A country steeped in history and with an incredible heritage, Iran is a country often misunderstood and wrongly avoided by many travelers. However, Iran has everything to please: a culture several thousand years old, fantastic monuments and cities, varied landscapes ranging from snow-capped mountains to arid deserts via the sea, as well as a population among the most welcoming in the world. world !
Wondering what to do in Iran? Know that there are so many wonderful places to discover, that you will probably find it difficult to visit them all during your trip! Fortunately, to help you prepare for your Iranian adventure, we have prepared a list of the 12 most beautiful places to visit in Iran!
Visiting Iran without discovering its capital is impossible! Already because Tehran will be your gateway to this wonderful Persian world, then because it is home to magnificent monuments, such as the Golestan Palace , a masterpiece of the Qadjar era located in the heart of the historic center which houses several museums, or the Niavaran Palace , one of the residences of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , or the National Museum.
And to escape the pollution of the city, why not reach one of the seven ski resorts of the Alborz chain thanks to the cable cars north of Tehran? Because yes, if you are wondering what to do in Iran, know that it is possible to ski there! If you are wondering what to do in Tehran, you can take inspiration from our article “ The 12 essential things to do in Tehran ”!
For history buffs or laymen, Isfahan is a must visit destination if you are planning to visit Iran! Located south of Tehran, in the very center of the country, it is the former capital of the Persian Empire and is particularly renowned for its architecture dating from this period.
Thanks to its history, Isfahan brings together a multitude of monuments among the most beautiful in the country and in the Middle East, such as the Imam Mosque and the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, masterpieces of Iranian architecture of the period safavid.
In town, you can also stroll along the Zayandehrood River next to the old bridges of Isfahan, such as the famous Pol-e Khaju. Also take advantage of your stay to stroll through the charming irrigated gardens of the city, in the bazaar of Isfahan or to discover the sublime Armenian Cathedral Vank!
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shiraz is home to marvels, such as the Persian gardens of Afif-Abad, Eram and Delgosha, which command admiration. A soft and peaceful atmosphere reigns in Shiraz, the Iranians appreciate this city very much.
In addition to the gardens, you can also visit the Karim Khan Citadel , a formidable fortified complex which houses luxurious hammams, gardens, swimming pools, courtyards and rooms! Or the magical Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque : plunging through the stained glass windows, the sun’s rays form a superb luminous kaleidoscope in the prayer room.
70 km northeast of Shiraz, Persepolis is an essential site to visit in Iran. Because if you are still wondering what to do in Iran, know that visiting this country is also taking a leap into ancient history!
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this archaeological site was originally a city founded by Darius I in 521 BC. Partially destroyed during the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, it is possible today to visit the ruins of the various dwellings, palaces and carved staircases.
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South of Tehran, Kashan is an essential stopover if you are planning to visit Iran! Before reaching the famous Isfahan or the beautiful Shiraz, it will seduce you with its bazaar which forms a magnificent and sprawling complex with its mosques and madreseh, its tombs, caravanserais, arcades and baths!
The Friday Mosque is also a must-see during your stay in Kashan, as well as the End Garden , an archetype of the Persian garden.
6. The Maranjab Desert
What to do in Iran? Walk in the desert, of course! Not far from the city of Kashan, the Maranjab desert is a popular place for Iranians themselves: to get out of the city and enjoy the great outdoors, this place is perfect.
Superb walks in the sand dunes await you in this desert: you can even imagine yourself in a setting from the cartoon Aladdin! It is even possible to sleep in a caravanserai and pet camels roaming free during your stay in the desert.
7. The Red Village of Abyaneh
Not far from Kashan and the Maranjab desert, Abyaneh is a superb typical Iranian village.
It will charm you with its picturesque houses made of clay bricks, its local crafts, as well as the superb walks in the middle of the nearby rivers and mountains that await you there! To visit traditional Iran, nothing better than taking a trip to Abyaneh.
An oasis city in central Iran, Yazd is located between the deserts of Dasht-e Kavir in the north and that of Dasht-e Lut in the south. To immerse yourself in Iranian culture, Yazd is the perfect city. Typical and calm atmosphere, authentic old town and picturesque mosques, Yazd has only good times in store for you. Nothing better than enjoying a magnificent sunset on the roof of a café, a delicious tea in hand, to admire the beautiful Yazd and its warm colors!
In town, you will marvel at the Amir Chakhmaq complex, with its baths, mosque and even its underground bazaar, or at the charming adobe houses. And if you are still wondering what to do in Iran, we can only recommend that you visit the Towers of Silence, vestiges of Zoroastrianism and which are not far from the city!
The largest city in southeastern Iran, the city was probably founded by the Sassanid king Ardashir I in the 3rd century. The ancient city is known for its production of famous Persian carpets, as well as for housing some of the most beautiful monuments in Iran, such as the Great Mosque or the Gandj Ali Khan bath.
Around the city, the village of Mahan, with its famous mausoleum and the garden of Shahzadeh , is to be discovered. But above all, it is the gigantic city-citadel of Bam, located on the famous Silk Road, which will attract you to the region!
Masouleh presents a unique architecture of its kind. Built on the mountainside, the buildings are interconnected so that the courtyards and roofs form pedestrian spaces. Indeed, the roof of a house also serves as a courtyard for the house above!
With its narrow streets, its many stairs and its ocher-colored clay houses, Masouleh has an extraordinary charm. On the road to Tabriz in the North-West, it is an essential village to visit in Iran!
With a history dating back over 4500 years, Tabriz is one of the oldest cities in the world! Thanks to its long history, Tabriz is home to spectacular monuments such as the Blue Mosque , tiled with superb blue ceramics, or the Tabriz Bazaar , one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world!
The latter is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But above all, Tabriz is a small culinary paradise, being at the crossroads of Iranian and Azeri cultures.
12. Qeshm Island
Still wondering what to do in Iran? Then you absolutely must discover the amazing and enchanting scenery of the largest island in the Persian Gulf! Qeshm Island hosts a rich and varied natural environment, with impressive geological phenomena, such as salt and sulfur caves, valleys and canyons, which you can discover by visiting the Valleys of Stars and Statues.
Also take advantage of your stay to discover the picturesque little fishing village of Laft or the islands of Naz or Hormoz!