Shiraz [dead link] (شیراز) is the capital city of the Fars province and a treasure trove of Persian culture. It was the capital of Iran during the Zand dynasty's era (1747–79), and is the celebrated birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi. The city has a population of about 1,300,000.
1 Shiraz International Airport (IATA: SYZ) has regular flights to all major and some smaller cities in Iran. There are International flights to Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Sharjah, Bahrain, Kuwait, Doha.
Turkish Airlines is operating weekly 4 direct flights from Istanbul to Shiraz and back.
Shiraz Train station has trains to Isfahan and Tehran. However, the bus journey is shorter (2 hours less), so that might be recommended.
From Tehran, many buses depart from South Terminal. Costs around IRR600,000 and takes around 12 hours.
From Isfahan, many buses depart from Soffe Terminal (southern terminal of Isfahan). Costs around IRR300,000 and takes around 6 hours.
For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. However be sure to haggle for a good price prior to getting into the car.
If an unmarked car stops while you are hailing a taxi, don't be alarmed. Many taxis in Shiraz are unmarked and also as a means to supplement their income, is not uncommon to find private car owners touting themselves as taxis.
However it is always best to find a taxi through a reputable "telephone taxi" agency. For a set fee, drivers of these agencies will take passengers to their destination, drive them around town and also wait for them while they shop or run errands. All hotels and local residents will have a phone number of one these agencies. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.
The city also has a reasonable bus service.
A metro runs between Ehsan on the north side of the city and Namazi in the city centre.
Don't hesitate to talk to people, especially youths. Almost all of them speak English well enough to talk to you, answer your questions and chat with you. Respect Iranian government and do not air condescending views of Iran.
- 1 Hafez Tomb. Mausoleum of Hafez- Hafez (1324–1391), the greatest master of Persian lyric poetry and the literary giant of the 14th century in the west and central Asia, was born in Shiraz, lived all his life here, sang its praises in unsurpassed verse and was buried in a garden known after him as the Hafezieh, in the northeast part of the city. The wide appeal of this poet among all Persian-speaking people make his tomb a cherished placed, visited by all. This mausoleum was rebuilt in the early 50’s. A flight of stone steps reaches to the tomb under a tiled cupola resembling a dervish’s hat. The tombstone is beautifully inscribed with two of Hafez’s poems or Ghazals. Visitors to the tomb can still, as they have done for centuries, take the omens, or faals, by picking a page at random from a volume of Hafez, kept for this purpose. IRR200,000.
- 2 Saadi Tomb. Here lie the earthly remains of one of Iran’s greatest poets. Even from the very early days after the poet’s death, the mausoleum of Sa’di became a place of pilgrimage to lovers of poetry and literature. In 1808 AD Karim Khan Zand renovated the mausoleum. The tomb was rebuilt in the early 50’s. The porch with its tall columns of pinkish marble is a traditional feature of Iranian architecture.
- 3 Arg of Karim Khan. Formerly a prison, but now an architectural wonder on exhibit. The design of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of Karim Khan and the military centre of the dynasty. Tile works depicting legendary tales were added at the entrance gate of the citadel during the Qajar period.
- 4 Narangestan Qavam (Bagh-e-naranjestan). Both traditional and historical house, it was built in the mid-to-late 19th century by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam "Naranjestan" preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the upper-class families during the 19th century. The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house, overlooking onto gardens lined with date palms and flowers. The house today is a museum open to the public.
- 5 Nasir al-Mulk Mosque. Built during the Qājār era, the mosque has extensively colored glass in its façade, and other traditional elements such as panj kāseh-i (five concaves) in its design.
- 6 Jame’e Atigh Mosque.
- 7 Vakil Mosque. Built between 1751 and 1773, during the Zand period; however, it was restored in the 19th century during the Qajar period where its exuberant floral decorative tiles date from.
- 8 Shah Cheragh. Seyed Amir Ahmad, known as Shah-e Cheragh, the brother of Imam Reza, came to Shiraz in the latter half of the 8th century. He passed away in the city and his tomb is now a place of pilgrimage. The structure, tile work and the dome of the mausoleum have been rebuilt several times over the centuries. The tomb, the beautiful silver doors and the exquisite mirror work are the handicrafts of masters and contemporary artists of Shiraz.
- 9 Qur'an Gate (Dar vazeh Quran). The city's main entrance. The original gate was built as an ornamental decoration by the Buwwayhids (Buwayhid dynasty) about 1000 years ago, but this was replaced 60 years ago by new gate, which is considered one of the finest architectural designs in Iran and has won numerous awards. From the gate walk up the stone stairways to enjoy picturesque and panoramic views of Shiraz. The tomb of Khajooyeh Kermanee, a famous poet, is also located here. Hidden in the alleys on the hill-side are numerous restaurants that serve the finest chelo kabob. It is an excellent place for picnics and taking photographs.
- Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk (The house of Zinat ol-molk), Next to Naranjestan Qavam. Historical house and adjoining gardens that house the Fars Dignatories museum.
- Abesh Khatoon Tomb
- Seyed Taj-e-din Gharib Tomb
- Sheykh Roozbahan Tomb
- Khan school
- Ghal'eye Karim Khan
- Christians Church
- 1 Vakil Bath. An old public bath.
- 2 Delgosha Garden (Bagh-e-delgosha). Enjoy a walk in this lovely old garden with flowers and bitter orange trees.
- 3 Afif abad Garden (Bagh-e-afifabad). Garden and houses owned by the Ghavami family. It contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden that is one of the oldest gardens in Shiraz, all open to the public.
- 4 Eram Garden (Bagh-e-eram). Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this stunningly beautiful complex contains a vast network of gardens, as well as a colorful palace and a system of small artificial rivers flowing throughout the entire area. Tourists can admire the wonderful flora or follow the little canals' intricate system. Make sure the weather is sunny before coming here! IRR200,000.
Retail stores usually open between 9AM and 1PM, reopening again from 5PM to 9PM. It is customary to haggle for a discount, which is referred to as a takhfeef.
- 1 Bazaar Vakeel. Huge ancient bazaar specializing in fine carpets, textiles, antiques and handicrafts, and spices. There is also a wonderful courtyard with a pool located in the bazaar, perfect for photographs. Caravansarais, bath houses, and old shops where hundreds of vendors are housed.
- 2 Saray-e-Moshir. Caravansary at the south entrance of Bazaar Vakil, which now functions as exhibition space for Iranian handicrafts.
- 3 Mesgarha Bazaar.
- Moshir-e-Now Bazaar
- 4 Aftab Fars Shopping Centre (MaaliAbaad Blv.).
- Hafez Shopping Centre, Afifabad Blv.
- 5 Persian Gulf Complex (Sepidan Hwy. Near Sadra and Golestan Towns).
- Setareh e Fars Shopping Centre, Afifabad Blv.
- Sina Shopping Centre, Motahhari Blv.
- Zaytoon Shopping Centre, Paramount Intersection.
- Kebab with rice - Like elsewhere in Iran, the mighty old kebab with rice is a common fare, though Shiraz does offer a local variation on the national dish.
- Shirazi salad - A delicious and famous salad available throughout Iran, made with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing.
- Kalam polo - Traditional food cooked only in Shiraz. Some delivery food restaurants serve this food, but it can hardly be found in normal restaurants. It is made of rice, meatballs, chopped cabbage and some other vegetables and spices.
- Ash-e Shirazi - This is a kind of soup made of vegetables and meat. It is served all over the city, but only early in the morning, from 5 to 7 am.
- Masghati Halva - A great dessert and snack.
- Nokhod (Chickpea) Cookie - Delicious cookie made of chickpeas, it makes for great souvenirs.
- Shirazi Faloodeh - Paloodeh/Faloodeh is an ice cream made of rice starch, which takes the form of noodles. It is flavored with "sharbat" (sugar water), which can be of different flavors. Shirazi paloodeh is the best of its kind, especially when mixed with Bahar-e-Naranj Distill.
Many of these places have live music playing.
- Haft khan, buffet and classic restaurant, Iranian and international cuisine
- Bel passi, Italian Restaurant
- Lotus Restaurant, on the 13th floor of Pars International Hotel
- Lotus Restaurant, on the top floor of Setareh-e-Fars Shopping Centre
- Kaktoos Restaurant
- Shater Abbas
- Sharzeh Restaurant, a classic old restaurant located just outside the Vakil bazaar
- Soofi Restaurant, traditional restaurant located at Sattarkhan St.
- Hammam-e-Vakil (Vakil Bath), classic old style restaurant
- Parmin Restaurant
- Shandiz Restaurant
- Sita Traditional Restaurant, with live Iranian music
- Gambron SeaFood Restaurant, serving food from the whole of Persian gulf
- Dragon, Chinese Food
- Noor, Lebanese Restaurant, Chamran Blv
- Zeytoon, classic restaurant, Iranian restaurant
- Shater abbas, traditional Iranian restaurant, located in khak shenasi St.
You can find at least one fast food parlor in every Street of Shiraz.
- Bagro, experience the real taste of pizza and sandwich in a lovely place
- Givani, modern restaurant offering Burgers, FC, Pizza
- Safir SFC, another Modern themed restaurant
- Exis, Italian and Mexican Fast Foods
- Sand, a lovely fast food with a unique interior design
- 110 Wimpy
- Zaver, great Italian pizzas
- Haft khan
- lio good
- 1 Baba bastani (بابا بستنی), West Ghodoosi Blv. Ice cream shop, more creamy than most other ice cream found in Shiraz. Try the special cone ice cream. The shop is popular with the locals, so expect a queue. No seats but there is a small park beside.
You can find coffee shops of every size, at shopping centres and on the main streets.
- Brentin, Sattarkhan Blv
- Blensi, Dena Building, Moali abad Blv
- Wafi, Dena Building, Moali abad Blv
- Parmin, Parmin Building, Moali abad Blv
- Tulip, Khakshenasi st
- Safir, Ghasr dasht st
- Soofi, Chencheneh Intersection
There are a lot of gardens out of Shiraz, and many have been remodeled as restaurants. Most have live music playing in the evenings and offer great view.
- Nakhlestan Garden
- Padra Garden, relatively new
- Darband Garden
- Silvia Garden
For more information on typical drinks in Iran, see Iran#Drink
- Distills - Shiraz has many kinds of aromatic distills.
- Haiku, Gas Square, in front of Azadi Park, across street,. 9am to 1pm. Special herb teas and coffee with fresh baked cakes and desserts.
- Taropood Art Gallery, behind the national museum. Art gallery with a nice cafe attached to it. Regular free exhibitions as well. (updated Oct 2016)
There are a few budget hotels located about 200m south of the roundabout at Arg-é Karim Khan.
- Darya Hotel, Piruzi Street. Clean. Single: IRR180,000; Double: IRR250,000.
- 1 Golshan Hostel, No. 15 Alley 38. Lotfali Khan-e-Zand (Look for sign on the north side boardwalk of the street, follow the alley), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Awesome traditional court to hang around, drink tea and have a shisha. The owner, Parviz, is an honest and good host, who speaks English fluently. He knows all transport possibilities and can book you a hotel he likes in another city at a fair price. Tours guide are good guys. There is a five-bed dorm room. The hostel runs tours to Persepolis-Necropolis US$30 (half-day, admission fee not included (150,000 IRR + 100,000 IRR)) and Pasargad-Necropolis-Persepolis US$65 (full-day, admission fee not included (200,000 IRR + 200,000 IRR + 200,000 IRR)). Dorm bed: IRR300,000 IRR; Single: IRR:750,000; Double: IRR900,000; Triple: IRR1,650,000. Breakfast included.
- 2 Niayesh Boutique Hotel (Seven Hostels in Shiraz), No. 10, Shahzadeh Jamali Lane, Bibi Dokhtaran Mausoleum Lane, Namazi junction, Lotfali Khan-e Zand St. (Difficult to find, but it's not far from Shah-e Cheragh Shrine. From the police station 300 metres or so up the road it's clearly signposted.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12.00, check-out: 12.00. A new hotel with a nice inner courtyard and an OK restaurant serving standard fare. There is a dormitory, but it only sleeps four (with two single beds and a double bed). Great value for money. Very good buffet breakfast. Optional extras like tea and laundry are quite expensive, so make sure you settle on a price before agreeing to use additional services. There are reports of private car drivers booked through this hotel overcharging, and the hotel is not responsible for that. The hotel offers tours to Persepolis via Fars Tourist Agency for US$30 (half-day) and US$55 (full-day), including entrance fees, drinks, and lunch (in case of full-day tour). Dorm bed: US$10, Single: US$15;, Double: US$40; Triple: US$50, includes breakfast.
- 3 Golha Hotel, Karim Khan Zand Blvd, ☎ . Good location. Clean and very cheap. They speak no English, though. No breakfast. Double: IRR600,000 (May-2016).
- Taha Hostel, Darvaze Kazeroon Front of Armenian Church (close to niayesh hotel), ☎ . Hostel with small traditional courtyard.
- Apadana Hotel, Ahli St., ☎ +98 (711) 2301336 & 2359322, fax: . $.
- Aryo-Barzan Hotel, Roodaki Ave., ☎ , fax: .
- Eram Hotel, Karim Khan-é Zand., ☎ .
- Parseh Hotel, 22 Bahman St., ☎ , fax: .
- Parsian Hotel, Roodaki Ave., ☎ , fax: .
- 4 Chamran Grand Hotel, Chamran Blvd, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tallest hotel building in Shiraz. 250 rooms and suites on 30 floors.
- 5 Homa Hotel, Meshkinfam St (Next to Azadi Park.), ☎ , , 32288009fax: +98 (71) 32288014 & 32288021. Housed in the former Intercontinental.
- 6 Pars International Hotel, Zand Boulevard, ☎ , fax: .
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
- Police: 110
- Fire Assistance : 125
- EMS: 115
- Road EMS: 115 or 112
- Pasargad was a Persian capital built by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. Around 500 BC, Darius I built a new capital at Persepolis 50 km away. Both are now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and both are near Shiraz.
- Takht-e-Jamshid (Persepolis) - The World Heritage Listed centre of the great Persian Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians and the showpiece of Achaemenian art, Persepolis (Capital of Persia in Greek) is a historic site in Fars Province, 60 km to the northeast of Shiraz. Iranians call it Takht-e Jamshid (throne of Jamshid), Jamshid being the first, probably mythical, ruler of Iran. This magnificent court was the summer residence of the Achaemenian emperors and their official reception quarters. It must be by some strange accident of history that Persepolis was never mentioned in foreign records, for it was here that representatives of all the varied peoples of the empire gathered to pay homage, and bring tribute, to the King of Kings, probably each spring, at the time of the ancient Now Ruz festival. Although set on fire and destroyed by Alexander in a gesture symbolizing the destruction of Persian imperial power, its still impressive ruins permit a fairly complete reconstruction of its original appearance.
- Palace of Apadana
- Palace of Ardashir - The Palace ruins of Sassanid king Ardashir I. As of September 2014, entrance is 150000 Rial per person for foreign tourists.
how to get to Persepolis
To get there, there are several options. You can either hire a taxi from anywhere in Shiraz, take a shared taxi from the front of the 5 Karandish Bus station (ترمینال کاراندیش). in the east of the city or go by bus. Taxis are the most expensive options and can may cost up to 600,000 Rs. Local minibuses are much cheaper and leave from the so-called 6 Ali Ibn Hamze Terminal (ترمینال علی بن حمزه). , which is a smaller terminal located at the south of the bigger Kar Andish domestic bus terminal (dont go inside the big terminal) right next to the river. Ask for minibuses to Mavdasht d 45 min and 25,000 rials per person. Minibuses sometimes look very old. From Mavdasht, taxis take you to Persepolis in 10 minutes for 100,000 rs. To get back to Shiraz, take a taxi or hitchike (20,000 rs/person) from Persepolis to Mavdasht taxi Terminal where you can take a shares taxi (50,000 ra/person) to shiraz bazaar as there is no bus to shiraz afternoon. (jan 2017)