9 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Iran


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Iran, situated in the Middle East, is quite popular among tourists as a famous place to explore rich history, culture, and beautiful natural sites, not to mention its exquisite desserts and delicacies! With its well-connected transport system, you won’t have a hard time navigating from one place to another. What’s remarkable about this country is that it can be visited in any season, with multiple famous spots offering seasonal variations.

In this article, we will take a look at Iran’s best places to visit that you can explore and get a great vacation experience.

9 Best Places to Visit in Iran

Here is a quick chart of the best places to visit in Iran -

Best Places to Visit in Summer  Best Places to Visit in Winter Best Places to Visit with Family
Kandovan Qeshm and Kish Islands Tehran 
Sarein Chabahar Isfahan
Alasht Kerman Deserts

1. Kandovan

As Iran faces quite hot weather during summer, visiting cooler places will be the best option for tourists. Kandovan, among Iran’s best places to visit, is one such soothing hilly region in the southwest of Tabriz. A semi-rural settlement located at a height of 2,200 meters from the sea level, its calm and vibrant village alleys make for a perfect escape from monotonous daily city life.

It’s a tourist-friendly place as well, as you will find both luxurious and budget-friendly lodging options here.

Here are some famous places in Kandovan and nearby areas that you can explore -

  • Tabriz Grand Bazaar: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, this is an ancient market in Iran and reportedly the world’s largest covered bazaar. Here, you can shop for traditional products and souvenirs. The grandeur of the market, with exquisite structures, attracts huge numbers of tourists every year and speaks a lot about the historical market setup in this region.
  • Constitution House of Tabriz: The Constitution House of Tabriz is a famous tourist destination as it depicts numerous historical facts about the Qajar era. Apart from exploring history, you can also enjoy the architectural beauty of this Constitution Hall.
  • Museum of Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan Museum is a popular destination in Iran for history buffs. It showcases the history of Iran with more than 2,300 artefacts as well as several sculptures and artworks of famous artists.
  • El Goli: This is a renowned historical park in south-eastern Tabriz. It has a beautiful lake that can be a soothing place for you to relax during your summer day trip.

2. Sarein

Situated in Ardabil province, Sarein is a famous natural spot and one of Iran’s best places to visit. There are various hot springs in Sarein which also attract tourists very much. Notably, you can also enjoy skiing here and go to the 3,000-year-old ski site, Alvaresi Village (situated in the Sabalan mountain region). Apart from skiing, the region is perfect for spending refreshing vacation days and getting handicrafts, socks, honey, local bread, and so on.

Some great places to visit in Sarein are:

  • The Hot Water Spring: As mentioned earlier, Sarein is popular for its hot water springs which have formed due to volcanic eruptions. Multiple such hot springs are scattered in the Sarein region, where you can take a dip and relax. Some of the popular ones are Gavmish Goli, Besh Bajilar (where water comes from 5 springs), and more.
  • Sabalan Hydropathy Complex: Sabalan Hydropathy Complex has two separate hot water pools for males and females. These hot water pools also have a Sauna and Jacuzzi to give you an altogether luxurious experience.

3. Alasht

Alasht is a popular summer destination in Iran. Located near the capital city (Tehran), it is also a historically important place as it is the birthplace of the former Pahlavi king, Reza Shah. In addition, you can enjoy mountain camping in the cool misty weather of this region.

The major attractions nearby Alhast are as follows -

  • Mount Damavand: Often called the "Roof of the Middle East," Mount Damavand is a great summer destination in the Alasht region. It is an inactive volcano and has the famous summer resort Damavand situated at its foothill. You can stay in the region and enjoy climbing and hiking on Mount Damavand.
  • Mersisi Forest: Mersisi Forest is an amazing spot for explorers. You can have a great time outdoors and enjoy hiking and mountain biking here.

4. Qeshm and Kish Islands

Qeshm and Kish Islands are picturesque destinations and among Iran’s best places to visit in winter, as the weather remains soothing due to the cool sea breeze. You can explore the beaches in winter and check out the various historical places in this region as well.

Check out the destinations that you can visit in Qeshm and Kish islands -

  • Kariz: Kariz is an ancient site in Kish and a famous tourist spot for history lovers. The site has been renovated recently for public viewing so that people can enjoy an organised historical tour here.
  • Namakdan Cave: Namakdan Cave in Qeshm is a cave full of salt icicles. Among the world’s longest salt caves, it is a great place to channel your inner explorer, explore the icicles, and understand the science behind them.
  • The Valley of Stars: Located near Qeshm, the Star Valley is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the whole Middle East. The main attractions of this region are the unique formations and pebbles, which are believed to have been formed by stardust.
  • Greek Ship: Situated on Qeshm Island, the Greek Ship is a must-visit attraction here. Considered a historical emblem of this city, this ship was made in 1322 and has been stranded close to the island for a long time.

5. Chabahar

Chabahar is one of the most famous winter places to visit in Iran and certainly has a lot to offer! Situated in southeast Baluchestan, it is considered the major port in Iran. Besides Lipar Lagoon, you can visit Lipar Valley and enjoy strolling at Pink Wetland while watching pink-hued nature.

Here are some great tourist spots in Chabahar -

  • Martian Mountains: Martian mountains in Chabahar are a popular tourist spot and great for mountaineering and climbing. They derive their name from their red hue and the form of a cone.
  • Mangrove Forest in Chabahar: The mangrove forests in Chabahar make for a natural hotspot in this region. You can visit this place for leisurely exploration and watch natural vegetation, dolphins, and more here.
  • Pink Lagoon: Pink Lagoon is a unique destination here, primarily popular for its pink-hued water. This is due to a special kind of pink water plankton, which makes the water seem pinkish here. The lagoon, coupled with its incredible surroundings, is indeed picturesque and perfect for photography.
  • Ramin Beach: If you are a beach lover, you should certainly visit Ramin. This beach region is perfect for enjoying surfing, snorkelling, and other several other watersports, even in winter.

6. Kerman

Kerman is one of Iran’s best places to visit if you wish to visit ancient and mediaeval castles, gardens, and inns. The temperature is quite soothing here, which allows you to enjoy a great winter trip here. Apart from this, the blue sky and picturesque landscape also attract visitors to enjoy this city's environment.

You can see the following attractions in this location -

  • Shazdeh Garden: Situated in Kerman, Shazdeh Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited historical places to visit in Iran. The history of this Persian garden extends to the Qajar era. Famous for its architectural excellence and natural abundance, this garden's prime attraction points include numerous pools, royal mansions, fountains, and more.
  • Ganjali Khan Complex: Another great historic place in Kerman is the Ganjali Khan Complex, which can give you a tangible encounter with the ancient history of Iran. In this complex, you can find a bath, a coin museum, a bazaar nearby, and much more!
  • Meymand Village: The hilly town of Meymand is another great tourist spot in Kerman. This site dates back thousands of years and carries great historical importance, which brought it the accolade of the ‘Reward of Mercury’ as the world’s seventh cultural, natural, and historical site in 2005.

7. Tehran

Tehran, the capital city of the country, is also one of Iran’s best places to visit. Due to its wide range of offerings, you can spend a whole day with lots of entertainment in this region and find different places for visiting with family or kids too. As a bustling city in Iran, Tehran is a great place to catch insights into the country's culture and daily urban life.

Here are a bunch of family attractions in Tehran -

  • Tehran Book Garden: A nice place for a day outing with your kids in the capital city, the Tehran Book Garden is a place where your kids can enjoy exploring books and different scientific entertainments. Apart from this, there are several cafes, art galleries, exhibitions, and others all over the place that people of all ages can enjoy.
  • Eram Amusement Park: Eram Amusement Park is a great children's attraction in Tehran. This amusement park has different rides, a zoological garden, playgrounds, restaurants, and several other entertainment options.
  • Tehran Jurassic Park: Tehran Jurassic Park is bound to be a thrilling place for kids! It is a dinosaur theme park with numerous fun elements offered. Children can also have insights into the long-gone dinosaurs and other scientific aspects related to their extinction.

8. Isfahan

Isfahan is a renowned city in Iran surrounded by mountains and deserts. This metropolitan area is quite popular among tourists and is considered one of Iran's best places to visit. Besides a moderate and soothing environment, the historical value of this place also attracts travellers. The city is a landmark of rich art, architecture, and culture. You can also find some unique souvenirs to take back in the form of exquisite handicrafts related to pottery, silver and brass work, and more.

  • Isfahan Aquarium: If you want to entertain your kids while also providing them with knowledge, Isfahan Aquarium would certainly be a great choice. This aquarium is a tunnel underwater where you can see 350 marine species from different continents.
  • Naqsh-e Jahan Square: Naqsh-e Jahan Square is one of the biggest historical squares in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it was made in the 17th century and serves as an important religious and architectural monument in Iran. You can explore various ancient buildings here and even enjoy horse riding here.
  • Chehel Sotoun Palace: This is a historical Persian garden and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. The palace is decorated uniquely, with the major attractions of this palace being the Mirror and Thorne Hall. You can also look at fresco paintings from the Safavid era here.
  • Vank Cathedral: Vank Cathedral is a great architectural site in Isfahan, with a remarkable blend of Armenian and Iranian architecture. The cathedral, besides having fresco paintings depicting the stories from the Bible, also has a museum nearby.

9. Deserts

No list of Iran’s best places to visit would be complete without its deserts! You can find several well-maintained deserts (covered in beautiful golden sands) which you can visit with family during winter and engage in many adventurous activities.

Here are some great deserts in Iran that you can enjoy with your friends and family:

  • Maranjab Desert: One of the most famous deserts in Iran, Maranjab is situated near Isfahan province. The desert is safe and accessible, and you can also stay in traditional rooms here to enjoy the starry night.
  • Mesr Desert: Known as the ‘sand sea desert’ in Iran, Mesr is a popular destination to visit from mid-autumn to April. The desert has several mountains in the surrounding area, meaning that you will have plenty of opportunities to indulge in adventure sports, trekking, and more. You can also explore the villages nearby and explore the local lifestyle.
  • Zardgah Desert: If you want to spend a day in Iran in an offbeat desert destination, you can surely visit the Zardgah desert. This remarkable desert has a slight green touch of palm trees and has famous attractions such as a hot spring, a small public pool, fruit orchards, and so forth.
  • Lut Desert: The desert is extremely popular among tourists as here you will find several activities such as desert safari, dune bashing, and so on. It is also quite huge, and you can enjoy exploring its unknown corners. This desert is also a must-visit if you wish to have a night view of the desert.

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As we covered Iran’s best places to visit, you must have surely made a checklist of places to visit, whether you are going alone or with your friends and family. One thing, however, that you must not forget before your trip is travel insurance for Iran.

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