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Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languagePersian
Area1.648.195 kmĀ²
Population85,795,361  (2021)
CurrencyIranian rial  (IRR)

Vacations and Sightseeing

Since the Ayatollahs took power, Iran has been a strict Islamic republic. As a tourist, extreme vigilance is required. In any case, consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before you travel. Here are some tourist highlights of Iran.

Tehran is rapidly becoming one of the largest cities in the world. It is home to about 14 million inhabitants, making it the largest city in the Middle East. The National Museum of Iran dates back to the 1930s and houses over 300,000 artefacts from one of the oldest civilisations on the planet. Each room offers a glimpse into Iranian history, with special emphasis on ancient Persian artefacts. The museum in the Golestan Palace is relatively new (built in 1878), the Arg Citadel on the site dates back to 1588. You will see the wealth and splendour of the reign of Safavid Shah Abbas I. Wandering through the halls you will see golden thrones, stained glass, vast mosaics and Iranian paintings. The halls are set among lush gardens and form a green oasis among the busy streets. A trip to Tehran is not complete without a visit to the traditional market. Most districts have small bazaars during the week, but Tehran's biggest is the Jomeh Bazaar, or Friday Market. Browse the hundreds of stalls to find hidden treasures, from musical instruments to ornamental swords.

Isfahan is the other city you can't miss in Iran. Its breathtaking centrepiece is Imam Square, one of the largest squares in the world, surrounded by a stunning array of mosques and blue-mosaic palaces. Wander through the gardens, marvel at the architecture and take time to absorb the atmosphere of this square. Another magnificent attraction is the Jameh Mosque. It is a masterpiece of Islamic design. It is the largest mosque in Iran.

The city of Shiraz is synonymous with statues of poets, flowers and - somewhat ironically, given the nationwide ban on alcohol - wine. It was long one of the most celebrated Islamic cities in the world, and there is still plenty to see. A short drive from Shiraz is Persepolis. This was once the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire in the 5th to 3rd centuries BC. You will see abandoned columns, steps and gates. The whole makes for a monumental sight.


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CIA - World Factbook

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Last updated May 2024
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