordable and convenient connectivity throughout Iran.

You can buy regular Irancell SIM cards from their service centers located in almost every city. However, it’s important to note that you need to purchase charge and internet packages before using them. To do so, you can get assistance from Irancell staff at the centers, use the MTN Irancell application, or dial USSD codes.

Which VPN to use in Iran?

Staying connected while traveling in Iran can present unique challenges, particularly when it comes to accessing the internet and using your preferred VPN. To ensure that you can stay connected and protect your online privacy, it’s essential to find the right VPN for your needs.

There are several VPN options available for both Android and IOS users. For Android users, Hi VPN, Psiphon, v2ray, and Hotspot Shield are recommended, each offering reliable and secure connections. For IOS users, popular VPN options include Psiphon, Free VPN, and VPNProxyMaster, all of which are well-suited to use in Iran.

To have a suitable and safe VPN, you can ask your tour operator or tour guide for help. If you have any questions or help do not hesitate to ask To Iran Tour support team.

Persian Food

Iran is well-known for its varied and flavorful cuisine. If you’re a foodie who loves trying new things, you should definitely give Persian cuisine a try! Some must-try dishes include stews, Dizi (a lamb-based dish with broth and solids separated), Ash, and Haleem. To ensure you have the best experience, it’s important to do some research and find the top restaurants that serve these dishes so you can truly savor the flavors of Iran.

Persian Breakfast Guide: Irresistible Traditions!

Iranian food for vegetarians

In Iranian cuisine, meat is a staple ingredient, but there are also numerous vegetarian dishes that are just as delectable. Mirza-Ghasemi or Kashk-e Badenjan, both made with eggplant, are excellent choices. If you’re on a tight budget, go for Falafel, which is both inexpensive and delicious. However, it’s crucial to convey your dietary requirements to the restaurant staff and be ready to request that meat be omitted from your meal if needed.

By being open to trying new dishes, you can experience the rich and diverse cuisine of Iran with a little extra effort and creativity.

Drinking in Iran

When it comes to drinking in Iran, it’s important to note that alcohol is strictly prohibited, and there are no bars or clubs serving alcoholic beverages. Instead, you’ll find a variety of non-alcoholic beer options available, typically in fruity flavors such as peach, lemon, strawberry, etc.

Alcohol in Iran: A Complete Guide for Tourists

It’s important to understand that there are no exceptions when it comes to alcohol consumption in Iran, whether you’re a local or a traveler. While it’s tempting to take up offers from locals to find the “real deal” at underground gatherings, it’s not worth the risk. The punishment for alcohol possession or consumption can be severe, and there are no allowances made for tourists or visitors.

Did you know that Buttermilk, or “Doogh” as it’s called in Iran, is a delicious fermented dairy drink? It has a slightly sour taste and is often paired with dried herbs like mint for a refreshing flavor. It is very common to enjoy Doogh besides any kind of kebab.

Iranian Etiquette

When visiting Iran, it’s important to be aware of and respectful of the cultural and religious customs that may differ from your own. By following these customs, you can demonstrate your appreciation for Iranian culture and enjoy your trip to the fullest. Here are some etiquette guidelines and fascinating insights into Iranian culture to keep in mind:

  • One of the primary forms of social etiquette is “ Taarof” , where Iranians may insist on offering things to people, even if they don’t mean it. As a visitor, it is important to be aware of local customs and not immediately accept an offer.
  • During the Muharram month , which is the mourning month of Imam Hossein, to show respect for religious beliefs, it’s best to avoid wearing bright colors, especially red.
  • During Ramadan, eating or drinking in public is disrespectful while most people are fasting during the day.
  • Shaking hands between men and women can be a delicate matter, and it is generally unacceptable for unrelated men and women to engage in this gesture. As a female tourist, it is advisable to wait and observe if men initiate the handshake first, instead of initiating it yourself.
  • The thumbs-up hand signal is OKAY in Iran, but it is better not to use it in the presence of older people. However, younger people understand its meaning.
  • In Iran, there are certain limitations when it comes to public displays of affection. While affectionate gestures like touching, kissing and handshakes between family members are acceptable, French kissing is considered inappropriate. Holding hands is generally tolerated, but hugging might be regarded as crossing the line. It’s important to note that inside holy places and religious cities, any public display of affection may not be tolerated at all.

For a truly enriching travel experience, it’s important to embrace and appreciate the customs and culture of Iran. By respecting their traditions, you’ll gain a deeper understanding and connection to the country and its people.

Time in Iran and the Solar Calendar

ToIranTour - Clock Building Municipality Palace - Tabriz

The country operates on Iran Standard Time (IRST), which is UTC+3:30.

The Solar Hijri Calendar

The solar calendar used in Iran is known as the Iranian calendar or the Persian calendar . It is a type of solar calendar that is based on the astronomical observations of the Sun’s movement. The calendar has its roots in ancient Persia and has undergone several modifications throughout history to align it with various astronomical and cultural considerations.

Here are some key differences between the Iranian calendar and the commonly used Gregorian calendar:

  • Starting point: The Iranian calendar starts from the year of the Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra. This event occurred in 622 CE in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the Iranian year is approximately 621 years behind the Gregorian year.
  • Length of the year: The Iranian calendar is a solar calendar that consists of 12 months, each with varying lengths. The total length of a year in the Iranian calendar is approximately 365 or 366 days, depending on whether it is a leap year or not. Leap years occur every four years and consist of an additional day, just like in the Gregorian calendar.
  • Naming of the months: The Iranian calendar has its own set of month names, which are deeply rooted in Persian culture and history. The names of the months are as follows: Farvardin, Ordibehesht, Khordad, Tir, Mordad, Shahrivar, Mehr, Aban, Azar, Dey, Bahman, and Esfand.
  • Different New Year: The Iranian New Year , known as Nowruz, is celebrated on the vernal equinox, which usually falls on March 20th or 21st in the Gregorian calendar. Nowruz marks the beginning of spring and is one of the most significant holidays in Iran and several other countries in the region.
  • Different era: The Iranian calendar uses the Islamic lunar Hijri era, which began with the Hijra mentioned earlier. In contrast, the Gregorian calendar uses the widely accepted Common Era (CE) system.

Time is a curious thing. It flows differently for each culture and place, shaped by history, geography, and tradition.

While visiting Iran, it’s best to keep an open mind when it comes to timeframes. It’s a good idea to bring along some extra patience and be ready to go with the flow. This is especially true when it comes to food, service, and payment. By embracing the relaxed pace of life in Iran, you can fully immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy a more laid-back travel experience.

Read more on Iran’s History and Iran Travel

ToIranTour - Tehran from above - Iran Travel

Iran boasts a complex and fascinating history, which can be difficult to comprehend without prior knowledge. Even though tour guides can be informative, it’s recommended to do some research on the history of Persia and the events leading up to the Iranian Revolution in 1979 before embarking on a trip to Iran. This will enable you to gain a better understanding of the country’s composition and value its abundant cultural heritage.

Book Recommendation

Here are some excellent books to read before your trip:

  • “Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic” by Michael Axworthy provides a comprehensive overview of recent Iranian history.
  • “Iran: What Everyone Needs to Know” is also by Axworthy and delves into Iran’s economy, politics, culture, and people.
  • “Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem Through the Islamic Revolution” is a fascinating book. The story follows a woman born in Iran who went to study in the United States and later returned to the country amidst significant changes.

If you’re traveling in Iran, the Lonely Planet guidebook can be a valuable resource for exploring historical landmarks. While it’s not the only source of information, it’s a helpful tool to have with you since internet access in Iran may be limited.

To make the most of your trip to Iran, it’s a great idea to get to know its history and culture beforehand. Trust me, it will definitely enhance your travel experience!

FAQs about Visiting Iran

Q1: do i need a visa to visit iran.

A1: Yes, most travelers require a visa to enter Iran. You can obtain one through an Iranian embassy or consulate in your home country. There are some countries that can travel to Iran without a visa, and there are also some countries that can get their visa on arrival.

Q2: What is the best time to visit Iran?

A2: Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are ideal times to visit, as the weather is mild, and many attractions are at their best. But Iran has varied weather across different regions. For instance, the ideal season to tour Iranian deserts is winter.

Q3: Is it safe to travel to Iran?

A3: Iran is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates. However, it’s essential to stay informed about the current political situation and follow local guidelines.

Q4: What is the official currency in Iran?

A4: The official currency is the Iranian Rial (IRR), but you’ll commonly see prices quoted in Toman, which is equivalent to 10 Rials.

Q5: Can I use my credit card in Iran?

A5: No, international credit and debit cards are not widely accepted in Iran. Bring cash in US dollars or Euros and exchange it locally.

Q6: Is it safe for solo female travelers in Iran?

A6: Yes, Iran is considered safe for solo female travelers, but it’s important to dress modestly and be aware of local customs and norms.

Q7: Can I drink alcohol in Iran?

No, alcohol is strictly prohibited in Iran due to Islamic law. You won’t find it in public places.

Q8: What languages are spoken in Iran?

Persian (Farsi) is the official language, but many Iranians also speak English, especially in tourist areas.

Q9: Can I use social media in Iran?

Most social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Iran. However, you can access them using a VPN.

Q10: What is Iran famous for?

Iran is famous for its rich cultural heritage, historical sites, and stunning architecture. It’s renowned for attractions like the ancient city of Persepolis, the vibrant bazaars of Isfahan and Tabriz, and the beautiful mosques, such as the Pink Mosque in Shiraz. Iran is also known for its contributions to literature, poetry, and art, with famous poets like Rumi and Hafez hailing from this region. Additionally, Iran is celebrated for its world-class Persian rugs, saffron production, and traditional handicrafts.

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Travel & Food, Itineraries & Guides, Hotel Reviews

The Perfect Itinerary for Iran – Essential Persia in 9 Days

December 2, 2019 by Bino 1 Comment

For a country of its size, Iran offers a plehora of things to see and do – especially if you love architecture as well as the great outdoors – that it’s probably hard to compartmentalize the country into a short one or two week stretch. Boasting some of the most beautiful cities, atmospheric desert towns, intricately constructed buildings as well as unreal landscapes, Iran is an eye-opening place and definitely has something for everyone.

The classic travel route for Iran is the one that stretches from Tehran to Shiraz, covering other cities such as Kashan, Esfahan and Yazd in between. Given that these cities are well connected, there’s little need to back track so you can either start in the north in Tehran or down south in Shiraz. This itinerary aims to show how you can cover these cities in Iran, starting from Tehran, but you can easily reverse this.

Table of Contents

Day 1 – Tehran (Azadi and Milad Towers, Golestan Palace, Grand Bazaar)

skyline of tehran

skyline of tehran

Tehran, the sprawling capital of Iran, is the largest city in Western Asia. For most travelers, the introduction to Iran, is one of congested roads and air pollution. If you happen to visit during a public holiday, it’s a totally different story and you’ll find highways almost empty.

azadi tower

azadi tower

Tehran has quite a number of sights worth visiting and you can easily get around by taxi or hired car. The city also has a metro and is a great alternative for getting around, especially considering the traffic jams. A must visit when in Tehran is the Azadi Tower , an architectural gem that was built to commemorate 2,500 years of the Persian empire. The tower is surrounded by a park which is encircled by a roundabout. It is possible to enter the tower for a fee but in my opinion, you’re better off admiring the curves from the park itself than to be inside the tower. 

milad tower

milad tower

Another tower you can check out is the Milad Tower , which offers fantastic views of the city as well as the Alborz Mountains in the distance. Compared to Azadi, Milad Tower is a thoroughly modern construct. 

Aside from Azadi Tower and Milad Tower, most of the other sights in Tehran are conveniently located near the stations of the original (red) metro line so it would be practical to group these places together. These attractions include: Saadabad Palace , the former US embassy in Iran , Golestan Palace as well as the Grand Bazaar . Depending on how much time you have left after visiting the towers, you can visit around 1 or 2 other sights along the red metro line before calling it a day. A personal recommendation for an afternoon visit would be the Golestan Palace . This used to be the royal palace when Iran was still a monarchy. Some of the rooms here, including the Mirror Hall, Brilliant Hall and Karim Khani Nook, showcase impressive Persian symmetrical designs. Note that you’d need to purchase separate tickets to enter some of these halls.

Tip: All over Iran, you will get looks walking around as a tourist. The overwhelming majority of these have no malice in them and are just indications of curiosity. A common gesture is to say hello back which in some cases, lead to conversations and even invitations for dinner. It is up to you whether to accept or not. I have accepted one such invitation and some travelers I spoke to did the same. But that doesn’t mean that Iran is scam-free. In a separate incident, a local offered to show me around town as a goodwill gesture and later tried to extort me money for it.

Directly outside the Golestan Palace is Tehran’s Grand Bazaar . You can practically find everything here, from spices to handicrafts, apparel and of course, carpets. While Tehran is still not a touristy place, it’s useful to haggle if you intend to bring a rug back home.

Day 2 – Tehran (Tajrish, Den of Espionage)

autumn colors in tajrish

autumn colors in tajrish

Your second day in Tehran can be spent venturing to the sights at the farther reaches of Tehran’s red metro line. A personal favorite spot is Tajrish , where the line ends. The air here is cooler and fresher, and the higher altitude makes for a refreshing change to the grit of downtown Tehran. In autumn, you can visit places such as the Saadabad Royal Complex for a burst of red and yellow foliage. Tajrish also serves as a gateway to the Darband and Tochal mountains, where one could ski during winter.

den of espionage, former us embassy in tehran

den of espionage, former us embassy in tehran

Further down near Taleghani Station is the former US Embassy in Iran, now called the Den of Espionage and converted into a museum. The site played a particular significance during Iran’s 1979 revolution when students held American diplomats hostage in the embassy for more than a year. The museum grounds offers a colorful throwback to diplomatic life from 40 years ago while the frontage has plenty of colorful anti-American murals, the most famous one depicting the Statue of Liberty with the face of a skull.

After having your fill of Tehran, you can catch a late afternoon or evening bus to the next destination – Kashan, which is around a 3-hour drive. There are plenty of departures each day from the bus terminals and there is no need to book in advance, with the exception of major holidays like Nowruz.

Day 3 – Kashan

iran country tourism

rooftops of kashan

A relatively small town, Kashan, is a must visit especially for architecture lovers. The town has plenty of mansions that were built by rich merchant families and gardens offering a calming perspective to Iranian life – a wonderful contrast from the frenetic pace of Tehran.

iran country tourism

historic houses in kashan

There are 4 old houses you need to visit in Kashan and these are the Boroujerdi House , Ameriha House , Tabatabaie House and the Abbasian House . All these houses boast of intricate facades but it is the Boroujerdi House which has the more stunning carvings and interiors of four while the Tabatabaie House is probably the biggest. Note that the Ameri House has been converted into a hotel as of late.

Located in the same area as the old houses is the Sultan Amir Ahmad Hammam , also known as Qasemi Hammam. Bathing was an elaborate ritual in old Persia and this is manifested in no small part in the elaborate design of the bathing pool. Covered in turquoise and gold tilework, floral patterns as well as utter symmetry that will delight architectural buffs, the bathhouse is an interesting place to visit even though it is no longer used. You can also check out the rooftop for a view of the hammam’s bulbous domes as well as the windcatchers from the mansions in the distance. 

agha bozorg mosque

agha bozorg mosque

On the way to the bazaar of Kashan, the 18th century Agha Bozorg Mosque is a recommended stop for its symmetrical design and layered courtyard that extends underground. 


Optional: If you have a half-day to spare in your Iran trip, an excursion to the village of Abyaneh is recommended. The town is known for its reddish hue which permeates all the buildings. Visiting here is all about soaking the charming ambiance and interacting with friendly villagers. There is no specific must-see here except for the panorama of the reddish village from afar. 

With the exception of Fin Garden , the bulk of Kashan’s tourist spots are within walking distance of each other so my suggestion is to visit the Fin Garden as a stop if you are going on a day trip or excursion to Abyaneh. Otherwise, you can hire a taxi or private car to get you there and back to town. Fin Garden is a typical example of a Persian style garden – characterized by a long water feature that leads to a central structure – and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4 – Isfahan

Catch a morning bus to the city of Isfahan. From Kashan, the trip to Isfahan takes just a little under 3 hours.

sheikh lotfollah mosque

sheikh lotfollah mosque

Called half the world by Iranians, Isfahan is easily the most touristy city in Iran, and with good reason. Its humongous and spectacular public square – the Imam Square – is one of the highlights of any visit to Iran. Flanked by the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque on one side and the Imam Mosque on the other, as well as well-manicured lawns and horse-drawn carriages going around, this public square is the second largest in the world after Tiananmen Square in Beijing. 

Located at the opposite side of the square, the Ali Qapu Palace is another place worth visiting. The highlight here is the music room which have deliberate and attractive holes on the walls to help with the acoustics.

chehel sotun palace

chehel sotun palace

Around a 5 to 10 minute walk to the west of the square is Chehel Sotoun , also called the Palace of 40 Columns. Located in the middle of a park, the interiors of this palace is marked by grand frescoes depicting ancient battles (the Battle of Chaldiran in particular) while the exterior has 20 columns supporting it. Despite only having 20 columns, the 40 columns in the name is brought about by the reflection from the elongated pool in front of the palace, which when reflected shows 40 columns.

Another palace to check out in the area, to the south of Chehel Sotoun, is Hasht Behesht . This is another palace surrounded by a park and is notable for its elaborate ceilings.

If you still have time after this, a walk back to Imam Square is highly suggested. The square takes on a different scene at nightfall, with families out and about and many of the buildings floodlit. The sound of the Islamic call to prayer with the square as backdrop is perhaps one of the most exotic moments one can experience in Iran.

Day 5 – Isfahan

There are plenty of things to see in Isfahan so 2 full days is just about the bare minimum. For the second day, you can check out the attractions farther out from the square – including the Jameh Mosque, Vank Cathedral as well as Sio-se-pol Bridge and Khaju Bridge. The bridges are best visited towards sunset when they’re lighted up so I would suggest starting at the Jameh Mosque.

The Jameh Mosque of Isfahan is the main mosque of the city and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right in 2012. It is the oldest mosque in Iran that still stands to the present day, dating back from the 8th century. Adjacent to the mosque is Isfahan’s own Grand Bazaar. While not as charming as the bazaar around Imam Square, the former presents a more authentic side to local life.

A nice change from the mosques is the Vank Cathedral , a church located in the neighborhood of Jolfa south of the river. The cathedral is a stunning mix of Islamic and Christian architecture, with all the hallmarks of Persian-style symmetry. From the outside, the church actually looks like a mosque with its bulbous dome but once you’re in, you’ll see frescoes depicting Biblical stories such as Adam & Eve as well as events from the life of Jesus Christ. The area surrounding Vank Cathedral in particular, is brimming with cafes, and is a nice place for an afternoon rest especially when it gets very hot.

khaju bridge

khaju bridge

As night falls, head over to check out the two beautiful bridges – Sio-se-pol as well as Khaju Bridge which are both lit up. Even during the dry months when you can barely see the river, these 17th century bridges still function to transport people between the north and south side of the city. 

Day 6 – Yazd

Many travelers tend to bypass Yazd in their Iran trip due to its slightly out-of-the way location from the main north to south route. To do that would be a mistake, in my opinion. Yazd is different from the other cities. There is a romantic, fairy-tale like quality to this town that brings to mind stories such as Aladdin. Think: maze-like alleyways made of clay, bumping into random mansions or historic houses turned hotels and being invited to rooftops to appreciate the windcatcher-dominated skyline of the old town.

amir chakmaq mosque

amir chakmaq mosque

Although there are quite a few sights in town, wandering and getting lost inside the old town is perhaps the biggest draw of the city. The most recognized building in town, the Amir Chakmaq Mosque , is worth a visit. The structure is noted for its arched alcoves which get lighted up at night. I visited twice – once during the day, and another time to appreciate it at night. Just next to the Amir Chakmaq complex is a zurkaneh or a house of strength. The Saheb-al-Zaman Zurkaneh (workouts occur Saturday to Thursday from 7 to 8PM) is the place to go to witness men working out using traditional wooden clubs – in sync to the tune of local music and trance-like chanting.

Another interesting place to visit in Yazd is the Atashkadeh or the Zoroastian fire temple. A nice break from Islamic architecture, this is the place to visit to understand more about one of the world’s oldest religions. The temple also contains what is said to be the oldest continuously burning flame.

Day 7 – Yazd

ceiling of dolatabad gardens

ceiling of dolatabad gardens

Your second day in Yazd can be spent visiting attractions you did not manage to cover the previous day. While there are still more to see in Yazd such as the Dowlatabad Gardens (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Water Museum for a fascinating peek of how water is distributed in this desert city and Yazd’s own Friday Mosque , I would recommend spending a couple of hours just getting lost in the old town. Perhaps you can stumble upon a nice-looking old house or two. Compared to the ones in Kashan, some of the traditional houses in Yazd have been converted into restaurants and cafes. It’s a highly atmospheric affair sipping on a cup of tea (or two) and downing a hot stew especially on a cold day.

The afternoon can be spent catching a bus to the next destination – Shiraz. The Yazd to Shiraz bus ride is the longest in this trip and takes over 5 hours. It will be well into the evening once you arrive in Shiraz.

Day 8 – Shiraz

There is probably no other city in Iran that conjures romantic images as much as the city of Shiraz. The city of poets as well as wine. This city is undoubtedly the premier city in the southern part of Iran and the well-developed infrastructure attests to this. Despite the city’s size, many of the sights are actually within walking distance from the main street – Zand Boulevard. 

arg of karim khan

arg of karim khan

Start your day at the Arg of Karim Khan , an 18th century brick citadel typical in the Middle East. Its location and traditional appearance near a busy roundabout in downtown Shiraz makes for an interesting contrast.

vakil mosque

vakil mosque

Turn right and walk through Vakil Bazaar where you can make a stop at the Vakil Mosque with its spectacular columns. Next, make your way to Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street which is parallel to Zand Boulevard. Your priority in the morning should be to visit Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque . Just another mosque you say? If you are active in social media, especially instagram, this is one place you must check out in Shiraz. Within walking distance from the mosque is the Narenjestan Garden , the first of many gardens you will encounter in Shiraz. The gardens and the house within the compound were built by the wealthy Qavam family in the 1800s. The gardens are known for its tile work depicting 3 figures from the Qajar Dynasty.

eram gardens

eram gardens

The rest of the day should be spent visiting sights that are further afield. The Eram Garden , is in my view, the most impressive among Iran’s gardens. The building fronting it, is painted in a soothing white and is decked with numerous paintings. From Narenjestan, allow around 15 minutes drive.

Day 9 – Persepolis


Allow around half a day to venture out of Shiraz to visit the biblical city of Persepolis. One of the great wonders of the world, ranking up there with Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, the Forbidden City and Taj Mahal; this ancient city embodies Persian heritage so much so that the last Shah of Iran used it as a site for his coronation in the 1970s.



Although laying in ruins, there is still quite a bit of structure left to allow visitors to imagine what it must have looked like back in the day. Bas reliefs on the walls show how various civilizations paid tribute to the Persian empire, bringing gifts to the king. To reach Persepolis, you can book a private tour which includes a visit to Naqsh-e-Rustam as well. 

With a morning departure, you can expect to be back in Shiraz by earl afternoon, after which you can spend the rest of the day doing some last minute souvenir shopping or catching your flight out of Iran.

Tips for Visiting Iran

  • Many nationalities can obtain a visa-on-arrival for Iran, but there are cases where having a pre-arranged visa or visa authorization code makes sense such as for avoiding long waits at the airport for getting the visa. You can get a pre-arranged visa authorization code if you prefer to avoid that risk.
  • Iran is still mainly a cash society. You’ll find that your Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards don’t work. Euros and US Dollars work best for changing money. Many merchants even accept direct payment in these currencies over the ever-depreciating Iranian Rial.
  • Many merchants have the habit of quoting prices in tomans rather than Rial, which is the official currency. As a rule of thumb, 1 toman = 10 Rial.

Where to Stay in Iran

Tehran – Pretty much a budget option, Firouzeh Hotel has been a favorite among intrepid travelers particularly due to its very helpful receptionist/s who can give plenty of tips on Tehran. 

Kashan – One of the city’s tourist attractions, the Ameriha House, has been turned into a hotel called Saraye Ameriha Boutique Hotel and is currently the top-ranked hotel in Kashan. I personally stayed at the Ehsan House just a few blocks down the road. It’s clean, adequate and also presented in the Persian style, though with less character than its top-ranked rival.

Yazd – Hidden within the snaking alleys of the old town, Kohan Hotel is a charming option with its traditional courtyard typical of houses in Yazd as well as Persian style rooms. If the caretaker is feeling extra friendly, you might be invited up to the rooftop to check out the hotel’s windcatcher as well as admire the ones from the neighboring houses. 

Esfahan – For unabashed Persian splendor, the palatial Abbasi Hotel is generally considered the most luxurious hotel in Esfahan though newer boutique options such as Ghasr Monshi Hotel are taking market share away from the Abbasi.

Shiraz – Darbe Shazdeh is a beautiful boutique hotel located not far from Vakil Mosque. Some rooms come with glass stained windows similar to the ones in Nasir ol Molk Mosque. For a more budget option, Sasan Hotel is a reliable hotel just off Zand Boulevard

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Hi, my name is Bino and I started I Wander around 15 years ago with the aim of sharing about some of my personal journeys and experiences, hoping that the information may benefit readers like yourselves. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, you can also email me at b i n o (at) You can follow I Wander on Facebook , Telegram , or Instagram . Also, if you liked this article, please feel free to SHARE or RETWEET

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December 3, 2019 at 5:42 pm

I have been thinking of a trip to Iran for a while now and your post is a great starting point for a tour of the country. I wasn’t aware of the beautiful Kashan, thank you!

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  • Best of Iran Tourism / Iran Tourist Attractions

20 Best Places to Visit in Iran

by Admin · July 27, 2021

What Are Iran's Top Tourist Attractions

20 Best Places to Visit in Iran

Today, tourists and travel experts have agreed that Iran is an exceptional destination, so much so that the country has gained ground in the tourism industry. Famous for its rich history, incredible food, highly regarded culture, beautiful villages, and equally picturesque sceneries, it’s safe to say Iran’s offerings are diverse and unmatched.

Hence, we have rounded up the 20 best places to visit in Iran with their prominent features to help you decide exactly where to go. Interestingly some of these tourist attractions are valuable UNESCO sites.

Plan your trip with our list of the best places to visit in Iran, and for more advice in this regard, do not hesitate to contact us .

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Palaces in Tehran

Golestan Palace

Tehran is famous for its magnificent palaces belong to Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties. These luxurious palaces of Tehran represent the culture, art, and civilization of contemporary Iran. The most spectacular palaces in Tehran that are among the best places to visit in Iran are listed below.

Golestan Palace

The most beautiful palace in Tehran is Golestan Palace, a collection of palace-museums belonging to the Safavid dynasty and the later periods. The complex that is a UNESCO site is located in a gorgeous garden.

Notably, Shams-ol-Emareh is the most beautiful palace of the Golestan Complex. It is a 35-meter high building with five floors which was the tallest building in Tehran at the time of its construction.

Address: Panzdah-e-Khordad St, District 12, Tehran, Tehran Province

Saadabad Palace

Saadabad is another complex of beautiful palaces in Iran located in the northern part of Tehran in the Darband district. Saadabad Palace complex includes 18 museums and palaces of Qajar and Pahlavi Imperial families in an area of about 110 hectares. The White Palace, The Green Museum Palace, and Ahmad Shah Palace are the most important buildings of this monument.

Address: Taheri St., District 1, Tehran, Tehran Province

Niavaran Palace

Niavaran Palace is a Qajari palace located in the Niavaran district. The complex includes Niavaran Private Palace, Sahebgharanieh Palace, Ahmad Shahi Palace, Jahan Nama Museum, The Museum of Private Cars, etc.

Address: Darband St., Tehran, Tehran Province

Takhte Jamshid

Every international tourist believes that Persepils is one of the best places to visit in Iran; It is known as a symbol of Persian civilization worldwide.

This magnificent monument, located near Marvdasht, Shiraz in Fars province, shows the architectural glory of the Persian kings of about 25 centuries ago. Persepolis, one of the UNESCO sites in Iran, belongs to all the world’s people.

Columns, inscriptions, bas reliefs, palaces, and gates left in the Persepolis area are among the world’s most famous civilization works.

Address: 60 km northwest of Shiraz

Opening Hours: Every Day 8:30 to 19:30 in spring and summer, 7:30 to 17:30 in fall and winter

Nasir Al-Molk Mosque (Pink Mosque)

Pink Mosque

Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is a masterpiece belonging to the Qajar period and is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Iran based on the tourists’ reviews. 

Early in the morning, its colorful mosaic windows catch the light and make a picturesque combination of colors on the walls, floors, and ceiling. You must have seen the incredibly colorful photos of this mosque in the posters of Iran.

Besides, Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is famous for its beautiful decoration, including stained glass, colorful tiles, and delicate Muqarnas . Due to the extensive use of pink tiles in its decoration, which is unique in its kind, Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is also known as the Pink Mosque.

Address: Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street, Shiraz, Fars Province

Opening Hours: Every day 8:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 19:30 in spring and summer, 8:00 to 11:30 and 15:00 to 16:30 in fall and winter

Naqsh-E Jahan Square (Meidan Emam)

Naqsh-E Jahan

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, also known as the Grand Plaza of Isfahan, is a historical complex belonging to the Safavid era (1501-1736).

With about 90000 square meters of area, Naghsh-e Jahan Square is wider than Moscow Red Square and is the second-largest rectangular square after Tiananmen Square in Beijing .

Moreover, the Naqsh-e Jahan complex consists of the square surrounded by significant historical monuments, including Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace, and Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Notably, the whole complex is an Iran UNESCO site.

Address: Isfahan, Isfahan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours (Its surrounded monument have different opening hours)

The National Museum of Iran

The National Museum of Iran

The National Museum of Iran, located in the old context of Tehran, is the country’s most significant archeological and historical museum. Consequently, this museum is the reference or mother museum for all museums in Iran. It is noteworthy that there are about 300,000 objects from different periods (Paleolithic to contemporary) in this museum. There, you can also find the oldest signs of human presence on the plateau of Iran, with about 600,000 antiquity.

So, if you are interested in ancient history, this museum is one of the best places to visit in Iran for you.

Address: 30 th Tir St., Tehran, Tehran Province

Opening Hours: Every day 9.00 to 19.00 in spring and summer, 9:00 to 17:00 in fall and winter

National Jewelry Treasury (National Jewelry Museum)

National Jewelry Museum

If you are interested in glamorous jewelry and antiques, the Jewelry Museum is one of the best tourist attractions you can visit in Iran. This museum is located in the basement of the Central Bank of Iran in Tehran’s city center. In this museum, you will see the best and most valuable antique jewelry of Iran and even the world. It is worth mentioning that the most beautiful and precious jewel of the National Jewelry Treasury is Darya-ye Noor Diamond, the largest pink diamond in the world, weighing 182 carats.

Please note that photography is prohibited in the museum, and children under 12 years old can not visit this place. Also, this museum hosts visitors for only 2 hours every day from Saturday to Tuesday.

Address: Central Bank of Iran, Ferdowsi Ave., Tehran, Tehran Province

Opening Hours: Saturday till Tuesday 14:00 to 16:30

Historic City of Yazd


One of the places you must visit in Iran is Yazd, the third most attractive city after Shiraz and Isfahan. Yazd is the first adobe city worldwide and the second historical city after Venice, Italy.

Some of the features of Yazd Historic City include the adobe houses that are located near each other, narrow and covered alleys, and tall windcatchers.

Moreover, Yazd Old Town is an Iran UNESCO site, which houses many valuable monuments such as the Amir Chakhmagh Complex, the Jame Mosque of Yazd, ancient water reservoir, Alexander Prison, etc.

Address: Yazd, Yazd Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

Dasht-e Lut (Lut Desert)

Lut Desert

Without douth deserts are among the best places to visit in Iran. Accordingly, the Dasht-e Lut or Lut Desert, located in Kerman Province, is the first Iran UNESCO natural site, covering about 10% of Iran’s territory. Lut Plain is a collection of extraordinary natural appearances and geographic features. Accordingly, the most magnificent ones are Kaluts, the high hills carved from the bedrock by sandy winds.

Moreover, Nebka park (the natural flower pots), Star-Shaped Dunes, Gandom Beryan (the hottest spot on the planet), Rood-e Shoor (the Salty River), etc., are other attractions of this UNESCO desert. Moreover, you can enjoy trekking, safari, camel riding, camping, and star observing in the Lut Desert.

Address: Kerman, South Khorasan, and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces, Iran

Tomb of Hafez (Hafezieh)


Hafez is one of the most well-known Persian poets of the 15th century, whose poems are about love and spirituality. Interestingly, Goethe and Nietzsche have been inspired by his poems.

Now, Hafeziyeh is the burial place of Hafez in the gorgeous Golgasht-e Mosalla Garden in Shiraz. And Hafez’s tomb is a marvelous octagonal pavilion that is known as a symbol of Shiraz.

Moreover, the pleasant atmosphere of this attraction can bring you peace and create happy hours for you. In addition to Hafez, other famous poets and mystics have been buried in this garden.

Address: Chehel Magham St., Shiraz, Fars Province

Opening Hours: Every day, 8:30 to 23:30 in spring and summer, 7:30 to 22:00 in fall and winter

Kashan Historic Houses

Tabatabai House

Kashan is the city of traditional architectural wonders which has maintained its classic appearance. So, the top attractions to visit in Kashan are its historic houses. Here are the most remarkable Kashan Historic Houses.

Tabatabai House

It is a historic house museum, famous as “The Bride of Iran,” which represents the lifestyle of Kashan royal families during the 19th century. Its luxurious decorations, including delicate plastering and colored glassworks, make the Tabatabai house one of the best places to visit in Iran.

Address: Alavi Street, Kashan, Isfahan Province

Borujerdi House

Borujerdi House is a historic Qajarid building located in the heart of the Kashan historical context. In terms of architecture, the building has both interior and exterior segments with fantastic decorations; Its exterior design resembles the buildings designed by Gaudi in Barcelona.

Abbasi House (Abbasian Historical House)

This house is an outstanding example of Persian-Islamic architecture built on over 5000 square meters consisting of 5 floors and 5 yards. Mosaic windows, stucco reliefs, and carvings are the features of its stunning decorations.

Hyrcanian Caspian Mixed Forest

Hyrcanian Forest

In the south of the Caspian Sea, from the seashore to the mountains, the valuable Hyrcanian mixed forests are located with an antiquity of more than 40 million years. These forests are 55,000 square kilometers, of which two million hectares are located in Iran.

These forests are like a green ribbon at the Caspian Sea border, stretching from Mazandaran to Gilan, Gorgan, and Arasbaran.

Besides its wonderful sceneries, the Hyrcanian forest provides clean air and water storage and is home to various fauna and flora.

Address: The southern border of the Caspian Sea (in Mazandaran, Gilan, and Golestan Provinces)

Opening Hours: Every day, 24 hours

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan (Atigh Mosque)

Atigh Mosque

Historical mosques are among the best places to visit in Iran. Jame Mosque of Isfahan is the oldest monument of Isfahan and the UNESCO registered site located near the Isfahan Grand Bazaar.

This historical site was constructed and renovated during twelve centuries ( from the 8th century to the end of the 20th century). Hence, each part of the mosque shows the evolution of Persian architecture in different periods.

Furthermore, you can see the most beautiful plastered altar of the Patriarchal period, valuable inscriptions, delicate Muqarnas decorations, and tilework in this mosque.

Address: Majlesi St, Isfahan, Isfahan Province

Opening Hours: Every day 9:00 to 18:00 in spring and summer, 9:00 to 16:30 in fall and winter Break for praying from 12:00 to 14:00

Jolfa Neighborhood (Armenian Quarter of Isfahan)


Jolfa Neighborhood, located near the Zayandeh Rood river in Isfahan, is one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Iran.

In this old quarter, you can see cobbled streets reminiscent of the historic neighborhoods of European cities. Moreover, tall clocks, churches, Western-style cafes, ponds, statues, and everything present the significant difference between this area and other old contexts in Iran.

Besides, there are 11 historic churches in the Jolfa Quarter of Isfahan, the most important of which is the Vank Church. You can also visit Isfahan Music Museum in this neighborhood.

Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex

iran country tourism

Old bazaars are among the best places to visit in Iran, where you can buy colorful souvenirs. In this regard, Tabriz Bazaar is one of the world’s oldest markets on the ancient Silk Road and the largest covered old bazaar globally. Moreover, this marketplace is a vibrant bazaar and a UNESCO-registered site.

Besides, walking in its long corridors under the tall arches and Muqarnas domes is like reviewing a thousand years of life.

Finally, if you travel to Tabriz, we suggest visiting this grand market and buying handmade Persian carpets, leather products, local sweets, nuts, spices, etc.

Address: Old Bazaar, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Opening Hours: Every Day 10:00 to 17:00, Most of the Shops are Closed on Friday

Shazdeh Garden

iran country tourism

Persian Gardens are among the best tourist attractions to visit in Iran. Accordingly, nine Persian Gardens are on the Iran UNESCO sites list, that the biggest one is Mahan Shazdeh Garden near Kerman. This gorgeous garden is like an emerald in the heart of the Lut desert. Notably, the irrigation system and the architecture of this garden reflect Iranian architects’ intelligence.

There is a long stairway with the water flow on it and trees on both sides in the middle of the garden. This stairway goes directly to the marvelous palace at the end of the garden.

Address: Mahan, 38 km south of Kerman, Kerman Province

Opening Hours: Every day 9:00 to 21:00

Abyaneh Red Village

iran country tourism

On the Iran classic route, between Kashan and Tehran, lies Abyaneh, the Red Village of Iran. Abyaneh village, with more than 1500 years old, is one of the highest residential areas in Iran with a stepped structure. In this ancient village, the houses are made of red clay and brick, and the doors are decorated with wooden windows.

The residents of Abyaneh have preserved their customs, traditions, language, and traditional clothing; Women wear beautiful white floral scarves and colorful skirts.

Moreover, in Abyaneh, you can enjoy sightseeing, photography, tasting delicious food, buying local handicrafts, cycling, etc.

Address: 90 km south of Kashan, Isfahan Province

Hormoz Island (Rainbow Island)

iran country tourism

Hormoz Island, in the south of Iran, with red, silver, gold, white, and orange soil, is known as the rainbow island that doesn’t have any counterpart in the world. The contrast of the colorful soil with the azure blue of the Persian Gulf has made this island one of the best places to visit in Iran.

You can enjoy its unique and pristine scenery, such as red beaches, glowing beaches, rainbow caves, salt mountains, and hidden beaches on Hormuz Island.

Besides enjoying its scenic sceneries, you can do various water sports such as diving on this island. On the other hand, you can get acquainted with southern Iran’s cultures, customs, and local food.

Address: 30 km southwest of Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province

Kandovan Rocky Village

iran country tourism

60 kilometers from Tabriz city in northwestern Iran lies Kandovan Village, the Cappadocia of Iran. With about 800-year antiquity, this rocky settlement stands at 2200 meters above sea level and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Iran.

This rocky village is famous for its beehive-formed houses that have been dug in the heart of the cliffs.  In Kandovan, you can get involved with rural life, enjoy sightseeing, stay in an extraordinary rocky room, and buy colorful and delicious souvenirs.

Address: 55 km south of Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

One of the best places to visit in Iran that most tourists miss because it is out of the Iran classic route is Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System.

This hydraulic system includes water mills, dams, water distribution systems, castles, waterfalls, and bridges on the Karun River, located in southwestern Iran. This historical complex is one of the most impressive ancient engineering structures globally, which dates back to the Sassanid era and has been registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Address: Taleghani Street, Shooshtar, Khuzestan Province

Opening Hours: Every day, 8:00 to 20:00 in spring and summer, 8:00 to 17:30 in fall and winter

Holy Shrine of Imam Reza

iran country tourism

The shrine of Imam Reza (the eighth Shiite Imam) in Mashhad is a magnificent sacred place for Muslims. In this regard, this complex receives millions of pilgrims annually.

However, the importance of this shrine is not limited to its religious aspect; it is one of the largest mosques in the world with impressive architectural features. Different entrances, courtyards, mosques, porches, museums, libraries, etc., are different parts of this stunning complex. Notably, its museums include the Astan Quds Razavi Central Museum, the Quran Museum, the Carpet Museum, the Anthropology Museum, the Coin Museum, etc. It is noteworthy that this magnificent collection is on the list of the national heritages of Iran.

Address: Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province

Best Places to Visit in Iran at a Glance

In the table below, you can find useful information about the 20 best places to visit in Iran that we have introduced in the sections above.

If you have any other information about the top tourist attractions to visit in Iran or have any questions, please leave your comments.

Top Attractions to See in Iran at a Glance

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Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran has a lot of potential. But why is the tourism industry so important here and why does it matter? Read on to find out…

Sprawled across the crossroads of Central Asia and the Middle East, Iran is a destination that melds ancient grandeur with diverse geography . Revered as one of the cradles of civilisation, its vast landscapes range from the snowy peaks of the Alborz Mountains to the sun-kissed shores of the Persian Gulf. Steeped in millennia of history, Iran boasts architectural marvels, bustling bazaars, and remnants of empires that once reshaped world dynamics.

As the allure of its heritage sites beckons travellers from around the globe, Iran’s emerging tourism sectors offer various avenues for exploration. This article delves into the country’s geographical expanse, its unmissable destinations, the myriad forms of tourism it supports, and the multi-dimensional impacts—both positive and cautionary—of tourism on its socio-cultural and environmental fabric.

Geography in Iran

Iran is located in the Middle East and is the 18th largest country in the world by land area. It is bordered by seven countries, including Turkey to the northwest, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the north, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Iraq to the west. Additionally, Iran has a coastline along the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to the south. These various borders and waterways have been an important factor in shaping the country’s history and culture.

Iran is one of the most mountainous countries in the world, with the Zagros and Alborz mountain ranges running through its territory. The highest peak in Iran is Damavand, which stands at 5,610 metres (18,406 feet) and is located in the Alborz Range. The mountainous terrain has played a significant role in shaping Iran’s culture and history, as it has made it difficult for outside powers to conquer and control the region. The mountains also provide a natural defence against potential aggressors.

iran country tourism

In addition to its mountain ranges, Iran is also home to several large deserts, including the Dasht-e Kavir and the Dasht-e Lut. These arid regions account for a significant portion of the country’s land area and have been important for trade routes throughout history. The deserts also contain several important mineral resources, such as salt and copper.

Iran’s water resources are also critical for its economy and way of life. The country’s largest river is the Karun, which flows from the Zagros Mountains to the Persian Gulf. Additionally, Iran has several large lakes, including Lake Urmia in the northwest and Lake Hamun in the southeast. The Caspian Sea, located to the north of Iran, is shared with several other countries and is an important source of fish and caviar.

Overall, Iran’s geography has played a significant role in shaping its culture, history, and economy. Its large mountain ranges, expensive desserts, and important water resources have all contributed to the country’s development and made it a unique and important part of the Middle East.

iran country tourism

Tourism Industry in Iran

One of the most popular destinations in Iran for tourists is the city of Isfahan, which is known for its stunning Islamic architecture, including the Jameh Mosque and the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Additionally, the city of Shiraz is a major draw for visitors interested in Persian poetry and art, while the ancient city of Persepolis provides a glimpse into Iran’s rich history.

Although international sanctions have previously slowed the growth of Iran’s tourism industry, the lifting of these sanctions in recent years has led to a surge in new investment and development. For example, the government has been working to expand the country’s airport infrastructure and increase both the number and quality of hotels and other tourist accommodations.

Iran’s natural beauty is also a major draw for visitors. The country is home to several important natural reserves and parks, such as the Golestan National Park and the Alamut Valley. The Caspian Sea represents a major attraction for those interested in beaches and greenery, while the Zagros Mountains and the Dasht-e Lut desert offer opportunities for adventure tourism.

Overall, Iran’s tourism industry provides significant opportunities for economic growth and cultural exchange. As the country continues to open up to the world, it is expected that tourism will become an increasingly important part of the country’s future.

iran country tourism

Statistics of Tourism in Iran

Here are some notable statistics about tourism in Iran:

1 – In 2019, Iran welcomed approximately 9.2 million international tourists, an increase of 52.5% from the previous year.

2 – Tourism revenue in 2019 was estimated to be around $11.8 billion USD, accounting for approximately 2.8% of Iran’s GDP.

3 – The largest number of tourists to Iran came from Iraq, followed by India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan.

4 – The most popular destinations in Iran for foreign tourists were Isfahan, Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, and Mashhad.

5 – Iran has a total of 23 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which makes it the 9th country in the world in terms of the number of its World Heritage listings.

6 – In 2019, the number of hotels and other tourist accommodations in Iran totaled over 11,000, with a total capacity of approximately 550,000 rooms.

7 – The largest airport in Iran is Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, which handled approximately 11.7 million passengers in 2019.

8 – The Iranian government has identified tourism as a key area for economic growth and has set a target of attracting 20 million tourists by 2025.

9 – Iran’s tourist attractions and services have won several international awards in recent years, including the Golden City Gate award in the ITB Berlin tourism fair.

10 – In 2019, Iran was awarded the “Best Tourist Destination for Adventure Tourism” by the International Association of Sports and Adventure Tourism.

Popular Tourist Attractions in Iran

Iran is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and there are many popular tourist attractions to visit. From ancient ruins and Islamic architecture to stunning natural scenery and cultural events, Iran has something to offer every type of traveler.

One of the most popular destinations in Iran is the ancient city of Persepolis. Built over 2,500 years ago, Persepolis was the capital of the Persian Empire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the ruins of the city’s palaces, gates, and other structures, and gain insight into what life was like during the height of the Persian Empire.

Another popular destination is the city of Isfahan, which is known for its stunning Islamic architecture. The Naqsh-e Jahan Square is one of the largest public squares in the world and is surrounded by fascinating landmarks, like the Imam Mosque, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and the Ali Qapu Palace. The city’s historic bridges, including the Khaju Bridge and the Si-o-se Pol Bridge, are also popular attractions.

iran country tourism

Located in central Iran, Yazd is a city with a rich history and cultural heritage. It is known for its wind towers, which are traditional Persian structures designed to cool buildings during the hot summer months, as well as its stunning mosques, like the Jameh Mosque and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple.

For those interested in Iranian poetry and literature, the city of Shiraz is a must-visit destination. It is the birthplace of famous Persian poets like Hafez and Saadi, and visitors can explore their mausoleums and other cultural landmarks, such as the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque and the Arg-e Karim Khan citadel.

Iran is also home to a number of stunning natural attractions, including the Caspian Sea and the Zagros Mountains. The Masuleh village, located in the northern province of Gilan, is particularly unique due to its architecture, which resembles a stepped-hill, and its location on the hillsides of green forests.

Finally, Iran is well-known for its rich and vibrant cultural events, such as the Nowruz (Iranian New Year) and the annual Fajr International Film Festival. These events offer visitors the chance to experience Iranian culture firsthand and interact with locals.

Overall, Iran offers an incredible array of attractions for tourists, from ancient ruins and Islamic architecture to stunning natural scenery and cultural events.

iran country tourism

Popular Types of Tourism in Iran

There are several types of tourism in Iran, and the country offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Below are some of the popular types of tourism in Iran:

Cultural Tourism: Being an ancient country, Iran has a rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient ruins, including Persepolis and Pasargadae. Iran’s Islamic architecture is also a major draw, with landmarks such as the Imam Mosque in Isfahan, and the Jameh Mosque in Yazd.

Adventure Tourism: Iran’s diverse landscapes, including mountains and deserts, make it a popular destination for adventure tourism. The Zagros Mountains offer opportunities for hiking and skiing, while the Dasht-e Kavir desert provides opportunities for camel trekking and camping.

Religious Tourism: Iran is one of the most important centres of Islamic religion, and it attracts Muslim pilgrims from around the world. Cities like Mashhad and Qom are particularly popular destinations for those seeking religious experiences.

Eco-tourism: Iran is home to several natural reserves and parks, such as Golestan National Park and the Arasbaran Biosphere Reserve, which provide opportunities for eco-tourism. Visitors can explore the country’s diverse flora and fauna, and participate in activities like birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and nature walks.

Health and Wellness Tourism: Iran is a renowned destination for its health and wellness facilities, including thermal springs and mud spas. Many spas and health centres in Iran offer a variety of treatments like hydrotherapy, massage, and reflexology.

Overall, Iran offers a wide variety of tourism opportunities for travellers, showcasing its culture, history, natural beauty, and traditions.

Economic Impacts of Tourism in Iran

Tourism has become an important part of Iran’s economy, with the industry contributing significantly to job creation and economic growth in recent years. The sector has grown rapidly, supported by the Iranian government’s efforts to promote the country as a major tourist destination. In addition to creating jobs, tourism has also contributed to the development of infrastructure and the revitalization of many cities.

One of the main economic impacts of tourism in Iran is job creation. The sector employs a large number of people in various areas, including hotels, restaurants, transportation, tour guide services, and handicrafts. In 2019, the tourism industry accounted for around 1.5 million jobs in Iran. With the continued growth of the industry, this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

Tourism has also had a positive impact on the development of infrastructure in Iran. In recent years, the government has invested in expanding the country’s airport capacities, developing new hotels and tourist attractions, and improving transportation infrastructure. This has not only made it easier for tourists to visit Iran but also helped to spur economic activity in many areas.

In addition, tourism has contributed to the revitalization of many cities and towns across the country. The influx of visitors has led to the restoration of many historic areas, the development of new tourist facilities, and the growth of local businesses. This has led to increased economic activity and a better quality of life for many residents.

Finally, tourism has had a positive impact on Iran’s balance of payments. The industry brings in a significant amount of foreign currency, which helps to support the country’s economy. In 2019, the estimated total revenue from tourism was around $11.8 billion USD, reflecting the growing importance of the sector for Iran’s economy.

Overall, with its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural scenery, and diverse tourism offerings, Iran has the potential to continue growing its tourism industry and reaping the economic benefits that come with it.

iran country tourism

Social Impacts of Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran has had a number of social impacts, both positive and negative. Below are some of the major social impacts of tourism in Iran:

Preservation of cultural heritage: Tourism in Iran has contributed to the preservation of Iran’s cultural heritage, as visitors show interest in the country’s historic sites and traditions. This has led to greater awareness and appreciation of Iran’s cultural assets among both locals and tourists.

Increased cultural exchange: Tourism in Iran has increased opportunities for cultural exchange and interaction between locals and visitors. This has helped to promote understanding and tolerance between different cultures and has created a greater sense of openness and appreciation for diversity.

Job creation: Tourism has generated many jobs in various sectors, including hotels, restaurants, transportation, and handicrafts. This has created employment opportunities for local communities and has helped to improve living standards for many residents.

Environmental impact: The increase in tourism in Iran can lead to environmental degradation through overuse of natural resources, litter, and other pollution. The increase in infrastructure development and human activity can also harm natural habitats and ecosystems in some protected areas.

Social and Economic inequality: Tourism development has a potential for increasing social and economic disparities between tourists and locals. This can occur through exploitative practices, such as setting high prices for souvenirs and other merchandise.

Overall, tourism in Iran has created both positive and negative social impacts. While it has contributed to the creation of jobs, cultural exchange, and preservation of cultural heritage, there is a need for a balance between tourism expansion and preserving the environmental and cultural factors that make Iran such an attractive destination.

Environmental Impacts of Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran has had a number of environmental impacts, both positive and negative. Below are some of the major environmental impacts of tourism in Iran:

Funding for conservation: The revenue generated from tourism in Iran can provide funds for the conservation and preservation of natural areas and wildlife.

Awareness of environmental issues: Tourism in Iran can help to raise awareness of environmental issues and the importance of preserving natural resources.

Promotion of sustainable practices: The development of sustainable tourism practices can promote the conservation of natural areas and limit negative environmental impacts.

Natural resource depletion: Overuse of natural resources, such as water and energy, can lead to depletion of these resources in local communities.

Pollution: The influx of tourists in Iran can generate pollution through litter, waste disposal, transportation, and the use of non-renewable resources. The increase in infrastructure and the wear and tear on natural habitats can also lead to pollution and environmental degradation of protected areas.

Overall, tourism in Iran has created both positive and negative environmental impacts. While tourism can provide funds for conservation, promote sustainable practices, and raise awareness of environmental issues, there is a need for the industry.

iran country tourism

Crime and safety in Iran

Iran has a low crime rate compared to many other countries in the world. The country has a strong security apparatus and strict legal system, which helps to maintain a stable and relatively safe environment for visitors. However, like any country, Iran has its own unique set of safety concerns and travellers should take precautions to ensure their safety.

One of the primary safety concerns in Iran is the risk of terrorism. While the risk of a terrorist attack in Iran is relatively low, there have been several incidents in the past, including attacks targeting foreign diplomats and key infrastructure. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings and avoid large gatherings or prominent state-run facilities.

Another safety concern in Iran is petty crime. Tourists should take precautions to safeguard their valuables and belongings, especially in crowded areas, such as bazaars and public transportation. It is also important to be cautious when exchanging money, as there have been reports of scams involving currency exchange.

In terms of safety for women, Iran has some unique cultural practices and expectations. While dress codes are strictly enforced and women are expected to cover their hair and wear loose clothing, sexual harassment and assault are relatively uncommon compared to many Western countries. However, women are advised to take precautions when going out alone and to avoid walking in isolated areas at night.

In addition to crime and safety concerns, visitors to Iran should also be aware of the country’s strict laws and regulations. This includes restrictions on dress, behaviour, and the use of technology. For example, women are prohibited from attending some sporting events and there are restrictions on the use of social media and other online platforms. It is important to research local laws and customs before visiting Iran to avoid inadvertently violating any regulations.

Overall, while Iran has its own unique safety concerns, it is generally considered a relatively safe destination for tourists. Visitors are advised to exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings, and obey local laws and regulations to ensure safety.

Interesting Facts About Tourism in Iran

Now that we know a bit more about tourism in Iran, I would like to share with you my favourite facts about this fascinating nation:

1 – Iran has 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it the 9th country in the world in terms of the number of its World Heritage listings.

2 – Iran has a significant presence in the international film festival circuit, with the Fajr International Film Festival attracting guests and entries from around the world.

3 – Tehran’s Grand Bazaar is one of the largest markets in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year.

4 – Iran is home to the world’s largest covered market, the Tabriz Bazaar.

5 – Iran is one of the few countries in the world where carpet weaving is a national industry, and Persian rugs are famous for their intricate designs and high quality.

6 – Iran is rich in natural beauty, and visitors can explore everything from beaches on the Caspian Sea to the Zagros Mountains and deserts like Dasht-e Kavir and Band-e Amir.

7 – Iran has a rich culinary heritage, with regional dishes like chelo kebab, ghormeh sabzi, and fesenjan attracting visitors from around the world.

8 – Iranian hospitality is legendary, and visitors can expect to be welcomed warmly in shops, restaurants, and hotels.

9 – Iran has a rich literary tradition and is the birthplace of famous poets such as Rumi, Omar Khayyam, and Saadi.

10 – The city of Yazd, known for its wind towers, is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique desert architecture.

FAQs About Tourism in Iran

Lastly, lets finish up this article about tourism in Iran by answering some of the most common questions on this topic:

What are the top tourist attractions in Iran?

Iran has many popular tourist attractions, including historic sites like Persepolis, Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, and the ancient city of Yazd. Other popular destinations include the Caspian Sea coast, mountain ranges like Alborz and Zagros, and the beautiful deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and Lut.

What is the best time to visit Iran for tourism?

The best time to visit Iran for tourism is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot, especially in the southern regions, and winters can be cold in the north and mountainous areas.

Do I need a visa to visit Iran?

Yes, most foreign visitors need a visa to enter Iran, with some exceptions for certain countries. Visitors can apply for a tourist visa through the Iranian embassy or consulate in their home country before travelling.

What is the official language spoken in Iran?

The official language of Iran is Persian (Farsi), which is spoken by the majority of the population. Some minority languages like Azeri, Kurdish, and Arabic are also spoken in certain regions.

Is Iran a safe country for tourists?

Despite some negative stereotypes and misconceptions, Iran is generally a safe country for tourists. The crime rate is low, and incidents of violent crime against tourists are rare. However, visitors should still be cautious and aware of their surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

What is the currency of Iran?

The currency of Iran is the Iranian Rial (IRR), although many transactions are also done in US dollars or euros. Visitors can exchange currency at banks, exchange offices, or hotels in major cities.

Can I use credit cards in Iran?

No, most international credit cards are not accepted in Iran due to international sanctions. Visitors are recommended to bring cash or use local debit cards for transactions.

What is the dress code for visitors in Iran?

Female visitors should wear a headscarf and loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs, while men should wear long trousers and avoid shorts. The dress code is more relaxed in private spaces like hotel rooms and women-only spaces like women’s mosques.

Is alcohol allowed in Iran?

No, alcohol is illegal in Iran due to religious restrictions. Visitors should not attempt to bring or consume alcohol in Iran.

Can I use social media in Iran?

Yes, most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are accessible in Iran, although some content may be filtered or restricted due to government censorship. Visitors are recommended to use a virtual private network (VPN) for greater internet freedom and privacy.

Tourism in Iran- To conclude

Iran, a nexus of ancient civilisations and diverse landscapes, offers an immersive journey into a rich tapestry of history and culture. As visitors explore its architectural wonders and geographical spectacles, they connect with narratives that span millennia.

However, as tourism in the nation grows, it’s essential to adopt a sustainable approach, preserving both its tangible and intangible heritage. Through conscious and responsible tourism, Iran has the potential to showcase its multifaceted beauty, all the while ensuring that its cultural and natural treasures remain intact for future generations to appreciate.

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Iran Destinations

Introduction to the most important must-see places in Iran, Iran top travel destinations & top tourist attractions in Iran

Iran is a vast country full of glorious historical attractions and breathtaking natural sights. The diversity of attractions in Iran makes it an amazing travel destination for travelers with any taste; however, it also makes it difficult to plan an ideal Iran trip.

Although even a month of traveling through Iran may not be enough to see all there is to see, it’s possible to plan a fulfilling Iran trip that covers the best Iran destinations, the most significant Iran attractions, and most enjoyable things to do in Iran based on your preferences.

By gaining enough information about Iran, you’ll be able to get the most out of your time, visit attractions that are most compatible with your taste and have unique experiences in addition to authentic ones.

  • The most Budget-friendly travel destinations in the world (The World Economic Forum, 2019 Report )
  • 9th country in the world with most cultural heritage sites ( UNESCO )
  • 11th travel destination in the world based on countries with most heritage sites ( UNESCO )
  • More travel-related safety and security than Russia, Egypt, India, Turkey, Brazil & Thailand, etc. (The World Economic Forum, 2019 Report )

Iran-Culture-Tour-iran-tour-package-travel-iran-visit-iran destinations iran attractions things to do in iran half

Kashan Travel Guide

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Tehran Travel Guide

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Shiraz Travel Guide

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Yazd Travel Guide

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Isfahan Travel Guide

Jameh mosque of Isfahan (Masjed-e Jameh) or Atiq mosque iran destinations top iran destination things to do tourist attractions in Iran

Kerman Travel Guide

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Tabriz Travel Guide

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Rasht Travel Guide

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Ardabil Travel Guide

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Qazvin Travel Guide

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Qeshm Travel Guide

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Bandar Abbas Travel Guide


Iran UNESCO world heritage sites

Cultural sites :

Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, Azarbaijan

Bam and its cultural landscape, kerman, bisotun, kermanshah, cultural landscape of maymand, kerman, golestan palace, tehran, gonbad-e qābus, golestan.

  • Historic City of Yazd, Yazd
  • Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, Isfahan
  • Meidan Emam, Isfahan

Pasargadae, Shiraz

Persepolis, shiraz, sassanid archaeological landscape of fars region, shiraz, shahr-i sokhta, sistan, sheikh safi al-din khānegāh and shrine ensemble in ardabil, shushtar historical hydraulic system, khuzestan, soltaniyeh, zanjan, susa, khuzestan.

  • Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, Tabriz

Takht-e Soleyman, Azarbaijan

Tchogha zanbil, khuzestan.

  • The Persian Garden, Many Provinces
  • The Persian Qanat, Many Provinces

Hyrcanian Forests, North of Iran

Lut desert, kerman.

Golestan Palace Tehran things to do iran attractions iran destinations visit iran travel guide cheetah adventures

Naghsh-e Jahan Square (aka Emam or Imam squar), Isfahan

Naghsh-e_Jahan_Square Meidan Emam, Isfahan iran attractions things to do in iran destinations iran destination visit iran travel

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan things to do in iran attractions iran destinations best destination cultural sites in iran

Historic City of Yazd

Historic City of Yazd things to do iran attractions iran destinations cultural sites in iran unesco heritage

Historic Bazaar Complex, Tabriz

Historic Bazaar Complex Tabriz iran destinations things to do in iran attractions Mozaffariyeh,_Grand_Bazzar_of_Tabriz Tabriz

The Arg-e Bam is the largest adobe building in the world

arg e Bam citadel and its Cultural Landscape Kerman iran destinations things to do in iran attractions cultural sites

The Persian Qanat

The Persian Qanat iran destinations things to do in iran attractions visit iran travel guide destination

Ghavam Garden: One of The Persian Gardens

The Persian Garden Ghavam_Garden iran destinations things to do in iran attractions

Gallery of UNESCO world heritage sites in Iran

Click for Full List & More Description

Iran also lists more than 50 properties on the UNESCO world heritage tentative list [ Source ].

Iran Desert Dasht-e Lut iran desert Hottest spot on earth iran destinations attractions things to do in iran top destination cheetah adventures 2

Iran Desert: Dasht-e Lut, which includes the hottest spot on earth & the tallest sand pyramids in the world with some being almost 480 meters

Iran Desert Dasht-e Kavir iran desert central desert of iran iran destinations attractions things to do in iran top destination cheetah adventures 3

Iran Desert Dasht-e Kavir or the central desert of Iran, 300km long and 400 km wide, is the largest desert located in the Iranian plateau.

Read more about Iran Deserts

Damavand damawand iran mountains iran destinations things to do iran attractions list cheetah adventures

Damavand Mountain (5610m), The Highest Volcano in Asia

Damavand Tour     |    Mount Damavand Guide

0-Alam-kuh Bigwall, Alamchal Glacier, North face of Alamkuh iran destinations attractions things to do top list cheetah adventures

Alamkuh, AKA The Alps of Iran

Read more about Alam-kuh

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Mount Sabalan (4811m), 3rd most prominent peak in Iran

Read more about Sabalan

Tourist Attractions in Iran

Iran is a country with ancient history, diverse culture and amazing nature. This vast country is full of outstanding tourist attractions that travelers can visit during their Iran tour.

Depending on the Iran travel destinations you choose, there will be plenty of different natural and historical attractions to choose from based on your preferences. Iran has stunning natural tourist attractions to have a great journey in, ranging from tall mountains and mesmerizing forests to unique geological sites and vast deserts.

There are also many cultural/historical attractions in Iran including palaces, historical villages, mosques and gardens. In addition, Iran has 24 UNESCO world heritage sites that you can’t miss.

The majority of travelers choose Iran cultural tours and visit the most famous Iran destinations such as Shiraz , Isfahan , Yazd and Tehran . Those who are more adventurous choose to combine their Iran cultural tour with an Iran desert tour and explore the deserts near Kashan and Isfahan as well.

On the other hand, many others travel to Iran with the purpose of trekking in Alborz Mountain Range and climb Mount Damavand (5610m), the most prominent peak in the Middle East.

It’s possible to combine different Iran tours to get a taste of various Iran tourist attractions and spend some time in nature in addition to learning about the culture and history of Iran.

Persepolis Shiraz Iran Tour Culture visit iran tour package travel iran trip

Things to do in Iran

In Iran, no traveler will be bored. Whether you prefer visiting sumptuous palaces and historical mosques, spending time with locals, or having some adventure in deserts and mountains, there are a lot of new and amazing things you can experience in Iran.

Those who enjoy history, arts and architecture shouldn’t miss significant historical attractions in Iran such as Persepolis and Pink Mosque (Nasir Ol Molk Mosque) in Shiraz and its nearby area, Fahadan neighborhood in Yazd , Naqsh-e Jahan Square and its surrounding monuments in Isfahan and Golestan and Sa’dabad Palaces in Tehran .

These cultural attractions are concrete history books and also introduce travelers to the Persian art of decoration and architectural style.

Those seeking to learn about the Iranian culture and lifestyle and spend time with locals can wander through the corridors of traditional bazaars or visit popular hangout places in each city such as Si-O-Se Pol in Isfahan , Bam-E Tehran and Tabiat Bridge in Tehran , Tomb of Hafez in Shiraz and Amir Chakhmaq square in Yazd .

Places such as Tomb of Hafez and Sa’adi in Shiraz give visitors a great insight into the literature of Iran while Zoorkhaneh is a great place to learn about an ancient Iranian sport.

Iran also has a lot to offer to those who enjoy being in nature and seek adventurous things to do. Mountain climbers can experience climbing the highest volcano in Asia and the most prominent peak in the Middle East, which is Mount Damavand (5610m) , without technical trekking experience. They can also enjoy trekking in Iran by conquering multiple peaks above 4000 m high in Alborz Mountain Range.

These mountains have also provided the opportunity of skiing both in modern Iran ski resorts and off-piste. Another amazing way to have adventure and spend time in nature in Iran is off-roading at Iran deserts , where adventurers can admire the beauty of salt lakes and sand dunes, visit the famous Shahdad Kalouts (Yardangs) and also visit the hottest spot on earth at Gandom Beryan Region.

Lastly, you can mix adventure with geology and explore the unique geological sites on Gheshm and Hormoz Islands . Some of the most notable geological sites in Iran are Harra Sea Forest , The Red Beach on Hormoz Island , The Rainbow Valley and the Valley of Stars .

You can learn more about things to do in Iran by reading about Iran destinations on this page.

Best Cities in Iran

Picking the best cities in a country to visit often requires a lot of research and it gets even more difficult when it comes to a country as diverse as Iran.

There is a lot to do and see in each of the Iran cities. Therefore, one of the factors that should be considered when choosing the best cities in Iran is personal preferences for different categories of Iran attractions. 

Each part of the country has its particular beauties and is known for a certain type of attractions. For instance, the northern cities such as Rasht , Bandar-e Anzali and Ardabil are famous for their stunning natural attractions including the Anzali Lagoon and Gardane Heyran .

However, the southern cities and Islands are the best choice for exploring unique geological phenomena such as Harra Sea Forest and the Valley of Stars on Gheshm Island and the Rainbow Valley on Hormoz Island. 

Moreover, former capitals such as Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz and some other cities such as Kashan and Yazd often attract the travelers’ attention for their remarkable cultural/ historical attractions and UNESCO world heritage sites such as the Persian Garden , Persepolis and the ancient city of Yazd .

Kashan, Yazd, Isfahan and Kerman are also close to deserts . On the other hand, Tehran gives travelers the opportunity to experience the modern, dynamic lifestyle of the Iranians living in this grand metropolis and is the best place to learn about the last 250 years of the history of Iran.

Tehran is also close to the best ski resorts in Iran and Mount Damavand and Alam Kuh, the highest and second-highest peaks in Iran, making it also a good destination for trekking and skiing in Iran .

Furthermore, Iran is a country with four seasons, meaning it’s possible to experience moderate weather in some parts of the country at all times. For this reason, the weather and time of travel is another important factor to consider when choosing a suitable Iran destination.

All this being said, although each traveler may have a different opinion on the best cities in Iran, the travel route that covers Tehran, Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz remains the most popular.

T hese cities are often considered the best Iran destinations due to the possibility of enjoying both cultural and adventurous activities in them and the fact that they include a large number of significant cultural attractions.

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Cultural attractions in Iran

Iran is best known for its ancient history and interesting culture. It is full of outstanding historical attractions some of which date back to more than 5000 years ago .

The amazing cultural attractions in Iran have always fascinated travelers and 22 of them are registered as UNESCO world heritage sites.

Some of the oldest historical sites in Iran are Persepolis located near Shiraz , Bam Citadel  located near Kerman and Kharanaq village near Yazd and are more than 3000 years old .

Persepolis, the remains of the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid emperors, is the most famous UNESCO world heritage site in Iran and is a must-see attraction in the country. Historical mosques are also among significant cultural attractions in Iran.

They are known for their notable decorations especially the tilework and are each from a specific era of the history of Iran.

A few of the magnificent mosques in Iran are Pink mosque ( Nasir-ol Molk mosque) in Shiraz , Jameh mosque of Isfahan and Sheikh Lotfollah mosque also in Isfahan .

Each of these historical attractions has unique architecture and tile work. Palaces and traditional houses also comprise a large part of the most interesting historical attractions in Iran. These glorious attractions belonged to kings, noblemen and merchants from 200-500 years ago and are most famous for their grandeur and stunning embellishments.

Among them, Golestan Palace , and Sa’dabad Complex in Tehran , Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan and Tabatabai traditional house in Kashan are the most admired.

Furthermore, the Persian Garden is another impressive cultural attraction in Iran and a UNESCO world heritage site. They often include a mansion that is architecturally significant on its own. Naranjestan Garden in Shiraz and Fin Garden in Kashan are two of the most remarkable Persian Gardens among the 9 Persian Gardens registered as a UNESCO world heritage site.

There are many other spectacular historical and cultural attractions in Iran such as traditional bazaars, ancient citadels such as Rayen Citadel , unique villages such as Abiyaneh , bridges such as Si-o-Se Pol and many others to visit in Iran. You can find more information about cultural attractions in Iran on this page (scroll to see the introduction to each city & its attractions).

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In this section you’ll read about the best cities in Iran, the most fascinating natural attractions and the most remarkable historical ones and all 24 UNESCO world heritage sites. You’ll also find interesting things to do in Iran and places to have local experiences.

  • Tehran : The capital and the dynamic beating heart of Iran, Read more
  • Kashan : The jewel of Dasht-e Kavir, and one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in Iran, Read more
  • Yazd : Located between Dasht-e Kavir desert and Dasht-e Lut desert, Yazd amazes every traveler with its beauty.  Read more
  • Isfahan : Known as Nesf-e Jahan (meaning half of the world) by locals, Isfahan is the cultural capital of Iran, Read more
  • Shiraz : One of the most ancient cities in Iran and is located near Persepolis the capital of ancient Persia. Shiraz is known as the city of poetry and wine, Read more
  • Kerman : Kerman province includes the largest number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the country, Read more
  • Tabriz : One of the most historically and economically significant cities in Iran, Read more
  • Rasht : Rasht is named one of the UNESCO creative cities for its delicious and various local foods, Read more
  • Ardabil : Ardabil means holy town. Ardabil province is known for its delightful lakes and heavenly jungles. Read more
  • Qazvin : known as the city of calligraphy and satirical literature and one of the oldest cities in Iran. Read more
  • Qeshm Island : Qeshm Island is known for its unique natural attractions and stunning landscapes This magnificent Island is also a valuable Geopark. Read more
  • Bandar Abbas : The people of Bandar Abbas are famous for their unmatched kindness and hospitality. Read more

Visiting the capital of any country is a must when travelling. Tehran, the dynamic beating heart of Iran is no exception. The population of Tehran is almost 15 million people which is more than the population of most European countries.

The grandeur and crowdedness of this metropolis may overwhelm you at first but once you  get around you’ll see it’s much more than traffic jams and tall buildings. This city gives you the opportunity to get a taste of diverse cultures and lifestyles of the people in Iran alongside visiting historic palaces and museums.

The cozy cafes of the capital are great for relaxing in the evenings and enjoying a cup of coffee whilst learning about  the lifestyle of young Iranians.

Tehran is the doorway to learning about the last 250 years of history of Iran.  Dating back to more than 200 years ago, Golestan Palace and Sa’d Abad complex fascinate every visitor with their grandeur and beauty.

Inspired by grand palaces in Saint Petersburg and Paris Golestan palace was the official residence of Qajar rulers and  the summer home of Pahlavi kings. Sa’d Abad complex, located in the north of Tehran, was the official residence of Pahlavi rulers. This impressive complex satisfies every traveler with its ever-green trees, interesting museums and beautiful palaces.

Tehran also has several museums such as Treasury of the National Jewels in which the dazzling Daria-i Noor diamond is kept. Tehran has so many other museums and monuments worth visiting.

Furthermore, this city, embraced by mountains in the Alborz mountain range, offers travelers the chance to spice up their vacation with a little taste of adventure such as skiing in the highest ski resort in the Middle East, conquering the high Tochal summit or enjoying the beautiful scenery whilst sitting in a cable car. 

Tabiat( nature) bridge , a pedestrian bridge connecting two parks , is a great place to spend the night and enjoy the dazzling scenery that the lights create.

Bam-e Tehran is a recreational complex located at the foothills of Mount Tochal and at the end of Velenjak Street in Tehran and is one of the locals’ favorite places to spend their evenings. This complex offers activities like Archery, Tennis, Zip line, Bungee jumping etc. 

You can also enjoy the night by taking a walk , looking at the amazing scenery of Tehran at night and having dinner or snacks at the restaurants located in Bam-e Tehran. 

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Tehran Grand Bazaar

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Tabatabai House, Kashan

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Kashan, the jewel of Dasht-e Kavir , is one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in Iran. Many travelers choose to visit Kashan on their way to Isfahan. This oasis city is surrounded by Maranjab,Abouzeidabad,Matinabad and other deserts.

Many caravanserais were built in the deserts near Kashan for the travelers and merchants to rest. Kashan is known as the city of roses for its famous rose water. Kashan is also a popular holiday destination between Iranians due to its closeness to Tehran.

Many citizens of Tehran choose to spend their weekend exploring Abiyaneh village, the deserts around Kashan and the city itself.

Being the favorite holiday destination of nobleman and merchants in the past, this city has lavish traditional houses with stunning architecture that take your breath away. A

mong these traditional houses, Tabatabai house (Khane-e Tabatabaei) and Abbasi house ( Khane-e Abbasi) are the most impressive . Although the outside facade might not seem special, the interior is emblazoned with fine arts such as the famous stucco work of Kashan.

I t’s possible to experience staying at a similar magnificent house by spending a night at one of the boutique hotels available . Sialk hills are another significant historical attraction of this city. These 7000-year-old historical hills can be very interesting for those interested in archeology.

In addition to the unique architecture, Kashan has ever-green gardens with great atmosphere such as Fin garden . Built in an oasis city, these gardens have become the visitors’ favorite place in the hot mornings.

Fin garden is one of the most famous destinations in Iran. The Hammam inside is a great example of traditional Iranian Hammams and the figures inside portray different roles in a Hammam.

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Isfahan is the first city that comes to mind when speaking of Iran. Isfahan is the third largest city in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad and will give you a taste of modern life and the history of the country. Known as Nesf-e Jahan (meaning half of the world) by locals, Isfahan is the cultural capital of Iran.

Isfahan is the birthplace of many Iranian artworks and handicrafts as well. This city is surrounded by deserts such as Mesr desert and Varzaneh desert. The various types of activities available in Isfahan have made it one of the most popular destinations in Iran and many tourists’ favorite city.

This former capital now houses many historical attractions dating back to the Safavid era. Isfahan is the city of beautiful handicrafts and spectacular monuments. The main square of the city Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) square is surrounded by magnificent monuments.

The so called name of Isfahan, Nesf e Jahan (meaning half of the world) refers to the wonders of the buildings in this city. The unique architecture style of these monuments catches every eye and the history behind them interests every visitor.

The meticulously designed acoustic room in the Ali Qapu palace , the unique design of the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque and the beautiful tile work in the Shah mosque will imprint an unforgettable memory on your mind. 

Chehel Sotoun pavilion (Kakh-e Chehel Sotun) is another must-see monument in Isfahan. This pavilion is known for the beautiful reflection of its pillars in the pool in front of it and the beautiful frescos on the wall telling tales of wars.

Isfahan is one of the best cities in Iran to witness the peaceful co-existence of different religions. For instance, Jolfa quarter is the Armenian/Christian neighborhood of Isfahan and is one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city.

Vank Cathedral is one of the 13 remaining cathedrals in Isfahan and is open to public. The combination of Christian frescos and Islamic tile work in this cathedral make it one of the unique attractions of this city.

Come the night, you can visit Khaju and si- o-se pol bridges. Dating back to more than 300 years ago, these bridges over Zayandeh River are the best place to experience the nightlife of Isfahan.

Sitting on the first floor of Khaju Bridge , you also get the chance to listen to people playing traditional instruments such as Tonbak, Tar, Oud and Santoor and singing. The sound of music is amplified due to the special arcades of the bridge.

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Imam (Shah) Mosque, Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan

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Amir Chakhmaq Complex Square, Yazd

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Located between Dasht-e Kavir desert and Dasht-e Lut desert , Yazd amazes every traveler with its beauty. Yazd is one of the most religious cities in Iran where Islamic ceremonies such as Muharram Mourning Ceremony are celebrated in the best way possible.

Yazd is also the birthplace of the Zoroastrian religion therefore it’s very famous for its fire temples. This city is known as the city of wind towers and Qanats and is the epitome of brilliant architecture in the middle of the desert. With its kind people and atmospheric alleyways and cafes, Yazd will steal your heart from the start. 

This UNESCO world heritage site fascinates every visitor interested in history. Jame mosque of Yazd is one of the oldest and most beautiful mosques in Iran, built during over 100 years. This magnificent mosque has some of the highest minarets in the world with almost 53 meters of height.

The stunning blue tile work of this mosque adds up to its beauty. Walking around the Jame mosque you reach Fahadan neighborhood. This labyrinth-like ancient neighborhood with its narrow alleys, cool atmosphere and cob-made houses is the best place to wander around and get to know the historic city of Yazd.

In addition to Yazd itself, Kharanq village is another historic spot worth visiting. This 4000 year old village is still home to 140 families, most of whom are Zoroastrian.

Despite being built in the middle of the desert, Yazd has amazing gardens with cool atmosphere due to the wind towers. The most famous one is the Dowlat Abad garden (Bagh-e Dolat Abad). This garden includes the tallest wind tower in the world.

The cool atmosphere, the running water and the pomegranate trees have created a great resting place in this sunny city.

Yazd is also the birthplace of one of the ancient Iranian sports. You can witness the amazing Pahlevani ritual in one of the Zoorkhanehs located in Yazd. The origin of this sport goes way back in the history of Iran.

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Shiraz is one of the most ancient cities in Iran and is located near Persepolis the capital of ancient Persia.  Shiraz is known as the city of poetry and wine .

This beautiful city will satisfy every traveler with its amazing gardens, historical attractions and the friendly atmosphere of its people. Many choose Shiraz as the most memorable city they’ve visited in Iran.

Perhaps the first name that comes to mind when hearing of Iran is Persepolis ( Takht- e Jamshid) . The ruins of Persepolis located near Shiraz are the remains of the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid dynasty.

For those interested in history, there is no better place than this 3000 years old site to get to know this ancient civilization. Persepolis enchants every traveler with its grandeur, magnificent capitals, symbols and meaningful epigraphs. Visiting Pasargadae and the tomb of Cyrus the Great is a must for getting to know the history of Iran. The tomb of this great ruler is visited by many Iranians daily.

Getting into the city you can visit the stunning Zand complex, including Arg of Karim Khan (Arg-e Karim Khan) and the Vakil complex .

Home to Karim Khan , the founder of the Zand Dynasty , Arg of Karim Khan is an impressive citadel near the Vakil complex. This amazing citadel was built for Karim Khan and his family and served as a prison during Pahlavi dynasty.

The Vakil complex, built for people by the order of Karim Khan consists of a traditional Iranian Hammam, a mosque and a Bazaar where souvenirs and local products can be found . Not far from Vakil complex shines the stunning Nasir ol Molk mosque (Masjed-e Nasir Al Molk) or better known as Pink mosque .

The spectacular scenery that the sun shining on the colorful windows of the praying room creates has turned this mosque into one of the most popular destinations of Shiraz. Nasir ol Molk mosque is the travelers’ favorite spot for photography .

Shiraz is the origin of the delightful Persian Garden. Among the Persian Gardens located in Shiraz Eram Garden and Naranjestan Garden ( Bagh-e Naranjestan) are the most famous. Naranjestan Garden is one of the 9 gardens considered a world heritage site by UNESCO.

This gorgeous garden with its delightful atmosphere and the great smell of the orange trees in the air is one of the favorite destinations in Shiraz. The magnificent pavilion at the end of the garden belonged to the Ghavam family and is embellished with seven Iranian arts.

Shiraz, the city of poets, was the hometown of two of the most famous Iranian poets, Saadi and Hafez . Saadi is known as the master of speech for his poems talking about humanity and Hafez is known as the master of love for his unique romantic poems.

The tombs of these beloved poets are filled with people at night and are great for experiencing the nightlife of Shiraz.

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Naranjestan Ghavam, Shiraz

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Shazdeh Garden, Kerman

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Located in the south-eastern part of Iran Kerman province is the largest province in the country. This vast province includes a major part of Lut desert ( Dasht-e Lut) and the hottest known spot in the world. The largest city and capital city of this province is also named Kerman.

Kerman province includes the largest number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the country . This historical province also has amazing nature such as the beautiful Lut desert and Jupar mountain range.

The people of Kerman are the most warm-hearted, hospitable and ambitious people in Iran and will make your trip more memorable.

Kerman includes a large number of historical attractions with some dating back to thousands of years ago . Shahzadeh Mahan garden and Fath abad garden introduce the visitors to the world famous Persian gardens and make a memorable day for them with their delightful atmosphere.

It’s also possible to rent a room in the hotels located inside these gardens. Much like other cities in central Iran Kerman also includes a pedestrian square surrounded by several historical monuments that once was the most important part of the city. The bazaar, traditional bathhouse, the mosque surrounding Ganjali Khan square all have historical significance and are a great example of the Safavid architecture style.

Going a little further back into history, attractions such as Bam and Rayan citadels and Maymand village are the most significant monuments in Kerman with more than 5000 years of history . Bam and Rayan citadels are the first and second largest mudbrick structures in the world.

After years of protecting rulers and keeping invaders out, today these impressive citadels are open to public and among the must-see Kerman attractions. The fascination Maymand village is one of the two hand-carved villages that are still residential.

This ancient village is one of the most unique villages in Iran.

In addition to the impressive historical monuments, Kerman also has multiple natural attractions that can add a sense of adventure to your trip. Covering 11000 square meters of the Lut desert , the famous Kalouts near Shahdad village are the most popular natural Kerman attraction.

These naturally shaped gigantic bumps on the surface of the earth are one of the most stunning phenomena in the world. It’s also recommended to do other adventurous activities such as camel riding, ATV riding and safari whilst spending time in the desert.

Kerman province also offers several options for mountain climbing enthusiasts. A variety of activities such as skiing and mountain climbing can be done in Jupar mountain range and Mount Hezar(4501m), the highest peak in Central Iran).

Furthermore, there are several options available for those looking to spend some time in local popular spots. Strolling around in Ganjali khan square and the grand bazaar of Kerman gives travelers a chance to get to know the culture of Kerman whilst shopping.

The traditional Vakil bathhouse now serving as a teahouse is another favorite hangout place to spend the evening .

In addition, San’ati museum, the second largest museum of contemporary arts in Iran, is a great choice for art enthusiasts and the best place to observe some of the beautiful artworks in Iran.

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Tabriz is the capital city of the East Azerbaijan Province and the third largest city in Iran. This city has been the capital of Iran in different eras and was the 5 th largest city in the world during the Safavid era.

Tabriz is one of the most historically and economically significant cities in Iran and is the second industrial city of the country. This magnificent city is known for its friendly atmosphere and cleanliness. Tabriz is also called the city of firsts as it has been the pioneer in the emergence   of many technologies and facilities.

This city is one of the top travel destinations in Iran and was named the tourism capital of Islamic countries in 2018. People of Tabriz speak Azerbaijani Turkish. They have their own unique culture, traditions, arts, etc. that make this city a must-visit in Iran.

Tabriz has been a significant city in many eras, from being the capital in Safavid era to the residence of the heir to the throne. This city has many impressive historical attractions belonging to different eras.

Blue mosque.,Arg of Tabriz and Tabriz bazaar are some of the most important historical structures of the city. Built during Kara Koyunlu monarchy, Blue mosque is one of the most unique mosques in Iran.

This magnificent mosque is one of the four blue mosques in the world and was named the Turquoise of Islam due to its stunning blue tiles. Other decorations such as golden patterns  have added to the beauty of this mosque. Tabriz bazaar is another significant monument in this city.

This grand bazaar is the largest roofed bazaar in the world including 29 mosques, 24 caravanserais and several bathhouses, schools and other structures in addition to the shops. Tabriz bazaar was built in the 10 th century and has long been an important trade center in Iran and Asia.

During its years of glory, this UNESCO world heritage site was on the Silk Road and was considered one of the main trade centers in the world. Today this magnificent bazaar is a great place for buying souvenirs. 

Tabriz also has 17 museums all of which are interesting in its own way. Among them Qajar museum, Azerbaijan museum and constitutional house are the most visited. Visiting these museums takes travelers back into the history of Iran and introduces them to the culture of this country and Azerbaijan province in particular.

Counting the best of Tabriz attractions, it’s impossible to exclude the mausoleum of poets. Tabriz has been home to many Iranian poets through history, many of whom have passed away in this city. Therefore, a mausoleum was built in Sorkhab graveyard to honor their memory.

The mausoleum of poets is the eternal home of more than 300 poets such as the famous Khaqani and Shahryar.

Including spectacular mountains and forests, Azerbaijan province is one of the most beautiful provinces in Iran. It’s possible to have an adventure and appreciate the beautiful nature by getting a little further away from Tabriz.

Arasbaran is a protected region located at the northern part of Azerbaijan Province. It is one of the most beautiful Hyrcanian forests in Iran. Arasbaran forest is considered a UNESCO world heritage site due to its amazing wildlife.

Tabriz is also close to many beautiful mountains, attracting mountain climbing enthusiast yearly.Sahand mountain range is the most popular among them. Sahand mountain range is known as the pearl of the mountains in Iran for its green foothills.

This mountain range is located south of Tabriz and includes 17 summits with more than 3000 meters of altitude.  While spending time in the Sahand mountain range it’s recommended to visit Kandovan village,located nearby. Kandovan village is one of the most unique historical villages in Iran.

This 3000 year old village is famous for the houses carved into rocks formed by solidified magma and shaped by nature. Kandovan is one of the two hand-carved villages in the world that are still residential. The uniqueness of the lifestyle of the inhabitants and the stunning houses of this village amaze every visitor.

Getting back into the city, there are several recreational spots available for those who wish to spend some time among the locals. Shahryar Street is a pedestrian street full of shops, restaurants and cafes .

This so called Champs-Élysées of Tabriz is a popular hangout place among the locals. Furthermore, Elgoli Park and Mount Eynali are two other popular recreational spots in Tabriz.

They offer locals and travelers a chance to enjoy activities such as  going to the amusement park, boat riding, cable car riding and playing mini golf besides spending quality time in nature. 

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Elgoli Park, Tabriz

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Shahrdari Square, Rasht

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Rasht is the capital city of Gilan province and the largest and most populated city located on the coast of Caspian Sea.

Known as the city of silver rain, this city is one of the most important rice and vegetables producers in the country due to its humid and rainy climate. Similar to rest of Gilan province, Rasht has a lush and beautiful nature.

Rasht is named one of the UNESCO creative cities for its delicious and various local foods . The people of Rasht are among the most energetic and kind people in Iran and their language is Gilaki. Rasht welcomes between 12 and 15 million visitors every year and is one of the most popular holiday destinations among Iranians.

Despite being underrated , Rasht has plenty of historical sites worth visiting. This city was expanded and modernized during Safavid and Qajar dynasties thus; today includes many historical monuments dating back to these eras. Shahrdari square is one of the most famous Rasht attractions and perhaps the most popular one.

Shahrdari square is known for the historic city hall in it which is the first one in Iran. The architecture of this grand square is inspired by Saint Petersburg .Shahrdari square is still considered the main square of Rasht and is an ideal spot for taking a walk and spending the evening.

Going through the history of Rasht and Gilan it’s impossible not to hear about Mirza Kuchuk Khan, the famous activist of the Iranian constitutional revolution that occured during the Qajar dynasty. Today his home and mausoleum are open to the public, especially those willing to learn about the history and culture of Rasht.

In addition to the historical attractions located inside Rasht there are a few others near the city that have recently become popular. The most famous one is Rudkhan Castle ( Qal’eh Rukhan).This impressive castle is one  of the most visited attractions on the coast of Caspian Sea. Visiting Rudkhan castle can turn into a great day of adventure as it is located inside a beautiful jungle and on top of the mountain.

Further exploring the rest of Gilan province, Masuleh village is another famous attraction found near Rasht. Masuleh village is one of the unique villages in Iran. This village is famous for the special structure of its houses with the roof of each house being the yard of the one above it. The spectacular scenery, created by the waterfalls and the verdurous mountain, adds to the charm of this village. 

 Rasht is located near the Caspian Sea , the largest lake in the world. The coast of the Caspian Sea has always been a popular destination among travelers, especially those living in Tehran. Visiting the Caspian Sea and spending some time on the beach is a must when travelling to Rasht.

The major part of Gilan Province is covered by beautiful forests due to its humid weather. In addition to these lush jungles other options such as multiple lakes and lagoons are available for those looking to spend a while in nature rather than staying in the city, Anzali lagoon is one of the most famous lagoons in Iran. 

It is well-known for its unique Indian lotuses that can be seen during spring. The fascinating Anzali lagoon is also the natural habitat of many bird species and fish .Furthermore, Eynak lagoon, Saqalaksar lake and the forests near Talesh can be suitable options for spending a delightful day absorbing the natural beauties of Gilan Province.  

Many consider visiting the popular hangout places in a city and spending time among the locals to be an important part of a trip. Saravan forest park is one of the best locations to fulfill that purpose. This vast forest park offers visitors great recreational options such as paintball and boat riding.

It also includes Gilan rural heritage museum where you can learn about the culture of people living in Gilan. Each part of this interesting museum is organized like a separate village with rural houses, mosques, schools and other structures preserved in their original form. Moreover, roaming around in Rasht grand bazaar is another popular thing to do in this city.

T his traditional bazaar is one of the few open-air traditional bazaars in Iran and is the best place to buy souvenirs and special local food products. It’s also possible to stop by Golsar or Takhti streets afterwards to have coffee or a delicious meal.

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Ardabil is the capital city of Ardabil province located in the northwestern part of Iran. The name Ardabil means holy town .

Ardabil province is known for its delightful lakes and heavenly jungles . Many travelers plan to come back to Ardabil after their first trip as they believe visiting it once wasn’t enough to absorb all of its beauty.

Ardabil also has a rich culture. This magnificent city is the origin of the Safavid dynasty thus; 26th of July was named the national Ardabil day. The people of Ardabil are among the most hospitable races in Iran and their language is Azeri Turkish or Azerbaijani. Ardabil is one of the top Iran destinations in summer due to its endless natural beauties and moderate weather.

Ardabil is best known for its beautiful nature, however; this city has several historical monuments as it is the birthplace of Safavid dynasty. Sheikh Safi-al Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble (Sheikh Safi-od Din Mausoleum) is the most important monument in Ardabil .

This complex belonged to Sheikh Safi-al Din, the eponym of the Safavid dynasty and a mystic and later became his shrine. This world heritage site amazes the visitors with its magnificent decorations and architecture.

Ghandil khane and Chini khane are two of the most stunning rooms in this complex. Similar to other Jameh mosques in Iran, Jameh mosque of Ardabil is considered one of the significant monuments of this city. Although only a few parts of this ancient mosque are still remaining, it’s still a must-see in Ardabil. In addition to the aforementioned Ardabil attractions, Ardabil bazaar is another famous monument in this city.

This historic bazaar was one of the most important trade centers in Iran during the 12th and 13th centuries as it was on the Silk Road. Today Ardabil bazaar is a great choice for buying souvenirs, handicrafts and local products.

Ardabil province is one of the most beautiful provinces in Iran. The spectacular forests and tall mountains of Ardabil attract many travelers yearly. Neor Lake is one of the famous natural attractions around Ardabil.

This amazing lake and the beautiful surrounding area can be a great spot for camping, picnics, bird watching and other activities Neor lake is also the starting point of the magnificent road leading to Subatan village. Furthermore, the Fandoqlu forest is another fascinating natural destination in Ardabil province.

Fandoqlu forest is one of the most beautiful forests in Iran and one of the top Iran attractions. This magnificent forest is famous for its unique chamomile fields, attracting many visitors in spring.

In addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery and the delightful atmosphere of the forest it’s possible to go grass skiing on the equipped field available or relax in the hot spring located in the heart of the forest. It’s also possible to see this forest while riding in a cable car.

The cable car line begins near Gardane Heyran, a beautiful road between Gilan and Ardabil provinces where lush mountains can be seen on one side and the Hyrcanian forest in Azerbaijan on the other. This dreamy road is another famous Ardabil attraction. Ardabil also includes Mount Sabalan (4811 m) the third most prominent peak in Iran and an active volcano.

In addition to the endless natural beauties of Ardabil province, this mountainous province is also very famous for the hot springs in Sarein. These natural hot springs are a great choice for relaxing after a long day and also have medical benefits.

For those looking for things to do inside Ardabil city, Shorabil Lake can be a great choice. The complex offers many options such as renting boats and jet skis, biking, carting, and zip line riding and includes an amusement park as well.

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Gardaneh Heyran, Ardabil

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Aminiha Hosseiniyeh, Qazvin

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Qazvin is the capital city of a province of the same name. It is located in the northern part of Iran and at the foothills of Alborz mountain range. Qazvin has long been one of the important cities in Iran and is currently one of the industrial cities in the country.

Being the hometown of many artists, Qazvin is known as the city of calligraphy and satirical literature . This city is also famous for its clean air among other major cities in Iran. People of Qazvin are kind and hospitable and speak Persian with Qazvini accent.

Qazvin welcomes many visitors every year for its multiple historical attractions and is a popular destination between citizens of Tehran due to its closeness to the capital.

Qazvin is one of the oldest cities in Iran and has been significant during different eras. Qazvin was the capital of Iran for 57 years during Safavid dynasty and thus includes many amazing historical attractions such as the first street built in Iran.

This city includes 21 percent of the national heritage sites in Iran making it the first in the country. From beautiful mosques to interesting museums, historical houses and grand citadels Qazvin has a wide range of historical monuments.

Chehel Sotun palace is one of the significant Qazvin monuments. This magnificent pavilion used to be the official residence of king Tahmasp I. The interior is decorated with Persian arts such as frescos and mirror work. Today Chehel Sotun serves as a calligraphy museum.

Qazvin also has two historically significant mosques, Jameh mosque, and Nabi mosque. Jameh mosque of Qazvin is the oldest Jameh mosque in Iran. This grand mosque attracts many visitors as it is a unique combination of architectural elements from different eras.

Nabi mosque is another beautiful mosque in Qazvin and an important Qazvin attraction. The amazing tile work used in this mosque is only one of the reasons for its beauty. Museums are other important attractions in Qazvin. Qazvin museum and Anthropology museum are the most popular among several interesting museums in this city.

The anthropology museum is located inside one of the oldest and largest traditional baths in Qazvin, giving the visitors a chance to visit the bathhouse whilst learning about the culture and traditions of Iranians. Imamzadeh-ye Hossein is another must-see monument in Qazvin. Similar to other shrines in Iran, this shrine is decorated in the best way possible.

The dazzling interior of this shrine makes it one of the most remarkable Qazvin monuments. Furthermore, on impressive attractions in Qazvin, Caravanserai of Sa’d al-Saltaneh ( Sa’d-al Saltaneh Caravanserai) is undoubtedly one of the unique ones.

This vast caravanserai is also one of the most interesting structures in Qazvin due to its unique brick structure and the tile work on its dome. It’s recommended to take a walk in the rest of the historic Qazvin bazaar, the best place for buying souvenirs and local products.

Located not far away from Qazvin is Alamut Castle, the most famous monument in Qazvin. Alamut is one of the most ancient and mysterious castles in Iran. Although the major part of Alamut castle is destroyed, it’s still one of the must-see Iran monuments.

Qazvin also has several offers for those looking to spend some time in nature in addition to visiting historical monuments. Located near the famous Alamut Castle, Ovan Lake is one of the popular natural Qazvin destinations.

This amazing natural lake is a great spot for camping, bird watching, boat riding etc.The road leading up to Ovan Lake is also very beautiful. Barajin forest park is another popular natural Qazin attraction. This vast park is located only 2 km from the city and offers several recreational options such as a biking trail and an amusement park.

Qazvin Activities and Attractions

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Qeshm Island is the largest island in the Persian Gulf. This Island is larger than 20 countries in the world and is full of wonders and beauties. Qeshm Island is known for its unique natural attractions and stunning landscapes This magnificent Island is also a valuable Geopark.

In addition, Qeshm is an important trade center in the area, thus includes many shopping centers. The interesting geological sites, the breathtaking sceneries, various aquatic activities available alongside the opportunity to get a sense of the culture of the Southern part of Iran, has made this heavenly Island a popular holiday destination. 

Qeshm Island attracts many travelers yearly, whether they’re looking for adventure or just want to relax. Traveling to Qehsm and its nearby Islands gives travelers the opportunity to relax as well as having adventures and seeing unique attractions and makes their trip and unforgettable experience 

Qehsm Island attracts many travelers yearly by its unique natural attractions. The beautiful and pristine forests, caves, beaches, and valleys on this Island and the nearby Hormoz and Hengam Islands can’t be seen in another part of Iran.

Harra sea forest is one of the most famous of these attractions. This forest of gray mangroves is a natural water purifier, preparing it for other plants to use. These magnificent plants are one of the few species able to grow in saltwater.

Naz Island is another one of the famous Qeshm attractions. This rocky island is connected to Qeshm by a route available at the time of low tide. The sea level going down allows the travelers to stroll in the ankle-deep water and get to Naz Island. Furthermore, Qeshm Island has several interesting geological sites. A few of these sites are the valley of stars and Chahkooh Canyon.

These stunning geological sites are known for the amazing and wondrous shapes of the rocks. These phenomena are a result of erosion. Moreover, Qeshm Island also includes several caves with Namakdan cave being the most visited. The spectacular stalactites in this cave were formed during 57 million years. 

The nearby Hormoz Island is another unique Island in the Persian Gulf. It is well-known for its fascinating colorful soil and beautiful shore. The unique soil found in the Rainbow valley is consisted of almost 70 different minerals.

Hormoz Island also includes several beaches all of which are unique in their own way. The turtles’ beach is one of the few places in Iran where you can witness baby turtles crawling towards the sea in spring. The red beach is another famous beach on this Island. The red soil of this beach is edible and is an important resource. 

In addition to the breathtaking sights and amazing beaches, the Islands in the Persian Gulf are great locations for resting and enjoying aquatic activities. The clean beaches, warm and invigorating water, and the variable activities available such as diving, swimming, etc.

have made these Islands popular vacation destinations. These shores are also suitable for camping and spending a few nights relaxing and sleeping under the stars.

Qeshm Activities and Attractions

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Rainbow Valley, Qeshm

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Bandar Abbas Bazaar

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Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Bandar Abbas is the second-largest city in the southern part of Iran and the capital city of Hormozgan province. It is one of the most important port cities in Iran and an important trade center in Asia.

The strategic location of Bandar Abbas has made it an important city through the history of Iran. The people of Bandar Abbas are famous for their unmatched kindness and hospitality. They speak Persian with their own special accent and their interesting culture and traditions are unique in the country.

Bandar Abbas is the best place to learn about the unique culture of the southern part of Iran.

Bandar Abbas Activities and Attractions

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Cheetah-Adventures is an Iran tour operator & Iran travel agency aiming to provide services for travelers from around the globe who aim to visit Iran. Cheetah-Adventures is named after the Iranian Cheetah, a critically endangered cheetah subspecies surviving today only in Iran.


15 Most Beautiful Places In Iran

iran country tourism

With its rich history, culture, and stunning nature, Iran has become a country with abundant and valuable tourist attractions. You’ll find incredible tourist spots and beautiful places in Iran. The sights in Iran include mosques, magnificent palaces, the tombs of world-renowned poets, historical sites, and breathtaking natural areas. The multitude and diversity of these places sometimes make it challenging for tourists to choose. Traveling to any of Iran’s attractions can create unforgettable memories for you. If you have an adventurous spirit, we recommend visiting the beautiful places in Iran before it’s too late. Join Kental Travel to get acquainted with Iran’s tourist destinations.

Is Iran a Beautiful Country?

Iran is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, renowned for its four seasons. It’s a place where you can experience different seasons simultaneously in every corner. From the lush and picturesque north to the warm and unique southern coasts, Iran is full of pristine and remarkable natural beauty.

Moreover, due to its rich history and civilization, our beloved Iran is adorned with countless historical treasures spread throughout the country, bearing the marks of various dynasties and reflecting Iran’s eternal grandeur and magnificence throughout the ages.

According to the World Tourism Organization’s reports, Iran ranks tenth globally for its historical and ancient attractions and fifth for its natural attractions. (you can read more about natural attractions of Iran, in this article: Iran natural attractions ) Tourism in Iran is one of the industries that has experienced significant growth in recent years. The cancellation of travel to certain countries, global advertising, and the devaluation of the national currency are among the reasons that have made Iran an attractive destination for foreign tourists.

Most Beautiful Places in Iran

If ancient buildings and historical mosques are not enough to satisfy your wanderlust in Iran, you must explore its unique and wondrous natural wonders! These attractions will open up a world of adventure for you. From tall mountains to vast deserts, from lush forests to peculiar and exotic waterfalls, in this text, we will introduce 15 beautiful natural places to visit in Iran. So, continue reading and join Kental Travel for more about Iran’s beautiful places!

Golestan National Park – Golestan Province

Beautiful Places To Visit In Iran- Golestan national park

Golestan National Park is the largest natural park in Iran and one of the most attractive destinations in the Golestan and North Khorasan provinces. This national park competes with many European countries in terms of biodiversity, and being the oldest national park in Iran, it houses half of the country’s mammals. Moreover, Golestan National Park has been registered as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, recognizing its significance in preserving the Earth’s biodiversity. Camping opportunities, accommodation facilities, and the chance to witness wildlife, natural beauty, waterfalls, and lakes are among the national park’s attractions and amenities.

Read more: How to get a visa for Iran?

Ghale Rudkhan – Fuman, Gilan

Ghale Rudkhan is the largest brick castle in Iran, situated at the highest point of the mountain and amidst the lush and abundant forests of Rudkhan village in Gilan province. It covers an area of approximately 26,000 square meters, featuring 65 towers and ramparts and a 1,500-meter-long wall. This castle is located at an altitude of 665 to 715 meters above sea level and, like other mountainous forest areas in the northern part of the country, experiences cold weather in winter, pleasant springs, and cool summers during the hot seasons.

To reach the castle, you’ll have to climb about 1,620 stairs, which takes approximately 2 hours.

Asalem to Khalkhal Road

The Asalem to Khalkhal Road

The Asalem to Khalkhal Road is a 70-kilometer route that starts from Asalem city in Gilan province and ends in Khalkhal city in the south of Ardabil province, connecting Eastern Azerbaijan province and Zanjan province. This road consists of various sections; if you begin your journey from Asalem City, you’ll first encounter a winding road covered with forest trees, which is incredibly picturesque. As you distance yourself from Asalem city and drive for about an hour, the surrounding landscape changes to lush green plains, offering expansive views.

The nature along this road is incredibly pristine and beautiful, and due to its proximity to the Caspian Sea, the road often experiences fog and humidity, adding a double charm to its beauty. If you plan to travel on this route, it’s best to allocate some time for rest and exploration in its enchanting forests.

Abr Jungle – Shahroud

Iran Beautiful Places

Located 45 kilometers from Shahroud city and 12 kilometers from the picturesque village of Abr, a jungle has turned the dream of walking on clouds into reality for tourists. This vast jungle covers an area of approximately 35,000 hectares and is often hidden amidst the ocean of clouds. Due to its extensive size, the jungle is home to various animal and plant species. You can find 80 different types of plants, ranging from oak and beech trees to wild pear and juniper, as well as rare plants like the barberry.

One of this jungle’s most famous plant species is the Ors tree (a fir tree). The jungle is adorned with two highly renowned waterfalls called Sharshar and Aluchal. Many travelers who journey to this region remember its beauty as one of the most extraordinary moments of their lives.

Ali Sadr Cave – Hamedan

Ali Sadr Cave is Iran's most beautiful water cave

Ali Sadr Cave is Iran’s largest and most beautiful water cave, showcasing scenic natural views. This cave boasts the longest boat route in the world, unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. It would be unthinkable for anyone traveling to Hamedan not to visit the Ali Sadr Cave. The cave’s elevation from sea level is 2,100 meters, spanning approximately 11 kilometers. However, only 3 kilometers of this stunning water cave are accessible to tourists; The remaining 8 kilometers of the cave have not been explored yet, and no one has been able to access or explore them!

In the central part of Ali Sadr Cave, a gorgeous grand lake creates a mesmerizing view. The lake’s depth varies from half a meter to 14 meters and contains numerous underground cavities.

Lut Desert – Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan

LUT DESERT- Beautiful Places In Iran

The Lut Desert is Iran’s first natural attraction to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and was recognized as the hottest point on Earth for seven consecutive years. This desert expanse remains untouched and uninhabited, offering an extraordinary sense of serenity and depth. The dunes in this desert constantly shift with the ever-blowing wind, so if you visit the same place you’ve been to, it might have wholly transformed, presenting an entirely different landscape from your previous visits.

Undoubtedly, the Lut Desert is one of the most beautiful places to see in Iran, captivating every traveler with its peacefulness and allure.

Read More:  A Complete Guide to Iran Deserts  

Masouleh Village – Gilan

Masouleh is one of the prettiest place in Iran, capturing the attention of many tourists with its picturesque stepped houses, pristine forests, and roaring waterfalls. This old and traditional town presents a visually stunning background of houses adorned with candleholders, resembling a painting or a postcard. If you are searching for profound tranquility, don’t miss out on this attractive place in Iran!

Azadi Tower – Tehran

Beautiful Places To Visit In Iran

Azadi Tower is a structure located in Azadi Square in Tehran, one of the most beautiful places in Iran. It is the most iconic symbol of Tehran, and people all around the world recognize Tehran with this landmark. The building has four floors, four elevators, two staircases, and 286 steps. It stretches 63 meters long and rises 45 meters from the ground level. On the lower grounds of the tower, there are several exhibition halls, art galleries, a library, and a museum.

It is said that 46,000 cut stones were used to construct Azadi Tower. It was officially registered as one of Iran’s national monuments under registration number 1008 on February 14, 1975.

Read More:  List of Famous Architectural Landmarks in Iran

Bagh-e Dolat Abad – Yazd

Bagh-e Dolat Abad – Yazd

Bagh-e Dolat Abad, also known as Hasht Behesht Dolat Abad, is one of the nine Iranian gardens recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Iran, with an area of over 50 hectares; this garden is considered one of the largest gardens in Iran. Its architecture follows the traditional “Bagh-Hayat” style, where the garden space is placed in the center, and other buildings surround it.

The layout of Bagh-e Dolat Abad consists of two intersecting perpendicular rectangles, encompassing both outer and inner gardens. The garden’s unique architecture, diverse and rare trees, and plants make it attractive to tourists and nature enthusiasts.

See More: Yazd Iran | Travel Guide, Attractions and Activities

Fin Garden – Kashan

Fin Garden- Beautiful Places In Iran

Fin Garden is one of Kashan’s most famous tourist attractions. Not only is it registered as a national heritage site, but it is also one of the nine Iranian gardens listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. This beautiful place in Iran is often referred to as a perfect example of Iranian garden design. Fin Garden offers a dreamy place for leisure and wandering, thanks to its multiple fountains, pleasant sounds of water, and towering trees. Especially the garden’s tea house provides you with the perfect opportunity to savor these precious moments to the fullest.

Moreover, several historic structures within the garden, such as Kholat Karimkhani, Jooshan Pond, Shotor Galoo of Qajar, Ab Anbar, and the National Museum of Kashan, make visiting these sites an enjoyable experience.

Kandovan Village – Tabriz

Kandovan Village - Tabriz

Kandovan is one of the most breathtaking rock villages in Iran and the world, located in East Azerbaijan province. It nestles within the cone-shaped rocks, earning it the name “Kandovan Village” or “Kaleh Qandi Village.” This mountainous and historic village lies at the foothills of the Sahand volcanic mountains, alongside the Kandovan River. The distinctive feature of Kandovan is its rock architecture and the cave-like houses carved into the cone-shaped rocks, known as “Karan” locally. These rock formations in Kandovan were created due to volcanic activities in the Sahand mountains.

Visiting is one of the most memorable tourist attractions in Osku, offering you a unique and different experience.

The Star Valley – Qeshm

Most Beautiful Places In Iran

The Star Valley is an eroded valley in the heart of Qeshm Island, and it’s one of the breathtaking places to visit in Iran. Its depth is approximately 15 meters, and it astonishes viewers with its unique wonders. Once you leave behind Berkeh Khalaf village and take a short dirt path, you will arrive at the entrance of this amazing valley. As you enter the valley, giant statues gradually emerge, surrounding and captivating you. Each has a distinctive shape and presents a unique face at every moment. The further you go, the more you become enchanted by this breathtaking beauty, and a profound silence engulfs your entire being.

The enchanting features and sights of the Star Valley have earned it a place as part of Qeshm Island’s Geopark, recognized as the only Geopark in the Middle East and listed as a natural heritage site by UNESCO.

Read more: Qeshm Island atrractios

Kooh-Sangi Park – Mashhad

Kooh-Sangi Park - Mashhad

Kooh-Sangi Park is located near the city center of Mashhad. Since ancient times, Mashhad locals have known this area as a recreational spot due to its proximity to the mountains, which always provide a clean and pleasant climate. In Kooh-Sangi Park, besides enjoying the beautiful and charming nature of the region, you can spend time at a scenic café or go horse riding at the foot of the mountain. You can also venture to conquer the rocky peaks that continue the series of majestic mountains or even experience a blissful shopping spree at the luxurious Mehr Shopping Center.

Churat Jungle Lake – Mazandaran

churat jungle- This beautiful place in Iran

Churat Lake is a small lake nestled amidst the lush forests of Mazandaran and is considered one of the best destinations for nature enthusiasts. This beautiful place in Iran was born nearly 80 years ago. It is situated within a steep valley, surrounded by pristine forest cover and ancient trees. The lake has an oval shape, and its depth varies depending on the seasonal rainfall. It offers the opportunity for fishing as well. Churat Jungle Lake is a picturesque and serene spot, making it a perfect place for nature lovers to explore and enjoy the region’s beauty. It’s one of the Unknown Beautiful Places In Iran must see.

Margun Waterfall – Fars

Margun Waterfall - Fars

Margun Waterfall is located in the northern part of Fars province, about 128 kilometers from Shiraz. This beautiful waterfall is in a mountainous and pleasant climate, offering a stunning and breathtaking landscape. Multiple springs cascade down from a height of 70 meters, creating this captivating view. Margun is the world’s largest spring waterfall, with a height of 70 meters and a width of 100 meters. The source of water for Margun is not a river but numerous gushing springs at the top of the mountain. The picturesque scenery and impressive height make Margun Waterfall one of the most beautiful places in Iran and a must-visit destination in Fars province.

See More:  Top 9 Iran’s Natural Spas and Hot Springs

Iran is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Despite its often-turbulent political climate, Iran is a fascinating destination for travelers looking to experience something truly unique. With countless historic sites, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Iran.

In conclusion, Iran is a country that offers a unique and diverse array of experiences for travelers. From ancient ruins and historic sites to stunning natural landscapes and vibrant cities, Iran has something to offer everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventure, there are countless places to visit in Iran that will leave you awestruck. So, if you are looking for an unforgettable travel experience, consider adding Iran to your list of must-visit destinations.

FAQs about Beautiful Places To Visit In Iran

  • What are the beautiful cities in Iran? Iran is home to several stunning cities, each with its own unique charm and beauty. Some of the most beautiful cities in Iran include: Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Yazd, Kashan
  • What are some places of natural beauty in Iran? Iran is blessed with a wealth of natural beauty, offering a diverse range of landscapes and breathtaking destinations. Here are some places of natural beauty in Iran: Caspian SeaMount DamavandGolestan National ParkLut DesertHormoz Island
  • Where is the most beautiful place in northern Iran? Golestan National Park in northern Iran is a UNESCO site with rich ecosystems, forests, rivers, and diverse wildlife, including Persian leopards. Its stunning landscapes and biodiversity make it a prime destination for nature lovers.

The editorial department of Kental Travel prepared this article, and its non-commercial use is unchecked by the mention of the source. To check out more articles related to traveling to Iran, you can visit the Kental Travel blog .

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Iran Tourist Attractions

Iran destinations are as vibrant as the seasons. You can explore a whole array of vivacious colors, majestic sights and unfeigned traditions in each location. The deeper you dive, the richer the culture ( Iran tour ).

Enjoy off-roading along the martian-like Kalouts, take a deep dive into everliving-cultures dating back to the Iron-age, and even enjoy snowboarding along the peaks of the mighty Alborz. Take a break and go on a camping adventure into the lush forests surrounding the Caspian Sea, or take a trip down south to the Persian Gulf and visit the rainbow-islands. Unbelievable architectural wonders spanning thousands of years, dense forests mixed with towering sand dunes, and local delicacies & treats are awaiting your arrival.

In Iran hospitality is a vital part of everyday life. The best way to see the country is through the people, so get ready to socialize, because you’ll be greeted with wondrous delight everywhere you go. If you wish to get a guided, and more detailed experience, check out our Destination Iran Tours .

From free walking tours to all-inclusive packages, you can customize exactly how you want to spend every hour of your vacation.


If you’re coming to Iran, you are a seeker of local cultures, traditions and people. Whether you have a week or a whole month, we’ll tell you how to get the most out of your time in Iran.

iran tourism places - Tehran

Tehran, the capital of Iran, is the largest and the most populous city in the country. A city that has been the capital for more than 200 years. And it is where the most important administrative, executive and political decisions are made. With an area of ​​730 square kilometers, Tehran is the beating heart of Iran. It is the capital of many economic, cultural, scientific, and political aspects of the country. Usually, the Capital of each tourist country is a top destination to check out. So let’s dig deeper into Tehran tourism in the New York of Iran! Read about each of the places in more detail on our Tehran Attractions page.

Important Streets and Squares of Tehran

  • Valiasr Street
  • Imam Khomeini Square
  • Hassan Abad Square
  • Tajrish Square
  • Fereshteh Street

Historical Places to Visit in Tehran

  • Golestan Palace and Museum Complex
  • Niavaran Palace Complex
  • Saadabad Palace and Museum Complex
  • Tehran Grand Bazaar
  • The Gate of the National Garden
  • Tajrish Bazaar

Urban Attractions in Tehran 

  • Azadi (Freedom ) Tower
  • Milad Tower
  • Nature Bridge
  • Book Garden
  • Gonbad-e-Mina Planetarium

Nature Bridge - Tehran - Iran

Parks and Gardens to Visit in Tehran

  • Mellat Park
  • Ab-o Atash (Water and Fire) Park
  • Lavizan Forest Park
  • National Botanical Garden

Museums to Visit in Tehran

  • National Museum of Iran
  • National Jewelry Museum
  • Miniature Garden Museum
  • Moghadam House Museum
  • Omidvar Brothers Museum
  • National Museum of the Islamic Revolution & Holy Defense
  • Iran Wildlife and Nature Museum

Miniature Garden Museum - Tehran - Iran

Tehran Entertainment Complexes

  • Chitgar Forest Park Complex
  • Eram Amusement Complex
  • Bam-e Tehran (Tehran Roof) Recreation Complex
  • Darband Nature and Recreation Complex
  • Ghazzali Cinema Town

Religious and Pilgrimage Places in Tehran

  • Shah Abdol-Azim Shrine
  • Imamzadeh Saleh
  • Sepahsalar Mosque
  • Saint Sarkis Cathedral
  • Adrian Fire Temple or Tehran Fire Temple
  • Haim Synagogue

Natural sights of Tehran

  • Tochal Peak
  • Cheshmeh Ali (Ali Spring) in Rey City

Sights around Tehran

  • Dizin Ski Resort
  • Shemshak Ski Resort
  • The Beginning of Chalous Road
  • Ahar Village
  • Shahrestanak Village
  • Firoozkooh Tang-e Vashi

Shopping in Tehran

1.Home appliances and electronics market: Jomhouri and Hafez streets

  • Book and cultural goods market: Enghelab Street
  • Handicraft Market: Villa Street
  • Household tableware market: Shush Square
  • Fabric and curtain market: Zartosht, Molavi, and Abdolabad streets
  • Bags and shoe market: Sepahsalar street and Baharestan square
  • Second-hand goods, handmade art supplies, and antiques: Parvaneh Friday Bazar on Jomhouri Avenue

Places to Eat in Tehran

  • Street Food
  • Restaurants
  • Food Courts

In Persian, we say: “Isfahan, Nesf-e Jahan” meaning Isfahan is half of the world. Meaning the one who has seen Isfahan has seen half of the world. 😀 Isfahan is one of the most popular touristic cities not only among the locals but among foreigners.

By traveling to Isfahan, you can have a memorable trip to one of the most important periods in the history of Persia, the Safavid period. This era of Persia’s history has left us with many historical contexts and famous attractions to explore and wonder about.

In fact, a trip to Isfahan would be a trip to the capital of Iranian handicrafts, as well.

So let’s see the top Iran tourist attractions  in this stunning city, together.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Isfahan Attractions page.

Historical Attractions to Visit in Isfahan

  • Naghsh-e Jahan Square
  • Chehel Sotoun Palace
  • Hasht Behesht Palace
  • Khajoo Bridge
  • Si-O Se Pol Bridge
  • Isfahan Bazaar
  • Manar Jonban
  • Atiq Grand Mosque
  • Imam Ali Square
  • Vank Church
  • Vank Church Museum
  • Isfahan Music Museum
  • Isfahan Aquarium
  • Chaharbagh Street
  • Takht-e-Foolad Historical Cemetery
  • Jolfa Neighborhood

Natural Attractions to Visit in Isfahan

  • Flowers Garden
  • Birds Garden
  • Sofeh Mountain
  • Nazhvan Forest Park
  • Fadak Garden

Attractions around Isfahan

  • Mesr Desert
  • Varzaneh Desert
  • Imamzadeh Agha Seyed Ali Abbas Shrine
  • Matin Abad Desert Camp
  • Niasar Waterfall

Before we start our tour in Kashan to check out its top attractions, let’s see why Kashan is a great option to include in your itinerary. Kashan is the cradle of traditional Iranian civilization and culture. The city is about 7,000 years old, so it has a significant role in Iran sightseeing .

Some historians believe that Kashan is the original first city in not only in ancient Persia, but the whole world. It is also the carpet capital of the country.

Now, it’s time to take a look at the top Iran tourist attractions in this breathtaking town.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Kashan Attractions page.

Historical Attractions to Visit in Kashan

  • Finn Garden
  • Tabatabai HouseTabatabai House – Kashan – Iran
  • Abbasid House
  • Boroujerdi House
  • Kashan Grand Mosque
  • Kashan Bazaar
  • Agha Bozorg Mosque
  • Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse
  • Sialk Archeological Hills

Attractions Around Kashan

  • Abyaneh Village
  • Noshabad Underground City
  • Marnjab Desert
  • Abuzeydabad Desert

Tabriz is the third-largest city in Iran. This city has a special place in the history, background, and economy of our country. There are lots of monuments to see in this historic city. Tabriz is located in a province with many natural attractions, as well. The kind people of Tabriz speak Turkic. They have lots of awesome traditions and a very pretty dance style.

If you are keen to visit Iran, apply for an Iranian visa  and choose your favorite Iran tour .

Tribal view of Eil Goli Park from the sky

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Tabriz Attractions page.

Historical and Cultural Attractions to Visit in Tabriz

  • Tabriz Historical Bazaar
  • Tabriz Blue Mosque
  • Arg-e-Alishah
  • Sa’at (Clock) Square
  • Maqbarat-o-sho’ara or Tomb of the Poets

Museums to Visit in Tabriz

  • Tabriz Municipality Museum Palace
  • Azerbaijan Museum
  • Qajar Museum

The Best Recreational Attractions in Tabriz

  • Shahgoli or El Goli
  • Eynali Mountain
  • Shahriar Paved Pass
  • Baghlar Baghi Amusement Park
  • Laleh Park; Tabriz Commercial and Entertainment Complex

Food in Tabriz

  • Bonab Kebab
  • Kufteh Tabrizi
  • Ash-e doogh

Important Attractions around Tabriz

  • Sahand Mountain
  • Payam Ski Resort in Marand
  • Kandovan Rocky Village
  • Zonuzaq Village
  • Ushtabin Village
  • Saint Stepanos Monastery
  • Zahhak Castle

Shiraz is a city of gardens, flowers, and nightingales. It’s the city of poets, the land of lovers, the city of orange blossoms, and the city of love. And eventually, it is the city of sacred secrets, the city of Persian poetry and literature. Shiraz is one of those cities in Iran where there is a very happy atmosphere. Visiting this city brings you beyond-imagination peace and joy.

And as you might know, some of the best and most worldwide known ancient attractions of Iran are in Shiraz. Let’s see what is awaiting us in Shiraz. We’ll take a quick look at the Iran tourism place in this excellent city.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Shiraz Attractions page.

Historical Attractions to Visit in Shiraz

  • Zandieh Complex
  • Nasir Al-Molk Mosque
  • Atiq Mosque
  •  Quran Gate
  • Tomb of Hafez
  •  Tomb of Saadi
  • Shah Cheragh
  • Saraye Moshir
  • Kuchebagh-e Qasr Al-Dasht
  • Khan School

Spectacular Gardens to Visit in Shiraz

  • Eram Garden
  • Narenjestan Ghavam Garden
  • Delgosha Garden
  • Jannat (Paradise) Garden
  • Afif Abad Garden
  • Jahan Nama Garden

Museums to Visit in Shiraz

  • Pars Museum
  • Persepolis Museum
  • Shiraz Museum of Visual Arts or Contemporary Arts
  • Museum of Celebrities  Or Zinat Al-Molk Historical House
  • Shah Cheragh Museum
  • Narenjestan Ghavam Museum
  • Shiraz Water Museum
  • Haft Tanan Stone Museum
  • Museum of Natural History and Technology
  • Shapouri House

Parks to Visit in Shiraz

  • Derak Mountain Park
  • Kuhpayeh Park
  • Luna Amusement Park
  • Chamran Boulevard Park
  • Iran Land Indoor Amusement Park
  • Bamou National Park

Attractions around Shiraz

  • Persepolis Complex
  •  Pasargad Complex and the Tomb of Cyrus
  • Naqsh-e Rostam
  • Naqsh-e Rajab

Natural Attractions Around Shiraz

  • Dasht-e Arjan or Arjan Plain
  • Maharlou Lake
  • Tang-e-Bostanak, Bostanak Canyon
  • Margoon Waterfall
  • Raghez Canyon

In the southeastern part of Iran, there is the largest province in the country, Kerman. It’s the province between the provinces of Yazd, South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan, and Fars. Kerman city is the capital of Kerman Province. This city has many historical attractions and for this reason, is one of the 5 historical cities of Iran.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Kerman Attractions page.

Top Attractions to Visit in Kerman

  • Fath Abad Garden
  • Ganj Ali Khan Complex
  • Kerman Grand Bazaar
  • Jabaliyeh Historical Dome
  • Kerman Zoroastrian Fire Temple
  • Vakil Hammam (Bath)
  • Yakhdan-e Moayedi or Moayedi Icehouse
  • Takht-e Dargah Gholi Beyg
  • Malek Mosque
  • Pardisan Park
  • Qal’eh Dokhtar or Anahita Fire Temple
  • Kerman Grand Mosque or Mozaffari Grand Mosque
  • Kerman National Library
  • Moshtaghieh Dome or the Three Domes

Museums to Visit in Kerman

  • Holy Defence Garden Museum
  • Coin Museum
  • Harandi Garden Museum
  • Kerman Sanati Contemporary Art Museum

Top Attractions around Kerman

  • Tomb of Shah Nematullah Vali Mahan
  • Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden
  • Arg-e Rayen or Rayen Citadel
  • Arg-e Bam or Bam Citadel
  • Darvish Khan Stone Garden
  • Kalut Shahdad Desert
  • Simak Waterfalls
  • Sirch Ski Resort
  • Meymand Rocky Village
  • Rageh Canyon

Yazd is the city of qanats and windcatchers. It’s the world’s first raw clay city. And the second living historical city in the world after Venice, Italy. The locals are famous for being calm, dignified, and hard-working people. These genius people had made it possible to live in the heart of the desert with their architectural skills. I’m talking about qanats and windcatchers. The first fulfilled their need for water and the latter cooled down their houses.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Yazd Attractions page.

Top Attractions to Visit in Yazd

In every corner of Yazd, an attraction is waiting to surprise you. And it will be very difficult to make one of them superior to the other; But the most significant of them are:

  • Yazd Grand Mosque
  • Fahadan Neighborhood
  • Amir Chakhmaq Complex
  • Saheb Al-Zaman Zurkhaneh
  • Dowlat Abad Garden
  • Yazd Fire Temple
  • Khan Complex
  • Rostam Giv Ab Anbar
  • Shesh Badgir Ab Anbar
  • Alexander’s Prison
  • Yazd Clock Square
  • Yazd Old Town
  • Davazdah Imam Tomb
  • Naaji Garden and Mansion
  • Malek-ol-Tojjar Historical House

Top Museums to Visit in Yazd

  • Museum of Mirrors and Lighting
  • Lariha House Museum
  • Yazd Water Museum
  • Tehraniha House Museum
  • Markar Museum
  • Yazd Car Museum
  • Stone Museum

Natural Attractions to Visit in Yazd

  • Haft-e Tir Park
  • Haftsang Desert Camp
  • Quran Gate Desert
  • Abarkooh Ancient Cypress Tree
  • Shir Kuh Mountain
  • Nasrabad’s Nabati Cave
  • Bafgh Desert

Top Iran Tourism Places Around Yazd

  • Dakhmeh Zartoshtian or the Tower of Silence
  • Kharānaq Village
  • Ashkezar Water Mill
  • Gonbad Aali or Aali Dome
  • Kharānaq Manar Jonban
  • Zarach Qanat

Qeshm Island is the beautiful jewel of the Persian Gulf. It is home to a collection of rocky, sandy, and muddy beaches. There are extensive historical, cultural, and archeological monuments here. Along with valuable geological heritage, ‌ that has made this island the only geopark in Iran and the Middle East.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Qeshm Attractions page.

Top Natural Attractions to Visit In Qeshm

  • Chahkooh Canyon
  • Laft Historical Village
  • Hengam Island
  • The Valley of Stars
  • Hara Forest or Mangrove Forest
  • Naz Islands
  • Kharbas Cave
  • Silver Beach
  • The Sacred Fig Tree
  • Qeshm Salt Cave
  • Shib Deraz Village
  • The Roof of Qeshm
  • Kaseh Salakh Area

Top Historical Attractions to Visit In Qeshm

  • Portuguese Fort
  • Bibi Water Reservoir
  • Historical Cemeteries in Qeshm
  • Tala Water Wells
  • Bibi Maryam’s Tomb
  • Qeshm Noopak Crocodile Park
  • Qeshm Shipbuilding and Repair Company
  • Zeytoon (Olive) Park
  • Qeshm Global Geopark Museum
  • Qeshm Island Aquarium
  • Negin Sahel Diving and Marine Recreational Center
  • Hamoon Recreation and Tourism Complex
  • Khalo Saleh Museum
  • Nakhoda (Captain) Ali Museum
  • Direstan Anthropology Museum
  • Qeshm Traditional Bazaar
  • The Dargahan Old Market
  • Qeshm City Center Mall

Qazvin is one of the largest cities in Iran and the capital of Qazvin province. This city was the capital of the country for 57 years during the Safavid era. For this reason, it has many historical buildings and museums. This city is the great capital of Iranian calligraphy, as well. Qazvin is located at the crossroads of the northern and western provinces of the country. Although many tourists may have passed through the city on their way, most of them miss its tourist attractions and sights.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Qazvin Attractions page.

Historical Places to Visit in Qazvin

  • Qazvin Bazaar
  • Al-Nabi Mosque
  • Rafi Church
  • Russian Church
  • Qazvin Jameh Mosque, Qazvin Grand Mosque
  • Sardar Bozorg Water Reservoir
  • Aminiha Hosseiniyeh
  • Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai
  • Alamut Castle
  • Imamzadeh Hossein
  • The Entrance of Aali Qapo
  • Darb Kushk Gate
  • Sepah Street
  • Kharraqan Towers
  • Sardar Mosque and School Complex
  • Hamdallah Mustawfi Shrine
  • The Safavid Garden Complex

Museums to Visit in Qazvin

  • Chehel Sotoun Palace Museum
  • Sepahdar Garden Mansion
  • Qazvin Municipality Mansion
  • Qazvin Museum

Natural and Cultural Attractions in and around Qazvin

  • Traditional Gardens of Qazvin
  • Zargar Village
  • Barajin Forest Park
  • Garmagalou Canyon
  • Varchor Waterfall
  • Sialan Mountain

Rasht City is a combination of sea and forest with rich history and civilization of Iran. A city that was the birthplace of great people like Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali. This city is the destination of millions of tourists, annually. Rasht, the capital of the evergreen province of Gilan, is located near the Caspian Sea. Meanwhile, its dense forests will blow your mind away.

Rasht Traditional Bazaar is a must-see. And Gilak people are full of joy and hospitality! The reputation of this city has gone beyond the borders. And UNESCO has introduced Rasht as the most creative city in terms of food and taste.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Rasht Attractions page.

Historical Iran Tourism Places in Rasht

  • Rasht Municipality Square
  • Municipality Palace
  • Rasht National Library
  • Post Office Mansion
  • Rasht Grand Bazaar
  • Kolah Farangi Mansion
  • Emamzadeh Hashem
  • Tomb of Mirza Kuchak Khan
  • The Tomb of Dana-ye Ali
  • Mosalla Square
  • Abrishami Traditional House
  • Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali’s House
  • Alam al-Hoda Street
  • Lat Caravanserai
  • Qadiri Traditional House
  • Shahpour High School

Museums to Visit in Rasht

  • Gilan Rural Heritage Museum
  • Rasht Museum

Parks and Gardens to Visit in Rasht

  • Mohtasham Garden
  • Sabzeh Meydan Park

Natural Attractions to Visit in and around Rasht

  • Saqalaksar Lake
  • Saravan Lake and Forest Park
  • Eynak (Glasses) Lagoon
  • Saravan-Fooman Road
  • Anzali Lagoon
  • Masouleh Historical City
  • Qaleh Roudkhan Castle
  • Asalem-Khalkhal Road
  • Gisum Forest Park

1. Mohtasham Garden

2. Mellat Park

3. Sabzeh Meydan Park

1. Saqalaksar Lake

2. Saravan Lake and Forest Park

3. Eynak (Glasses) Lagoon

4. Saravan-Fooman Road

5. Anzali Lagoon

Semnan is one of the desert cities of Iran, which is located in the south of the Alborz mountain range. If you plan to travel to Mashhad from Tehran, you will pass through this quiet city. In addition to the tourist attractions of the Lut desert in the south of Semnan, you can enjoy the lush nature and its pleasant climate in the north and northeast of the province. Also, due to the historical nature of this city, it has many spectacular ancient monuments that indicate the antiquity of Semnan.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Semnan Attractions page.

Historical Tourism Places to Visit in Semnan

  • Semnan Grand Mosque
  • Arg Gate Square
  • Semnan Traditional Bazaar
  • Soltani Mosque or Immam Mosque
  • Taheri’s House
  • Torabi Historic House
  • Ali Ibn-e Jafar Shrine
  • Kalantar (Sherief) House
  • Sheikh Ala Al-Dawlah Bazaar
  • Naghsh-e Jahan Serai
  • Sookan Forest Park

Museums to Visit in Semnan

  • Natural History Museum
  • Koumesh Coin Museum
  • Amir Garden and Mansion
  • Hazrat Bath

Iran Tourism Places around Semnan

  • Shahmirzad Town
  • Saroo Castles
  • Abbasi Lasjerd Caravanserai
  • Mirak Delazian Hills
  • Monastery of Ala Al-Dawlah Semnani
  • Zavaghan Jameh Mosque
  • Qasr-e Bahram Caravanserai
  • Shah Abbasi Carevanserai Complex
  • Ahovan Caravanserai
  • Salt Mine Of Garmsar
  • Mojen Waterfall
  • Abr (Cloud) Forest
  • Opert Ridge
  • Qalebālā Village
  • Rig-e Jenn Desert
  • Parvar Protected Area

Ilam province is one of the western provinces of the country. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, protected mountainous areas and vast and fertile plains, have made this province a destination for nature tourists.

The province hosts many historical monuments, as well. Clearly, this fact indicates the existence of the center of human societies in this region. Now, let’s get to know some of Iran’s top tourist attractions in this outstanding province.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Ilam Attractions page.

Top Natural Tourist Attractions to Visit in Ilam

  • Tang-e Kāfarī
  • Siah Gav (Black Cow) Twin Lakes
  • Chakar Lagoon
  • Arghavan Valley
  • Bahram Choobin Canyon
  • Sheshdar Natural Forest Park
  • Chagha Sabz Forest Park
  • Seimare River
  • Dehloran Hot Water Springs
  • Abtaf Waterfall
  • Boiling Tar Springs
  • Koulak Protected Area
  • Telesm Ivan Cave
  • Ilam Dam Lake
  • Strait of Razianeh
  • Qaleh Qīrān
  • Zamzam Lagoon
  • Cham Aw Waterfall
  • Barreh Zard Cave
  • Ţūlāv Mountain
  • Tajrian Promenade

Top Historical Tourist Attractions to Visit in Ilam

  • Posht Ghale
  • Hezarani Castle
  • Julian Fortress
  • Hezar Darb (One Thousand Door) Castle
  • Chenar Cemetery
  • Gulgul Malekshahi Inscription
  • Ismail khan Castle
  • Armu Cemetery
  • Se-Kasan Castle
  • Chartaqi Fire Temple
  • Seymareh Ancient City (Madakto)
  • Pour Ashraf Castle
  • Ali Kosh Hill
  • Moshakan Fire Temple
  • Gavmishan Bridge
  • Mir Gholam Hashemi Castle
  • Konjan Cham Castle
  • Konjan Cham Dam
  • Vali Castle
  • Siahgel Fire Temple
  • The Arch of Shirin and Farhad
  • Falahati Palace
  • Sirvan Ancient City
  • Natural History Museum Of Ilam

Kermanshah province is one of the most attractive regions of Iran. Because there are about 4,000 attractions in this province. The city of Kermanshah is the capital of this province and also the most populous and largest Kurdish city in Iran. If you have a diverse travel taste, a trip to Kermanshah will be enjoyable and varied for you. Since you can visit the ancient and historical monuments in the corridors of Iranian history. Plus, its nature, the pristine and boundless beauty, will touch your soul.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Kermanshah Attractions page.

Historical Tourism Places to Visit in Kermanshah

  • Taq-e Bostan
  • Mount Behistun
  • Tekiye Moaven Al Molk
  • The Statue of Hercules
  • Goor-Dakhmeh Sahneh
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
  • Behistun Safavid Caravanserai
  • Haj Shahbaz Khan Bath
  • Kermanshah Traditional Bazaar
  • Nan Berenji Bazaar
  • Emad o dolah Mosque
  • Shafei Jameh Mosque
  • Goor-Dakhmeh Saan-Rostam
  • Dolatshah Mosque
  • Khosrow Bridge

Museums and Gardens to Visit in Kermanshah

  • Zagros Paleolithic Museum
  • Jewelry and Clothing Museum
  • Anthropology Museum
  • Tekyeh Biglarbeygi
  • Stamp Museum
  • Taq-e Bostan Stone Museum
  • Kermanshah Flowers Garden
  • Sadaf Birds Garden
  • Kermanshah Museum of Natural History
  • Kermanshah Calligraphy Museum

Natural Attractions to Visit in Kermanshah

  • Sarab Niloofar Lake
  • Hashilan Wetland
  • Taq-e Bostan Forest Park
  • Do-Ashkaft Cave
  • Varvasi Cave
  • Gharasoo River
  • Tafeh Waterfall
  • Mar-Div Cave
  • Asangaran Cave

Lorestan is one of the most beautiful provinces of Iran. this place is where there are lots of extraordinary natural hot spots to visit. That’s why, they call this province, the bride of nature. Lorestan is also known as one of the first human settlements and has a lot of historical value. As a result, in Lorestan, you will see the majesty of waterfalls and overturned tulip plains; You will also be able to visit old castles and forts.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Lorestan Attractions page.

Natural Iran Tourism Places to Visit in Lorestan

  • Khazineh Canyon
  • Bisheh Waterfall
  • Keeyow (Q) Lake
  • Helt Canyon
  • Fritillary Plain in Aligudarz
  • Lili Strait
  • Shirz Canyon
  • Berenjeh Waterfall
  • Afrineh Waterfall
  • Kalmakareh Cave
  • Nozhian Waterfall
  • Ab Sefid Waterfall
  • Azna Snow Tunnel
  • Makhmal Kuh Park
  • Garmeh Waterfall
  • Varak Waterfall or Wark (Vark) Waterfall
  • Oshtorankuh Mount
  • Bam-e Lorestan
  • Gerit Waterfall
  • Karkheh River
  • Kapargeh Valley
  • Chekan Waterfall
  • Azgan Lagoon
  • Doosheh Cave
  • Bam-e Borujerd
  • Sarab Kartol Spring
  • Neygah Valley
  • Botkhaneh Cave
  • Aali Abad Cave
  • Silakhor Plain

Khazineh Canyon - Lorestan - Iran

Historical Iran Tourism Places to Visit In Lorestan

  • Falakol Aflak Castle
  • Brick Minaret
  • Soltani Mosque of Borujerd
  • Gerdab Sangi
  • Borujerd Jame Mosque
  • Tappeh Qoroq
  • Shapouri Bridge
  • Rock Carvings of Homiyan and Mirmalas
  • Manijeh Castle
  • Zagheh Castle
  • Sorkh Dom Laki Site
  • Chalan Cholan Bridge

In fact, Mashhad is the spiritual capital of Iran and the most important religious place in the country. The shrine of the eighth Imam of the Shiites (AS) is located in this city. In addition to the religious and pilgrimage aspects, this city has also made significant progress in the aspects of tourism and has various historical, recreational, and cultural complexes. That’s why it can be an interesting city for tourists.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Mashhad Attractions page.

Historical Attractions to Visit in Mashhad

  • Imam Reza Holy Shrine
  • Tomb of Sheikh Bahai
  • Abbas Qoli Khan Seminary
  • Tomb of Pir-e Palandouz
  • Tomb of Ferdowsi
  • Haftad-o-do Tan Mosque
  • Goharshad Mosque
  • Saint Mesrop Armenian Church
  • Bazaar Reza
  • Bazeh Hoor Chahartaqi
  • Radkan Tower
  • Khajeh Abasalt Shrine
  • Akhangan Rod
  • Tomb of Khajeh Rabie
  • Golestan Dam

Historic Houses to Visit in Mashhad

  • Malek Historical House
  • Tavakoli Historical House
  • Daroogheh Historical House

Museums to Visit in Mashhad

  • Tomb of Nader Shah or Naderi Garden Museum
  • Mehdi Gholi Beyg’s Hamam Musuem
  • Mashhad Botanical Garden
  • Bread Museum
  • Astan Quds Razavi Museums
  • Shah Lafata Zoorkhaneh and Museum
  • Anthropology Museum of Mashhad
  • Earth Science Museum Park
  • Great Museum of Khorasan
  • Vakil Abad Zoo
  • Mashhad Miniature Park

Natural Attractions and Parks to Visit in Mashhad

  • Chalidarreh Tourist Complex
  • Kooh Sangi Park
  • Melli Garden or National Garden
  • Vakilabad Garden
  • Haft Hoz Park
  • Professor Bazima Scientific Park
  • Indoor Water Parks
  • Jangal-e Jigh or Scream Forest
  • Akhlamad Waterfall
  • Almas Inverted House
  • Kalat Waterfall
  • Moghan Cave
  • Garaab Spring
  • Gilas (Cherry) Spring
  • Shirbad Ski Resort
  • Hat Houz Park

Attractions to visit around Mashhad

  • Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam
  • Mausoleum of Attar Neyshaburi
  • Kamal-ol-Molk’s Tomb

Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam - Mashhad - Iran

Mazandaran province, thanks to the Caspian coast, lush forests, waterfalls, rivers, etc., has become one of the most popular provinces in the north of the country, which hosts millions of tourists every year. This province, in addition to a multitude of unique natural attractions, also has dozens of historical and religious monuments that you should not miss. Many tourists know only a few of the summer areas of this province and are unaware of many of the other sights of this part of heaven.

Read about each of the places in more detail on our Mazandaran Attractions page.

Natural and Recreational Attractions to Visit in Mazandaran

  • Badab Soort Spring
  • Noshahr Eco-biology and Botanical Garden
  • Mount Damavand
  • Soleyman Tangeh Dam
  • Valasht Lake
  • Sari Melal Park
  • Komishan Cave
  • Raash (Beech) Forest
  • Ramsar Telecabin Complex
  • Namakabroud Beach Resort
  • Churat Lake
  • Ab Pari Waterfall
  • Do-Hezar and Se-Hezar Road
  • Elimalat Lake
  • Naz Protected Area
  • The Lake of Ghosts
  • Hasal Lagoon
  • Dalkhani Jungle
  • Gazou Waterfall
  • Si Sangan Forest Park
  • Harijan Waterfall
  • Miankaleh Lagoon
  • Chaldarreh Forest Park
  • Danial Cave
  • Taraz Waterfalls
  • Tirkan Seven Waterfalls
  • Mirza Kuchak Khan Forest Park
  • Niloufar Abi (Water Lily) Park
  • Khanikan Forest Park
  • Savasare WaterfallSavasare Waterfall – Mazandaran – Iran
  • Nashtarud Lagoon
  • Babol Roud River
  • Sange-No Waterfall
  • Khezrabad Beach
  • Falakdeh Spa
  • Nowshahr Local Bazaar

Summer Villages to Visit in Mazandaran

  • Javaher Deh
  • Jennat Rudbar
  • Garasma Sar

Historical Attractions to Visit in Mazandaran

  • Behshahr Mellat Park
  • Sari Clock Square
  • Abbas Abad Historical Garden
  • Veresk Bridge
  • Lajim Tower
  • Moallem Boulevard in Ramsar
  • Vaziri Bath
  • Babol Jameh Mosque
  • Sorkh Abad Church
  • Markuh Castle
  • Sefid Chaah Cemetery
  • Safi Abad Palace
  • Resket Tower
  • Mohammad Hasan Khan Bridge
  • Soltan Zayn al-Abidin Tower
  • Sar Tappeh Railway Bridge
  • Gadouk Caravanserai

Museums to Visit in Mazandaran

  • Sari Museum
  • Amol History Museum
  • Babol Ganjineh Museum
  • Ramsar Palace Museum
  • Khoshkeh-Daran Natural History Museum
  • Kandelous Museum
  • Nima Yushij House Museum
  • Ramsar Museum of Anthropology
  • Mokarrameh Ghanbari House Museum
  • Gohar Tepe Museum Site

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iran country tourism

Undeterred by 4 decades of US sanctions, Iran rolls out red carpet for Southeast Asian tourists

I ran has set its sights on Southeast Asia as the latest market from which to draw tourists, preparing to showcase its rich cultural heritage and picturesque cities to restore the once bustling tourism industry left almost crippled by more than four decades of unilateral economic sanctions imposed by the US.

Officials and trade representatives are bullish on attracting visitors from Malaysia, and apart from exploiting its diverse civilisations and beautiful landscapes, the Islamic republic wants to leverage its centuries-old historical ties with the Southeast Asian region.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Iran Tourism Roadshow Southeast Asia 2024 attended by more than 100 Iranian and Malaysian travel agencies, Iranian ambassador to Malaysia Valiollah Mohammadi Nasrabadi said sanctions and travel warnings by US authorities had had an effect in discouraging international tourists.

He nonetheless said the country was determined to attract more travellers.

Sanctions aside, he said, there had been attempts at propaganda to portray Iran in a negative light.

"But tourists who visit the country can see the reality. They will go home and tell their families about the reality of Iran," Nasrabadi told MalaysiaNow.

Despite the various hurdles, the oil-rich nation attracted six million foreign tourists last year, mostly from surrounding countries such as Iraq, Turkiye, Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

Iran, whose history dates back tens of thousands of years, is among the countries with the most number of Unesco World Heritage sites.

But it has been subjected to sanctions by Washington since the 1979 revolution that toppled the pro-Western Shah. These sanctions were further strengthened following accusations of terrorism as well as claims by its enemies that it was secretly developing nuclear weapons.

While sanctions have strengthened Iran's homegrown industries, they have also had an impact on its tourism, mainly due to blockades on the aviation and hospitality sector.

Any lifting of such blockades would likely see an inflow of tourists, as shown in the three-year window under the administration of president Barack Obama, when Iran witnessed an economic boom as well as a surge of foreign tourists following the lifting of sanctions in line with a nuclear deal signed with Washington.

At least three travel agencies for travellers to Iran are currently operating in Malaysia, and Nasrabadi expects the number to rise following an increase in business ties.

The tourism roadshow was launched by Iran's deputy minister of cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts, Ali Asghar Shalbafian.

He said measures had been taken in the campaign to attract more tourists, including allowances for visa-free entry for more than 40 countries, and visa on arrival for others.

The Iranian immigration does not stamp the passports of foreign visitors, taking into account the difficulties faced by some in entering the US due to past visits to Iran.

Malaysian passport holders who wish to visit the country can stay up to 15 days without a visa.

Shalbafian said Iran had invited tourism agencies from around the world to participate in business-to-business conferences. His ministry is also planning to sign several memoranda of understanding in public sectors with governments across Southeast Asia.

He said there was a need to combat negative perceptions of Iran, adding that Iranian students serve as the nation's "cultural ambassadors" to Malaysia.

 Undeterred by 4 decades of US sanctions, Iran rolls out red carpet for Southeast Asian tourists

World Bank Blogs Logo

World Bank country classifications by income level for 2024-2025

Eric metreau, kathryn elizabeth young, shwetha grace eapen.

The World Bank Group assigns the world’s economies [1]  to four income groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high. The classifications are updated each year on July 1, based on the GNI per capita of the previous calendar year. GNI measures are expressed in United States dollars [2]  using conversion factors derived according to the  Atlas method , which in its current form was introduced in 1989 [3] . The World Bank’s income classification aims to reflect a country’s level of development, drawing on  Atlas GNI per capita  as a broadly available indicator of economic capacity. The classification of countries into income categories has evolved significantly over the period since the late 1980s. In 1987, 30% of reporting countries were classified as low-income and 25% as high-income countries. Jumping to 2023, these overall ratios have shifted down to 12% in the low-income category and up to 40% in the high-income category.  The scale and direction of these shifts, however, varies a great deal between world regions. Here are some regional highlights:

  • 100% of South Asian countries were classified as low-income countries in 1987, whereas this share has fallen to just 13% in 2023.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa there is a higher share of low-income countries in 2023 (10%) than in 1987, when no countries were classified to this category.
  • In Latin America and the Caribbean , the share of high-income countries has climbed from 9% in 1987 to 44% in 2023.
  • Europe and Central Asia has a slightly lower share of high-income countries in 2023 (69%) than it did in 1987 (71%).  

These changing compositions are depicted visually in the diagram below, which shows country classifications by region and over time since 1987.  

Classification changes

The updated country income classifications for FY25, based on the GNI per capita of 2023, are available  here .

From a statistical perspective, classifications can change for two reasons:

  • Changes to Atlas GNI per capita : In each country, factors such as economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population growth can all influence the level of Atlas GNI per capita. Revisions to improve methods and data can also have an impact. Updated data on Atlas GNI per capita for 2023 can be accessed  here .
  • Changes to classification thresholds : To keep income classification thresholds fixed in real terms, they are adjusted annually for inflation using the  Special Drawing Rights (SDR) deflator , a weighted average of the GDP deflators of China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Euro Area. The new thresholds for Atlas GNI per capita (in US$) are as follows:  


The chart below shows the economies moving to new income categories this year:  

This year, three countries—Bulgaria, Palau, and Russia—moved from the upper-middle-income to the high-income category:

  • Bulgaria  has been steadily approaching the high-income threshold with modest growth throughout the post-pandemic recovery period, which continued in 2023 as real GDP grew 1.8%, supported by consumption demand.
  • Palau  also continued its post-pandemic recovery as GDP returned to previous levels, growing by 0.4% in real terms. With inflation (as measured by the GDP deflator) at 8.1%, nominal GNI increased 10.0%.
  • Economic activity in  Russia  was influenced by a large increase in military related activity in 2023, while growth was also boosted by a rebound in trade (+6.8%), the financial sector (+8.7%), and construction (+6.6%). These factors led to increases in both real (3.6%) and nominal (10.9%) GDP, and Russia’s Atlas GNI per capita grew by 11.2%.  

Algeria, Iran, Mongolia, and Ukraine all moved up from the lower-middle-income to the upper-middle-income category this year: 

  • While the  Algeria n economy grew 4.1% in 2023, the main reason for the upward reclassification was a comprehensive revision to national accounts statistics undertaken by the Algerian authorities (Office National des Statistiques) to align with current international standards. This realignment resulted in an upward revision to the level of GDP (on average 13.3% higher over the 2018-2022 period) due, for example, to the expansion of investment estimates to include research and development, improved methods for measuring production in public administration, and improved coverage of the non-observed economy.
  • Iran ’s economy grew 5.0% in 2023, driven mainly by oil exports and supported by gains in services and manufacturing. GNI jumped 39.5% in nominal terms which, combined with the depreciation of the Iranian rial, resulted in a 17.6% increase of the Atlas GNI per capita.
  • Mongolia  continued its recovery after the pandemic, with real GDP increasing 7.0% in 2023. Growth was driven by expansions in mining of 23.4%, along with higher export prices which boosted exports by 53.4%.
  • Ukraine ’s upward change in classification resulted from a resumption of economic growth in 2023 (real GDP grew 5.3%, following a drop of 28.8% in 2022) along with a continued decline in population, which has fallen more than 15% since the invasion from Russia began. These factors were further amplified by price increases of domestically produced goods and services to result in a large increase in nominal Atlas GNI per capita of 18.5%. While Ukraine’s economy was significantly impaired by Russia’s invasion, real growth in 2023 was driven by construction activity (24.6%), reflecting a sizable increase in investment spending (52.9%) supporting Ukraine’s reconstruction effort in the wake of ongoing destruction.

West Bank and Gaza was the only country whose classification moved downward this year. The conflict in the Middle East began in October 2023, and while the impact on West Bank and Gaza was limited to the fourth quarter, its scale was nonetheless sufficient to lead to a 9.2% drop in nominal GDP (-5.5% in real terms). Since West Bank and Gaza’s economy was close to the threshold (it entered the upper-middle-income category only last year), these declines brought Atlas GNI per capita back down to the lower-middle-income category.

More information

Detailed information on how the World Bank Group classifies countries is available  here . The  country and lending groups  page provides a complete list of economies classified by income, region, and World Bank lending status and includes links to prior years’ classifications. The classification tables include World Bank member countries, along with all other economies with populations greater than 30,000. These classifications reflect the best available GNI figures for 2023, which may be revised as countries publish improved final estimates. Data for  GNI ,  GNI per capita ,  GDP ,  GDP PPP , and  Population  for 2023 are now available on the World Bank's Open Data Catalog. Note that these are estimates and may be revised. For more information, please contact us at  [email protected] .  

[1]  The term country, used interchangeably with economy, does not imply political independence but refers to any territory for which authorities report separate social or economic statistics. [2]  In countries where dual or multiple exchange rates are in use, the exchange rate used to convert local currency units to US$ is an average of these exchange rates, provided necessary data are available. [3]  For data beginning in reference year 1987. The authors are pleased to acknowledge the essential contributions of our colleagues,  Charles Kouame , and  Tamirat Yacob to the preparation of this piece. Please note: The country classification described here aims to serve analytical purposes and changes have no direct impact on the eligibility for World Bank resources. In the classification used for World Bank operational purposes, a range of additional criteria are considered to determine country eligibility and the terms and conditions of Bank financing. For more information, please see the  IBRD Financial Products web page.

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Hopes for a Diplomatic Opening Rise Under Iran’s New President

Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist, wants warmer relations with the West, with the goal of ending sanctions. But his powers are strictly limited.

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Masoud Pezeshkian turning to face the camera. A group of people stand behind him.

By Lara Jakes

Reporting from Washington

With the election of the reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian as president, Iran may see a softening of its absolutist foreign policy and even an opportunity for a new diplomatic opening, current and former officials and experts say.

Mr. Pezeshkian, a cardiologist, member of Parliament and former health minister, has little direct experience in foreign policy. But he has pledged to empower Iran’s most elite and globalist diplomats to run his foreign agenda, raising hopes of a warmer relationship with the West.

Mr. Pezeshkian “represents a more pragmatic posture and less confrontational posture toward the outside and the inside,” said Dennis B. Ross, who served as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and is a longtime Mideast negotiator.

Still, Mr. Ross noted, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “would do a great deal to limit” Mr. Pezeshkian’s international agenda.

Most of the Iranian president’s powers are confined to domestic issues. It is Mr. Khamenei, as the country’s highest political and religious official, who makes all of the major policy decisions, particularly in foreign affairs and Iran’s nuclear program.

The other leading power in the Iranian system, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, oversees all of Iran’s military matters. The Revolutionary Guards and the supreme leader are closely aligned, and they decide when and how to use military force, whether in unleashing its proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, or in threatening Israel.

Iran’s foreign policies have grown increasingly hard-line in recent years, diplomats and analysts say, and that trend may well continue under Mr. Pezeshkian. That includes solidifying alliances with other authoritarian states — as Iran has by arming Russia with drones and missiles to attack Ukraine — and portraying itself as a power to be reckoned with, both in the Middle East and the West, despite its domestic upheaval and cratered economy.

“Iran’s axis of resistance has been so remarkably successful that it is hard to see why anyone would seek to disrupt a policy that has allowed Tehran to project power with some measure of impunity,” Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in an analysis as the election neared.

Engaging With the World

Where the president may have the greatest effect internationally, analysts say, is in shaping how Iran’s policies are viewed around the world, largely through the diplomats he selects. In this respect, the contrast between Mr. Pezeshkian and his top challenger, the anti-Western ultraconservative Saeed Jalili , is stark.

During the hard-line presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Jalili had flatly opposed a deal with world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from bruising economic sanctions. Instead, he had pushed to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels, Stimson Center experts wrote in an analysis in June.

“His approach led to Iran’s isolation,” said Ali Vaez, the Iran director at the International Crisis Group. “He doesn’t believe in the value of dealing with the West.”

Under Mr. Pezeshkian, he said, “I think the odds of a diplomatic breakthrough will increase.”

Easing Relations With the West

Mr. Pezeshkian has said he is determined to set a policy of international engagement and supports an easing of relations with the West with the aim of ending the sanctions. He says he wants to foster communication with most other governments across the world — except Israel — but he has also warned against putting too much stock in alliances with Russia and China. That’s “because then they could exploit Iran” and further isolate it globally, Mr. Vaez said.

“If we want to work based on this policy, we must behave well with everyone and establish a good relationship with everyone based on dignity and interests,” Mr. Pezeshkian said in May. “The more we improve our foreign relations, the closer we get to the aforementioned policy, but the more tensions increase, the more we move away from it and the situation worsens.”

Mr. Vaez said Mr. Pezeshkian has not put forward any specific foreign policy proposals and is fairly upfront about his lack of international experience. But the chief foreign policy adviser for his campaign was Mohammad Javad Zarif, the former foreign minister who brokered a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015. An astute English-speaking diplomat who has lived in the United States, Mr. Zarif has been mocked at home by hard-liners as a make-believe American.

The Trump Factor

A key test of Iran’s interest in diplomacy with the West will be in whether it responds to efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, an issue that is complicated by the candidacy of former President Donald J. Trump.

The agreement, which aimed to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb, technically expires next year . But it has been all but defunct since Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed American sanctions. That prompted Iran to accelerate its uranium enrichment to the point where experts say it may now be able to produce the fuel for three or more bombs in days or weeks.

Iran has long insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful, and that it is prohibited from manufacturing or using nuclear weapons because of a 2003 “fatwa,” or religious edict, issued by Mr. Khamenei. American officials say there is no evidence of a current effort to weaponize Iran’s near bomb-grade uranium, but the Israelis argue that such efforts are indeed underway under the guise of university research.

Catherine Ashton, a British diplomat who oversaw the nuclear talks as the European Union’s foreign policy chief when an interim agreement was reached in 2013, worked closely with both Mr. Jalili and Mr. Zarif at the negotiating table. She said Mr. Jalili appeared most concerned with “keeping the negotiations happening while ensuring there was no real progress or outcome.”

Mr. Zarif, on the other hand, had “a far greater understanding of the U.S.A. and Europe, and a determination to secure the future of Iran in the region,” Ms. Ashton said.

Mr. Khamenei had warned Iranians against electing a president who might be seen as too open to the West, particularly to the United States. Diplomats also note that the warming of transactional relations with Russia over the last decade, following years of distrust and disagreement, has helped Iran cope with continued international isolation.

The war in Gaza has aggravated tensions between the United States and forces backed by Iran in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, diminishing the possibility of new agreements between Washington and Tehran, Stimson Center experts wrote.

After an Israeli strike on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria in April, killing several Iranian commanders, Tehran retaliated by firing hundreds of missiles and drones against Israel, most of which were intercepted. It marked a serious escalation between the two enemies, and most likely led Iran to ensure it had a more potent deterrent in place.

Avoiding Conflict With the U.S.

Still, the Iranians are aware that the United States is determined to avoid a broadening of the conflict in the Middle East, and there have been back-channel messages between the two capitals to underscore the dangers.

A prisoner exchange last year between the two countries had stirred hope of further diplomatic cooperation, as had indirect talks over the nuclear program. But Iran is now focused on how — or whether — to deal with Mr. Trump if he wins re-election in November, as is widely assumed among Iran’s political class .

Mr. Ross, the negotiator, said the new Iranian president will have some leeway in adjusting the balance between “pragmatism or adherence to the ideological norms that the supreme leader sets” in making government decisions.

But that will only go so far in Mr. Pezeshkian’s dealings in foreign policy, especially with the United States, where Mr. Khamenei has set clear boundaries. Even when it came to the 2015 nuclear deal, Mr. Ross said, the supreme leader “distanced himself from it and positioned himself to say ‘I told you so’ when Trump walked away from it.”

Lara Jakes, based in Rome, reports on diplomatic and military efforts by the West to support Ukraine in its war with Russia. She has been a journalist for nearly 30 years. More about Lara Jakes


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