Top 10 Free Things to Do in Iran
Best Things to Do in Iran for Free
Travel to any country, even a relatively cheap destination like Iran, is costly. Accordingly, almost all travelers, even those interested in luxury vacations, are looking for methods to reduce travel costs.
Definitely, one way to reduce travel costs is to have free entertainment at a destination. Therefore, in this blog, we introduce the Top 10 free things to do in Iran; of course, the fun activities.
So, stay with us and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.
Eating Nazri in Iran
One of the most exciting travel experiences is eating traditional and local food, particularly in Iran, which is world-famous for its various and delicious food.
What could be more fun than eating a delicious and free Iranian meal? Yes, this is possible for you in Iran.
Actually, in Iran, on special occasions and days of the year, wealthier people prepare food, desserts, or drinks in large quantities and distribute them among the people. This food is called Nazri, which includes a popular Iranian food or desserts, such as Zereshk Polo ba Morgh (Barberry Rice with Chicken), Chelo Khoresht-e Ghormeh Sabzi, Chelo Khoresht Gheymeh, Halim, Shole Zard, Halva, etc.
Nazri is distributed among the people in mosques, shrines, and even in the house of the donators.
When Can You Eat Nazri in Iran?
As mentioned, Iranians prepare Nazri for special ceremonies, so you will not have the chance to try Nazri every day. Nazri is cooked on the following days:
- The first ten days of Muharram, especially Tasua and Ashura
- The demise of Prophet Mohammad
- Martyrdom of Imam Ali
- Martyrdom of Imam Reza
- Ramadan Iftars at the Imam Reza Holy Shrine
To see what dates the mentioned days correspond to in the Gregorian calendar, Please check the below calendar.
Passing Iran's Admirable Bridges
It does not matter if they are on a river or the connection route between two places; the bridges with unique views are always favorite tourist attractions. Similarly, visiting bridges is one of the top free things to do in Iran that is available only in a few parts of the country.
One of the most beautiful bridges in Iran is Tabiat Bridge, which is located in Tehran and connects Taleghani and Abo Atash parks. Tabiat Bridge is a large, three-story, modern bridge that is one of the main attractions of Tehran.
On the other hand, a trip to Isfahan is not complete without visiting its historic bridges on the Zayandehrood River. Accordingly, Isfahan’s most important and beautiful historical bridges are Sio Se Pol Bridge and Khajoo Bridge.
Moreover, in southern Iran, the Karoon River is one of the major rivers in the country, on which there are many bridges. The most important of these bridges are the Pol-e Haftom and Pol Sefid bridges in Ahvaz and the Old Bridge of Dezful in the city of Dezful, which also has historical value.
Visiting the Beautiful Parks in Iran
City parks are among the most popular recreational places in any city, and visiting them is one the best free things to do in Iran.
Beautiful city parks are generally found in big cities like Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, and Shiraz. Accordingly, the most beautiful parks in Tehran include Sai Park, Honarmandan Park, Melat Park, Abo Atash Park, Jamshidieh Stone Garden, Laleh Park, Gheytarieh Park, and Lavizan Forest Park.
Other famous parks in Iran are Nazhvan Forest Park and Sofeh Park in Isfahan, El Goli Park in Tabriz, Vakil Abad Park, and Kuh Sangi Park in Mashhad, Azadi Park, and Janat Garden in Shiraz, etc.
Going to Streets Where Street Foods Are Served
Exploring the city is one of the attractive activities for any tourist, especially if it is accompanied by trying delicious and cheap street food. In recent years, street food has become very popular among Iranians. In addition to the food stalls located in the corners of every city, some streets are dedicated to serving local street food. By strolling in these streets, you will enjoy eating local food and getting acquainted with Iran’s nightlife.
The most famous streets in Iran where street food is served include Si-e Tir Street in Tehran, Tehran Grand Bazaar, Lashkar Abad Street in Ahvaz, El Goli Park in Tabriz, and Shahrdari Square in Rasht.
Visiting Iran's Famous Edifices Outside View
In almost all cities around the world, there are famous buildings that have more or less become a symbol of that city; Towers, skyscrapers, entrance gates, historic palaces, etc. that whose photos on the tourism posters encourage you to visit them.
In Iran, you can find these buildings and monuments in many cities to enjoy their outside view and take beautiful photos without entering them. Accordingly, the most famous edifices of this kind in Iran are Milad Tower, Azadi Tower, Sardar-e Bagh-e Meli in Tehran, Karim Khan Citadel, and Qoran Gate in Shiraz, Clock Tower in Tabriz, Yazd windcatchers, etc.
Visiting Holy Shrines for Free in Iran
Shrines are among the places of interest in Iran that are free to enter. Contrary to popular belief, shrines are not just places for pilgrimage but magnificent places with exceptional architecture and decorations that fascinate any viewer. Decorated domes, magnificent minarets, outstanding mirror work, and beautiful tilework are among the characteristics of shrines in Iran. Besides, the shrines are ideal places to get acquainted with the religious community’s culture and see the religious rituals of the Muslims.
Iran’s most important and splendid shrines include Imam Reza Holy Shrine in Mashhad, Shah Cheragh Shrine in Shiraz, the Hazrat Masoumeh Shrine in Qom, and Imam Khomeini Shrine and Shah Abdol Azim Shrine in Tehran.
Please note that all ladies, including tourists, should wear Chador (full-body-length covering) to enter shrines. You can borrow Chador at the entrance gate of every shrine.
Drifting in Iran Villages and Remote Attractions
Some of Iran’s fantastic destinations are less-known villages and small towns that tourists might easily miss. You can slip away from the crowds in these destinations and find the best cuisine, incredible festivals, and remote attractions. Even you can get an in-depth look at the rural life in Iran.
Visiting these villages is free of charge or is possible by paying a small amount of environmental tax per vehicle at the entrance. So, visiting villages is one of the best free things to do in Iran.
Now, you may say that it is not free at all due to the cost of transportation to these areas. Yes, you are right! Therefore, in this section, we will introduce some villages and small towns located on tourist routes between the main cities. So, you can stop for a couple of hours in these places on your way and see unique attractions without paying an extra fee.
Important Note: The cost of food and entrance fees and accommodation in these villages is less than in large cities. Besides, if you buy something as a souvenir, eat food, or stay and overnight in these areas, you will definitely help the economy of that region, and you will take a step towards promoting responsible tourism.
Abyaneh on Kashan-Isfahan Route
This is a red-stepped village with unique architecture and rich history and culture, located on the classic route of Iran.
The inhabitants of this village have their traditional costumes.
Abarkooh on Shiraz-Yazd Route
It is a desert city with more than 400 historical and natural monuments and one of the 14 tourist cities in Iran. Interestingly, Abarkooh is the habitat of the oldest living creature of Iran; Sarv-e Abarkooh, with more than 5000 years; one of the oldest living organisms in the world.
Taft on the Shiraz-Yazd route: It is a small city with 6000 square kilometers, situated 20 kilometers from Yazd.
Tourists mention the city of Taft as a lush and beautiful place with gardens full of fruit and pomegranate trees, and fragrant flowers. Do not miss the unique taste of Taft’s pomegranate in autumn.
Meybod on Yazd-Isfahan Route
Meybod is one of the historical cities of Yazd province with 7,000 years of antiquity. So, it has a valuable historical context; Narin Castle and Pigeon House are its most important monuments.
Nain on Yazd-Isfahan Route
Nain is one of the beautiful cities of Isfahan province that house the second oldest mosque in Iran, called “Nain Jameh Mosque.” Notably, Nain is 3,000 years old.
Aqda on Yazd-Isfahan Route
Aqda is a beautiful adobe oasis with a long history situated 110 km from Yazd. In this village, there are baths, reservoirs, and old mosques with unique architecture. Aqda also houses many valuable pomegranate gardens.
Strolling in the Streets Like a Local
In every city in the world, there are main and famous streets where people gather, walk, eat, do the shopping and experience the nightlife. Similarly, in the main cities of Iran, there are famous streets, each of which has a unique beauty and even historical and cultural value. Walking in these streets is not only one of the top free things to do in Iran, but it will give you a valuable experience of your trip. Below we introduce the famous streets of Iran.
Valiasr St. in Tehran
Valiasr Street is the longest street in the Middle East and has 8,000 sycamore trees. This street is 11.9 km long from the railway square in the south of Tehran to Tajrish square in northern Tehran. There are numerous and attractive restaurants, shops, and malls along this street.
Chaharbagh Abbasi Street in Isfahan
Chaharbagh Abbasi Street is one of the most historical and main streets of Isfahan. This street dates back to the reign of Shah Abbas I and is 5.5 km long. Chaharbagh Street is full of sycamore and elm trees and has stone pavement for walking and cycling.
Tarbiat Street in Tabriz
Tarbiat Street is one of the oldest and most famous streets in Tabriz. In the past, this street was a branch of the Silk Road, and for this reason, it was very famous.
The Winding Alleys of the Yazd Historic City
One of the most beautiful places in Iran for walking and walking the old alleys of Yazd. Narrow, winding alleys and sometimes roofs that pass through brick houses and tall windbreaks. The historical city of Yazd is UNESCO registered, and you will not find anything like it anywhere else
Jolfa Neighborhood (Armenian Quarter of Isfahan)
Paved and clean streets, churches, tall clocks, cafes, statues, ponds, and everything present the significant difference between this area and other parts of Isfahan. There are also cozy cafes with Western-style music and wooden chairs that invite you to spend at least a few moments drinking a cup of coffee while watching the vibrant neighborhood.
Eram Street in Shiraz
Eram Street is one of the most beautiful paved streets in Iran, located next to Eram Garden. This street is charming in spring and autumn, especially in the evening for walking and breathing cool air.
Alam al-Huda Street in Rasht
Alam al-Huda Street is one of the oldest and, of course, the most beautiful streets in Rasht, also known as the sidewalk of art and culture. This street, with a length of 275 meters, connects Shahrdari Square to Sabz Square.
Other beautiful streets in Iran include Qasroldasht Street in Shiraz, Masjed Jame Mosque Street in Yazd, Kuhsangi Street in Mashhad, Bo Ali Street in Hamedan, Taq Bostan Street in Kermanshah, and so on.
Exploring Iran Colorful Bazaars
Iran trip is not complete without visiting the traditional and modern markets. Actually, shopping centers are among the best attractions in Iran that you can visit for free.
Particularly the traditional bazaars that are the key points in the life of the locals.
They are the authentic places where you can experience Iranian rich culture, history, architecture, the best places to see and buy colorful Iranian souvenirs.
Notably, the best time to visit Iran’s traditional bazaars is in the morning, when the market is less crowded.
On the other hand, modern shopping centers are the symbols of modernity in Iran and cool places to have fun for a couple of hours. Even if you do not like to buy things, hanging around a big shopping mall, visiting young and fashionable locals, and even pop into the food court can entertain you for a couple of hours.
Notably, Iran’s best modern shopping centers are in big cities like Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Isfahan, Kish, and Shiraz.
And finally, the best time to visit these shopping centers is in the evening, when other city attractions are closed and locals, especially young people, come to spend time.
Visiting Famous Iran Plazas Free of Charge
As you know, one of the fun and free things to do in Iran is exploring the city. In addition to the famous streets where you can hang out, squares and passages with historical and cultural value are worth visiting. In this regard, the important plazas and passages of Iran that you can visit for free are as follows.
Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan
It is the largest rectangular square after China’s Tiananmen Square and an Iran UNESCO World Heritage site.
This historic square is located in the Isfahan tourist district, surrounded by stunning historical monuments, i.e., Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Aali Qapoo Palace, and Qeisariyeh Bazaar.
Amir Chakhmaq Square in Yazd
It is an ancient square in the old district of Yazd that houses several National Heritage Sites, including the mosque, bazaar, water reservoir, caravanserai, and mausoleum. Moreover, Amir Chakhmaq is the city’s symbol and the center for social manifestations, such as the Ashura ceremony.
Zandiyeh Ensemble Area in Shiraz
This is the area of the Vakil complex where the historic citadel, bazaar, mosque, and bath are located. There are also several coffee shops and restaurants in this area.
Topkhaneh Square in Tehran
This square is nowadays known as the Imam Khomeini Square in Tehran. It is important not only considering its historical value and geographical location in the capital’s downtown. Accordingly, it is surrounded by the National Museum of Iran, Tehran Grand Bazaar, Abgineh Museum, etc.
Ganjali Khan Square in Kerman
It is a group of monuments including the Bath, Bazaar, Mosque, the school, etc., dating back to about 400 years ago. The complex’s area is approximately 11,000 square meters.
Tabriz Municipality Square
This square is the symbol of Tabriz and has cultural and historical value. On the other hand, due to its proximity to the famous shopping centers and the spectacular tourist attractions, it is also called the tourist heart of Tabriz.
Also, the clock tower and a large pool in front of it double the beauty of the square.
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