Destination

SHIRAZ, THE HEART OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE

Shiraz Travel Guide

The treasure trove of Iran, Shiraz is a settlement that dates back to the Achaemenid Era. It is known as the “city of poem and literacy” since it is housing well-known Persian Poets’ tombs including Hafez and Sa’adi. Shiraz is featured with its mesmerizing and serene gardens. Truth be told, Shiraz is also famous for the production and export of high-quality wine. But after Iran’s revolution and due to Islamic regulations on alcohol, producing wine is now legally banned in Shiraz.

What to Do in Shiraz?

Wandering around the streets and enjoying the smell of rose and orange blossoms is one of the must-dos in Shiraz. This city has a very friendly ad literate atmosphere. As a result, you should not miss visiting Hafez Tomb and Tomb of Sa’adi at nights when people gather there and read poems and songs.

Shiraz, The City of Love Daily Tour

 It is quite a scenery out there. Not to mention the so many astonishing gardens in Shiraz like Eram Garden, Narenjestan-e Qavam House, Delgosha Garden, Shapouri Pavilion, and Afif-Abad Garden to name but a few. It is quite a scenery out there. Not to mention the so many astonishing gardens in Shiraz like Eram Garden, Narenjestan-e Qavam House, Delgosha Garden, Shapouri Pavilion, and Afif-Abad Garden to name but a few.  Vakil Complex (including a bazaar, bathhouse, and mosque), Arge-e Karim Khan, and Shah-e Cheragh Shrine are other must-see attractions. Not to mention Pasargadae andPersepolis which are two eminent archaeological masterpieces left from the Achaemenid Era in the countryside of Shiraz.While visiting SHiraz, do not forget to buy some herbal drinks and especially orange blossoms for your tea and herbal drinks. Try the tastiest Sharbat-e Sekanjebin (a non-alcoholic drink) and delicious Faloodeh which are pretty famous in Shiraz. Kalam Polow (somehow meatball with rice) is also the local food which you should not miss. Having fabulous traditional guesthouses, hostels, and eco-lodges is a remarkable point about Shiraz. So do not miss staying at these traditional places to feel and taste like a local.

When is the Best Time to Visit Shiraz?

You should definitely visit Shiraz from March to May. The fragrant streets, wonderful gardens, and a pleasant weather are the features of Shiraz during these three months.


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Historical Attractions to Visit in ShirazKarim Khan Citadel - Shiraz - Iran

1- Zandieh Complex

Zandieh was a period in Iran’s history during which Shiraz achieved the best, most glorious buildings. They are all great symbols of Iranian architecture and art. One of the best examples of them in Shiraz is the Zandieh complex. You can find it standing out in the historical heart of this city. This complex includes Karim Khan Citadel, Kolah Farangi Mansion (Nazar Garden), Vakil Bazaar, Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bath, and Vakil Water Storage.

2- Nasir Al-Molk Mosque

Pink Mosque or Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is one of the most popular and top attractions of Shiraz. Besides, it has a great reputation among Iranian and foreign tourists. A mosque with unique and distinctive tilework and beautiful colorful windows. because of all this, they gave it the title of the second most beautiful mosque in the world.

3- Atiq Mosque

This historical mosque is the oldest mosque in Shiraz. Furthermore, it is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world. The stone inscriptions in this mosque are valuable examples of calligraphy. You can find it in the same neighborhood as the Shah Cheragh shrine.

4- Quran Gate

Quran Gate is one of the famous historical gates in Iran. It is located at the entrance of Shiraz from Isfahan and Marvdasht. The clean garden near the Quran Gate multiplies the pleasure of exploring this attraction. At night it has a very beautiful appearance due to its unique lighting.Tomb of Hafez - Shiraz Iran

5- Tomb of Hafez

The tomb of Hafez, the great poet of Iran, needs no introduction. Its fame is worldwide. The unique and spectacular architecture of this tomb and its location in the middle of an Iranian garden has multiplied its charm.

There are various poetry readings going on next to Hafez’s shrine. Reading his words is so enchanting to those interested in the Persian language and literature.

6- Tomb of Saadi

Saadi’s tomb is located in the middle of a pretty garden. Similar to Hafez, Saadi was a great Poet. This tomb has its own charm with its beautiful and spectacular architecture. And especially with the poems that beautifully decorate its walls. But it’s not all. Except these, you can visit the fish pond, Saadiyeh Qanat, coin pond, etc.

7. Shah Cheragh

Shah Cheragh - Shiraz - Iran

Shah Cheragh or the holy shrine of Imamzadeh Ahmad Ibn Musa Kazem is one of the top attractions of Shiraz. Annually it hosts many Iranian and foreign tourists, even non-Muslims.

The special and unique mirror work of this holy shrine, along with the architecture and the happy atmosphere has made this structure one of the popular attractions.

8. Saraye Moshir

Saraye Moshir or Saraye Golshan dates back to the Qajar period. You can find it on the southern end of Vakil Bazaar and its eastern corner. This house has become famous and popular among tourists due to its beautiful architecture, artistic tile work, and appealing atmosphere.

9. Kuchebagh-e Qasr Al-Dasht

Literally, Kuchebagh is the combination of two words garden and alley. And it means an alley that passes through gardens. All of them date back to the old times. Let me tell you Kuchebagh-s in Iran are more than amazing.

The experience of walking through these alleys, especially in spring touches your soul. One of the most beautiful of them is Qasr Al-Dasht Kuchebagh in Shiraz. The locals call it the Lungs of Shiraz. Because it has a different climate from other parts of the city.Iranian Kuchebagh - Top Tourism Places in Iran

10. Khan School

Khan School is a historical school, built during the Safavid period by Allah Verdi Khan. He was the ruler of Shiraz at the time. Most of the fame of this school is due to the teaching of the Iranian philosopher Mulla Sadra here. However, the architecture, decorations, and scientific importance of this school are also well-known.

During the heyday of the Khan School, it was considered the same as the top modern universities of our time. They taught a vast range of subjects such as philosophy, jurisprudence, literature, astronomy, arithmetic, geometry, geology, zoology, botany, and chemistry.

Spectacular Gardens to Visit in Shiraz

1. Eram Garden

Most probably the first garden every local will suggest you visit is the Eram Garden. This garden is among the 9 world-registered gardens of Iran on the UNESCO list. This garden captures the heart of every tourist with its heavenly atmosphere and beautiful design. It dates back to centuries ago.

The historical building inside it is also very exquisite. This building is full of lovely mirrorwork and tilework. And it just shows a corner of Shiraz’s art and architecture.

2. Narenjestan Ghavam Garden

Narenjestan Ghavam Garden - Shiraz - IranNarenjestan Ghavam is another garden that has a very good reputation among Iranian and foreign tourists. This garden is a remnant from the Qajar era. And it has a pleasant and beautiful atmosphere.

Above all, the mansion inside it is famous for its unique plastering, traditional paintings, mirror work, brickwork, carving, mosaic, and inlay work.

3. Delgosha Garden

The oldest garden in Shiraz is Delgosha Garden. In the spring, the three thousand orange trees blossom. It is a superb fragrant scene that blows everyone’s minds. The garden has the style of old Iranian gardens. Plus its attractive lighting at night has made it a suitable option for night walks in Shiraz.

4. Jannat (Paradise) Garden

Jannat Garden dates back to the Qajar period. The big lush garden is full of pine and cypress trees. The lawn covers the whole garden. There are numerous fountains that give a pleasant coolness to this place.

5. Afif Abad Garden

Afif Abad Garden or Golshan Garden was one of the favorite gardens of Safavid kings. They used this place to spend their relaxing time in Shiraz. It’s a garden with a combination of architecture from the Achaemenid, Sassanid, Zandi, and Qajar periods. The garden houses a beautiful two-story building inside it, as well. In addition to all, there are two museums you can enjoy visiting; the military museum and Iran Ebrat Museum.Afif Abad Garden - Shiraz - Iran

6. Jahan Nama Garden

Jahan Nama Garden is an elaborate and glorious garden dating back to the eighth century AH. It’s close to the tomb of Hafez. This garden is one of the oldest gardens in Shiraz. Inside it, there is an octagonal mansion with a brick facade.

Karim Khan Zand was the one who ordered to build the mansion. Luckily, it has remained intact to this day.

Museums to Visit in Shiraz

Due to its rich history and proximity to ancient attractions, shiraz has amazing museums such as:

1. Pars Museum

The first museum to visit in Shiraz is Pars. In a beautiful garden full of cedars, orange trees, and a mansion with completely Iranian architecture, there is this museum. There are lots of precious items in the museum such as pots and pottery. Needlework of Safavid and Zandi periods, old Qurans attributed to Imams. Also belongings of Karim Khan Zand, and so on. You can enjoy watching many more items belonging to different periods of time; from prehistoric periods to the Islamic period.

2. Persepolis Museum

In the Persepolis area, there is a museum representing items of the Achaemenid period. They are such as Persepolis inscriptions, bayonets, and arrows, gold studs, the inscription of the shrine of Xerxes, large pottery jars, and …

3. Shiraz Museum of Visual Arts or Contemporary Arts

Shiraz Museum of Visual Arts or Contemporary Arts - Iran

In Forough Al-Molk House they set up the visual art museum. It’s a three-story building on 1020 square meters of land. If you are fond of contemporary works, here is the place for you. They display the Persian artists’ works in the field of calligraphy, painting, photography, visual arts, etc. This museum is also known as the Meshkin Fam (Black) Museum of Art.

4. Museum of Celebrities  Or Zinat Al-Molk Historical House

Near Naranjestan Garden, there is an attractive historical building, Zinat Al-Molk House. Today, it is the Museum of Celebrities. In this museum, there are the statues and models of the great and famous people of Shiraz from ancient times to the present day.

5. Shah Cheragh Museum

This museum is a wide collection of various historical, religious, artistic, and cultural works. It includes more than eight thousand objects and more than three thousand manuscripts from prehistoric to contemporary periods. You can find this museum on the south side of the Shah Cheragh shrine.

6. Narenjestan Ghavam Museum

In Narenjestan Ghavam Mansion, there is this museum. The objects in this museum belonged to Arthur Upham Pope. He was a famous Iranologist who donated them for the public to visit.

7. Shiraz Water Museum

Inside the Vakil Water Storage building, if you ask for a museum you will find this one. This museum displays various models of water structures belonging to different periods. There are other water-related items, as well, which are totally interesting.Narenjestan Ghavam Garden - Shiraz - Iran

8. Haft Tanan Stone Museum

Haft Tanan literally means seven persons. And because of the tombs of seven unknown mystics in this place, they call it so. The museum is located in the southern part of the lush Haft Tanan Garden. The stones in Haft Tanan Museum belong to the third to eleventh centuries AH. These stones have a variety of Kufic, Thuluth, Tawqi, Nastaliq, and Naskh script decorations on them.

9. Museum of Natural History and Technology

It’s a museum with a variety of animal species, plants, and fossils in Shiraz. They established this museum in 1974 to raise the level of people’s knowledge about nature and animal species. This museum displays 2500 specimens of invertebrates, vertebrates, and 60 species of medicinal plants. Plus a variety of minerals, rocks, and fossils. Unexpectedly, among the fossils, there is a fossil of a fish that belongs to 70 million years ago.

10. Shapouri House

Shapouri House is one of the most beautiful mansions amongst a charming garden in Shiraz. This mansion belongs to the first Pahlavi period. It’s a combination of Iranian and European architecture. In this complex, the natural effects of the garden and the beautiful architecture of the building together have created a unique landscape.

Parks to Visit in Shiraz

1. Azadi Park

If you ask for the oldest park in Shiraz, you would hear; Azadi (freedom) Park or Shahr (city) Park. This park is more than 200,000 square meters wide. And they built it in 1965. An amusement park with equipment such as aerial trains, carousels, etc., an artificial lake, a theater, food stalls, bird nests, and fountains, are among the different parts of this park. And of course, you can sail on the lake.

2. Besat ParkBesat Park - Shiraz - Iran

It is one of the newly established parks in Shiraz. The park is close to Afif Abad Garden. Its charms are a mansion in the middle and a beautiful fountain. In this park, you will have access to sports facilities such as ping pong, and football. If you are a picnic fan, there are suitable spaces for picnics, too.

3. Derak Mountain Park

Derak Mountain Park is one of the largest parks in Iran. And as the name suggests it is lying down at the foot of Drak Mountain in the northwest of the city. It has a garden with 580 hectares, which has the largest zip line in the country. And as might be expected, its other entertainment and facilities include a bicycle track, children’s playground, amusement park, etc.

4. Kuhpayeh Park

While visiting the Quran Gate, you can visit this park also. Because they are close. It’s kind of the roof of Shiraz. If you climb up you can watch the Quran gate and Shiraz from above. besides the spectacular view of the city, this park looks amazing at night because of its beautiful lighting.

5. Luna Amusement Park

On the heights of this city near the Quran Gate, there is an amusement park with a pleasant and attractive atmosphere. In Luna park, there are lots of games to have a good time with some friends. Roller coaster, carousel, wind jumping, waterfall slide, electric car, jet ski, etc. are the games you can play.Luna Amusement Park - Shiraz - Iran

6. Chamran Boulevard Park

On Chamran Boulevard in Shiraz, there is green space. This park is one of the popular places for walking and having fun in the city.

7. Iran Land Indoor Amusement Park

Iran Land Park is one of the largest indoor amusement parks in the country. In this amusement park, you can use more than 100 various and exciting games for every age group and create happy moments for yourself.

8. Bamou National Park

This protected national park is located 10 km from Shiraz. Bamou National Park is one of the most important habitats of the Persian leopard. After Golestan and Urmia national parks, Bambou has the third rank in the matter of animals and wildlife diversity.

Attractions around Shiraz

1. Persepolis Complex

At a distance of approximately 60 km from the center of Shiraz, we get to Persepolis Complex. A remnant of the Achaemenid Empire which is a familiar name to any history lover. The columns of Persepolis and the carvings and engravings of this city dazzle everyone and speak of the distant past of this land.

2- Pasargad Complex and the Tomb of Cyrus

Pasargad - Shiraz - Iran

From Isfahan,133 km to Shiraz, there is Pasargad Complex. This complex generally includes the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Mozaffari Caravanserai, Private Palace, Audience Palace, Persian Gardens, and so on.

The tomb of Cyrus the Great is the most important and famous among the various parts. Many people are familiar with this ancient and historical site. They travel a long way to visit this place.

3. Naqsh-e Rostam

Somewhere among the mountains of Fars province, there is the historical Naqsh-e Rostam site. This place houses the oldest buildings, tombs, and inscriptions of ancient Iran. Around Naghsh-e Rostam, there are other historical areas that are an important historical source for understanding the history and civilization of Iran in the BC and early AD.

4. Naqsh-e Rajab

Naqsh-e Rajab is one of the most important and glorious cultural monuments of the Sassanid period, the last dynasty before Islam. It’s 2.5 kilometers away from Naghsh-e Rostam. And 5 kilometers away from Persepolis. The sculptures are unique and nail the viewer. Although Naqsh-e Rajab is less known among domestic tourists, the carvings of this site, surpass the ones in Naqsh-e Rostam.

Natural Attractions Around Shiraz

Maharlou Lake - Shiraz - Iran

1. Dasht-e Arjan or Arjan Plain

Arjan plain is somewhere between Shiraz and Kazerun. While visiting this refreshing plain, you can also visit the beautiful Arjan lake, Cheroniz waterfall, nomadic tents, and local bazaars. Meanwhile, Arjan village is located nearby. Its old texture, its alleys, gardens, and mud houses are so charming and captivating.

2. Maharlou Lake

One of the natural and spectacular attractions of Shiraz is Maharloo Lake. It is only about 18 km away in the southeast of the city. They also call it the Pink Lake. The fascinating pink color of this lake is because of the growth of a special type of algae in its water. The view is unbelievably mesmerizing.

3. Tang-e-Bostanak, Bostanak Canyon

Tang-e Bostanak, also known as the Lost Paradise, is one of the most beautiful natural attractions around Shiraz. Throughout the year, many tourists travel to this area to enjoy its delightful nature. Plus, it is close to the most prominent historical and natural attractions in Fars province, which doubles the value of this region.

4. Margoon Waterfall

Margon waterfall is one of the spectacular waterfalls in Fars province. It is about 150 km from Shiraz. And relatively, it is easy to access. Margoon waterfall is the largest and highest spring waterfall (meaning the water source is a spring) in the world.

5. Raghez CanyonRaghez Canyon - Shiraz - Iran

The bride of the Canyons of Iran is the title of the wonderful Raghez Canyon. To see the extraordinary beauty of the canyon, you have to be ready for an adventurous and exciting journey. The pleasant sound of the waterfall, beautiful ups, and downs, swimming among the clear pools with the salmons are all among the fascinating and memorable moments of being in this mysterious canyon.

FAQs

What does Shiraz have to offer?
Shiraz is a glorious city filled with different tourist attractions to offer. You can expect anything from Shiraz, love, poetry, and the history of the land of Persia.
What is Shiraz known for?
Shiraz is best known for Persepolis and Pasargadae, the remains of the great Persian Empire, the Achaemenids. After that, we’ll get to the city of famous Iranian poets, Hafez and Saadi, bazaar, amazing traditional gardens, and mosques.
What kind of special food does Shiraz have?
Shiraz has all the famous traditional Iranian foods, but it is famous for Kalam Polo Shirazi, an amazingly delicious Shirazi dish.
Where should I go in Shiraz?
Shiraz has many splendid tourist attractions. So you have a lot to visit in Shiraz. But don’t miss Persepolis & Pasargadae, The Pink Mosque, Vakil Complex, and Narenjestan-e Qavam.

What kind of transportation is better to be taken in shiraz?
The best transportation to take is a taxi.
How many people live in Shiraz?
The population of Shiraz in 2020 is 1,651,000 people.
Should we expect to see night life in Shiraz?
Absolutely! Shiraz is a lively city. It has any surprises you can think of.

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