Top 5 Places First-Time Travellers Should Visit In Iran

Known for being one of the oldest civilisations in the world, Iran is a country everyone must visit once in their lifetime
Ruins of Persepolis, Shiraz
Ruins of Persepolis, ShirazUnsplash

With Iran lifting Visa requirements for Indian citizens, a doorway has opened for travel enthusiasts from India looking to explore “the land of the Aryans.” Renowned for its diverse history and rich cultural heritage, Iran offers a wide range of attractions for every kind of traveller. From the heart of the Persian empire of antiquity to the breathtaking natural wonders, Iran’s diverse landscape is a testament to its historic past.

If you’re someone wanting to explore mouthwatering food, a rich historical legacy, and scenic wonders, look no further, as Iran is the ideal blend of all these elements and more. Here, we’ve come up with some of the best destinations to visit in Iran for a memorable experience. 



Set against the backdrop of the Alborz mountains, Tehran is the bustling capital city of Iran. The city is a well-known travel destination and is a melting pot of tradition and modernity. It is a treasure trove for those keen to delve into Iran's storied past, boasting an array of museums that house relics of bygone eras.

As night falls, the city transforms, revealing a trendy cafe culture where locals and travellers alike can revel in the vibrant social scene of Iran. For those looking to venture further, Tehran serves as a gateway to breathtaking natural escapes. Tochal and Darband, with their pristine landscapes and tranquil ambience, offer a tranquil respite from the urban energy of Tehran. 



Shiraz is affectionately heralded as the city of love, literature and Persian Gardens. It pays homage to its rich literary heritage with the tombs of Hafez and Sa'adi, Iran's celebrated poets whose verses have transcended borders and time, capturing the admiration of figures as eminent as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  These sites attract not just visitors but pilgrims drawn to pay their respects to the legacy of Persian poetry. 

Eram Garden, a quintessential Persian garden with towering cypress and palm trees, scarlet roses, flowing water, and a spectacular three-story pavilion, is indeed worthy of paeans. It is enough to tempt you to pick up a book of the great poets.

Explore the colossal tombs and reliefs etched into the rock at Persepolis, following in the footsteps of the great kings of the Persian Empire. The presence of a local guide can transform this visit into a journey through time; with passion and pride, they unravel the stories behind the ruins, offering insights that bridge the past with the present.



One of Iran's most popular tourist destinations, Isfahan, is only a 2-hour drive from Kashan. Many of Isfahan's must-see sights remind tourists of Eastern mysterious myths, such as Hasht Behesht Palace, Chehelsetoun, Chahar Bagh, and Jame Mosque.

The heart of Isfahan beats in Emam Square, also known as Naghshe Jahan Square, one of the largest squares in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This architectural marvel is encircled by the monumental Emam and Sheikh Lotfolah Mosques, the majestic Alighapoo Palace, and the bustling bazaar, each a symbol of the city's rich heritage.

Isfahan is also a haven for food lovers, with restaurants that serve traditional dishes renowned across Iran. The city's culinary delights offer a feast for the senses, inviting visitors to savour the flavours that are as diverse and vibrant as Esfahan itself. This city is known to Iranians as Nesfe Jahan, which translates to "half of the world" in Persian. The rationale is that people believe half of the world's beauty is found in Isfahan, and are not far from the truth.



Kashan, a hidden gem nestled within the heart of Iran, is renowned not just for its breathtaking 18th-century homes like the Ameri House and Borujerdi House but also for its historical and architectural wonders. This city offers a mosaic of cultural treasures that beckon travellers to delve deep into its storied past. 

The Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse (don't forget to climb up to the roof), the Agha Bozorg Mosque (which is best visited outside of prayer times), and the Khan Amir al-Dowleh Timche caravan serai in the bazaar are all very picturesque. It's the ideal place to stop between Tehran and Esfahan, so you might want to schedule your visit so that you spend the night in one of the historical homes—many of which have been converted into opulent boutique hotels.



In the heart of Iran lies the ancient city of Yazd. Its captivating skyline, punctuated with adobe architecture and elegant silhouettes of mosque domes, will have you believe that you have stepped into the pages of Arabian Nights. The air is perfumed with the scents of mint tea and incense, drifting from cosy cafes tucked away in hidden corners.

Amir Chakhmakh complex, a Shia Hussainiya (a multitude hall for the mourning of Muharram), dominates the city centre with its spiked minarets and mysterious Zoroastrian fire temples. Venture into Yazd's bustling souks, and you'll find yourself enveloped in a vibrant experience of life where shisha pipes gently bubble against a backdrop of animated chatter, and dust devils spin whimsically among cotton and silk emporiums. It's a place where the legacy of Marco Polo feels very much alive, inviting modern-day explorers to follow in his footsteps. 

Getting There

The fastest and most convenient way to travel from India to Iran is by air, which takes 8 hours and 13 minutes and costs between INR 13,000 and INR 26,000.

For details on visa and more information, click here.

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