Historical houses of Kashan
Kashan is famous for its elegant 18th and 19th-century traditional houses, which offer an interesting insight into how wealthy families used to live back in the days. A visit to this city would be incomplete without spending at least a couple of hours exploring some of the most impressive historical houses: Tabatabaei House, Abbasi House, Borujerdi House, and Ameriha House.
All of these houses have an internal section reserved for family members and an external section for guests. They each have several courtyards, gardens, and some houses even have 40 to 80 rooms! You will see some absolutely remarkable decorations inside these houses, including intricate glasswork, mirrorwork, frescoes, stucco, and tons of colorful stained-glass windows.
A traditional teahouse and restaurant, Kashan, Isfahan Province
If you don’t have enough time to visit all four houses, I’d recommend seeing Tabatabaei House and Borujerdi House. The best stained-glass window chambers are found inside Tabatabaei House. Borujerdi House has a very unique interior ornate with kaleidoscopic patterns and stunning paintings – it’s a sight you won’t want to miss!
Even if you don’t have time to see Abbasi House, definitely grab a meal at a traditional teahouse and restaurant. Just do it. A traditional restaurant took in the city my breath away the second I walked in; I’ve couldn’t even believe my eyes. The stunning interior decorations there are truly out of this world, not to mention the incredible ambiance, the traditional seating arrangement, and the tasty authentic food. Hands down the best restaurant I’ve been to in Iran!
Mohammad Helal Shrine
Just a 20-minute drive from the heart of Kashan lies Mohammad Helal Shrine, an absolutely breathtaking hidden gem that most visitors don’t know about.
The amazing thing about this place is that you’re likely to be the only tourist around in one of the most beautiful places in Iran, which is quite rare given that most attractions in this country are quite crowded. The people working at this shrine are also very friendly and will offer to help guide you around.
This shrine displays some true gems of Islamic architecture, including intricate mosaic tiles, a large blue-tiled dome, and glittering minarets. Once you’re inside, it’s basically completely quiet and you’ll likely find a few locals praying. The atmosphere is incredibly peaceful, and you can simply sit in silence while admiring the stunning decorations all around you.
This place is obviously very sacred and mostly only frequented by locals, so please be mindful of that when you’re there. In order to enter, women have to wear a chador – a large piece of cloth that covers the entire body. You can rent one for free at the entrance.
Day 14: Half day trip to Abyaneh
If you have strictly two weeks in Iran, then you most likely have to head back home via Tehran on day 14. However, if you can allocate an extra day or at least half a day before flying off, it’s definitely worth doing so for a chance to see the unique red village of Abyaneh.
The final stop on this two-week Iran itinerary is a special one. Abyaneh is one of the most ancient villages in Iran. It dates back to 2,500 years ago and is also known as the ‘Red Village’ thanks to its picturesque cluster of red clay buildings.
This village is registered by UNESCO for its very well-preserved local culture, language, architecture, and costumes, which stood the test of several centuries and dynasties. In fact, the locals here speak a special dialect of Farsi that is specific to this village only, and some of the words they use date all the way back to the 3rd century BC!
One of the top things to do in Abyaneh is to simply get lost inside the alleys of the village. You’ll find the best hidden gems that way, and almost every corner is photogenic. Some of the red houses have rooftops you can access via stairs, and once you’re up there, you’ll be greeted with an epic view of the Karkas Mountains.
There’s a very authentic vibe as you’re wandering around Abyaneh; you’ll see locals living their everyday life without many tourists around, and local women wearing traditional floral headscarves. If you want to get closer to Iranian culture, then definitely don’t miss out on this unique village!
Those were 36 of Iran’s beautiful places, but they definitely don’t cover all of the amazing experiences you can have in this country.
A 14-day experience covering almost all the spectacular historical sites and beautiful attractions was detailed in this article.
Iran is extremely safe to visit. Although I went there with another female friend, I often walked around alone as a solo female and can honestly say I felt safer in Iran than all the 40+ Western countries I’ve been to.
Unlike living in London, where I’m constantly clutching my phone in fear of people on mopeds snatching it, or being wary of the infamous pickpockets in Europe, I never had to worry about anything of the sort in Iran. Never once did I feel threatened or uncomfortable during my time there.
Though the crime rate in Iran is very low, I do suggest getting familiar with some essential Iran travel and safety tips before you go.
The media has sadly portrayed Iran to be a dangerous country, but this honestly couldn’t be further from the truth. Iranians are genuinely some of the friendliest and most hospitable people I’ve met. They go out of their way to make you feel welcomed.
During our time there, we got tons of invitations by locals to have tea or dinner in their homes, and it’s something that happens very often for foreigners. So in short, Iran is one of the safest and friendliest countries to travel to. Go and see for yourself!