10 Things to do in Isfahan
Millions of international and domestic tourists visit Isfahan the capital of the Safavid dynasty every year. All are agreed that Isfahan is Iran's most beautiful tourist city. Isfahan has special features that are not visible in other cities. These features caused that the trip to Iran would not be completed without Isfahan. Isfahan's features have forced all tourism agents to consider it at the beginning or end of their tour programs. These special features of Isfahan can be divided into several categories.
Isfahan Mosques, The Glory of Islamic Architecture
Isfahan is known historically for its large number of mosques. The existence of historic mosques with unique architecture and two recorded mosques at world Heritage Site has made Isfahan as a historical and religious tourism hub. Most of Isfahan's historical mosques date back to the Safavid era. Archaeologists have believed that the Safavids were the first Shiite rule in Iran to occupy the entire Iranian plateau. In the Safavid era, like other Islamic periods, the mosque has been considered as the most important building in Islamic architecture. The architects of this era made great efforts to create Islamic innovation both in the architecture of the mosques and in the decorations and inscriptions.
The most important mosques in Isfahan.
The golden age of Isfahan was during the Safavid period. Various Constructions with a different purpose - Beautiful Palaces - various gardens and diverse Business Centers have done at this period. Unfortunately, after the fall of the Safavid Empire and especially during the Qajar period, most of these structures were destroyed.
None of the royal palaces and pavilions of Isfahan built before the 17th century are still extant. On the other hand, among all the monuments in Isfahan, Safavid palaces are the most consistent group of buildings that survived a single period. The 17th-century palaces of Isfahan, like other major imperial monuments of the Safavids, responded, in their architectural and spatial particularities, to the ceremonial and ritual needs of a reconfigured household. Isfahan, more than any other seat of power in the history of Islamic Persia, assumed a unique centrality for the exercise of kingship during his reign as the Safavid capital.
The most important palaces in Isfahan.
The Zayandarud River is located south of the city of Isfahan. The Zayandeh Rood River starts from the Zagros Mountains Range at Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiary Province and flows for 400 km to the east before ending in the swamp of Gavkhouni, a seasonal salt lake located southeast of Isfahan. The bridges of Zayandeh have spanned on different parts of the Zayande Rood River. There are several old and new bridges (pol) on the Zayandeh Rood River. The oldest, Shahrestan, built in the 5th century AD, is still used as a pedestrian crossing in the village of Sharestan.
When in 1598, Shah Abbas the Great officially designated Isfahan as the new imperial capital of the Safavids, the construction of bridges became not only a necessity but also offered new opportunities for the sponsorship of architectural and engineering marvels. harmony with the imperial scale of the projects in Naqsh-e Jahān Square. Nevertheless, Safavid bridges are extraordinarily ingenious in the way they transform dams and utility corridors into forms and spaces with harmonious and visually captivating architecture.
Safavid bridges have been used to control the flow of water and manipulate it for irrigation of farmland and private gardens, as well as for the regulation and distribution of freshwater for consumption by the city. Above all, however, Isfahan's Safavid bridges were designed to be part of the city's expanded entertainment and recreation arenas.
As a walk, the two Safavid bridges have wide, weather-free, weather-covered walkways; they have royal niches and pavilions for recreation, where royal feasts were held or where Isfahan inhabitants watched the regattas and other water activities organized in the small reservoirs created by the dams of the bridge or along the Zayandarud river.
The most important bridges in Isfahan.
The bazaar is one of the most spectacular displays of Iranian-Islamic architecture and urbanism that serves as the backbone and the beating heart of the city.
The bazaar is one of the main elements of traditional Islamic-Iranian cities which has been originally developed for the fulfillment of commercial and manufacturing functions.
In Iran, the bazaar is not only a shopping center but also since long time ago bazaar had certain specifications, which can not be seen in other parts of the world. The Grand Bazaar of Isfahan is a complete covered town that the Isfahan's society was concentrated around it.
One of Iran’s most historic and fascinating bazaars, this sprawling covered market links Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Sq with the Masjed-e Jameh. At its busiest time in the mornings, the bazaar’s arched passageways are topped by a series of small perforated domes, each spilling shafts of light onto the commerce below. While the oldest parts of the bazaar (those around the mosque) are more than a thousand years old, most of what can be seen today were built during Shah Abbas’ ambitious expansions of the early 1600s.
While you are strolling out through the market and have faded away from its architectural beauties the shopkeepers invite you to their shop to buy a souvenir or drinking a cup of tea. Never miss this opportunity.
The rows of shops beside Naghsh e Jahan Square is another beautiful market in Isfahan that doubles the beauty of this square.
5- Talking with people
In Isfahan, you are never alone. Not while sitting in Naqsh e Jahan square, or any part of this beautiful city.
People will come up to you – men, women and children, sellers keen to invite us in their shop for a cup of tea, groups of young ladies are eager to have their picture taken with you.
And dozens, dozens of people wanting to know about you. What you did, why you decided to come to Iran, and then usually comes the most difficult answer of all – what do people think about Iran in your country?
Talk to people and enjoy talking to them. They try to do the best for you and are happy and satisfied with this reaction.
Buying souvenirs on a trip will not only make your trip more enjoyable, but also the souvenirs of this trip will keep it in your mind. In Iran, the souvenirs of each city, as well as those of Isfahan, are divided into two categories: food and gifts.
The most famous souvenirs of Isfahan are: Enamels (Mina), Inlay (Khatam), Calico fabrics, Etching, Turquoise Art working (Firoozeh), Filigree, and the most important of them Carpet.
The most famous eating Souvenir of Isfahan are:
The main food souvenir of Isfahan is Gaz. A sweet candy! They are divided into several categories and no organism can reject it, whatever the taste.
Ardi (wheat): it is known and the mixture in wheat.
Coiny: It's like wheat, but it's like packing.
Gas with the chocolate layer
And both have several main ingredients: Almond, pistachio, Honey, and Mix, and each has different percentages of nuts like 18% and 38%
Polaki is also the second food and souvenir of Isfahan, who has a lot of fans. The Polaki is a candy, and because it is thin, like a sequin, it is called the Polaki.
We have a few types of Polaki: Saffron, pistachio, Coconut, Sesame, Cocoa, Lemon Omani, Mint, and Gingerbread.
7- Food Tourism
Isfahan is not just a historic and architecture city with magnificent buildings.
You can find different kinds of cuisines, desserts, and beverages which are especially for this city. unfortunately there’s little focus on the food or the variety of sherbets that serves in the best restaurants of Isfahan.
On your trip to Esfahan, you can find the best local and Int restaurants that offer the best delicious foods. The foods that are suitable for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike and also the traditional cuisines that introduce you a part of Isfahan's culture.
If you want to discover the most delicious traditional dishes study Top 10 Isfahan's dishes.
8- stroll through the streets
Tourist cities as embodied learning places: stroll through the streets, squares and historic sites and discover the true culture
Isfahan is certainly one of the most popular of Iran's destinations for all tourists.
A walking tour of Isfahan will surely familiarize you with the traditional Iranian atmosphere and some of the most impressive monuments of this beautiful city.
It will be a tour around Imam Khomeini Square, formerly known as Naqsh-e-Jahan (image of the world), with several tourist attractions around it or other historical sites far from there.
If you travel to Isfahan for its Islamic architecture, bazaar, crafts, gardens, and people, a walking tour of Isfahan is for you. It will take half a day or one-day but will impress you with the most advanced varieties and examples of Islamic architecture in Iran.
9- A Cup of tea
Tea has a deep and rooted culture in Iran.
This magical drink in Iran can lead you into the depths of Iranian culture and intense friendship.So metimes you are invited to have tea in a shop or at home. This is the same Iranian hospitality culture that fascinates every tourist. Never miss this opportunity. Repeated and regular city tours in Isfahan can be overwhelming.So metimes you need a cozy place to relax and stay away from repetitive questions and curious looks.
Ready to drink coffee or tea and just want to relax? Then head to one of these cafes for a good coffee or tea!
The best places to give you a cup of tea in a historic and pleasant atmosphere are the cafes around the Naghsh e Jahan square.
Qeytarieh Teahouse, Azadegan Teahouse, Si-o-se Bridge Teahouse, Abbasi Hotel Teahouse, Shant Coffee in Jolfa area, Sibil Coffee, and Café Roozegar are the best places for this exciting experience.
10- Isfahan Shopping Centers
Shopping centers of Isfahan
As one of the most modern cities in Iran, tourist attractions are not the only things for which Isfahan is known. From traditional bazaars to hyper-modern shopping centers, you can find almost anything you want in this big city.