Attractions

Top Choice Bazaar in Tabriz

Tabriz Bazaar

The magnificent, labyrinthine, Unesco-listed Tabriz bazaar covers some 7 sq km, with 24 caravanserais (sets of rooms arrranged around a courtyard) and 22 impressive timchehs (domed halls). Construction began over a …
Top Choice Ruins in Shushtar

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 ancient ruins, the great bulk and splendid semi-desert isolation of…
Top Choice Church in Maku

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 name, Qareh Kalisa is the best maintained of all Iran’s mediev…
Top Choice Castle in Kaleybar

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 final traverse. A trip to the lair of 9th-century Azeri hero …
Top Choice Fortress in Rasht

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 lovely day trip, especially when coupled with a visit to nearby M…
Top Choice Historic Site in Shushtar

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 River for over a millennium. The system comprises bridges, weir…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Ardabil

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 with lesser notables in an iconic 1334 Allah-Allah tower, so …
Top Choice Bazaar in Qazvin

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 exquisitely crafted wares (jewellery, paintings, ceramics, c…
Historic Site in Takab

Takht-e Soleiman Ruins

Sitting in a lonely bowl of mountains, ringed by 1500-year-old walls, these Unesco-listed ruins are one of the most memorable sights of western Iran. In the 3rd century the state religion of Sassanian Persia was Zor…
Historic Site in Bisotun

Bisotun Inscriptions

Carved into the side of Kuh-e Bisotun (Mt Bisotun) is a series of bas-reliefs and cuneiform inscriptions dating from 521 BC. The inscriptions, written in three ‘lost’ languages (Elamite, Akkadian and Old Persian) pr…