Must-see attractions in Iran

  • Imam Mosque at Naqhsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, Iran. Imam mosque is known as Shah Mosque. Its construction finished in 1629.; Shutterstock ID 92388088; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Keith; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Middle East Online Highlights Update
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    Masjed-e Shah


    This elegant mosque, with its iconic blue-tiled mosaics and its perfect proportions, forms a visually stunning monument at the head of Esfahan's main…

  • Facade of Imam Mosque, aka Masjed-e Jadid-e Abbasi, or Shah Mosque, on Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Square, Esfahan - Iran. April 21, 2017.

    Masjed-e Jameh


    The Jameh complex is a veritable museum of Islamic architecture while still functioning as a busy place of worship. Showcasing the best that nine…

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Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Imam square), Isfahan, Iran

    Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Square


    Hemmed on four sides by architectural gems and embracing the formal fountains and gardens at its centre, this wondrous space is a spectacle in its own…

  • Naranjestan garden with Qavam House in Shiraz, Iran; Shutterstock ID 2154407523; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Bagh-e Naranjestan


    Named after the bitter oranges that line the central courtyard, this is Shiraz’s smallest but most lovely garden. Enclosing the delightful Naranjestan-e…

  • Persepolis, Apadana stairway facade, Ancient relief of the Achaemenids, Medes and Persians, Fars Province, Islamic Republic of Iran; Shutterstock ID 2114215667; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Apadana Staircase


    The stairs, which are guarded by stone soldiers, are decorated by an exceptionally finely crafted frieze in three panels. Each panel is divided into…

  • Isfahan, Iran - May 2019: Grand bazaar of Isfahan, also known as Bazar Bozorg with tourists and local people shopping, historical market; Shutterstock ID 1670251840; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Bazar-e Bozorg


    One of Iran’s most historic and fascinating bazaars, this sprawling covered market links Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Sq with the Masjed-e Jameh. At its busiest…

  • Shiraz, Iran - December 27, 2015: Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, also known as Pink Mosque
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    Masjed-e Nasir Al Molk


    One of the most elegant and most photographed pieces of architecture in southern Iran, the Pink Mosque was built at the end of the 19th century and its…

  • Persepolis, Iran - October 22, 2016: Sculptures of gate of All Nations in ruins of Persepolis ancient city in Fars Province; Shutterstock ID 1527829604; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Xerxes’ Gateway


    The bronze trumpets that once heralded the arrival of important foreign delegations (a fragment of which is on display in the museum) may now be silent,…

  • Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC), and now this place is a UNESCO World Hertiage site near Shiraz city, Iran.



    In its heyday Persepolis was one of four key cities at the heart of an empire that spread from the Indus River to Ethiopia. Its original name was Parsa…

  • Shiraz, Iran - October 2022: Pars Museum - interior; Shutterstock ID 2237769479; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Pars Museum


    The tiny but beautiful pavilion housing this museum is as much of an attraction as the fine collection showcased therein.

  • Naranjestan-e Ghavam Pavilion


    Set within an exquisite garden, Bagh-e Naranjestan, this pavilion was built for the wealthy and powerful Mohammad Ali Khan Qavam al-Molk between 1879 and…

  • Bagh-e Nazar


    This formal garden encompasses an octagonal pavilion, which is now home to the Pars Museum. Karim Khan once received foreign dignitaries in the pavilion,…

  • Golestan Palace complex Tehran, Iran

    Golestan Palace


    The glories and excesses of the Qajar rulers are played out across this complex of grand buildings decorated with beautifully painted tiles and set around…

  • Choqa Zanbil Ziggurat


    Choqa Zanbil’s magnificent, Unesco-listed brick ziggurat is the world's best surviving example of Elamite architecture. Even if you’re not a fan of…

  • Naqsh-e Rostam


    The spectacular rock tombs at Naqsh-e Rostam are a must-see. Hewn out of a cliff high above the ground, the four tombs are believed to be those of Darius…

  • Sa’d Abad Museum Complex


    Sprawling across the foothills of Darband, this estate was a summer home to royals since the Qajar dynasty, although it was the Pahlavis who expanded it…

  • Grand Bazaar


    The maze of bustling alleys and the bazaris (shopkeepers) that fill them make this a fascinating, if somewhat daunting, place to explore. Despite being…

  • Detail from the traditional arabic jewellery box.; Shutterstock ID 151427267; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: Destination Galleries

    Treasury of National Jewels


    Owned by the Central Bank and accessed through its front doors, the cavernous vault that houses what is commonly known as the ‘Jewels Museum’ is not to be…

  • Qareh Kalisa


    Sitting photogenically aloof on a barren knoll, 8km off the lonely Shot–Chaldoran road in the middle of nowhere, behind the low-rise village of the same…

  • Hazrat-e Masumeh


    The physical and spiritual centre of Qom, this magnificent shrine is the burial place of Imam Reza’s sister Fatemeh, who died here in the 9th century…

  • Qal’eh Babak


    Straight from Lord of the Rings, the ruined ramparts of the Babak fortress loom above a desperately sheer chasm as you edge through a narrow cleft to the…

  • Bazar-e Sartasari

    Southeastern Iran

    Kerman’s magnificent 'Sartasari' ('end-to-end') Bazaar is one of the oldest and most memorable trading centres in Iran. Its main thoroughfare stretches…

  • Statue of Shapur I


    High above the gorge, around 6km from Bishapur, a series of natural caves riddles the upper strata of the surrounding cliffs. In one of these caves lies…

  • Niyavaran Cultural-Historic Complex


    In the Alborz foothills is the palace where Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his family spent most of the last 10 years of royal rule. It’s set in 5…

  • Qal'eh Rudkhan


    The incredible Seljuk-era walled fortress of Qal'eh Rudkhan defends a steep, wooded spur of the Alborz mountains some 50km south of Rasht and makes a…

  • Iran Holy Defense Museum


    This epic-scale museum, on a landscaped site of 21 hectares, is dedicated to the Iran–Iraq War, a bloody eight-year conflict that claimed a million lives…

  • Nazhvan Cultural & Recreational Resort


    This huge park on the outskirts of Esfahan encompasses a large complex of attractions that makes a pleasant contrast to Esfahan's intense city experience…

  • Deh Salm

    Southeastern Iran

    With lush date-palm groves, domed mud-brick houses, carpet-saddled camels and a distant backdrop of arid mountain ridges, it's hard to imagine a more…

  • Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System


    Listed by Unesco as a 'masterpiece of creative genius', the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System has been diverting water for irrigation from the Karun…

  • Azadi Tower (Borj-e Azadi)


    The inverted-Y-shaped Azadi Tower, built in 1971 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the first Persian empire, is one of Tehran's visual icons…

  • Sheikh Safi-od-Din Mausoleum


    Western Iran’s most dazzling Safavid monument, and a World Heritage Site, the Sheikh Safi-od-Din Mausoleum is relatively compact. The patriarch is buried…

  • Laft

    Qeshm Island

    This fishing village on the northern coast of Qeshm Island is the best place in Iran to encounter the fast-disappearing traditional culture of the Persian…

  • Arg-e Rayen

    Southeastern Iran

    One of Iran's most impressive fortress-citadels, the Arg's vast adobe walls top a gentle slope directly south of central Rayen. Inside is a castle within…

  • Harireh

    Kish Island

    This splendid archaeological site comprises the remains of a large house with private qanat (underground water channel), a public hammam and a…

  • Meymand

    Southeastern Iran

    A Unesco site, this troglodyte village is a series of over 400 cave-houses with a total of more than 2500 kiche rooms burrowed into the gently sloping…

  • Islamic Museum


    Next door to the National Museum, and part of the same complex, this museum offers a stunning collection of arts and antiquities from throughout the…

  • Tabiat Bridge


    It's easy to see why this multilevel, sculptural pedestrian bridge, designed by Iranian architect Leila Araghian, has won awards and been a huge hit with…

  • Tomb of Cyrus


    Proud and alone on the Morghab Plain, the Tomb of Cyrus is the first of the monuments encountered on entering the site of Pasargadae. The tomb consists of…

  • Apadana Palace


    Constructed on a stone terrace by Xerxes I, the Apadana Palace lies largely in ruins. It's thought that this is where foreign delegations would have been…

  • Sa'd-al Saltaneh Caravanserai


    This huge, beautifully restored Qajar-era caravanserai is now the design centre of Qazvin. The long, vaulted passages house independent artists showcasing…

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