Home Iran What to see in Yazd, the most beautiful city in Iran

What to see in Yazd, the most beautiful city in Iran

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After our whirlwind return to the capital to collect our newly acquired visa for India, we decided to continue our planned tour and took a night bus to Yazd where to spend the night while moving for 540,000 rials both passages. Once at the bus station we took a completely ramshackle bus that would take us to the city center for only 5,000 riyals per person.

As soon as you start to enter the city we realize that it is huge and for a moment we wonder if it really would have been worth it, after a few traffic jams you begin to glimpse the remains of the historic center, especially in the towers that come out of the Most of the buildings (cooling and ventilation towers) made of adobe, one of the most peculiar characteristics of the city.

The BadgirThose ventilation towers that you will see coming out of all or almost all buildings, are for their time what we know today as air conditioning and they trap the wind that passes over the roofs, making it circulate through the buildings, cooling it with water. We also saw it adapted to modern constructions and considering that they have been in these parts for so long, we are sure that it is an excellent option, especially considering the arid and dry climate that surrounds Yazd.

What to see in Yazd?

Once we got off the bus, we fell in love with the historic center, if Abyaneh was red, Yazd was pure adobe, present in each of its streets and the contrast with the blues and greens of the imposing mosques was impressive.

Soon we came across the main mosque, Masjed-e Jāmeh-e Yazd imposing, towering and dazzling blue, from there begins the eternal maze of dead ends that we would soon discover throughout the city.

Masjed-e Jāmeh-e Yazd

Thus, the great mosque is one of the visits that many consider essential. We have our point of view in paying for religious sites, especially considering the repression suffered by the country, so we decided not to do it, but it will surely be worth it aesthetically.

Do not worry if you prefer not to visit it, from the outside you will be able to see all its daily routine and its towers will guide you once you walk through the city.

Price of admission: 80,000 riyals per person
Opening hours: from 8AAm to 9PM except for times of prayer

Amir Chakhmaq

Another of the places that architecturally speaking will not leave you indifferent thanks to its strong right angles, is the Amir Chakhmaq complex, located in the square of the same name. References to the square are found as early as the 15th century and it was built in front of what is now known as “The Ancient Mosque” which was not decorated in the way we see it now until the Safavid era in the 18th century.

Open to the public

Atashkadeh

It is important to note that just as we saw on our visit to Abyaneh, Zoroastrianism played a huge role in Yazd. The Iranians were Zoroastrians long before Islam settled in the area and it is still possible to find small pockets of the past in their reference, especially in this area.

One of these redoubts is again a fire temple, it is in fact one of the temples with the highest status still present in the country, the rest of the temples of this level are located in India, so it is a special and unique place.

We leave it here in case you are interested, we decided not to visit it 🙂

Bagh-e Dolat Abbot or The Garden of Dowlat Abbot

This small Garden is on the Unesco list of world heritage sites and is especially interesting for having the badgir The oldest in the world still in operation as well as being a picturesque place due to the contrast of nature with the arid walls and colors of the city.

As you have already seen, we are not passionate about the gardens, so like the previous option, we leave it here in case it may be of interest to you, but we have to tell you that we do not visit it.

Walk the streets of Yadz

But without a doubt, the best thing for us was walking aimlessly through the streets of the city, it was the first thing we did for hours and hours until the heat became unbearable and we continued with our tourist planning. Then, at sunset, we would go back to walking through the dark streets full of warm light and colors, transporting us to another place in time.

I cannot imagine an activity more necessary, more beautiful and more entertaining than simply getting lost in the adobe of its streets looking for treasures.

Dakhmeh (Dakhma) or Tower of Silence

Undoubtedly the highlight of the city is what tourists know as “The tower of silence.” Located on the outskirts of the city, it consists of a raised circular area in which the Zoroastrians left the bodies of their dead exposed to carrion birds so that death would not contaminate one of their sacred elements, water, earth and the fire. There is evidence of this practice since 500 BC, but the use of the towers is not documented until the 9th century.

The entire complex is simply impressive and we spent an afternoon there walking, reading Wikipedia and talking to locals.

How to get to Dakhmeh?

It is the only point in the city where you have to go using public transport yes or yes. Most tourists hire a taxi to get there, but for us, who like the ordinary, it seemed a much better idea to do it with the bus, it cost us barely 20,000 riyals to get to and from there to the center. To do it you just have to go towards Imam Khomeni, you can do it from Amir Chakhmaq or just in front of the alley that leaves the Great Mosque. Once in the square you have to change buses, at the time more than 4 buses made the route, but the best thing is to ask the locals for the bus that leads to Dakhme. Most likely, the bus will drop you at an intersection where you will see the complex on the right, you will have to walk about 5 minutes to get to the door

Remember that ALL the country’s numbers are in Farsi, so it is always helpful to learn them (it costs nothing and it will be much better for you during the trip.

Price of admission: for non-locals it is 150,000 Rials, although you can also go around the complex from behind and enter without paying anything, it is up to you.
Opening Hours: From 8 AM to 1PM and from 4PM to 6PM

Visit the “abandoned” village of Kharanaq “

One of the most common visits for those en route through the country is a one-day visit to Kharanaq, a supposedly abandoned adobe town located about 80 km from Yazq. Khanaraq means “land of the sun”

It is important to keep expectations up to date since we, who love abandoned places, in this case played a trick on us. The town as such is not abandoned. Karanaq has two parts, the old part, completely made of adobe and falling apart completely uninhabited, and the new part, directly next to it, where today about 200 families live (in perfect condition).

In any case you will be listening to talk about the first, a network of streets and buildings built with mud that was once a prosperous town that according to what we hear dates back more than 4000 years (wot?), But that according to history, had water supply problems and its inhabitants left the place. Today the day has been repopulated as basic services such as water and electricity reach the area.

How to get to Kharanaq?

Being on the outskirts of the city and on a less crowded route, the same thing that happened to us in the remote town of Abyaneh happens, public transport seemed not to be a viable option.

What we did was take a bus towards Meybod (from which we got off at the intersection that goes to the right) for 5,000 rials each and there we raised our fingers. Luckily in that case it is not a dead end street, but a little busy one, so it is important to be patient, even so we can achieve it without much effort.

If you don’t want to hitchhike, you have two options again:

Taxi

Like the town of Abyaneh, you can hire a taxi driver to take you, wait for you, and return you to Yazd in one day. The price of the car is usually around 900,000 riyals and fits up to 4 people. If you are a group it is not a bad option. Again it is important that you agree on how long you are going to be and if you want to visit other places in the area.

Tour

The most common is to visit the place on a tour that usually costs about 500,000 riyals per person and includes stops in other locations such as Meybod and Chak Chak. The tour can be booked at almost any hostel / hotel in Yazd.

As far as I understand there are no places to sleep in Kharanaq, but we crossed to the other side of the river admiring the city’s beautiful aqueduct and camped again with breathtaking views.

Where to sleep in Yazd?

The ideal is to find an accommodation in the historic center of the city, so you can do everything or almost everything on foot without any problem. Yazd is a city more used to tourism than others, a bit in the style of Isfahan, so its accommodations are slightly more expensive and you will probably have more options to choose from.

In our case it was the first time in the country in which we opted for a hostel, but the truth is that it could not have been more rounded because it is one of the most beautiful places we have been, in addition to having an incomparable human warmth.

As we do not usually stay in accommodations where there are many tourists, it was also an ideal place to socialize, but also to remind ourselves why we stopped doing it many years ago. Unfortunately some of the tourists believe that because they are paying they have a servant and this became VERY visible in this place.

In any case, the Kaluts Hostel has a shared room for 6 people with mattresses on the floor in the pure Iranian style in an old house in the city with a spectacular interior patio. If you prefer something more private, they also offer private rooms at a higher price, some of them with a direct door to the patio, believe us when we say they were beautiful.

We paid 725,000 for both, about € 15 and the price included a spectacular breakfast.

If you ask us which was our favorite city in the country, we don’t have a single doubt, be Yazd.

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