Tourist Attractions in Iran

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    by kiakaveh
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Most Viewed Tourist Traps in Iran

  • vahiddavoodi's Profile Photo

    WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE...

    by vahiddavoodi Updated Jun 16, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    when i hear people that traveled arround many places in short time i feel bad!
    this is a kind of travel that i really don't uderstand because you think you have seen a lot but in the reality you havn't seen anything.
    there are too many places in iran to see.

    Fun Alternatives: when you plan a trip to iran don't make a fast tour in iran.

    shahyad square
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  • K1W1's Profile Photo

    There are NO international ATM's in Iran

    by K1W1 Updated Nov 12, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is worth while to sit down and calculate how much you are going to need while travelling through Iran before you get here. Don't forget to budget for souvenirs such as Persian carpets as this can affect your budget in a substantial way !

    Fun Alternatives: Things change so take a look at www.atmlocator.info/
    before you leave to check that there have been no changes. If there are new machines, then this site should give you the addresses.

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  • JohnniOmani's Profile Photo

    There are a few

    by JohnniOmani Written Apr 4, 2007

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    Iran doesnt see many international tourists althought it does see many regional tourists from the Perisan Gulf and the Middle East so there are always hawks out there trying to make a quick rial. Most travellers find that the tourist traps are in Esfahan and Tehran. You are a huge target in the main bazaar in Tehran so be wise and shop around. If you are trying to buy some clothes are cheap trainers then it pays off to bargain but look around at least a few shops. Most of the products will be cheap in Western terms but Iranians enjoy the social aspect of bargaining. Also, any of the shops around Imam square should be treated with special care because the prices are 25 to 30% higher than in the rest of the city. The people in both areas are fantastic and they are not aggressive but bargain and you will have a great time. Other than these two areas, tourist areas in the sense of European or Asian standards dont really exist.

    Unique Suggestions: I found a great tip was to shop with a notebook and pen because if the shop keeper cant speak English then you can write down the numbers (only take a few hours to learn) and it makes the shop owners feel as though you are making an effort and it is good fun!

    Fun Alternatives: One other alternative is to take a local around with you but this will decrease your chances in meeting genuine locals. You wont have to look far to meet locals haha :)

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  • K1W1's Profile Photo

    The back door visa - beware !!

    by K1W1 Written Jul 6, 2004

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    I flew to kish Island on the standard transit visa which everyone is issued with when they arrive here. I then went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and got a tourist visa for the mainland - all good so far as it only took 2 days and cost USD 35,00
    The big shock came when I went to leave the country a month later at the border with Armenia and was told I had to return to Kish and exit from there. The border with Azerbajan produced the same result but I got lucky at the busier border with Turkey and escaped.
    For those interested in making use of the back-door visa - be aware of the possible problems leaving the country - they are not explained when getting the visa.
    Unfortunately the actions of a couple of power trippin border officials have put a bad stain on my memories of what was a great trip though Iran.

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  • kiwigeo's Profile Photo

    Princes Garden, Mahan, Kerman Province

    by kiwigeo Updated Dec 19, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not really worth visiting especially when you can't even get a chai! Just a reflection on the lack of funding available to maintain buildings and gardens etc. This is a problem across all of Iran and Iranian history is being lost. Not seen as a priority in develping countries.

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  • mohammad58's Profile Photo

    Persepolis, showing a Great Kingdom in Iran

    by mohammad58 Written Jan 25, 2006

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    the site of the rulers of the ancient Persian Empire

    An ancient capital of the Achaemenian kings of Iran (Persia), located about 51 km northeast of Shiraz in the region of Fars in southwestern Iran. The site lies near the confluence of the small river Pulv?r (R?dkh?neh-ye S?vand) with the R?d-e Kor.

    horse column

    Though archaeologists have discovered evidence of prehistoric settlement, inscriptions indicate that construction of the city began under Darius I the Great (reigned 522?486 BC), who, as a member of a new branch of the royal house, made Persepolis the capital of Persia proper, replacing Pasargadae, the burial place of Cyrus the Great. Built in a remote and mountainous region, Persepolis was an inconvenient royal residence, visited mainly in the spring. The effective administration of the Achaemenian Empire was carried on from Susa, Babylon, or Ecbatana.

    columns

    This accounts for the Greeks being unacquainted with Persepolis until Alexander the Great's invasion of Asia. In 330 BC Alexander plundered the city and burned the palace of Xerxes, probably to symbolize the end of his Panhellenic war of revenge. In 316 BC Persepolis was still the capital of Persis as a province of the Macedonian empire. The city gradually declined in the Seleucid period and after, its ruins attesting its ancient glory. In the 3rd century AD the nearby city of Istakhr became the centre of the S?s?nian empire.

    relief from the stairway

    The site is marked by a large terrace with its east side leaning on the K?h-e Rahmat (Mount of Mercy). The other three sides are formed by a retaining wall, varying in height with the slope of the ground from 13 to 41 feet (4 to 12 m); on the west side a magnificent double stair in two flights of 111 easy stone steps leads to the top. On the terrace are the ruins of a number of colossal buildings, all constructed of a dark gray stone, (often polished to the consistency of marble) from the adjacent mountain.

    Unique Suggestions: Guide pointing out the chariot relief

    The stones, of great size, cut with the utmost precision, were laid without mortar, and many of them are still in place. Especially striking are the huge columns, 13 of which still stand in Darius the Great's audience hall, known as the apadana, the name given to asimilar hall built by Darius at Susa. There are two more columns still standing in the entrance hall of the Gate of Xerxes, and a third has been assembled there from its broken pieces.

    audience hall

    In 1933 two sets of gold and silver plates recording in the three forms of cuneiform, Ancient Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian, the boundaries of the Persian Empire were discovered in the foundations of Darius' hall of audience. A number of inscriptions, cut in stone, of Darius I, Xerxes I, and Artaxerxes III indicate to which monarch the various buildings are to be attributed.

    The oldest of these on the south retaining wall gives Darius' famous prayer for his people: ?God protect this country from foe, famine and falsehood.? There are numerous reliefs of Persian, Median, and Elamite officials, and 23 scenes separated by cypress trees depict representatives from the remote parts of the empire who, led by a Persian or a Mede, made appropriate offerings to the king at the national festival of the vernal equinox.

    Darius I, king of ancient Persia a statue of a dog, Tehran Archaeological Museum The a king receiving an important official
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    • Archeology
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  • mohammad58's Profile Photo

    Persepolis, showing a Great Kingdom in Iran

    by mohammad58 Written Jan 25, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the site of the rulers of the ancient Persian Empire

    An ancient capital of the Achaemenian kings of Iran (Persia), located about 51 km northeast of Shiraz in the region of Fars in southwestern Iran. The site lies near the confluence of the small river Pulv?r (R?dkh?neh-ye S?vand) with the R?d-e Kor.

    horse column

    Though archaeologists have discovered evidence of prehistoric settlement, inscriptions indicate that construction of the city began under Darius I the Great (reigned 522?486 BC), who, as a member of a new branch of the royal house, made Persepolis the capital of Persia proper, replacing Pasargadae, the burial place of Cyrus the Great. Built in a remote and mountainous region, Persepolis was an inconvenient royal residence, visited mainly in the spring. The effective administration of the Achaemenian Empire was carried on from Susa, Babylon, or Ecbatana.

    columns

    This accounts for the Greeks being unacquainted with Persepolis until Alexander the Great's invasion of Asia. In 330 BC Alexander plundered the city and burned the palace of Xerxes, probably to symbolize the end of his Panhellenic war of revenge. In 316 BC Persepolis was still the capital of Persis as a province of the Macedonian empire. The city gradually declined in the Seleucid period and after, its ruins attesting its ancient glory. In the 3rd century AD the nearby city of Istakhr became the centre of the S?s?nian empire.

    relief from the stairway

    The site is marked by a large terrace with its east side leaning on the K?h-e Rahmat (Mount of Mercy). The other three sides are formed by a retaining wall, varying in height with the slope of the ground from 13 to 41 feet (4 to 12 m); on the west side a magnificent double stair in two flights of 111 easy stone steps leads to the top. On the terrace are the ruins of a number of colossal buildings, all constructed of a dark gray stone, (often polished to the consistency of marble) from the adjacent mountain.

    Unique Suggestions: Guide pointing out the chariot relief

    The stones, of great size, cut with the utmost precision, were laid without mortar, and many of them are still in place. Especially striking are the huge columns, 13 of which still stand in Darius the Great's audience hall, known as the apadana, the name given to asimilar hall built by Darius at Susa. There are two more columns still standing in the entrance hall of the Gate of Xerxes, and a third has been assembled there from its broken pieces.

    audience hall

    In 1933 two sets of gold and silver plates recording in the three forms of cuneiform, Ancient Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian, the boundaries of the Persian Empire were discovered in the foundations of Darius' hall of audience. A number of inscriptions, cut in stone, of Darius I, Xerxes I, and Artaxerxes III indicate to which monarch the various buildings are to be attributed.

    The oldest of these on the south retaining wall gives Darius' famous prayer for his people: ?God protect this country from foe, famine and falsehood.? There are numerous reliefs of Persian, Median, and Elamite officials, and 23 scenes separated by cypress trees depict representatives from the remote parts of the empire who, led by a Persian or a Mede, made appropriate offerings to the king at the national festival of the vernal equinox.

    Darius I, king of ancient Persia a statue of a dog, Tehran Archaeological Museum The a king receiving an important official Today, only thirteen columns are standing
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    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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  • VISAS Avoid IranianVisa.com at ALL COSTS

    by kkuran Written Jul 15, 2008

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    If you are planning a trip to Iran DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES use IranianVisa.com. It is an unprofessional, dishonest service, and quite possible a scam as well.

    The website is very flashy, advertising wonderful visa success rates and low fees (only EUR30! For only EUR22 more you can have the visa expedited. It sounds great and manager/owner/agent Hamid Reza Tavassoli sends professional emails in perfect English in the earlier phases.

    The thing is that the EUR30 or EUR52 is basically for nothing. As soon as you wire it to a German or Turkish bank account, you get an email saying that the actual visa processing fee is a cheeky EUR150. Hamid has still not given me a good explanation for what the EUR30, EUR22, EUR150 are for--but I think I know--they're for a really $#@#ing expensive visa.

    As an American I more or less am required to go on a tour or have a guide in Iran. I checked this out--this is true. Hamid offered to find a guide for EUR45 a day, which is a competetive rate. What he did not mention at the time was that I would have to enroll in a set itinerary with four star hotels, private transport, etc. I protested that I was a backpacker and not overly wealthy, but he said that there was not other way--there was not a single guide in Iran who would be willing to stay in budget hotels or ride buses. I held my ground though and l lo and behold he found not one but two guides who agreed to ride buses.

    I wired the money for the trip and the wire got held up for about a week. Even though Hamid knew that I had just a few weeks before I left the US to get the visa, for about six days he refused to acknowledge my emails asking him to get going on the visa applicaton. So much for the "expedition fee".

    When there was no money involved, Hamid's emails became sparse, rarely responding to my desperate appeals for progress reports (I was leaving in a matter of days). Then I left for Turkey, where I was going to fly to Iran from and for a ten day period I heard nothing.

    In desperation I went to the Istanbul office of IranianVisa.com, listed on the website and despite the fact that there were Iranian travel related firms in the area, the office was not at the listed adress and none of the Iranian travel agents had heard of Hamid or IranianVisa.com. IranAir hadn't either. I also sent a friend to the Tehran office but that didn't exist either. So BOTH OF IRANIANVISA.COM'S LISTED OFFICES ARE FICTICIOUS.

    I finally got an email saying that there had been a long Shia holiday (I was not warned of this even though it would kill my trip) and that Hamid had been in a car accident in Mashad. This obviously spelled the end of the road for my trip and I sent polite emails to Hamid wishing him well but saying the trip was not possible and requesting a refund for the trip-related (not the EUR200) money I sent over.

    The visa authorization came two weeks after I was due to go to Iran, about a month after Hamid began the "expedited process". I know the Tehran authorities can be slow, but the reason you hire an agency is because they are supposed to be good at what they do. One month for MFA approval is not impressive when you considered this is Hamid's profession and he had EUR200 to work with.

    That was well over a month ago. Hamid has given all sorts of excuses, but the fact of the matter is that the money has not been wired even though I've asked about a dozen times and he's promised about eight times. I will update this post if Hamid proves that he's not a crook, but right now I don't know what to believe.

    Whether or not I get my money back, I would advise any Iran-bound travel to be EXTREMELY wary of this website, which looks too good to be true and definitely is. Please spread the word--there are plenty of alternatives to IranianVisa.com and I hope that others don't have to endure such a sleazy experience.

    Related to:
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  • rsudic's Profile Photo

    No tourist trap at all !

    by rsudic Written Aug 23, 2008

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    Ok, it's my opinion, but I think there isn't trap at all in Iran for several reasons:
    1. not so many visitors in country
    2. historical sites are unique not imaginary
    3. people are real deal and willing to help without charge
    4. if someone catch your "i'm lost" sight, they'll offer you help immediately
    5. people are just don't like that here

    In case if you find something that can enter this category, let me know.

    welcome? :-)
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  • mikarov99's Profile Photo

    Taxis

    by mikarov99 Updated May 7, 2007

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    Yes taxis always are the tourist trap, ripoffs is not a surprise. Even here in Iran at least if you try the offical taxis the chances of gettin rippoffed is very low. But be wary about the unoffical taxis specially in Tehran and Esfahan specially at bus stations, the unoficial shared taxis at Esfahan is a bit of warning try to get off whit the another passangers, and get alone. In Tehran one unoficial taxi at western bus station was charged 15 dlls to me.

    Unique Suggestions: Always agree whit price before sitting in if you can say the numbers and destination in Farsi will be better. Don't show the lonely planet at shared taxis.

    Fun Alternatives: Avoid at all cost all unoficial taxi at bus station and airport, and go to taxi kiosk where are offical taxis.

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  • mikarov99's Profile Photo

    The prices @ your lonely planet guide

    by mikarov99 Updated May 7, 2007

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    There is no more worry about the dual pricing at atractions and sights of Iran only the Vank Chatedral (30000 IR) in Esfahan and Eram Garden (40000 IR) at Shiraz has the dual price another others Iranians and foreigner is the same.

    But expect the other prices like Transportation, Food at restaurants is more bit expensive but don't hurt to much but the hotels are not the same price the majority are between 20000 IR and 40000 IR more expensive than the price of the book.

    Some ridiculous examples are Amir Kabir Hostel in Esfahan the single room costs 100000 IR the double room cost 120000 IR, choise double at least has TV and Fridge, and Esthegal Hotel in Shiraz don't expect the cheap price for the room the actual price is 140000 IR but still ok at least you has private shower, TV, Fridge.

    So Don't trust at your Lonely Planet guide is 3 years old !

    Unique Suggestions: Some Hotels has Internet page, so you can check the actual prices, if you want reservation talk what is the price for the room.

    Fun Alternatives: Ask at the hotel the room price if is expensive choise another who are a bit less popular.

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  • The carpet salesmen in the...

    by AussieChic Updated Aug 26, 2002

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    The carpet salesmen in the Tehran and Esfahan bazaars are beginning to become more aggressive in their sales pitches. Don't let them get the better of you, no matter how friendly they become they are merely after a sale. For the record I was not lured into buying a carpet.

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  • kiwigeo's Profile Photo

    Safavid cupola at Aramgah-e...

    by kiwigeo Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Safavid cupola at Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali in Mahan. This is adjacent to the tomb of the above man who was a Sufi that died about 600 years ago. While in Mahan you should also pay a visit to the Bagh-e Shazade (Princes Garden), which I have to say was a little disappointing as it was in need of repairs and a gardener or two.

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  • kiwigeo's Profile Photo

    Agh-e-Bam, Kerman Province

    by kiwigeo Updated Dec 16, 2002

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    Agh-e-Bam. Relatively intact ruins that are slowly but surely being restored. People were still living within these ancient city walls as recently as 50 years ago. Best visited in winter or at sunset in summer. Note the total lack of tourists. Where else in the world can you see something of this significance on your own? The events surrounding September 11 have hit the fledgeling Iranian tourist industry particularly hard. Even fewer tourists means more reasons to go! You can find the best chai in all of Iran here!

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  • bastiaan's Profile Photo

    Do not get involved with drugs...

    by bastiaan Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Do not get involved with drugs or alcohol. It will be offered to you or you will be asked if you have it/use it. Stay away from matters.

    Do not star discussions about politics or religion. Iranians are proud of there country, respect that.

    You can change money on the streets. Youy will be offered a better rate than in the hotels or the banks.
    Be sure that all costs (commission, etc) are included in the rate you trade. At the time I could get in the hotels $1=7500 reals, in the street I got $1=7900 reals

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Iran Hotels

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Iran Tourist Traps

Reviews and photos of Iran tourist traps posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Iran sightseeing.
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