Located in the southwest of Iran, Shiraz is the center of Fars Province and the fifth largest and populous city of Iran with a population of 1,869,000 according to the 2016 census. Since this city is located in a fertile area in the southern Zagros Mountain Range, it has always been an important center of trading agricultural products among farmers and Qashqai and Lur nomads. Also being located on the way to Bushehr and Bandar Abbas trading ports and having important industrial centers like the Petrochemical industry has caused Shiraz to be an important economical city in Iran.
Because of being home to world-known Iranian poets like Hafez and Saadi and having heavenly mild weather, Shiraz is known as the city of poetry, nightingales, gardens, and flowers. During the Pahlavi Dynasty, Shiraz was the host of the annual Shiraz Art Festival in which great modern and traditional artists from different countries used to gather and share. This city is home to warmhearted, and friendly people.
Shiraz is known with different names like Tirazis and Shirazis throughout history. The word Tirazis was first mentioned on an Elamite clay tablet dating back to 2000 B.C which was discovered in 1970 in Shiraz. Although this region has resided since the Sassanid Era, the first evidence of habitation is related to the early Islamic era and has been the capital of Iran during Saffarid, Buyid, and Zandiyeh Dynasty.
Shiraz is located in the mountainous Zagros area, at an altitude of 1585 meters above sea level. Shiraz is surrounded by Zagros mountains named Sabz Pooshan, Derak, Chehel Magham, and Baba Koohi. A seasonal river crosses through the city and reaches Maharloo Lake located in the southeast of the city. Shiraz has a four-season climate with hot summers with an average high of 38.8 °C, and mild autumns and winters with 300 mm rainfall, and springs with very pleasant weather about 20 °C.
Apart from its lovely and peaceful atmosphere which makes it one of the top cities of Iran for travelers, Shiraz has many historical and cultural attractions, from Zand and Qajar dynasties. Many of the attractions are situated inside the city, while the monuments left from the ancient empires are located around the city and are about one or two hours driving from Shiraz.
Located at the heart of the historic district of Shiraz, the old Vakil Bazaar is one of the most amazing bazaars that should be visited in Iran. This nostalgic bazaar dates back to the 11th century and consists of alleys, caravanserais, courtyards, mosques, old shops, etc. Today, Vakil Bazaar is still crowded by the locals who buy and sell varied products from clothes to rugs, spices, and antiques, and this is what makes it a fascinating place for a visit.
Known as the Pink Mosque because of its stunning colorful tilework, Nasir al Mulk Mosque is now an icon in Shiraz. This mosque was constructed by the governor of Fars Mr. Mirza Hasan Ali Khan during the Qajar Dynasty. The glamour of colorful lights shining into the main hall of the mosque through the stained glass windows has made Nasir al Mulk Mosque one of the best photography spots and highlights in Iran.
This is one of the oldest constructions of Shiraz, which was built during the Saffaris Dynasty and is known for the unique structure in the middle of its courtyard named "Khodaykhaneh" or the house of God. This mosque is located right behind Shah Cheragh and is a sacred place among the locals of Shiraz.
This brick monument is where Karimkhan, the king of the Zand Dynasty used to live during his kingdom and is a combination of residential and military architecture. Karimkhan Citadel (called Arg e Karimkhan in Persian) was later the house of Qajarid commanders in Shiraz and then used as a prison during Pahlavi time. This magnificent brick monument in the middle of the city is a part of the Zand complex which is a must-see in Shiraz.
The charming Eram Garden, constructed during the 13th century, is one of the Persian Gardens inscribed by UNESCO as a world heritage site because of its quadripartite design, its amazing pavilion, and high cypresses. With hundreds of plant species, Eram Garden is also a botanical garden, which is a significant study resource for botany students.
Hafez Tomb or Hafeziyeh is the funerary monument of Hafez (Hafiz) the famous Iranian poet living in Shiraz during the 14th century. This construction was smartly designed and built for Hafez centuries after his death to project the splendor of his poems and the philosophy behind the verses, therefore locals of Shiraz have a special bond with this atmospheric and peaceful place.
Ghavam family was an influential family in Iran’s politics, living in Shiraz during Qajar Dynasty. The residential house of Muhammad Ghavam, named Naranjestan-e Ghavam (meaning Ghavam Orange House) is a splendid monument with eye-catching ornaments like colorful tile works and mirror works and a lush orange garden which becomes so aromatic by orange blossoms in spring.
Known as one of the most important legacies of the ancient world and one of the top attractions in Iran, Persepolis is located 60 kilometers away from Shiraz and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient city was built in 518 BC. by Darius the king of the Achaemenid as the ceremonial capital and includes different palaces with mind-blowing glorious architecture and ornaments.
Located near the Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rostam is an ancient necropolis with four cross-shaped rock tombs related to four of the Achaemenid kings. There are some bass reliefs showing battle scenes and coronations of the Sassanid kings, and another building called Ka'abe ye Zartosht (the cube of Zoroaster).
The ancient city of Bishapour is located 140 kilometers away from Shiraz and was constructed by the order of Shapour the king of the Sassanid Dynasty around 241 AD.
Although Shiraz has mild weather almost all year along, this city is at its best in spring especially in March and April, when the city is covered with green trees and blossoms. The weather during autumn with a mild temperature is also pleasant for traveling in Shiraz. Also, the weather in this city is not freezing during winter, however, summers can be considered hot.
Shiraz is one of the major cities of Iran producing Persian handicrafts. Since this region is home to different nomadic groups, you can find wonderful types of handwoven crafts made by the nomads like kilim, rug, Jajim, etc. There are also many traditional workshops producing delicate wood crafts. The Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz, which is one of the top historical bazaars in Iran, is where you can find different types of handicrafts and souvenirs in this city.
This is the art of inlaying different wood types, bones, and metals with different colors in delicate triangular and geometrical pieces to cover a wooden surface. This technique is used for ornamenting objects like jewel boxes, mirror frames, or even larger objects like a table.
Monabat Kari or woodcarving is the art of engraving circular floral motifs on wood.
Rugs and kilims
With symbolic motifs and vibrant colors, the nomadic carpets of Qashqai tribe are among the most famous Persian carpets, which you can find in Shiraz.Qashqai nomads are alsoYou can find amazing nomad carpets from Qashqai and Bakhtiari tribes and also neighbor towns like Abadeh, Eqlid, Firouz Abad and etc., in Vakil Bazaar and choose between colors and motifs.