Top 10 Historical Attraction in Iran - Best Iran Attractions

The land of historical significance, a nation with great cultural depths – Iran, its charm is such that it attracts millions of tourists year after year. A trip to Iran is like taking a walk in history. Imagine walking among the graceful columns of Persepolis, where once Great kings stood. Fascinating, isn’t it? So here we are with a list of top 10 Iran attractions and must-visit historical places in Iran that will leave you in awe and you can visit in your Iran tours.

  • Persepolis (called Taḵt-e Jamšid “Jamšid's Throne” in Persian)

The mighty ruins of Persepolis is one of the most famous historical destinations in Iran among tourists, it is the place to experience what life must have been like during the golden age of the Persian Empire.It is one of the three properties included in the World Heritage List in 1979. If you are planning to visit Iran, a visit to the ruins of ancient Persepolis is an absolute must.

located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Shīrāz in the Fars region of southwestern Iran, A sightseeing trip here will take at least half a day to cover the major highlights and longer if you really want to explore, so make sure you plan your visit so you don't feel rushed.

  • The Behistun Inscription: ( Called "Katibe-ye Bistoun" in Persian, meaning "the place of god") 

The Behistun’s inscription, which dates back to 522 BCE, lies some 1300 meters high in the mountains. The place is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been attracting visitors for centuries. 

Bistoun is also notable for three reliefs at the foot of the hill that date from the Parthian era. Among them is the Greek hero Hercules, who reclines with a goblet in his hand.

The following is from lines of the inscription, which narrates the story of King Darius' conquests, in three languages!

I (am) Darius, the great king, the king of kings, the king in Persia, the king of countries, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenide.

Darius I the Great, The Behistun’s inscription, coloumn 1

I got goose bumps! if you want to know more about what's written in the inscription you can check this link.

  • The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque:

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is one of the most picturesque places in Shiraz and is considered as best Iran attractions. Because of the considerable number of pink-colored tiles used in its design it is also called the pink mosque.  The reflections of sun rays hitting the colorful glasses results in a strikingly beautiful Kaleidoscope of Colors. If you are planning a tour to Iran, Shiraz, make sure you visit this remarkable mosque in the morning and then, just wait for the sunrise and watch the miracle. You can take jaw dropping pictures!

  • Kandovan Ancient Rocky Village:

Kandovan is a historical village in Iran's East Azerbaijan province, near the city of Tabriz. Its houses have been dug out in the mountains more than 800 years ago and still are inhabited by 117 families. It’s actually the only rocky village in the world which is still inhabited. So it is quite interesting to take a look at its people's way of life in this modern world. If you are planning to travel to Iran in summer, make sure you put this place on the list of Iran attractions to visit, it is too cold to travel during winter. And also make sure you visit the houses, or maybe even stay a night. The interior designs are extraordinary!

  • Eram Garden, one of the most beautiful Persian Gardens:

Persian gardens are all beautiful and mesmerizing, one the most famous among them is Eram Garden between Iran attractions. It truly reminds of you of one of those Game of thrones kidding!

If you travel to Shiraz in spring and take a walk in its gardens you can smell the hypnotic scent of orange blossoms. Just checking out a few pictures of the place is enough to tempt you to visit this enchanting garden.  The building within the garden is also counted among Iran’s architecture masterpieces and really there is no excuse not to put this place on your list of places to visit in Iran!

Shiraz is home to a lot of great Iranian poets like Hafiz and Saadi, and their shrines nowadays attracts a lot of lovers of poetry and architecture, so don’t forget to visit them too. It would help if you book a tour or rent a car in your trip to Shiraz, Iran.

  • Old Mud-Brick City of Yazd:

The city of Yazd is one of the oldest cities in the world and has recently been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. Every year thousand of tourist visit Iran to go this ancient city. The city is also the original home for Zoroastrian religion. There are tons of places to visit inside the city, but the city itself, with its mud brick structure, its old bazaar, and roof cafes, is the main reason tourists choose to visit the place.

  • Naghsh-e Jahan Square: (meaning “Image of the World”)

If you are traveling to Iran, there is no doubt that Isfahan and its Iran attractions are on your list to visit. There are dozens of places to visit in Isfahan but its main tourist attraction is Naghsh-e Jahan square. As you can see in the picture, it is no ordinary square! There are different historical structures that you can visit within the place and remember to plan for a long visit because there’s also a huge traditional bazaar which will keep you busy for hours!

And I strongly suggest to rent a car in Isfahan too. So many places to visit and they’re not that far from each other.

  • Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat:

Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat is an ancient Elamite religious complex (dating back to 1250 BC) in Khuzestan Province, southwest of Iran. These brick structures are like Egyptian pyramids to us and they are equally ancient. Except that the Ziggurats were not tombs, but temples. They were a place of worship built on many levels with steps all around it. The reason behind all these steps is that back then it was believed that in order for the gods to hear better, you needed to get closer to them.

It is also one of the three properties included in the World Heritage List in 1979.

  • Takht-e Soleymān: (meaning “Soleymān's Throne”)

Thousands of years back in history when Sassanian Empire, Rome’s great rival in the east, ruled Iran, the religion of the state was Zoroastrianism, and therefore, a lot of Zoroastrian sanctuaries were built at that time. One of the most important one among them is found at Takht-e Soleymān, located in West Azerbaijan, in the north-western corner of Iran. The place with its fireplaces, its temples, and holy mountains is a must-visit among Iran’s historical locations. Takht-e Soleymān was also recognized as a World Heritage Site in July 2003.

You can also enjoy climbing while you are there, so remember to pack accordingly!

  • Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan (Meaning "The Grand Mosque of Isfahan")

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan is one the most fascinating iran attractions and is still functioning as a place of worship. It is one of the most crowded touristic attractions of Iran. In this exceptional mosque, we can see not only the prominent architectural expression of the Seljuk rule in Persia, but also several beautiful inscriptions in Arabic and Farsi calligraphy. And again, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.

Iran is quite fascinating, isn’t it? As an Iranian who has been to all these places a number of times, I still find myself astonished at the sight of each and every one of them. And I have to say that I struggled a lot to decide what to mention on the list and it wasn’t easy. There are a lot of great places that more than deserve to be on this list. I can only hope I can cover them all in various posts!

I suggest taking a tour in Iran to visit the places, there are a lot of things you can learn from a tour guide that would blow your mind.

And also, there are usually different places near each other that you can visit in a day. For example, Naqsh-e Jahan and Masjed-e Jāmé Isfahan are not that far from each other. So it really helps if you rent a car. Let us know if this article was helpful and if you visited any of these places, please tell us about your experience.