Rig zarin desert, Iran

Best Iran deserts: A travel guide for sand lovers + photos

Many people appreciate the golden sand dune of deserts, some love it for its peace and calmness, some others like it for safari and off-road activities and some for taking amazing photos. The diversity of Iran deserts can fulfill travelers of various tastes; this article is going to introduce some of these naturally dynamic habitats, and the unique features they offer.

Rig-e Jenn

This desert in the central part of Iran is one of the most mysterious Iran deserts. Local people believe that the region is governed by devil spirits and so, it is cursed. In fact, this is a kind of explanation for the strange disappearances that have happened over time. Many travelers never returned from this wide emptiness which has caused great fear among people and made the desert to be called the “Bermuda triangle of Iran”. There are also strange voices that are really horrifying both for the locals and travelers. For many years, no one dared to travel to the region and find out about its mystery!

Strong whirlwind here causes the sandy hills to move in a way that in some areas driving would almost be impossible on these steep slopes. There is also no water in this desert; however, it still attracts many adventurers. You may ask what is really the secret of the place? Well, the scientific explanation of this scary zone is that it is full of salt marshes, especially the southern parts, and identifying these marshes is not easy. Therefore, if the travelers are not familiar with it and take the wrong direction, they might be swallowed! And the voices are actually the sound of the wind blowing to the natural structures which have been created by erosion. These figures are another reason for causing fear due to their unusual forms!  frightening, yes?

If you are still interested in experiencing some adventure here, do not go alone, you must travel in a group and pack food, water, petrol and the highest level of equipment for at least 15 days! Do not forget your map. Wish you an awesome adventure!

To reach Rig-e Jenn, drive through Garmsar road from Kavir National Park to Malek Abad road and then straight to the desert. Check out our RIG-E JENN SAFARI TOUR.

Iran deserts : Rig-e Jenn

Rig-e Jenn desert is famous as the Bermuda Triangle of Iran

Lut Desert

As one of the most captivating Iran deserts, Lut is a UNESCO-listed natural attraction in Iran. Here was once considered the hottest place on the Earth surface that Nasa had ever registered; 71ºC! It is absolutely an abiotic zone; no living creature can endure here. So, if you are afraid of going to the desert because of usual threats such as snake or scorpion, then do not worry! These creatures will not make it here in such a severe condition.

40 Km to the northeast of Lut, you will reach Shahdad or Kalout desert, where resembles one of the Hollywood cities such as the one you have seen in the Star Wars, with its strange geological figures. Believe it or not, these giant structures that have formed due to wind, soil and water erosion sometimes reach a height of 200 meters! When it rains, the flowing water washes the soil and carries it around the rocks and gradually over time, these huge mud sculptures form! These amazing figures are more than 20 thousand years old.

Walking among these structures, you feel like walking on the surface of Mars while if you are lucky enough, you may hear the voice of wind blowing through them. That is the only voice to be heard at the endless silence of the desert!

Since here is one of the hottest places, the best time to travel and visit Shahdad is definitely winter. You need legal permission to travel to this natural site and it would be best to travel in a group to avoid getting lost.

About 100 Kms from Kerman, you will get to the capital of the province to Shahdad and driving another 40 Kms from Shahdad you will reach these Kalouts. Driving would be the best possible option to get here.

Lut deser

Lut desert: This huge salt desert was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016.

Mesr Desert

Mesr village is an oasis located in the central desert of Iran which has one of the most beautiful sceneries around. Close to the heart of the village, there is a spring that is the only source of water in the area. It is said that one of the villagers named Joseph, once digged a deep well in search of water for the village. Later, people called the village Mesr, meaning Egypt, to remember the story of Joseph the prophet.

Mesr is one of the most attractive Iranian deserts for sand lovers, the peace here is beyond understanding! Walking on the golden sand dunes and feeling its warmth between your toes during the day would probably be one of the most amazing things you can experience here!

Spending a night in Mesr is an interesting story! It is one of the most breathtaking night skies with luminous stars you may have ever seen in your entire life.

This desert is located in Isfahan province, 45 Kms from Jandagh city. You may either drive or travel on a tour to get to this desert.

Iran deserts: Mesr

Mesr is one of the most wonderful deserts in Iran.

Bafgh Desert

Not far from the city of windcatchers, Yazd, there is an amazing peaceful landscape to be discovered, Bafgh desert. The golden sand dunes’ height sometimes reaches 80 meters here. Activities such as Camel riding, sandboarding, and safari are only some of the options that make your trip a lifelong experience. If you plan to stay overnight, there is a famous camp named “Shen va Shaden” which also serves traditional food.

The desert is divided into various parts, including Darre Anjir with no plants, Moghestan with beautiful salt hills and also marshes in some parts and Sadegh Abad with its famous tourist camp. If you are looking for the experience of sleeping under a sky you have never seen before, you can set up your own tent and stay overnight in this desert.

To arrive in Bafgh desert, drive through Naeen road on the north of Yazd or through Anar city in the south and then to Bafgh.

Bafgh desert

Bafgh desert: an amazing peaceful landscape to be discovered

Rig-e Zarin

Right north to the Bafgh, there is another desert with hair-raising landscapes that is divided into the northern and southern parts due to the variation in the desert’s altitude. The softness of sands here is kind of impressive, making a memorable experience of traveling to Iran deserts.

Do not forget to take your camera with you! It’s no secret that photographing during sunrise and sunset provides a wonderfully soft light that can make beautiful landscape images. There are many points of interest at Rig-e Zarin that helps you break the repetition of landscapes; the extreme soft sands are also a subject of detail photography.

Drive through the road Ardakan to Ahmad Abad and then straight to the desert.

Varzane Desert

People love deserts for different reasons; off-road activities, taking astonishing photos, etc. But,

Varzane is famous for its high sand dunes which are above the average height among all deserts in Iran. This feature makes Varzane one of the bests for meditation among Iran deserts. Meditation in the prolonged silence of this isolated place while sitting on the warm sand dunes feels incredible.

Sandboarding and paragliding are other activities to try in Varzane. There is no strong wind here to move the dunes; so, you can enjoy camping even for several nights.

There are also cultural attractions in this region; women still wear white veils just as ancient time and if you are interested in connecting with the locals, you may visit their house and see carpet weaving.

To arrive in Varzane, you should use a 4WD; however, if it is the first time you go there, it would be much better to travel on a tour or travel with a guide.

Iran deserts : varzaneh

Varzene: A heaven for meditation lovers!

Maranjab Desert

The desert is said to be named by “Shah Abbas”, the Iranian King, meaning a place where water is found with difficulties. In ancient times, deep wells must have been digged to access freshwater. It is interesting to know that, the desert is the habitat to various animal species such as wolf, eagle, snake, fox, lizard, and chameleon due to its endemic vegetation.

Depending on what you are looking for in a desert, you can visit Maranjab during different seasons. It is one of the best Iran deserts to watch meteor shower at night, these astronomical events are announced by NASA about a month before it occurs; so, you have got enough time to plan your tour to Iran.

Just looking for a cool peaceful place to meditate, or sitting around the fire at night, or maybe drinking coffee and listen to your friends’ stories? Then fall and winter are the best time to travel to Maranjab and enjoy your camping.

Arriving in Maranjab desert is rather easy, you should drive through the Tehran-Qom and then to Aran va Bidgol country.

Maranjab desert

Maranjab: one of the best Iran deserts to watch meteor shower at night!

It does not matter why you are attracted to the desert, you will come back with tremendous memories and astonishing photos that make you miss this ocean of sand forever!

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.

Iran visa in Turkey

How to get Iran visa in Turkey? (Istanul and Ankara)

If you are planning to travel to Iran, then visa is mandatory. Taking a look at international travelers’ reviews reveals that Turkey, compared to other countries, is the easiest and fastest place to get Iran Visa. Here’s an overview of how to get an Iran Visa in Turkey.

If you require any information regarding Iran visa, please fill our Iran online visa form.

Who needs a visa to visit Iran?

Due to Iran’s recent visa policy to facilitate the entry of legal visitors into this country, most nationalities are allowed to receive the visa on arrival except for 10 nationalities that require it in advance including Colombia, Somali, England, Canada, USA, Bangladesh, Jordon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
Citizens of seven nationalities are allowed to enter Iran without visa and stay here for the specific decaled time, including Syria, Leboneng, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Egypt, Venezuela, Malaysia, Armenia and Georgia. Holders of USA passport need a guided tour in Iran and holders of Israel passports cannot visit Iran. To avoid fruitless attempts in getting Iran visa, your passport should not show an evidence of traveling to Israel.

Steps to get Iran Visa

Applying for Iran visa in Turkey, you may or may not need an authorization code depend on your nationality, remember to check your own nationality’s situation at the time of applying for Iran visa. To get an authorization code, search through the internet, find a company, fill out the online form that issues authorization code for Iran visa. The cost to get the code depends on nationality, where you want to collect the visa and whether you request normal or fast service.
While filling the form, be sure about your name’s spelling and other details, since they must exactly match your passport information. In addition to your personal information, an important part of this form is your itinerary for Iran and how long you are going to stay.
Getting the authorization code is the most important step in visa application and once you get the code, you can get the visa that day. However, going through the normal visa process including filling in the forms, fingerprints, taking photos and payment is Inevitable. You have 30 days to collect the visa from the date of issue and it is only valid to the mentioned consulate.

Iran visa in Turkey

Where can you apply for Iranian visa in Turkey?

Looking at the reviews by other travelers, suggest that Istanbul and Ankara are usually the easiest to apply for Iranian Visa.

Review1: Iranian visa in Istanbul

Hi
I just picked up 30 day tourist visa. Paid 50eur for Dutch nationality and three working days processing.

All took me three hours at the consulate. Had to wait for the man behind the window to make phone calls and confirm my authorization code. Procedure was straightforward and easy: filling out an application form, giving a passport-size picture and payment at the bank. Three days later, collected my visa in 2 minutes!

Review2: Iranian visa in Istanbul

Hello silk roaders!

Today we got our visas for Iran in Istanbul (Spain nationality)

There were two options:
Express visa: 1 day, 75€
Normal visa: 1 week, 50€

Really easy process, wo passport photos and the authorization code is needed, then you pay at the bank across the street, fill the form and the day after you will get your visa!

Review3: Iranian Visa in Ankara

Hi
I applied for Iran Visa 2 weeks ago with my Portuguese passport. I got the authorization code within 3 days

Th required documents at the Iranian embassy in Ankara are 2 colored photocopies of your passport; a photo and your passport.

There they gave me a simple form to fill in, told me to go to the bank to pay 50E and come back with the receipt. The bank is across the street.

Returning from the bank receipt, they gave me a receipt and kept all the documents and passport, told me to return to collect the visa on the Friday(3 days later). On Friday I collected my Iranian visa valid for 30 days.

Required Documents to get Iran visa

It does not matter which city you are applying for visa; is it in Istanbul, Trabzon or Ankara, try to be at the embassy or consulate before 9 am. Documents you need to have with yourself include:

Passport (with at least 6 months until the expiration date)
Two passport photos (females should cover their head)
Your Authorization Code
Details of your accommodation in Iran
Details of your tour itinerary or cities you plan to visit in Iran (Main tourist spots are recommended to be mentioned which are Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis city and Tehran)
Details of your entry point into Iran (most will put Gurbulak to Bazargan)
Enough money in Euros for your payment (You will not pay money in the consulate, you will pay in the bank they give you the details about; only proof of payment is required to collect your visa).

If you are indented to visit Iran, visa arrangement is normally done by Iran Doostan Tour Company through making a phone call or an sending an email and it usually takes a minimum of 14 working days in Iran except for British, USA and Canadian passport holders for whom the visa application process will take a minimum of 60 working days.

Please do not hesitate to send your inquiries to info@idt.ir.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.

Miniature by Farshchian

Persian miniature: Everything about Iranian miniature

Persian miniature is a traditional style of painting that is detailed, colorful and small in size, often representing a mythological or religious theme. Due to its long history, Iran has a rich artistic heritage, and miniature is one of them. In your travel to Iran, there are many places you can see and buy this original work of art.

If you are planning to travel to Iran, here is the link to online Iran visa.

The History of Persian Miniature

Iranians’ taste for art dates back to the cave age, about 8 to 10 thousand years ago where the displays of hunting scenes are still evident on “Lorestan”, “Sialk” and other ancient archaeological sites.
It is believed that Iranian prophet, Mani, who was also a famous artist, was a pioneer in miniature in the 3rd century as his book was designed with tiny figures. However, there are limited documents of Iranian miniature related to pre-Islamic era.
After Invasion of the Moghuls, miniature painting in Iran was influenced by East Asia which is quite obvious in the human figures and their faces. Although, Iranians developed their own techniques and themes. Miniature started to become an outstanding genre from 13th century and reached its zenith in 15th and 16th centuries. And soon, Persian miniature was prevalent among other Islamic miniatures particularly the Ottoman miniature in Turkey, and the Mughal miniature in the Indian sub-continent.
During Islamic period when Persian miniature was significantly flourished, various independent schools came into existence, each representing unique features. Among the most known ones were Tabriz school, Baghdad school, Shiraz school, and Mozaffarian School. Many ancient Iranian stories and poems of Ferdowsi, Saadi, Nezami and Hafez were illustrated in fine miniature by great artists of this period.
The evolution of Iranian miniature stopped by the end of Safavid period in Iran, since the Safavid kings were attracted to the western styles and this art entered a new era.

Iranian miniature by Behzad

Miniature art by Behzad

Iranian Miniature Features

“Miniature” is a French term meaning “tiny replica of nature”, however Iranian miniature has fundamental differences with what is called miniature in the eastern Asia and Europe. Actually, the only similarity between Persian miniature and those of China, Japan and Europe is being small in scale. There are also other unique features about Persian miniature; the first one is its rich delicate details in spite of being small in size, no slight detail has been missed by the artist which catches every viewer’s eyes, some paintings are so delicate that you need a magnifier to see its detailed beauties.
The second feature is that, no perspective technique has been used in Iranian miniature, elements are just overlaid on each other on a flat surface which looks somehow amateurish to those who have got used to Western styles of painting.
Added to these, miniature in Iran is not only about a separate work of art but also refers to some illustrations for Iranian manuscripts, as on the margin of the poetry books, for instance. This kind of art became popular since the beginning of the 14th century, handwritten books were adorned with the scenes from hunting, battle fields and feasts.

Iranian miniature

Famous Iranian miniature

Where to see fine Iranian Miniature?

Persian miniature started by devoting itself to adoring books and papers; however, it later found its way to design the walls of glorious building. During Ashkani and Sassanid empire in pre-Islamic era the walls of kings’ palaces were embellished with miniature art, but unfortunately nothing has been left of these constructions. During Islamic period when miniature art flourished, Safavid kings paid a special attention to miniature art, and that is why many historical buildings of this period has been beautified with colorful astonishing Iranian paintings you can visit while traveling to Iran.

Chehel sotoun - Isfahan

Chehel sotoun – Isfahan

Since Isfahan was the capital of Iran during Safavid, the city is the best place to see Iranian miniature. Chehel Sotoun, Ali Qapu, Hasht Behesht palace, Qeisarie Bazaar in Isfahan; Boroojerdi house in Kashan and Chehel Sotoun in Qazvin represent the finest examples of Iranian miniature in Iran. Isfahan is famous for its Islamic architectural masterpieces and it is included in all tours to Iran.

boroojerdi-house

Miniatures in Boroujerdi house – Kashan

If you are interested in art and especially Iranian miniature, we strongly suggest you visit National Museum of Iran in Tehran where there are various ancient artworks such as pottery, textiles and adobe calligraphy, from Iran’s post-Islamic era.

Can I buy Iranian miniature as a souvenir from Iran?

Iranian miniature has gone a long way to be painted on pictures made of thin layer of bones. There are still artists following miniature schools and create fine arts that deserve to be appreciated. The price is different depending on the artist’s skill, the quality of the work, the size and also theme of the miniature. Most tourists are excited by seeing Iranian artworks in the shops, they carefully gaze at the works of Iranian artists in their workshops to select and buy the best Iran souvenirs. You can buy Iranian miniature works not only as a wall picture but also on different objects such as decorative containers which makes it even more valuable.

Iranian miniature

Miniature painting

There are different traditional and modern bazaars in different cities that are famous for fine handicrafts and artworks. You can ask your tour guide about these bazaars, however they are usually quite close to the visiting places in your tour itinerary.

Inlaid work from Iran

Miniature on inlaid box

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.

Vank Cathedral

Vank Cathedral in Isfahan: Photos, Opening hours & More

As a lovely and amazing city, Isfahan has embraced three UNESCO world heritage sites, plenty of cultural and architectural attractions, and friendly hospitable local people. However, walking into Jolfa district would fascinate every visitor in a different way; it feels as if you have traveled back in time and you are in a different period of history. Let’s not forget to mention that there are 13 churches in this district right now but Vank is undoubtedly shining as the most gorgeous one. Vank Cathedral is a things to do in Isfahan, a masterpiece representative of artistic expression of Christians in Iran and Armenian living place in 400 years ago.

The History of Vank Cathedral

About 400 years ago, the Armenians migrated from Azerbaijan to settle in the Jolfa district of Isfahan in search of a haven, due to the Armenian genocide that occurred in Yerevan during Ottoman war. Jolfa is still famous as a quiet area with European setting and architecture.

Vank Cathedral is a historic church dating back to Shah Abbas the second period (1642 – 1666) having the reputation of training high rank priests in the Christian world; that is why Vank is considered as one of the most noticeable churches among Armenians. Besides being an impressive Cathedral, Vank is the largest museum in Isfahan due to possessing an outstanding collection of historic documents during the last 400 years which makes it one of the most well-known Armenian centers in the world.

facts about Iran

 All religions are respected in Iran. Vank Cathedral; Jolfa, Isfahan

Architecture and Design

Displaying a mix of Islamic and Armenian architecture, this church covers an area of approximately 4000 square meters including the main church and its courtyard, monastery, belfry, library, museum, clock tower, Bishops’ room, community halls, and tea house; considering the Vank garden and green spaces around, it is about 9000 square meters.

The height of the walls from the yard to the roof of the second floor is about 11.75 meters. Unlike many other Armenian churches in Iran which are made of stone, the main construction material in Vank Cathedral is clay.

The exterior walls are covered with brick and tiles designed with winged angels can be seen everywhere while the interior walls are covered with plaster and eye-catching paintings which is the most splendid feature of this building. The magnificent artistic decorations in different parts of the church, such as inside the dome, walls and arches are mainly originated from the holy Christian book. These paintings mainly represent stories from the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ from the birth to the ascension, day of resurrection and the judgment, heaven, and hell. A combination of Persian floral ornaments and Armenian national motifs are also evident on the ceilings and walls. The display of frescos on tiles with glorious gold and blue frames has created a pleasant and lovely setting inside the church. The cost of all paintings and decoration of the church was provided by “Avdic Stepanos” which are unique among Armenian churches.

vank_cathedral-Iran

Gorgeous Vank Cathedral

Museum

Vank museum is a not to be missed place in Isfahan. One of the most significant and most  comprehensive collections of biblical manuscripts are kept and displayed here. The museum keeps 700 handwritten books, a variety of objects related to the Armenian community in Isfahan such as Safavid costumes, European paintings brought back by Armenian merchants, tapestries, embroidery, and other ethnological exhibits related to Armenian culture and religion.

Visiting various collections in this museum would be one of the most interesting parts of your tour. The precious paintings related to Safavid period, painted by Armenian and European artists are unexampled. There are stunning collections of porcelain and clay dishes, collections of wooden works consisting of instruments, furniture, clock, etc. and eye-catching metal objects including gold and silver jewelries, belts, frays, etc.

The exhibition of Armenian textiles, traditional handwoven and embroidery are quite appealing to any visitor’s taste.

Vank Cathedral enjoys possessing 170 sheets of crucial historical commands, 22 of which are depicted in this museum today. Belonging to 17th to 19th century, these political orders are mostly related to the emigration of Armenians, offering religious and commercial privileges to them and tax rules for residents of Jolfa district.

And last but not least, the most highlighted object at Vank museum is a piece of hair, belonged to an 18-year-old girl on which a sentence from the old testament has been written with a diamond pen in 1974. You can read the sentence through a microscope kept by the side.

Opening hours

9:00 am till 6:30 pm

Location

Vank Church alley, Jolfa District, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

Phone Number: (+98) 3136243471

Are you planning to travel to Iran and looking for an Iran travel agency? Check out our Iran tours and feel free to contact us.

Top 10 Historical Garden Museums in Tehran

Top 10 Garden Museums in Tehran (Photos, Timing)

Tehran is known as “the city of museums” among people. This bustling metropolis embraces picturesque historical garden museums as well. These amazing attractions combine history narrations with artistic creations to exhibit glorious history as well as man-made artifacts. Though the heavy traffic and crowded streets are sometimes annoying, garden museums in Tehran can provide you a peaceful relaxing atmosphere to escape the city chaos. Let’s explore the top 10 historical garden museums in Tehran you shouldn’t miss for an enjoyable visit and a memorable experience.

Golestan Palace

Golestan Palace Complex is the only UNESCO Heritage Site in the heart of Tehran. It sits in a region initially called Tehran Arg which was the city’s gateway in the Qajar period. The palace was established during the Safavid era. Zand dynasty renovated it. Then, the founder of the Qajar dynasty, Agha Mohammad Khan, selected the palace as the official residence of the Qajar dynasty (1794-1925). Moreover, it became the center of artistic creations. The palace complex is composed of seventeen palaces and halls of different ages surrounding a picturesque garden. Each building is a treasure of architecture, art, and decorative craftsmanship. Golestan Palace has witnessed some significant moments in Iran’s history such as the coronation of the Qajar and Pahlavi kings. Shams-ol Emareh, or the Sun Building, the first recreational tower of Tehran, is one of the valuable features of this palace complex. It enjoys a good view of the Tehran landscape from its rooftop. Takht-e Marmar Terrace (Marble Throne), Talar-e Ayeneh (Mirror Hall), Khalvat-e Karim Khani (Karim Khan Nook), and Emarat-e Badgir (the Wind Catcher) are among the prominent halls that should not be missed.

Opening hours:

Spring and summer: Every day from 9:30 a.m. to 18:30 p.m. except for public mourning holidays

Fall and winter: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 16:30 p.m. except for public mourning holidays

Location: Click Here

Golestan Palace, Iran

Golestan Palace, the only UNESCO Heritage Site in Tehran

Saadabad Palace

Saadabad Palace is a cultural and historical complex located in Shemiran, at the northernmost part of Tehran. Its lavish garden, covering an area of 110 hectares, embraces 18 palaces and galleries dating back to Qajar (19th century) and Pahlavi periods.  The area was used as a summer palace for the Qajar royal family at first and later, as the summer residence of Pahlavi dynasty. It turned into the museum after the revolution in 1972. The Green Palace- the first palace built during Pahlavi period, the White Palace or Mellat Museum that is the largest mansion, the Black Palace (or Fine Arts Museum), the Military Museum, and the Dafine Museum (or Museum of Treasure) are just some of the remarkable palaces and museums for tours to Tehran. There is much more to see in the complex! After your visit, you can make your way to Tajrish Bazaar for shopping or to Darband for relaxing, drinking tea or eating traditional food in the cafes or restaurants settled along the river.

Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 18:45 p.m. except public mourning holidays (Last entry: 17:00)

Location: Click Here

Niavaran Palace

Niavaran Palace is a historical complex located in a landscaped garden in the north of Tehran. The complex traces its origin to the Qajar dynasty. It was used as the summer residence by the Qajar monarchs. The pavilions were added to the complex during the reign of different Qajar kings. Today, Niavaran Palace consists of five museums including Niavaran Palace (the primary residence of the last royal family), the private library containing about 23000 books, Ahmad Shahi Pavilion (built during the late Qajar era), Sahebqaraniyeh Palace, and Jahan Nama Museum. Some copies of inscriptions from ancient times of Persia are exhibited in the garden as well.

Opening hours:

Spring and summer: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. except public mourning holidays

Fall and winter: Every day from 8:00 a.m. to 16:00 p.m. except public mourning holidays

Location: Click Here

Top 10 Historical Garden Museums in Tehran

Ahmad Shahi Pavilion in Niavaran Palace in Tehran

Moghadam Museum

Moghadam Museum is one of the most precious museums in Tehran. The house dates back to the Qajar period. Mohsen Moghadam- one of the Iranian pioneers of archeology who inherited the house from his father- and his French wife dedicated life to collecting valuable historical objects from around the world. They bequeathed the family house with all its treasure to Tehran University.

Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 17 p.m. except Saturdays and public mourning holidays

Location: Click Here

Moghadam-museum-Tehran

Moghadam museum, a priceless house in Tehran

Ferdows Garden

Baq-e Ferdows (literally the paradise) is a historical complex, covering 20 thousand square meters, in Tajrish in the north part of Tehran. It was called Ferdows since the beauty of its garden, pools, and fountains, as well as the splendid decorations of the mansion,  replicated the beauty of heaven on earth.  The complex was founded during the reign of Mohammad Shah Qajar (1808-1848). It was also used to be called Mohammadieh at that time. After the king’s death, the complex underwent alterations over the years. The two-floor mansion (the oldest part was completely destroyed) in the middle of the complex is applied as the Cinema Museum of Iran from 2002. It is decorated with patterned pillars and moldings. The museum exhibits photos, posters, and equipment of Iran’s movie industry. In fact, it presents and safeguards Iran’s cinema heritage. It is usually the host of different cultural events such as theater shows. The garden embraces two movie theaters, two cafeterias, and gift shops. Ferdows garden is close to the museums of Time and Music, as well as Imamzadeh Saleh.

Opening hours:

Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. except Fridays and public mourning holidays (Last entry: 18:15)

Location: Click Here

Top 10 Historical Garden Museums in Tehran

Ferdows Garden encompassing Cinema Museum in Tehran

Negarestan Garden

This beautiful garden is located in the central part of Tehran. It was built in 1802 by the order of Fath Ali Shah- the second Qajar king- as a summer residence. The halls are ornamented with mirrors. Since the mansion was decorated by the most prominent painters’ works, it was named Negarestan, literally meaning a place encompassing many pictures. The museum in the garden exhibits the paintings of Kamal-ol Molk (1847-1940) – the leading Iranian artist- and a number of his students. Negarestan garden was turned into the school of fine arts by Kamal-ol Molk in 1911. In 1934, some parts of this historical garden were used by Tehran University to hold educational courses. Today, the garden has been changed into the museum of Tehran University’s history and glory. An open-air café in the garden offers the visitors refreshing drinks and a traditional menu in a pleasant environment. It takes only five minutes to walk from the Baharestan metro station to this beautiful garden. It is also very close to several museums and tourist sites such as the National Jewelry Museum, National Museum of Iran, cafes, and restaurants.

Opening hours:

Museums: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. except Mondays and public mourning holidays

Garden: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 22:00 p.m. except for public mourning holidays

Restaurant: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 22:00 p.m. except for public mourning holidays

Location: Click Here

Negarestan-Garden

Negarestan Garden Museum, Tehran

Masoudieh Palace

The five-hectare Masoudieh Palace (Emarat-e Masoudieh) is one of the most beautiful historic houses in the center of Tehran dating back to the Qajar period. Its beautiful Iranian-European architecture made this place a popular attraction for the residents as well as the tourists and travelers who wish to experience the Tehran city tour. The Divankhaneh palace is decorated with stucco, colored glasses, ceramics, gridded doors and windows, symmetrical floral patterns and geometrical motifs, calligraphy, and murals. The palace was built in 1878 by order of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar for his son Masoud Mirza- the governor of Isfahan. Over time, it was used for different cultural, historical, and political purposes: the main gathering center for the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911), the first official library (1926), the national museum of Iran, and Ministry of Education (1967). There are two mansions, a restaurant, and an entrance hall in the complex. The restaurant, with a traditional design, serves traditional food and drinks in a cozy environment. Some cultural classes and galleries are held in this historical mansion on different occasions throughout the year.

Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 16:00 p.m. except on public holidays

Location: Click Here

Masoudieh Palace- Iranian garden museums

The five-hectare Masoudieh Palace (Emarat-e Masoudieh) is one of the most beautiful historic houses in the center of Tehran

Time Museum

Time Museum was inaugurated in 1999. The two-story mansion, dating back to the Qajar era, is a mixture of architecture, amazing plaster works, and tile works. Outdoors, the visitors can see some models of old sundials, clepsydras, hourglasses, and the like some going back to 5000 years ago. The first floor exhibits the evolution of clocks from the seventeenth century to the present. Different kinds of clocks- pendulum, wall, floor, mantel and tabletop, bracket, cuckoo, chime shut off, musical, atomic, etc. – ornamented with sculpture, enamel, and mosaic have been presented by other countries to Iran. The first Iranian-made clock is kept here too. The second floor displays the prominent political, historical, and scientific characters’ watches, as well as other kinds of clocks such as marine, and military clocks. The evolution of time measurement tools, mechanical clocks and watches, and some fossils from different geological periods are exhibited on this floor as well. The walls of the museum show the documents on the Iranian calendar. There is a café in the garden where you can relax and refresh. Its breakfast is popular among visitors. It is close to a number of attractions such as Saadabad palace, Niavaran palace, Tajrish traditional bazaar, and Cinema museum in Ferdows garden.

Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 to 18:30 from Saturdays to Wednesdays and from 10:00 to 18:30 on Thursdays and Fridays except national holidays

Location: Click Here

Time museum Iran

The two-story mansion known as Time Museum in Tehran, Iran

Iranian Art Museum Garden

Though the Museum Garden of Iranian Arts (or Bagh-e Honar-e Irani) is not a historical site, it contains replicas of twelve Iranian historical buildings and monuments in miniature size. The small models of prominent tourist sites, made by Italian artists in the Pahlavi period, such as Tehran’s Azadi Tower, Zanjan’s Soltaniyeh Dome, Kashan’s Fin Garden, Shiraz’s Naqsh-e Rustam, Urmia’s St. Thaddeus Monastery, and Isfahan’s Chehel Sotoun are scattered in the beautiful garden surrounded by handicraft shops, a bookstore, a restaurant, and a cafe. Here’s a nice spot for walking, shopping, eating, relaxing, and mingling with locals. Moreover, art exhibitions and workshops are sometimes held here. The garden and its mansion were built in 1932 but opened as a museum in 2008. It covers the nearly one-hectare area in Elahieh near Tajrish square in the north part of Tehran.

Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 21:30 p.m. except for public mourning holidays

Location: Click Here

Tehran’s Persian Garden

Persian or Iranian Garden (or Baq-e Irani) is located in an old neighborhood known as Vanak Village (Deh Vanak) in northwest Tehran. Though it is not that much big, you can spend some peaceful moments there in the chaotic city of Tehran. It is also very convenient. This beautiful garden follows the amazing pattern of Persian Gardens’ architecture and design in ancient Persia. The brooks are flowing around and the tiny fountains are scattered along the way in the garden. Due to the beautiful tulips, the garden is scenic, especially in the springs. The building in garden was built in the traditional Persian style. It is decorated with colorful latticed windows.

Location: Click Here

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Iran Bazaars Tehran

Best Iran Bazaars: from Tehran bazaar to Tabriz bazaar

Iran bazaars are among the astonishing tourist attractions that will amaze tourists and travelers with their various colors, flavors, and fragrances. There are many attractive subjects for photography and more important than photos, it is a place to keep in touch with people from different social and economic classes all wandering in bazaars to exchange goods and greetings, to do business, to pray, and simply to have some tea.

The traditional Iranian bazaar is a roofed complex of shops, passageways, caravanserais, bathhouses, and squares. It is not limited to business and commercial acts, it is a place for relationships. It is a place that provides the opportunity for individuals to discuss and exchange opinions. In fact, bazaars are for commercial, social, cultural, religious, and political activities. For Iranians, the bazaar looks like Piazaa for the Europeans and Hiroba for the Japanese. Not only does Iran embrace traditional bazaars as roofed complexes of shops and passageways, but also it embraces great malls and modern bazaars as the more entertaining parts of the major Iranian cities. Bazaar is the heart of Iranian cities leading to urban growth and it has provided a strong social and physical network constructed through the ages.

Best Iran Bazaars to witness Persian art, architecture, history, and culture

The astonishing Iran Bazaars

The word ‘bazaar’ has a very long history and its use in Iranian towns and cities may date back to 300 B.C. (Kermani & Luiten, 2009). The origin of term bazaar refers to the ancient Persian word Wazar. It is defined as a place for trade with two rows of shops connected to each other by a vaulted roof. Bazaar is also one of the most prominent socio-spatial systems of Iranian cities. Bazaar is one of the main factors of spatial organization in Iran and it is impossible to define the main body of the city, especially in traditional cities without it.

The structure of traditional cities in Iran is based on its bazaars’ economic and political factors. In Iran, the traditional bazaars usually have a linear form, and other spaces and buildings such as mosques, and bathrooms are organized along this linear form.  Many cities grew around bazaars and the bazaars were always surrounded by mosques, bathhouses, tea houses and etc. The role of bazaars in the structure of Islamic cities is so important that some believe that bazaars are the main core of Islamic cities; however, some others believe that the main core refers to the Jameh mosque at the city center.

As it was mentioned, Iran bazaars are not just a place for commerce. The traders and merchants had the economic power to support social, political, and religious movements, therefore, they were among the most influential group of people in the traditional urban society. That is why bazaars were also places to make and support social, political, and religious movements, and Bazaariha-a merchant and trader- have ever been a vital part of the movements and protests in Iran.

Best Iran Bazaars to witness Persian art, architecture, history, and culture

Find rugs, carpets, jewelry, spice, and copper in Iran’s Bazaars

Fantastic architecture, great construction, long history, and amazing people are all combined together to create a mesmerizing atmosphere in the bazaars of Iran. Each city has its own bazaar; however, some of the bazaars are well known either for their perfect architecture or their strategic location.

To have such a perfect experience and to purchase priceless handicrafts as souvenirs, travel to Iran and visit the best bazaars in Iran.

Tehran Grand Bazaar

Tehran Grand Bazaar has roots in Safavid, Zandiyeh, and Qajar periods; however, the major parts of the Tehran Bazaar were constructed in the Qajar period. The intertwined labyrinthine of Tehran Bazaar as one of the most beautiful parts of Tehran is an amazing tourist attraction where one will find everything such as colorful carpets, priceless jewelry, aromatic herbs, delicious food, and delicious nuts and shells. That is the place one would find people from all walks of life.

Iran Bazaars

Tehran Grand Bazaar is one of the fundamental business hubs of Iran

Tehran Grand Bazaar is one of the fundamental business hubs of Iran and it has an amazing economic structure. It is divided into many parts each of which is dedicated to a special business. There are many serays (alleys,), caravanserais, hojrehs (shops), and so forth. It has also had a historic role in political, cultural, and social changes. The Iranian constitutional revolution is one of the most important historic events in which bazaaris had an important role. Tehran Grand Bazaar has elaborate architecture and structure as well. The shops at rows are connected to each other by the arched roof and there are different alleys for each of the businesses. It also encompasses other traditional buildings such as coffee houses, zorkhaneh, bathhouses, mosques, and so forth. One could visit the old and historical restaurants and coffee houses in bazaar and enjoy having some delicious Persian food there. Tehran Grand Bazaar is close to Golestan Palace as well. Then, you will have the chance to visit one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and listen to the history of Tehran.

Tajrish Bazaar

Tajrish Bazaar located north of Tehran is also one of the colorful bazaars of Iran. It is less chaotic than Tehran Bazaar and it is close to some other tourist attractions such as Imamzadeh Saleh as one of the holy shrines in Tehran, Darband, and Darakeh the northern mountains of Tehran, Niavaran Palace, and Saadabad Palace as the fantastic remains of Pahlavid era in Tehran. It is a tourist-friendly spot for shopping, relaxing, drinking tea, and enjoying the view of the mountains. Tajrish Bazaar has a central square that sells fresh fruits and vegetables, Persian sweets, and many aromatic herbs. It has many passageways reaching different shops where one can buy sweets and savories, dairy, nuts, dried fruits, clothes, and so forth. If one has the chance to be in Iran before Nowruz, Tajrish Bazaar would be a perfect place to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the New Year.

Tajrish Bazaar, Tehran

The vivid atmosphere of Tajrish Bazaar, Tehran

Tabriz Bazaar

Tabriz Bazaar is the oldest bazaar in Iran and one of the oldest ones in the Middle East.  As a historic bazaar constructed and decorated with many arcades, red bricks, and stucco, it is registered as a priceless UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been a place for commercial and cultural exchange since antiquity. Located on the Silk Road as one of the most fundamental east-west trade routes, Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex embraces a series of covered brick structures and enclosed spaces each dedicated to a different function.

Tabriz and its historic bazaar were famous when the city was the capital of the Safavid dynasty, later it lost its fame, but it remained as a commercial hub for centuries. It is one of the best traditional bazaars well known both as a place for commerce and a place for social gatherings, religious practices, and political movements. It is true to say Tabriz Historic Bazaar is one of the most important commercial, social, cultural, and architectural complexes among bazaars, and over centuries, it is a place for people from different cultures to gather together in a unique environment.  As a fantastic example of a multi-functional complex, architectural structures are shaped by commercial activities.

Tabriz Bazaar, Iran

The Great Carpet Bazaar in Tabriz, Iran

In 2010, UNESCO declared Tabriz Bazaar a World Heritage Site playing the role of a commercial hub located along the ancient Silk Road. Centuries before, great travelers such as Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta praised Tabriz Bazaar in their travelogues describing it as one of the most beautiful bazaars in the world. Tabriz Bazaar is located in the center of the city and it consists of several sub bazaars each dedicated to selling some specific goods such as Persian rugs, carpets, jewelry, spice, and copper. However, Amir Bazaar for gold and jewelry, and Mozzafarieh for carpet are among the well-known sub-Bazaars. Tabriz Bazaars has an important role in political changes too. The Iranian Constitution Revolution in the last century and Islamic Revolution are the most important ones.

Vakil Bazaar

Vakil Bazaar (Bazaar-e-Vakil) located in Shiraz, the city of love and poetry, is one of the most beautiful bazaars in Iran. It was constructed about 200 years ago by the order of Karim Khan the king of the Zand period.

Vakil Bazaar is located in the center of the traditional part of Shiraz and it enjoys vaulted brick avenues known as the masterpiece of Zand Architecture. It was designed so elaborately that the interior part remains cool during hot summer days and warm during long-lasting winters. The vaulted brick ceiling keeps it cool or warm in different seasons by regulating the temperature.

Vakil Bazaar, Shiraz

The great architecture of Vakil Bazaar, Shiraz

Vakil Bazaar is an amazing place to wander around for hours and enjoy purchasing lots of souvenirs varying from colorful carpets and clothes to gorgeous handicrafts and diverse spices. Vakil Bazaar is one of the main attractions of Shiraz and it is a great part of the Zandieyeh Complex that also includes the Vakil Bathhouse, Vakil Mosque, and arg of Karim Khan. To experience some sweet moments there, one should drink a cold glass of Khakishir a popular detoxing seed-based drink, or have a full bowl of Faloodeh a delicious combination of rice noodles, iced rose water, and sugar. Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Zinat-ol-Moluk House, and Shahe-Cheragh are also attractions close to Vakil Bazaar.

 The Grand Bazaar of Isfahan

The Grand Bazaar is also known as the Qeysarrieh Bazaar is one of the historical bazaars of Iran located in Isfahan. Being adjacent to Naghshe Jahan Square as a UNESCO world heritage site and also as a reminder of the glory of the Safavid era, it is a must-see attraction in Isfahan.  The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and longest roofed bazaars in Iran as well as the Middle East linking the old region of the city to its new one. The architecture of the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan enchants visitors with its elaborate details, vaulted roofs, and beautiful alleys. One needs to stroll around to enjoy it all and to find out priceless handicrafts such as carpets, kilims, Minakari, and Qalamzani.  The bazaar has many alleys and lanes. Each of the lanes is an entrance to many shops selling particular goods such as carpets, kilims, gold, silver, spices, herbs, handicrafts, etc. That is a great experience to walk along vaulted pathways, enjoy the scents and colors, watch and chat with people, and buy some souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan.

Qeysarrieh Bazaar, Isfahan

The Grand Bazaar is also known as the Qeysarrieh Bazaar is one of the historical bazaars of Iran located in Isfahan

Bazaars of Yazd

The five-thousand-year-old city of Yazd is one of the greatest adobe cities in the world. Yazd has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a priceless adobe city embracing many pre-Islamic and Islamic attractions.  The bazaars of Yazd are among the most astonishing attractions one should never miss. The old bazaars of Yazd with their outstanding Islamic architecture, gorgeous wind catchers, and minarets are among the astonishing attractions one should not miss. The bazaars of Yazd as both historical attractions and business hubs and they include mosques, caravanserais, schools, and water reservoirs.

The bazaars of Yazd

The bazaars of Yazd as both historical attractions and business hubs

Bazaars are the right place to enjoy and buy traditional handicrafts and souvenirs such as handmade jewelry, painted tiles, termeh, silk and wool handwoven fabric, pottery, carpets, and rugs. Darvazeh Mehriz Bazaar, Tabrizian Bazaar, Zargari Bazaar, Mesgari Bazaar, Panjeh Ali Bazaar, Haji Qanbar Bazaar, Qeisariyeh, and Bazaar-e-Khan are among the most significant bazaars of Yazd. Haji Qanbar Bazaar included in the Amir Chakhmaq complex is the oldest Bazaar of Yazd, and Qeisariyeh located between Khan Square and Khan School is the most beautiful bazaar of Yazd. Qeisariyeh is among the most famous bazaars in Iran and it is protected by two exquisite wooden gates.

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