If you plan on travelling around Iran, it's not hard to visit many of the Shiraz’ top sites during your journey. With a population of1,869,001, an area of 178.891 square kilometers and average elevation of 1486 meters above sea level, is the fifth largest city in Iran. It is situated in central of Fars province. Shiraz takes pride in being a cultural capital of Iran .It is home to some captivating ancient monuments, religious places, historical attractions, fabulous gardens and yummiest places to eat. The graves of the two saint poets, Hafiz and Saadi, and the holy Shah-e-Cheragh shrine, the son of the 7th Shiite Imam, make Shiraz a pilgrimage site for Iranians. Besides that, Mountain resorts, lakes, forests, castles, museums, ancient and modern architecture make Shiraz an excellent tourist destination. Karim Khan Zand chose Shiraz as the capital of his kingdom and he took great measures to build mosques, baths, water storage and markets
From an economic point of view, development of Shiraz is due to its special location. Zargros Mountain Range has turned the province into a mountainous area and multiple climate conditions in Fras province cause economic prosperity. Fars province has strong economy represented by Oil and Gas industries, cement and rubber manufacturing and several important dairy factories. Within the last decade, the establishment of Electronic factories in Shiraz has led to the growth of Technology in Iran as 53% of Iran's electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz. The city's agricultural products include grapes, orange, persimmon, nectarine, pomegranate and wheat which boosts the economy of this land.
From around 500 BC Shiraz has been celebrated as heartland of Persian culture and it was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty when many of its most beautiful buildings were built and restored. It is also home to splendid gardens, exquisite mosques, and the place of the greatest kings of Persian Empires.
Fars province is located in the southern part of Iran in the Zagros Mountain Range. North and northwestern Mountains are connecting with height Mountains and deep valleys. In the south and southeastern region, vast plains with several permanent rivers can be seen. In general, vast plain, Mediterranean climate front, cold and high pressure air masses, seasonal winds and Arabian tropical air mass are among the factors which Causes a multiple climate condition in Fras province. Shiraz is settled in the northern temperate zone and includes a moderate climate and four regular seasons. Its rainy seasons are in autumn and winter and early spring. The mean monthly temperature is between 6 and 16 degrees. In mid-summer and winter, extreme heat and cold may be seen just a few times. The great and unique vineyards, in the northwest, mostly regulate the cities’ climate.
How to reach
Shiraz is well connected with domestic and international flights, to all the major cities within and outside of the country. Most of the major international airlines, such as Turkish, Emirate and Qatar airways have their flights operating from Dastgheeib, Shiraz International Airport.
Shiraz is served by daily train services to the major cities in the country such as Tehran, Mashhad and Isfahan.
Bus services to several domestic destinations operate from Shiraz bus stations. The three major bus stands are Bus Terminal at Safar Street, Kave Bus Terminus and Amirkabirs Bus Station. The paved road system, equipped with speed limit record, makes it possible for a fantastic drive and you can catch glimpses of the beautiful landscape. Usually, the maximum speed for driving in a day is 110 km and for night driving is 90 km. Travelling by bus is a popular option especially for budget travelers.
Availability of transportation stations
Storage service is available
Access to the train and bus stations.
WIFI Internet is accessible in the station.
The local transportation is the lifeline of the capital city of Shiraz. More than half of the population is dependent on local transport for commuting purposes. The means & modes of transport in Shiraz are Buses and Taxies. You can also use metro, underground railway in Shiraz and this kind of transport is under expansion to other bigger parts of the city.
With a history dates back to nearly 2500 years or even more, the present day Shiraz introduces itself as a tourist destination. Several spiritual contemporary times dwelled in Shiraz various region. Beautiful crafts, mysticism, art, philosophy, tradition, music and architecture have been attracting travelers, across the globe from long time ago. This is a land of a huge contrast where tradition and modernity mingle to offer unforgettable memories that will retain in the mind for a very long time.
Shiraz is mostly characterized by its diverse literary traditions and poets. The poets Saadi and Hafiz have been the most revered figures from Shiraz, and the city is often termed dar al ‘ilm, the land of knowledge.
Among all traditional festivals which are held in Iran through the year, three prominent festivals in Shiraz, especially among diverse tribes, are as follow: Sadeh feast, Mehregan and Tiregan festivals. Sadeh feast, is a mid-winter festival that is celebrated 50 days before New Year by burning fire woods. It is held to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness .The other one is Mehregan Feast, which is now recognized as harvest festival and is celebrated at the time when autumn rain starts. Iranian Zoroastrians still celebrate Tiregan that is the rain festival in commemoration of the legendary Arash-e-kamangir’s braveries.
Food and drinks
The food will be cooked fresh in real home style and most likely with recipes handed down from generation to generation.
Abgosht and kebabs are the most common dishes in Fars province.
The nomads of fars bake a kind of tin bread on the pan using wheat, barley and corn.
Kalam polow (cabbage and rice).
Ash-e-Kardeh is a soup of Wheat, rice and local vegetable called Kardeh, is a traditional dishes in this region.
All sorts of distilled extracts from various flowers and plants, different Pickles, lime juice, pistachio, Ardeh Halva, and citruses like Seville orange are the common souvenirs of Shiraz.
Art and Crafts
The talented people have artistic tastes in stone carving, architecture, tile work, painting and sculpture. Handicrafts of this province are mainly calligraphy, Tahzib (illuminations), Silver work, copper work, cotton and cloth weaving and carpet weaving.
Best places to visit in Shiraz
Shah Cheragh Mausoleum:
The burial place of Mir Ahmad son of Musa and brother of Imam Reza, Known as Shah Cheragh, is the 8th saint in Shiite Islam. The monument has been discovered in 11th century and a shrine was built over it afterwards. The shrine was repaired during Safavid dynasty once but the major repairs was after destructive earthquakes in Qajar period. Visiting the shrine gives you serene and peaceful feeling. The multicolored reflections from mirror tiles inside the tomb is spectacular. Around the yard, several rooms with brilliant tiled works can be seen. Pillars and its flat roofs’ of shrine are made up of the exquisite wood and inlaid works .Also there are a valuable museum and library inside a shrine.
In Deylamian periods, the narrow gateway on the east northern side of the city was built in 13th century. One of the ancient gate which has remained from 1000 years ago and it is considered as one of the antique monuments of Shiraz city nowadays. It was once restored by Karim khan Zand in 18th century and a chamber was built at the top of this gate, in which were kept hand-written Qurans by Sultan Ibrahim .The two Quran known as Hifdaeh-man is currently kept in Paris Museum. It is named so, because of the Quran, was placed inside the chamber at the top of the gate to safe guard the travelers going underneath and about it was again restored for the last time in 70 years ago by a cloth merchant called Igar.
The most important building of Zand dynasty is a square-shaped citadel located in center of Shiraz. With its four circular towers dominates the city center and also whole the town could be seen. It is a combination of two military and residential architecture so this well-preserved monument used to the mansion of Karim Khan Zand in 1180 AH (1766-7) and during the Qajar period it was used as the governor's seat. In Pahlavi era it was a prison in Pahlavi era which has caused several damage to it. On the exterior walls, simple dazzling brickworks are visible.
To a garden in Shiraz, the garden of sour oranges which is called Narangestan as we say in Persian. It was created in Qajar dynasty in 19th century. This garden with its state was designed splendidly that your eyes sticks to it. Narangestan is not an old complex compared with other buildings of ancient Iran. Naranjestan building known as “Narenjestan Qavam” is a part of Qavam complex. The building has been occupied by many but the original builder was Mirza Ebrahim Khan who built this amazing complex in 1800s’.With an area of 3500 square meters and 940 square meters infrastructure includes the private bathhouse, public bathhouse, religious ceremonial building and court place, Zinat –ol- molk house and the Professors’ Pope library who was one of the greatest historians ’of Persian arts. It was the domicile of Governor in Shiraz during Qajar period. The complex is a significant representation of Iranian architecture during ‘Qajar” period. The paintings on the low ceilings of the house are inspired by the Victorian era. Every room contains special kinds of architecture including paintings on the ceilings, wall and fire places. The most beautiful of all rooms is mirror porch which is also the focal point of the houses. Today it is converted to the magnificent museum and is opened to public.
The Eram Garden or garden of paradise is one of the Tourist attraction in Shiraz. Many visitors, historian and poets have celebrated the Eram garden contributing to its universal prominent. The establishment of the Eram garden dates back to the Seljuk dynasty in 16th century. The refreshing air of this beautiful historic garden is due to its many old trees and particularly the famous 100 years old cypresses and due to the high plant diversity, it is used as Flower exhibitions every year. The architecture, carving, tiling and other architectural remnants of Eram garden have made a masterpiece for the Qajar period.
Afif Abad Garden
Golshan garden or Afif Abad garden is situated in center of shiraz upon orders by Qavam Al Molk in 1863 century in Safavid era. The magnificent edifice is included a palace, a weapon museum and nice garden that is about 127000 square meters.
Hafeziyeh or tomb of Hafez
- Tomb of Hafez with an area of 19116 square meters is situated in one of the popular graveyard known as Khak-e-Mosala in the north of Shiraz. Hafez who was the greatest Sufi master and poet in the Persian history was born in 1320A.D, in 14th He is said to have known all the Quran, hence earning the nick- name Hafez which means memorizer. His poetry is full of love, mysticism, and philosophy and is called Gazal. The collection of his book consists of 693 poems. Hafez died and was buried in Shiraz in his private resort .The pavilion structure supports a slitting copper dome, in a shape of Dervish’s hat.Visiting Hafez’s tomb is a pilgrimage for all Iranians.
Tomb of sa’di shirazi
- Saadi’s marble tomb which was dated back to 1860s’, is located in the northeastern of Shiraz. Saadi was born in 1207 and lived during 12th The two most famous works of him are Bustan and Gulestan which are translated in many languages. Bustan was written in verse and includes moral tips, gives advice on how live, and discusses politics and science. His other book, 'Golestan' is a masterpiece in prose in which Saadi speaks of his experiences during his journeys. After years of traveling, Saadi lived rest of his life in Shiraz and died in 1291 in the same place where his mausoleum now stands.it is the octagonal shaped building which its wall inscribed with Saadi’s work.
Takht-e-jamshid (ruins of Persepolis)
Is located in about 46 km far from Shiraz and it takes its name from Greek. Persepolis that has been entitled as the Richest Sunshine city long time ago, was built by Darius the Great, 3th king of Achaemenid dynasty. Persepolis was used to the international reception center for performing important rituals and major celebrations. It contains 125 thousand sq. m and composed of Royal treasury, official reception halls, palaces and special fortifications. The entrance of the complex is formed by a two- ramp stairway composed of approximately 110 wide and short steps. On the top of the stairways is the main entrance, Marked by two status of a bull with a human head and a pair of wings, which are the symbol of’ Cyrus the Great’. There are two exits in both south and east sides. Alexander destroyed it about 330 B.C.
Cyrus he great as the founder of Achamanian Empire, who stablished it over 2500 years ago. He is known to have instituted human rights in the world and today his tomb is located just 141km far from Shiraz, north east from Persepolis .This epic location was the first capital of the Persian Empire. The word Pasargadae means the residence of the Persians .Pasargadae Ancient complex, is the first headquarter of Cyrus the Great, in pars, in the 6th century BC and it is an exceptional witness of the acuminate Empire which shows the manifestation of Persian art. In this archaeological site, there are remains of the winged man's palace, reception palace, Cyrus palace, Soleyman prison and two fire temples.
The Tomb of Cyrus the great is the most important monument in Pasargadae, represents the mastery of Cyrus the Great, first Persian king who was set up the first Persian dynasty 2000 years ago. There is an inscription carved on a rock, in cuneiform and three languages, reading: 'I’m Cyrus the king’.
The beautiful vakil mosque is the only major mosques surviving from the late Zand period next to the Bazaar. . Its construction was completed in1773. The magnificent inner enclosure is surrounded by beautiful porches, pillars tilework curves. The welted prayer hall supported with similar tall pillars of stone and brilliant ceilings made up of marble.
There are over 200 sites of historical significances around Shiraz, one of them lies almost 70 kilometers northeast of the city at the termination of Haji –Ahmad Mountains which is called as Naghshe rostam. The series of tombs at Naqsh-e Rostam are all elaborately carved into the side of a Stone Mountain side and belong to the Achaemanian, Elmite and Sasanian periods. The tombs are known locally as the Persian crosses. The entrance to each tomb is at the center of each cross which opens on to a small chamber where king laid. The five tombs are belonged to the Achaemenian Kings Darius 1, 2, and 3, as well as King Artaxerxes, and King Xerxes The most well-document tomb among other in naghshe rostam is that of the Darus I. The surrounding inscription has explaining about the military expeditions and personal characteristics of Darus I, and 30 persons who have been carved under his royal bed, mentioned in the inscription.
Best place to shop in Shiraz
Shiraz is ancient trading district is comprised of several bazaars dating from different periods. The finest and most famous one is bazar vakil which still serves its community as it has for many years. It is perfect place to enjoy Iranian art and also offers a wide range of items to choose from. It was built by Karim Khan Zand as part of his plan to turn Shiraz as a trading center. The bazaar has various branches with a main axis including five entrances with two rows of shops perpendicular to each other. The white welted brick avenues are masterpieces of Zand architecture. It functions as a big shopping mall. Locals peak up basics for their everyday living and it is a very good opportunities for travelers to purchase the unique traditional stuffs. Like a vast department store, the Bazaar has different sections. Famous carpets, spices, jewelry, paintings, gold, silver and handicrafts in different sections are exciting to visit.
The beautiful complex, which is situated near the Vakil Bazar and was built by Mirza AbdolHassan MOSHIR Almolk. The door way is decorated with magnificent tilework and in the middle is a great basin with four garden around it. Another local treasure is so typical for this land are Persian carpets store, dating back 2500 years with a rich tradition. Gold shops are a part of bazaar. Locals especially women believe that gold is a solid way to keep your wealth and also is dazzling to wear. Traditionally women wore their personal saving in the form of gold bracelets.