Dangerous, misunderstood, dream destination, too conservative, mysterious and a place with great history: These are all words of people I know referring to Iran upon hearing about my travel plans! In my experience, polarised and strong opinions mean that there’s something special about a place. And indeed there was!
And if you’ve come so far to be reading this, then you probably belong to the ones that are open to visiting this unique part of the world and might need a bit of inspiration in regards to what to expect to see there. I’ve selected some photos from my 1 week itinerary in Iran, which will give you a good idea of what there is to see!
(Plus some outtakes and a not so glamorous version of the visit, which are included in the next post!)
Here are some of the best things to see and do in Iran:
(I spent 1 week in Iran and I followed the following itinerary: Shiraz → Persepolis → Necropolis → Yazd → Isfahan → Tehran)
Arg of Karim Khan (Karim Khan Citadel)
Me pretending to be a local as usual! Unsuccessfully this time! For the record, I did have a more successful moment that day!
One of the towers of the Citadel is actually leaning! Yes, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
The Hamam of the Karim Khan Citadel
…or the place my camera broke! I don’t wanna remember this moment, so let’s move on, please!
Eram Garden (Bagh-e Eram)
Also known as the Pink Mosque or Kaleidoscope Mosque or the Mosque of Colours. It’s famous for the kaleidoscopic images that are created by the rays of sun through the colourful glass windows and are super photogenic!
Mind you, this only happens early in the morning and the reflections are not as amazing as shown usually online, as the floorings are covered with carpets and you can’t see the tiles of those photos.
The courtyard of Nasir al Molk Mosque ,also, looks fantastic with all these ornate and colourful details!
9 year old girls dressed in white while taking part in their Jashn-e Taklif ceremony, which symbolises the passage from childhood to the adult life
2.Persepolis, Necropolis, Naqsh-e Rajab & Pasargadae
Ruins of the Tachara. In other words, the Palace of Darius the Great itself!
A site of four limestone rockface inscriptions
Naqsh-e Rustam or Necropolis
Four large tombs cut high into the cliff face dedicated to four kings and a high priest
This construction is Ka’ba-ye Zartosht and is considered by some a zoroastrian fire temple
Me having an Indiana Jones moment in front of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great!
Amir Chakhmaq Complex & Square
The fountains of the square are a popular meeting point for the city of Yazd.
Yazd Atash Behram, also known as Yazd Atash Kadeh or Atashkadeh
Atashkadeh is an important Zoroastrian Fire Temple and a reminder of how important this religion was once in the region.
The history of this bazaar goes back to the 9th century. It’s smaller than the ones in Tehran and Isfahan, but very pretty and more quiet. The sunlight coming in through the holes in the ceiling make it quite Instagrammable!
Jameh Mosque of Yazd
Even more Instagrammable with its beautiful dome! It was constructed in the 12th century and its minarets are the highest in Iran!
(This is one of Maria‘s signature #domies! She took about 5,000 during that week!)
Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Shah Square or Imam Square
One of the largest and grandest squares in the world! It’s the main landmark of the city of Isfahan (0r Esfahan) and a reason to visit the city by itself! A walk around it is a free masterclass in islamic architecture, as the city boasts being home to the best and most beautiful islamic structures in Iran!
Hasht Behesht & Gardens
Hasht Behesht means Eight Paradises and was built in 1669 to house the king’s harem!
Ali Qapu Palace
The palace houses some very pretty and nicely preserved paintings and frescoes!
The Music Hall of Ali Qapu Palace
The acoustics of the palace’s Music Hall are excellent without the use of modern technology. Can you see all those cutouts on the walls and ceilings? They’re there to absorb any echoes and maximise the quality of sound. Despite their practical purpose, they look fantastic, too! If you’re interested in seeing more photos from this gorgeous room and read a bit more about its acoustics, take a look at this!
The capital of Iran and its architecture
After all this time in Iran I thought no elaborate architecture would impress me still. But Golestan Palace changed all this! WOW! Anywhere you turn there’s another magical set of ornate details! And an orgasm of colours!
The whole complex consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts, as well as royal gifts from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The gardens of Golestan Palace
There are a lot of food trucks around Tehran, but there’s this spot in the city where there’s a few of them, making good coffee among other things. There’s a very nice atmosphere!
Iran is undoubtedly home to some of the finest islamic architecture in the whole world, but it’s been home to other religions throughout its history. Look for an armenian or a greek orthodox church and even a zoroastrian temple!
Alright! They’re not the biggest attraction, but they’re there! Unfortunately not running wild and as part of a magical landscape, but better than nothing, right?
Ok! Flamingos aside, most of the sights you’ll encounter in Iran are breathtaking and super photogenic! Safety is not a concern, a lot of people go out of their way to assist visitors and the vibes are quite relaxed! These were just 25 things to see and do in Iran. What’s the main reason you’d like to visit Iran for?
Don’t forget to check out my next post that shows the not so glamorous side of my visit to Iran! It wasn’t all about having photoshoots in elaborately decorated backgrounds or living our one thousand and one nights!