Top things to do

Top Choice Islamic Site in Mashhad

Haram-e Razavi

Imam Reza’s Holy Shrine is enveloped in a vast series of sacred precincts collectively known as the Haram-e Razavi, or Haram for short. This magical city-within-a-city sprouts dazzling clusters of domes and minarets…
Top Choice Iranian in Mashhad

Hezardestan Traditional Teahouse

Hezardestan is one of Iran’s most beautiful teahouse-restaurants, with a museum-like basement full of of carpets, samovars, antique metalwork and countless knicknacks around a small fountain. The menu is limited to …
Top Choice Iranian in Mashhad

Babaghodrat

Part of an impressive cultural complex, this memorable restaurant serves kababs, trout and huge bowls of mirza ghasemi (IR160,000) within the spacious brick vaults of a Qajar-era caravanserai. It's around 10 minutes…
Islamic Shrine in Mashhad

Holy Shrine

Amid tearful prayer and meditation, the climax to any Mashhad pilgrimage is touching and kissing the zarih (gold-latticed cage), which covers Imam Reza’s tomb in the Haram's central shrine beneath the iconic golden …
Islamic Site in Mashhad

Imam Khomeini Ravagh

All a-dazzle with intricate, mirror-faceted tiling, this former courtyard is now enclosed and entirely covered by a sparkling ceiling held in place by large, well-spaced columns that spread up and out like conical t…
Mausoleum in Mashhad

Boq’eh-ye Khajeh Rabi

This beautifully proportioned, blue-domed mausoleum commemorates an apostle of the prophet Mohammad who later exiled himself to Khorasan to avoid tensions between the prophet's then-feuding followers. Paying respect…
Museum in Mashhad

Central Museum

This eclectic museum kicks off with chunks of now-superseded shrine decor interspersed with contemporary sporting medals presented by pious athletes, while the basement stamp collection includes a 1983 commemorative…
Spectator Sport in Mashhad

Zurkhaneh

While the chamber is less exotic than the equivalent at Yazd, this regular zurkhaneh meet is a very real – and surreal – Iranian experience, with well over a dozen regulars going through a series of different displa…
Mausoleum in Mashhad

Nader Shah Mausoleum

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Nader Shah is considered something of a historical tyrant. But here he’s a local hero for briefly returning Khorasan to the centre of a vast Central Asian empire. Nader’s equestrian sta…
Afghani in Mashhad

Fanous-e Abi

Less central or authentic but considerably more reasonably priced than Mashhad's other sonati (traditionally styled) dining options, Fanous serves Afghan-Uzbek and Iranian meals in a photogenic teahouse basement dec…