The odd thing about Semnan is its diverse accents! Being immerses with pomegranate, fig and mulberry trees while wandering around the city is an enjoyable experience you can have in Semnan.
Darzaveh Arg (Arg Gate) and Qale Bala are two of the must-visit sites in Semnan. In case you have time, Tasayon House, Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, Hazrat Bath, and Semnan Bazaar are other sites to visit. Mehdishahr is also a nearby city which is worth a visit.
While visiting there, do not miss trying the delicious Sabzi Polo that is their main local food.
The dry and moderate climate brings warm summers and harsh winters in Semnan. As a result, Autumn and Spring are better seasons to visit there.
Here we are focusing on Iran tourism places of Semnan city(Iran destinations). And also we are going to learn about other attractions in the province that has the same name 🙂
Semnan Grand Mosque is the oldest and most important historical and Islamic mosque in the city. This work belongs to the third century AH. But it has spread in the Seljuk, Ilkhanid, and Timurid periods. According to studies, they built the original mosque on the ruins of a fire temple.
The mosque is built in the style of Azeri architecture. Thus, it has a courtyard, a large porch, and three naves on the north, south, and east side of the large porch. Moreover, this mosque has the oldest minaret that can move.
In 1868, with the visit of Nasser al-Din Shah to this place, he ordered the construction of the northern gate. This gate is the only remnant of the magnificent citadel of Semnan. The gate has two views, south and north. Anyhow, the northern view is more attractive. The charm of the northern view is due to the beautiful patterns and drawings, colored tiles depicting the battle of Rostam, and the white demon.
This building is located in Arg Square at the intersection of Taleghani and Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri streets.
Semnan Bazaar and Sheikh Ala Al-Dawlah Bazaar belong to the Qajar period. You can find this bazaar on Imam Street. This traditional bazaar is designed in the style of ancient Iranian architecture with brick roofs. You can see the architecture of desert buildings obviously.
The market is divided into north and south parts. In the northern bazaar, there are three old baths, 5 mosques, 4 caravanserais, and 254 shops.
The historical monument of the bazaar belongs to the seventh and eighth centuries AH. However, unfortunately, we lost a large part of it due to the construction of Imam Street.
If you are interested in Iranian Islamic art, civilization, and architecture, you will fall in love with this four-Iwan mosque. They built Soltani Mosque during the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar.
This mosque has four entrances. The northern and eastern entrances are more attractive due to the beautiful Muqarnas. On the north door, there is an old azure inscription with the names of the architect, tile maker, and so on. Upon entering the mosque, you can see a shallow pool and the chambers of the scholars around it. The beautiful tiling and stucco adorned with verses from the Qur’an dazzle your eyes.
Taheri’s House is a historical building with the style of Qajar and early Pahlavi houses. You can perfectly see the desert architecture in this building. This building is located in the Esfanjan neighborhood, southwest of Semnan city.
Clay, wood, and mortar are the materials of this house. It has different sections such as water storage, kitchen, porch, maid’s room, basement, two courtyards, winter room, summer room, and windcatchers.
Torabi House is one of the valuable houses in the historical context of the city, in the Kohan-Dezh neighborhood. This building dates back to the Qajar period. Torabi House consists of two parts, north and south. They built these parts on two sides of the central courtyard. The southern part of this building follows the architectural style of the Safavid period. And the northern part belongs to the Pahlavi period.
One of the unique features of the Torabi House is the existence of Sabat which probably dates back to the Safavid period. Sabat is a unique architectural feature of desert regions. One of the functions of Sabat is to create shade from the burning sun. And the air inside the Sabat is cooler than the outside. However, in winter, this structure has a warmer atmosphere than the outside.
You can find this Shrine on Shahid Rajaei Street. It belongs to the Safavid-Qajar period. This holy shrine has a dome, a porch, and two large halls. The tomb is decorated with marble and its beautiful shrine was designed and built by Isfahani artists.
Kalantar House belongs to the Qajar period. It belonged to the sheriff of the time. That’s why they call it so. However, now it serves the public as a restaurant. They also call this traditional house Badgire (windcatcher) Mansion or Rajabi House. Badgir Mansion has seventeen rooms, an old bath, water storage, and a pool house.
Upon entering the courtyard, the hexagonal pond, small ornate gardens, beautiful brick walls, stained glass windows, and traditional tables give a special look to the central courtyard that attracts you.
Sheikh Ala Al-Dawlah Bazaar, also known as the Bazaar of the Dead, is one of the sights of Semnan. This bazaar starts from the southeast of Imam Street and continues to the old Alamdar Cemetery, on the west side of Imam Square. This bazaar belongs to the Patriarchal period. And a person with the same name built it. Although they repaired the bazaar during the Qajar period, over time, it lost its popularity.
This monument has been on Iran’s National Heritage List since July 1, 1996.
Naghsh-e Jahan Serai is one of the structures in the renovated fortress. This caravanserai dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah Qajar’s son. He was the ruler of Semnan during the reign of the Qajar dynasty. In 2004, they turned this building into Naghsh-e Jahan Serai which is a traditional bazaar. This complex currently has 60 shops and three traditional restaurants (indoor and outdoor).
Not a historical place but let’s discuss this one here. Sookan Park is the largest forest park in Semnan. You can find it on Semnan-Damghan road, in front of Semnan University. Due to its convenient location in the city, this park welcomes travelers from Mashhad who cross the Semnan road.
There is a zoo, a bird garden, a prayer hall, facilities for setting up tents, a toilet, a parking lot, a CNG station, and a cafeteria.
The Museum of Wildlife and Natural History of Semnan is one of the most interesting places in the city. That is so if you enjoy learning about natural history. The first part of the museum collection is dedicated to natural history. So it includes prominent and valuable specimens of siliceous remains of plants and animals of previous periods of the earth. These items are in the form of fossils.
The second part of the museum is all about biodiversity. Therefore it includes the body parts of five categories of vertebrates in the province. These items are in different forms such as skin, horns, skeleton, skull, and taxidermy.
If you are fond of historical coins, old stamps, and various exchange tools, Koumesh Coin Museum can be very attractive and entertaining for you.
This museum is one of the sights of Semnan and is the only specialized museum in this city. The museum collection includes pieces such as stamps and commodity exchange instruments.
Amir Mansion is another historical house in Semnan city, on Bagh Ferdows street. This building belongs to the Qajar period, as well. This mansion was located next to the great garden of Amir Azam (one of the most famous rulers of the time). That’s why they called the mansion and garden, Amir. You can see Safavid architectural principles in the construction of this building which has an area of about 3,000 square meters. The mansion consists of two gardens and a residential house that has public, private, and semi-private spaces.
Today this garden mansion is a National Heritage and is currently an anthropological museum.
The Hazrat or Pahneh Hammam belongs to the Safavid and Qajar periods. You can find it next to the Grand Mosque, Imam Mosque, and Semnan Bazaar. This bath is one of the buildings of the ninth century AH. This Hammam has been on Iran’s National Heritage List since December 20, 1974. In 1995, after the renovation, this building became a local anthropological museum that hosts many tourists annually.
On the 28 km north of Semnan, there is a small town with a wonderful climate and nature. They call it the lost paradise in the desert. This town is 3000 years old. Furthermore, it was known as the most prosperous city of Tabarestan.
Shahmirzad has many walnut trees. By walking along the tree-lined path, not only can you enjoy the view of the beauty, but also you can choose from a variety of pickles and desserts to taste.
A large walnut tree dating back to the 13th century has spread its roots in the ground of this town. The locals call it Kaman-e Rostam. Walking in the alleys of the gardens with the sound of birds and the flow of water is enjoyable. In addition, the historical castle, Shir Qaleh, is located 5 km northeast of Shahmirzad. This fort was built to protect the fork of the Silk Road.
30 kilometers to the northeast of Semnan, in the Kalateh Saroo neighborhood, there are the Saroo Castles. The castles date back to the Pishdadian and Kiyanid periods. These castles were impregnable due to the difficult access route and the dangerous precipices.
During the rule of the Parthians and the generals of Tabarestan, these forts were among the most important bases. Also, for more than two centuries, Saroo castles have been one of the important centers of the Ismailian.
Lasjerd Caravanserai is a remnant of the reign of Shah Abbas I, during the Safavid era. So the architecture of this caravanserai belongs to the Safavid period, a coherent concept, and the maximum use of the least space.
The caravanserai has a rectangular shape, made of materials such as stone, gypsum mortar, brick, and so on. The yard is 36 meters long and 31.5 meters wide.
The caravanserai has two porches with a large courtyard with 24 rooms around it. You can find the two beautiful porches of the caravanserai on the east and west sides of the building.
Mirak Delazian hills, also known as the ancient sites of Mirk and Delazian, are located 10 km southeast of Semnan. This complex consists of eight hills, several hundred meters of distance from each other. Based on the explorations, the antiquity of this region is related to the new Paleolithic and post-Paleolithic periods. This unique ancient site is on Iran’s National Heritage List since October 1, 2001.
Sheikh Ala Al-Dowleh Semnani Monastery dates back to the Patriarchal period. It is one of the sights of Semnan in the Sufi Abad village. The tomb and monastery of this famous mystic are relics of the architecture of the late seventh and early eighth centuries AH. The detailed structure of the tomb consists of two parts. The main part of the building has a square shape. In fact, in the past, there was a huge dome on this part. But now only a southwest corner of the mausoleum is remaining. The second part is the high Iwan of the tomb, which faces east.
Zavaghan Mosque is one of the historical and old buildings left from the Patriarchal period. You can find it in the Zavaghan neighborhood, between local farms and gardens. The materials used in the mosque include brick, plaster, stone, and raw clay. Unfortunately, now, only the tall arch of the Iwan and the brick decorations with small and large nested squares is left of this unique structure. It has been on Iran’s National Heritage List since June 16, 2002.
A little further from Garmsar city, there is an old stone path called Sangfarsh (paved) road. This path was once a passage for caravans and passed through Isfahan, Kashan, and Garmsar. In the middle of this route, there is a caravanserai that, after many years, still attracts many enthusiasts.
After the restoration, hosts tourists so that they could also experience the pleasure of spending the night in the desert. This caravanserai belongs to the Sassanid period. They say Shah Bahram Sassanid or Bahram Gour built this serai. And later on, Shah Abbas Safavid rebuilt it.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai Complex in Miandasht city is the largest caravanserai complex in Iran. This complex includes three Serais; One belongs to the Safavid period and the other two caravanserais date back to the Qajar period.
It has a central courtyard that is octagonal. And the buildings inside it are made of bricks.
You can find Ahovan stone caravanserai in the cold region of Ahovan, 42 km east of Semnan. The building of this caravanserai is made of stone and mortar. And it dates back to the fifth century AH. According to the evidence, this caravanserai has been very important in the past. At present, only the surrounding walls and part of the large entrance corridor are left of it. The central courtyard of the caravanserai is rectangular and has 26 rooms.
The salt mine in Garmsar city in Semnan province is a unique beauty with special features. This mine is located in a detour on the Qom-Garmsar road. The mine is surrounded by shallow pools of water due to rain. The green color pools next to the white color salt walls create such an outstanding view.
A bit further away, you can see a large number of fabulous colorful salt domes that have formed around the mine. When you go inside the mine, the space is a little dark, so be sure to use a flashlight. The interior consists of nested tunnels with very high salt columns and ceilings.
35 km northwest of Shahroud and in the city of Mojen, there is a less-known and beautiful waterfall, Mojen Waterfall. A waterfall with a height of 12 meters, in the heart of two huge rocks. This waterfall originates from the springs at the top of Mojen valley and consists of several small and large waterfalls.
Some of these waterfalls are completely located in the heart of the mountain. So to get to them you will need special mountaineering and rock climbing equipment. But the main part of Mojen waterfall is the first of them that you can access by walking in the middle of the valley and crossing the river and enjoying its beauty.
Shahroud Cloud Forest is one of the most famous and beautiful natural attractions in Iran. In fact, it has become very famous for the ocean of clouds that surrounds it at different times of the year. Shahroud Cloud Forest is one of the oldest Hyrcanian forests and has rare and unique species of plants and animals. Above all, its amazing scenery attracts many tourists and nature lovers every year.
It’s an area of 35,000 hectares, which is a continuation of the lush forests of the north of the country. Its fame is for the cloudy ocean that surrounds it. This is where the earth and the sky meet; The clouds embrace the trees and sometimes the earth seems to be riding on the wings of the sky.
Opert Ridge is a region with spectacular scenery and scenic nature that can be counted on for holidays and leisure. It is especially a good choice in the warm seasons. This ridge is located on the border of Mazandaran and Semnan provinces. Additionally, it connects the southernmost point of Mazandaran province to the northernmost point of Semnan province.
Opert is the confluence of mountains and forests, which amaze every tourist with its pleasant climate, lush and pristine nature, and its springs and plains. Due to the high altitude of the Opert, the rain clouds coming from the green province of Mazandaran usually stop on the northern slope. Then they pour. That explains the green and lush northern side of the ridge. But the southern side, which receives no rain, is usually yellow and dry.
Qaleh Bala is a stepped village, 140 km south of Shahroud city, near Khartouran National Park. Khartouran National Park is known as Africa in Iran. That’s why people call this village “The Gate to Africa”. Seeing this village may remind you of the beautiful Masouleh. The difference is one lies in the heart of the desert and the other in a green area.
This is an attractive area for tourists and photographers; In the northeast of the village, there are sand dunes and in the southwest, there are salt fields. And somehow, each of them has provided favorable conditions for the growth of certain plants.
Many people travel to desert areas but Rig-e Jenn Desert is different from all. Please remember if you are going to visit this place you should be a professional nature lover. And ask for an expert guide.
Anyhow, Rig-e Jenn Desert is one of the mysterious regions of Iran. And it has its special excitement along with its mystery. Although you need to be careful with this one, it provides you with the beauties of desert areas such as hills and sand dunes and the starry night sky.
You can find Parvar Protected Area of Semnan province in Mahdishahr city. This area includes a large part of the Aras and Hyrcanian forests. This region has a permanent river that originates from the summit of Nizwa. Parvar Protected Area has three climatic zones: forest, mountainous, and semi-desert. You will face villages, a variety of animal species, and historical monuments, as well.