I went to Shiraz as a teenager with my family but even then, the city’s chill vibes got to me. Back then, we didn’t explore all the gems of the city so I was excited to go back, this time with a camera and my friend Caroline! And so, we spent a long weekend exploring Shiraz’s tiled mosques, wandering through beautiful scenery, and eating delicious food. Shiraz has recently been gaining popularity on social media, so the city ranked very high on our list. It’s an absolute must-do in any Iran itinerary, and can easily be explored in 3 days. Although I’d recommend 4, so you can also add in a day trip to Persepolis and ancient Persian sites. Keep reading for my Shiraz travel guide, which covers some of the best activities that Shiraz has to offer…
BEST TIME TO VISIT – MARCH TO MAY/SEPTEMBER TO MID-NOVEMBER, TEMPERATURES ARE NICE
WHERE WE STAYED – KARIMKHAN HOTEL
GETTING AROUND – TAXIS
WHAT TO DO
Nasir Ol Molk
The most charming and enchanting mosque of our trip! We loved this place so much, we visited twice! It is also known as the Pink Mosque, due to the considerable usage of pink-colored tiles for its interior decoration. How did they obtain those pink shades? By using oxidized gold! The mosque also includes extensive colored glass on its facade! In the morning, the sun hits these windows and illuminates the room, casting mesmerizing rainbow lights! The construction of the mosque began in 1876 under Qajar rule, and was completed in 1888.
Another beautiful mosque in Shiraz! We arrived at opening hour, and the tile work left me speechless once again! I also loved the fact that the colors were more “natural”: a beautiful combination of green and sand! These colors definitely created a calm, if not relaxing, atmosphere! But the best thing about it was how the people working there kindly invited us to have breakfast! This mosque was built between 1751 and 1773, during the Zand period; however, it was restored in the 19th century during the Qajar period.
An absolute must-do that will make you go WOW at every turn! Your eyes will be filled with beauty! From garden to ceiling, everything here is beautiful! It’s a traditional and historical house from the late 19th century! It is the perfect example of the elegance and refinement upper-classes enjoyed back then. You will even find paintings inspired by the Victorian era in Europe.
It’s where the Shirazis hang out! The garden closes late, so you can easily wander through the beautiful alleys after sunset. You will also get to gawk at an astonishing Persian traditional house! Both the building and the garden were built during the mid-13th century and are now located within Shiraz Botanical Garden.
Tomb of Hafez
Another great place to hang out! The place is very peaceful and lovely, and it’s perfect to enjoy the last rays of light! The Tomb of Hafez has been erected in memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez, born in the city. Poetry is very dear to Shirazis’ hearts, and Hafez, dear to all Iranians, is without a doubt the most important figure in Persian literature! You will find his collected works in most Iranians’ homes. People learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings every day!
Shah Cheragh Shrine
It is a funerary monument and mosque, housing the tomb of the brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim and brothers of ‘Alī ar-Ridhā. The site is the most important place of pilgrimage in Shiraz. The place is magnificent and will leave you speechless! The tiles there are made of mirrors! Be aware that as a woman, you will be given a tchador to wear at the entrance.
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If you are lucky, don’t mess the chance to visit this Pink Lake outside the city! It is a seasonal salt lake, so its presence depends on how the weather is throughout the year, but you are most likely to see it at the end of spring and during summer!
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WHERE TO EAT
We tried different restaurants during our stay in Shiraz. Here I’ve listed the ones I preferred!
Parhami traditional house – my favorite one! It is located in a B&B, and you will eat traditional Persian and Shirazi food in a lovely garden! The staff is adorable, and the food is delicious!
Shiraz Naderi Cafe – it’s a lovely café, very trendy as well where you can get nice food! Definitely a spot with strong hipster vibes, and young people stay there late!
Shatter Abbas Restaurant – if you are looking for a typical Iranian restaurant, this is the place to go!
Little Bonus, go to Shapouri Garden for tea! There, you will enjoy your beverage while admiring beautiful gardens and an early 20th-century Persian building! There is also a very elegant restaurant in the building. Next time I’m in Shiraz, I’ll try it!