Things to do in iran

Things to Do in Iran

Things to Do in Iran

Shiraz, at the southwest of the Asian continent, is a city blessed with an incredible historical background, culture, and peace of mind. While you are visiting Iran for fertility, eye surgery, cosmetic surgery, or any other affordable medical treatment, why not take advantage of all that Shiraz has to offer?

Historical attractions

Shiraz is well known for the historical places that exist in and around the city, most of which are easily accessible and highly popular among tourists. Enjoy experiencing living in a historical city at its best while recuperating from your medical procedure with some of these natural attractions:

• Persepolis: literally meaning "the Persian city," also known as the Throne of Jamshid, was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC). Persepolis is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.

Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for more than 2500 years, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry and wine
Things to Do in Iran

• Aramgah-e-Shah-e-Cheragh: Sayyed Mir Ahmad, one of Imam Reza’s 17 brothers, was hunted down and killed by the caliphate on this site in AD 835 and his remains are housed in this glittering shrine. A mausoleum was first erected over the grave during the 12th century but most of what you see dates from the late-Qajar period and the Islamic Republic. The expansive courtyard is a great place to sit and take in the bulbous blue-tiled dome and dazzling gold-topped minarets while discreetly observing the pious at what is one of the holiest Shiite sites in Iran. In the shrine itself, countless minute mirror tiles reflect the passion within.

• Aramgah-e Hafez: Iranians have a saying that every home must have two things: first the Quran, then a collection of the works of Hafez. And in reality, many would reverse that order. Hafez the poet is an Iranian folk hero – loved, revered and as popular as many a modern pop star. Almost every Iranian can quote his work, bending it to whichever social or political persuasion they subscribe. And there is no better place to try to understand Hafez’s eternal hold on Iran than here at his tomb.

Set in a charming garden with two pools, the whole scene is restful despite the ever-present traffic noise. The marble tombstone, engraved with a long verse from the poet, was placed here by Karim Khan in 1773. In 1935 an octagonal pavilion was put up over it, supported by eight stone columns beneath a tiled dome. Plan to spend a couple of hours sitting in a discreet corner of the grounds, at sunset if possible, to watch the way Iranians react to what is, for many, a pilgrimage site.

You might see people performing the faal-e Hafez, a popular ritual in which you seek insight into your future by opening a volume of Hafez – the future is apparent in his words. After sunset, with the tomb floodlit and sung poetry piped over the public-address system, it is difficult not to feel transported back to the magic of ancient Persia. There’s a teahouse at the front of the garden where you can enjoy a tea, cheap bowl of ash (noodle soup) or faludeh (a frozen sorbet made with thin starch noodles and rosewater).

• Arg-e Karim Khan: Dominating the city centre, this burly fortress was built in the early Zand period and formed part of the royal court that Karim Khan had hoped would develop to rival Esfahan. The high walls feature ornamental brickwork and are punctuated by four attractive 14m-high circular towers. The southeastern tower has a noticeable lean, having subsided onto the underground cistern that served as the Arg’s bathhouse. Inside the Arg is a large, open courtyard filled with citrus trees and a pool. A dusty museum of the Zand period, with wax figures in traditional dress, occupies rooms off the northwest iwan.

• Hammam-e Vakil: The vaulted and beautifully decorated central chamber of this Zand-era bathhouse now houses an interesting exhibition of Persian carpets. Once, Shirazis would have relaxed by its fountain after taking a bath in the handsome heat room, which has a vaulted ceiling, pillars and a small (empty) pool. Local artisans now work in a chamber between the two and offer their wares for sale.

• Masjed-e Vakil: Begun in Karim Khan’s time, this mosque next to the Bazar-e Vakil has an impressive tiled portal, a recessed entrance decorated with tiles and muqarnas , two vast iwans , a magnificent inner courtyard surrounded by beautifully tiled alcoves and porches, and a pleasingly proportioned 75m-by-36m vaulted prayer hall supported by 48 carved columns. Inside the prayer hall are an impressive mihrab and 14-step marble minbar, carved from a monolith carried all the way from Azerbaijan. Much of the tiling, with its predominantly floral motifs and arabesques, was added in the early Qajar era. You’ll find it near the exit from the Shamshirgarha Bazaar.

• Aramgah-e Saadi: While not as popular as Hafez’s tomb, the Aramgah-e Sa’di and its generous surrounding gardens are appropriate for a man who wrote so extensively about gardens and roses. It’s a tranquil place, with the tombstone housed in an open-sided stone colonnade built during the Pahlavi era. Nearby is an overpriced underground teahouse set around a fish pond that is fed by a qanat. It’s easy to visit the tombs of both Hafez and Sa’di in a single afternoon.

• Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk: Down a small lane beside the garden is the Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk , which was originally the private, andaruni area of the complex and is named after its last owner, the daughter of the builder Qavam. Today most of the finely decorated rooms are stuffed with exhibits in the Fars History Museum, while others serve as galleries for young Shirazi artists. The gardens are in a walled compound 400m south of the Nasir ol-Molk Mosque.

• Imamzadeh-ye Ali Ebn-e Hamze: This is the tomb of Emir Ali, a nephew of Shah Cheragh who also died here while en route to Khorasan to help Imam Reza. The existing shrine was built in the 19th century after earthquakes destroyed previous incarnations, and has separate areas for males and females. Highlights include the eye-catching bulbous Shirazi dome, dazzling Venetian mirror work, stained-glass windows and an intricate, ancient wooden door. The tombstones around the courtyard, for which families of the deceased paid a small fortune, are also interesting. Unlike some other shrines, the caretakers here are very welcoming of foreigners; women are supplied with a chador and photography is allowed.

• Bagh-e eram: Famous for its tall cypress trees, this Unesco-listed garden was laid out during the Qajar period but incorporates elements from an earlier Seljuk landscape. Social anthropologists will love it – the many hidden corners of the gardens are wildly popular with young Shirazis, who pay a fraction of the entrance fee that foreigners are charged. The garden is designed around a pretty pool beside a Qajar-era palace, the Kakh-e Eram (Eram Palace), which is not open to the public

• Bagh-e Nazar & Pars Museum: This formal garden and a delightfully decorated octagonal pavilion at its centre (now the Pars Museum) are other notable Zand-era additions. Karim Khan once received foreign dignitaries in the pavilion, which has a stunning interior; its muqarnas ceiling is a particular highlight. Exhibits include Karim Khan Zand’s sword. Photography is not allowed.

• Bagh-e Naranjestan: Bagh-e Naranjestan is Shiraz’s smallest garden and is famous as the setting for the opulently decorated Naranjestan-e Ghavam pavilion, built between 1879 and 1886, as part of a complex owned by one of Shiraz’s wealthiest Qajar-era families. The pavilion’s mirrored entrance hall opens onto rooms covered in a breathtaking combination of intricate tiles, inlaid wooden panels and stained-glass windows. Ceilings in the upstairs rooms are particularly interesting, with the beams painted with European-style motifs, including Alpine churches and busty German frauleins.

• Pasargadae: It was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction (559–530 BC); it was also the location of his tomb. It was a city in ancient Persia, located near the city of Shiraz (in Pasargad County), and is today an archaeological site and one of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

• Naqsh-e Rustam: It is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran, with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. It lies a few hundred meters from Naqsh-e Rajab, with a further group of Sassanid reliefs.


For those wanting to experience the nature and wildlife up close, many safari tours are available no more than a few hours’ drive out of Shiraz.

• Margoon Waterfall: The height of the waterfall is 70 meters and its width is 100 m. The waterfall is located in the village Margoon, 48 kilometers far from the city ardakan Fars province. Margoon one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iran. Margoon area is mountainous. And has an elevation of over 2,200 meters above sea level. Weather is cold. In the event of a winter waterfall freezes. Distance of Margoon to Yasooj is 65 km and distance of Margoon to ardakan fars is 48 km. As far as the car goes about 800 meters from the waterfall. And the rest of the way to walk away. This has paved the way. And near the waterfall with concrete steps.

• Kohmareh Sorkhi: 50 km west of Shiraz a mountainous woody region with a rich and diverse flora stretches in which Jareh River flows. The mixture of sun, mountains, woods and river in this region makes for one of the most exotic landscapes.

• Lost Paradise: Passing through the vast fields that sleep silently on the foothills of Zagros sierras, lie the intoxicating grape gardens that stretch into the forests of almond, oak and wild pistachio trees; all coming together to realize a mesmerizing scenery of a valuable natural ecotone in Tangeh Bostanak Protected Area, Fars province. The route trodden by Qashqai women beautifully-clad in colors fades into a truly hidden and Lost Paradise, located in Kamfirouz, and 120 kilometers away from the busy city-life of Shiraz, the ancient capital of Iran. The asphalt route ends where a bridge links worldly reality to a divine realization of Paradise, on top of which sits the Jiderzar village, not accessible by any means of transportation, except horses, donkeys or mules or to walk, better say climb the mountainous forest along the stream that drains all the way down from the fossil-covered heights down to the Kor River.

• Nomads: Nomads have one of the most attractive Lifestyles that can be seen in the modern world. They are not primitive like some faraway islanders rather they are mainly known for being on the move. When talking about Iran, Nomads are mentioned as one of its highlights. Seeing such a traditional lifestyle just a few miles away from the modern cities is a wonderful life-time experience.


Iranian cuisine or Persian cuisine is the traditional and modern style of cooking in Iran (formerly known as Persia).

Situated in West Asia (also known as the Middle East) with a diverse population, the Iranian culinary style is unique to Iran, though has historically both influenced and has been influenced by Iran's neighboring and conquered regions at various stages throughout its history. Specifically, these have been mutual culinary influences to and from Turkish cuisine, Azerbaijani cuisine, Kurdish cuisine, Caucasian cuisine, Mesopotamian cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Greek cuisine, Central Asian cuisine, and minor aspects from Russian cuisine.

• Dizi: Abgoosht is a Persian and Mesopotamian stew. It is also called Dizi, which refers to the traditional stone crocks it is served in. Some describe it as a "hearty mutton soup thickened with chickpeas." ?bgoosht is usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, and tomatoes, turmeric, and dried lime. Other variations exist in the beans used, such as kidney beans and black-eyed peas. The ingredients are combined together and cooked until done, at which point the dish is strained. The solids are then mashed as Gusht Kubideh and served with the broth, but in a separate dish, along with flatbread. It is a form of Piti, which encompasses many similar dishes in the region.

• Kabab koobideh: It is an Iranian meat kabab made from ground lamb or beef, and less commonly chicken, often mixed with parsley and chopped onions.

• Jujeh-kabab: It is an Iranian dish that consists of grilled chunks of chicken. It is common to marinate the chunks in minced onion, lemon juice and sometimes saffron.

Jujeh-kabab is a popular dish in Iran often served on basmati rice or wrapped in lavash bread, both of which are staples in the Iranian cuisine. The former is more often served in restaurants and elaborate parties such as wedding receptions while the latter is often eaten in domestic settings, kebab joints and picnics or packed for road trips. Other optional components include grilled tomatoes, peppers (grilled or raw), fresh lemons or other vegetables

• Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew): This iconic stew, an essential part of every Persian wedding menu, pairs tart pomegranate with chicken or duck. Ground walnuts, pomegranate paste and onions are slowly simmered to make a thick sauce. Sometimes saffron and cinnamon are added, and maybe a pinch of sugar to balance the acid. Fesenjan has a long pedigree. At the ruins of Persepolis, the ancient ritual capital of the Persian Empire, archaeologists found inscribed stone tablets from as far back as 515 B.C., which listed pantry staples of the early Iranians. They included walnuts, poultry and pomegranate preserves, the key ingredients in fesenjan.

• Bademjan Stew (Eggplant And Tomato Stew): This stew has the shimmering red-gold color of tomatoes cooked with turmeric, with a sheen of oil on top, a prized characteristic in Persian cooking that shows a stew has been cooked long enough for the oils to rise up. Slightly tart, with the tang of tomatoes, lemon juice, and sometimes the juice of unripe grapes, its tanginess is kept in check by the eggplant, which is first fried on its own until golden-brown, then cooked with onions, lamb and the tomatoes and seasoning. Like all Persian stews, bademjan is thick and meant to be eaten over rice with a fork.

• Baghali Polo (Rice with Dill and Fava Beans): In Iranian cooking, rice can be prepared simply with butter and saffron, known as chelo. But just as often, it’s cooked with other ingredients and called polo. Polo can be made with herbs, vegetables, beans, nuts, dried fruit, meat and even noodles, and acts as the centerpiece of the meal. This polo is particularly good in the spring, when fava beans are young and tender and dill is in season. The dish is flecked with green dill and favas, and is often cooked with very tender chunks of lamb. Alternately, it may be served alongside lamb on the bone. The rice should have a mild saffron flavor, with the saffron mixed into the rice just before serving.

• Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice): Iranians love sour flavors. Like cranberries, barberries have a vibrant red color, but they’re even more sour. This classic rice dish is studded with the red berries, which are dried and then rehydrated before cooking. The rice is cooked with plenty of butter, which helps to soften the intensity of the berries. Quince, rhubarb, green plums, sour oranges, lemons, limes, dried limes, sour cherries, tamarind, sumac and pomegranate are all used in Persian cooking to make food more tart.

• Gormeh Sabzi (Green Herb Stew): Made from herbs, kidney beans and lamb, deep green gormeh sabzi satisfies two Persian flavor obsessions: it’s sour and full of herbs. The stew is seasoned with dried limes, limoo omani in Farsi. These limes are extra intense and sour, with a bittersweet taste that gives the stew a unique flavor. The other constant in gormeh sabzi is fenugreek leaves, a taste unfamiliar to most westerners. Other herbs include parsley, coriander and scallions.

• Tahdig (Crunchy Fried Rice): Tahdig is the soul food of Persian cooking. It’s the crisp, golden layer of fried rice at the bottom of the rice pot, and it tastes like a combination of popcorn and potato chips, but with the delicate flavor of basmati ice. (Tahdig is usually not printed on the menu, so you may have to ask for it.) At Iranian family gatherings, there are always plenty of leftovers, but the one dish that disappears completely is tahdig. It’s eaten as a side dish, and it’s forgivable to pick it up and eat it with your fingers.

• Sabzi Khordan (Herb and Cheese Plate): No Persian meal is complete without a dish of sabzi khordan, or edible herbs. The plate can include mint, tarragon, basil and cilantro, alongside scallions, radishes, walnuts, feta cheese and Iranian nan (flatbread). Simply tear off a piece of flatbread, tuck a bit of the herbs and cheese and other garnishes inside, and fold it up like a rustic sandwich. The plate stays on the table throughout the meal, and the herbs are a crunchy palate cleanser between bites of stew and rice. Fresh and dried green herbs are eaten daily in Iran. The Zoroastrian new year Norooz celebrates rebirth and renewal, and the Norooz menu includes several dishes made with green herbs representing new life, including rice with herbs, an herb omelet and the herb platter.


A city without a good market is always missing something crucial. Thankfully, Shiraz, boasts a number of regular markets in and around the city bowl. With more than 25 malls and 10 bazaars, Shiraz is known as the easiest place for shopping in Iran and the Middle East.

• Vakil Bazaar: It is the main bazaar of Shiraz, Iran, located in the historical center of the city. It is thought that the market originally was established by the Buwayhids in the 11th century AD, and was completed mainly by the Atabaks of Fars, and was renamed after Karim Khan Zand only in the 18th century.

The bazaar has beautiful courtyards, caravansarais, bath houses, and old shops which are deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques.

• Persian Gulf Complex is a large shopping mall located in Shiraz, Iran. It is the biggest mall in terms of the number of shops. The facility has space for 2,500 stores covering 450,000 square meters (4,800,000 sq ft).

The complex includes the Burj Fars International, a 262-room hotel, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, convention centre and a helipad. In addition, there are two amusement parks at the mall, an outdoor amusement park called Iran Land, covering 37,000 square meters (400,000 sq ft), and an indoor amusement park covering 28,000 square meters (300,000 sq ft)with video games, a bowling alley and a 3-story billiard hall. The mall also has six 240-seat cinema. A 14,000-square-metre (150,000 sq ft) Carrefour Hypermarket is also located within the mall. The complex has four floors of parking space that can accommodate a total of 5,500 vehicles.

Other activities

Just a few other ideas:

• Paintball: Paintball is a game developed in the 1980s in which players eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with dye-filled, breakable, oil and gelatin paintballs, or pellets, usually shot from a carbon dioxide or compressed air (Nitrogen) powered “paintball marker”.The game is regularly played at a sporting level with organized competition involving major tournaments, professional teams, and players. Paintball technology is also used by military forces, law enforcement, para-military and security organizations to supplement military training, as well as playing a role in riot response, and non-lethal suppression of dangerous suspects.

• Laser tag: It is a tag game played with lasers. Infrared-sensitive targets are commonly worn by each player and are sometimes integrated within the arena in which the game is played. Since its birth in 1979, with the release of the Star Trek Electronic Phasers toy manufactured by the South Bend Electronics brand of Milton Bradley, laser tag has evolved into both indoor and outdoor styles of play, and may include simulations of combat, role play-style games, or competitive sporting events including tactical configurations and precise game goals.

Laser tag is popular with a wide range of ages. When compared to paintball, laser tag is painless because it uses no physical projectiles, and indoor versions may be considered less physically demanding because most indoor venues prohibit running or roughhousing

• Kart racing or karting: It is a variant of open-wheel motorsport with small, open, four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts, or gearbox/shifter karts depending on the design. They are usually raced on scaled-down circuits. Karting is commonly perceived as the stepping stone to the higher ranks of motorsports.

• Paramotoring: It is a generic name for the propulsive portion of a powered paraglider ("PPG"). It consists of a frame that combines the motor, propeller, harness (with integrated seat) and cage. It provides two attachment points for the risers of a paraglider wing that allows for powered flight.

These are just some of the many attractions Shiraz has to offer. By far the best way to discover more is simply to ask the locals, who are generally only too happy to direct you to the next best thing in their beautiful city.

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