The first-time itinerary of Iran often counts the cities of Esfahan and Persepolis as must-visits, along with Shiraz perhaps. However, there are many overlooked spots which definitely deserve their place at the top of the list. Here is our round-up of the most underrated cities in Iran.
Many believe that Mashhad’s only highlight is the Haram-e Razavi complex, which commemorates the AD 817 martyrdom of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam in Shia Islam – however, there is so much more. It is the second-largest place in the country and boasts the Caravanserai Azizolaof Bazaar and the Nader Shah Mausoleum. Mashhad also proves a great spot for other day trips such
Masuleh is at least a millennium old and so provides
Yazd is like something out of an ancient fairytale. It features winding streets, stunning blue-tiled domes, wind towers and plenty of mud brick buildings to discover. It’s a culturally rich spot in Iran with places such as Khan-e Lari, the best-preserved Qajar-era house. The best thing to do here is to simply get lost in its enchanting streets.
Lying between Tehran and Esfahan, Kashan is an oasis city on the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir. It is a top sight with its stunning covered bazaar and 19th-century houses – so stunning, in fact, that Shah Abbas I insisted on being buried there rather than Esfahan. Throughout the Seljuk period (AD 1051-1220) Kashan was well-known for its tiles, pottery and textiles work. Now Kashan stands as an important hub for the production of rugs, textiles and interestingly, rose water.
Bam is a desert oasis town with thousands of palm trees that grow dates the town is famous for. You may already know Bam from the devastating earthquake that happened in
After Mashhad, Qom is the holiest city in Iran. The Hazrat-e Masumeh shrine is there, the burial of Imam Reza’s sister Fatema. You will need to dress conservatively around this area. Qom’s population has doubled since the revolution and so is one of Iran’s fastest growing cities. Head to