We arrived in Shiraz direct from Persepolis (here you can see how to get to Persepolis on your own and less than € 1) almost knowing that it would not be what every Iranian wanted to sell us, we knew it because in reality no one told us about Yazd but it had been our place Favorite so far and it seemed that Shiraz was his but for other reasons. Still we had to give it a chance, it couldn’t be that every local had it in their mouths if it wasn’t worth it.
Shiraz was the heart of the Persian civilization and one of the most famous and visited tourist destinations in the country. In large part because Persepolis is located just a few kilometers from the city and is one of the “must see” of a trip to Iran. Supposedly it is one of the most open cities in the country, precisely because of tourism, but the reality is that in places like Tehran or even Sanandaj we had already tasted a good part of that society that lived hidden under an authoritarian regime and we had been able to enjoy first hand, we didn’t expect the same from Shiraz, we weren’t looking for it either.
Being honest from the beginning I have to say that no matter how well they had told us about Shiraz, the reality is that for us it was not much more than mosques and gardens, and we were never great worshipers of the Gardens and … after a couple of occasions we left to be it of the mosques, coincidentally in Shiraz (me mainly), at least of the mosques in Iran. So our stay in the city, after having seen what really interested us, was limited to working and planning our next destination.
It is important to bear in mind that in Shiraz, if not because of the absurd repression that the country is experiencing, there are a couple of other things that caught our attention, its poetic tradition, present in the history of one of the most recognized poets of Iran. , Hafez, and in his wine.
Surely at this point, if you are someone who minimally enjoys wine, you will know that there is a variety of grape with the same name, Shiraz. Before the Islamic revolution, Iran had a huge wine tradition that is still present in the hidden cellars of many people (as in the family that offered us homemade wine in our passage through Sanandaj), tell me in which country people know how to make It came in your basement if it’s not in Iran.
The first evidence of grape growing for wine production in Shiraz dates back to 2500 BC. By the 14th century Hafez, the poet, immortalizes the importance of wine in his poetry. In 1680 a French merchant described in Europe the taste of Iranian wine, “Of a very specific red”. When the prohibition of alcohol came in 1979, vineyards were closed throughout the country and an attempt was made to bury one of the most important parts of the city’s history.
With all this, if you are from mosques and gardens, we leave you with some ideas to visit in the city. And if you are not, sit down and talk with the locals, you will surely learn something new, they may even invite you to a glass of homemade wine.
What to see in Shiraz?
If you have little time, you do not understand English very well or you just do not want to break the coconut, then we recommend this Guided tour of Shiraz in Spanish It includes food and lasts 8 hours. Enough to give you an initial idea of the city.
Shrine of Imamzadeh-ye Ali Ebn-e Hamze
Our first mosque in the city and one of the first in the country, we had entered others before but only those that are free since, just as we do not do it with churches, we refuse to pay to enter a sacred space and public.
In this case we came across the dome by chance walking from our accommodation to the center and we decided to take a look, a small and colorful patio welcomed us and for the first time I had to wear a chador on top. The atmosphere was pleasant, the sun was shining and while Jesper stopped to talk with the imam, I entered an Iranian mosque for the first time. I asked permission to take photos that they gave me without problem, a group of women were praying and they looked at me with a smile.
We didn’t see a single tourist, and considering that our experience with Iranian mosques is short but intense, it was our favorite.
Admission is free.
As we told you before, Hafez is one of the main figures of the city and the country, there will be no Iranian house in which he is not mentioned at least once. His body is buried here, a place of pilgrimage for many locals.
We decided not to go, in Iran we had to cut many expenses due to the robbery we had in Tehran so we cannot give you our personal opinion, but we know that it is in all the tourist guides and everyone who you ask where to go will finish it. mentioning sometime
Admission costs 150,000 per person and is open from 8AM to 9:30 PM.
The most important mosque in the city and one of the largest (and most beautiful) complexes in the country. We entered again due to the grace of its entrance and our curiosity, but contrary to the friendly and open atmosphere that we found in our previous experience here, things were a bit in the opposite direction.
Upon arrival we passed a couple of security checks, they gave me a chador and they joined us with another group of tourists who would follow a guide (free) who would give us a tour of the complex. It is a shame because the guide could be useful but the reality is that he is more of an escort who makes sure that you do not go where you have not been invited, so do not expect to get a lot of information from there.
The square is spectacular and it is very nice to see people making use of it, for a moment it seemed a beautiful place but that happened to me at night when I spoke with one of our newly acquired Iranian friends who told us that before that space It was a gigantic square open to everyone … now it is a mosque, another one.
The chador in this case made me feel miserable, it was very long and I fell off at all times, the rest of the women in our group seemed to feel the same way, I was unable to take photos because I had to keep my hands busy holding the cloth , I couldn’t even sound myself without doing a drama, in some steps I had to stand up, squat down and thus prevent the chador from being blown away. There came a time when one of the girls accidentally threw a card on the ground and was unable to pick it up herself because she could not move freely. It was horrible to see how your partner and the rest of the men in the group moved with total freedom and you looked like a mummy, I felt annulled, I felt miserable … and after that experience I decided that I would never enter a single mosque in the country. , no matter how free it was.
They were garden or Jardines de Narajestab
As you can imagine from what I told you at the beginning of this writing, we did not visit these Gardens either, first because of budget (which, as I said, we had it short in these parts of the country) but not because of Interest. What are we going to tell you, we are not passionate about gardens. Of course, we leave you the information in case you are interested
Admission per person costs 150,000 riyals and is open from 8AM to 6:30 PM.
Nasir-ol-Molk, the pink mosque
Coincidentally, this was one of the reasons why he came to the city, he had seen thousands of photos of the windows letting through an intense pink light … He had to see it yes or yes.
Well, it is not to exaggerate, but between the fact that I found it contradictory to myself for the reasons I mentioned above, I have to say that apart I ended up to my nose with the visit to our previous mosque, so much so that I decided not to go and finally It stayed on the list of things that the truth is, I don’t regret it either.
If you are interested, it is important that you know that in order to catch the light pouring through the windows in such a way it will be necessary that you go first thing in the morning and that it is not a secret, so you and hundreds of other tourists will be looking for the photo from Instagram.
The entrance costs 160,000 per person and it is best to enter before 9 am.
Karim Khan fortress
Built in 1766 by Karim Khan, founder of the Zand dynasty, it briefly recalls a medieval fort for its exterior shape and walls, impossible to go unnoticed walking through the city as it covers a total area of 4000 m2 inside 4 huge towers 14 meters wide. As far as we know, there is a museum inside, the price is 150,000 riyals per person and its opening hours are from 8AM to 7:30 PM.,
More than the inside we loved it from the outside, just opposite it has a square that is the center of the social life of the city.
Takht-e–Jamshid o Persépolis
Last but not least, the strong point of visiting Shiraz for almost all travelers who pass through the city, visiting Persepolis. As ours was a stay of a whole morning and we also did it on our own, we have a lot to say, so if you are interested take a look at the specific post: Persepolis, how to get there on your own where we explain everything in detail as visit the city for only € 6 per person, entrance included.
Again, if you do not have time, you do not want to mess or you simply do not clarify with the language then you can choose to do this excursion for € 95 with guide in Spanish, food and transportation included.
Where to sleep in Shiraz?
As it is a highly touristy city, prices multiply, you may have already seen it with ticket prices, the same happens with hotels. Everything we found online was out of our budget, so we decided to arrive early and dedicate ourselves to looking around Takhti Street as recommended by some locals, there we found the Shekofe hotel (among many others) where we paid 400,000 riyals per night and room double (with sink and fridge included), one of the cheapest accommodations in the country.