Isfahan is the city of attractions and must-see places! It can mesmerize you with the history of Iran. The city was the capital of Iran during the Safavid era (1501 – 1736). Hence, Isfahan has several historical and magnificent buildings and structures.
To name a few of Isfahan attractions, Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Ali Qapu, Menar Jonban, Chehel Sotoun, Isfahan mosques and several bridges over the beautiful Zayandehrud river.
You can enjoy the history and beauty in each part of the city. Exquisite handicrafts and tasty cuisines are other great options for you in Isfahan.
Isfahan historical places
One of the things you should not miss is historical places, the Isfahan attractions. Ali Qapu, Shah Mosque, Naqsh-e Jahan Square, and Chehel Sotoun are amongst the Isfahan must-seeing attractions. Naghsh-e Jahan Square is one of the Isfahan attractions. In the heart of Isfahan, Naqsh-e Jahan is a part of the palace of Shah Abbas (1571-1629). It means ‘pattern of world’ which, manifests its importance and beauty.
The two-story buildings surround the square, which was once a place for trading. With 512m long and 163m wide, it is one of the largest squares in the world. Besides, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage site. It has fountains and gardens in the middle. The square embraces gems of Safavid architecture Shah Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu, and Qeysarieh portal.
Chehel Sotoun is another Isfahan attraction that you should not miss. A pavilion to receive ambassadors and dignities with magic beauty! Located in a park with a pool in front of it, Chehel Sotoun have 20 ribbed wooden pillars support a superb wooden ceiling. The number of pillars double with their picture in the pool, which become 40. That is why the place is called Chehel Sotoun, which means forty columns.
The garden of Chehel Sotoun is a great place to witness the Persian garden. It is one of the Iranian Persian gardens on the UNESCO Heritage List.
Put Menar Jonban on your bucket list as well! It is dated back to the 14th century. Menar Jonban is the tomb of Amu Abdollah Soqla, a Sufi of that time. It is famous because if one of the minarets is shaken, the second one shakes as well.
Isfahan bridges, beauty upon the water
The bridges of Isfahan over the dazzling Zayandehrud river in the heart of the city. Si-o-Se Pol and Khajoo bridges are amongst Isfahan attractions. So do not miss these beautiful bridges while visiting Isfahan.
Si-o-Se Pol is constructed during the Safavid era alongside four other bridges.
The name of river means 33 bridge, which indicates the number of arches on the first level of the bridge.
The upper level is a great pedestrian on which people walk. The walls protect them from falling. The bridge connects Chahar-Bagh Abbasi to Chahar-Bagh Bala streets.
Khajoo bridge of 1650 is another Isfahan attractions. It still bears the original painting and tiles for decoration. There is the remaining Shah Abbas II pavilion in the middle of the bridge. He watched the sunset when the river was full. The bridge is also used as a dam with arcades on the lower terrace to control water.
If you visit the place at night, you can hear the sound of Isfahani citizens recite songs under its arches.
Read also: Amazing Local Experiences in Iran
Isfahan attractions lies street by street
Traveling Isfahan, do not miss the chance to walk different parts of the city.
Chaharbagh Boulevard is one of the must-see places in Isfahan. It is a historical avenue dated back to the Safavid era,
The six-kilometer boulevard connects the northern part of the city to the southern part.
Walking another Niasarm Madi (canal) is a pleasant experience. You can enjoy water running in the canal and green trees along with it.
You can also explore the Isfahan neighborhoods during your walk. The city bears beauty in each part.
Vank, an Isfahan attraction with coffee aroma
Shah Abbas I forcibly resettled hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the Ottoman War of 1603-1618 in his new capital, Isfahan. The Vank Cathedral is also known as the Holy Savior and the Church of the Saintly Sisters. It is located in the New Julfa district of Isfahan.
The exteriors of the cathedral are in modern brickwork contrary to the elaborately decorated interior. In addition, frescos and gilded carvings in interior section are really eye-catching. They depict Biblical story of the creation of the world and man’s expulsion from Eden.
Besides, the museum keeps Shah Abbas’ the edict of the establishment of new Armenian and a memorial to the Armenian Genocide.
Don’t forget to taste an Armenian coffee in the Jolfa neighborhood. Beautiful avenues near the Vank Cathedral is a great place to visit as the Armenian district of the city.
Isfahan bazaar, handicraft meets market
It is a great place where you can find different kinds of handicrafts. So the bazaar is like an exhibition where you can find unique works of Isfahan craftsmen.
Isfahan sparkling handicrafts are amongst the main Isfahan attractions. Minakari (metal enameling), Qalamkari (stamp printing), Khatam Kari (Inlaid objects), and Ghalamzani (engraving).
There are also some workshops that you can witness the process of making handicrafts. You can also try a hand!
Strolling in the traditional bazaar and watching and buying handicrafts and Isfahan souvenirs can be another part of walking through the town.
Isfahan deserts, starry nights you should not miss
Isfahan Province hosts to different deserts you can explore as a unique experience in Iran. Varzaneh and Maranjab deserts are some of the places you can have a lot of creative experiences like camel riding and enjoy sleeping under the starry skies during nights.
Tasty experiences in Isfahan
The name of Isfahan and Gaz is associated in the minds of Iranians. In fact, Gaz is mainly from the sap of angebin. It is a plant that mostly grows in the Isfahan region. Gaz the main souvenir of Isfahan.
Today, egg whites, sugar, and pistachio are the main ingredients of this Persian nougat. However, high-quality Gaz has a high percent of angebin. In addition,different amounts of pistachio add to it.
Biryani or beryooni is one of the traditional cuisines of Isfahan! It is actually one of Isfahan’s attractions. Beryooni is a kind of fatty meat in the form of hamburgers. Despite its browned crust, but it is very soft.
It is served as the main course with bread and onion. The ingredients are shoulder and rack of mutton, and mutton lungs. Onion, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and paper, and dried mint are other ingridiens.
You can find beryani only in Isfahan. So do not miss this delicious food whenever you travel to Isfahan!
Goosh-e Fil and Doogh
Finally, try Goosh-e Fil and Doogh. If you know these two items, you know that it is a weird combination! You can find such a pair in most of Isfahan. First of all, let’s understand what these two are!
Goosh-e Fil, which means elephant’s ear in Persian, is a kind of doughnut deeply fried. Its name is because of its shape. As you can guess, it is very sweet. On the other hand doogh is a cold drink of curdled milk and water. It is somehow has a salty taste.
In Isfahan, people eat these two different tastes together. So if you travel to Isfahan, don’t miss this unique experience!