Iran Tourist Attractions 08 Mar 2024 BY Maryam Mahmoudian

Top 23 Museums in Iran + Photos

Iran, a nation with a long and rich history dating back to ancient civilizations, possesses a diverse and extensive cultural heritage.

Museums throughout the country serve as repositories of this heritage, housing collections of artifacts, artworks, and historical objects that offer visitors a deeper understanding of Iranian culture, art, and history.

This guide provides an overview of some of Iran's top museums located in major cities, including Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Kashan, Shiraz, Yazd, and Tabriz.


List of Top 26 Museums in Iran

  1. National Museum of Iran (in Tehran)
  2. Archaeological Museum (in Tehran)
  3. Carpet Museum (in Tehran)
  4. Glassware and Ceramic Museum (in Tehran)
  5. Negarestan Museum (in Tehran)
  6. Isfahan Music Museum
  7. Chehel Sotoun Palace Museum (in Isfahan)
  8. Qajar Museum (in Isfahan)
  9. Museum of Contemporary Art of Isfahan
  10. Armenian Museum of New Julfa (in Isfahan)
  11. Astan Quds Razavi Museums (in Mashhad)
  12. Khorasan Great Museum (in Mashhad)
  13. Borujerdi House (in kashan)
  14. Tabatabaei Historical House Museum (in kashan)
  15. Sialk Archaeological Museum (in kashan)
  16. Pars Museum (in Shiraz)
  17. Narenjestan Qajar Museum (in Shiraz)
  18. Eram Garden Museum (in Shiraz)
  19. Yazd Water Museum
  20. Amir Chakhmaq Complex (in Yazd)
  21. Yazd Art House
  22. Qajar Museum (Amir Nezam House) (in Tabriz)
  23. Coin Museum of Kerman (in Kerman)


Top Museums in Tehran

Tehran, the capital and largest city of Iran, boasts a rich history and vibrant cultural scene. Home to numerous best museums in Iran, Tehran offers visitors a diverse range of collections encompassing various eras and artistic expressions.

| Tehran Tour Packages | Click to discover the one that suits you best!


1. National Museum of Iran

National Museum of Iran

Established in 1928, it houses a vast collection of artifacts spanning from prehistoric times to the Islamic era, including renowned objects from the Achaemenid, Sassanid, and Islamic periods.

| Read the full guide: National Museum of Iran


2. Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum

Dedicated to showcasing archaeological finds from various regions of Iran, it offers insights into the evolution of Iranian civilization through the display of unearthed artifacts.

| Read the full guide: Abyaz Palace | The Ethnological Museum of Tehran


3. Carpet Museum

Carpet Museum

This museum houses a collection of Persian carpets from different regions of Iran, showcasing the diverse weaving techniques and rich history of this traditional art form. Visitors can admire the intricate designs, vibrant colors, and cultural significance of these carpets.

| Read the full guide: Carpet Museum of Iran


4. Glassware and Ceramic Museum

Glassware and Ceramic Museum

Featuring an extensive collection of Iranian glassware and ceramics from various eras, it showcases the evolution of pottery and glassmaking techniques in Iran.


5. Negarestan Museum

Negarestan Museum

Housed in a beautiful 19th-century palace, it displays a collection of royal portraits, jewelry, and European artworks, offering a glimpse into the artistic interests of the Qajar dynasty.


Top Museums in Isfahan

Isfahan, a UNESCO World Heritage City renowned for its Safavid-era architecture, also boasts a rich collection of museums showcasing diverse historical and artistic aspects of the region.

| Click to discover our Isfahan tour packages!


1. Isfahan Music Museum

Isfahan Music Museum

Established in 1997, this museum houses a collection of over 400 Iranian musical instruments dating back to the 17th century. Visitors can explore various instruments like the setar, santur, and tombak, gaining insights into the evolution of musical styles and performance practices in Iran.

| If you're in Isfahan, you shouldn't miss Vank Cathedral!


2. Chehel Sotoun Palace Museum

Chehel Sotoun Palace Museum

The palace museum houses a rich collection of Safavid-era artworks, including exquisite frescoes, intricate tilework, and majestic paintings. Each masterpiece reflects the artistic brilliance of the Safavid dynasty, showcasing themes of Persian mythology, courtly life, and royal ceremonies.

| Read the full guide: Chehel Sotoun Palace


Other Notable Museums in Isfahan

  1. Qajar Museum: Dedicated to the Qajar dynasty (1789-1925), showcasing art, artifacts, and everyday objects from the period.
  2. Museum of Contemporary Art of Isfahan: Featuring works by Iranian and international contemporary artists.
  3. Armenian Museum of New Julfa: Highlighting the history and culture of the Armenian community in Isfahan.


Top Museum in Mashhad

Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, is a prominent center of pilgrimage for Shi'a Muslims. It serves as the resting place of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Twelver Shi'ism. This significance has shaped the city's development, with the vast holy shrine of Imam Reza being its central landmark.

Beyond its religious significance, Mashhad offers historical and cultural attractions and Iran's best museums for visitors.

| Explore our Mashhad tour packages!


1. Astan Quds Razavi Museums

Astan Quds Razavi Museums

This complex encompasses several museums within the holy shrine of Imam Reza, showcasing diverse artifacts related to Islamic history and culture. The museums house exhibits on various topics, including the life of Imam Reza, the development of Shi'a Islam, and Islamic art and calligraphy.


2. Khorasan Great Museum

Khorasan Great Museum

Being among Iran's most expansive provinces, Khorasan holds a rich history spanning numerous epochs, from ancient civilizations to the Islamic era. The museum diligently conserves and showcases the historical heritage of the region. The museum's exhibits provide insight into the customs, traditions, and lifestyle of the people of Khorasan. Visitors can explore displays featuring traditional clothing, artifacts from daily life, and agricultural practices unique to the region.


Top Museums in Kashan

Kashan, an oasis city renowned for its historical houses and vibrant carpet industry, offers a unique window into traditional Persian architecture.

| Click to find the best tours to Kashan: Kashan Tour Packages


1. Borujerdi House

Borujerdi House

Built in the 19th century by a wealthy merchant family, the Borujerdi House exemplifies the city's architectural heritage. Today, it functions as a museum, showcasing the exquisite use of brickwork, courtyards, and elaborate windcatchers. Visitors can explore the house's chambers, adorned with traditional tilework, mirrorwork, and paintings, gaining insights into the lives of affluent merchants during the Qajar era.

| Read more: Kashan's Top 11 Historical Houses + Photos


2. Tabatabaei Historical House Museum

Tabatabaei Historical House Museum

Dating back to the 19th century, this historical house is a prime example of traditional Persian residential architecture. Visitors are captivated by the intricate tilework, stained glass windows, and symmetrical layouts that showcase the aesthetic brilliance of Persian design. Artifacts and collections within the house offer insights into the daily life, customs, and artistic preferences of the residents, creating a vivid tableau of a bygone era.

| Explore the lost wonder of Kashan: Underground City of Noushabad


3. Sialk Archaeological Museum

Sialk Archaeological Museum

The museum is closely tied to the nearby Sialk Mound, an ancient archaeological site that predates the Elamite period. The exhibits within the museum showcase pottery, tools, and artifacts from different epochs, shedding light on the evolution of human civilization in the region.

| Related: Iran's Ziggurats


Top Museums in Shiraz

Shiraz, recognized as the "City of Poets and Gardens," epitomizes a historical enclave with numerous museums dedicated to exhibiting its vibrant cultural legacy.

| Click to discover our Shiraz tour packages!


1. Pars Museum

Pars Museum

Established in 1936, this museum houses a comprehensive collection of archaeological artifacts excavated from the nearby ancient city of Persepolis. Visitors can delve into the Achaemenid Empire through monumental sculptures, intricate cuneiform inscriptions, and everyday objects, offering a glimpse into the lives of its citizens. The museum also houses artifacts from other historical periods, providing a broader perspective on the region's past.


2. Narenjestan Qajar Museum

Narenjestan Qajar Museum

Originally built as a royal residence in the 19th century, this museum showcases Qajar era (1789-1925) art and architecture. Visitors can explore the elaborately decorated chambers, courtyards, and gardens, gaining insights into the lifestyle of the Qajar royal family. The museum also displays artifacts like paintings, furniture, and everyday objects, offering a window into the artistic and cultural aspects of the Qajar period.

| Read more: Tomb of Hafez in Shiraz


3. Eram Garden Museum

Eram Garden Museum

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Eram Garden is a paradise of tranquility in the heart of Shiraz. The museum within the garden celebrates the exquisite design principles that define Persian gardens, characterized by flowing water, symmetrical layouts, and lush greenery. The museum also houses exhibits on the cultural activities that once graced the garden, including poetry readings and musical performances, offering a holistic view of Eram Garden's role as a center for art and culture in Shiraz.


Top Museums in Yazd

Yazd, a UNESCO World Heritage City renowned for its unique desert architecture and innovative water management systems, houses several fascinating museums.

| Discover our Yazd tour packages!


1. Yazd Water Museum

Yazd Water Museum

Established within a 19th-century caravanserai, this museum sheds light on the city's remarkable water technology. Visitors can explore exhibits showcasing qanats (underground water channels), waterwheels, and traditional water storage methods, illustrating the city's adaptation to its arid environment.


2. Amir Chakhmaq Complex

Amir Chakhmaq Complex

This complex, encompassing a bazaar, caravanserai, tekyeh (religious gathering place), and a bathhouse, also houses a museum section. The museum displays artifacts related to the history and culture of Yazd, providing insights into the city's development and daily life.

| Read the full guide: Amir Chakhmagh Complex


3. Yazd Art House

Yazd Art House

This museum reflects the dynamic and evolving art scene in Yazd, showcasing the works of local artists who draw inspiration from the city's rich cultural heritage and modern influences. Visitors to Yazd Art House can explore a diverse range of exhibitions featuring the works of local artists. From paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations, the museum provides a canvas for creativity that reflects the unique perspectives and narratives of Yazd's artistic community.

| Suggestion: Best Hotels in Yazd for a Memorable Stay


Top Museums in Tabriz

Tabriz, located in the northwestern region of Iran, showcases a myriad of cultural experiences within its historical backdrop. Being among Iran's top museums, its museums are renowned for their diverse collections and profound historical importance.

| Explore our Tabriz tour packages!


Qajar Museum (Amir Nezam House)

Qajar Museum (Amir Nezam House)

Originally a grand residence built in the 19th century, the Qajar Museum showcases the art, architecture, and everyday life of the Qajar dynasty (1789-1925). The museum's well-preserved structure itself is a testament to the era's architectural style. Visitors can explore the elaborately decorated rooms, courtyards, and gardens, gaining insights into the lifestyle of the Qajar nobility while also encountering artifacts and exhibits that bring the period to life.

| Suggestion: Tabriz Bazaar Complex


Top Museums in Kerman

Kerman, located in southeastern Iran along the Silk Road, is home to some of the best museums in Iran, exhibiting artifacts from prehistoric times to the Islamic era. The city's rich cultural heritage, including traditional handicrafts such as carpet weaving and pottery, is meticulously preserved in these institutions.


Coin Museum of Kerman

Coin Museum of Kerman

The Zarabkhaneh Museum, also known as the Ganjalikhan Museum or the Coin Museum of Kerman, is located in the north of the Ganj Ali Khan square in Kerman, Iran. Originally built in the 17th century, the museum houses a collection of ancient coins dating back to various historical periods, including the Achaemenid Empire, the Sasanian Empire, and the Islamic era.

| Planning to visit Kerman? You shouldn't miss Arg-e Bam, the fascinating citadel of ancient Persia!


Final Takeaway

From ancient empires to modern art, Iran's top museums offer a mind-blowing journey through time. Whether you're a history buff or an art enthusiast, Iran's museum scene holds something for every explorer. So, pack your bags and get ready to learn more about this fascinating nation's past and present.

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