Shiraz Travel Guide

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Shiraz Travel Guide

Dive into the captivating essence of Shiraz, Iran’s city of poets, wine, and flowers. This guide will take you through the best ways to get to Shiraz, from flying into Shiraz International Airport to scenic train journeys. Discover where to stay, with options ranging from luxurious hotels to charming guesthouses. Uncover top attractions, including the breathtaking Nasir al-Mulk Mosque and the ancient splendor of Persepolis. Savor the local cuisine, known for its flavorful kebabs and unique Shirazi salad. Learn the best times to visit to enjoy the city’s vibrant culture and mild weather. Join us on this journey to experience the magic of Shiraz and make your trip unforgettable.

How to Get to Shiraz?

Getting to Shiraz is convenient and offers several options depending on your starting point and travel preferences. Here’s a detailed guide on how to get to Shiraz:

Travel to Shiraz by Air

Domestic Flights: Shiraz is well-connected to major cities in Iran such as Tehran, Isfahan, Kerman, and Mashhad. Several domestic airlines offer frequent flights to Shiraz, making it a quick and easy option for travelers within the country. The average cost of a domestic flight from Tehran to Shiraz is 20$.

International Flights: Shiraz Airport also serves international flights from several countries, primarily in the Middle East. Travelers from Europe, Asia, or other regions may need to connect through major hubs like Dubai, Istanbul, or Doha.

Travel to Shiraz by Train

Many also prefer to go to Shiraz by train and enjoy the beauty of the route as much as they can. The good news for those interested in traveling by train is that you can travel to Shiraz from the most important cities in Iran such as Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, and Mashhad by train. Shiraz is connected to the national railway network. You can take a train from major cities like Tehran and Isfahan. Train journeys are comfortable and offer a scenic way to see the countryside. Booking in advance is recommended, especially for long-distance routes. The average train ticket cost to Shiraz from the capital, Tehran, is 10$.

Travel to Shiraz by Bus

Traveling to Shiraz by bus is a popular and affordable option for both locals and tourists. Iran boasts a well-developed and efficient bus network that connects Shiraz with major cities and regions across the country. There are VIP buses and Standard buses available for traveling to Shiraz by bus. VIP buses offer extra comfort with wider, reclinable seats, more legroom, and sometimes onboard amenities such as snacks and drinks. They are ideal for long-distance travel. In addition, standard buses are more affordable than VIP buses, these provide basic amenities and are a good option for budget travelers.

Travel to Shiraz by Rental Car

Traveling to Shiraz by rental car offers a flexible and enjoyable way to explore the region at your own pace. Renting a car in Iran to get to Shiraz allows you to customize your travel itinerary, stop at scenic spots along the way, and experience the journey on your own terms. Traveling to Shiraz by rental car is an excellent way to experience the freedom and adventure of a road trip. With careful planning and preparation, you can enjoy a smooth and memorable journey to this historic and culturally rich city.

Where to Stay in Shiraz?

Shiraz is one of the most important destinations of Iran which has many high-quality hotels and hostels. Of course, friendly and cheap hotels should not be neglected. However, you can choose any type of hotel you want according to your preferences. In our Shiraz travel guide, we recommend choosing boutique hotels and traditional guesthouses to enjoy the local ambiance of Shiraz. Here we have listed the best accommodation in Shiraz that you can choose from.

Luxury Hotels in Shiraz

  • Shiraz Grand Hotel: The Grand Hotel of Shiraz is located near the Quran Gate, providing beautiful views of the city. Shiraz Grand Hotel allows you a luxurious experience with excellent service and proximity to major attractions.
  • Homa Hotel Shiraz: The Homa Hotel in Shiraz is located near Azadi Park, in a peaceful area of the city. This hotel features high-end amenities and a serene environment ideal for relaxation.
  • Chamran Grand Hotel: The Chamran Hotel is located on Chamran Boulevard, offering panoramic city views. This hotel features modern luxury with easy access to both the city center and natural attractions.
Shiraz Grand Hotel

Mid-Range Hotels in Shiraz

  • Elysee Hotel Shiraz: The Elysee Hotel is located near Afif-Abad Garden on Maaliabad Pezeshkan Street. This 4-star hotel offers excellent service and good value for money in a convenient location.
  • Parseh Hotel: The Parseh Hotel is located in the city center, close to the Vakil Bazaar. This mid-range hotel is ideal for tourists wanting to explore historical sites on foot.
  • Royal Hotel Shiraz: Like the Shiraz Grand Hotel, the Royale Hotel is located near Quran Gate. This hotel features a good balance of comfort and affordability, with easy access to key attractions.

Boutique Hotels in Shiraz

  • Taha Traditional Hotel: Taha Boutique Hotel is located near the historical parts of Shiraz. By booking a room in this traditional hotel you will experience an affordable stay with a touch of Persian heritage.
  • Forough Boutique Hotel: This traditional hotel is situated near the historic center and attractions like Narenjestan Qavam. You will enjoy an authentic atmosphere with excellent hospitality at budget-friendly rates there.
  • Niayesh Boutique Hotel: Niayesh traditional hotel is close to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in the city center. This hotel features a great cultural experience and a central location for exploring the city.
Seven Hostel Shiraz

Top Places to Visit in Shiraz

As mentioned in the introduction of our Shiraz travel guide; Shiraz owes its attractions to history, poetry, and nature. For a city that has long been the capital of Iran, It is not strange that there are historical monuments and eye-catching gardens. In introducing these attractions, firstly we will introduce well-known sights of Shiraz and then we will go to those you may have less or never heard their names.

Shiraz Gardens

Jahan Nama Garden: Jahan Nama Garden dates back to the pre-Islamic era, with some historians tracing its origins to the time of the Achaemenid Empire. However, the garden as it stands today was significantly developed during the reign of the Timurid Dynasty in the 14th century.  At the heart of the garden is a beautiful octagonal pavilion, known as “Kooshk.” This structure features intricate tile work, elegant arches, and a central pool that reflects the pavilion’s stunning architecture.

Eram Graden: Eram Garden exemplifies the traditional Persian garden layout, which includes a rectangular shape, water channels, and symmetrical planting. This design symbolizes paradise as described in Persian literature and Islamic texts. The centerpiece of the garden is a grand pavilion, known as the Qavam House, built during the Qajar era. The pavilion is noted for its beautiful tile work, stained glass windows, and detailed carvings. It features three stories, with a grand veranda that offers a stunning view of the garden.

Eram Garden in Shiraz


Delgosha Garden
: Delgosha Garden has been a source of inspiration for many Persian poets and writers. It is frequently mentioned in the works of Saadi, a famous Persian poet, who praised its beauty and serenity. The name “Delgosha” translates to “Heart-Opening,” reflecting the garden’s reputation for uplifting the spirit and soothing the soul. Delgosha Garden is located in the northeast of Shiraz, near the Tomb of Saadi. Its proximity to other historical sites makes it a convenient stop for tourists.

Afif Abad Garden: Afif Abad Garden, also known as Golshan Garden, is one of the most beautiful and historically rich gardens in Shiraz. Afif-Abad Garden dates back to the Safavid dynasty (16th century), but the current structure was built during the Qajar era in 1863 by Mirza Ali Mohammad Khan Qavam II. The garden was named after his niece, Afifeh, who played a significant role in its upkeep. The garden was later purchased by the Iranian military and turned into a museum. You can enjoy the weapons and historical museums when visiting the Afif Abad Garden.

Hafezieh

The Tomb of Hafez, also known as Hafezieh, is a significant cultural and historical site located in Shiraz which is dedicated to the renowned Persian poet Hafez, whose works have had a profound influence on Persian literature and culture. He is celebrated for his ghazals (lyric poems) that explore themes of love, faith, and the intoxication of divine love. The poet passed away in 1390, and his tomb has since become a pilgrimage site for his admirers. The current structure of the tomb was designed by the French architect and archaeologist André Godard in 1935, during the Pahlavi era. However, the site has been a place of reverence and pilgrimage for centuries, with several renovations and reconstructions over time.

Hafez Tomb in Shiraz

Sa'adieh

Sa’adieh, also known as the Tomb of Saadi, is a significant cultural and historical site located in Shiraz, Iran. It is dedicated to Saadi Shirazi, one of the greatest Persian poets of the medieval period. This site is a major attraction for literary enthusiasts, scholars, and tourists. Saadi lived in the 13th century and is renowned for his works on ethics, social justice, and human relationships. His two most famous works are “Gulestan” (The Rose Garden) and “Bustan” (The Orchard). Saadi passed away in 1291, and his tomb has been a revered site ever since. The current structure of the tomb was constructed in 1950, and designed by the Iranian architect Mohsen Foroughi. It replaced older structures that had existed on the site since Saadi’s death.

Tomb of Sa'adi in Shiraz

The Pink Mosque

The Pink Mosque, also known as Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, is one of the most stunning and famous mosques in Shiraz renowned for its breathtaking architecture and vibrant stained glass windows. The exterior of the mosque features typical Persian architectural elements, including intricate tile work with floral motifs and Quranic inscriptions. The facade is adorned with colorful tiles predominantly in pink, which is why it is often referred to as the Pink Mosque. The interior of the mosque is what truly sets it apart. The prayer hall is lined with stunning stained glass windows that create a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors when the sunlight passes through them. This spectacle is most prominent in the early morning.

The Pink Mosque in Shiraz

Vakil Bazar

Vakil Bazaar, located in the heart of Shiraz, Iran, is one of the most famous and historically significant markets in the country. It is a vibrant and bustling place that offers a glimpse into the traditional Persian way of life, with its myriad shops, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage. Vakil Bazaar is designed in a typical Persian bazaar style, with vaulted brick ceilings, arched passageways, and a maze-like layout. The architecture ensures that the bazaar remains cool in the hot summers and provides a pleasant shopping environment. The bazaar includes several caravanserais, which were historically used as inns for traders and travelers. These caravanserais have large courtyards surrounded by rooms that now house various shops and workshops.

Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz

Top Attractions around Shiraz

Attractions around Shiraz offer a rich blend of historical, cultural, and natural experiences, making the region a fascinating destination for travelers interested in exploring Iran’s heritage. Here are the most recommended attractions around Shiraz that you shouldn’t miss.

Persepolis

Persepolis, also known as Takht-e Jamshid, is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in Iran and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located about 60 kilometers northeast of Shiraz, Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, one of the greatest empires of the ancient world. Persepolis was founded by Darius the Great around 518 BCE and served as the capital of the Achaemenid Empire until its destruction by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. The Apadana Palace was the grandest structure in Persepolis, serving as the main audience hall for the king. Tachara Palace, built by Darius the Great, served as the royal residence and audience hall for private meetings. Hundred Column Hall was supported by a forest of columns, creating an awe-inspiring space for ceremonies and gatherings. Further, the Gate of All Nations is the entrance to Persepolis and features impressive bull sculptures and inscriptions in multiple languages, symbolizing the empire’s inclusivity.

Persepolis Shiraz

Pasargadae

Pasargadae, located approximately 130 kilometers northeast of Shiraz in Iran, is an ancient archaeological site of immense historical and cultural significance. Founded by Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, Pasargadae served as the capital of the empire until Darius I moved the capital to Persepolis. The most famous structure in Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great, located on the site. It is a simple but monumental structure, built following Cyrus’s wishes to be buried in a humble tomb. Pasargadae was not only a political and administrative center but also a cultural hub, showcasing the architecture, art, and religion of the Achaemenid Empire.

Pasargadae

Naqsh-e Rostam

The main highlights of Naqsh-e Rostam are the rock-cut tombs of the Achaemenid kings and the Sassanian reliefs, which provide a glimpse into ancient Persian art and architecture. The site offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the nearby mountains and plains, making it a picturesque destination for photography and exploration. Exploring Naqsh-e Rostam offers insights into the ancient history and culture of Persia, allowing visitors to connect with the legacy of the Achaemenid and Sassanian empires.

Naqsh-e Rostam in Shiraz

Maharloo Lake

Maharloo Lake, also known as Pink Lake, is a stunning natural attraction located approximately 27 kilometers southeast of Shiraz in Iran. It is one of the most famous and picturesque lakes in the country, known for its unique pink hue, which varies in intensity depending on the time of year and environmental conditions. Maharloo Lake is renowned for its striking pink color, which is caused by the presence of algae and bacteria in the water, particularly during the warmer months. The pink hue is most pronounced when the lake’s water levels are low and the concentration of salt and other minerals is high. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply seeking tranquility amidst breathtaking scenery, a visit to Maharloo Lake is sure to be a memorable experience.

Maharloo Lake Shiraz

The Best Foods and Restaurants in Shiraz

In this part of the Shiraz Travel Guide, we are going to introduce the best local cuisine and restaurants in Shiraz.

Shirazi Cuisine

Shirazi Salad: A refreshing salad made with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and fresh herbs, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and lemon juice. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Kalam Polo: This delicious Shirazi food is cooked with cabbage, rice, meatballs, and spices. It’s often served during family gatherings, celebrations, and special occasions in Shiraz.

Fesenjan: A rich and flavorful stew made with chicken or duck, pomegranate paste, and ground walnuts, Fesenjan is a classic Persian dish that showcases the sweet and tangy flavors of the region.

Ash-e Reshteh: A hearty and nourishing soup made with herbs, legumes, noodles, and Kashk (fermented yogurt), Ash-e Reshteh is a comforting dish enjoyed throughout Iran.

Shirazi Falude: A popular dessert in Shiraz, Faludeh is a refreshing frozen dessert made with thin vermicelli noodles, rose water, and lime juice, topped with sweet syrup.

Kalam Polo Shirazi

Top Restaurants in Shiraz

  • Haft Khan Restaurant: Known for its traditional Persian cuisine and elegant ambiance, Haft Khan Restaurant offers a wide selection of kebabs, stews, and rice dishes, served with warm hospitality.
  • Sharzeh Restaurant: Located in the heart of Shiraz, Sharzeh Restaurant specializes in authentic Persian dishes, including Fesenjan, Baghali Polo, and Kalam Polo.
  • Soofi Traditional Restaurant: Soofi Traditional Restaurant specializes in authentic Persian cuisine, offering a wide range of traditional dishes prepared with the finest ingredients and time-honored recipes.
  • Doosi Restaurant: Doosi Restaurant specializes in authentic Persian dishes, offering a diverse menu that highlights the rich flavors and culinary traditions of Iran. Kalam Polo is the famous dish of Doosi.
Haft Khan Restaurant Shiraz

What is the Best Time to Visit Shiraz?

The best time to visit Shiraz is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) months. During these seasons, the weather in Shiraz is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from comfortable to warm. Additionally, springtime brings beautiful blooms to the city’s gardens and parks, adding to the overall charm of the atmosphere. Autumn offers similar weather conditions, making it an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities without the intense heat of summer. Overall, spring and autumn are the optimal times to explore Shiraz and enjoy its cultural attractions, natural beauty, and culinary delights to the fullest.

Souvenirs of Shiraz

  • Persian Carpets and Rugs
  • Persian Miniatures
  • Handicrafts and Pottery
  • Persian Saffron
  • Traditional Clothing and Textiles
  • Herbal Products
  • Fruits and Nuts

Last Words

Explore the captivating city of Shiraz, where history, poetry, and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience. This comprehensive Shiraz travel guide provides insights into transportation options, accommodation choices, must-visit attractions, delectable dining spots, and souvenir shopping. From its lush gardens and historical monuments to the poetry of Hafez and Saadi, Shiraz offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers to immerse themselves in. Whether you’re exploring its enchanting gardens or delving into its fascinating history, Shiraz has something to enchant every visitor.

FAQ

Here are the frequently asked questions about Shiraz Travel Guide.

Is Shiraz safe for tourists?

Shiraz is generally considered safe for tourists, with low crime rates and a welcoming attitude towards visitors.

What should I wear when visiting religious sites in Shiraz?

When visiting religious sites in Shiraz, such as mosques and shrines, it’s respectful to dress modestly. Women should cover their heads with a scarf and wear loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs. Men should also dress modestly and avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts.

What are the transportation options in Shiraz?

Shiraz has a well-developed transportation system, including taxis, buses, and private cars for hire. Taxis are a convenient and affordable way to get around the city, while buses offer a budget-friendly option for traveling to nearby attractions. Many visitors also choose to explore Shiraz on foot or by bicycle.

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