Yazd is a desert city in central Iran and the capital of the Yazd province. It is an ancient city dating back to the Sassanian period (224-651 AD). It is nicknamed "the City of Windcatchers" in Persian, and in 2017, this city of 530,000 people (2016) was listed by UNESCO as a world heritage.
1 Bus station. This is the main bus station, and is quite far out of the city centre. There are several cafes and shops inside of the building.
Getting there: public buses depart every 15 min and cost 10,000 rials (the bus stop is by a little white hut, in front of the bus station) to the 2 Shehneh Bus Station pretty close to the city centre. From there you can get a bus virtually to any part of Yazd, including old town area. Taxi: there is a taxi booth in front of the bus station, taxi to the old town costs 150,000 rials (as of 2017).
Yazd stands on the railway line connecting Tehran and Kerman (6 hr), passing Kashan (3-4 hr). Several trains per day including one overnight one. There is also one train daily which passes Isfahan (3-4 hr). There is no train connection to Shiraz.
- 4 Train station (ایستگاه راه آهن یزد).
Most sights are in the old town near the Friday Mosque. You can easily walk between them on foot and enjoy the rabbit warren of old passages and buildings as you do so. Get a good map from your hotel.
Most places in the old town are within easy walking distance from each other.
Local buses are also available, work with a pre-paid card.
Taxis are inexpensive, 50,000-100,000 rials per ride anywhere inside the city. Motorcycle taxis are another fast and cheap way to move around the city but try to settle on a price beforehand.
Snapp (like Uber) is cheap and efficient.
- 1 Masjid-e Jame (Friday Mosque), Masjid-e Jame street, which runs off Imam St. Dating to the 14th century, it is well worth a visit. It is an example of finest Persian mosaics and excellent architecture. Its minarets are the highest in the country. Admire it at night when it is lit up. Free entry.
- 2 Yazd Water Museum, corner of Qiyam st. and Imam St, ☏ . 08:00-19:00 with a 14:30-15:30 break. House converted to a museum with a lot of information about the Canat water distribution system. Contains nice cool underground rooms. 150,000 rials.
- 3 Takyeh Amir Chakhmagh (Amir Chakhmagh Complex). Built as a mosque, it served as a caravanserai, a tekyeh, a bathhouse, a cold water well, and a confectionery. This imposing structure fronts a square in the old town, opposite the water museum. You can pay a small amount to go inside and climb to the top, giving good local views, including of a nearby badgir (water reservoir with wind towers). The square has interesting fountains and is nice at night.
- 4 Cistern of Fatemeh-ye-Golshan. Easily-viewed reservoir with 4 badgirs (wind towers).
- 5 Amir Chakhmagh Mosque (Old Mosque). Mosque next to the Amir Chakhmagh Complex.
- 6 Market Square Clock, Imam St.
- 7 Atashkadeh (Atash Behram), crossing Kashani and Akbar Road (a few kilometres from the old town; a taxi might be best). 08:00-21:00, closed on official holidays. Zoroastrian Fire Temple built in 1934. The fire on the inside has supposedly been burning since AD 470. It is believed to be one of the nine worldwide Atash Behrams or "Victorious Fires". 400,000 rials (Dec 2019).
- 8 Dakhmeh (Zoroastrian Towers of Silence) (few km outside town direction Shiraz). Huge circular walls on top of hills, where the dead were left to be picked clean by vultures. A quiet, serene place. Two hills can be walked up, Golestan and Mankeji. 200,000 rials.
- 9 Alexander's Prison (Also known as Ziaiyyeh school). Neither built by Alexander the Great nor a prison, but a 15th-century domed school. Guides say the deep well in the middle of its courtyard was built by Alexander the Great and was used as a dungeon although this is not confirmed. Apart from the well there is nothing else to see, so it can easily be skipped. 150,000 rials.
- 10 Dowlat Abad Gardens. With a building with a beautiful large badgir. One of nine Persian gardens inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 150,000 rials.
- 11 Museum of Zoroastrians History and Culture, near Markar square, ☏ . 09:00–13:00 and 16:00–20:00. Makes an emphasis on cultural aspects of daily life of Zoroastrianism followers in Iran. 80,000 rials.
- 12 [dead link] Pahlevanpour Garden, Mehriz town (40 km south of the city), ☏ . 08:00-21:30. Yet another world heritage-listed Persian Garden.
- 13 Sar-Yazd Fortress, Saryazd village (close to Mehriz town, 40 km south of Yazd). Saryazd village dates back to Sassanid era (3rd-7th AD) and apart of the fortress has two caravanserais (Seljuk and Safavid ones), a water reservoir and a number of other historical building, all in half-destroyed state. Besides, there is a traditional restaurant in Safavid Caravansary and a hotel named 'Najari House' offering 6 simple rooms.
- 14 Kharānaq. One of the last remaining mud cities in Iran. Quite touristy place.
- 15 Chak Chak, Ardakan. A pilgrimage center for Zoroastrians.
- 16 Narin Castle, Meybod town (50 km northwest on road to Isfahan). 07:30-17:00. A mud-brick fort or castle built some 2,000 years ago, giving nice lookout on Meybod. 150,000 rials.
- 17 Yakhchals, Meybod town (50 km northwest on road to Isfahan). 07:30-17:00. Ancient evaporation coolers used to make and preserve ice in the desert 150,000 rials.
Attend Ashura ceremonies
Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram with activities going on a couple of days before and after. A group of volunteers organizes 'spiritual tourism' to help tourists attend the events securely. On the main touristic sites large English adds will be posted that explain the program during the holidays and give the meeting point. As of 2016, they met tourists at the Friday mosque. Activities vary from taking tourists to a candle lighting ceremony or to community lunch. A highlight is the main Ashura ceremony for what they organize buses to bring tourists to a mosque just outside the city where the biggest celebration is held. They provide lunch and are extremely careful to where they take you: You will get a fantastic and secure spot to observe the ceremony and you can ask one of the many English speaking volunteers to explain what you see. Please respect the religious importance by wearing black (or at least dark) clothes. All activities are free of charge.
- Walk around in the historic neighbourhoods and relax in the parks. You can also hike up in the beautiful mountains of Yazd and enjoy a spectacular view of the city. If you are the more social type, relax in the cafes and chat with local Iranians. Most likely, they will be very interested in talking with you.
- 1 Pahlevani and zoorkhaneh rituals (close to Amir Chaqmaq Square). Sa-Th 06:00–21:00, gymnastics by several men start at 19:00 until 20:00. It's a traditional Iranian martial arts which practiced in a domed structure called zurkhaneh, training sessions consist mainly of ritual gymnastic movements and climax with the core of combat practice, a form of submission-grappling called koshti pahlavāni. 150,000 rials.
- 2 Traditional Persian Night, Kohan Hotel (Near to the Museum of Coin and Anthropology, Alley 40, Imam Street), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 19:00-22:00. You will get familiar with Persian traditions, literature, music and some of the customs associated with the Iranian night gathering. Welcome drink, Persian storytelling, live Persian classical music (the Setar playing), fresh fruits, Yazdi cake with bitter orange blossom tea, narrating Persian anecdotes, and a three course dinner are included in this nightly event. It is held in a quiet and pleasant atmosphere. Reservations are necessary and sufficient bookings are required for the event to be held. Adult USD25, child 5-12 USD23.
Yazd is famous in Iran for its various handicrafts, such as carpet, silk fabrics and cashmere. A good place for these is bazaar, where also can be found snacks such as nougat and cashews. It is also famous for its sweets and confectionery most notable of which is haj khalife located near the chaqmaq gate.
- 1 Exchange office (in front of Zoroastrian Fire temple). Office with a good exchange rate.
For a friendlier and more cultural atmosphere try Persian restaurants. Many restaurants serve the standard Iranian kebabas. There are a few international restaurants in Yazd which serve Italian, Indian, Arabian and Mexican food.
The traditional restaurant and tea house of Kohan Hotel serves various Iranian traditional dishes such as fessenjun, gheime as well as some European and Indian dishes. It has a nice atmosphere and is located near the Alexander Prison.
- 1 Friends House, No.44, Shah Abolghasem Alley, Seyyed Gole Sorkh St (few steps from Alexander's Prison towards Haame mosque), ☏ . A cosy little bistro located in an ancient courtyard. Home made dishes, fresh juice and local drinks is served. Best known for its amazing coffee, made by Bialetti Moka express. €4-6 for a lunch or dinner
- 2 Parsa restaurant, Salman-e-Farsi (on the righthand side behind Amir Chakmaq mosque). A modern type restaurant with not a very great exterior, but frequented by locals, and has a busy takeaway. Good food.
For typical drinks available in Iran, see Iran#Drink
It is best to stay in the old town near the Friday Mosque, from which you can walk to most sights. There are many decent hotels to choose from. A number of traditional houses have been converted into atmospheric hotels. Some are good and others not so much. Many of them offer clean comfortable rooms encircling peaceful central courtyards where you can eat, drink tea or puff away on a ghalyan while gazing at the sky.
- 1 Orient Hotel (6th Alley at Jame Mosque St.), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. From the owners of Silk Road Hotel, which is on the other side of the street. The price of the rooms are all same as the Silk Road Hotel. It is especially tailored to the needs of families and group travelers. Has a glass deck on the second floor with nice panoramas of the city, and the beautiful Jame' Mosque, and a background of desert and mountains. To book your room at the Orient hotel, it is best to call or email the Silk Road Hotel. Good hotel, nice central courtyard. Showers have good pressure and water is hot. You can eat lunch and dinner here. Dorm bed USD10; single USD20; double USD40; triple USD50.
- 2 Silk Road Hotel, No 5, Tal-e Khakestary Alley, Masjed Jame St (hidden in an alley near the Jameh Mosque; look for the signs pointing the way on the wall), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. This is undoubtedly the most popular and affordable of the backpacker hotels in Yazd. They off private rooms with ensuite bathrooms as well as a comfortable dorm. An excellent buffet breakfast and free wireless internet is included in the price. They also serve traditional food in the lovely courtyard restaurant. They also offer a number of interesting tours in and around Yazd - including overnight trips to the desert oasis Kharanaq, where they run another guesthouse. In 2019, Silk Road Hotel offered free accommodation for bicycle travelers in their basement dorm. Dorm bed USD10; single USD20; double USD40; triple USD50.
- 3 Kohan Hotel (100 m from Alexander's Prison), ☏ , fax: . A little pricier and difficult to find, but also worth the effort. They also have a beautiful courtyard restaurant, an underground qanat room (water management system) to explore, and good views of the old city can be had from the roof. The hotel is family run, and also there is a tourist information office, a young man,who speaks wonderfully perfect German, English and a little Spanish, he can provide information about Yazd and other cities of Iran, time table of buses, air planes and trains. Various tours of Yazd are offered including camel rides, overnight stays in desert & bike riding in desert. Laundry service 150,000 rials. Dorm USD10, single USD35, double USD50.
- 4 Kourosh Hotel (100 m from Alexander prison), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Traditional architecture and modern amenities, in the middle of the city. Breakfast and Wi-Fi free. Dorm USD18, double 1,450,000 rials.
- 5 Fazeli Hotel Yazd (هتل فاضلی یزد _ هتل یزد), Vaghto Saat square (center of historical area), ☏ , toll-free: , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. The hotel's main building was built in the late of Safavid period and in Qajar and Pahlavi period has been restored. Free Internet, public Wi-Fi, non-smoking rooms, laundry service , concierge , air conditioning, minibar, rooftop terrace, breakfast buffet, family rooms, 24-hr front desk, self-service laundry, daily housekeeping, flatscreen TV. USD45.
- 6 Restup hostel, Saadi alley, Yazd, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. The rooms are comfy and have a view of the central yard. Free WiFi and buffet breakfast are provided. The host family is friendly. Mo is enthusiastic and has a good knowledge of English. Dorm €11, single €23, twin €36 triple €39.
- 7 Hotel Toranj, No. 3, Islami Alley, Hosseinian Alley, Imam St (in the center of the old town), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. The rooms are comfy and most have a view of the central yard. Free WiFi and buffet breakfast are provided and the coffee shop with its roof view is very atmospheric. The staff members are very professional and have good knowledge of English. Single USD35, double usd55, triple USD70.
- 8 [formerly dead link] Hotel Dad, #214, 10th Farvardin Ave, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel Dad is a hotel from the 1930s in the old center of town, with a traditional style, and 54 rooms. Swimming pool with poolside service and a sauna and jacuzzi. It has a traditional Iranian and an international restaurant, along with a coffee shop. Single USD70; double USD110; triple USD165.
Outside of Yadz
- 9 Farvardinn Desert Inn, 30 km southeast of Yazd en route to Bafq, Fahraj-Yazd (There are local buses to Fahraj every hour on the hour from the local bus station. A taxi costs USD5. The hotel is about 100 m to the left of the main street); across the old Fortress of Fahraj village), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: flexible, check-out: flexible. This guesthouse/hostel is close to Yazd on the Dasht-e-Lud desert. The owner, Masoud, speaks excellent English and a little French, is very nice and very knowledgeable about the area. This hotel offers comfortable beds, a full buffet breakfast, new bathrooms, WiFi, kitchen facilities, dinner with a local family, and camel-riding courses. This hotel is great for both backpackers and traditional travellers looking for a trekking base or an authentic place to relax. There is a bus and train booking service for minimal commission. Tours: from 1-12 days - day tours to surrounding villages from an experienced guide, camel-riding courses, nomad tours from Yazd to Shiraz, one day hikes to Mt. Shirkuh (up to 4100 m), or a tour of your choosing can be arranged. Camping USD4; dorm bed USD7; double USD25.
- 1 Immigration office, 75 m north of Abozar Square on the west side of Kashani Road (in the southern part of town). 08:00 -. Visa extensions for foreign tourists.
- Isfahan — the ancient city which is a little bit more cultural and beautiful than Yazd
- Na’in — a small desert town north of Yazd
- Varzaneh — town northeast of Yazd with a beautiful desert 12 km away from it. Besides, it has number of historical buildings