Immerse Yourself In Ancient Culture: 11 Things To Do In Esfahan, Iran

Things to do in Esfahan

An ancient city that used to hold the title of one of the largest city dwellings of human civilization, as well as the capital of Persia, Esfahan, Iran, is a sight to behold, with its magnificent architecture, scenic landscapes and beautiful culture. To gain the full experience of the city, there are multiple tours available that can show you the grandiose structures, with their history and meaning or take an off road adventure and experience the desert like never before.

Esfahan, also known as Isfahan, is home to many parks and different environments, such as riverfronts, mountains and forests. You can also go shopping for gold in a market full of old culture or visit the world’s fifth largest mall and take in all the modern day luxury brands. With a diverse society that has flourished over time, Esfahan also has a well-known music museum and an Abbasian Historical House, that is open to the public, to see not only the way of life but the incredibly detailed homes of the 18th century. Your trip to Esfahan will be one that you will never forget and will give you a unique insight into human history. Make your trip to this city perfect, by traveling with this list of top things to do, in Esfahan, Iran.

1. Come to one of the largest city squares in the world, known as the "Image of the World"

From top of Aali Quapou
Source: Photo by user elishka used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Naghsh-e-Jahan, also known as Meidan Emam, is a fascinating city center, built in the 17th century. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is marked for its extreme beauty in architecture, as well as the landmarks that surround the square. This is definitely a great way to begin your trip to Esfahan and introduce yourself to the immense history and culture, throughout the city.


Address: Isfahan Province, Isfahan, نقش جهان، Iran

Website: Naghsh-e-Jahan

2. Take a wild ride through the desert while witnessing the culture of Nomads

Iran - Village fantôme détruit par tremblement de terre
Source: Photo by user Jeanne Menjoulet used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Ride through desert terrain on a 4X4 and take a tour of abandoned cities, as well as of the nomadic lifestyle unique to this area of the world. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about a culture that has survived in one of the most difficult environments and has helped civilization thrive, through trade.

Off Road Tour

Website: Off Road Tour

3. Tour the city and walk through the old and the new

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Reza Haji-pour رض... used under CC BY 3.0

Enjoy a VIP tour, with airport service, that will take you through major landmarks and tourist sites for either a full day or half day. With these tours, you will be able to see everything, from bath houses to museums and gardens. With the comfort of your own guide, you will be able to gain insight into the daily lifestyles of the people of Esfahan and what makes their city so special.

City Tour

Website: City Tour

4. Explore the musical history of human civilizations at the Music Museum

Two Iranian Wind Instruments
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Claire H. used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The musical instruments of Iran are showcased here at the Isfahan Music Museum, but the interesting aspect of visiting this museum is that it gives a glimpse of how the instruments were then carried on to other cities around the world and incorporated into a wide variety of musical traditions. This is definitely a must see for music enthusiasts, as well as history seekers, who enjoy learning about the value of Persia’s past and influence.

Isfahan Music Museum

Address: No.74, Mehrdad St. (Shahid Ghandi), Tohid St, Isfahan, Iran

Website: Isfahan Music Musuem (in Persian)

5. View Esfahan from the top of Sofeh Mountain

Kooh Sofe (Isfahan)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eh kia used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sofeh Mountain allows for night hikes, as well as day time hikes, where you can look at Esfahan from a unique perspective. There are trails available for the novice hiker, as well as the experienced, so make sure you enjoy this site that combines nature with the city.

Sofeh Mountain

Website: Sofeh Mountain

6. The bridges in Esfahan are just as famous for their beauty as they are for their purpose

Si-o-se Pol, Isfahan, Irán, 2016-09-19, DD 07-15 HDR PAN
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Crossing over the Zayandeh River, the bridges of Esfahan are historic landmarks, that tell of the history of the region, as well as of the skill and architecture. During your trip to Esfahan, you will enjoy the opportunity to view these bridges and their glory, as they remain in tact after hundreds of years.

Isfahan Bridges over the Zayandeh River

Website: Isfahan Bridges over the Zayandeh River

7. Surround yourself in 24 karat gold in the Honar Gold Bazaar

Dubai gold market
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joi used under CC BY 2.0

Visiting an ancient city that has been known for its riches in culture and in wealth means flourishing markets or bazaars. In Esfahan, visitors often enjoy a trip to the Honar Gold Bazaar, known for its gold shops, that show the workmanship and stunning beauty in the craft of jewelry.

Honar Gold Bazaar

Address: Chahar Bagh Avenue Esfahan, Iran

Website: Honar Gold Bazaar

8. Spend a leisurely day outdoors at Nazhvan Forest Park

Beautiful view of winter forest in Iran - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user matin fattahi used under CC BY 3.0

If you’re looking to have some downtime while you’re visiting Esfahan, consider taking a day off from all the tourist sites and relaxing at Nazhvan Forest Park. This beautiful park boasts lovely trees and activities, such as barbecuing, picnicking and horseback riding. It’s a great way to unwind like the locals.

Nazhvan Forest Park

Website: Nazhvan Forest Park

9. Take in the mountains at Kolah Gazi National Park

Mountain Goat Kid
Source: Photo by user Brendan Lally used under CC BY 2.0

As a sanctuary to many indigenous species, this national park is home to many protected forms of wildlife, yet contains a rich heritage. The Kolah Gazi National Park also contains Kolah Gazi Mountain, suitable for climbing and it has several educational pathways. This park was once the hunting ground for kings but was later designated a protected area for the vast amount of fauna.

Kolah Gazi National Park

Website: Kolah Gazi National Park

10. Shop, live and play at Isfahan City Center

Entrance of the largest shopping mall in Iran, Isfahan City Center
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ehsan shariati used under CC BY-SA 4.0

As the world’s fifth largest mall, Isfahan City Center has it all, from shopping and cinemas to hotels and office complexes. This incredibly modern shopping center is almost a paradox to the ancient culture that presides in Esfahan, but it shows how the city has continued to grow and progress.

Isfahan City Center

Address: Isfahan City Center Across Sepahan Shahr 2nd Entrance, Dastgerdy Hwy. Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Website: Isfahan City Center (in Persian)

11. Walk through an ancient house, with marvels from floor to ceiling

Casa histórica de Abbasi, Kashan, Irán, 2016-09-19, DD 75
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Abbasian House, in Esfahan, is a tribute to the Kashani houses and their unique form of architecture, that was developed to support their way of life. With courtyards and rooms meant for special receptions, ceiling heights to accommodate weather patterns and architectural details that are stunning by any standards, the Abbasian House is a site you won’t want to miss, during your trip to Esfahan.

The Abbasian Historical House

Address: Isfahan Province, Kashan, Alavi Street, Iran

Website: Abbasian Historical House

Live in the modern day while marveling at the past, in Esfahan, Iran

This historic city, with its ties to human civilization, is a thrilling vacation waiting to happen, especially for those who wish to wander ancient structures, as well as learn about the history and way of life for the people of this region. With its amazing natural landscapes, that have been admired and cared for by thriving kingdoms, Esfahan is home to a range of beauty that can be seen in its bridges, mosques, centers and mountains. Your trip to Esfahan, Iran, is one that you will treasure and hold dear, for years to come.

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