Top things to do in Northeastern Iran

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 Bar in Shahrud

Flamingo

With its barrel seats, bottle scultptures, eccentric sculpture-walls and dangling cocktail glasses, this superb, low-lit cafe feels for all the world like a quirky beerhouse – minus the beer, of course, but with gre…
Top Choice Monument in Gonbad-e Kavus

Mil-e Gonbad

A Unesco World Heritage site since 2012, this 53m tower in Gonbad's centre looks like a buttressed-brick spaceship with the cross-section of a 10-pointed star. Built in 1006, it's so remarkably well preserved that o…
Top Choice Iranian in Semnan

Cafe Sonati Tadaion

This charming family restaurant makes delightful use of a domed cellar room off the rear courtyard of the historic Tadayon House (in which you'll also find a gift shop, gemstone store and cultural office Semnan Mira…
Top Choice Teahouse in Central Khorasan

Lankadeh Padideh

A blanket ban has pushed qalyan-smoking out of Mashhad, but in Shandiz you can still relax puffing on water pipes at various upmarket teahouses. While not recommended for its limited food, castle-styled Lankadeh Pad…
Top Choice Iranian in Semnan

Zendegi

This upmarket restaurant occupies several small rooms and two open terraces in the fountain-centred Zendegi House, a 180-year-old miller/trader's mansion with a museum room of 20th-century oddments, a crystals shop …
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 Coffee in Garmsar

Cafe Abenbar

Deep below a conical dome of concentric brick rings, this unique cafe in what was once its greatest underground cistern is the highlight of Garmsar. The atmosphere is low-lit and female-friendly. Espresso-based coff…
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…
Iranian in Garmsar

Dehnamak Caravanserai

An historic yet fair-value place to break the Tehran–Semnam journey, this sizeable Safavid-era caravanserai was built in 1570 but has been thoroughly restored around fountain pools with a semi-traditional restaurant…