Kerman travel guide is designed to give you an image of some of the most scenic AND historically significant spots in Iran’s southeast region. Kerman is home to more than 600 national treasures and 5 UNESCO sites and is popular among tourists with an interest in history and culture. Travel through the Lut desert after visiting the glorious citadel of Bam and Shazdeh garden in Kerman’s south if you are a fan of Iran desert tours, and then pay a visit to the (now museum of) Ganjali Khan bathhouse and the ancient dome of Jabaliyeh inside the glorious city of Kerman to take the most out of your stay in Kerma.
-7°C to 19°C / 28 °C to 44 °C
Ganjali Khan Complex
Citadel of Bam
Shazdeh Mahan Garden
Bam Citadel (Arg-e Bam)
Shazdeh Mahan Garden
Kerman international airport
Lut’s extensive night sky covers the vision of this land’s venturers like a blanket made of nebula and stardust, stretching as far as the eye sees and reminding each of us of what we are missing every night by living beneath the urbanized and polluted skies of cities. Allow yourself the opportunity to escape the modernized world, and camp the night at this UNESCO natural site to see the sky for what it really is. As the warmest dryland of all earth, Dasht-e Lut (or Lut desert) has an incredibly substantial variety of rock formations and desert landforms. There are areas in this desert that wind erosion has turned into lifeless, black stony lands (Hamada), or enormous and magnificent Yardangs (kaluts).
Dasht-e Lut is, although unbearably hot, home to more than 50 Iran desert animals, and highly adapted desert vegetation. This, along with Lut’s vast lands and high temperature has made it dangerous (for both the traveler and the natural ecosystem) to travel this land without a professional guide.
Shahdad Kaluts, which are close to Shahdad city in the Lut desert, are some of the most incredible kaluts in Iran and the world. On our Kerman travel guide we don’t recommend you to venture the Shahdad desert on your own. Most parts of the drylands of Shahdad are only accessible to visitors who are led by professional tour guides and escorts. There are a lot of folk stories and myths about Shahdad kaluts, some of which tell tales of the ghosts that walk among the sandy wasteland at night and make strange noises to scare travelers off. Tourists, however, find beauty of this land is too great to miss the opportunity of walking among its tall kaluts themselves.
Kerman Bazaar is the single longest covered bazaar in all Iran, and ages back to around 600 years ago. This grand bazaar is of great cultural and metropolitan value to this day and interconnects different parts of the city through its lengthy structure. One of the most important sections of this market is the traditional rug bazaar. Kerman is known for its masterfully handwoven rugs, beautified by detailed and complex designs ranging from nature-inspired floral arts to historical and poetic designs.
Another cultural UNESCO site of Kerman is the jabalieh dome. This stone structure is speculated to be as old as the Sassanid Empire, and as theorized by some, maybe even older. How this monument was used and why it was built remains mysterious to this day, but this dome’s architectural design and historical value has made it one of the most important highlights of our Kerman travel guide. More than 100 pieces of epigraphy, tombstones, and engraved stones have been found inside this construction, all adding to the mysteries of Jabalieh.
The glorious UNESCO site of Bam citadel is perhaps, among the most gorgeous and significant must-visit places of Kerman travel guide. The once ruined citadel of Bam was on the mend for 14 years and is now standing tall and glorious as the biggest adobe structure in the world once again. This city was partly destroyed by the devastating earthquake which took place in 2003, known as the Bam earthquake.
Bam was built in 5th century BC, and it encloses several important structures within itself. A fortified castle, barracks, vast and deep wells, stables, the governor and his counsel’s quarters, and many mosques made this city a mighty burg during the Parthian empire. Bam’s aged earthen architecture and its development as an important trade center as a part of the silk road from the 7th century to the 11th century, are the reasons why Bam is one of the oldest cities inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage sites list.
Ganjali Khan Complex
Just next to the grand bazaar of Kerman, another historically important site resides. The Ganjali Khan complex (which includes a bathhouse, a mosque, a market, a square, and an ancient Ab Anbar) was built during the Safavid era by Ganjali Khan who aimed to create an urban environment and flourish Kerman as an essential hub of trade along the silk road.
Ganjali Khan square borders the other two Ganjali Khan structures, and a three great fairs alongside them. This mosque is an embodiment of traditional architecture and the municipal construction style during the Safavid era. There is a Howz (traditional Persian pool) in the center of this square which is artfully designed by tile layouts and stucco curves.
Ganjali Khan mosque is located at the north-east of Ganjali Khan square, and its glorious gate is adorned with cyan and azure tiles and geometric stucco styles. An aged inscription is the first thing you will see upon walking to this mosque, written in glory and praise of the King. This mosque is best known in Kerman city for its beautiful Shabestan and exceptional dome and ceiling design. The architectural techniques used in this mosque may remind the onlookers of the glorious Ali Qapu palace in Isfahan. Ganjali Khan mosque was renovated during the recent years to better put on show the elements and cultural designs of the time.
Various stucco designs, tile art, and Muqarnas are among the architectural methods used in the Ganjali khan bath‘s structure. This building is singular for its matchless murals (inspired by tails of kings, wars, poetry, and romance), wall calligraphy (poetry manuscripts), and traditional interior architecture. There are separate bathhouses built within the building for men and women, both of which enclose a changing room and a bathing chamber. The bathhouse of Ganjali Khan was turned into a national museum in 1971 to preserve the invaluable state of this building.
A lush little gem in the middle of the desert, and one of the most beautiful Persian garden; is the green garden of Shahzade Mahan. The gorgeous grounds of this exceptional garden were built to serve the traders and travelers of the silk road as a temporary shield from Lut’s unbearable heat and seemingly endless dunes. Shazde garden’s bathhouse cylindrical structure and its beautiful arches, Bala Khane’s (or Shah Neshin) glorious pool and the 5 tall fountains it feeds, and Shazde garden’s private courtyard (Baq-e Khalvat) and its refreshing fruit trees and shaded areas are just some of the highlights of this heavenly field.
Kerman, like all other Iranian cities, has its own local food with a taste unique to this region. Kerman’s dishes are masterfully flavored and fixed by the expert hands of Kerman cooks. The most popular items on the list of Kerman travel guide’s cuisine list are:
Amaj Aush (Aush fixed with vegetables and wheat flour), Gandom Shir Aush (beef, chickpea, and milk are the main ingredients in this Aush), Kerman Aush reshteh (Iran’s popular Aush reshte cooked with a special Kerman method which is sourer than the original dish) and Roozeh Aush (dish served on Ramadan cooked with barley, chickpeas, and vegetables).
Kerman has its own array of Abgoosht (Persian lamb and chickpea stew) which are popular among locals and tourists alike. Bademjan Abgoosht (cooked with eggplant and kashk), Zire Abgoosht (Persian cumin and garlic), and Boz qorme Abgoosht (goat meat, saffron, and kashk, served with rice) are some of the most popular ones.
Kale Jush is a famous dish cooked in Kerman, which is made with ground kashk and dried vegetables served with bread.
Fancy 5 star hotels or comfortable and economical hostels are available for those interested in traveling to Kerman. As per our suggestion on our Kerman travel guide, travelers are better off booking their rooms before visiting the city. by doing so, they can venture this beautiful land with their minds at ease.
Local and traditional houses are also among the accommodation options in Kerman.
Kerman is located near the hottest drylands of earth, and its arid climate is similar to that of deserts for this reason. This city may be as warm as 35°C (95 °F) and as cold as 18 °C (64.4 °F) at times.
We recommend you bear our advice on our Kerman travel guide in mind: the best time to tour the Kerman city is from late April to mid-May, or late August until the end of September. During this time, Kerman’s weather is pleasantly fair and favored by all.
Rent your own private vehicle and relax as your driver takes you to Kerman city’s touristic spots. You can choose to have a guide with you, or visit Kerman on your own.
A simple yet important advice we have included on our Kerman travel guide for the ease of travelers, is using GPS Navigation Apps. If you want to journey the city on your own, regardless of what type of transportation you want to use (taxis or public buses) this simple act can make your job much easier.
You can also use the international friendly, on-demand private taxi apps (Snap, Tap30) designed to drive you to your desired location and drive off afterwards.
NOTE: At the time of writing Kerman travel guide, the COVID 19 virus has spread globally and health services are still struggling to cope. Thus, it is not recommended to use public transportation means at the present time.
1. What is Kerman known for?
Kerman city is most famous for the beautiful array of Persian rugs that are handwoven in this city. Kermani Persian carpets come in many designs, and are often detailed in art and red in background color.
2. How far is Kerman from Tehran?
Kerman city is around 900 kilometers away from Tehran, and a normal flight to Kerman international airport from Tehran takes an hour and a half.
3. What are Kerman city’s tourist attractions?
Lut desert, Shahdad Kaluts, Shazdeh Mahan Persian garden, Arg-e Bam, Jabalieh dome, Ganjali khan complex (including Ganjali khan Persian bathhouse, mosque, square), and Kerman Bazaar are just some of the tourist spots of Kerman.
4. How many days is enough to visit Kerman?
Kerman is full of mesmerizing sights and natural landscapes which, if you want to get the most of, 3 days is a good amount of time to spend in Kerman.