Iran quickly became one of my top favorite destinations for so many reasons!
The natural scenery is beyond astounding. The food, even for me as a vegan, is absolutely mouthwatering with so many spices and new tastes melting together.
The architecture; detailed and colorful.
And the people… The people are so friendly and truly makes the travel experience worthwhile.
There are so many astounding places to see in Iran and unless you have months to spend in the country, there is no way you will be able to fit them all in your itinerary.
That’s why I’ve put together five highlights that you will be able to explore even with as little as 10 days in Iran. Get ready for a blend of both off the beaten path and popular places to see in Iran!
Five beautiful places to visit
Isfahan is said to be half the world. And it is in so many ways. If you ask me, this is the most beautiful city in Iran.
The center for tourism is without a doubt Naqsh-e Jahan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is one of the biggest squares in the world and is popular among the locals for chilling in the grass with family and friends.
On the square, you find several of the city’s main attractions.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Isfahan
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is maybe one of the most modest mosques in the city, but once you get to the main hall, it will leave you breathless. The rays of Sun lighting up the middle of the big, empty room, carefully decorated in golden and blue mosaics gives this corner of Isfahan a truly spiritual feel to it.
Spend time in there and feel it, instead of just rushing out once you have taken your memorable photos.
Just on the opposite side of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is the Aali Qapu Palace, a 16th-century residential palace. The main attraction is the music room on the top floor and the large terrace with spectacular views of Naqsh-e Jahan Square.
On the end of the square, in a perfect triangle to Aali Qapu Palace and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, you find the finest mosque in Isfahan, Imam Mosque (Shah Mosque).
Rising tall, it’s the first sight you’ll notice once you enter the square. Beautiful blue tiles blended with gold cover the whole structure inside out.
There is one point in the main hall where the acoustic is magical.
On the opposite far end of Imam Mosque, you find the Qeysarieh Gate (Portal) which is the main entrance to the city’s bazaar. If you walk all the way through it, you will end up by the magnificent Jaame Mosque, which is the biggest mosque in Isfahan, and also one of the oldest.
Kashan is an old city on the desert trade route holding a lot of culture and history.
It is without a doubt a much more traditional and conservative city compared to Isfahan or Iran’s capital, Tehran.
Holding a great number of historical houses, you can easily spend a week in Kashan. The most spectacular are Abbasi House, which also holds a traditional restaurant and teahouse, and Tabatabaei House.
Tabatabaei House, Kasahn, Isfahan Province
Don’t miss out on Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse which is spectacular inside but also the rooftop is pretty cool!
Kashan holds one of the oldest gardens in Iran, Fin Garden, but also one of the oldest bazaars, which was an important stop for traders of carpets and other goods.
Just outside Kashan, you can walk through the biggest underground city in the world, Nushabad Underground City.
* Jonny Duncan is a freelance travel writer and photographer.