Shiraz (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 1,500,000.
1 Shiraz International Airport (SYZ IATA) 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.
There are several trains per day to Tehran, travel time 10-15 hours, costs 700,000-1,500,000 rials (as of 2017).
2 Shiraz Train station. Station is located 20 km away from the city. Getting there: there is a bus waiting for the passengers on their arrival to Shiraz which brings them to the closest metro station. Taxi costs 150,000 rials per person from the city center.
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.
From Yazd about 10-15 buses a day, 5 hours.
From Kerman several buses per day, 8 hours.
3 Karandish Bus station (ترمینال کاراندیش), ☎ . The main bus station from where departs most of the long-distance buses. It's a big building with lots of shops, simple eateries and a luggage storage (6:30 - 21:30).
4 Ali Ibn Hamze Terminal (ترمینال علی بن حمزه) (right next to the river). A smaller terminal located at the south of the bigger Karandish domestic bus terminal (dont go inside the big terminal). Minibuses to Persepolis depart from there.
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, average fare inside the city 50,000-100,000 rials (as of 2017).
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 Arg of Karim Khan (Karim Khan Citadel), ☎ . 8:00 - 21:00. 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. 200,000 rials.
- 2 Shah Cheragh (شاه چراغ), ☎ . A funerary monument and mosque, housing the tomb of 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. Regarded as the holiest place in Shiraz. Besides, it houses a small museum exhibiting about 30 very old and rare Qur'an books. Free entrance and a free guided tour.
- 3 Nasir al-Mulk Mosque. 8:00–11:30, 14:30–17:00. 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. One of the most photographed mosques in southern Iran. Better to visit before 10:00 to see its iconic view of mosaic glasses lighted up by the background sun light. 150,000 rials.
- 4 Jame’e Atigh Mosque. A 9th-century mosque.
- 5 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. Parts of the mosque is still under construction so it's barely used as a mosque by locals. 150,000 rials.
- 6 Narenjestan Ghavam museum (Qavam House). 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. 200,000 rials.
- 7 Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk House, Next to Naranjestan Qavam. Historical house and adjoining gardens that used to be connected to Narenjestan Ghavam by underground tunnel. Now it works as a separate museum which besides of the traditional Iranian house houses Fars History museum in its basement. 150,000 rials.
- 8 Sayyed Alaeddin Hossein Mosque. It holds shrine of Sayyed Alaeddin Hossein, one of the sons of the seventh imam. Mosque's walls and ceilings are covered with intricate mirror mosaics and coloured glass. Free entrance and free guided tour.
- 9 Pars Museum. 8:00–13:30, 14:30–17:30. Museum's pavilion was the place in which royal guests were hosted during the Zand dynasty. It was also used for holding official ceremonies and later became the burial place of Karim Khan Zand. Now it exhibits 30 handwritten Qurans and paintings of Persian artists.
- 10 Khan school (Madrese Khan), Lotf Ali Khan Zand St. It's been fully reconstructed recently where only its facade belongs to the original structure.
- 11 Armenian Church. 17th-century Armenian Church, which survived from the Safavid era.
- 12 Bazaar-e Vakil. 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.
- 13 Saray-e-Moshir. Caravansary at the south entrance of Bazaar Vakil, which now functions as exhibition space for Iranian handicrafts.
- 14 Vakil Bath, ☎ . 8:00 – 17:30. An old public bath which has been recently remodelled into a museum of waxworks. 150,000 rials.
- 15 Mesgarha Bazaar.
Northern parts near Baba Kuhi and Chehel Maqam mountains
- 16 Hafez Tomb, ☎ . 8:00 - 22:00. Mausoleum of 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. 200,000 rials.
- 17 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. 200,000 rials.
- 18 Ali Ibn Hamzeh Holly Shrine, Hafez St (near Hamzeh Bridge). Built over the shrine of Emir Ali, a nephew of Shah Cheragh. The building itself is quite new as it had to be rebuilt after an earthquake. However, it can boast of the richly-ornamented interiors, parts of which are made of marble and mirror mosaics. Free entrance and free guided tour.
- 19 Shah Shoja Tomb. Tomb of Shah Shoja', the Mozafarid emir of Persia, and patron of Hafiz.
- 20 Baba Kuhi Tomb. The Tomb of Baba Kuhi sits atop a mountain overlooking the city. Free entrance.
- 21 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 (entrance ticket 115,000 rials). 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.
- 22 Haft Tanan Museum, Haft Tanan Blvd, ☎ . 8:00 - 19:30. It's a mausoleum, where seven Sufi mystics are buried. Besides, there is a museum of stones that were collected from historical sites in Fars province. 60,000 rials.
- 23 Gahvareh Did, Haft Tanan Blvd. People say this is the place where a guard tower was located in the old days, nowadays it has a stone replica of it. Besides, it's a fantastic observation point. Be prepared to climb up 800 steps to get there. Free admission.
- 24 Qasr e Abu Nasr (Abu-Nasr Palace or Takht e Sulayman [Throne of Solomon]). Fortress built in Parthian Empire and was important and strategic location in Sassanid Empire. Archaeologists found various drachmas and art crafts belonged to different historical periods there. Currently almost nothing left from those times, just stones.
- 1 Delgosha Garden (Bagh-e-delgosha). Enjoy a walk in this lovely old garden with flowers and bitter orange trees.
- 2 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.
- 3 Eram Garden (Bagh-e-eram), ☎ . 8:00 - 17:00. 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! 200,000 rials.
- 4 Jahan Nama Garden. 8:00 - 22:00. 115,000 rials plus separate ticket (20,000 rials) is required for the garden's museum.
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 Aftab Fars Shopping Centre (MaaliAbaad Blv.).
- 3 Persian Gulf Complex (Sepidan Hwy. Near Sadra and Golestan Towns).
- Setareh e Fars Shopping Centre [dead link], Afifabad Blv.
- 4 Sina Shopping Centre, Motahhari Blv.
Exchange rates offered in local safaris are 10-15% higher than the official bank rate.
- 6 Currency exchange offices (near Karim Khan Citadel and Shohada square).
- 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.
- 1 Haft khan. Buffet and classic restaurant, Iranian and international cuisine. Buffet 27$ per person.
- 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
- 2 Shater Abbas, khak shenasi St.. Simple traditional Iranian restaurant with quite average food.
- 3 Sharzeh Restaurant. A classic old restaurant located just outside the Vakil bazaar. It is often packed with tourist groups. 180,000 salad buffet.
- Soofi Restaurant, traditional restaurant located at Sattarkhan St.
- Parmin Restaurant
- Shandiz Restaurant
- Sita Traditional Restaurant, with live Iranian music
- Gambron SeaFood Restaurant, serving food from the whole of Persian gulf
- 4 Dragon. Chinese Food. 150,000-400,000 rials per meal.
- Noor, Lebanese Restaurant, Chamran Blv
- Zeytoon, classic restaurant, Iranian restaurant
- Moshit Restaurant (spelling?), Corner of North Qaani street. opens 7am. A small restaurant that also serves breakfast: fried eggs, tea, and the famous Ash-e-shiraz. breakfast 60,000 rial.
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
- 5 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: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Awesome traditional court to hang around, drink tea and have a shisha. There is a five-bed dorm room. 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. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Dorm bed US$10, Single US$15; Double US$40; Triple US$50, includes breakfast.
- 3 Golha Hotel, Karim Khan Zand Blvd, ☎ . Good location. Clean and very cheap. They speak no English, though. No breakfast. Double IRR600,000.
- 4 Taha Hostel, Darvaze Kazeroon Front of Armenian Church (close to niayesh hotel), ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional house with high walls and orange trees. Rooms with old brick and stone and wooden doors, preserved from the Qajar period. Hostel with small traditional courtyard. 11$.
- Apadana Hotel, Ahli St., ☎ , , fax: .
- Aryo-Barzan Hotel, Roodaki Ave., ☎ , fax: .
- Eram Hotel, Karim Khan-é Zand., ☎ .
- Parseh Hotel, 22 Bahman St., ☎ , fax: .
- Parsian Hotel, Roodaki Ave., ☎ , fax: .
- 5 Chamran Grand Hotel, Chamran Blvd, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tallest hotel building in Shiraz. 250 rooms and suites on 30 floors.
- 6 Homa Hotel, Meshkinfam St (Next to Azadi Park.), ☎ , , fax: , . Housed in the former Intercontinental.
- 7 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
- 1 Immigration office (Shiraz passport office), on a side street off Modares Boulevard, 300 m east from Valiye-asr Square (20 minute walk from central Shiraz). Sat - Thu 7:30 - 14:00. Visa extensions for foreign tourists.
- Firouzabad — revived old town destroyed by Alexander of Macedonia. With two stumbling palaces of those days: Qal'eh Dokhtar and Castle of Ardeshir e Babakan.
- Margoon Waterfall — 70 meter high and 100 meter wide waterfall
- 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.
- Persepolis — a historical site 60 km north of Shiraz that used to be a ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC.