Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Iran: Top Things to Do and See in Esfahan

Just like my series on Tehran, I thought I would also list down my personal top things do to and see in Esfahan (especially for those who can't be bothered to read through my lengthy blog posts on Esfahan ;-)). You'd find more photos in each individual blog post. Sorry, not just more photos, but A LOT more photos. I have actually included about 70+ different photos in blog posts on Esfahan alone. So if you like photos, do check out my blog posts on each individual attractions below. 

In any case, the list, in no particular order, is as follows:

1.   Imam Square ( Naqsh-e Jahān )

The second largest square in the world, with its Persian name carrying the meaning of "Image of the World Square", is the place to visit in Esfahan. I would definitely recommend spending the whole day exploring the square and the four main attractions that surround the square, i.e. Masjid Imam, Ali Qapu Palace, Grand Bazaar & Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah.

Read the blog post here: Iran: Esfahan's Imam Square ( Naqsh-e Jahan Square )

2.   Masjid Imam / Masjid Shah

One of the main attractions in Imam Square, Masjid Imam is known all over the world for its beauty and representation of Persian architecture.  Go and see this masjid during day time, and in the evening as well.

For photos, best to go in the morning as well as in the evening. 

Read the blog posts here:

3.   Ali Qapu Palace

Another one of the attractions in Imam Square. Can't say much though as I didn't manage to find the time to visit the palace :-S Only had a look at it from the outside. Hopefully would be able to check it out on another trip!

For photos, best to go in the morning as well as in the evening.


4.   Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah

This "little" mosque was built in the early 17th century specifically for the private use of the royal court members who lived right across the square at the time.

For photos, best to go in the afternoon as well as in the evening.

Read the blog post here: Iran: Esfahan's Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah

5.   Grand Bazaar

Completing the quartet of places of interests in Imam Square is the Grand Bazaar. The place to go to check out the carpets, silverwares, copperwares and a million other things.

For photos, best to go in the morning as well as in late afternoon.

Read the blog posts here:

6.   Bridges of Esfahan

There are more than 10 old bridges crossing Zayandeh River but do go and see at least 3 of them, i.e. Si-o-se Pol, Khaju Bridge and Joui Bridge.

Take a walk along the river in late afternoon and trace your steps back in the evening for best photo opportunities.

Read the blog posts here:
Iran: Bridges of Esfahan
Iran: Bridges of Esfahan (Part II)

7. Hasht Behesht ( Eight Paradises ) Palace

Shouldn't the name "Eight Paradises" be intriguing enough for you to check it out? :-)

For photos, best to go in the morning.

Read the blog post here: Iran: Esfahan's Hasht Behesht ( Eight Paradises ) Palace

8. Chehelsotoon

This pavillion, which was built and used by Shah Abbas II in the 17th century to receive and entertain dignitaries, is a relatively new addition to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. I think the recognition however is due to the "Persian Garden" in which it's built. That is not to say that the place is not as awesome though.

For photos, best to go in the morning.

Read the blog post here: Iran: Esfahan's Chehelsotoon

What do you think of the list? Care to share with us your thoughts on the above places? And if you have been to Esfahan before, what other sights do you think are also a must see?

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For other www.RambleAndWander.com blog entries on Iran, click here.


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. I only stumbled upon the name "Isfahan" when I was reviewing our history of architecture during the board exam. Haven't researched photos about it and i'm glad i saw them here.

    I hope i'll be able to see them up close, and personal! :D

    1. Hi, Byron! Am glad you found photos of Esfahan here :-) If you love architecture, you definitely have to go there. And if you like this kind of architecture, you should at least include Shiraz too in your itinerary. I'm hoping to upload some posts and photos of Shiraz here over the next few weeks, so do come back to check them out soon :-)

  2. Ali Qapu & 8 Paradises Palaces tu cantik yakmats, cer u tulis pasal mode of transportation kt Iran plak, senang travel dengan bus/train/flight/drive sendiri?

    1. Mmg cun! Tapi bila dah byk yg cun, tak tahu yg mana satu lagi cun, hahaha!

      Re: Transportation arrangement. I probably should write/blog something about it later since I got asked quite a few times about this. Basically I used a guide/driver for 1 day in Tehran and 1/2 day in Shiraz to go to Persepolis. For the rest of the trip, I simply walked around each city.

      Transportation between cities:
      Tehran - Esfahan: by train
      Esfahan - Shiraz: by flight

      Both were arranged by a local travel agency and booked in advance as tickets for these modes of transportation can be sold out well in advance. You can't buy these online. For inter-city express bus service, I've been told you can go and buy the tickets on the same day itself.

  3. I recently got back from a visit of Isfahan and loved every minute of it - you hit all the major sites. The best thing about the city is having dinner in the Abbasi Hotel courtyard or taking pictures in the bazaar of all the cool Iran souvenirs from carpets, to copper, silver and enamel wares! Great City good guide.

  4. wow. I love my beautiful city. its wonderful to see it through a visitors eyes.

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