Is Shiraz worth visiting?
Now that you are coming to Iran, you may have searched different internet sites, leafed through different travel booklets and asked friends or even travel agencies to gain some information about Iran. And, everywhere you encountered the name “Shiraz”! So, why is Shiraz present everywhere? Is it worth taking a Shiraz City Tour?
Well, if you trust me, my answer is a definite “yes!” Now, to be more concrete, let me give you my reasons why you should NOT miss visiting the city of Shiraz.
First of all, if you are curious about the history of ancient Persia, specially if you are eager to know about the great Achaemenid empire, you must put Shiraz on your travel itinerary to Iran. About 118 km north of Shiraz, located in the well-watered Dasht-e Murghab, there lies Pasargadae, the first capital of the Achaemenids and the last resting place of Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE). There you can see the relics of the palaces built during the rule of Cyrus, the hard-to-discern remnants of the gardens surrounding those palaces and, finally, the simple but still mythical and awe-inspiring tomb of Cyrus the Great.
Having finished visiting Pasargadae, you can go to Persepolis, the ritual capital of the Achaemenid empire which spread from the Indus River to Ethiopia. This complex of palaces, constructed to awe the delegates from the subjected lands during the Now-Rūz Celebration (the New Year Celebration), was constructed at the foot of Kooh-e Mehr (the Mount of Mercy) in different stages by a number of different kings.
Actually, some historians are of the opinion that the site of Persepolis was chosen by Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great, but the project didn’t begin until Darius I came to the throne in 520 BC. Then, Xerxes I and Xerxes II, and Artaxerxes I, II and III, added to the complex by building various palaces over a period of 150 years. The structures and palaces you can visit at Persepolis include: the Grand Stairway and Xerxes’ Gateway, Apadana Palace and Staircase, Tachara Palace, Hadish Palace, Palace of 100 Columns, Persepolis Museum and Treasury and Tombs of Artaxexes II and III.
After Persepolis, your next stop can Naghsh-e Rostam or Necropolis in which you can have a look at the tombs of Darius I, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I and Darius II. Also, the seven Sassanian stone reliefs cut into the cliff represent scenes of royal ceremonies and imperial conquests. Another structure which might attract your attention is Bun Khaneh, located in front of the tombs and stone reliefs.
Inside the city of Shiraz, history, poetry, architecture and hospitable, warm-blooded people, all come together to make one of the most beautiful and lively cities of Iran.
As you may know, Shiraz is known as the city of wine and poetry. And, if you are interested to explore this aspect of the city, you can spend some time in the tombs of Hafiz and Sa’di, two pillars of Persian poetry.
Also, there are several beautiful Persian gardens in the city of Shiraz in which you can relax and enjoy the visually impressive scenes which would enlighten your soul and spirit. Some of these gardens are: Nazar Garden which houses Pars Museum, Naranjestan Garden, Eram Garden, Afif-Abad Garden and Jahān-Namā Garden.
In addition, you should also plan to visit the following sights: Citadel of Karim Khan, Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bath, Vakil Bazaar and Saray-e Moshir, Nasir ol-Molk Mosque and Zinat ol-Moluk House. (We should mention that Vakil or Vakil Ro’aya (advocate of people) was the title of Karim Khan Zand, founder of Zandiye Dynasty in Iran (1750-79 AC).
The religious sites which you should attend in Shiraz include: Shah Cheragh Shrine, Ali ibn Hamzeh Mausoleum (in these two sights you can witness outstanding mirrorwork which are unique in Iran. A point of caution: in Shah Cheragh shrine you are not allowed into the building and so you wouldn’t be able to enjoy their impressive decorations; however, in Ali ibn Hamzeh you would have no problem entering the building and visiting its amazing mirrorwork), and Khan Madrasa.
The handicrafts made in Shiraz include: Wood Carving, Ceramic dishes and objects, Felt Alabaster, Glasswork, Silverware, Persian Marquetry and Enamel. The Bazaar of Shiraz (Vakil Bazaar) and its famous Saray-e Moshir are the best place to have a look at these delicate products of masters of Shiraz.
To name a few of the most famous local dishes of Shiraz, we can mention Kalam-Polo Shirazi, Shirazi-Polo, Ghanbar-Polo, Do Piazeh Aloo, Dampokhtak Shirazi, Ash Sabzi, Rob Polo, Shekar Polo and Salad Shirazi (You should know that Polo is a Persian word which means cooked white rice. Do not confuse it with the game of Polo). Well, if you have a sweet tooth, do not forget to taste Faloodeh Shirazi and Masghati.
So, to enjoy the beauties of Shiraz, Irandelle Travel Agency has organized a two-day for you. You can find the details of our Shiraz City Tour bellow and if you are interested, do not hesitate to book your tour with us.
Shiraz City Tour Itinerary
On the second day of our Shiraz City Tour, our tour guide will come to pick you up at 8:00 am and we will drive to Marvdasht (about 50 km to North of Shiraz) to visit Persepolis and Necropolis. After visiting these two relics of the Achaemind period, we would have lunch and then go back to Shiraz. In the evening, you would have free time to explore Shiraz more on your own.