Nowruz Eid: The Iranian Celebration of the New Year
On the list of festivals people acknowledge and honor, celebrating the New Year ranks near the top. The first human beings who started celebrating the New Year were people from Babylon. Apparently, they celebrated a day in late March as the beginning of the New Year which was the first moon after the vernal equinox. Ever since, people from every culture and religion have been celebrating a day in their calendar as the New Year having different kinds of traditions. Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ as the beginning of the New Year (Christmas) and the Jewish people celebrate the day which they believe was the day of Man’s creation known as Rosh Hashanah. There is also another celebration of New Year known as Nowruz Eid about which we are going to talk in this article.
What is Nowruz Eid?
Iranians, just as any other rich culture, have a variety of festivals they honor throughout the year such as Yalda Night: an Iranian celebration of the first night of winter, Sepandarmazgan: ancient Iranian day of women, Chaharshanbe Suri: the fire festival and so forth. But among all of these lovely festivals and traditions Nowruz Eid is the most loved one by the natives. The reason is simple: Nowruz Eid is the Iranian celebration of the New Year. You might find it interesting to know that Nowruz in the original Persian (Farsi) is consistent of two words: ‘now’ and ‘ruz’. The first word means ‘new’ and the second means ‘day’ so, Nowruz literally means ‘new day’ in Persian. Also, the word ‘Eid’ means ’festival or celebration’. In conclusion, Nowruz Eid really means ‘the celebration of the new day’.
When is Nowruz Eid celebrated?
For people from Iran the New Year coincides with the beginning of spring. In the Solar Hijri calendar, which is used by Iranian people, the first month of the year is called Farvardin and the first day of Farvardin is considered as beginning of the New Year, aka Nowruz Eid. On the Gregorian calendar however, Nowruz Eid is on March 21, 2023. On this day, you can literally see every Iranian celebrating this happy occasion wherever they are in the globe.
Which religion Nowruz Eid is originated from?
Even though the current official religion of Iran is Islam, this has not always been the case. Islam did not come to Iran until 665 AD. Before that the official religion of this country was Zoroastrian and Nowruz Eid is said to have originated from this religion.
The Historical Background of Nowruz Eid
The exact date of the first celebration of Nowruz Eid is not entirely clear. However, it is said that 3000 years ago, Jamshid, the great king of Iran at the time, named this day as it is called now and his people were the first ones celebrating this day. Moreover, the great Persian poet, Ferdowsi has stated in his masterpiece known as Shahnameh that when Jamshid was passing through Azerbaijan, he demanded a crown which then was lit by the sunshine and made the whole world brighter which made people so joyful. Then, for the sake of people’s happiness he named the day as Nowruz Eid and saved his people from the horrors of the cold winter. In case you like to know a little more about Iran’s dynasties, you can visit Iran’s flag.
Although Nowruz and Nowruz Eid are said to date back to the Medes, the first Iranian king who really acknowledged Nowruz Eid was Cyrus the Great. This day was also celebrated in the Sassanid era when Nowruz Eid continued for at least 6 days. The Parthian Empire honored this celebration, too. Nowruz Eid has changed throughout time but what is left of it for almost 200 years is now the most popular festival of the year for Iranian people.
Who celebrates Nowruz Eid?
Even though Nowruz Eid is mostly known as Iranian or Persian festival of the New Year, there are people who celebrate this joyous occasion in other countries as well, such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
How many days is the Nowruz Eid holiday?
As already mentioned, 21st of March (1st day of Farvardin) is the day when the Persian New Year begins. From this day the Nowruz Eid holiday starts in Iran and it goes on for 13 days (13th of Farvardin). This means most of the Iranian people do not go to work in these 13 days, schools and universities are closed and everyone is having fun enjoying holidays. However, important places such as banks only remain closed till the 5th of Farvardin. These 13 days of Nowruz Eid finish by another Iranian festival known as Sizdah Bedar, the Nature’s Day, about which we will talk more.
What do Iranians do to get ready for Nowruz Eid?
Iranian people love this festival just as much as the Christians love Christmas. They always get ready for it and in order to do so, they have some traditions which have not been altered so much over the years. Some of the most popular traditions of Nowruz Eid are the following ones:
Khane tekani in the original Persian means ‘cleaning the house’. This tradition has never left the Iranians’ lives and each and every year as they get closer to Nowruz Eid, they clean their houses meaning washing the carpets, cleaning every window and curtain and basically they turn the house inside out! What’s interesting is that you can literally see them go through this process since when you walk by houses you will see that for one or two days there are no curtain on the windows and everyone’s quite busy cleaning.
Buying new clothes:
For so many years this has become a tradition and habit for Iranian people to buy new clothes as the Nowruz Eid and spring approach. On the days leading up to Nowruz Eid the streets and shops are so crowded. Everyone’s buying new clothes so as to say goodbye to the winter and welcome the spring by celebrating Nowruz Eid.
The word ‘Chaharshanbe’ in Persian means ‘Wednesday’. This festival which is one of the festivals most loved by Iranians is also called the Fire Festival. It is celebrated before the beginning of Nowruz Eid holidays on the eve of the last Wednesday of each year. If you find this annual festival interesting, visit Chaharshanbe Suri.
In order to understand the concept of ‘Haft Sin’, it is better to know what this means in Persian. ‘Haft’ means the number ‘seven’ and ‘Sin’ in the letter that has the sound ‘S’ in Persian. Haft Sin is one of the old traditions of Nowruz Eid in Iran and even today people love honoring this tradition so much. In the old days, Iranians used to set a tablecloth on the ground and put seven items starting with the letter ‘s’ on it. Each of these seven items have a special meaning and are symbols. Nowadays, however, Haft Sin is being set on tables. Now, what are these seven objects and what are they symbols of? It is worth mentioning that there are more than seven items and everyone can choose seven of them and put them on the table.
Nowruz Eid’s Haft Sin mainly consists of:
- Sabzeh: This is seeds of different plants grown in a dish which some people grow themselves. Plants such as wheat, barley, mung bean, lentil and so forth. Sabzeh is a symbol of rebirth and growth.
- Samanu: An Iranian delicious sweet-tasting dessert symbolizing power and strength in wealth, knowledge or patience.
- Seer: Symbolizing health and medication, this word means ‘garlic’.
- Sib or Seeb: Sib or ‘apple’ symbolizes beauty and health.
- Senjed: Small orange-colored fruits known as oleaster or Russian olive. Some believe that Senjed is a symbol of love while others say it symbolizes rationality.
- Serkeh: Serkeh meaning ‘vinegar’ is a symbol of immortality and patience.
- Somaq: Symbolizing a new beginning and sunrise, Somaq means sumac.
As already mentioned, there are some other items that can be replaced by any of the mentioned items for Nowruz Eid’s Haft Sin such as Sonbol (hyacinth), Sekkeh (coin) and Saat (clock).
Moreover, there some items that don’t necessarily start with the letter ‘s’ but are put on the table as a part of Nowruz Eid’s table. These items are: colored eggs (which families color and paint on pottery eggs themselves mostly with children making unforgettable core memories of Nowruz Eid), a mirror, a book (Quran, the Divan of Hafez or Shahnameh), candles and some goldfish in a bowl.
As you know, the Christian New Year occurs at midnight and the seconds before the clock hits 12 are the count down for them. This is quite different for Nowruz Eid and the Persian New Year since the calendar is different. Each year the time that the Persian New Year begins is different and it is actually when the sun’s distance from the vernal equinox hits zero. It can be in the middle of the day or night. But, the government informs people of this time way ahead and they gather around and count the seconds down on TV and celebrate beginning of the New Year and Nowruz Eid.
What are Iranians’ traditions during Nowruz Eid holidays?
When the New Years begins and Nowruz Eid holidays officially start, there are also some traditions Iranians love to honor such as:
Dido bazdid (Visiting each other):
According to this tradition, after Nowruz Eid takes places meaning when the new Year and the holidays actually start, Iranian people put on their new clothes and visit each other. It means they go to each other’s houses and congratulate each other on the New Year. It is a custom that you should first go to your grandparents’ house and continue visiting your relatives and friends from elderly to the most young ones. Also, if someone comes to your house, you should return the visit by going to their house, if not your behavior is considered rude.
Eidi (New Year’s gift):
Just as Christians buy Christmas present for each other, this tradition happens in Nowruz Eid in Iran, as well. This gift is called an ‘Eidi’ and elderly people are most likely to give Eidi to you so as to congratulate you on Nowruz Eid.
Sidah Bedar (The Iranian Nature’s Day):
As you now know, Nowruz Eid holidays last for 13 days. The Iranian people end this joyous occasion by celebrating another Iranian festival called Sizdah Bedar. This festival occurs on the 13th day of Farvardin which is the last day of Nowruz Eid holidays. Sizdah also means the number 13 in Persian. On this day, which is the Iranian Nature’s Day, people gather together with their loved ones, spend the day in the nature having fun, playing games, making a fire and eating meals. If you go out on the last day of Nowruz Eid holidays in Iran, you will see plenty of people laughing and having the time of their life in every park or riverside.
What kind of food do Iranians eat for Nowruz Eid?
Just as any celebration Nowruz Eid also has some special food and desserts that people always buy and have on their table. Here are some of the most popular examples:
Sabzi Polo ba Mahi:
Translated to ‘herbed rice with fish’, this meal is considered to be the main meal that Iranians love to eat for Nowruz Eid on the eve of the first day of the New Year.
Nuts have always been an inseparable item of Iranians’ Nowruz Eid’s table. The most popular nuts consist of pistachios, pumpkin seeds, Japanese seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and sometimes walnuts.
Another item that is most likely to be found on Nowruz Eid’s table in every Iranian household is pastries or in the original Persian ‘Shirini’. There is no difference what kind of pastries you choose as long as it makes delicious treats for everyone.
Noghls or sugar-coated almonds can almost always be found in Iranians’ houses ready to be eaten alongside tea, sweet taste of which will make you experience a lovely Nowruz Eid celebration.
Since Iran is one of the countries that has a variety of foods, this part of Nowruz Eid’s tradition differs more in different regions of the country. In case you are interested to know more about Iranian food, visit Food Diversity in Iran.
Do Iranians have Santa Claus for Nowruz Eid?
Iranian people do have two men with the same purposes as Santa Claus for Nowruz Eid. The first man is called ‘Haji Firuz’. Dressed in red and yellow clothes and hat with a blackened face, he comes to the streets and plays music and sings with a musical instrument such as Tombak informing people that the spring is coming and Nowruz Eid is upon us. Although some might take his blackened face as a symbol of racism, it must be said that it is actually a symbol of him, returning from the world of the dead.
The other is called ‘Amu Nowruz’. Amu means ‘uncle’ and he is a white-bearded old man just as Santa that brings people presents and congratulates them on Nowruz Eid.
Can Foreigners visit Iran during Nowruz Eid holidays?
They surely do. Nothing ever stops tourists to travel to Iran. However, we do not recommend you to visit Persia during Nowruz Eid holidays because every important city that will absolutely be on your checklist to visit will most certainly be so crowded because the Iranians themselves tend to travel a lot during this holiday which may make it difficult for you to visit Iran’s tourist places peacefully. But if you are eager to get to know Iranian culture and traditions when it comes to Nowruz Eid, you are more than welcome. Do note that you can ask us to arrange Tailor-made tours of your own choice so as to have a better experience visiting Iran on Nowruz Eid.
What is Sepandarmazgan and why is it celebrated?
Sepandarmazgan, also known as Espandegan or Esfandegan, is the ancient Iranian day of women celebrated by Persians since the time of Achaemenid’s dynasty, the first empire to ever rule over the so-called land of Persia. Know more about Sepandarmazgan and the ancient land of Persia and maybe you’ll find it hard not to visit Persia.
Of course, women have been celebrated often in different cultures and in numerous ways throughout the history of humankind, but they were especially appreciated and regarded highly among the ancient Persians and generally were encouraged to take on more prominent roles compared to the rest of societies at the time and this reverence is the reason Sepandarmazgan was originally created. A good number of women in ancient Persia even served as commanders and generals and managed to leave a name behind in the rich history of their country, a great example being Pantea Arteshbod, a founder of the famous (or rather infamous, if you ask the Greeks!) Army of the Persian Immortals. So, taking all of that into consideration, a day devoted to appreciate women amongst Iranians leading to Sepandarmazgan should not come as a surprise.
If Sepandarmazgan and other cultural elements of Iran interest you, you might as well check out our Classical Cultural Tours of Iran and Cultural Intense-Specialty Tours and you might find yourself intrigued by many other Iran’s tourist places.
The holy day was named after Spandarmard, the deity who supposedly protected the Earth and women (who loved their husbands) in Zoroastrian beliefs. As Al-Biruni, the Persian scholar belonging to the 11th century CE, has mentioned in his testimony on Sepandarmazgan, each day of the year possessed a unique name in the ancient Persian calendar and whenever the month and the day shared the same name, a name-feast would be held and people would celebrate. It appears that Sepandarmazgan was the fifth day of the month ‘Spandarmard’ (now called Esfand) and was celebrated on that day with men crafting and bringing ‘liberal presents’ to women as a reminder of their love and appreciation for women.
The Sepandarmazgan event has Zoroastrian origins which is considered to be one of the oldest organized faiths in the world and the one formerly followed and favored by ancient people of Iran. Sepandarmazgan was named after a deity of the same belief and considered to be a holy tradition for the followers.
When is Sepandarmazgan celebrated?
Sepandarmazgan was initially celebrated on the fifth day of the month Spandarmard, as already explained, which would be an equivalent of March 26th on the Georgian calendar. However, as a result of later changes in the Persian calendar, the date has also faced some changes. The old Persian calendar used at the time of Achaemind era was set with each of the twelve months being thirty days long whereas the solar Hejri calendar currently being used in Iran contains a few more days and is consistent of 365 days per year, except for the usual leap years. Some would argue that Sepandarmazgan should be celebrated on the date previously stated and decline the changes caused by the newer Persian calendar.
By applying the changes, Sepandarmazgan was set to be celebrated by Iranians on the new fifth of Esfand, which would be 24th of February. There had been a few endeavors to revive the tradition of Sepandarmazgan in modern Iran during the Pahlavi era back in 1925.
Is Sepandarmazgan still celebrated in modern Iran?
Although the name ‘Sepandarmazgan’ is familiar and mostly recognized by the majority of Iranians, unfortunately, only a small number of them still practice the tradition and celebrate their love among themselves on fifth of Esfand. We can say that the bitter truth is, Sepandarmazgan is not widely celebrated in the modern Iran and the tradition has been fading throughout the centuries. Many youngsters nowadays prefer to celebrate the 14th of February, the Valentine’s Day, instead of Sepandarmazgan which is internationally celebrated as the day of love for lovers who look for excuses to deepen their bonds and spend more romantic time together. As the Valentine’s Day pulls closer, all kinds of red embellishments, gift boxes, chocolates and teddy bears start appearing in every shop in Iran.
With the fading of Sepandarmazgan, this has been a change occurring only in the past few years and is still considered to be a somewhat new and foreign concept to a lot of Iranians, especially the older generations who have a harder time to adapt.
Women’s and Mother’s Day in Modern-day Iran:
In the modern Iran, as a way to fill out the empty space created by the disappearance of Sepandarmazgan, women’s and Mother’s Day is celebrated on 20th of the Islamic month of Jamaadi-o-saani on the lunar calendar which is the birthday of Fatemeh Zahra, daughter of prophet Muhammad. People celebrate it by handing out gifts and flowers to the important women of their lives, mostly their mothers and their wives which is very similar to what happened during Sepandarmazgan.
It is worth mentioning that the lunar calendar is mostly used in Iran for religious celebrations and events and doesn’t serve any other purpose. The official calendar of Iran is currently the solar Hejri one, consisting of 12 months and 365 days and the day of Sepandarmazgan.
Symbols of Love in old Persian poems and among Iranian people:
Although Sepandarmazgan might no longer be celebrated with passion as it used to be the costume in the past, there are many poems and love stories left that are extremely popular among Iranians and are easily found in every single Iranian household. Stories like Leily and Majnoon, Shirin and Farhad, Khosrow and Shirin, depicting young lovers with almost always tragic destinies, are well-known by the people of Iran, young and old, and of any background or level of literacy.
These poems and their extreme popularity are proofs that with the fading of Sepandarmazgan, celebration of love didn’t stop in Iran and even after Sepandarmazgan, love is considered something worthy of celebration among the many different Iranian ethnic groups which don’t celebrate Sepandarmazgan anymore.
Persian love poems and poets from centuries ago focus on the topic of love and stories of lovers in most cases and are favored and highly appreciated by people of Iran who consider love poems an inseparable part of the Iranian culture and the Iranian identity just as much as Sepandarmazgan used to be in the past. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the beautiful depiction of love in Iranian literature and art as one of the many reasons to travel to Iran in the future, or maybe one of our Tailor-made tours, tailored to your own personal taste, would do the job.
The best currency to take to Iran
Iran, aka Persia, is one of the most visited countries in the middle east. Its ancient history alongside the spectacular nature, not to mention the eye-catching sites known as Iran’s tourist places, have convinced globetrotters to choose Iran as their destination since people have come to the conclusion that there are so many reasons to travel to Iran so, why not try it. And we can say from experience that tourists have the time of their life when they visit Persia.
As one of the Iranian travel agencies we feel obligated to guide tourists regarding issues they may face. One of the questions tourists always ask is regarding Iranian currency and the currency they should bring with them when they travel to Iran. In this article, we will be telling you everything you need to know about Iranian currency and its types, what currency is the best and easiest to exchange to Iranian currency in the country and so forth, which is why we recommend you to keep reading. This article can be considered as one of the most important ones since it gives you many important tips regarding money in Iran and Iranian currency.
What is the Iranian currency?
Although Iran is one of the cheapest countries to travel to, spending money in Iran can be a little bit of challenge for first time travelers who have no information about Iranian currency. The official currency in Iran is Rial, abbreviated to IRR, and pronounced Ree-aal, but the Iranian currency citizens use in their daily activities is called Toman. The number you see written on cash or coins or receipts is in Rial and to change it to Toman you only need to ignore the last number on the right and then read the number as it is now in Toman. Why is that? Because each Toman equals 10 Rials. This issue mostly confuses tourists since they are not used to this kind of system but rest assured, you will not face so many troubles as you can learn how to deal with Iranian currency easily and also, people are always there to help you. This is of course in case you choose to travel on your own. If you travel to Iran on a tour, you are good to go!
Let’s clear this thing about Iranian currency up with an example, shall we? Imagine you want to pay for your ride. The taxi driver will tell you that you must pay e.g., 15000 Tomans; this means 150,000 Rials. See? You only need to add a zero to turn the number into Rial. Also, a note you need to know is that Iranians tend to omit the word ‘thousand’ when talking about prices so, the taxi driver in this case might tell you that you must pay 15 Tomans which means 15000 Tomans. There! Now you can deal with Iranian currency easily!
Do note that prices, especially on manufactured products, are almost always written in Rial but when you go to pay for the product you want to buy the salesperson will ask you to pay it in Toman, the informal Iranian currency. You can make sure that you’re paying the right amount by using the way we taught you above.
Once more, do not forget that the number written on cash, coins, receipts and stuff like that are in Rial, the formal Iranian currency.
Can I use my debit card in Iran? Should I exchange my money to Iranian currency?
The first thing you need to know is that sadly, you cannot your use international debit cards in Iran which is why you need to bring cash with you to pay your expenses or maybe in some cases exchange it to Iranian currency. You do not always have to exchange your money to Iranian currency, but we’re on that later.
What is the best currency to take to Iran to use instead of Iranian currency?
Now let’s talk about the most important question regarding money in Iran. The best currency to take to Iran is US dollar (USD) and Euro since they are easily exchangeable to Iranian currency. As already mentioned, you don’t always have to exchange your money to Iranian currency because in some upper-class stores or restaurants or airports or hotels you can easily use your USDs or Euros instead of Iranian currency. Moreover, in case you intend to travel to Iran from Australia you might want to know that Australian dollar (AUD) is also acceptable and exchangeable to Iranian currency in major cities. The same situation is true about Canadian dollar (CAD), United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) and British Pound (GBP).
What are Iran Tourist Card and Mah Card? Can I withdraw and then exchange my money to Iranian currency upon arrival?
As formerly mentioned, you cannot use any sort of international cards in Iran which is why there are Iran Tourist Cards and Mah Cards which function for tourists just as a debit card. Iran Tourist Card is a prepaid debit card only for tourists to add funds in preferred currency which can be Iranian currency, USD or Euro, usable in all stores and restaurants. Also, you can withdraw cash in all ATMs using your Tourist Card and then exchange it to Iranian currency.
How to get an Iran Tourist Card? Easy! You can ask you agency to apply for you beforehand or ask for it at the airport upon arrival so you won’t face troubles while shopping and dealing with Iranian currency. You will only need your passport and visa for issuance of the mentioned card. The Bank Melli Iran, Bank Pasargad and Saman Bank are the banks from which you can ask for a card.
Moreover, you can apply for a Mah Card which works same as Iran Tourist Card in order to pave the way for you in issues regarding money in Iran and Iranian currency. To learn more about Mah Card, visit the following link: https://www.mahcard.com/ .
Everything you need to know regarding exchanging your money to Iranian currency:
We recommend you to exchange your money to Iranian currency at the airport but not all of it, just enough to pay for the taxi and here is why. The exchange rates differ in the country, obviously it is better to choose the one that will decrease your expenses. There is open market exchange rate (free market), the official rate and NIMA rate. Which is the best for tourists? The open market rate is the best to exchange your money to Iranian currency since it literally means your money has more value in Iran in comparison to Iranian currency.
Where can you exchange your money to Iranian currency? There are bank branches and kiosks at the airport for you to do so and also, there are exchange shops in major cities which offer the service.
We do hope that this article works for you well, helping you in the best way to learn about money issues in Iran and Iranian currency. But we are still more than happy to answer any questions you might have. You can easily contact us via emailing Info@zhivar.Net. Have a nice trip!
As you might already know, Iran’s history dates back to thousands of years ago. The first people who can be considered as rulers of Iran were the Medes which date back to seventh century BC. After the Medes, Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire in the sixth century BC, which has been one of the greatest empires in the history of time ruling over 44 percent of the world’s population. He seemingly had his share in choosing Iran’s flag. The Parthian Empire was the second greatest empire ruling over Iran in the third century BC. The Sassanid Empire conquered the previous empire in the third century AD and ruled over Iran for 4 centuries until Arab Muslims defeated the Sassanid Empire and Islamization of Iran began and the Abbasid dynasty ruled over the region for almost 2 centuries. They burned Iran’s flag after they won the war. A series of Muslim dynasties appeared over the next centuries such as Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids, Sallarids, Ghaznavids, Seljuk Turks and Khwarazmian. In the 13th century the Il-khanate and then the Timurid dynasty ruled over the region until in the 15 the century the native Safavids established a united Iran once again recognizing an official flag as Iran’s flag. In the mid-18th century, the Afsharid dynasty began, then the Zand dynasty ruled over Iran for almost 30 years and then for almost 130 years the Qajar dynasty was in charge of affairs. During these periods, each house changed Iran’s flag according to their desires. The Pahlavi dynasty, the last royal dynasty of Iran, then took power from the Qajar royal family and ruled over the country for almost 54 years. The 1979, the Iranian Revolution ended the Pahlavi dynasty as a result of which the current Islamic Republic of Iran was established.
As it is obvious, Iran has faced so many different monarchies which clearly has had effects on Iran’s flag since anyone who rules over a country will change the flag according to their own standards and ideologies. Flag of Iran has not been an exception either.
The oldest Iranian flag that can be considered as the first flag of Iran is a square-shaped made of bronze and is said to be dating back to the Bronze Age showing some trees, some animals such as two lions and snakes and 5 humans which seem to be telling a story. This ancient flag of Iran is also one of the oldest flags ever discovered in the world. It is called “Derafshe shahdad” meaning the “Shahdad flag” in Persian which is named after the city of Shahdad where it was first found.
Also, the Zoroastrians religious book, the Avesta, has talked about a flag shaped as a cow to be Iran’s flag. However, with the beginning of the Achaemenid Empire, Iran’s flag probably changed to a golden eagle known as “Shahbaz” in Persian with wings that are widespread being placed on a spear. Some believe that “Derafshe Shahbaz” was used by Cyrus the Great as the official Iran’s flag. Persepolis, located in Shiraz, was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. In 1948, a tile with the same feature on it was found in Persepolis. Aside from all this, Persepolis is one the greatest historical places you will ever see in your life so make sure to visit this ancient place in case you ever travel to Iran.
“Derafshe Kaviani” was the next flag in the list of Iran’s flags. It was made of leather which was covered with a thin layer of silk decorated with jewels. There was a star on Iran’s flag pointing to the four corners of the rectangle-shape leather. There are references to this star in Ferdowsi’s epic book, Shahnameh, where he is talking about Iran’s flag. There were also some tassels in the colors of yellow, magnet and scarlet hanging from Iran’s flag. Derafshe Kaviani which is known to be Iran’s flag in the Parthian empire’s time as well, was destroyed by the Muslim Arabs when they conquered the Sassanids.
sThe Seljuk Turks used various emblems and banners as Iran’s flag. The official flag of Iran in time of their empire was probably a black flag.
It seems that the sun and lion motif was first brought into Iran’s flag by Ghaznavids or the Khwarazmian Empire. Also, this motif has been seen in the flag of Iran recognized by Timurids in the 15th century.
Kings of the Safavid dynasty used different types of flags. The first Safavid king used a green flag with a golden full moon as Iran’s flag. In 1524, the moon was replaced with a sheep and a sun which was recognized as Iran’s flag until 1576. Then a green flag with the already said motif, lion and sun, was considered to be Iran’s flag until the end of Safavid era. During this time, the lion and sun in the flag of Iran stood for two pillars of the society; the state and religion.
Some say the royal flag of Iran in Safavid era and Afsharid era was three-eared and some say it was four-eared and the truth is that we can never be sure of this. The first king of the Afsharids recognized two flags as the official flag of Iran. One of them had red, blue, and white stripes and the other flag known to be Iran’s flag had a yellow stripe added to the other three.
The Zand dynasty chose a white triangle-shaped flag with a green border and a gold lion and sun in the middle as Iran’s flag. Some say the border in Iran’s flag at the time the Zand dynasty were green and red.
Probably you are now thinking about the fact that how many time Iran’s flag has been transformed through time. Let us tell you that we are not even close to the end yet. So, keep reading!
It is worth mentioning that the Qajar dynasty ruled over Iran for almost 130 years which makes it pretty understandable to declare different flag as Iran’s flag. The first king of this house probably chose a red flag with a gold lion and sun inside of a pale, yellow circle as Iran’s flag.
The next king declared three different flags as Iran’s flag. One had the picture of a lion on a plain red field which was considered the war flag of Iran. The main emblem was a lion sitting in front of a sun with a white background which was used as Iran’s flag for diplomatic purposes, when a standing lion holding a sword with a green background was used as Iran’s flag in time of peace.
During the reign of the next king, the two different flags were combined into a single one showing a standing lion holding a sword in front of a sun which was declared as Iran’s flag.
The next king of the Qajar dynasty who ruled over Iran for 50 years, declared a flag with a green border on three sides and the previous lion emblem in the middle as Iran’s flag.
In 1906, after the Iranian Constitutional Revolution took place, the first tricolored flag was represented as Iran’s flag. The flag had the three colors of green, white and red together with a lion and a sun in the center.
In the time of the Pahlavi dynasty, Iran’s flag changed twice and finally it turned into a tricolored flag with the lion and the sun shrunk to fit within the white stripe while the crown was changed into the Pahlavi Crown and the sun had no face.
After the revolution in 1979, for almost two years ran’s flag did not change. Then the Islamic Republic regime declared the following flag as Iran’s flag.
As you can see, the current flag of Iran is tricolored with the emblem of “Allah”, an Arabic word for God, written in red on the white stripe and the takbir, which is a name for an Arabic phrase meaning “God is the greatest”, written 22 times in white at the bottom of the green and the top of the red stripe. The colors of Iran’s flag are traditional and it is believed that green represents religion, white stands for peace and red is for showing courage.
Kish Island Tour 2023
The Kish Island is one of the most famous islands of the Persian Gulf, located in the southern waters of Iran. The reason of this fame originates from its ancient, historical attraction alongside its water sports and spectacular unique nature and its wonderful coral beaches. Besides, since Kish Island is a Free Zone, it is the only place of Iran visiting which does not require any visa and visitors can stay in the island for 14 days with a travel permit in hand which will be issued upon arrival. In the following text, we are going to go through the island’s tourist attractions which annually, absorb more than 1 million visitors. We deeply believe the upcoming text would convince you to book a Kish Island tour for your next trip if you plan to travel to Iran so, keep reading to find out about Kish Island’s exceptional landmarks which will amaze you if you choose to attend a Kish tour.
But before sinking into the beauties of Kish Island, let us inform you of our other tours which we believe can help you have the time of your life on a trip to Iran. We offer some other Island tours than this one, Eco tours arranged in the most special way, Classical Cultural tours of Iran with the possibility of customizing as the travelers wish, Medical tours, Tailor-made tours worthy of trying and MICE tours helping travelers make the best out of a business trip. Also, checking out our CIP/VIP services would not be something you would regret.
Reasons why you should book a kish Island tour
- Historical Attractions, best part of a Kish Island tour:
The island has such an ancient history just as other places in Iran. The remains of this ancient history are now one of the most wonderful places you will ever visit which can be considered as a dominant reason to book a Kish Island tour.
- Water Sports, the most exciting part of a kish Island tour:
The Kish Island is super famous for its aquatic sports which has made visitors, both Iranian and from other nationalities, to attend a Kish Island tour over the years.
- Cleanliness and Safety, unforgettable experience of a Kish Island tour:
The Kish Island, also known as the pearl of the Persian Gulf, is the best place in case of pollution and safety. The island is very clean and has never faced any air pollution which means you can say with absolute certainty that you have breathed the cleanest air possible while attending a kish Island tour.
- Shopping malls:
The island has developed a variety of modern shopping malls visiting which is one of the most entertaining activities visitors always do during a Kish Island tour.
Historical attractions worthy of a visit while on a Kish Island tour
- Harireh Ancient City
This ancient city which apparently has been named after the queen of the city, Harireh, is located in the northern region of the island with almost 800 years of age. It is believed that some references to this bygone town is in Saadi’s Gulistan. In case you choose to pay a visit to Harireh town while attending a Kish Island tour, it is good to know that wandering through the remains of this super old town, you will see the Noble House of Harireh architectural style of which is considered to be so alike to the same ones in Yazd, Isfahan and Kashan. Bath of Harireh is the other attraction of this town which might be great to pay a visit to on a Kish Island tour. The remains of old-time walls, wells, Qanats and so forth will also astonish you, creating a great time for you on a Kish Island tour.
- Kariz Underground City
Kariz city is actually a qanat (an ancient hydraulic system) dating back to 2500 years ago. It is located about 16 meters under the surface of the ground and has the most breath-taking coral collection on its walls and ceiling. This underground city is actually the only place in the world where you can see corals on the ceiling, therefore, do not hesitate to visit this town if you ever attended a Kish Island tour. Moreover, there is also a market, a museum, restaurants and a studio for visitors to take professional photos.
- The Greek Ship
This ship, which was built in 1943 by a British shipyard, has been beached since 1966 for unknown reasons near the coast of Kish Island. Over the years, she has been a destination for visitors who attend a Kish Island tour, at sunset.
- Kish Island’s traditional cistern
This monumental cistern was used to provide water of the island long ago and now it has become an attraction due to its spectacular architecture and beauty which serves as a treat for the eyes of tourists who are on a Kish Island tour. It is worth mentioning that the architectural style of this cistern is same as the ones in the city of Yazd.
- Masheh Mosque and Amir Mosque
These two ancient mosques date back to the Qajar era, architecture of which is remarkable and can be an un forgettable experience for art-enthusiasts on a Kish tour.
- Water sports, what you MUST experience on a Kish Island tour
Although historical attractions in Kish Island are super interesting, over the years aquatic recreations have been a real attraction both for Iranians and tourists making them attend a Kish Island tour. Diving into clean waters of the Persian Gulf and taking a close look at the life of sea animals, Snorkeling, Night Diving, Waterskiing, Parasailing, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Kayaking, Jet skiing and using a Flyboard, Gyro-copter, Submarine Scooter, Shuttle, Gliders and so forth are examples of such exciting aquatic recreations of the island which you must experience on a Kish Island tour. There are beach parks or piers such as The Grand Pier throughout the island where you can go and spend your time while enjoying thrilling activities on a Kish Island tour.
Other attractions of Kish Island which should not be missed on a Kish Island tour
- Ocean Water Park: The first Iranian themed outdoor water park based on the story of the Mystery of the Sun Castle, exploring which will be a memorable adventure for visitors attending a Kish Island tour.
- Penguin Snow Complex: Iran’s first indoor snow center is also located in Kish Island where you can encounter a winter feel-like day during summer and enjoy winter recreations and artificial but equally real snow. In case you desire to pay a visit to this snow park on your Kish Island tour but you are worried about not having warm clothes, rest assured that you will be given proper winter clothes for free.
- Dolphin Park: This park, also known as Dolphinarium, has attracted so many visitors on a Kish Island tour with its eye-catching features over the years. Different species of plants, Birds and mammals are being kept in the best condition possible in this complex with its 100 hectares area. Besides dolphins and penguins, other marine mammals such as sea lions and sea cats are being kept in pools filled with sea water, in such a great condition that these mammals have been reproducing so well. The famous Birds Garden of Kish is also located in this park making it a special part of a Kish Island tour for visitors. Also, an aquarium tunnel has been built in this park through which visitors pass using a train considered for this purpose.
- Cycling Route: One other exciting recreation of this island is a cycling route which allows you to cycle around and within the island having the benefit of the nature while on a Kish Island tour. This route is approximately 75 kilometers and does not have any link to the car roads which means you are totally safe cycling in this road with your kids on their own bike.
- Best time to book a Kish Island tour
Since the island’s weather is hot and moisty, the best time to visit the island or book a Kish Island tour would be in the cool or cold times of the year meaning March or mid-autumn. During this time of year, a cool breeze will blow helping you enjoy your time more than expected while on a Kish Island tour. For more information about Iran’s best time to visit click here.
- How is the transportation system for visitors on a Kish Island tour?
The Kish Island has no traffic lights which means a great trip with no stops and a notable driving culture. It might be interesting for you to know that blowing car horns is forbidden in this island. Visitors who intend to travel solo or attend a Kish Island tour might want to know that the most popular transportation system in this island is taxis which mostly are in the colors of yellow and white. Also, minibuses work to transfer people within the island, as well. What’s more, there are some car rental companies from which you can rent cars and drive around the island on your own creating a more memorable time while on a Kish Island tour.
- Accommodation in Kish Island for visitors on a Kish Island tour
Iran hotels has always been a wonder for tourists who travel to Iran. Kish Island’s hotels are no exception of this admiration since there are variety of choices for visitors who are travelling solo or are on a Kish tour. Just as any noteworthy trip destination, Kish Island has luxurious to cheap hotels for visitors to choose from. Here are some of the best hotels of the island ready to serve the visitors who are on a Kish Island tour.
- Toranj Hotel: A five-star hotel with stilt houses and extraordinary scenery of sunrise and sunset and direct access to the beach. There are rooms in this hotel that have glass floors standing on which you can watch the sea creating excellent leisure time for visitors on a Kish Island tour in their hotel rooms.
- Daruish Grand Hotel: One other five-star hotel of the island architectural style of which has been inspired by the Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC). This hotel also provides its guests with lots of recreational activities creating a lovely time for visitors while on a Kish Island tour.
- Shayan Kish Hotel: Another luxurious five-star hotel in Kish Island with a view of the Grand Pier of Kish ready to serve the ones who are interested in attending a Kish Island tour.
It is worth mentioning that there are a ton of great hotels on the island serving their guests with the best of everything, helping visitors have the time of their life on a Kish Island tour.
- Is it expensive to travel to Kish Island?
Generally speaking, Iran is not an expensive destination for tourists to travel to, and although Kish Island is not an exception, it is obviously more affordable to travel to Kish Island by booking a Kish tour.
- How to get to Kish Island
There are two ways for visitors to get to Kish Island. You can either take the plane and land on the international airport of the island or if you are inside the borders of Iran, you can take the train or bus or a plane to Bandar Abbas city and then use cargo ships or passenger ferries to get to the island via sea. Of course, in case you choose to attend a Kish tour planning all this will be our job or any other travel agency you choose in order to book a Kish Island tour from.
- How can I book a Kish Island tour?
As a tour and travel agency, we are here to facilitate your trips. In order to book a Kish Island tour and for more information regarding this matter contact Info@zhivar.Net and be guided by our experts.
Let’s face it, Kish Island is literally a paradise on earth. Walking alongside exceptional coral beaches, breathing clean, fresh air and leaving your troubles behind is an experience you will never let out of your mind if you attend a Kish Island tour. Also, do note that Kish Island has more recreational places and activities than said in this article experiencing which will absolutely haunt you for the rest of your life making you attend a Kish Island tour again. Hope to see you soon!
The Iranian food, which is as old as the country itself, is consistent of a thousand different colorful ingredients. Every single ethnic group brings something exquisite to the table –both literally and figuratively!
Of course, a few millennia of civilization, massive exposure to neighboring countries and the cultural exchange with Asia and Europe are explanatory and have added to the many layers of Iranian food history.If you’re more drawn to the historical and cultural side of the country make sure to check out our customizable Classical Cultural tours of Iran.
Iranian food, falls within the range of right amount of spices, sour and sweet flavors create unexpected taste combinations which makes them work together magically; and it all leads to Iranian food becoming one of the most talked-about characteristics of the country.
We owe some of the culinary diversity to the vastly different weather in each region. As opposed to what you might have heard about the weather in Iran, it is not all a big desert. Although the desert is indeed one of the natural beauties found in it. We do offer nature tours such as Eco tours and Desert tours for the interested.
The prosperous lands of northern Iran grant access to a great variety of agricultural products and livestock animals which make Iranian food to be more of a diverse one among Asian food. Also, with the Caspian Sea so close, seafood is easily available in Iranian menus. The Iranian food specified to the Northern region is mostly based on rice, beef, fish and chicken and the flavors lean towards the sour side. The southern Iranian food on the other hand, much similar to Indian cuisines tend to be hot and spicy. Proximity to the Persian Gulf creates great biodiversity which has evidently affected the food in the southern regions. On a side note, we offer Island tours for those interested in the culture and traditional food of Iran’s southern islands.
In the following text we are going to talk about the most famous Iranian food in order to help you choose your desired Iranian food according to your dietary habits and enjoy different types of food on a travel to Iran.
Iranian Food: Breakfast
Let’s start our journey with breakfast, just like we start our day.
A lot like any other culture, bread is an inseparable part of the Iranian breakfast. Anyone looking to grab a bread or Naan, as it is called in Persian, is faced with a multitude of choices, Sangak, Lavash, Taftoon and Barbari, just to name a few, are some of the breads found in Iranians’ everyday grocery lists. Cheese, butter, honey, jam, herbs, and different nuts are essentials existing in every house in Iran. Halim and Adasi (lentil soup) are also some of the traditional hot Iranian food usually served as breakfast.
Iranian breakfast is almost always sided with a cup of tea or two, since Iranians like to start the day by drinking tea and continue throughout the rest of their day with the kettle on and the water boiling.
Common Iranian Dishes:
There are several types of Iranian stews typically made by Iranians such as: Khorak, Khoresh and Dizi, the majority of which take a long while to cook but the results are always quite rewarding. Khoresh is mostly served with rice and consists of different herbs, onions, tenderized meat and other ingredients depending on what kind of Khoresh we are talking about. Ghormeh Sabzi or the Iranian herb stew is an honorable mention when it comes to Khoresh, which is rich with fiber and protein and strongly aromatic. Ghormeh Sabzi is one of the first dishes coming to mind on the topic of Iranian food.
Rice and Pilaf:
Since the Safavid era, rice has been a fundamental element of Iranian food for centuries and it is still served as a staple dish alongside many other dishes. Dami and Polo are two of the popular Iranian rice cooking methods, mostly using white Bastami rice. Rice in the Iranian food could be accompanied by a selection of chopped vegetables, herbs, beans, fruits, and sometimes minced meat or chicken chunks to create a good number of rice-based Iranian dishes. Lubia-polo, Zereshk-polo and Tahchin are some of the well-liked pilafs you will find in Iran.
Although not a meal, Tahdig is a common and vastly popular part of the Iranian food. It is basically scorched rice, bread or potato slices with a crunchy texture and is almost always cooked and served with the rice.
Different types of kebab are oftentimes ranked as the most popular Iranian food among tourists as well as locals. There are two ways to serve kebabs in Iran: either with steamed rice or bread and always with grilled tomatoes. Kebab served with rice is called ‘Chelo kebab’ and referred to as the national Iranian food. There are various kinds of kebabs original to Iran that Iranians take pride in, the most common ones being Kubide (minced meat mixed with cut onions), Juje (grilled pieces of chicken) and Tabei.
Even though Kalepache is a majorly favored Iranian food among locals, it might not be everyone else’s cup of tea. But if you are adventurous with your food, trying Kalepache or Khash, which is simply boiled head and trotters of sheep, could be a unique experience. Although Kalepache is also traditional to a number of neighboring countries, it is safe to assume each country brings its own quirk to the food that makes it slightly different and more accustomed to the food palate of the region.
Ash and Soup:
Ash is a form of traditional Iranian soup differentiated from ordinary soup by its thickness and ingredients. Ashe Reshteh, mainly made of thin noodles, herbs and beans as well as Ashe Shole Ghalamkar are two of the conventional thick soups, well-liked in most Iranian households. There are also more diluted and watery types of soup cooked in Iran namely Soupe Jo and Adasi. Ash and Soup also can be used as appetizers before having the main Iranian food.
Shole Zard or Persian saffron rice pudding which is more commonly served as a desert, is very sweet and a lot of the time is associated with religious intents in Iran to which there are two reasons: first off, it is customary to break the fast with Shole Zard during Ramadhan (or Ramazan) in Iran, and the second reason concerns Nazri. Nazri is the food cooked and given away to others, especially the poor, after one’s wish is achieved and Shole Zard is often cooked as Nazri. Be aware of Shole Zard if you have a sweet tooth, since being one of the most delicious Iranian food helps it to steal your heart!
If you are interested in vegetarian food options, the good news is that the Iranian food will offer you plenty. Vegetable-based dishes make up a great percentage of Iranian food and are available for ones in search of a healthier life-style.
To simply put it, Kuku is egg wrapped in several ingredients like herbs or potatoes and then grilled to perfection. Herb Kuku or Kuku Sabzi plays a culturally prominent role since it is served at Nowrouz, spring equinox which is celebrated by Iranians as the new year. As a national Iranian food for Nowrouz, Iranian also eat rice, cooked with special vegetables and fish.
Mirzaghasemi, also known as Persian eggplant dip, is an appetizer (sometimes served as a main dish) original to Gilan province in northern Iran. It includes eggplants, responsible for the smoky flavor, eggs, garlic and tomatoes providing a high nutritional value. This is also one the Iranian food loved by many which means being a northern Iranian food does not make it a local one.
Salad Shirazi is regularly found on every Iranian Table (or sofreh!) as a side dish. A number of vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers and onions as the main ingredients are cut and mixed in a bowl together with vinegar or lime juice. The stunning color combination compliments the overall look and brings a new life to the food table.
Whilst Iranian food contains a remarkable history and is currently one of the center-points in Iranian culture, it is time-consuming to cook and unfortunately as the city life gets busier people find less and less time to contribute to traditional ways of Iranian culinary arts. But hopefully the varied and flavorsome dishes will live on to be a part of Iranians’ everyday life for much longer.
Medical science and medical care, just like the food, has a long history in Iran. If you’re interested in an Iran Medical tour, we would be happy to help you with the matter.
Our Tailor-made tours are also suitable for individuals who like the idea of being involved in the planning of their own trip.
Everything about Iran Hotels
Accommodation surely plays a great role in today’s tourism industry; even more so than it used to. Although tastes and expectations might differ drastically from one individual to another when it comes to picking a temporary residency for holidays, almost everyone can agree on a number of essentials. Safety, high quality service and the welcoming ambient to name a few, can affect the guests’ experience positively. We hope to be helpful by introducing a handful of hotels in Iran possessing those qualities.
Boutique and traditional: most favored among the Iran hotels
Out of all Iran hotels, boutique hotels are popular amongst tourists mostly because of the traditional architecture and the old texture. (If you’re an admirer of such historical sites you could check out our Classical Cultural tours, as well.) The majority of them are centuries-old constructions and monuments masterfully renovated to function as hospitality centers. A great opportunity to be taken by history enthusiasts looking to spend a few nights within walls with character and old tales to tell. In the following text we will go through some of Iran hotels.
- Saraye Ameriha Hotel (Kashan)
Saraye ameriha was built for the governor of Kashan during the Zand dynasty to serve as a family residence. The ample historic house has been refurbished and is now utilized as a tourist-favorite museum and hotel, ready to take in guests who travel long ways to visit and appreciate the ornamentation arts used to decorate the several interiors and exteriors of the complex. Several types of traditional Iranian arts are evident on every single wall and floor such as woodcarvings, mogharnas and mirror works among other things. The house, which is now amongst the highly demanded Iran hotels, consists of multiple yards, pools and currently, 27 rooms and also hosts international and national cultural programs.
- Moshir Ol-Mamalek Garden Hotel (Yazd)
The Moshir Ol-Mamalek hotel is primarily known for its astonishing garden with flowing streams, pounds and fountains surrounded by tall aged trees. The garden hotel is situated in the historical area of the city, not too far from touristic sites namely the fire temple (aka, Atashkade), Jame Mosque of Yazd and Alexander’s prison. The hotel is well-equipped and contains a traditional restaurant, a coffee shop and a gift shop and was one of the first gardens to join the Iran hotels.
- Nezamiyeh Hotel (Tehran)
The Nezamiyeh Mansion –a hotel as well as a national tourist attraction- is located in downtown Tehran, in the Baharestan square. The garden was first built by a chancellor of Naser Al-Din shah (of the Qajar lineage) and the mansion was later constructed in the Pahlavi era to host the parliament building. Years later in 2017, the century-old house was transformed into one of the hotels in Iran so that the visitors could enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and cherish the architectural style remaining from the Qajar and Pahlavi era.
- Darbe Shazdeh (Shiraz)
The hotel of Darbe Shazde is located in the historical heart of Shiraz. The traditional-style mansion is colored with remarkable sash windows, and is a legacy from the Qajar period. The hotel is regularly sought out by tourists looking into Iran hotels due to the warm and charming atmosphere and close proximity to Vakil bazaar which can be easily reached by foot from Darbe Shiraz.
- Ghasr Monshi (Isfahan)
Like most Iran hotels with historic background, Ghasr Monshi is a piece of Qajar architecture based in Isfahan. Aside from the outstanding yard and artistic constructions, Ghasr Monshi is a great choice for those looking for accommodation within walking distance of tourist attractions in Isfahan such as Naghshe Jahan square, Lotfollah mosque and Shah Mosque.
Iran hotels: Five-star hotels of Iran
If not a boutique hotel, then your best option might be a five-star hotel if you value comfort above all and if you are willing to pay a little extra for it. Numerous Iran hotels have trained employees and western-class service to offer.
- Espinas Palace (Tehran)
Espinas Palace, a five-star luxury hotel standing in a northwest district of Tehran, offers an enticing number of amenities including multiple restaurants and cafés preparing national and international food and beverage applicable to any taste. The modern building stretching as tall as it does, grants the guests a nice view of the city and the proud mountains of the north, causing it to stand out in comparison to the rest of Iran hotels.
In case you’re looking for a tour with detailed planning for your business events, we offer our MICE tours.
- Toranj Marine Hotel (Kish Island)
The first and only of Iran hotels built on the sea is settled in the marvelous Kish Island. The floors in every suite are fully made of glass, enabling the guests to watch the ocean and the sea life flowing within it. You can also spend time on the balcony and observe the sea surrounding you change color as the sun rises and sets. Although not very close to the city center, the hotel offers daily city tours to make up for it.
Those who marvel at the idea of visiting islands of Iran should definitely take a look at our Island tours.
- Abbasi Hotel (Isfahan)
The Abbasi complex of Isfahan was constructed four centuries ago during the Safavid era as a caravanserai to accommodate travelers. Later on, the caravanserai was carefully restored to serve its initial purpose once again in the modern world. The originality and exterior façade was preserved while the rooms were remodeled to be more fitting as hotel rooms. Not many might remember now after decades but the 1974 movie ‘And Then There Were None’ was shot there forever capturing the intricately designed interior through the camera lenses.
Rest assured that you will regret it if you visit Iran and somehow miss the most ancient of Iran hotels still standing with a treasury of Persian art inside.
- Darvishi Hotel (Mashhad)
Royal Darvishi hotel is positioned very closely to the holy shrine of Imam Reza and provides an impressive variety of amenities for the guests and pilgrims to further maximize the enjoyment of their residents during their stay. Some of the services include a children’s playing room, pools, traditional baths, professional masseuses and city tours, placing it among the best of Iran hotels.
- Zandiyeh Hotel (Shiraz)
Shiraz, being the historical center of Iran, has many of Iran hotels and different types of lodging built within it. Zandiyeh hotel sitting right in the heart of the city, providing service of high quality and prone to satisfy even for the pickiest guests, is one of them. The majority of monuments, museums and Vakil bazaar are easily accessible from the hotel. A traditional Iranian bath with unique design is also put up as a highlight accompanied by conference halls, a sport complex and a gallery.
Unique hotels of Iran
Iran is made up by vast lands and a collection of natural resources such as deserts, mountains and seas leading to an increasing demand for more touristic facilities in those vicinities. Let’s proceed to learn more about nature-oriented Iran hotels.
- Barin Hotel (Shemshak)
Barin Hotel is nestled somewhere on the Alborz mountains, about an hour drive away from Tehran and within close range of Shemshak ski resort. The design was inspired by the snow and the mountains surrounding it. Contemporary and flexible, easily catching the eye as well as representing the nature and blending into it. If you by any chance, found your way around Shemshak for skiing, particularly during a colder season, consider making a stop at the Barin complex in order to check out the most peculiar design among Iran hotels and the thrilling landscape.
- Bali Desert hotel (Khur, Isfahan)
The Hotel of Bali is the perfect place to stop by for the desert-loving folk in search of Iran hotels. The architecture design is traditionally heat-proof, adjusting itself to the scorching sun of Khur desert. There are a number of desert-based tourist attractions and activities (such as camel riding) located closely to the hotel.
We have some incredible Desert tours for those interested in the golden beauty of deserts.
- Laleh Rocky Hotel (Kandovan, East Azerbaijan)
The laleh Kandovan hotel placed near Kandovan tourist village, has been listed as the third rocky hotel in the world. The rocky texture and architecture are unique features drawing in many tourists from all over the world, curious about one of the most unusual Iran hotels. Despite the natural interior and exterior made mostly out of rocks, the hotel is fully equipped with facilities and amenities, aiming to cover everything needed for a delightful stay.
Eco-lodges of Iran (ecotourism resident sites)
Have you ever desired to experience life like a local and see the world through different lenses for a few days? Travelers have been seeking to expand their knowledge of different cultures throughout eons with the passion to discover, study and participate in life-styles and societies other than one’s own. Nowadays with rapid growing of the tourism industry and globalization, you might feel like authentic and traditional traveling destinations are hard to find, but the culturally diverse country of Iran has never faced a lack of eco-lodges.
- Nartitee (Taft, Yazd)
The beautiful Nartitee cottage is a Zoroastrian eco-lodge located amidst lovely pomegranate gardens. The house proudly displays countless marks left by age and history, making your stay even more of a unique experience.
- Noghli House (Kashan)
The peaceful atmosphere and friendly staff create a relaxing space for guests, only offering local food and sometimes if you are lucky, live playing of Iranian traditional music. You can decide to partake in making of the food, and sleep on the roof under the starry sky if the weather is kind.
Furthermore, if you are overall a fan of nature, we offer Eco tours checking which out will not be something that you would regret.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran
Although Tehran is the largest city of Iran in terms of population, it is not known to be the sole touristic center of the country. There are of course, many astonishing touristic sites spread all across the whole country including historical constructions, unparalleled tile work and beautiful landscapes. But do not let that be an excuse for you to over-look all the wonders hiding in every corner of the packed city of Tehran.Before going through tourist attractions in Tehran, let’s answer to an important question; how to travel to Tehran? The best way would be through booking a tour.
As a tour and travel agency, we would like to announce that we offer Classical Cultural tours of Iran attending which you can explore Tehran on the first day of your trip. Also, travelers can book our Tailor-made tours and decide where and what they desire to visit when they travel to Iran. Eco tours, Island tours, Medical tours, MICE tours for those who are on business trips and so forth are our other services.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Golestan Palace
The Golestan Palace, almost 4 centuries old and designated as a world heritage site, is a former Qajar complex consisting of gardens, royal buildings decorated with tile work, mirrored interior and is a homage to thrones and various gifts and crafts.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar of Tehran, located in the ever-beating heart of the hustling city. Noticeably aged and born out of a maze of corridors, it contains anything and everything one might be looking for. The sellers are warm and hospitable- as Iranian people often are- and would gladly chat you up or offer help, if needed.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Museums
There is certainly never a shortage of museums in Tehran for the enthusiasts!
- Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA)
Those interested in more modern aspects of Iranian arts will eventually find their way to TMoCA. The most extensive collection of Iranian modern and contemporary art gems as well as valuable contemporary art pieces from European and north American artists belonging to 19th and 20th century are all gathered in one place for visitors to study and admire.
Also, if you are interested in meeting the youthful and artistic crowd of Tehran, TMoCA is the place to go.
- National Museum of Iran
The institution comprises two different complexes:
Museum of Ancient Iran
The exhibition showcases artifacts from the lower Paleolithic period to the Sasanian era, offering a clear view of the trajectory of history throughout thousands of years.
Museum of Islamic Archeology and Art of Iran
The artifacts and relics displayed in the neighboring complex, cover the early Islamic period up until the Qajar times.
- Treasury of National Jewels
Priceless collections going back to the Safavid, Afsharid, Zand, Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties are stored and exhibited in the Treasury of Iranian National Jewels. The collections contain many royal belongings such as crowns and diamonds, filling visitors with awe.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Tabiat Bridge
Also known as the Nature Bridge since the word ‘Tabiat’ mean ‘nature’ in Persian, it connects two of the popular parks of Tehran spanning for 270 meters between the two. The design has won several awards despite being the work of a young designer.
The Tabiat Bridge is a great place to stop by and have a nice meal, considering the number of cafes and restaurants available there, and of course, the enjoyable view.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Tochal mountain /Tochal International Ski Resort
Anyone who has ever visited Tehran will agree that it’s hard to miss the graceful sight of the mountains rising up from the north side of the city. The Tochal mountain is a proper recreational site for those who are willing to spend some time away from all the noise in the city and reconnect with the nature instead.
A gondola lift goes up from Tehran to the Tochal ski resort, the fifth highest resort in the world, where there also is a hotel.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Sa’dabad Historical Complex
Sa’dabad complex built by Qajar and Pahlavi royals, includes 180 hectares of natural forest, mansions, museums, galleries and streets.
The most famous palace located in the complex would be the Green Palace, built in the Qajar era and following a combination of two different architectural styles. The prominent feature which has earned the palace its name is the green façade. Moreover, visiting the greenhouse is highly recommended due to its famous hall of mirror.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: 30 Tir Street Food
Right outside the gates of National Museum of Iran, you will be met with dozens of different booths lining up along both sides of 30 Tir street. The booths are colored with a variety of food and beverage and there are enough benches and seats on the side of the street for you to take a break and have a taste of your snack of choice; be it traditional Persian food, fast food, or even spicy Indian dishes or Turkish food. To get to know more about Iranian food, visit food diversity in Iran.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Tehran Friday Market (AKA Jom’e Bazaar)
If you ever happen to spend a Friday in Tehran, and feel like exploring through one vendor’s goods and move to another for hours without feeling bored, then the Tehran Friday Market might be the place for you.
The sellers have their own way of presenting handcrafts, fabrics, local art and jewelry amongst other things, creating a kaleidoscope of bright colors, surrounding and tempting you to bring back home a cheap souvenir or two.
Just make sure to get the address right, considering that the market has recently been relocated after many years!
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Shopping Centers of Tehran
Although the majority of tourists do not find shopping malls desirable to visit, many of those centers have much more than stores to offer. Iran Mall for instance –currently and by far the biggest mall in the world in terms of area- is serving as a multi-purpose complex and contains many attractions such as a traditional bazaar, a mirror hall, a car show room, 12 movie theatres and a large ice rink.
It is best that you have your smart phone map with you when you visit, considering you can easily get lost in the large area.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Azadi Tower
Azadi Tower –translating to freedom tower- is a hard-to-miss landmark of Tehran built out of marble on the Azadi square and had been designed using elements of traditional Iranian architecture. The Azadi museum with an outstanding interior is located underground, right beneath the tower and ready for visit. Around fifty art pieces of many kinds have been chosen to be displayed and every one of them is a symbol of a specific area in the Iranian history.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Niavaran Palace
Niavaran is a historical palace first used by Qajars as a summer residence during the 18th and 19th centuries (at the time merely a garden) and later became a home to Shah and Empress of Pahlavi with more constructions built on the land.
Nowadays it is open to public with a number of galleries, museums and a private library worth paying a visit for tourists interested in more recent history of Iran.
Tourist Attractions in Tehran: Milad Tower
No matter where you are standing in Tehran, you just have to look up and take a turn around on a sunny day in order to spot the 435-meter-long giant staring you down. The Milad tower, listed as the sixth-tallest tower in the world, is a multi-purpose complex always towering magnificently over the city of Tehran. There is an abundance of trade units (perfect for souvenirs!) and of course food courts.
Let’s not forget about the famous revolving restaurant at the top of the tower waiting to take in the VIP guests and. Furthermore, if you long for a high up view of Tehran, you can simply visit the observation deck.
The Milad Tower also has a Sky Park offering exciting activities at the height of 280 meters, excellent for those who enjoy height. Bungee jumping, Edge walking, Sky fly and a Glass box as well as a Sky swing are the breathtaking activities of the Sky Park.
Fortunately, a great system of public transportation has been developed in Tehran over the years. Even with the possibility of the great crowd attracting traffic in some areas, the subway enables any sightseer and tourist to easily move around the city with a low price. Buses and taxis are also to be found almost everywhere in the city.