Mashhad Travel Guide

Mashhad Travel Guide

Welcome to Mashhad, the second-largest and the holiest city of Iran, the home to Imam Reza Holy Shrine. Here is an ultimate Mashhad travel guide where you can find all essential information about how to travel to Mashhad and what to do in this must-see Iran destination.

Mashhad at a Glance


Houses Imam Reza Holy Shrine

Houses Imam Reza Holy Shrine, the most sacred place in Iran for Muslims


Capital of Razavi Khorasan

The capital of Razavi Khorasan Province situated in the northeast of Iran


Mashhad Population

the second-largest city in Iran and the home to over 3 million inhabitants


Tourist & Pilgrim

Hosts millions of pilgrims and tourists every year



Famous for its saffron and turquoise stone

Silk Road

Silk Road

Located on the ancient Silk Road

Water Park

Water Park

Famous for its numerous water parks


Mashhad Altitude

With the altitude of about 995 m above sea level


Medical Tourism

Major pole of Iran medical tourism

Where is Mashhad?

Mashhad is the Razavi Khorasan Province Capital located in the northeast of Iran and in the vicinity of North Khorasan, South Khorasan, and Semnan Provinces. Also, Mashhad lies between the two mountain ranges of Hezar Masjed and Binalood. Furthermore, the flying distance between Mashhad and Tehran is equal to 736 km, while its land distance is about 891 km.

Mashhad History

Getting information about the destination’s history, especially a historic destination like Iran, is essential for every tourist. Hence, in this Mashhad Travel Guide, we present a brief introduction to Mashhad History.

Mashhad formerly was known as Sanabad village, a stop-over on the Silk Road for trade caravans coming from or heading to Turkmenistan. Afterward, it was renamed to “Mashhad” during the Safavid Era. Notably, the word “Mashhad” means “the place of martyrdom.” Accordingly, this city has got this name because Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Shia, killed by Al-Mamun Abbasi in 202 AH, was buried in this town.

Furthermore, Mashhad got its glory during the Afsharid Dynasty, which during that period (1736 to 1747) it became the capital of Iran. Nowadays, the city is the holiest pilgrimage city in Iran. Furthermore, as it was the major oasis on the Silk Road, Mashhad houses many Iran historical monuments.

Interestingly, Mashhad sister cities are Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Lahore in Pakistan.

Where to Stay in Mashhad?

Updated Information
(Price, Facilities, Distance from attractions , Map, Photos, Testimonials & ...)
Mashhad Hotels

How to Get to Mashhad

As Mashhad is the most important pilgrimage city in Iran, there are several ways to get to Mashhad. Hence, in this Mashhad Travel Guide, we introduce you to different ways to get to Mashhad.

You can enter Mashhad through Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport. This airport covers several international flights from different countries and foreign cities such as Herat, Mazar Sharif, Dubai, Kuwait, Najaf, Beirut, Basrah, India, Doha, Muscat, Lahore and Istanbul, and more. And the foreign airlines which have flights to Mashhad International Airport are Qatar Airways, Turkish Airline, Emirates, Air Arabia, Fly Bagdad, Fly Dubai, etc. Please mention that with these airlines you can have connection flights from Mashhad to all over the world and vice versa.

On the other hand, Mashhad connects to all cities in Iran that have airports. Accordingly, there are many domestic flights between Mashhad and other Iran destinations every day. Among these flight paths, the routes from Mashhad to Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kerman, Qeshm Island, Kish Island, Bandar Abbas, Ahvaz, and Rasht are highly demanded by tourists. Notably, the flight duration between Mashhad and Tehran, the capital of Iran, is about 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Finally, note that Mashhad International Airport, located 8 kilometers south of the city center, has convenient access to the city important parts and the Imam Reza Shrine. Accordingly, you can use a taxi, metro or bus to reach the airport. For your record, an internet taxi costs about 300000 rials from the city center to Mashhad airport.

Travel to Mashhad
by Plane

The most economical way to travel to Mashhad is by using a bus. You can get to Mashhad from almost anywhere in Iran on a bus. However, although riding a train is the safest option, many passengers choose the bus because it is faster, and there are plenty of VIP buses from different parts of Iran to Mashhad. Notably, you can choose the night bus between Mashhad and other cities to decrease your travel expenses.

Moreover, there are several bus terminals in Mashhad. The major ones are Imam Reza Bus Terminal, Meraj Bus Terminal, and Rah-e Abrisham Bus Terminal, located not far from the city center. Mainly, there are plenty of buses that arrive in/depart Imam Reza Bus Terminal from/to all Iran cities from early in the morning until midnight. On the other hand, Meraj Bus Terminal and Rah-e Abrisham Bus Terminal are dedicated to the travels between Mashhad and the nearby towns. As Tehran-Mashhad is the most common route, there are several buses in different classes daily. Notably, you can reach Imam Reza Bus Terminal by taxi, metro, or bus.

Travel to Mashhad
by Bus

You can travel to Mashhad from Iran main cities by train in different classes from the standard class to a 5-star one. The Mashhad train covers the routes to Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, Yazd, Tabriz, Ahvaz, Kerman, Bandar Abbas, Rasht, etc. Please note that the train journey between Mashhad and Tehran takes about 11 hours. Notably, you can choose the night train between Mashhad and other cities to decrease your travel expenses.

Finally, Mashhad railway station is located about 4 kilometers north of Imam Reza Holy Shrine. Accordingly, in the best possible conditions, you can reach the shrine less than 10 minutes by taxi.

Travel to Mashhad
By Train

Main motorways and highways connect Mashhad to all parts of Iran. So, many passengers choose to travel in a private car as its schedule is flexible and is faster and more convenient than bus and train.

Travel to Mashhad
By Car

What Do You Know about Mashhad Attractions?

Updated Information (Entrance Fee, Opening Hours, Visit Duration, History & ...)
Mashhad Attractions

How to Move around Mashhad

Although most of the pilgrims prefer to stay in a place that has easy access to Imam Raza Shrine, Mashhad has more points of interest to offer. So, the information about transportation in Mashhad is essential for every tourist. Hence, in this Mashhad Travel Guide, we introduce you to different ways to move around Mashhad. In any case, you can rent a private car with a driver, use taxis or public transports such as buses or the metro.

Get around Mashhad in Taxi

You can use an internet Taxi called Snapp and TAPSI. These kinds of Taxis work like Uber. You can download the application on your phone and easily take an internet taxi within a few minutes wherever you are. Also, you can pay the taxi fee in cash (Rials).

Another option is to get a taxi through a “telephone taxi agency.” These taxis will get you to the destination and also wait for you whenever you want. To get this kind of taxi, you can ask your hotel reception or your Iranian friend to do it for you.

Get around Mashhad in Metro

There are also metro lines in Mashhad, which takes you to the Imam Raza Shrine, tourist attractions Imam Reza Bus Terminal, Mashhad International Airport, Mashhad Railway Station. Notably, the metro system of Mashhad is fast and convenient.

Get around Mashhad in Bus

Although the bus system covers all Mashhad parts, the bus stations are sometimes confusing for a foreign traveler. However, you can get complete information about your destination station and the bus that you should get from the locals and use this kind of transportation. Also, you can use the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) in most parts of Mashhad. Notably, there are separate men’s and ladies’ sections on each bus.

Get around Mashhad in Private Car with Driver

Although renting a private car with a driver is the most expensive option to get around Mashhad, it is the fastest and most convenient choice. Besides, you can rent a car with a driver for one day to go to the tourist attractions that are located around Mashhad, such as Torghabeh, Shandiz, Tus Village, and more. The expense of renting a private sedan car with a driver per day starts about 3000000 rials.

What to Eat in Mashhad?

Best Information about Mashhad traditional food (ingredients, Price & ...)
Mashhad Food

Where to Eat in Mashhad
Best Restaurants in Mashhad

In recent years, visiting restaurants and tasting different foods have become one of the most attractive activities during a trip. It is interesting to know that this issue has been taken very seriously in Iran and you can find excellent and even international restaurants in the cities of this country. However, you are in Iran for a short time, and it is better to go for the best options in this limited time.

 Accordingly, selecting a good restaurant in Mashhad, where there are restaurants on every corner, is very difficult. So, if you want to taste delicious and quality food in the best restaurants in Mashhad during your trip, join us in this Mashhad travel guide.

Moein Darbari Restaurant

Moein Darbari Restaurant

One of the old and very well-known restaurants in Mashhad is Moein Darbari Restaurant. The style of this restaurant is quite traditional, and its walls and ceiling are entirely mirrored. The most famous dish of Moein Darbari restaurant is Shishlik, which we suggest you try.

Pesaran-e Karim Restaurant

Pesaran-e Karim Restaurant

One of the old and famous restaurants in Mashhad is Pesaran-e Karim Restaurant. The quality of the food in this traditional restaurant is unparalleled, and at the same time, it has a reasonable price. Pesaran-e Karim Restaurant has three branches in Mashhad city on Sajad Boulevard, Khayam Boulevard, and Daneshgah Street. Finally, The most popular food of this Restaurant is “Chelo Mahiche,” which has a unique taste.

Padideh Shandiz Restaurant

Padideh Shandiz Restaurant

Padideh Shandiz Restaurant, located in the mountainous and beautiful region of Shandiz, is one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Mashhad. Actually, Padideh Shandiz Restaurant consists of three restaurants, including an international restaurant, a buffet restaurant, and the summer restaurant. Moreover, a bird garden in this complex has created an attractive atmosphere in this restaurant.