Guest blog by Naomi from Probe around the Globe. Naomi is a part-time blogger from the Netherlands. She loves to travel by train and her blog focuses on short weekend breaks in Europe and epic adventures to places like Mongolia, Tibet and Iran. Naomi travelled solo to Iran for 2 weeks. Here are her 10 Best Things to do in Iran.
Iran is a country with rich history and traditions. Travel to Iran is a dream come true for many as it can be hard to get a visa. I travelled around Iran for 2 weeks and was amazed by the countries’ 1001 mosaics and nature. During those two weeks, I went from one amazing city to the next unbelievable sight. I visited deserts and flower fields, I saw mosques and Unesco World Heritage sites. To convince you of how amazing Iran is, I narrowed this list down to a top 10 of unique things to do in Iran, so you will want to book a flight to Iran too!
1) Go back in history at Persepolis
Marvel at the wonders of Persepolis
The ruins of Persepolis are on Unesco’s World Heritage List since 1979 and for a good reason. The former capital of the Achaemenid Empire saw its prime time around 550 to 330 BC. Once the spiritual capital of Greek King Darius and Xerxes, Persepolis was destroyed by Alexandre the Great. Nowadays, you can visit the sight and walk through the Nations gate and wander around in the Hall of a 100 Colom’s. You can climb a little hill and get an amazing view of the whole of Persepolis. Make sure the visit the nearby Necropolis too.
2) Amaze yourself at the wealth of the Golestan Palace Tehran
Wander around the decorative Golestan Palace Tehran
Most travelers to Tehran will either start or finish (or both) in Tehran. The once must see attraction in Tehran is definitely the Golestan Palace. Also a Unesco World Heritage site, this Palace is a city within the metropole of Tehran. Lush gardens, trickling fountains and the riches of the world are all there for exploring. The Golestan Palace is on a pricy side, but you can only enter the garden and not visit all the different halls which makes it more affordable.
3) Wander around the bazaar
Shop for spices at the bazaar
When you travel to Iran, one of the most fun things to do is to wander around the bazaar. Any bazaar really. I found that each city has multiple bazaars and they all have different vibes and looks. I really enjoyed the old looks of the Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz and to hunt for real Shirazi saffron. The bazaar of Esfahan has many hidden treasures and the bazaar in Tehran felt like the real Persian experience!
4) Meet and eat with locals
Always say yes when a local invites you
The hard part of writing a list of best things to do in Iran is the fact that the people of Iran make your travels unforgettable. Of course, Iran has many great things to see but meeting with locals is the unique experience that stands out the most to me of my travels to Iran. Whenever someone invites you for tea, lunch or a sight-seeing tour of the city: accept it. You have to say YES all the time. The Iranian people are one of the most welcoming and friendly people I have ever met. They are proud of Iran and happy to see travelers. They will show you around town, invite you into their homes and share their meals with you. Whenever someone invites you, always say YES and be respectful of their traditions and customs. To meet and eat with an Iranian will stick with you as the most unique things to do in Iran.
5) Eat saffron ice cream and other delicious sweets
Never say no to saffron ice cream!
When you travel to Iran, you can find numerous occasions where you’ll be treated to some delicious sweets. I tried a variety of sweet Iranian candy and ice cream. My personal favorites were the Gaz (candy) from Yazd and the saffron ice cream I had in Shiraz! One of the most fulfilling things to do in Iran is taste everything and pick your favorites.
6) Visit the desert
Exploring the desert at sunset
One of the main reasons for me to travel to Iran, was to see the desert. Iran has a very diverse climate but it is not hard to find the desert in Iran. The Lut desert is the hottest desert on earth, but you can also find many smaller deserts that are more manageable to visit. I loved the golden sand dunes and the waves that the wind makes in the sand. The deserts in Iran are perfect places to experience nature in Iran.
Read more: The best places to see the desert in Iran
7) See half the world in Isfahan
Isfahan is half the world
Once the capital of the Persian world, Isfahan was called half the world. You can still see some of the splendor of the city when you visit Isfahan nowadays. One of the best things to do in Iran, it to travel to Isfahan during spring when the river flows through the city and people gather around the banks of the river or on one of the bridges.
8) Go skiing in the mountains north of Tehran
From the desert to the mountains, Iran has many things you can do in nature. Only half an hour by metro and bus, and you’ll find yourself in the Switzerland of Tehran. The Albroz mountains north of Tehran are great to visit over the weekend. You can rent skies or snowboards or just walk around and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
9) Admire the light in the Pink Mosque Shiraz
Be pink bedazzled at the Pink Mosque in Shiraz
A visit to Shiraz is one of the best things to do in Iran. You’ll be close to Persepolis but you can also wake up early and visit the Pink Mosque in Shiraz. This smaller mosque is famous for the light flowing through the red stained windows in the morning. A kaleidoscope of colors reflecting on the mosques interior is your reward of getting up early. If you manage to take some decent pictures here, you’ll be Insta-famous in no-time.
Intricate details of the mosque
10) Go rooftop hopping in Yazd
Amazing mud brick structures in Yazd
The mudbrick buildings of Yazd form the unique appearance of this desert town. Yazd is the gateway to the desert and the old center is still standing strong with its mud brick structures and wind towers that function as a natural air conditioner. One of the great delights of Yazd is the fact that all the old houses are connected with each other. If you find the right entrance way, you can hop from one rooftop to another. Seeing Yazd from the rooftops gives you splendid views of the city and the mountains surrounding Yazd.
Have you ever travelled to Iran? What is your personal favorite of best things to do in Iran? After reading this list, would you want to travel to Iran and experience some of these unique treasures of Iran? Let us know!
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