Iran may not commonly appear in the average traveler’s bucket list, but it’s slowly gaining ground as one of the must-see dream destinations of today.
Fondly called “the jewel in Islam’s crown,” Iran is teeming with majestic mountains and beautiful beaches. Its rich history and culture also never fail to amaze even the pickiest tourists.
Inspired to start looking for hotels in Iran and planning your visit? Know more about the country with this list of the 10 best places to visit in Iran:
1. The National Museum of Iran
Iran’s capital, Tehran, already has a number of interesting landmarks and places of interest all tourists should visit.
Once you’re in Tehran, start by visiting the National Museum of Iran. The building itself, which is inspired by Sasanian architecture, is already impressive from outside and you will even be more awestruck once you get inside.
Within the museum, you will find an extraordinary variety of treasures and objects from the 30,000 years of human habitation in the Iranian plateau. You will certainly be fascinated by the collection of preserved Stone Age tools, primitive art, ancient coins and pottery, and decorated capitals from Persepolis.
If you want to start your tour of Iran with something educational, you won’t go wrong with visiting this world-renowned museum.
2. The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is one of Tehran’s most popular tourist spots. It is located in the heart of the city and covers more than 10 kilometers of labyrinthine alleyways packed with covered shops and the hustle and bustle of customers.
As one of Tehran’s oldest areas, this commercial center is rich in history and character. Expect a multi-sensory experience as you shop for jewelry, food, carpet and cooking and dining ware, and more. You can also find an impressive selection of clothes and shoes here that you won’t have any problems taking your OOTDs to another level.
Lastly, the Grand Bazaar is home to numerous restaurants and cafes. Once you get tired and hungry from shopping and walking around, simply head to one of these buildings for a snack and rest for a bit.
3. Golestan Palace
The Golestan Palace, which is located near the Grand Bazaar, is a 19th century Qajar royal residence. It is one of the official UNESCO heritage sites in Iran and one of the oldest complexes steeped in history and culture.
The palace complex covers 17 structures. It houses several wonderful gardens, reception halls, museums, throne rooms, and royal quarters. You will also be amazed by the intricate tile work, mirrored interiors, fountains and marble thrones which are hallmarks of the peak of Qajar architecture.
When you visit this place, you will gain a sense of the level of opulence the Persian monarchs enjoyed in the past.
4. Milad Tower
Known locally as Borj-e Milad, the tower is one of Iran’s newest landmarks. However, it is already one of the most famous ones today.
The Milad Tower is 435 meters tall and currently the sixth tallest tower in the world. It is also the tallest structure in Iran.
When you drop by this place, head to the highest floor to enjoy incredible panoramic views of the city skyline. You can also have lunch or dinner at the tower’s revolving restaurant if you’re up for an exciting culinary adventure.
5. Park-e Jamshidieh
Jamshidieh Park is located in the foothills of the Kolakchal mountain. Although you will need to travel quite a bit to visit this place, the trip will be worth it.
Once here, you will be able to breathe fresh, cool air and enjoy fantastic views. As you go higher to explore the park, you will also see better panoramas of the city below.
In case you don’t feel like walking around or hiking, there are many nice spots in the area where you can go for a simple picnic or to just take in the beautiful surroundings.
Tehran isn’t the only place in Iran that you should visit. There are other cities and provinces you have to check out, too. One of them is Isfahan.
Esfahan or Isfahan is one of the most important and historic cities in Iran. It is located about 420 kilometers south of Tehran.
A one-day visit here wouldn’t be enough since there are several places of interest you have to see once you get here. These include:
- Ali Qapu Palace
- Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
- Chehel Sotoun
- Si-o-se-pol Bridge and Teahouse
- Vank Cathedral
- Fire Temple of Isfahan
- Sofeh Mountain
The city is located in the ancient province of Fārs. It is famous for being the birthplace of many renowned poets, philosophers, and religious reformers. Shiraz is also near Persepolis – the ancient capital city of emperors Darius and Xerxes from 550 BCE.
Some of the must-visit places in Shiraz are:
- Eram Garden
- Afif-Abad Garden
- Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque)
- Tomb of Saadi
- Vakil Bath
- Vakil Bazaar
- Pars Museum
The city of Tabriz is located in the East Azerbaijan Province in the north-western region of Iran. It is referred to by locals as the “City of Compassion” and it is also one of the most historic and important cities in the country.
Tabriz is also known for being the first city in Iran to have a post office, fire station, and public library.
Places of interests you have to visit here are:
- The Blue Mosque
- Arg-e Tabriz (Ark Citadel of Tabriz)
- Azerbaijan Museum
- Maqbarat-o-shoara (Mausoleum of Poets)
- Elgoli Park
- Kandovan Village (Troglodyte/Man-Made Cliff Dwellings)
- Eynali Mountain Range
9. Kish Island
If you want to go on a beach getaway, Iran also has several beautiful coastlines. One of these is Kish Island.
Kish is Iran’s most famous beach island. It boasts amazing white sand and clear, turquoise blue waters. It is home to incredible coral reefs and colorful fishes and, as such, snorkeling and scuba diving are a must here.
You can also go on a recreational jetty or ride glass-bottomed boats and motorboats if you want to try other water sports here.
10. Bandar Abbas
Another place worth going to for a beach holiday in Iran is Bandar Abbas. It is located in the Hormozgan Province, south of Iran.
Bandar Abbas boasts wide beaches covered with silky sand, cleansed by fairly abundant tides. The gentle slope provides a safe water playground for children as well.
The new hotels here have swimming pools, recreational centers and great-looking gardens, making this place a perfect holiday destination.
With everything that the country has to offer, the best time to visit Iran is now.