20 Best Places to Visit in Iran

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What Are Iran's Top Tourist Attractions

Today, tourists and travel experts have agreed that Iran is an exceptional destination, so much so that the country has gained ground in the tourism industry. Famous for its rich history, incredible food, highly regarded culture, beautiful villages, and equally picturesque sceneries, it’s safe to say Iran’s offerings are diverse and unmatched.

Hence, we have rounded up the 20 best places to visit in Iran with their prominent features to help you decide exactly where to go. Interestingly some of these tourist attractions are valuable UNESCO sites.

Plan your trip with our list of the best places to visit in Iran, and for more advice in this regard, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Palaces in Tehran

Tehran is famous for its magnificent palaces belong to Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties. These luxurious palaces of Tehran represent the culture, art, and civilization of contemporary Iran. The most spectacular palaces in Tehran that are among the best places to visit in Iran are listed below.

Golestan Palace

The most beautiful palace in Tehran is Golestan Palace, a collection of palace-museums belonging to the Safavid dynasty and the later periods. The complex that is a UNESCO site is located in a gorgeous garden.

Notably, Shams-ol-Emareh is the most beautiful palace of the Golestan Complex. It is a 35-meter high building with five floors which was the tallest building in Tehran at the time of its construction.

Address: Panzdah-e-Khordad St, District 12, Tehran, Tehran Province

Saadabad Palace

Saadabad is another complex of beautiful palaces in Iran located in the northern part of Tehran in the Darband district. Saadabad Palace complex includes 18 museums and palaces of Qajar and Pahlavi Imperial families in an area of about 110 hectares. The White Palace, The Green Museum Palace, and Ahmad Shah Palace are the most important buildings of this monument.

Address: Taheri St., District 1, Tehran, Tehran Province

Niavaran Palace

Niavaran Palace is a Qajari palace located in the Niavaran district. The complex includes Niavaran Private Palace, Sahebgharanieh Palace, Ahmad Shahi Palace, Jahan Nama Museum, The Museum of Private Cars, etc.

Address: Darband St., Tehran, Tehran Province

20

Persepolis

Every international tourist believes that Persepils is one of the best places to visit in Iran; It is known as a symbol of Persian civilization worldwide.

This magnificent monument, located near Marvdasht, Shiraz in Fars province, shows the architectural glory of the Persian kings of about 25 centuries ago. Persepolis, one of the UNESCO sites in Iran, belongs to all the world’s people.

Columns, inscriptions, bas reliefs, palaces, and gates left in the Persepolis area are among the world’s most famous civilization works.

Address: 60 km northwest of Shiraz

Opening Hours: Every Day 8:30 to 19:30 in spring and summer, 7:30 to 17:30 in fall and winter

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Nasir Al-Molk Mosque (Pink Mosque)

Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is a masterpiece belonging to the Qajar period and is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Iran based on the tourists’ reviews. 

Early in the morning, its colorful mosaic windows catch the light and make a picturesque combination of colors on the walls, floors, and ceiling. You must have seen the incredibly colorful photos of this mosque in the posters of Iran.

Besides, Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is famous for its beautiful decoration, including stained glass, colorful tiles, and delicate Muqarnas. Due to the extensive use of pink tiles in its decoration, which is unique in its kind, Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is also known as the Pink Mosque.

Address: Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street, Shiraz, Fars Province

Opening Hours: Every day 8:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 19:30 in spring and summer, 8:00 to 11:30 and 15:00 to 16:30 in fall and winter

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Naqsh-E Jahan Square (Meidan Emam)

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, also known as the Grand Plaza of Isfahan, is a historical complex belonging to the Safavid era (1501-1736).

With about 90000 square meters of area, Naghsh-e Jahan Square is wider than Moscow Red Square and is the second-largest rectangular square after Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Moreover, the Naqsh-e Jahan complex consists of the square surrounded by significant historical monuments, including Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace, and Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Notably, the whole complex is an Iran UNESCO site.

Address: Isfahan, Isfahan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours (Its surrounded monument have different opening hours)

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The National Museum of Iran

The National Museum of Iran, located in the old context of Tehran, is the country’s most significant archeological and historical museum. Consequently, this museum is the reference or mother museum for all museums in Iran. It is noteworthy that there are about 300,000 objects from different periods (Paleolithic to contemporary) in this museum. There, you can also find the oldest signs of human presence on the plateau of Iran, with about 600,000 antiquity.

So, if you are interested in ancient history, this museum is one of the best places to visit in Iran for you.

Address: 30th Tir St., Tehran, Tehran Province

Opening Hours: Every day 9.00 to 19.00 in spring and summer, 9:00 to 17:00 in fall and winter

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National Jewelry Treasury (National Jewelry Museum)

If you are interested in glamorous jewelry and antiques, the Jewelry Museum is one of the best tourist attractions you can visit in Iran. This museum is located in the basement of the Central Bank of Iran in Tehran’s city center. In this museum, you will see the best and most valuable antique jewelry of Iran and even the world. It is worth mentioning that the most beautiful and precious jewel of the National Jewelry Treasury is Darya-ye Noor Diamond, the largest pink diamond in the world, weighing 182 carats.

Please note that photography is prohibited in the museum, and children under 12 years old can not visit this place. Also, this museum hosts visitors for only 2 hours every day from Saturday to Tuesday.

Address: Central Bank of Iran, Ferdowsi Ave., Tehran, Tehran Province

Opening Hours: Saturday till Tuesday 14:00 to 16:30

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Historic City of Yazd

One of the places you must visit in Iran is Yazd, the third most attractive city after Shiraz and Isfahan. Yazd is the first adobe city worldwide and the second historical city after Venice, Italy.

Some of the features of Yazd Historic City include the adobe houses that are located near each other, narrow and covered alleys, and tall windcatchers.

Moreover, Yazd Old Town is an Iran UNESCO site, which houses many valuable monuments such as the Amir Chakhmagh Complex, the Jame Mosque of Yazd, ancient water reservoir, Alexander Prison, etc.

Address: Yazd, Yazd Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

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Dasht-e Lut (Lut Desert)

Without douth deserts are among the best places to visit in Iran. Accordingly, the Dasht-e Lut or Lut Desert, located in Kerman Province, is the first Iran UNESCO natural site, covering about 10% of Iran’s territory. Lut Plain is a collection of extraordinary natural appearances and geographic features. Accordingly, the most magnificent ones are Kaluts, the high hills carved from the bedrock by sandy winds.

Moreover, Nebka park (the natural flower pots), Star-Shaped Dunes, Gandom Beryan (the hottest spot on the planet), Rood-e Shoor (the Salty River), etc., are other attractions of this UNESCO desert. Moreover, you can enjoy trekking, safari, camel riding, camping, and star observing in the Lut Desert.

Address: Kerman, South Khorasan, and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces, Iran

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

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Tomb of Hafez (Hafezieh)

Hafez is one of the most well-known Persian poets of the 15th century, whose poems are about love and spirituality. Interestingly, Goethe and Nietzsche have been inspired by his poems.

Now, Hafeziyeh is the burial place of Hafez in the gorgeous Golgasht-e Mosalla Garden in Shiraz. And Hafez’s tomb is a marvelous octagonal pavilion that is known as a symbol of Shiraz.

Moreover, the pleasant atmosphere of this attraction can bring you peace and create happy hours for you. In addition to Hafez, other famous poets and mystics have been buried in this garden.

Address: Chehel Magham St., Shiraz, Fars Province

Opening Hours: Every day, 8:30 to 23:30 in spring and summer, 7:30 to 22:00 in fall and winter

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Kashan Historic Houses

Kashan is the city of traditional architectural wonders which has maintained its classic appearance. So, the top attractions to visit in Kashan are its historic houses. Here are the most remarkable Kashan Historic Houses.

Tabatabai House

It is a historic house museum, famous as “The Bride of Iran,” which represents the lifestyle of Kashan royal families during the 19th century. Its luxurious decorations, including delicate plastering and colored glassworks, make the Tabatabai house one of the best places to visit in Iran.

Address: Alavi Street, Kashan, Isfahan Province

Borujerdi House

Borujerdi House is a historic Qajarid building located in the heart of the Kashan historical context. In terms of architecture, the building has both interior and exterior segments with fantastic decorations; Its exterior design resembles the buildings designed by Gaudi in Barcelona.

Address: Alavi Street, Kashan, Isfahan Province

Abbasi House (Abbasian Historical House)

This house is an outstanding example of Persian-Islamic architecture built on over 5000 square meters consisting of 5 floors and 5 yards. Mosaic windows, stucco reliefs, and carvings are the features of its stunning decorations.

Address: Alavi Street, Kashan, Isfahan Province

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Hyrcanian Caspian Mixed Forest

In the south of the Caspian Sea, from the seashore to the mountains, the valuable Hyrcanian mixed forests are located with an antiquity of more than 40 million years. These forests are 55,000 square kilometers, of which two million hectares are located in Iran.

These forests are like a green ribbon at the Caspian Sea border, stretching from Mazandaran to Gilan, Gorgan, and Arasbaran.

Besides its wonderful sceneries, the Hyrcanian forest provides clean air and water storage and is home to various fauna and flora.

Address: The southern border of the Caspian Sea (in Mazandaran, Gilan, and Golestan Provinces)

Opening Hours: Every day, 24 hours

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Jameh Mosque of Isfahan (Atigh Mosque)

Historical mosques are among the best places to visit in Iran. Jame Mosque of Isfahan is the oldest monument of Isfahan and the UNESCO registered site located near the Isfahan Grand Bazaar.

This historical site was constructed and renovated during twelve centuries ( from the 8th century to the end of the 20th century). Hence, each part of the mosque shows the evolution of Persian architecture in different periods.

Furthermore, you can see the most beautiful plastered altar of the Patriarchal period, valuable inscriptions, delicate Muqarnas decorations, and tilework in this mosque.

Address: Majlesi St, Isfahan, Isfahan Province

Opening Hours: Every day 9:00 to 18:00 in spring and summer, 9:00 to 16:30 in fall and winter
Break for praying from 12:00 to 14:00

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Jolfa Neighborhood (Armenian Quarter of Isfahan)

Jolfa Neighborhood, located near the Zayandeh Rood river in Isfahan, is one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Iran.

In this old quarter, you can see cobbled streets reminiscent of the historic neighborhoods of European cities. Moreover, tall clocks, churches, Western-style cafes, ponds, statues, and everything present the significant difference between this area and other old contexts in Iran.

Besides, there are 11 historic churches in the Jolfa Quarter of Isfahan, the most important of which is the Vank Church. You can also visit Isfahan Music Museum in this neighborhood.

Address: Isfahan, Isfahan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

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Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex

Old bazaars are among the best places to visit in Iran, where you can buy colorful souvenirs. In this regard, Tabriz Bazaar is one of the world’s oldest markets on the ancient Silk Road and the largest covered old bazaar globally. Moreover, this marketplace is a vibrant bazaar and a UNESCO-registered site.

Besides, walking in its long corridors under the tall arches and Muqarnas domes is like reviewing a thousand years of life.

Finally, if you travel to Tabriz, we suggest visiting this grand market and buying handmade Persian carpets, leather products, local sweets, nuts, spices, etc.

Address: Old Bazaar, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Opening Hours: Every Day 10:00 to 17:00, Most of the Shops are Closed on Friday

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Shazdeh Garden

Persian Gardens are among the best tourist attractions to visit in Iran. Accordingly, nine Persian Gardens are on the Iran UNESCO sites list, that the biggest one is Mahan Shazdeh Garden near Kerman. This gorgeous garden is like an emerald in the heart of the Lut desert. Notably, the irrigation system and the architecture of this garden reflect Iranian architects’ intelligence.

There is a long stairway with the water flow on it and trees on both sides in the middle of the garden. This stairway goes directly to the marvelous palace at the end of the garden.

Address: Mahan, 38 km south of Kerman, Kerman Province

Opening Hours: Every day 9:00 to 21:00

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Abyaneh Red Village

On the Iran classic route, between Kashan and Tehran, lies Abyaneh, the Red Village of Iran. Abyaneh village, with more than 1500 years old, is one of the highest residential areas in Iran with a stepped structure. In this ancient village, the houses are made of red clay and brick, and the doors are decorated with wooden windows.

The residents of Abyaneh have preserved their customs, traditions, language, and traditional clothing; Women wear beautiful white floral scarves and colorful skirts.

Moreover, in Abyaneh, you can enjoy sightseeing, photography, tasting delicious food, buying local handicrafts, cycling, etc.

Address: 90 km south of Kashan, Isfahan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

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Hormoz Island (Rainbow Island)

Hormoz Island, in the south of Iran, with red, silver, gold, white, and orange soil, is known as the rainbow island that doesn’t have any counterpart in the world. The contrast of the colorful soil with the azure blue of the Persian Gulf has made this island one of the best places to visit in Iran.

You can enjoy its unique and pristine scenery, such as red beaches, glowing beaches, rainbow caves, salt mountains, and hidden beaches on Hormuz Island.

Besides enjoying its scenic sceneries, you can do various water sports such as diving on this island. On the other hand, you can get acquainted with southern Iran’s cultures, customs, and local food.

Address: 30 km southwest of Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

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Kandovan Rocky Village

60 kilometers from Tabriz city in northwestern Iran lies Kandovan Village, the Cappadocia of Iran. With about 800-year antiquity, this rocky settlement stands at 2200 meters above sea level and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Iran.

This rocky village is famous for its beehive-formed houses that have been dug in the heart of the cliffs.  In Kandovan, you can get involved with rural life, enjoy sightseeing, stay in an extraordinary rocky room, and buy colorful and delicious souvenirs.

Address: 55 km south of Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

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Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

One of the best places to visit in Iran that most tourists miss because it is out of the Iran classic route is Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System.

This hydraulic system includes water mills, dams, water distribution systems, castles, waterfalls, and bridges on the Karun River, located in southwestern Iran. This historical complex is one of the most impressive ancient engineering structures globally, which dates back to the Sassanid era and has been registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Address: Taleghani Street, Shooshtar, Khuzestan Province

Opening Hours: Every day, 8:00 to 20:00 in spring and summer, 8:00 to 17:30 in fall and winter

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Holy Shrine of Imam Reza

The shrine of Imam Reza (the eighth Shiite Imam) in Mashhad is a magnificent sacred place for Muslims. In this regard, this complex receives millions of pilgrims annually.

However, the importance of this shrine is not limited to its religious aspect; it is one of the largest mosques in the world with impressive architectural features. Different entrances, courtyards, mosques, porches, museums, libraries, etc., are different parts of this stunning complex. Notably, its museums include the Astan Quds Razavi Central Museum, the Quran Museum, the Carpet Museum, the Anthropology Museum, the Coin Museum, etc. It is noteworthy that this magnificent collection is on the list of the national heritages of Iran.

Address: Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province

Opening Hours: Every Day, 24 hours

Best Places to Visit in Iran at a Glance

In the table below, you can find useful information about the 20 best places to visit in Iran that we have introduces in the sections above.

If you have any other information about the top tourist attractions to visit in Iran or have any questions, please leave your comments.

Tourist Attraction Location Prominent Feature Visit Duration Entrance Fee Ideal for Lactated on Iran Classic Route? Best Time to Visit
Palaces in Tehran Tehran Architecture and culture 2 to 5 Hours 2 euro at the entrance gate First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Persepolis 60 km northwest of Shiraz History 2 to 4 Hours 2 euro for the entrance gate First-time traveler No Spring and Fall
Nasir Al-Molk Mosque (Pink Mosque) Shiraz Architecture 1 to 2 hours 2 euro First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Naqsh-E Jahan Square (Meidan Emam) Isfahan Architecture, Culture 2 to 8 Hours Free for entering the square and 2 euro for each building First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
The National Museum of Iran Tehran Culture, History 2 to 4 Hours 2 euro First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
National Jewelry Treasury (National Jewelry Museum) Tehran Culture 1 to 2 Hours 2 euro First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Historic City of Yazd Yazd Architecture, Culture 1 to 3 Hours Free First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Dasht-e Lut (Lut Desert) Kerman and Sistan Provinces Nature From 5 Hours free First-time traveler No Fall
Tomb of Hafez (Hafezieh) Shiraz Culture 1 to 2 Hours 2 euro First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Kashan Historic Houses Kashan Architecture 2 to 3 Hours From 2 euro First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Hyrcanian Caspian mixed forest The North Nature From one day Free Second-time traveler No Spring and Fall
Jameh Mosque of Isfahan (Atigh Mosque) Isfahan Architecture 1 to 2 Hours 2 euro First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Jolfa Neighborhood (Armenian Quarter of Isfahan) Isfahan Culture 1 to 3 Hours Free First-time traveler Yes Spring and Fall
Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex Tabriz Culture 1 to 5 Hours Free Second-time traveler No Summer
Shazdeh Garden Mahan Architecture 2 to 4 Hours 2 euro Second-time traveler No Spring and Fall
Abyaneh Red Village 90 km south of Kashan Culture 2 Hours to 1 Day 2 to 8 euro per vehicle First-time traveler Yes Spring, Summer and Fall
Hormoz Island (Rainbow Island) 30 km southwest of Bandar Abbas, Persian Gulf Nature Half to 2 Days Free Second-time traveler No Fall and Winter
Kandovan Rocky Village 55 km south of Tabriz Culture, Nature 4 Hours to One Day Free Second-time traveler No Spring and Summer
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System Shushtar Architecture, History 2 to 5 Hours 2 euro Second-time traveler No Spring and Fall
Holy Shrine of Imam Reza Mashhad Religion 2 to 4 Hours Free Second-time traveler No Spring, Summer and Fall

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