Golestan Palace: Between Imam Khomeini Sq and the bazaar In what was once the heart of Tehran is this monument to the glories and excesses of the Qajar rulers,several grand building around a garden(you must get separate ticket for each building.) Naser al Din Shah who was impressed by European palaces he had seen built this originally much bigger palace into this palaces of flowers. This complex has 17 palaces,museums and halls.
Niavaran palace: This museum complex consists of several buildings such as Sahebqaranieh that exhibits Shahâs golden phone and royal pistols.Another highlights include a Kerman carpet showing Persian shahs from Achaemenids as well as some European sovereigns like Napoleon.
Tehran bazaar:Â Traders and shopkeepers have been making money in this place for over 1000 years. The bazaar stores line more than 10 km of lanes and there are several entrances, but itâs worth using the main entrance, in a square opposite Bank Meli. This place is a city within a city with guesthouses, banks, a church, a fire station and several mosques. Most lanes specialize in a particular commodity: copper, paper, gold, spices and carpets, among others.
Quran gate:Â Azad ol Doleh Delamy in his governing period built these two arches in shape of a gate and placed two Qurans in them so that the caravans crossing through it be blessed and safe.The two Qurans are now preserved in Pars museum in Shiraz and the gate is one of the cityâs symbols and famous in the world.
Zandieh Complex:Â Karim Khan was the founder of the Zand dynasty that ruled Iran from 1760-1779 AD. In this period, many buildings including mosques, water reservoirs, citadels, bazaars and caravansaries were built, many of which are still standing in Shiraz.
Karim Khan citadel: The largest building in this complex was residence of Karim Khan and his family.This grand citadel is now a museum and located in central part of the city.
Vakil bazaar: One of the great architectural masterpieces of Zand dynasty is built in a way which is cool in summers and warm in winters. Now itâs a trade center for many goods such as fabrics,carpets,silver jewelry and hand woven materials and also visitable places in Shiraz. Â At the end of the Vakil Bazaar is the Moshir Serai, which was built in a typical courtyard plan, with rooms on two story with trees and a pool in the center.
Vakil mosque: Another masterpiece from Zand era is this mosque with a large prayer hall (75 m. long and 36 m. wide) and a 14 stairs integrated marble pulpit.
Vakil bath: One of the most beautiful and complete traditional baths in Iran located in west of Vakil mosque. Now it is a museum of Nomadic carpets.
Persepolis:Â This magnificent structure which from aboutÂ 518 BC in the Achaemenid empire which is a world heritage site is located 50 Km from Shiraz.This complex has 4 main parts:1) Palaces sed for formal ceremonies 2)Palaces where was residence of the kings 3)Royal treasury 4) Protective forts
Palaces in this structure are as follows:
The Gate of the Nations
The Apadana Palace of Darius
The Hall of a Hundred Columns
Tachar Palace of Darius
The Hadish Palace of Xerxes
The Palace of ArtaxerxesIII
Emperial treasury,royal stables and the Chariot House.
Naqsh-e Rajab:Â In north of Persepolis inscriptions exist which dates back to the Sassanid Empire. It is not clear why this place is called Naghshe Rajab but the inscriptions show (from left to right): King Shapur the first and his family,Crowning of King Ardeshir the first and Crowning of King Shapur the first.
Naghsh-e Rostam:Â One of the sacred places for ancient Iranians that has relics from Median, the Achaemenid and the Sassani periods. Mausoleum of the Achaemenid emprors (from left to right) Xerxes, Darius the first, Ardeshir the first and Darius the seconder located in the top part of the hill. Across from these mausoleums is a cubic structure called Zoroaster temple. The oldest relic in this area is an Ilamic inscription along with other ones like the great inscription of King Shapur the first on wall of the Zoroaster temple and a well.
Worldâs Heritage site in Passargadea:Â This complex comprising of Cyrus mausoleum, Kambudieh mausoleum, Solomon crown, reception palace, Gate palace and a caravansary from the Islamic period was an important place during the entire the Achaemenid empire.
Cyrus mausoleum: This 11 meter monument built from white stone is a square room placed on a 6 stairs pyramid.
Bishapur ancient city:Â In about 180 Km from Shiraz is an ancient city belonged to Sassanid empire which was built at King Shapur the first-the second Sassani king-request (262 AD).There are many different structures in this area such as Anahita temple, Shapur ceremonial hall,ceramic porch,Valerian palace,etc.
Statue of Shapur the first:Â A giant masterpiece with 7 meters high and 30 tons weight curved in the Sassanid era exist in a cave on a hilltop 6 Km north of Bishapur.
Naqshe jahan square:Â The central historic square of the city registered as the worldâs heritage sites comprising of three other sightseeing as following:
Imam mosque: The most important mosques from Safavid era located in the southern side of the square. Main attraction of this mosque is the beautiful and artistic tile workings.It was also called as Shah mosque or Abbasi Jame mosque.
Sheikh lotf Allah mosque: This mosque is built on Shah Abbas order in the eastern side of square.Itâs different from other Safavid mosques in not having minaret and apron.
Ali qa pu palace: This six story palace is located in the western side of Imam square. Sound reflection in the entrance hall, different decoration for each story and music hall is some of this palace features.
Zayande river bridges:Â Over the years many bridges have been built on this river crossing through the city which Sio se pol and Khaju might be the most famous ones.
Sio se pol: This bridge which was built on Allah verdi Khanâs expense in time of Shah Abbas said to be one of the gloriuos bridges in the world.
Khaju bridge: It is on the east of Sio se pol and more known than the other bridges because of beautiful tile working and architecture.
Chehel sotun palace:Â This palace was built during Safavid era. This palace gets its name from the fact that reflection of the twenty pillar in the poll across the hall make it forty pillars.This palace also has beautiful paintings and tile workings on the walls and ceiling.
Shah Abbasi hotel (caravansary):A converted Safavid caravansary to a hotel is located in Chahar bagh Ave. It has formal gardens filling the center of the courtyard.
Fin Complex:Â One of historical gardens in Iran along with a museum and bath which recently registered as a UNESCO heritage site. Presence of water and trees around the building gives it a dynamic identity. Some parts had been destroyed; however, it was finally inscribed in the list of National Properties in 1935 and it received new attention.
Sialk Ancient Hills:Â This ancient area is located 4 Km southwest of Kashan where used to be a place of worship for ancient people dating back to 5000 years BC.It has a northern and southern hill and prehistoric cemeteries.
Old city:Â With its wind catchers (Badgirs) Yazd old city emerges like a phoneix. According to UNESCO Yazd old city is one of the oldest cities on earth. If you are lucky you may get the chance to have a view over Yazd on one of the rooftops.
Jame Mosque:Â A monument from 11th century with two magnificent 48 meters high minarets and exquisite tile workings on the dome, mihrab and main western entrance to the courtyard.There is also a library near this mosque containing a valuable collection of ancient manuscripts.
Susa:Â One of the most important civilization centers in ancient world dating back to 7000 years ago is 135 Km north of Ahvaz. The most important monument of this area is Choghazanbil ziggurat. It originally had 5 stories which now only two of them has remained. This Ilamic structure is registered as UNESCO Heritage sites. Suse also has a museum.
Bam Citadel:Â The ancient mud city of Bam is the worldâs largest brick structure. It was a jewel on Iranâs tourism crown until the earthquake in 2003 but it is still an attraction and the project of rebuilding this structure continues.
Rayen Citadel:Â The second great brick structure after Bam citadel which dates back to the Sassanid era.Itâs located in Rayen city near Kerman.