Ruins of old houses in the village of Kharanaq.

©Michal Knitl/Alamy Stock Photo

Old City

Top choice in Yazd

With its numerous badgirs (windtowers) rising above a labyrinth of adobe roofs, the historic old city of Yazd is one of the oldest towns on earth. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, it encompasses thousands of ancient dwellings, screened from the narrow kuches (lanes) by imposing mud walls. For the visitor, the old city offers a treasure trove of hidden courtyards and teahouses, shops selling crafts and houses converted into atmospheric hotels. Altogether, it is one of Iran's don't miss sights.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Yazd attractions

1. Tomb of the 12 Imams

0.14 MILES

The early-11th-century brick Tomb of the 12 Imams, neighbouring Alexander’s Prison, forms one side of Zaiee Sq, in the heart of Yazd's historic old city…

2. Alexander’s Prison

0.16 MILES

This 15th-century domed school is known as Alexander’s Prison because of a reference to this apparently dastardly place in a Hafez poem. Whether the deep…

3. Khan-e Lari

0.21 MILES

This 150-year-old building is one of the best-preserved Qajar-era houses in Yazd. The badgirs, traditional doors, stained-glass windows, elegant archways…

4. Masjed-e Jameh

0.22 MILES

Soaring above the old city, this magnificent building is graced with a tiled entrance portal (one of the tallest in Iran), flanked by two 48m-high…

5. Bogheh-ye Sayyed Roknaddin

0.23 MILES

The beautiful blue-tiled dome of the tomb of local Islamic notable Sayyed Roknaddin Mohammed Qazi is visible from any elevated point in the city. Built…

6. Imam Zadeh Jafar

0.63 MILES

This magnificent modern shrine is best experienced at night when the lighting is inspirational, both from the courtyard outside and from within the…

7. Yazd Water Museum

0.65 MILES

Yazd is famous for its qanats (underground aqueducts) and this museum, one of the best of its kind, is devoted to the brave men who built them. Located in…

8. Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh

0.68 MILES

The cavernous ab anbar (water reservoir), built around 1580, resembles a 29m-high standing egg from the inside. Crowned with five burly badgirs, this…