Located at the center of Iran, the cultural city of Isfahan (also known as Ispahan, Sepahan, Hispahan) has a long history from the ancient times. The city, as the capital of Isfahan province, is ranked the second most populated and 3rd largest city of Iran. This historical city has been the capital of Iran in seven different historical periods, the most famous one of which is Safavid-era.
The city is surrounded by desert at the northern and eastern sides, and the Zagros Mountain is located at the southern side of the province.
Isfahan, Iran’s top tourist destination, is well known for its eye catching Persian-Islamic architecture. There are thousands of tourist attractions inside and around the city for example
Bridges: Khajoo, Marnan, Si-O-Se pol
Mosques: Masjed-jame, Sheikh-Lotf-Allah, Masjed-E-Shah
Bazars: Shahi bazar, Grand bazar of Isfahan
Wonderful handicrafts are produced in Isfahan. Like ‘Khatam-Kari’ (art of wood carving) and ‘Ghalam-Zani’ (persian engraving) are two common types of handicrafts found in Isfahan.
Visiting Isfahan, you cannot miss its delicious foods like ‘Beruni’ (the most famous one) and strange desserts like ‘Khoresh-E-Mast’. They are served in most local restaurants. Iran is the land of appetizing cookies, but you cannot find tasty souvenirs like Gaz or Poolaki anywhere except this region!
"Isfahan, Nesf-E-Jahan” is a persian proverb about Isfahan which literary means Isfahan is half of the world! Let’s be a little more familiar with this half.
Naghsh-E- Jahan square:
Naghsh-E-Jahan square (also known as Emam square) is one of UNESCO’s world Heritage sites in Iran, built in Safavid-era. It was constructed between 16th and 17th centuries. With an area of 89600 square meters, it is the biggest square in the world. The square is surrounded by other brilliant historical buildings. There exist Shah Mosque in the south, Ali Qapu palace in the west, and Sheikh-Lotf-Allah mosque at the eastern side of the square. At the northern side, a gate opens to the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. In addition, there are nice shops where you can buy Iranian admirable handicrafts and souvenirs! It is a must-visit site in Iran.
Masjed-E-Jameh (Jameh mosque):
This is the latest addition to UNESCO World Heritage sites of Iran. You can find different types of Iranian-Islamic architecture there. Many buildings have been constructed, reconstructed and renovated many times from 777 to late 20th century (because of political ambitions, architecture improvements ,etc.) during several times). What is unique about the mosque is that the walls and the ceiling have not been whitewashed. As a result, you can travel through successions of centuries! You can visit Grand Bazaar of Isfahan in southwestern part of the mosque. Be sure not to miss visiting this living museum of Islamic architecture developments.
There are different types of transportation systems in Isfahan.
- 1. Domestic transportation
- A. Buses and minibuses
There is a bus terminal near Chehel sotoun where local buses leave every few minutes. Elsewhere in the city, ask locals about bus stations.
Note: Taxis and metro are also available in well-serviced form.
- 2. Inter-urban transportation:
- A. Flight:
You can find the airport of Isfahan at the northeastern side. There are flights to almost all major cities of Iran. (daily flights to Tehran, weekly to Shiraz.)
B. Bus terminal:
There exist some bus terminals. (like Kave, Zayandeh-Rud, Jey). The biggest and most commonly used terminal is “Kave” located in the north. You can buy your tickets at the ticket desks inside the building.
The train station can be found in the south. It can be reached by bus or taxi. The easiest way to book a ticket is through a travel agency or the website (there are daily services to Tehran.)
To ease your trip, you can either use Snap system (like Uber). Download the application to manage the services.