If you're driving by on the westbound Semnan–Garmsar Hwy, the rest area at Lasjerd makes a popular snack break with the added bonus of two historic buildings within 200m – the newly re-domed Imamzadeh Reza and Aliakbar and a 17th-century caravanserai – carefully reconstructed though less interesting than the one at Dehnamak, mainly because it's almost always closed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iran attractions

1. Imamzadeh Yahya

21.06 MILES

Fronted with splendid blue tiling and filled with dazzling mirror-mosaics, this mostly contemporary imamzadeh just off the bazaar entombs Yahya bin Musa…

2. Masjed-e Jameh

21.07 MILES

The extraordinarily high, if austere, west iwan of the Masjed-e Jameh dates from a 1424 rebuild, rising above a bare-brick octagonal prayer hall. But the…

3. Hazrat Museum

21.09 MILES

Inside a historic bathhouse, fronted with charmingly naive Qajar-era picture tiles, this museum displays 3000-year-old pottery from the archaeological…

4. Semnan Bazaar

21.1 MILES

Semnan's cross-shaped covered-bazaar marks the old heart of the city. While far less extensive than the great bazaars of Kerman or Tabriz, there is plenty…

5. Masjed Imam

21.12 MILES

Founded under Fath Ali Shah in the 1820s, this mosque is a large courtyard affair with four iwans at the cardinal points – the higher east and west ones…

6. Darvaza-e Arg

21.17 MILES

Spiked with blue-tiled baby minarets, Darvaza-e Arg is Semnan’s dinky but iconic Qajar-era city gate, with appealing tile murals adorning the northern…

7. Water Cistern

21.34 MILES

A steep stairway near Mashahir Sq leads down into what was once a water cistern, though it's now blocked off. Behind, what appears to be a fortress tower…

8. Dehnamak Village

22.35 MILES

Once the fourth stop on the ancient Rey–Khorasan caravan route, Dehnamak is most interesting for its recently restored Safavid-era caravanserai, now a…