“House of knowledge”, “city of roses”, “city of love” and “city of gardens” – all this is about Shiraz, the capital of Fars province, a city with a 2000-year history and for centuries one of the most important centers of the Islamic world. The heart of Persian culture, Shiraz gave the world the great poets Hafiz and Saadi, whose tombs today are a place of pilgrimage not only for Iranians, but also for connoisseurs of oriental poetry from all over the world. For 30 years in the middle of the 18th century, Shiraz was the capital of all of Persia, and in memory of those glorious times there were many magnificent mosques, Koranic schools and exquisite gardens with beautiful pavilions-palaces. And here you can also try a special “macaroni” ice cream and very tasty Syrian wine, have a picnic in one of the city parks and see the ruins of the great capitals of the past – Pasargada and Persepolis. See citypopulationreview.com for weather in the capital of Iran.
How to get to Shiraz
Shiraz has its own international airport, which actively receives flights from all over the world. The easiest way to get to Shiraz is through the capital, Tehran, by Aeroflot or IranAir flights. There are at least 2 flights to Shiraz daily from Tehran Airport. Travel time is 1 hour 40 minutes. Shiraz can also be reached by Turkish Airlines flights with a change in Istanbul (4 times a week), British Airways (via London), Emirates (via Dubai).
You can also arrive in Shiraz by intercity bus from any city in Iran or use the services of the Iranian Railways. The Shiraz railway station has been renovated relatively recently, and so far the traffic can be described as irregular.
Transport in the city
While the ambitious project of the Shiraz metro (3 lines and 40 stations) has not received its real implementation, taxis remain the most convenient way to get around the city. Cars are white-green and yellow, the latter are more modern. The fare should be negotiated before boarding, usually from 5000 IRR within the city. You can also use the services of a taxi on call – the phone number of the nearest taxi fleet will be happy to tell you at the hotel reception. You can travel along the main streets of the city by minibuses – the fare is from 1000 to 2000 IRR.
You can also travel around Shiraz by municipal buses, but this can only be recommended for fans of “immersion” recreation: route names and their numbers are in Farsi, there are usually a lot of people inside the bus, and stops can be at a sufficient distance from the necessary tourist places – mosques, squares and restaurants.
Cuisine and restaurants of Shiraz
As elsewhere in Iran, the main thing you can eat in Shiraz is various variations of kebabs accompanied by rice or vegetable stews. The city boasts several local varieties of kebab. You can accompany the dish with Shiraz salad – a mixture of fresh finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, sprinkled with lemon juice and seasoned with olive oil.
For dessert, order halva and nokhod biscuits made from chickpea flour.
Be sure to try the Shiraz “palude” – ice cream made from rice starch and sugar water in the form of long and thin noodles rolled into a curl-roll. Paludé is often scented with floral water.
Most of Shiraz’s famous restaurants are located in the city center, in the area of Zand and Lotfalla boulevards. As a landmark, you can use the building of the Municipality of the city and the Vakil Mosque.
Accompanying the meal with live music is a common practice in restaurants in Shiraz. In most establishments, musicians play in the afternoons and evenings, from singles making intricate graces on the lute to entire orchestras.
Many chamber gardens of Shiraz have also been converted into restaurants. There are pavilions (former residences of wealthy Shiraz people) and an open-air space surrounded by greenery and flowers. Popular gastro-gardens include Nakhlestan, Darband, Sylvia and Padra.
Shopping and stores
Souvenirs and handicrafts can be purchased at the noisy Vakil bazaar (not far from the mosque of the same name). It also sells expensive Iranian carpets and fabrics, antiques and spices. You can relax from the hustle and bustle of shopping malls in a secluded courtyard with a swimming pool in the heart of the bazaar – Saraye Mushir. Food, clothing and footwear and other household items are presented in Shiraz supermarkets: Hafez, Setareh-e Fars, Sina, Aftab Fars and Zaytoon.
For magnificent gift editions of Hafiz’s poems and books dedicated to his life and work, go to the specialized bookstore at the poet’s mausoleum – Aramagh-e Hafez.
Entertainment and attractions of Shiraz
An overview of Shiraz attractions should start with two famous tombs – Hafiz and Saadi. The mausoleum and grave of Hafiz is located in the north-eastern part of the city, in a garden named after the poet – Hafeziya. The resting place is located under a tiled dome supported by columns; its shape resembles the headdress of a dervish, in the guise of which the poet traveled through the cities and towns of Persia. Lines of two poems by Hafiz are carved on the tombstone, and a volume of his poems lies nearby on a pedestal. You can open any page at random and get an individual prediction of the poet – this is what most Iranians who find themselves here do (in fact, the book is intended for this purpose).
The mausoleum and tomb of Saadi is also a popular place of pilgrimage for lovers of Persian literature. The building underwent reconstruction at the beginning of the 19th century, and the burial place of the poet was renovated and landscaped in the 50s of the 20th century. The immortal lines of Saadi are also carved in marble here. Pay attention to the magnificent columns of pink marble supporting the azure dome over the poet’s grave.
You can also renounce the mortal in the numerous tombs-mausoleums of cultural and religious figures of Persia, for example, Shah Sherag, Sheikh Ruzbakhan or Emir Ali. All of them are decorated with amazing stone carvings, colorful tiles, stained glass windows and silver interior details.
You can renounce the mortal in the numerous tombs-mausoleums of cultural and religious figures of Persia.
The Vakil complex in the center of Shiraz includes the aforementioned bazaar, the ancient hammam building (for many years one of the best restaurants in the city) and the mosque of the same name, the only significant building remaining from the Zand imperial period. In addition to the magnificent interior and carved marble columns, pay attention to the 14-step pulpit for the imam, carved from a single piece of marble brought here from Azerbaijan.
Other most beautiful mosques in the city include Jame-e Atig Mosque (the oldest religious building in Shiraz, 9th century), Nazir-ol-Molk and the Mosque of the Martyrs (one of the largest in the country – almost 11,000 sq. m. area).
You can learn more about the history and development of Shiraz, as well as the entire region, at the Pars Museum, located in the center of the wonderfully beautiful Nazar Garden.
You can enjoy a beautiful view of Shiraz from the top of the Koran fortress gates, which were once the main entrance to the city.
Take a walk in the numerous gardens, gardens and parks of Shiraz. Recommended gardens include Eram, Afifabad, Naranzhestan, Delgosha and Nazar gardens.
From Shiraz it is also convenient to go on a tour of the ruins of the ancient great capitals of Persia – Persepolis and Pasargada.