Iran is a country with a rich and diverse history, culture, and nature. It has many attractions that can appeal to different types of travelers, from ancient ruins and mosques to modern cities and ski resorts. Here are 10 of the best places to visit in Iran, along with some tips and information for each destination. Traveling in Iran as a vegan is easy and it requires some research and preparation. Iran is a country with a rich and diverse cuisine, but it is also heavily meat-based.
The capital and largest city of Iran, Tehran is a vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis that offers a variety of attractions and activities. You can visit the Golestan Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the splendor of the Qajar dynasty, or the National Jewelry Treasury, where you can admire the dazzling jewels of the Iranian monarchs. You can also explore the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, which features works by Picasso, Warhol, Kandinsky, and other famous artists If you are into skiing, you can head to the nearby Dizin ski resort, which has slopes for all levels of skiers2
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, gardens, and wine. It is the birthplace of two of the most celebrated Persian poets, Hafez and Saadi, whose tombs are surrounded by beautiful gardens and visited by many admirers. Shiraz is also home to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque, which has stunning stained glass windows that create a colorful display of light Another highlight of Shiraz is the Eram Garden, a botanical paradise with a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a historic mansion4
Persepolis is one of the most impressive and important archaeological sites in Iran and the world. It was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, which ruled over a vast territory from the 6th to the 4th century BC. Persepolis consists of several palaces, halls, and tombs, decorated with elaborate reliefs and sculptures that depict the glory and diversity of the ancient Persian civilization5 You can visit Persepolis as a day trip from Shiraz, which is about 60 km away.
is often considered the jewel of Iran, and for good reason. It is a city of stunning architecture, art, and culture, with a UNESCO World Heritage Site at its center: the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. This vast square is surrounded by magnificent buildings, such as the Imam Mosque, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, the Ali Qapu Palace, and the Qeysarieh Bazaar6 You can also admire the beauty of the Zayandeh River and its bridges, especially the Khaju Bridge and the Si-o-se-pol Bridge, which are illuminated at night. Another attraction of Isfahan is the Isfahan Music Museum, where you can learn about the history and diversity of Iranian music and instruments.
Yazd is one of the oldest and most unique cities in Iran, with a distinctive. It is famous for its windcatchers, which are towers that capture the breeze and cool the buildings. Yazd is also known as the center of Zoroastrianism, an ancient monotheistic religion that originated in Iran. You can visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, where a sacred fire has been burning for more than 1,500 years, or the Towers of Silence, where the Zoroastrians used to leave their dead for the vultures. Yazd also has a lively old town, with narrow alleys, mud-brick houses, and bazaars.
Kerman is a city with a long and turbulent history, having been invaded and destroyed by various conquerors, such as the Mongols, the Afghans, and the British. However, it has also been a center of culture and trade, and has many attractions to offer. One of them is the Ganjali Khan Complex, a 17th-century complex that includes a bathhouse, a caravanserai, a mosque, and a bazaar. Another is the Shazdeh Garden, a green oasis in the desert, with fountains, pools, and pavilions.
Kashan is a city that combines history, nature, and architecture. It is famous for its traditional houses, which are elegant and ornate, with courtyards, gardens, and stained glass windows. Some of the most notable ones are the Tabatabaei House, the Borujerdi House, and the Abbasian House. Kashan is also close to the Maranjab Desert, where you can enjoy the sand dunes, the salt lake, and the caravanserai. Another attraction of Kashan is the Fin Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the oldest and most beautiful Persian gardens.
Qom is one of the holiest cities in Iran, and a major destination for Shia Muslim pilgrims. It is the site of the shrine of Fatima Masumeh, the sister of the eighth Imam, who is buried in a golden-domed mausoleum. The shrine is a complex of mosques, minarets, and courtyards, and attracts millions of visitors every year. Qom is also a center of religious education, with many seminaries and scholars. Qom is about 140 km south of Tehran, and can be visited as a day trip or an overnight stay.
Tabriz is the largest city in northwestern Iran, and a hub of culture, commerce, and history. It has been the capital of Iran several times, and has played a significant role in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Islamic Revolution. Tabriz has many attractions, such as the Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the oldest and largest covered bazaars in the world. Another is the Blue Mosque, a 15th-century mosque that was once adorned with blue tiles, but was damaged by an earthquake. Tabriz is also a gateway to Lake Urmia, the largest lake in Iran, which is famous for its salt crystals and flamingos.
Mashhad is the second-largest city in Iran, and the most important pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims. It is the location of the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam, who is buried in a complex of mosques, courtyards, and minarets. The shrine is visited by millions of pilgrims every year, who come to pay their respects and seek blessings. Mashhad also has other attractions, such as the Tomb of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty, or the Goharshad Mosque, a 15th-century mosque that is a masterpiece of Iranian architecture.
These are just some of the best places to visit in Iran, but there are many more to discover and enjoy. Iran is a country that will surprise and delight you with its diversity, beauty, and hospitality. If you are planning to visit Iran, make sure to do your research, respect the local customs and laws, and have a valid visa and travel insurance. Have a wonderful trip!