Cultural Isfahan travel guide
Considering that our journey starts since the beginning of the first day, we are going to introduce you our suggestion in this Isfahan travel guide.
Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. in Isfahan
Naqsh-e Jahan Square is located in Isfahan and in the north of the Safavi Gardens Collection. This old square that has a length of 560 m and a width of 160 meters has had many names throughout the history including Shah Jahan Square, Naqsh-e Jahan square and currently it is known as Imam Khomeini Square. It was registered on UNESCO World Heritage List In 1979. By going to this beautiful square, you can also visit four other buildings. These buildings include Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu mansion, and Qeysarie Bazar
Shah Mosque that is also known as Sultan Mosque and Imam Mosque is one of the important mosque in Jahan Square that was built during the Safavid era and is considered as an important monuments of Islamic architecture. This building is an immortal masterpieces of architecture and tiling in the eleventh century. Shah Mosque was registered on 15 of Jan 1931 as one of Iran’ national heritage.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is a masterpiece of architecture and tiling in eleventh century that was built to honor Sheikh Lotfollah Elemisi. Construction of this building lasted 17 years. Unlike other mosques, there is no minarets or courtyard in this mosque.
Qapu mansion is located on the western side of Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan) in Isfahan and is located on the opposite side of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. This palace has five entrance doors, the most important of which is called Ali-Ghapoo that is faced with Imam Square and the other doors are known as Char Howz Gate in northern part, Shahi Gate in west, a gate in the harem and the kitchen’s gate.
The gate of Qeysarie
Market is located in the northern part of Jahan Square and in front of the Imam Mosque. It is also one of the remaining part of a beautiful building left from the Safavid era. Qeysarie
mansion includes entrance, timpani Mansion, the Royal Mint House and Shahi Caravan Sara. Qeysarie
Market is in the National Heritage List of Iran.
Chehel Sotoun in Isfahan, center of Iran
Distance from Jahan Square: 4 minutes’ walk
According to the inscription in the history in our Isfahan travel guide, Chehel Soton represents the most honored building in iran and remains from the most beautiful monuments of Safavid era in Isfahan today. The garden still offer stunning beauty to tourists and visitors nowadays. The beauty of this House delights all the tourists who visits it for the first time.
Perhaps it is time for lunch. If you do not want to cook or go back to the hotel, there are some fast food restaurants nearby, including Armin fast food, Pazhang restaurant, Hakim Bashi traditional dining, historical and traditional restaurant.
After lunch and rest, we continue our trip and will guide you in this Isfahan travel guide.
Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History was launched in one of the ancient monuments of the Timurid era in 1988. The museum halls includes invertebrate animal, Vertebrates animals, botany hall, geology hall, natural geography and maps hall. Do not miss seeing this fabulous museum.
Distance from Natural History Museum: 30 min walk, 11 to 14 minutes drive
This building, which remained from the Nasir al-Din Shah era, was used for residence purpose until 1971 and is called the Qazvinis’ House. Architecture, entrances, courtyards, halls, sash windows, moldings and other beauties of Qazvinis’ house surprise all the visitors.
We offer you to spend time visiting and walking on the Khajoo bridge and Si-o-seh pol. Of course, if the water flow in the Zayanderud, it will multiply the pleasure of our night walking.
Si-o-seh pol in Isfahan, Iran
Si-o-seh pol is one of the best bridge and also an architectural masterpiece of Safavid Era in Iran and the world. Thirty-three bridges that it also called Allahverdi Khan Bridge has 33 openings and was built on the river during the reign of Shah Abbas. The bridge dates back to 1629 and after three years from this date, Allahverdi Khan was instructed to finish building this site.
Khaju Bridge with 24 opening was built on the East side of Zayanderud River. It is said that this bridge was built in 1681, during the reign of Shah Abbas II. In the middle of the bridge, there was a building that was constructed for temporary accommodation of the Safavid Shah and his family. In the corners of the east side of the bridge, there are two stone lions that are the symbol of Bakhtiari Army that guard Zayanderud River and Isfahan against enemies.
Second day in Isfahan:
Hasht Behesht Mansion
The beautiful mansion of the Hasht Behesht is considered to be among the most beautiful places in all respects. The magnificence of this mansion cannot be described, and you should see it with your own eyes. Many poets and tourists who traveled to Isfahan have named this place and described its beauty in their poems and travelogues. Hasht Behesht Mansion was completed in 1701 in coincidence with the third year of the reign of King Soleyman Safavi. This palace is an excellent example of the resident place of Safavid dynasty.
Chahar Bagh Abbasi is one of the city's historic streets that is located between “Darvaze Dolat” and Si-o-seh pol. The street was designed in Shah Abbas I era. This is actually a collection of several other places that are called Chahar Bagh.
Chahar-bagh Abbasi and Chahar-bagh Bala were built after the determination of Isfahan as the capital city of Iran in Shah Abbas I era. Chahar-Bagh Payeen was built by Reza Shah Pahlavi with the same design of Safavid era.
Chahar Bagh Abbasi starts from Si-o-seh pol and extends to the north of the city and The Chahar-Bagh Bala also starts from Si-o-seh pol and continues to the south of the city to Shiraz Gate. In fact, Si-o-seh pol connects the main street of Chahar-Bagh Bala and Chahar Bagh Abbasi together. Chahar-Bagh Payeen is also built along the Chahar Bagh Abbasi toward the north side of the city. Do not miss the pleasant stroll in the Chahar Bagh garden.
If you are not going back to hotel for lunch,in this Isfahan travel guide we can suggest you using the traditional restaurants nearby.
Our other next Suggestion in our Isfahan travel guide are three churches that are all near each other. Vank Church, Bethlehem church, the Church of Holy Georg and the Virgin Mary. You can choose to visit one of the churches according to taste and the time and postpone visiting the other churches to the next few days. Everything depends on your planning.
Distance from Chahar Bagh Street: 16 to 22 minutes’ drive
Vank Church is one of the most spectacular religious sites of Christians in Iran. In addition to specific architectural style and spectacular paintings, this church is keeping unique manuscripts and many other precious art crafts in its museum. The main courtyard of the Vank Church are made of the Bell House, Library, Museum, Clock Tower, rooms for accommodation of bishops and priests as well as community halls and Printing house that all have a total area of over 8731 square meters. The interior church plan is an example of Armenian architecture, but its exterior is in the style of Iranian architecture, and because of this, the church displays the elaborate compilation of two architectural styles. The first books published in Iran have been dedicated to the efforts of the Golfaists. Iran's first printing press was founded by the religious leader of the Church of Vank, Khachaterur Varpat Dasaritsy and the students of the Wider in Church of Vank.
The distance from Chahar Bagh Street: 31 minutes walking, 13 minutes by car
Distance from Vank Cathedral: 4 minutes’ walk
The church is built in Safavid era and is part of the national heritage of Iran. The Interior and exterior painting are unique.
Church of Virgin Mary
Distance from Chahar Bagh Street: 31 min walk, 9 to 11 minute driving
Distance from Bethlehem Church: 1 minute walk
Virgin Mary church also dates back to the Safavid era and is considered as the oldest churches in Isfahan. Church of the Virgin Mary is also located next to the Hakob building.
Church of Holy Georg
Distance from Chahar Bagh Street: 14 to 16 minutes’ drive
Distance from Mary Church: 7 to 9 minutes’ walk
The church is famous for the sacred stones that Shah Abbas ordered them to be imported in the country.
flowers Garden that is located on the southeastern edge of Bozorgmehr Square edge and adjacent to Zayanderud river includes rock garden, herb garden, rose garden, fountains, a pond, an outdoor amphitheater, a hedge, Iranian carpet Flower and so on.
Sofe Mountain in Isfahan, Iran
Distance from flowers Garden: 17 to 26 minutes’ drive
Sofeh Mountain that is located in the southern part of city is one of the most popular tourist attractions in our Isfahan travel guide. This Park has a beautiful green space that is located next to the zoo, bowling alley, Tele cabin, springs and caves along the traditional and modern restaurants and tea houses, and all of these places are ready to welcome travelers and visitors to this beautiful mountain. The resort is spectacular, especially during the night. When you climb top of the mountain, it has a great view of the whole city.
Nazhvan Forest Park
This beautiful park is located along the Zayandehrud River, which includes the bird’s garden, the Butterfly Museum and the Reptile Garden.
One of the most spectacular locations of this Isfahan travel guide is birds Garden. There are more than 130 species of birds in this garden. This place is considered one of the best part of Zayandehrud and is the most appropriate place to keep the birds in terms of weather. Depending on the living conditions of birds, different habitats are considered for them. Hence, in the garden of birds you can see five different residence place for them. Pond, rocks, glass cages, Iron cages and forest greenery.
Check this place If you like to see live reptiles in the garden.
Distance from birds garden: 14 to 16 minute walk
Distance from Reptile Gardens: 2 minutes’ walk
This is the place we recommend you not to miss. The aquarium gives you this opportunity to see the underwater world as easily as you walk on land. This Aquarium is located in the park with an area of 4000 square meters at a depth of 7 meters under the ground. There are 6500 living creatures in this aquarium.
This monument was built during the reign of Oljaito and in Ilkhani era. The skilled engineers and craftsmen at that time decorated this place with tall, azure-shaped tiles. Apparently, Menar Jonban of Isfahan is not the only building in the world that has this interesting feature. There are some monuments in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq that have similar moving features.
Fire temple of Isfahan
Distance from Menar Jonban: 9 to 11 minutes’ drive
Fire Temple is another ancient monuments of this city that has remained from ancient Persia. It was originally called "Mehrbin" or "Mehrbin fortress" or "Fire Temple of Mehrbin" and is now located in the Atashgah Street that is in west of Isfahan and 8 km from the center of the city. The building is located on a mountain near Zayandehrud and its hills are made of sedimentary rocks. There were rooms there in the past that are now disappeared. At the top of the hill there is a Round Building. It is believed that Zoroastrian priests put sacred fires in it. In Pahlavi era fire temple has been restored. Fire temple of Isfahan is in Iran's National Heritage List.