Sunday, August 03, 2014

Shiraz, a city to love, a culture to live

Shiraz is one of the oldest cities in Iran, also one among most five populous and largest cities in Iran. almost located n the southern part of Iran, close to Persian Gulf and laying in the foothills of Zagros Mountains, roughly 900 km away from the Capital Tehran.

but these are just numbers and stats! Shiraz is a city to love, not to count! Shiraz has been defined by more than 2500 years of history and culture, since the Achaemenid Empire and Dynasty ruled Shiraz or Pars province to be capital of their Empire.

Shahcheragh Mosque

With such history, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, poetry and genuine and noble people. Shiraz was also the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79), which many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored, like Arg Karimkhan, Vakil Bazzar, Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque and many others.

In modern Iran, almost everybody seems to like Shiraz city and Shirazi people :) holding graves of some of the most important and popular poets like Sa'di and Hafiz, alongside with historical sites like Persepolis and Pasargad, Iranian people are sympathetic about this city. Cyrus the great and Darius' cemetery located in Pars (Fars) province, adds tons of feelings and emotions among those who believe in Persia's Empire supremacy.

Arg Karim Khan

all these facts and figures haven't caused Shirazi people to be disrespectful to other citizens and nationalities. if you have once visited places and cities in the heart of Europe with people who are deeply concerned about their race, you will cherish such manner in Shiraz. a city with stuck up nose citizens has a poisoned spirit above the houses and monuments!

how to travel to Shiraz?
for visiting any city in Iran (except for free zones like Kish island) you will need a Visa from Iran's embassy (or consulate) in your country or countries who accredited with your homeland politically. Visa on arrival is available for some nationalities (ask your local travel agency or embassy office)

you can fly to Shiraz int'l airport from Istanbul, Dubai, Doha, London, Kuala Lumpur etc
you can also fly to Tehran or other int'l airports and travel to Shiraz via air from almost all the cities in Iran, or travel by bus or train. price of air ticket from Tehran to Shiraz varies in a range of 50 to 100 USD (one leg) and the flight is roughly one hour.

bus tickets are cheaper, around 15-20 USD and the trips takes 12 hours.

where to stay in Shiraz? accommodation options
Shiraz has many hotels as it is a well known destination for most of tourists coming to Iran from the very beginning. 5 star hotels like Shiraz Hotel, Chamran Hotel, Pars etc and many 4 and 3 star hotels. like all the other cities in Iran, regretfully Shiraz suffers from lack of some tourism infrastructures, but with some study and research before your schedule, you can guarantee your trip out of bad surprises :)

planning a budget trip? back pack lovers read here!
a backpack travel to Shiraz with your partner would be memorable
you can travel to Iran from land borders in south and travel to Shiraz with bus for as low as 7 USD. in Shiraz there are some motels you can stay for below 10 USD per night. also try, which many from Shiraz are offering a coach or bed for single or couple travelers. once again Shirazi people are greatly welcome and kind to tourist which will definitely surprise you!

Eating in Shiraz
Shiraz enjoys good restaurants and meals like many other Iranian cities. Sea food is a must to try in this city! and there should a "must try before you die" in your food bucket list called Kalam Polo!! it is Cabbage, rice and meat baked in steam with herbs and spices. foods can be spicy in Shiraz.

if you are Vegetarian, like all other cities in Iran, you may face difficulty in Shiraz.

where to go?
what a silly question! keep calm and walk away! going every where in Shiraz is pleasant :D many places reminds you of the greatest historical places in Italy or Greece. and some streets are really sleepless! try this link on Lonelyplanet

if you have enjoyed Shiraz before, please send me your travel reviews to be published here :) send them to me by email to honarparvar (at) hotmail (dot) com