Isfahan Travel Guide

Having various natural landscapes and archaeological sites, Isfahan (Iran destinations)proves to be more challenging to be put into words. From the fabled mosques, hundred-meters-wide bridges, and magnificent squares to the narrow hallowed alleys dead-ended, Isfahan easily excels ordinary catchy titles and short bios!

The rise of the Safavid Empire in Persia was an epic turning point for Isfahan to be turned into one of the most prominent cities in Iran. Having wise rulers like Shah Tahmasb and Shah Abbas, waves of cultural and religious reforms brought about thousands of peasants migrating to the town and the expansion of the city.



What to Do in Isfahan?

Isfahan offers the cultural enthusiast a huge range of activities; countless archaeological sites, mesmerizing gardens, and artistic bridges are a few to mention.

You may have heard the proverb “Isfahan Nesf-e Jahan” meaning that “Isfahan is half of the world” alluding to the mud-brick architectural sensations, like Si-o-Se Pol,Aali Qapu Palace,Shah Mosque, Naqsh-e Jahan Square, and so forth. The beauties and wonders keep floating in the city and among people; hospitable locals, saffron-rich dishes, and the pleasant weather are some to mention.

The harmonic combination of modernity and tradition can be observed through the lens of each and every visitor. People have implemented technological devices to ease the routine life, yet preserved their culture and traditions in their lives as well.

When is the Best Time to Visit Isfahan?

If you are a nature seeker and do not want to miss the beauties and wonders of nature, March to June are preferred months to make an elaborate visit to Isfahan, otherwise, you can have easy access to other parts during each month of the year.

So, it may be the time to pack your bags and buy your tickets to Isfahan since strolling around the city takes you back to the times when half the world was engulfed by margins of a small town.

Sister Cities

IsfahanChina, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province

Malaysia Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur

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Italy Italy, Florence, Florence Province

Romania Romania, Iași, Iași County

Spain Spain, Barcelona, Barcelona Province

Armenia Armenia, Yerevan, Yerevan

Kuwait Kuwait,  Kuwait City Al Asimah Governorate

Isfahan Cuba, Havana, La Habana Province

Pakistan Pakistan, Lahore, Punjab Province

Russia Russia, Saint Petersburg, Northwestern Federal District

Senegal Senegal, Senegal Dakar, Dakar Region

Lebanon Lebanon, Lebanon Baalbek Baalbek-Hermel Governorate

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Naqsh-e Jahan Square – A Gem in Isfahan


Varzaneh Oasis Historical Tour

Places to Eat

Shad Beryani - Isfahan-Beryan - TAPPersia


Best Hotels in Isfahan


Naqsh-e Jahan Square – A Gem in Isfahan

Isfahan Hotels:


In Persian, we say: “Isfahan, Nesf-e Jahan” meaning Isfahan is half of the world. Meaning the one who has seen Isfahan has seen half of the world. 😀 Isfahan is one of the most popular touristic cities not only among the locals but among foreigners.

By traveling to Isfahan, you can have a memorable trip to one of the most important periods in the history of Iran, the Safavid period. This era of Iran’s history has left us with many historical contexts and famous attractions to explore and wonder about.
In fact, a trip to Isfahan would be a trip to the capital of Iranian handicrafts, as well(Isfahan things to do).

So let’s see the top Iran tourist attractions in this stunning city, together.

Historical Attractions to Visit in Isfahan

1. Naghsh-e Jahan Square

Isfahan’s most famous tourist attraction is Naghsh-e Jahan Square which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This place is a dream of many tourists. In this square, you can visit unique attractions such as Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque, Isfahan Bazaar, and Aali Qapo Palace. You can sit in the open space of the square and enjoy the atmosphere, as well.


2. Chehel Sotoun Palace

Chehel Sotoun Palace and Garden is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that was used by the Safavid kings. During the Safavid period, Chehel Sotoun was their base to look after the affairs of the country and to meet with people and foreign representatives. The palace is also famous for its wonderful paintings, drawings, and mirrors.

3. Hasht Behesht Palace

Hasht-Behesht-PalaceHasht Behesht Palace is the only remaining Safavid palace among the palaces and mansions of the Chaharbagh. At the time this building was known as the most beautiful palace in the world. The different and nested architecture along with its spectacular and unique decorations are considered as the charms of this masterpiece.


Khajoo Bridge4. Khajoo Bridge

Khajoo Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in Isfahan on Zayandeh Rud River. It is one of the most popular nightlife places in the city. This bridge was also one of the most beautiful bridges in the world during the Safavid period.

5. Si-O Se Pol Bridge

Si-O Se Pol Bridge is the most famous bridge in Isfahan. And it is one of the major attractions of this city. This bridge, like Khajoo Bridge, is one of the main promenades of the people of Isfahan. Also, it is one of the top night attractions of the city.

6.Isfahan Bazaar

Isfahan Historical Bazaar is one of the famous traditional and historical bazaars of Iran which is very popular among foreign and Iranian tourists. In this market, you can get to know the original culture of the people of the city, enjoy watching the art of Isfahani architects, and have an attractive purchase of all kinds of souvenirs and handicrafts of Isfahan.

Manar Jonban

7. Manar Jonban

Manar Jonban is one of the top tourist attractions in Isfahan and is very famous for its trembling minarets. This historical monument is the tomb of a mystic named “Uncle Abdullah Karladani” and attracts many tourists every year.

8.Atiq Grand Mosque

Isfahan Grand Mosque, or as it is in historical sources, Atiq and Juma Mosques, is one of the most important historical monuments in Isfahan. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well. This mosque is mentioned as the oldest historical monument of Isfahan, which dates back to the Sassanid period.

  1. Seeking details on Isfahan’s historical places entrance fees in 2023? Find them in this post!

9.Imam Ali Square

Imam Ali Square in Isfahan was the most important square in the city before Naghsh-e Jahan Square was built. indeed, they called it Atiq Square or the Old Square in the past. This square is located in the center of Isfahan and consists of four main spaces that include the main square, the front of the Grand Mosque, the underpass complex and parking lot, and the surrounding areas of the square.

Vank Church

10. Vank Church

Vank Church is one of the most well-known churches in Iran and the largest church in Isfahan. Actually, it is the most beautiful church in the city in terms of historical paintings and decorations. The special architecture of Vank Church, which is a combination of Iranian and Armenian architecture, is one of the attractions of this popular monument.

11. Vank Church

This museum is located in the Vank Church complex. In this museum, you can see a variety of manuscripts and books such as the Torah, the Bible, and an attractive collection of plasterworks and paintings, a collection of metal works such as gold and silver jewelry, and many other items belonging to different periods of the history.


12. Isfahan Music Museum

Isfahan-Music-MuseumIsfahan Music Museum is a very different attraction of this city, which is very popular among foreign tourists. Truly, it provides visitors with a unique museum tour experience. In this museum, not only can you see more than 300 Iranian musical instruments that you’ve never seen but you can enjoy live music. It is possible to buy a variety of Iranian handicrafts from its store, as well.

13. Isfahan Aquarium

Isfahan Aquarium is the first tunnel aquarium in Iran. Fortunately, you can visit this aquarium while visiting the Nazhvan complex. In this aquarium, there are a variety of aquatic animals, from seahorses and crayfish to piranhas, octopuses, stray sharks, and more.

14. Chaharbagh Street

Chaharbagh StreetChaharbagh Street in Isfahan is one of the most beautiful streets in the city and its construction dates back to the time of Shah Abbas Kabir. This street connects Si-o Se Pol bridges to the Darvazeh Dowlat Square. Above all, it is one of the most popular pedestrian attractions in Isfahan, which has its own spectacular effect in each season.


15. Takht-e-Foolad Historical Cemetery

It may be strange for you to place a cemetery among the attractions of Isfahan. But it’s good to know that Takht-e-Foolad is one of the important historical attractions of the city. Actually, this cemetery hosts the tombs of many important people throughout the history of Iran.

16. Jolfa neighborhood

Jolfa neighborhood has a happy atmosphere and is very famous and popular for its wonderful cafes and pubs. Anyway, if you have extra time during your trip to Isfahan, be sure to visit this place and its various sights, including a variety of historic churches, old houses, and various cafes to refresh.

Natural Attractions to Visit in Isfahan

1. Flower Garden

Flower GardenIsfahan Flower Garden is one of the natural attractions of the city. It has a very good atmosphere for sightseeing. In this garden, you can learn about many flowers and plants and enjoy its beautifully designed landscape.

2. Bird Garden

Isfahan Bird Garden is located in Nazhvan Forest Park. There are more than 130 species of birds in this garden. The bird garden has different sections such as ponds, glass cages, rocks, and green and wooded spaces where you can both enjoy the green space of the garden and get to know different types of birds.

3. Sofeh Mountain

Sofeh Mountain in Isfahan, also known as the roof of Isfahan, is one of the most popular promenades in the city. Mount Sefeh has many recreational, natural, and historical attractions such as cable cars, bowling, Gordenebad valley, zoo, some natural springs, Shahdej castle, zip line, and suspension bridge, children and adults’ playground, etc. You can enjoy all kinds of activities such as walking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and eating delicious food.

4. Nazhvan Forest Park


Nazhvan Forest Park is another natural attraction of Isfahan. Bird Garden, Butterfly Museum Garden, Trap Sage, Isfahan Aquarium, Reptile Garden, Amusement Park, Oysters Museum, Health Road, Family Bicycles, Strollers and Trains, Growth Garden, Greenspace, amusement park, and so on are the different parts of this big forest park.


5. Fadak Garden

Fadak Cultural and Recreational Garden is one of the lesser-known attractions of Isfahan. Surprisingly, it has 47,000 trees and shrubs such as Tehran pine, mulberry, ash, Shirazi cypress, Judas tree, etc. This garden is located in the northeast of Isfahan. It has facilities such as camping, passenger accommodation, sports fields, skating rink, children’s play site, women’s garden. etc., too.


Attractions Around Isfahan

Travel to Isfahan is not limited to sightseeing in this city. There are extraordinary attractions around this city that you can visit during your trip to this region.

1. Mesr Desert

Nature Bridge - Tehran - Iran
The climate of the Mesr desert attracts many tourists who are waiting for the warm desert weather. To reach the desert and sand dunes, you have to pass through Khur village and old thatched houses. By moving past the village, you will see a soil-color area in front of you, the huge sand dunes.

2. Varzaneh Desert

Varzaneh Desert is 130 km away from Isfahan. The beauty of this desert is unique in its kind. You can experience the pleasure of desert climbing and walking on hot sands. You can find the largest desert recreation site in Iran here. There are a variety of exciting activities such as motorcycling (four-wheeled), zip line, camel riding, and desert climbing with off-road vehicles.
Moreover, this desert is located next to the beautiful and historical city of Varzaneh that you can enjoy visiting, as well.

3. Imamzadeh Agha Seyed Ali Abbas Shrine

It is approximately 170 km away from the city. Imamzadeh Agha Ali Abbas is the child of Imam Musa Kazem. This shrine is located 30 km from Natanz and 8 km from Badrud. Every year, many tourists pay a visit to this place.

4. Matin Abad Desert Camp

Matin Abad Desert Camp200 km away from Isfahan city you get to this impressive camp. Matin Abad Desert Eco Camp is one of the most famous desert camps in Iran. It is located near Badrud city in Isfahan province. In this desert camp, you can enjoy activities such as camel riding, cycling, and stargazing. Or you can watch organic farming up close and visit camel, ostrich, chicken and rooster farms, and horse breeding farms. Also, to stay in Matin Abad Ecocamp, there are special tents and thatched cottages, as well.

5. Niasar Waterfall

Niasar waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the desert region of Iran. Next to Niasar waterfall, there are other attractive sites such as Ra’is Cave and Niasar Firetemple. Niasar waterfall is a sedimentary waterfall whose beauty dazzles the eyes of every viewer.


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What does Isfahan have to offer?
Everything you expect from a city, Isfahan has it all. It has many awe-inspiring historical attractions as well as pristine natural ones.
What is Isfahan known for?
Isfahan, the half of the world is best known for its famous Naqsh-e Jahan Square, one of the UNESCO sites in Isfahan, and the Ali-qapu Palace, 40 Sotoun, and bazaars and other historical attractions around.
What kind of special food does Isfahan have?
Isfahan has almost every Iranian traditional food, but Isfahan has a famous dish named Beryani. Click here and see what it’s made of.
Where should I go in Isfahan?
Every single spot in Isfahan a place worth visiting. It has a lot to offer. But make sure to visit Naqsh-e Jahan Square and its surrounding, Jolfa neighborhood, all the bridges in Isfahan, and Nazhvan Forest Park.

What kind of transportation is better to be taken in Isfahan?
You can take every kind of transportation you like better and that would work just fine. Whether you take a bus, taxi, or get on the subway.
How many people live in Isfahan?
The population of Esfahan in 2020 is 2,132,000 people.
Should we expect to see the nightlife in Isfahan?
Definitely! You can get out at night and enjoy the empty streets and its vibrant atmosphere.

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