Mashhad is the second largest city of Iran, coming right next to its capital, Tehran, and is considered as the hub of religious tourism throughout the country. Even though it is one of the most ancient regions of Iran and that, in certain historical periods, it has been chosen as the center of governing, thanks to the blessing presence of the eighth Shiite Imam's - known as Reza - Shrine being located in there, has come to achieve a very single-standing religious identity and is thus now considered as one of the most awe-inspiring religious tourism spots in the entire country.
Main Tourist Attractions of Mashhad
The majority of the tourists, who travel to Mashhad, go on a pilgrimage-fashioned visit to that city out of their sheer passion for this religious figure and with the hope of being blessed with the spiritually rich atmosphere found in his Shrine. Even though the Shrine in question, along with its golden dome and minarets is considered as the shining diamond placed on top of the ring of this city's tourism, there are plenty of other historical, cultural, and natural tourist attractions in this area of the country that have managed to turn it into one of the most popular touristically attractive regions of Iran, especially when considered together with the spiritually unique atmosphere of the Shrine. The three main features of tourism in Mashhad are Toos Village, Nishapur, and Imam Reza's Shrine.
Imam Reza Shrine, First Main Attraction of Mashhad
The Religious Complex of Imam Reza consists of a very vast space that encompasses a variety of elements and monuments including the Shrine itself, a museum, a number of vast porches for mass prayer ceremonies and rituals and a number of some other constructs that are rooted in the Islamic architectural style. The most beautiful and sublime Iranian arts, say, mirrorwork, muqarnas-work, tile-work, are applied in the ornamentation and decoration of the Complex.
The dome and netted shrine of this Complex are all made of pure gold and to behold the doves that sit amassed upon the dome and fly high in the sky above the Shrine is astonishingly spectacular for those tourists who travel to Mashhad. Imam Reza Complex aside, there are other religious spots found in the city as well that are most often included in the travel schedule of those visitors who come to visit the city on tour. Among the other historical-religious attractions of the city are Pir-eh Palandooz Tomb (lit. the Saddle-Maker Saga's Tomb), Nasser and Yasser Holy Shiite descendants' Shrines, Haftad'o'Do'Tan Mosque (lit. Seventy-Two Corpuses' Mosque), Green Dome, Brick-Made Dome, and Khaje' Rabi's' Tomb.
Nishapur, Second Main Attraction of Mashhad
Nishapur is the second most important tourist attraction of Mashhad. It is a city located about 130 kilometers away from Mashhad. The tombs of two of the most prominent figures of Iranian culture and science, that is, Attar and Khayyam of Nishapur, are found in there and, out of sheer passion for visiting them, many tourists make sure to allot a day to visit this turquoise-colored city during their trip to that area.
Toos Museum-Garden, Third Main Attraction of Mashhad
The Museum-Garden of Toos is the third most important touristically attractive feature of this region of the country and one of the most popular attractions found in Mashhad. The tomb of Ferdowsi, modelled in architectural style on that of the Achaemenes, starkly akin in style to the tomb of Cyrus the Great located in Pasargadae, is located within this garden, in addition to Naderi Serai or Resort which is another cultural and historical attraction of the area.
Shandiz and Tarqobeh Counties are the most popular touristically attractive villages of Mashhad located within a county-based area with a pleasantly mild weather and can certainly amount to a cherishable memory for the visitors who travel to Mashhad. Moreover, the nature park of Haft'howz (lit. Seven Basins), is a mountainous area with naturally formed basins which attracts many tourists on annual basis thanks to its seven basin-shaped water bodies formed by the water-based corrosion of the stony corpuses of the rocks in the area. For those interested in water activities, perhaps the Water Park of Mashhad, which is operated with respect to Islamic cultural codes, that is, that of gender segregation, would sound like a thrilling offer. Moreover, mall flaneurs, window-shoppers, and shopping fanatics will be certainly thrilled to experience taking a walk in the Commercial Complex of Zist'eh Khavar (lit. Near East Life), and Almas'eh Sharq (lit. the Diamond of the East), not to mention the traditional Reza Bazar.
Mashhad is one of the most significant academic centers of the country whose universities' rankings stand on top of the list of academic rankings nationwide. There are plenty research centers in this country in operation in the area of scientific studies and make great contributions and have considerable achievements every year.
The weather in Mashhad is mountainous and mild. Nevertheless, it is possible that its cold and arid winters strike those visitors and travelers who come to this city from more humid regions of the globe as unpleasant.
The citizens of Mashhad are people known for their high economically-minded intelligence and since, from old days to the present time, having interaction with tourists has been an inseparable part of their life, can be considered as very apt hosts. The external outlook of the city is more or less religious. So, addressing and respecting the religious norms and beliefs is one of those issues that the tourists visiting the city are advised to bear in mind. You can review the norms in question here on this very website in the section related to Mashhad's attractions.
Mashhad is considered as one of the major pivots of Iran's agriculture and economy and thus a central artery of the nation's economy in general. Carpet-weaving, turquoise accessories and leather industry are among the most profitable and popular handicraft industries in this area of Iran. Moreover, this is the area in which saffron cultivation, suggestively known as the "Red Gold," comes first throughout the country and over 94% of the saffron produced in the entire world is the product of this area alone.
Pages you might be interested in: Things to do in Mashhad