Should do in Iran
Tourist attractions that you can see and memorable occasions that you can have while visiting Iran are so vast and varying that it seems difficult to handpick some of them and suggest them to anyone who wants to visit Iran as a tourist. Nevertheless, it can be said that certain cities such as Isfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, Yazd, and Kerman are among the options considered in the majority of the classical and combinational types of tours around Iran. If someone travels to Iran and misses some of its tourist attractions, chances are they will regret it in future.
Visit the Historical Brick and Stone-Made Attractions of Iran
One of the things you should do in Iran is visiting attractions that are mostly attractive due to their architectural aspects, mostly made of brick and stone, and thus reflecting different ancient civilizations before Christ. Since they are scattered throughout the country, in various regions, it is not possible to visit them all by a single classical or combinational tour at once, which usually takes about a couple of weeks. The most renowned ones among these attractions, which are located nearby the cities mentioned above, are: Persepolis, Pasargadae, near Shiraz, Bam Erg and Rein Erg near Kerman. If you are profoundly and really interested in the architectural style of the ancient civilizations, you can also consider other destinations as part of your trip as well and visit the earthen-brick architecture of Choqa’Zanbil’s Ziggurat near Shush, and the Hydraulic Systems of Shushtar. Moreover, the stony architecture of Bisoton in Kerman’Shah, Bishapour near Shiraz, and the stony inscriptions of Hamedan reflect some other aspects of the history of ancient Iran.
Another thing you should do in Iran is visiting the earthen brick-and-clay architecture found in the architectural context of Yazd, its historical houses and wind-catching airways, along with the interiorist architectural style of the houses found in Kashan, there is another kind of architectural attraction that is a combination of earthen architecture, tiling, and mirror-work, younger than the ancient architectural monuments, but, nevertheless, quite old in their own right. There are also some further attractions falling into this architectural category with which you can become familiar in the other relevant sections of the present website.
Visit the Color and Light-Based Architecture
If you wish to witness the apex of beauty and subtlety of the Iranian artistic taste especially in the way it combines colors and images and patterns in royal palaces and glorious shrines, visiting Golestan Palace, Abd’al Azim Shrine, both in Tehran, the Naqsh-eh Jahan Complex and Vank Church in Isfahan, along with Shah’Cherq Shrine and Nassirl’al Molk Mosque in Shiraz is undoubtedly something you should do in Iran.
Visit Persian Gardens
The kind of architecture mentioned above, applied in houses and palaces that are themselves placed at the heart of Iranian historical gardens (Persian gardens), are some other attractions of note. Speaking of Persian gardens, keep in mind that you can see profiles of the structure of these gardens, some of which registered in UNESCO’s World Heritage Status, in Shah’Zadeh Maahaan Garden located in Kerman, Hasht’Behesht Garden in Isfahan and numberless similar gardens in Shiraz including Eram, Afif’Aabaad, and Naringestan.
Visit Iranian Bazars
Visiting Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and other cities of Iran roofed up labyrinthine bazaars -which reflect the social and quotidian conduct and manner of Iranians of the day in a beautiful construct that they have inherited form the past generations- and buy souvenirs is a thing you should do in Iran . While visiting these beautiful labyrinths, you can observe the continuum of the colors, images, and patterns of the glorious architecture of Iran’s historical monuments printed and represented on the souvenirs that are on sale in such bazars: Iranian carpet, cashmere of Yazd, enameled dishes of Isfahan, enchase and marquetry worked out on the dishes of Shiraz, and colorful nomadic and native clothes and dresses of the entire country.
Buy Iranian Souvenirs
Is it possible to visit Iranian bazars and their colorful, noble and traditional products and not buy a thing as a souvenir? There are souvenirs that you can take home with yourself including saffron, caviar, pistachio, and the like that would make a priceless gift. There are many different Persian delights to be bought as souvenirs for the loved ones including powdered sweet (Gaz), Iranian greasy toffee (Sowhan), Iranian crispy wafer (Poolaki), and candy floss (Pashmak) that can be tasted before purchase. To become more familiar with the souvenirs found in various cities of Iran, please refer to the Gifts and Souvenirs section of this website.
Enjoy the Nature of Iran
On a combinational tour, however, in addition to visiting some of the historical and cultural attractions, you can also enjoy visiting certain nomadic or natural sightseeing located nearby your destinations: desert-patrolling near Kerman, Kashan, or Isfahan, or skiing on snow near Tehran and Shiraz. If you are a professional nature-explorer, however, the 5610-meter-tall peak of Damavand near Tehran, which attracts quite a few mountain-climbers to itself on yearly basis, can be conquered by you as well. Moreover, the joy of living and exploring the rich forested northern coast of Iran and being drowned in an all-encompassing cool mist is an un-negligible suggestion for those who lack such natural endowments in their own countries. Visiting the biggest aqua-cave in all around the world – that is, Ali’Sadr Cave – is definitely an exciting adventure you can experience in Iran.
Visit the Iranian Nomadic Life and Religious Rituals
Those who are interested in religious or nomadic rituals and ceremonies should be informed that there are Islamic shrines and pilgrimage sites and destinations in the majority of cities of Iran. There are also mosques almost in every street of all cities. But, on certain days, like those of Moharrem month, the cities of Iran and their streets host religious gatherings with ritualistic songs, music, gestures and performances so unique that they will definitely catch your glance. Of course, the rural and nomadic population of various locations of Iran also has their own costumes, rituals, and ceremonies; yet, we just briefly introduced here the ones that were located nearby your destinations.
Try Persian Food
If you wish to enjoy all the attractions, you should get something to eat first. But, even if not hungry, how could it still be possible to make a trip to Iran without tasting its cuisines? Say, kabab and rice (Cholow’Kabaab), meat stew (Dizi) with fresh crispy flatbread baked on river stone (Sangak), and vegetable stew (Qormeh’Sabzi). These are three of the most popular dishes in Iran that testing at least one of them is a thing you should do in Iran. As for having breakfast, you can order a Persian breakfast consisting of sweet pottage (Helim) with local cheese, warm bread, and walnut. There is also lamb souse (called Kalleh’Pacheh) that would certainly amount to a singled out experience and found being served as every meal throughout the day. Tea and buttermilk (Airan or Dooq) are the most popular drinks, warm and cold, respectively, that you can find certainly anywhere in Iran. Do not forget to at least try one meal in Iran’s traditional restaurants (Sofreh’Khaneh) where you can lie down or stretch and relax on a wooden bed furnished by an Iranian carpet. Even though hookah harms your health, it will still be worthwhile to try smoking some in such restaurants.
If you are planning a long stay in Iran, and are in search for certain nomadic, religious, or adventurous tours, you should check the other sections of the present website for more information about such destinations and attractions.