A feast to the eyes and heroin for the soul, the culturally rich Isfahan is very much an endless open air museum and it’s not to be missed for anyone who loves history, art and architecture. Here are 10 things not to miss in this incredible jewel of Iran…
- Naqsh-e Jahan Square
The famous Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Royal Square) should be your first port of call. Set in the heart of the city, this beautiful square with its majestic buildings and manicured gardens defines the culture of Iran in one space.
- The Shah Mosque
Also known as the Imam Mosque, this is one of the most iconic architectural gems of the Isfahan skyline. Built in 1600s and located south of Naqsh-e Jahan Square.
- The Grand Bazaar
One of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East, the Grand Bazaar is truly unmissable. Rub shoulders with the locals, go shopping for souvenirs and discover the expertly designed local crafts in this historical market.
- Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque by Night
This architectural masterpiece lights up beautifully at night and the building’s reflections can be seen in the water feature outside. A great place to capture perfect landscape photography at sunset and during those fleeting twilight moments.
- Sofe Mountain
Take the gentle uphill stroll up Sofe Mountain in Isfahan’s south for the most spectacular views at the top. A great place to enjoy an Iranian sunset and a great landmark which lights up at night.
- Alahverdi Khan Bridge & Khaju Bridge
These famous bridges straddle the Zayandeh River and are two of the most magnificent landmarks in Isfahan. The water is shallow enough to dip your toes into along some stretches of the waterway and the bridges have become well-known spots for locals to sit, relax, read a book or watch the world go by.
- Chahar Bagh Street
Walk along the oldest street in Isfahan! This pretty tree-lined promenade, connecting the North of the city to the South of the city, dates all the way back to the Persian Empire and stretching a huge 6km long, this long streets makes for the perfect afternoon stroll.
- Isfahan Street Food
If you’re feeling peckish, don’t miss the amazing street food at the Bazaar of Isfahan – try Gojeh Sabz (sour green plums in salt) and Bamiyeh (fried dough snacks) or head to Hafez Street for the tastiest Biriyani.
- Contemporary Arts Museum Isfahan
Culture vultures and art lovers cannot miss the Contemporary Arts Museum which is located next to the Museum of Natural History. The museum is open from 9am to 12pm and from 5pm to 8pm daily.
- Chaharbagh School
Chaharbagh School, also known as Shah School, is another architectural wonder that shouldn’t be missed during your tour of the city. Dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, this cultural complex is a spectacular work of art.