Historic Shiraz is famed for its literature, poetry and flowers, and is an old capital of the Persian Empire. Spreading like a garden beneath the Zagros Mountains, it’s one of Iran’s largest and most popular cities.
Top things to see and do
- Learn about the celebrated Persian poet Hafez, whose works are a fixture in almost all Iranian homes. The Tomb of Hafez and Hafezieh memorial hall are the perfect tribute to Shiraz’s most famous son.
- A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pasargadae was the capital of Cyrus the Great’s empire and today houses his tomb. These ancient ruins span a square mile and provide a stunning example of Achaemenid architecture.
- Lose yourself on an afternoon walk in the Old Town, taking in the bulk of the city’s most impressive buildings. You’ll come across a dozen or so traditional mosques, with distinctive bulb or pear-shaped domes.
- Prepare to be amazed at the magnificent Shah-e-Cheragh Shrine which houses the tomb of brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Musa al-Kadhim. It’s the most important pilgrimage site in Shiraz and among the holiest sites in Islam.
- Browse more than 200 stores at the Bazar-e Vakil, at the heart of Shiraz’s ancient trading district. Explore the wide-vaulted brick avenues laden with crafts, local spices, authentic clothes and much more.
- Beautifully positioned on the shores of the Khoshk River, the Eram Garden lets you experience the sights and smells of a historic landscape garden, protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organisation.
Tips for travellers
Explore the architectural wonder of Persepolis, which dates back to 515 BC. The ruins of the ceremonial “city of Persians” have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and lie just 48 km north east of Shiraz.