Shiraz Travel Guide and Shiraz Attractions in Three Days

The city of Shiraz, set in a fertile valley in the southwest of Iran, is one of the most important in all of the country, being especially renowned in the Middle East for its gardens, mosques and culture. This Shiraz travel guide will highlight the best Shiraz attractions to visit if you’re in the city for 2-3 days.

Besides being home to the lovely Shiraz attractions (of which there are many), the city also makes for a good base from which to explore the world-famous ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae, details of which are included towards the end of this Shiraz travel guide.

Colorful Shiraz
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Getting to Shiraz

Shiraz is one of the most accessible cities in Iran, which makes Shiraz travel rather easy and uncomplicated. Shiraz is well-connected to other cities in the country with buses running regular routes to and from Shiraz, as well as other major cities.

You can take a look at the bus schedules to and from Shiraz, and book buses on 1st Quest.

The city’s international airport receives flights not only from major cities in Iran, but also from other cities outside of it, and indeed, Shiraz may be a good point of entry into the country. Domestic flights within Iran are usually relatively affordable and can also be booked on 1st Quest.

Detail of the pink Mosque in Shiraz

Shiraz is also home to a railway station which is located outside of the city centre. Train run different routes, with Shiraz being connected to Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad via a railway network.

Shiraz travel can be made even easier by utilising a private transfer to get to the city, thus having the option of stopping at various spots along the way, like we did. Although this may not be the most affordable way of getting to Shiraz, it made most sense to us, since we were short on time and wanted to visit as many Shiraz attractions as possible.

Our driver picked us at our hotel in Isfahan, and stopped us at Pasargadae, Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam on our way to Shiraz, convenient since these main attractions were on route to Shiraz. This way we did not have to backtrack on our route, given that we were short on time.

Intricate design of the Pink Mosque

We booked the transfer with a company called Shirdal Airya with whom we enjoyed a fantastic service. The full day transfer from Isfahan to Shiraz with the stops (and sufficient time at each stop – the driver would tell us how much time we should spend at each attraction) cost €90, which in Iran is quite pricey.

We booked the transfer when we were outside of the country, for convenience’s sake, but we are convinced that had we negotiated a price when already in Iran, it would have been considerably cheaper.

1st Quest also offers transfer services between different cities.

Read more about traveling in Iran independently

If, on the other hand, you prefer traveling directly to Shiraz and would like to take a tour to Persepolis and Pasargadae, once you are already in the city, consider taking a full day tour option from Shiraz with 1st Quest.

Fine detail of the furnishings of the historical house of Naranjestan Qavam in Shiraz
Persepolis Structures

Shiraz Attractions

If you’re only in Shiraz for a short while, this Shiraz travel guide will help you figure out the most important Shiraz attractions to visit. Out of all the Shiraz attractions located within the city, these are the major Shiraz attractions we felt deserved to be included most on our itinerary.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque)

The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, more popularly known among tourists as the Pink Mosque is one of the most well-known of all Shiraz attractions, and it’s not hard to tell why. The Pink Mosque is famous for its multi-coloured stained glass which give rise to beautiful light patterns inside the mosque, and is nowadays a very popular selfie spot.

Michelle at the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque - Shiraz Travel

Although we loved visiting the Pink Mosque, we must have been there on a particularly prominent day since it was packed with crowds of tourists trying to get the best shot. One tourist even had three professional cameramen following her around! We found this a little irritating to say the least (even though we were trying to get some decent shots ourselves), but we believe that this is not a daily occurrence.

The best light effects apparently occur in the morning, between 9am and 11am which is when we were there, and they are truly magical, but do expect crowds. We thought that the pinkish tiles around the courtyard walls are also immensely beautiful, so do not limit yourself to seeing only the coloured stained glass!

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque)

Inside the Pink Mosque in Shiraz
Large crowds at the Pink Mosque

Naranjestan Qavam

This absolutely gorgeous historical house, decorated with wood carvings, mirrors, stucco, lovely tiles, and painted ceilings is one of the main Shiraz attractions. The house is located in a beautiful garden embellished with an abundance of sour orange trees from which the name is derived, and is well known for its symmetry and magnificent examples of Persian artistic techniques.

We were told that the garden is more beautiful in spring when the trees are in full bloom, but we thought it was rather pretty during our visit in the winter too! There’s also a café within the site, if you’d like to sit down for a little break. Naranjestan Qavam is located close to the Pink Mosque, so they are easy to visit at the same time.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Naranjestan Qavam

Beams of the historical house of Naranjestan Qavam
The gorgeous historical house of Naranjestan Qavam in Shiraz, Iran

Vakil Bazaar

We obviously had to experience Shiraz’s bazaar, but it was easily the most touristic out of the bazaars we had been to so far, including the Grand bazaar in Tehran, the bazaar in Qazvin, the Tabriz Bazaar and the Bazaar-e Bozorg in Isfahan. Having been to so many bazaars by this time, we felt that it was a little more of the same, though still enjoyable of course!

Find it on a map! – Vakil Bazaar

Vakil Mosque

The Vakil Mosque is one of the more popular Shiraz attractions, although we feel that the Pink Mosque is more beautiful, and should be the one on your itinerary, if you’re only planning on visiting one mosque.

The tilework here, again, is magnificent, as is almost all the tilework we saw in Iran! Really, we can’t get over the beauty of Persian art! We were surprised to find that there were not as many people here, as at other Shiraz attractions, so we were pretty chuffed to have the beautiful, multi-pillared mosque mostly to ourselves.

Entrance fee: 200,000 rial (20,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Vakil Mosque

Detail at the Vakil Mosque

Vakil bath house

We’re including the Vakil bath house on our Shiraz travel list for completeness’ sake since we didn’t actually go in, seeing that we had actually visited a number of bath houses by the time we visited Shiraz and preferred spending our limited time elsewhere.

However, the Vakil Mosque, Bazaar, and Bath house and all located very close to one another and are normally visited together.

Entrance fee: 300,000 rial (30,000 toman) each

Tomb of Hafez

You will surely have heard of the Persian poet Hafez, probably even before your visit to Iran. The poet is revered in the country, with many families having a copy of his work at home, so it follows that the Tomb of Hafez would feature in this Shiraz travel guide.

Hafez’s tomb in Shiraz is somewhat of a pilgrimage site for Iranians, some of whom travel to Shiraz specifically to pay their respects to the poet. The tomb is located inside a pavilion within the Musalla Gardens.

If you’re not particularly interested in the poet, you might feel that this Shiraz attraction is worth skipping, however we do encourage you to visit if you would like to observe the degree of respect and admiration which Iranians have for their poets and their artistic culture.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Tomb of Hafez

Tomb of the poet Hafez in Shiraz

Tomb of Saadi

Just like Hafez, Saadi is one of Iran’s best-loved poets, and the tomb of Saadi is one of the most popular Shiraz attractions among Iranians. We felt that the tomb was rather atmospheric and we were happy to just sit on one of the benches under the trees and watch some excited Iranians visit the tomb.

That said, it does not have the same special meaning to us as tourists as it does to Iranians, and we felt that there was nothing extraordinary about the building either.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each.

Find it on a map! – Tomb of Saadi

Tomb of the poet Saadi in Shiraz

Arg of Karim Khan

We were lucky enough to be staying at a hotel right opposite the Arg of Karim Khan, so that we had splendid views of the fortress from our bedroom window.

The Arg of Kharim Khan is actually a little citadel that was built as part of a complex during the Zand Dynasty. The tower and walls are extremely well-preserved and nowadays it has been renovated into a museum, and complemented with some good lighting at night.

Most of the citadel is taken up by a massive courtyard and some artisanal shops can be found in the side quarters. We genuinely preferred the outside view of the walls and towers to the inside of the citadel.

You may notice that the southeastern tower is slightly leaning, after having subsided onto an underground cistern.

Entrance fee: 300,000 rial (30,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Arg of Karim Khan

Arg of Karim Khan in the centre of Shira


I’m not sure whether to recommend the Bagh-e-Eram as one of the best Shiraz attractions, but I’m including it in this Shiraz travel guide anyway, because we enjoyed strolling through the gardens, although we felt that they could be better maintained.

The Bagh-e-Eram is a botanical garden with large cypress trees, and lots of flowers including bushes of different-coloured roses which are rather pretty. We think that perhaps the garden may be a little more atmospheric in the springtime, which is why it deserves to be included in this Shiraz travel list, although walking through was pleasant enough, though slightly disappointing in November.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Bagh-e-Eram

Bagh-e-Eram gardens in Shiraz
Michelle's picture moment

Shah Cheragh Mosque

The Shah Cheragh Mosque is a funerary monument and a pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims, but is open (for free) to visitors of any faith. Non-muslims will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide who will explain all about the history of the shrine, and women must wear a chador.

The inside of the mosque is bright and shiny, with some really great mirror work, and whilst apparently the best time of day to experience the beauty of the mosque is sunset time, we thought it was worth visiting even at other times of the day (we were there early afternoon).

Find it on a map! – Shah Cheragh Mosque

Shah Cheragh Mosque
Inside the Shah Cheragh Mosque

Pars Museum

We weren’t overly impressed with the octagonal Pars Museum, located within Nazar Garden, feeling that it was underwhelming when compared with some of the other Shiraz attractions. Although we’re including it in this Shiraz travel guide for completeness’ sake, we felt that the museum collection did not really justify the entrance fee.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Pars Museum

Details of the Pars Museum, Shiraz Travel

Quran Gate (Darvazeh-e Quran)

The importance of the Quran Gate is historical, as well as the fact that it denotes the entry into Shiraz, and therefore worth making a stop here if you’re in the area. There’s nothing particularly special about the gate, however it is one of Shiraz’s landmarks, and there’s also a hiking trail close by which leads to some stunning views across the city.

It is also located close by to the popular Haft Khan restaurant complex where we had dinner one time, and which we will mention further down in this Shiraz travel guide.

Guided walking tours of Shiraz city, including many of the above Shiraz attractions, can be booked here.

Find it on a map! – Quran Gate

Quran Gate (Darvazeh-e Quran) in Shiraz.

Attractions outside of Shiraz

Some of the better-known Shiraz attractions are not actually in Shiraz but located close by, however travelers often use Shiraz as their base for visiting Persepolis and Pasargadae.

We believe that unless you’re on a private transfer like we were, the most convenient way of visiting the both sites in the same day is by taking a day tour or a private taxi, since Persepolis is located about 60km outside of Shiraz (with Naqsh-e Rostam also found close by), and Pasargadae, around 90km outside of Shiraz.

There are random reports of getting there via public transport too, however we won’t be including them in our Shiraz travel guide since we haven’t actually verified them.

Bas relief at Persepolis near Shiraz


The archaeological site of Pasargadae was built by Cyrus the Great as the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and is now one of Iran’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Several remains and ruins can be observed at the site, and lie scattered over a pretty wide area. The complex is centred around Cyrus the Great’s actual tomb.

You can either walk from one part of the site to the other, or take the shuttle bus which runs in between them for 30,000 rial (3,000 toman) each.

It was super-hot and dusty during our visit in November so be sure to carry plenty of water, you will probably need it! You should manage to see all parts of the site in about 2 hours, but obviously the more time to have to take in every detail, the better!

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Pasargadae

Tomb of Cyrus the great, Pasargardae, Shiraz
Remains at the Unesco Site of Pasargadae - travle shiraz


Persepolis is perhaps Iran’s most well-known ancient site and for good reason! The large UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site houses the remains of the capital city built by Darius I, who replaced the previous capital Pasargadae with Persepolis. Sadly, it was later plundered and destroyed by Alexander the Great. It is a site of great historical importance, not only ancient, but also contemporary.

Everything about the ruins in Persepolis is magnificent, and it is easy to see how this was one of the greatest cities of its time. The remaining sculptures and carvings are beyond impressive and outright overwhelming, so much so, that I needed quite a bit of time to take it all in. We only spent 2 hours at the site, but would recommend 3-4 hours easy.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Persepolis

Griffin statue at Persepolis - Travel Shiraz
Persepolis at Sunset - Shiraz Travel
Persepolis, Persia's old capital - How to get your Iran Visa

Naqsh-e Rostam

The ancient Necropolis of Naqsh-e Rostam is located 10 km away from Persepolis, so it is very easy to visit on the same trip. The site consists of large tombs of ancient kings cut into the cliff face.

Of the four cross-like tombs, only the tomb of Darius I has been identified with certainty, since it is accompanied by a trilingual inscription, however archaeologists believe the others to be those of Darius’ successors, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I and Darius II.

Entrance fee: 500,000 rial (50,000 toman) each

Find it on a map! – Naqsh-e Rostam

Bas reliefs at Naqsh-e Rostam
Naqsh-e Rostam - Tomb of Darius I, Travel Shiraz

Ghalat Village

If you’re in Shiraz for a while, you might want to consider spending a couple of days hiking in Ghalat Village, a little less than an hour’s drive away from Shiraz. Ghalat is a little village surrounded by woodland, close by the mountains, where young Shirazians enjoy spending their weekends.

It is very easy to reach Ghalat using public transport (bus) or a taxi.

See our dedicated post about Ghalat Village here.

Find it on a map! – Ghalat

Ghalat Canyon - Shiraz Travel

Maharloo Lake

The pink salt lake of Maharloo, located about an hour away from Shiraz, is a spectacle to behold, and should be included on your Shiraz travel list if you are spending a couple of extra days in the area.

We didn’t get to go there since we were told that it wasn’t as pink in November when we were there, but imagine our surprise when we flew over it on our way to Qeshm, and saw that it was as pink as pink could be!

The degree of pinkness is said to be seasonal, and is due to the cyanobacteria living in the lake. There are reports online that the lake has dried up and that it is no longer pink, however we can definitely attest to its pinkness, at least from above!

There is no public transport to Maharloo Lake, so you would need to get a taxi there.

Find it on a map! – Maharloo Lake

Where to stay in Shiraz

The Keyvan Hotel was probably one of the best accommodation deals we came across in all of Iran. We got a massive room with a lovely view of the Arg of Karim Khan located right opposite the hotel, with a large, private bathroom, for just €10 / night.

Additionally, the complimentary breakfast served in a small breakfast room by the lobby, was abundant and pretty tasty!

You can book The Keyvan Hotel or other hotels in Shiraz here.

The Arg, just outside of the Arg Hotel in Shiraz

Where to eat in Shiraz

There were two restaurants we enjoyed particularly, during our time in Shiraz.

The first is Qavam Restaurant, a small place where we enjoyed especially tasty dishes a few times, located not far from our hotel. The Kashk e Bademjan and Dizi were especially lovely at Qavam, and highly recommended!

The second restaurant we enjoyed is Haft Khan, a large and very popular restaurant / cafe complex spread on four floors, clearly accustomed to hosting foreigners as well as celebratory meals for locals. I tried the Tachin here, and whilst it was clearly prepared very well, I found it to be too buttery for my palate – no fault of the restaurant though! Everything else was just great!

Haft Khan serves different cuisines in different restaurants on separate floors. We only tried the dishes at Farood, the traditional Persian restaurant.

For more about traditional Persian dishes, read our dedicated post.

Food in shiraz
Read more about Iran!

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This #Shiraz #travel #guide will highlight the best Shiraz attractions to visit if you’re in the city for 2-3 days. #irantravel #iranissafe #toptouristattractions #tourism #travel #travelstoke #offthebeat #iran #attractions #worldheritage
This #Shiraz #travel #guide will highlight the best Shiraz attractions to visit if you’re in the city for 2-3 days. #irantravel #iranissafe #toptouristattractions #tourism #travel #travelstoke #offthebeat #iran #attractions #worldheritage
This #Shiraz #travel #guide will highlight the best Shiraz attractions to visit if you’re in the city for 2-3 days. #irantravel #iranissafe #toptouristattractions #tourism #travel #travelstoke #offthebeat #iran #attractions #worldheritage

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