Qazvin was an ancient capital in the Persian Empire and nowadays is known as calligraphy capital of Iran. The most famous calligrapher was Mir Emad Qazvini. Dehkhoda who wrote the Persian dictionary (you can find his statue in Azadi Square. The most famous poet was Ubayd Zakani.Qazvin can perhaps be said to be a moderate city, in relation to its adherence to Islamic religious and cultural values. Many people, women in particular, dress modestly but are not limited to the a black hejab, and many women can be seen wearing thin, brightly coloured scarves to cover their hair. However, many women wear an enveloping headress, designed to completely cover all hair. It is advised to dress respectfully in this context, by all means express yourself through a nature of hejab materials and colours, but be mindful of social and religious values at play.
The nearest international airport is the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) located in southern Tehran. The Mehrabad International Airport (MIA) is servicing the domestic flights. Arriving at either airports you can easily hire a taxi, get bus or train to take you to Qazvin. Make sure to hire a registered taxi and agree on payment before you actually set off. Your taxi fare to Qazvin from IKIA is around $ 20-25 and from MIA is around $ 15-20. You travel all the way through an straight highway taking your time at most 2 hours and in the meantime you may enjoy watching beautiful sightseeings and two giant plants of the country, Abeyek Cement and Shahid Rajaee Gass Power plants.
Qazvin is linked to Tehran and other major cities via a series of motorways, These are not usually too busy, though attempt to avoid times where workers are communting to and from work. Cars can be hired at Tehran International Airport. Taxi's are usually the most easiest means of travelling to Qazvin by car. You have a choice of private taxi's, or travelling via official taxi ranks. The main difference between the two is the state of the actual cars, however do not be put off by the sight of an elderly, slightly unconventioanl car, these are usually perfectly safe to travel in.
Buses depart very frequently from near Azadi square in Tehran. The fare is $1 for the old Mercedes buses and $2 for modern Volvo or similar buses (January 2010).
- The Qajar era Caravanserai of Sa'd al-Saltaneh.
& Qajar Hamam
- The Grand Hotel - The first modern hotel built in Iran
- The first modern School built in Iran
- The first street built in Iran (Sepah)
- The first Municipality built in Iran
Qazvin contains three buildings built by Russians in the late 19th/early 20th century. Among these is the current Mayor's office (former Ballet Hall), a water reservoir, and the Cantor church, where a Russian pilot is buried.
- The Russian Church of Qazvin.
Qazvin contains several archeological excavations dating back 9000 years. There are also 23 castles from the Ismaili Assassins nearby as well. And in the middle of the city lie the ruins of Meimoon Ghal'eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area.
Qazvin contains few buildings from the Safavid era, when it was capital of Persia. Perhaps the most famous of the surviving edifices is the Ali Qapu mansion, today a museum in central Qazvin.
There many mosques and religious schools
- The Ancient Jāmeh Mosque of Qazvīn' (-Masjid-e-Jāmeh Atīq Qazvīn) is one of the oldest mosques in Iran, and is the grand, congregational mosque (Jāmeh) of Qazvīn city. The foundation of the mosque is laid on a Zoroastrian fire temple.
- Masjed Al-nabi (Soltani Mosque) with an area of 14000 metres, this mosque is one of the most glorious mosques of antiquity, built in the Safavieh's monarchy era.
- Sanjideh Mosque- Another mosque of Qazvin dating back to pre-Islamic Iran; a former fire temple. Its present day form is attributed to the Seljukian era.
- Peighambarieh Shrine- Where four Jewish saints who foretold the coming of Christ, are buried.
- Sardar School- A mosque Made by two brothers Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan Sardar in 1815, as a fulfillment of their promise if they came back victorious from a battle against the Russians.
Other attractions near Qazvin are the tombs of two Saljuki era princes, Aboo Saeed Bijar, son of Sad, and Aboo Mansoor Iltai, son of Takin — located in two separate towers known as the Kharaghan twin towers. Constructed in 1067 CE, these were the first monuments in Islamic architecture to include a non-conic two-layered dome.
Wander in the bazaars...
Have a break at Negarossaltaneh Café located at "Rasteh Vazeer, Sad_o_saltaneh complex"
Visiting Famous Parks
- Mashahir in Shahrdai Street
- Barajin (Fadak)
- Varchor Waterfall in Razjerd
Visit Qazvin Museum
Paragliding in blue sky flight site in Shafi Abad & Barajin Road, near to Fadak Park
Watching Iranian movies in Bahman Cinema in front of Melat Park
Swimming in Ovan Lake
Try to learn Persian, and use it while in Iran. Iranians are noted for their hospitality, and would greatly appreciate a tourist's attempts to communicate via Persian. Qazvin is an historical city, try and broaden your historical knowldege by sampling the historical sites.
Take a visit to the bazaar of Qazvin. It is huge and you will be able to find all sorts on display. Jewellery in Iran is of high quality, and cheap by Western standards. The same can be said for electronical goods, which arrive in Iran via Japan, sometimes before the products can be bought in Europe and America.
Qazvin Shopping Complexes
City Star in Khayam street
Ferdosi in Ferdosi street
Iranian in Adl street
Food in Iran is a delicacy, and is made up of a whole range of Middle Eastern influences. Do eat chelo kebab in one of the many restaurants in Qazvin. This meal is pretty much a standard dish in Iran, however Qazvin does have its own regional variations on the dish. The famous Qazvinian food is called "Gheime Nesar". Try to sample as many different foods as possible while in Qazvin, the diversity of flavors and influences makes for delicious food. Restaurants are usually very hospitable, so asking for a variation in the dish, or asking for vegetarian options or about food allergies will not be a problem.
International health agencies advise drinking bottled water in Iran. This is cheap and therefore not a concern. Alcohol is not tolerated (Except for NON MUSLIMS and non-Muslim religious practices). In Iran, IF any Muslim is caught partaking in or producing alcohol it is illegal and punishments can be very severe.
In need of help or advice, contact your national embassy, located in the capital city (Tehran) or you can find tourist information centers in Qazvin, and for Police you can call 110.
Iran is generally a safe country. It is advised however, that being an obvious tourist may attract some unwanted attention from interested Iranians, but do not be alarmed or react negatively. Standard advice to keep your bag secured and safe, and to leave personal and valuable belongings in your hotel room or hotel safe should be regarded. Iranians are generally peaceful, hospitable people, but it is advised to act with caution when walk in the streets alone late at night or when approached by strangers to the same degree that you would in your native country.
You might want to have plastic money to prevent having your money stolen. Bank-e Melli-ye Iran (National Bank of Iran) which is a government-owned bank in Iran, provides an ATM debit card service (plastic magnetic card) for tourists who visit Iran. Tourists just need to head the nearest branch of this bank. Information on this service can be found here. Another way to prevent having your money stolen, is going to the nearest bank and getting a gift card. They are exactly like ordinary ATM debit cards, but once they get empty, they cannot be recharged. Sepah Bank or Bank -e- Sepah is a governmental bank that has a current account service for foreigners which provides both ATM debit card and cheque writing option. A list of permitted Iranian banks can be found here
Emergency services phone numbers
- Police: 110
- Fire department: 125
- EMS: 115
- Road EMS: 115 or 112
Qazvin is located in a modest and mountainous region and the weather in summer is slightly cooler than Tehran. The temprature in summer does not go higher than 35 degrees. Hoever the best time is in the Spring and Fall, when the climate is warm and breezy.
From Qazvin you can do a daytrip to the mountains of Alborz. Most visitors go here to see the remains of Hasan E-Sabah's castle Alamut, from where he ruled the assasiner's order, a medieval terrorist organisation. The remains of the castle is currently (January 2013) being reconstructed in a way that may seem a bit dubious from an archeological point of view. Apart from Alamut, a day trip to Alborz has a lot of impressive landscapes to offer along with some other castles from Hasan's time.