Esfahan Travel Guide

  • Esfahan
    by tremendopunto
  • Evening light on Lotfollah Mosque
    Evening light on Lotfollah Mosque
    by Orchid
  • Gardens of Chehel Sotoun
    Gardens of Chehel Sotoun
    by Orchid

Esfahan Highlights

  • Pro
    JohnniOmani profile photo

    JohnniOmani says…

     Young curious Locals, Islamic Buildings and Awesome Vibe 

  • Con
    yeu profile photo

    yeu says…

     lack of European toilets in some restaurants 

  • In a nutshell
    ajackaln profile photo

    ajackaln says…

     Half of the world at the heart of Iran 

Esfahan Things to Do

  • Shop beneath the Vaults

    Eshafan's Grand Bazaar extends almost 2 km between the ancient Jameh mosque and the city's central Naqsh-e Jahan Square. It is said to be the longest vaulted street in the world. From this spine extend numerous secondary markets, caravanserais, baths, warehouses, mosques and schools. At the Jameh Mosque terminus, the shops are dedicated clothing to...

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  • A Mosque of many styles

    The Jameh Mosque of Esfahan, the grand congregational mosque of the city provides a condensed history of Islamic architecture withing its many chambers, domes, halls and courtyards.There has been a mosque on this site since the 8th century, though these buildings are long gone. The current agglomeration was begun by the Seljuks in the 11th century,...

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  • 'Seven Colours' Mosque

    The Shah Mosque, which stands on the southern side of Esfahan's Naghsh-i Jahan Square is easily the grandest in the City. Built in the 17th Century, to supplant the Jameh Mosque as the venue for Friday prayers. We strolled into the towering portal, making the turn into the main courtyard which is oriented to face toward Mecca (and thus permitting...

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  • Vank Cathedral - Frustrating

    We made 2 attempts to visit the famous Vank Cathedral, in the Jolfa quarter of Esfahan. On each occasion the cathedral was closed, with no real explanation as to why. We visited on a Saturday and again on a Monday. On our second visit a large tour group was similarly disappointed. Nor were the folk inside the cathedral very communicative.So we were...

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  • Sunset Singing

    The famous Si-oh-Seh bridge crosses the Zayandeh River on its 33 arches just south of the historic centre. it leads across the river to the Jolfa (Armenian) Quarter, and especially in the evenings is a hive of activity.The river was quite dry when we visited in April 2011. It had been avery dry year according to folk we talked to while in the city....

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  • Fire worship

    If you have visited the Shaking Minarets you might like to continue on to the ancient Zoroastrian Fire Temple - the Atashgah (Place of Fire). Little more than a tumbled ruin of mud brick remains now, and the climb up is very steep, but the view from the top makes it worth while - all Isfahan is spread out below you.leyle

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Esfahan Hotels

See all 10 Hotels in Esfahan

Esfahan Restaurants

  • THE BEST VIEW IN ESFAHAN !

    You won’t do better than this restaurant in Esfahan. It is located next to the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque in the main Imam (Naqsh-e Jahan) Square. Their food is made from the finest ingredients and service is excellent. Like all restaurants in Iran, its still amazingly cheap. The interior is tasteful and traditional. The outside seating is reserved...

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  • Unique Branding

    We needed a break from Iranian food on our last night in Esfahan, so had the Hasht Behesht Hotel order in Fried Chicken & Chips for us.The highlight of the meal was indeed the packaging. I can't imagine what you'd do if you preferred breast! The chicken and chips were quite acceptable.

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  • Timing required to avoid the queues

    A queue often extends down the stairs and out into the street for this restaurant, which is certainly one of the most popular in Esfahan. This sort of thing is usually a good sign -if folk are waiting to eat there, the food should be good. Extra points for the queuers being locals and not tourists. Of course, the truth is that many of the folk here...

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Esfahan Nightlife

  • In the darkness

    Don't imagine firstly. You are in Ýran. That's why there is no any nightclubs or discos. But if you want to spend the time with drinking coffee you can go to the south side of Zayende River. Specially in Jolfa (Armenian quarter) you can hook too many places alone or with your girl friend. There is no problem. Uhm. i 'd love to say mini skirts are...

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  • WE WON!

    The local football (soccer) team is a great source of pride and a focal point of the community. Celebrating victories is done by mad motorcycle riding, waving of team scarves and generally making a lot of noise.Enjoy!

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  • Iranian music

    Iran is definetly not the place for wild nightlife. However, one of my best nights in Iran was at a restaurant in a corner of Emam square where two teenagers performed what I guess were traditional Esfahan songs with a drum and a strange looking violin instrument. It was a magical night. Standard Iranian...

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Esfahan Transportation

  • How to reach to central from Kaveh Coach...

    Esfahan has two main coach terminals. Busses which come from north generally and firstly, stop Kaveh Terminal.Taxi price is 3000 T (less than 2 $) to the centrum. But you can easily use public transportation. #91 will get you close to imam square. 500 T is all you have to pay.On this route you can drop Amir Kabir Hostel and others

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  • Train - From Esfahan to Tehren

    I took overnight sleeper in 6 pax compartment from Esfanhan to Tehren, the other direction is available. It cost IR55,000. The train departed from 21:40pm and arrived at Tehren 5:00am. It is smoke free so it is quite comfortable.There are 3 level in each side. I shared with 5 other men and they let me chose for which level. I chose the top level....

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  • Car from Esfahan to Kashan via Abyaneh

    I rented a car (very good, almost new car) with driver from Esfahan to Kashan via Abyaneh from Iran Travel & Tourism Tour travel agency. I paid 45 000 rials for approximately 3 hour journey including one hour in Abyaneh. I am sure you can get better price, but I am not that good in bargaining. In travel agency they told me the driver also will be a...

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Esfahan Shopping

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  • Bazaar Qaisarieh

    On the north side of the Imam Square lies the Bazaar Qaisarieh (Great Bazaar). The gateway to the bazaar, built in the reign of Shah Abbas is decorated with the town?s astrological sign, Sagittarius. The bazaar covers an enormous area with shops that sell almost every imaginable item, as well as mosques, tea-houses, and banks. Like most Iranian...

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  • Enamel painted plates and vases

    Owner of 2 shops on Imam square. The one facing the square on the south-eastern corner is run by the father of a family business going back generations, whilst one of his sons runs another shop by the same name in the arcade just behind it.Friendly service in a hassle free environment. Enamel plates and vases.

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  • Iran-produced Fashionable Leather Goods

    This shop sells leather goods, such as handbags, jackets, gloves, shoes, etc. I heard that this brand is very popular, and by the looks of it, has well-designed goods.I remembered the name of Mashad Leather when I received a refreshment kit by Iran Air.I was told that these shops are not located in bazaars, rather located in posh shopping districts...

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Esfahan Local Customs

  • HAVING AN AFTERNOON SLEEP

    I love this. Iran and Esfahan are blessed by some great weather. Throughout the city you will see people taking a siesta in the warm afternoon. Makeshift beds abound under trees, in bushes, behind buildings. There seems to be beds everywhere. Carpets and mats are not only left out awaiting future sleepers – they have the pillows and even books at...

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  • LADIES TOILET

    This is a sign for the Ladies toilet (bathroom). Save this tip on your ‘Custom Travel Guide’ here on VT. Then, before you go to Iran, print it up so you can use it when the call of nature is greater than your language skills!

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  • GO DIZZI - A FOOD TIP !

    A 'Dizzi' is also known as 'Abgousht'. This is a meat (usually beef), bean and potato stew. But it gets more interesting. It’s all cooked in a pot that is brought to your table. The juice is pored out into a separate bowl (pictured) and is like a kind of soup you eat with flat bread. Then the waiter puts a spoon into the small pot and sirs around...

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Esfahan Warnings and Dangers

  • EXCHANGING MONEY AFTER HOURS

    In Esfahan when the banks close you are going to get a bad deal on currency exchanges. They know it – now you know it. There are some Exchange shops (pictured) that do stay open into the evening. They will not give you the same rate as the banks. Why should they? In addition they will give you less for big notes. Anything less than a brand new $100...

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  • LOCKED IN THE TOILET FROM THE OUTSIDE!

    This is bizarre, but a real danger of sorts. This is the picture of a sliding lock on a toilet in a restaurant. It slides DOWN to lock. Gravity anyone? It is also on the OUTSIDE of the door, not the inside. There was a secondary lock inside that did afford privacy. It locked sideways. So what happened? You guessed it. I shut the door just slightly...

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  • Esfahan Hotels

    10 Hotels in Esfahan

    194 Reviews and Opinions

Esfahan Tourist Traps

  • Local guide

    My guide in Esfahan I hired through travel agency was not as good as guides I had to deal with in other Iran cities. His explanations in mosques or palaces were very simple and short - much more information I got from Lonely Planet. When I asked if this is a mihrab I was looking at, he wondered how do I know what is mihrab. So, if he thought I...

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  • Swaying Minaret

    If you want to waste your time and money then this could be the attraction for you. The idea is that a man will climb up into the minaret and shake it. The construction is such that it will sway a small way. The "swaying" occurs on the hour, so you may have to wait for this monumental piece of action. Do not go. Emam Khomeini Square or the...

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  • Shaking minarets

    These minarets apparently used to shake in unison when a guy climbed to the top of one. They are now covered in scaffolding.Particularly if they put the prices for admission back up in Iran (they were dropped in late summer 2004), avoid this place!

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Esfahan What to Pack

  • DAO's Profile Photo
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    by DAO Updated Mar 26, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: Let me keep this simple and helpful for you. In Iran the Banks, exchange places and even the thieving Moneychangers on the street like the following currencies in this order:

    1) U.S. Dollars
    2) Euros
    3) British Stirling

    That’s in CASH. No one will touch a traveller’s cheque, even the banks. Credit cards are only accepted by a FEW carpet shops. Nowhere else. Your debit card will not work here.

    If you have something useful like Japanese Yen then you can find banks in larger towns to take them. If you do not have one of these major currencies you will find it very hard to exchange outside of banks in large cities.

    US Dollars are king and any business will take them. There is almost no crime so it’s fairly safe to carry lots of cash.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel

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Esfahan Off The Beaten Path

  • Jolfa

    Jolfa is the Armena quarter of Isfahan - a small city within a city. The fact that this quarter exists is an historical one: Shah Abbas I in 1618 - after a war with the ottoman turks - gave a piece of land in the city to the displaced armenian refugess, allowing them to create their own community and to practice their own religion. To give you an...

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  • VISIT MUBARAKA

    Mubaraka is quiet residential town an hours drive from Esfahan. Taxis will probably charge you about $20, but you will have to haggle very hard. Locals would pay about $8. I did, but I had local friends. The main employer is the large steel works, but the city is very pleasant, if not very quiet. There are some amazing old earthen forts and...

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  • Chehel Dokhtaran tower

    About Chehel Dokhtaran tower in Esfahan province Built in A.D. 1107-8, this is the only remians of an old mosque that nowaday is vanished.

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Esfahan Favorites

  • Strolling along the river

    Zayandeh River flows through Esfahan from west to east. It is nice to stroll along the river between the many bridges (many of them very old) in late afternoon or in the evening when the bridges are illuminated. There are good footpaths along the river.

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  • Khaju Bridge

    The historic bridges of modern Esfahan are of course Safavid, like the Maidan. Each bridge coincides with a straight avenue running through the city from north to south. The best-known is the 132- m long Pol-e Khaju (Khaju Bridge), some 1.5 km downstream (east) of Sio Seh Pol, which is slightly smaller but even more attractive, with two levels of...

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  • Esfahan Sherines

    Mausoleum of Baba Qassem Located to the north of the Friday Mosque, is the Mausoleum of Baba Qassem (Aramgah-e Baba Ghassem. an Iranian theologian) built in 1340 AD by a theological student named Suleiman ibn el-Hassan Talut Damghani in memory of his teacher. The entrance gateway is decorated with attractive stalactite ornamentation, beautiful...

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Explore Deeper into Esfahan
The Real Biryan
Restaurants
Forty Columns?
Things to Do
Ali Qapu: Music chamber
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Ali Qapu Palace
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Imam square by night
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Imam square
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Vank Church
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Mehr Park
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Walking along Zayandeh Roud ( Zayandeh River)
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Esfahan flowers garden 2
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Esfahan flowers garden
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EXCHANGE MONEY - COMMISSION FREE
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KHAJU BRIDGE
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Natural History Museum
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Natural History Museum
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Tea and hubbly-bubbly
Restaurants
JAME MOSQUE
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THE SHAKING MINARETS
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Chehel Sotun (Forty Columns)
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Tea house under Si-o-se Pol bridge
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Zayandeh River
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Vank Cathedral
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Si-o-se Pol or the Bridge of 33 Arches
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Khaju Bridge
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Esfahani rugs and carpets
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Jamé Mosque
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Ali Qapu Palace
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Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque
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Shah Mosque
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Kelisa-ye Beit-ol-Lahm
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Vank cathedral
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Loftollah masjed
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Masjed-e imam
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Masjed-e ali
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Masjed-e jameh
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Madreseye Chahar Bagh
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Bazar-e Bozorg
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Chehel Sotun
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Cafe Latte in Armenia quarter
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Picnic in Iman Square
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Map of Esfahan

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