Known as the city of windcatchers (badgir), Yazd is one of the beautiful desert cities in central Iran. The historical structure of Yazd is on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
Travel to Yazd, you can enjoy walking in allies with mud-brick architecture. In fact, the earth architecture of the city is a clever solution for centuries to deal with the desert environment and climate. Above all, Yazd attractions are mostly related to its architecture.
Besides, Yazd boasts the most beautiful termeh, Iranian precious handwoven cloth. You can enjoy the variety of colors and patterns of termeh at the Khan Bazaar, a market that is dated back to the 9th century.
The historical city of Yazd is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2017. In other words, the city of wind catchers and the city of bicycles are the nicknames of the city. After all, the city has the highest amount of bicycles per capita in Iran.
Read also: Travel to Iran: Tips for First Travelers
How to get to Yazd?
There are domestic flights from Tehran and other cities to Shahid Sadooghi Airport of Yazd.
The distance of flight between Tehran to Yazd is 497 kilometers and it takes 70 minutes.
Besides, you can have a road trip. The distance between Tehran to Yazd is about 620 km and takes about 6 hours 30 minutes.
There are also trains from Yazd station to Tehran each day.
It takes about eight hours. The overnight trains depart from Yazd to Tehran, via Kashan and Qom.
Attractions of Yazd
Amir Chakhmaq Complex
Amir Chakhmaq square is an architectural wonder at the heart of Yazd. The three façade with symmetrical iwans (porches) provides eye-catching scenery.
The complex was built during the Timurid era (15th–16th century) and consists of a bathhouse, caravanserai, and cold water well at the complex. A mosque and a tekyeh (a place where Shia Muslims mourn for their Imam Hussein during the month of Muharram) are also considered as other parts of the complex.
The best time to visit Amir Chakhmaq Complex is during twilight hours. The arches glitter with orange lighting, the eye-catching scenery.
You can also visit the Water Museum at Amir Chakhmaq’s opposite as one of the Yazd sightseeings you should put on your list. Yazd is famous for its qanats (underground aqueducts) and the museum manifests the 2000-year-old irrigation system of the city.
Yazd Old City and Jame Mosque
At Yazd, the walls, roofs, domes, and other parts of buildings are built from the earth! In fact, this Yazd attraction is the manifestation of an eco-friendly manner to adjust with desert climate and environment.
You can also find several alleys at Yazd in their original shapes. Each neighborhood has an ab anbar (cistern), hamam (bathhouse), and mosque. Besides, you can walk in sabats, covered alleys, which are built to protect you from the sun.
Above all, the skyline of the city is a spectacle featuring wildcachers, minerals, and domes.
In the Yazd old town, you can also pay a visit to the Jame Mosque, which is originally built on a Fire Temple. However, today building is constructed in the 19th century. The tiled entrance of the mosque and 52-meter minarets are one of the highest in Iran.
The minarets are adorned with 15th-century inspirations and the mosque is built with the Azari style of Persian architecture. The portal facades are also adorned with glittering blue tiles.
Zoroastrian Fire Temple
Before Islam, Zoroastrianism was the principal religion in Iran. This ancient monotheistic religion dates back to around 3500 years ago. Still there are Iranians of the Zoroastrian community live in different parts of Iran.
Yazd is also known as the center of Zoroastrianism in Iran and is home to several sites of religious and the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Zoroastrians, and Jews is going on for centuries in the city. Nowadays about 4000 Zoroastrians live in Yazd, which is considered one of the most important cities of this community.
Yazd houses several attractions related to Zoroastrianism, as its center in Iran. Zoroastrian Fire Temple, atashkadeh, houses a burning fire, which is believed to flame since 470 CE. The fire is visible from a window in the building and there is a small museum at the place. The flame was transferred to Ardakan in 1174, to Yazd in 1474, and to the fire temple in 1940.
Besides, the building of the fire temple is a neoclassical construction, which is adorned with an emblem of Farvahar emblem on its entrance. A beautiful garden surrounds the place and a beautiful pond is in front of the building.
Tower of Silence
Zoroastrians believed that the bodies of the dead are purified by exposing it to the elements and excarnation at the Tower of Silence or dakhmeh, a construction built atop a hill near the city. So the remaining bones are kept in ossuaries near or inside of the towers.
The roofless structure of the tower lets the birds of prey like vultures to dive in and out. It has three concentric rings: The outer row for males, the central ring for females, and the innermost ring were for the body of children. Since they believe that they purify their corpses with exposure to sun and air.
Since the 1970s, this process of burial became illegal in Iran, and nobody used the Tower of Silence anymore. You can climb the hill and visit the beautiful sunset of Yazd from there.
The green Persian garden with an abundance of trees and a beautiful pond in the middle of the place is one of the must-see attractions of Yazd.
Besides, it is home to the tallest wind catcher in Iran which is 33 meters high.
So wind catchers provide natural ventilation for people who live in hot weather.
The 18th-century residence with stained-glass windows and array of light create a great scene.
You can also find pomegranate and cypress trees in the garden, which makes you feel cool amid the desert.
Things to do in Yazd
Walking in the old city
One of the opportunities that you should not miss is to walk in the old city. The clay walls of the alleys, the pomegranate trees, and the traditional architecture all make you have a different great feeling while walking in the street.
You can think of centuries of friendship with climate and nature that our ancestors find while adapting themselves with the place they were live in. During your walk, you can also visit the bazaar and socialize with people.
Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh
As one of the most exciting experiences, you can visit Zurkhaneh (means house of strength). In fact, it is an Iranian traditional gymnasium in which a group of men performs Pahlavani and Zoorkhanei rituals.
As UNESCO suggests, twenty men, each wielding instruments symbolizing ancient weapons perform this ritual collection of gymnastic and callisthenic movements performed by ten.
Besides, the morshed (master) leads the Pahlevani ritual to performs epic and Gnostic poems and beats out time on a zarb goblet drum.
In fact the poems he recites transmit ethical and social teachings and constitute part of Zurkhanei literature.
Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh is located in an ab anbar of 1580 and you should remove your shoes and sit around the central area to watch an exercise session.
Check out: Zoorkhaneh tour, a Traditional Gym in Iran
Visit Meybod city
Located in one-hour distance from Yazd, Meybod is one of the places that you should not miss while visiting Yazd.
In addition, Narin Castle, a mud-brick fort, is dated back to the pre-Islamic period. It was an old fortress on three floors, each for different classes of society.
Also, the Meybod pigeon tower, with its fantastic brick work, is around 200 years old. About 4000 birds live in this place.
There is a giant bowl of water on the roof for the pigeons. Besides, the smooth plaster on the walls of the tower, makes it impossible for snakes to climb up to the pigeon’s nests.
Yakhchal (ice pit) is another place that you should visit during your travel to Meybod. This magnificent 400-year-old structure is recently restored, a dome to shelter the ice from the summer heat.
Rooftop cafés and Restaurants
As you know the sky of the desert is one of the most mesmerizing scenes that you can enjoy.
Yazd, as a desert city, has a beautiful sky that you should put on your bucket list.
There are also several rooftop coffee shops and restaurants in Yazd.
You can find your favorite one and then have a great moment eating your food and drink while enjoying sitting on the rooftop.
Some hotels and restaurants also have rooftop facilities.
Don’t underestimate the sky of desert, the skyline of Yazd and try to enjoy it at most.
With Highlights in Yazd Outskirt tour at Exotigo, you can also visit Kharanaq village, which has been occupied for about 4000 years ago.
The old part of the village is a great place for taking photos from all its labyrinth of streets, tunnels, passageways.
A small Qajar-era mosque, a cylindrical 17th-century shaking minaret, and an old caravanserai are the sites that you can visit while traveling to Kharanaq.
Besides, mud-brick houses and buildings are fine examples of the historic desert architecture of Iran. With the Exotigo tour, you have an opportunity to well-known Chak Chak Fire temple, about 30 km away from Kharanaq.
Chak Chak Fire Temple or the Temple of Pir-e Sabz is an important pilgrimage site for Zoroastrians. It is on a rocky mountain slope and has created a special place for people who want to sit in absolute isolation and meditate.
Read also: Some 15 Best Things to Do in Iran
Lodging in Yazd
Parsian Safaiyeh Hotel
Parsian Safaiyeh Hotel is one of the best hotels in Yazd. The five-star hotel is located in the best area of Yazd, with easy access to the city center and tourist attraction. The hotel has two phases, old and new. The new phase of the hotel was constructed in 2009 and has three floors. The old phase of the hotel also located at the entrance of the complex with its elegant and unique architecture.
The total rooms of the complex are 200, which are located on five floors, the old phase (garden hotel) include double, single, and triple rooms facing the garden.
The Parsian Safaiyeh hotel also offers other services like free of charge breakfast, Chaharsoogh Restaurant, green space, Choobi Restuarant, and Kolah Farangi Coffeeshop.
Moshir al-Mamalek Garden Hotel
It is located at the entrance of Yazd city and is one of the best four-star hotels in the city. In fact, originally a residential mansion, Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar (1896-1907) ordered its construction, and it on Iran National Heritage List.
Rooms are on both sides of the breathy garden. There are all types of rooms for everyone. Besides single, double, triple, and guardable rooms, there are connected suites for families. All rooms have Wi-Fi, air conditioning, minibar, and safebox.
Besides, the famous characteristic of Yazd, windcatcher, stained glass windows, brick, and turquoise tiles all add to the Moshir al-Mamalek Garden’s glory.
Yazd Friendly Hotel
It is a budget accommodation in the heart of the city. Renovated in 2016, Yazd Friendly is a traditional house with typical architecture of desert houses in Iran, including a courtyard in the middle and rooms all around it.
Yazd Friendly hotel provides double, triple, and quadruple rooms with private bathrooms. All rooms have air conditioning, a hot shower, a hairdryer, and 24-hour room service. The 24-hour front desk offers concierge services.
According to customers, the house’s breakfast is one of the highlights of their experience. It is served on the rooftop with magnificent views of the clay city. There is also a coffee shop on the terrace. Tea and coffee are available all day long, free of charge.
Best time to visit Yazd
As you may know, Yazd is a desert city. Hence it has hot summers and cold winters.
The best time to travel to this city in early autumn and early spring. However if you travel the city in autumn, you can have a great four-season experience in one day.
The day begins with spring weather. At noon, you can feel the hot summer.
In the evening, there may be some rain and you experience autumn weather. The weather is like winter at night.
Read also: Best Time to Visit Iran: A Complete Guide
Local foods and desserts of Yazd
This is one of the dishes that you should try traveling Yazd.
It is also a great option for vegetarians.
Espionage, dill, wheat flour, beetroot, green lentil, onion, vinegar, and spice are the ingredient of this soup or pottage.
You cannot find this kind of cuisine that you can only find in Yazd.
If you want to have meat beside this delicious vegetable soup. Something like Tas-kebab Shotor.
Tas-kebab Shotor is a stew-like meal with camel meat and potatoes!
It is actually the traditional Iranian muffin and is very popular in Iran.
However, you can try its best taste in its hometown Yazd. It is a great choice with a cup of tea.
This Iranian traditional cardamom muffin is a great combination of Persian tastes.
No one can underestimate the magic combination of cardamom and rose water in Persian desserts and sweets!
Souvenirs and handicraft
The fabulous traditional handwoven silk and wool fabrics, known as termeh, is another souvenir that you can buy from Yazd. Khan Bazaar of Yazd, an old market in Yazd dated back to the 9th century, is a vibrant place full of colors in which you can find different kinds of termeh.
Today most of termehs in the market are made with machines and are not from silk.
However how minds? The patterns and colors still mesmerize every visitor and you can make your house more lovely with a piece of termeh!
Pottery and ceramic
Traveling Yazd and Meybod, do not miss pottery and ceramic dishware. The designs are in relation to desert life and are Khatam Sun and chicken and Fish.
The sun is a symbol of the desert and the chicken is a reminder of a kind of sparrow living in the desert. Fish is the symbol of life and an anecdote of the dehydration of Yazd.
The reason for flourishing this kind of art in Yazd is the fine-grained clay that can be found in Maybod. High-quality clay and the desert climate mingle in order to find these elegant ceramics in this area.
City of sweets
If you have a sweet tooth, Yazd is a must-see destination for you!
You can find several shops in the city offering mouthwatering sweets and desserts, as a tasty Yazd attraction.
Ghotab, Baghlava,Cake Yazdi Pashmak, Louz, and Hajji Badam are some of the delicious sweets that you can try in the city.
Do not forget to taste these amazing sweets before leaving the city.
The welcoming and kind people of Yazd can help you to find your favorite sweets!
Read also: Top Iran Souvenirs worth buying
Restaurants and café
Marco-Polo Rooftop Restaurant
As a part of Orient Hotel, the rooftop restaurant has a unique view of this beautiful city.
The skyline of the city adored with minarets and domes is eye-catching, especially during sunset.
While enjoying the view, you can taste a variety of Iranian stews, kebabs, and freshly cooked bread.
Don’t miss Yazdi lentil soup, which has an excellent taste!
Address: 6th Alley, Imam Khomeini Street, Masjed’e Jaame Road, Rooftop of Orient Traditional Hotel, Yazd 8643521 Iran, +98 35 3626 7783
Moshir ol-Mamalek Hotel Restaurant
At the Moshir ol-Mamalek Hotel restaurant you can find a variety of Iranian food and beverages.
The high-quality cuisine and great atmosphere make a memorable time for you.
Lavish furnishing of the restaurant with beauties of Qajar-era architecture create a great place for dining with Persian cuisine.
You have an option to eat on a table indoor or in the courtyard.
The Staff are in Qajar-era dress and you can have a choice between Majd French Restaurant, Yazd Restaurant, Garden Restaurant, and Naqashi Restaurant with different menus.
Address: Enghelab Street Moshir Blvd, Yazd 8918713631 Iran, +98 35 3523 9763
Run by a couple, it is a rooftop cafe where you can enjoy homemade traditional foods of Iran.
At the same time, you can have a great view of the old city of Yazd. The cafe has also a menu for vegetarians.
great variety of flavours, nice dips, good lemonades and tea at the place. You can enjoy a
Address: Yazd Central Mosque. Shah Abolqasem neighborhood. Opposite Boostan Shah Abolghasem, Yazd +98 912 609 1336 Iran, +98 912 609 1336