Iran is home to more than 1200 cities; many of which have remained rather unexplored to this day. Pinpointing Iran top cities and tourist spots one can travel to in Iran is an unfair task. This is for reasons more than just these destinations’ intact sceneries and untouched historical landscapes. Stories and tails of ancient kings, old gods, complex architectural structures and their mysteries, and many more curious instances can be found in every corner of this country.
Making a list of Iran top cities is, for this reason, a rather tricky piece of work! Using previous Tourists’ experiences and reviews, Iran’s cultural and natural sites, and each city’s unique historical treasures; this list was made and brought forward (in no specific order).
Tehran city tour is most definitely among Iran top cities any tourist can plan for. The capital’s modern streets and eccentric night cafes roamed by the stylish youth are beautifully in contrast with its old streets and traditional bazaars, lost in time and memory even by the residents of this city. With that in mind, let us take a look at Tehran’s mysteries from two different aspects.
Azadi Tower, Milad Tower, Tabiat Bridge, and Chitgar lake are some of the most famous urban and stately attractions of Tehran. These monuments are visited year-round by tourists and locals alike for their original architecture and the perfect blend of nature-in-city impression they have left behind. Aside from these famous urban attractions, numerous remarkable buildings, parks, museums, and book gardens can be seen around the city. Visit the Roof of Tehran at night and the refreshing heights of Tochal in the early morning to get the most gratifying experience.
Beyond the bounds of the modernized parts of the city, lies the well-worn pages of Tehran’s old, but well-preserved streets. From the once glorious street of Laleh Zar which was Naser al-Din Shah’s attempt at bringing Champs-Élysées home; or the Grand Bazaar which once used to be one of the four main districts of Tehran, to the former royal residence of Reza Shah and his family: The Saadabad historical complex. This complex is to the north of Tehran, with around 80 hectares of natural forests and 18 other complexes built within this imperial land.
These are all amid the many grand historical attractions of Tehran city tour, but let us not forget the crux of Tehran tours’ biscuit: The Golestan Palace.
Isfahan city tour is among the most popular AND eye-feasting TOURIST SPOTS among Iran top cities. This city is home to more than 20 cultural structures and historical landmarks. Naqsh-e Jahan square and its surrounding UNESCO cultural sites alone can take you on a trip through history and move you with its beautiful architectural designs and timeless motifs. Color splattered tiles, mesmerizing domes, complex stucco layouts, and captivating Āina-kāri techniques are just a few items off the lengthy list of Iranian architectural wonders. Naqsh-e Jahan square borders four magnificent structures:
Isfahan, similar to many other cities in Iran, is a city of ancient and rich culture. This city is called Nesf-e Jahan (meaning half of the world) for its beautifully undiminished collection of paintings, artifacts, monuments, and architectural remnants from the Safavid era.
The Vank church (also called Church of the Saintly Sisters) is a great example of Safavid architectural characteristics mingled with inspirational decors from the Book of Lamentations. Si O Se Pol Bridge (meaning thirty-three bridges, and for good reasons) is another great example you can see for yourself in this Iran city tour.
Where Isfahan is the cultural and historical home of Iran, Shiraz is the living soul of literature and poetry. Not only is this city home to some of the most famous poets of Persia, namely Hafez and Sa’adi, but the city itself carries the sweet fragrance of poetry.
The Eram Garden is the most famous Garden of Shiraz, and rightfully so. This Garden is filled with aged Mediterranean cypresses, tall pine trees, rosy redbuds, lush European ash trees, golden willows, and soft, Silverleaf poplar timbers. In different seasons; pomegranate, pear, apple, quince, bitter orange, and Armenian plum trees bear fruit, and gift this garden with dreamy colors and a heavenly scent.
Step through the wood-carved entryway of this favored UNESCO site and enjoy an evening of strolling through the painted walls and stone pillars of Eram garden mansion and marvel as each mural tells a different tail from history.
You can visit the pink mosque of Nasir al-Mulk and walk down the colorfully sunlit halls, or journey deeper into the Persian culture and open the Divan of Hafez next to the Hafezie memorial to see what the renowned poet has in store for you. The Vakil Bazaar (which ages back to the 11th century) in the center of the city, the historical Arg of Karim Khan just next to this traditional bazaar, the beautiful garden of Qavam house, the grand gates of the Quran, and many more gardens, bathhouses, and mosques are all among the beautiful attractions of this city.
The historic city of Yazd known as the city of knowledge, the city of sun and fire, and the city of sweets; is an ideal destination for almost everyone. Yazd city tour stands out among all other Iran city tours for many reasons. The first of which is the beautifully intact fabric of the city and its desert architecture used in buildings, rarely sighted in today’s modernized world.
The historic city of Yazd is located in the drylands of Iran’s central regions. naturally, this city has always had limited access to water and so, the creation of Qanats and Cisterns (water reservoir) has helped the people of this city throughout history to this day.
Yazd’s complex underground water channels, intact earthen architecture, celebrated Zoroastrian fire temples (called Ataskada in the old Persian tongue and Pyratheia by the Greeks), and its glorious (and still functional) wind catchers have turned this city into one of the oldest cities on the list of World Heritage Sites.
The beautifully green and lively Dowlat Abad garden with its famous 33 meters long wind catcher (the tallest one in the world), the Saat Square’s clock tower and its surrounding cisterns, the grand venue of Amir Chakhmaq with its unique bathhouses and divine Muqarnas designs, and the stately Jame mosque and its exquisite mosaic motif are some of the most popular tourist attractions of the city of Yazd.
This city has more than 600 national sites and 7 UNESCO world heritage sites within itself. Unsurprisingly, Kerman’s historical value and natural potency have turned it into an important ecotourism destination in Iran and all middle east.
Ganjali khan bathhouse, Arg-e Bam, Rageh canyon, the Lut desert, Jabaliye dome, Rayen Citadel, Harandy Garden Museum, Kalut Shahdad Desert, Fath Abad Garden, Ardeshir castle (and Dokhtar castle), Zericf icehouse, and last but definitely not least: the renowned Kerman Bazaar.
Each section of this grand bazaar was built by different rulers of Kerman in the Safavid and Qajar eras. And so, what is left for us to witness is a splendidly traditional architecture that runs along the emporium and its vintage arches.
Ganjali Khan bathhouse with its classy mosaic design is just to the right of this grand bazaar. For its architectural and historical value, this bathhouse was turned into a museum so that the onlookers can take a tour inside this grand monument without harming any part of the construction.
The bleak and uninhibited land of Shahdad desert and its exquisite Kaluts (known for its monstrous natural rock formations), the Bam city in its full glory (standing tall as the biggest adobe construction in the whole world), Jabalieh dome and its ageless structure (some speculate it to be older than 6th century BCE, and some believe it to belong to the Sassanid period), Ardeshir castle and Dokhtar castle (also called the fire temple of Anahita; built to worship the goddess of wisdom and fertility in old Persia), or the Fath Abad royal garden (which is among the cultural UNESCO sights) can all be on your Kerman city tour path.
This golden island was bound to appear on the list of the best Iran city tours sooner or later. Qeshm UNESCO global geopark is a beautifully intact island, yet to be touched by the greedy hands of commercialization and modernization. From the gorgeous island of dolphins in Qeshm, the Hengam island; to the colorful salt cave of Namakdan in the south and the Mangrove forest of Hara in the north, Qeshm is full of wondrous natural cityscapes and sights.
Qeshm city tour will take you on a trip in time, where you can see the ancient engravings on the Khorbas Cave walls, walk through the phenomenal arches and rocky hills of the Stars Valley, dive the clear waters of the Persian Gulf, or stroll the sandy shores of the Naz island, colored by the myriad species of fish, corals, and seashells. Take a break from the modernized world and city life, and give yourself a chance to be absorbed by nature and its beauties in Qeshm.
Definitely one of the most beautiful cities of Iran, Tabriz city is known for its vibrant nature and delicious foods (Koofte and Kebab).
The untouched and protected forests of Arasbaran, the ancient rocky Kandovan village, the famous Blue mosque and its mosaic art, and the Grand Bazaar of Tabriz are among the many historical and natural tourist destinations that will make your trip to Iran more memorable and festive.
THE biggest covered Bazaar all throughout the world, the Grand Bazaar of Tabriz is one of the most important cultural sites in Iran, and is marked as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites for this reason. This bazaar is around a kilometer long and is adorned by numerous domes and arches throughout its curved pavements.
The Blue Mosque of Tabriz is another astonishingly beautiful structure, which has most certainly earned its name. the famous mosaic art employed in the construction of this mosque, combined with elaborate brickwork and the use of brilliant cyan and azure has made this mosque one of the most popular destinations in Tabriz city tour. Get a taste of the true Iranian culture (and food!) by choosing Tabriz as one of your Iran city tours’ destinations.