How to travel to Yazd and top things to do in Yazd

Even if you’re in Iran only for a short while it is very likely that you will travel to Yazd. The beautiful desert city is one of the most popular destinations in Iran (together with Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Kashan), known for its intriguing badgirs and adobe houses, somehow reminiscent of the 90’s version of Prince of Persia.

After they travel to Yazd, many visitors consider the region to be their favourite part of Iran. Mysterious mud brick lanes and alleyways in the old part of the city make up a true maze, in which getting lost is as inevitable as it is fascinating.

Visiting the large, conical Zoroastrian towers of silence, making your way through underwater water chambers, and peering out on the mesmerising rooftops are some of the top things to do in Yazd which make the city unique. Let us guide you through the rest!

Badgirs of Yazd - things to do in yazd
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How to Travel to Yazd

Yazd is one of the more popular cities in Iran, so travel to Yazd is not particularly complicated.

By Air

Yazd is home to an airport with flights to major cities in Iran such as Tehran and Mashhad. You can check and book flights to travel to Yazd on 1st Quest.

By Bus

Bus travel in Iran is efficient, especially if you take the VIP buses. Buses run to and from Yazd from major cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Kerman, thus making travel to Yazd very easy. You can check the schedule and book your bus on 1st Quest.

By private transport

By far, the most convenient option of travel to Yazd is by private car, although it is also the most expensive! We try to avoid private transport when possible, but we do tend to book private cars when we are interested in stopping to see attractions en-route to a destination, as it often makes more sense time-wise, than having to track back half way.

Since we really wanted to visit Meymand troglodyte village, Saryazd fortress, Caravanserai Zein-o-din and Fahraj on our way to Yazd from Kerman, we decided to book a private transfer prior to our arrival in Iran, with the company Shirdal Airya for €80 including the above-mentioned stops.

The owner of Akhavan Hotel in Kerman later informed us that he would have offered the same tour to us at a cheaper price, so it might be worth waiting until you’re in Iran if you’re looking to book any private transfers!

We then booked another private transfer from Yazd to Kashan so that we could stop at Kharanaq village, Chak Chak, Meybod and Na’in for the price of €100.

We’re including a section about all the fascinating places to visit on the way to, and from Yazd in a section of this blog post, further down.

Decorations at the Jameh Mosque in Yazd

Top Things to do in Yazd

Given that there are so may beautiful attractions just outside of Yazd, you may be wondering about the top things to do in Yazd itself. Here’s a list and a short description of what we consider to be the top things to do in Yazd, together with practical details. We managed to visit all the below sites in two days in Yazd.

Old City

The old city of Yazd is brimming with character and tradition. We were lucky enough to be staying in a guesthouse in the heart of the old city from where we could observe the badgirs as we enjoyed our rooftop breakfasts. We really recommend staying in the old city when you travel to Yazd!

Walking along the narrow alleyways and adobe houses of Yazd is an experience in itself, which should be first on your list of top things to do in Yazd. It will serve as a wonderful introduction to the rest of the city!

Find it on a map! – Wheatgrass Eco-Tourism Lodge

Old City of Yazd
Decoration at the JAmeh Mosque in Yazd
The old City of Yazd

Jameh Mosque

One of the things to do in Yazd is definitely to visit its imposing Friday mosque, with the very tall minarets, the highest in all of Iran apparently. What impressed us most though, was the beautiful, (mostly blue) tilework, some with intricate calligraphy. It is located the end of a shopping street from where I bought a beautiful handbag and matching shoes for a fantastic price!

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

Intricate carving at the JAmeh Mosque - Things to do in Yazd
Jameh Mosque in Yazd
Jameh Mosque in Yazd

Amir Chakhmaq Complex

This lovely complex is one of the best-known symbols of Yazd, and a must-visit attraction when you travel to Yazd. It looks amazing in good lighting, but unfortunately, we had gloomy weather when we were there.

The three-storey façade is rather imposing, and dominates the rest of the square, where you can find some lovely sweet shops, selling all kind of Iranian goodies at great prices. We bought so many boxes to take home with us that it was quite a challenge to walk back to the hotel!

The square is said to be even more impressive at night!

Entrance fee: none

Amir Chakhmaq Complex - Things to do in Yazd

Water Museum

One of the most interesting things to do in Yazd is to visit its water museum, showcasing how water was harnessed and managed in the desert city of Yazd, a challenge which was intelligently overcome.

The qanat system was used to carry water from the mountains down to the desert city and into the houses, allowing traditional sustainable water sharing and practices, which are just as relevant today as they were so many years back.

The museum is housed inside a rather pretty mansion with a garden, and is definitely a worthy attraction for anyone interested in traditional practices.

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

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

Do be sure to read up a little about Zoroastrianism before going to Yazd, as you will come across the practice a few times. Fire is a sacred element in the religion, and a flame is kept burning at all times within the fire temple in Yazd. It is said that this particular flame has been burning since AD 470.

Only Zoroastrians are allowed near the holy fire, but non-Zoroastrians can observe it through glass panels. Besides being of interest, we thought that the temple was a lovely place of silence and peace. Not being religiously-inclined (though particularly interested in religious buildings), the temple actually sparked our interest in learning more about a religion and practice we were very unaware of before our trip to Iran.

Entrance fee: 400,000 rial (40,000 toman)

Zoroastrian fire temple in Yazd
Zoroastrian symbols explained

Towers of Silence

From the fire temple, we headed out to the towers of silence, another example of Zoroastrian beliefs and practices.

The two structures (dakhmas) are built on the hills surrounding Yazd and were used to dispose of corpses by leaving them to birds of prey to feed on, as was the practice of Zoroastrians who believe that dead bodies (which are now void of the spiritual element) are impure and may be taken over by demons, and hence, should be left to the elements. Once the corpse was stripped of the flesh, the bones would be thrown into a large well in the middle of the structure.

Tower of Silence in Yazd

Below the hills are other buildings also used in the funerary process. You can walk up the hill to access the dakhma and view it internally. The guy at the entrance was kind enough to hold our bags until we climbed up, but it is not too tough a climb. There are excellent information boards which will guide you through the Zoroastrian burial process. Dakhmas were made illegal in Iran in the 1970’s and practising Zoroastrians are now buried underground in tombs lined with cement.

We got a Snapp! ride to the towers which are at the edge of the city for 75,000 rial (7,500 toman) and later actually found It very difficult to get a Snapp! ride back. We finally found one, after requesting a ride on the app multiple times, for a price of 110,000 rial (11,000 toman), so we do advise you to organise your return trip to the city centre beforehand!

Entrance fee: 400,000 rial (40,000 toman)

The second tower of silence in Yazd
The pit on top of the tower of silence

Aleksander’s Prison

We’re including this on our list of things to do in Yazd, because we did visit, however we found the place a little confusing since it was just a structure housing a number of workshops (which sold some beautiful handicrafts).

The building itself is pretty old and unique and probably that was the actual attraction, but we felt that it did not merit the entrance fee, so we don’t actually suggest going in, unless you are really, really interested in ancient Persian architecture.

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

Alexander's Prison

Kushkno Underground Water Mill

We thought that this ancient underground mill powered by water from the qanats was pretty cool, and we do suggest that you visit when you travel to Yazd. You should visit the water museum first though so that you get a good idea about how water harnessing in Yazd used to work, and so that your visit to the water mill will have added value.

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

Kushkno Underground Water Mill

Dowlat Abad Garden

The beautiful gardens of Dowlat Abad are a worthy addition on your list of things to do in Yazd, although if you’re tired of Persian gardens, you might want to give them a miss. There is nothing spectacular about them, but they are very serene and lovely to walk through.

There’s also a wind tower inside the garden which you can ‘try’ – stand under it and marvel and the ingenuity of Iran’s natural air conditioners! We actually weren’t keen on this since it was already pretty cold when we were there!

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

Dowlat Abad Gardens
Decorations at the Dowlat Abad Gardens - things to do in Yazd

Mirror and Lights Museum

This rather unconventional museum is set in a beautiful large mansion which itself is worth visiting for its beauty and architecture. The museum houses antique artifacts related to lighting and mirrors, which are also cleverly placed within the rooms.

The highlight is an elegant plaster curtain which is actually unrelated to mirrors and lighting! We weren’t overly impressed with curtain – it was just ok.

Entrance fee: 100,000 rial (10,000 toman)

Mirror and lights museum in Yazd

Automobile Museum

This museum which housed lots of hand-made cars, was far more interesting to Nikki than it was to me. We actually found it by accident! He thought that the small collection of classic vehicles was pretty cool and he even got to ‘try out’ a few!

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

Automobile museum in Yazd

Here’s an idea of where you can stop, and what you can see, when using private transport to travel from Kerman to Yazd and from Yazd to Kashan. The journey turned out to be an utterly fascinating trip.

Places to visit around Yazd


The ancient troglodyte village of Meymand is a little similar to Kandovan, but with differently shaped rock houses. It was almost deserted during our visit, except for a few cats running around. Indeed, we wondered whether the village was actually inhabited! All the locals must have been busy inside their little rock houses.

If this is the first time visiting a rock / cave village, you might find the experience quite fascinating, however we thought that Kandovan had somehow more allure. It is also possible to sleep in one of the local houses in Meymand, although you would probably need to arrange this through an agency. There seems to be a local rock restaurant too, but it was shut during our morning visit.

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

The village of Meymand - Things to do in Yazd
Cave dwellings of Meymand
Dwellings in Meymand - Things to do in Yazd

Caravanserai Zein-o-din

The ancient 16th– century caravanserai still welcomes guests within its sleeping halls, where original features have been retained. It is one of only two caravanserais in Iran built with circular towers. The other one, located close to Isfahan, is in a derelict state. 

The sleeping arrangements consist of small private stilted enclosures with carpets and mattresses, situated in long corridors. We did not spend the night here, but we had tea in one of the renovated halls, where a group of tourists were being served lunch. Bathrooms/ toilets are communal. Apparently, the night skies are pretty spectacular at this caravanserai, due to the lack of light pollution.

Entrance fee: 100,000 rial (10,000 toman)

Inside the Caravansarai
Caravansarai Zein o din - things to do in Yazd

Saryazd Fortress

The ancient Sassanid dynasty fortress is known to the oldest ‘bank’ in the world, and its ruined adobe structures are beyond intriguing, especially if you are as fascinated by ancient buildings as we are!

The castle was used to store grains and food stuff, and eventually people used it to store their money and gold within its chambers. The fortress was considered to be quite impenetrable due to two main walls and two entrance gates.

We were the only visitors inside the fortress, and had a great time climbing up and down adobe stairs leading to different floors and mud structures. The castle does not seem to have undergone a whole lot of changes and we felt as though we were really taken back in time there. Despite having visited the adobe citadels of Bam and Rayen, the smaller Saryazd was probably our favourite of all!

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

Saryazd Fortress - Things to do in Yazd
Inside Saryazd Fortress


The little village of Fahraj, 30km away from our final destination Yazd, was our last stop during our travel to Yazd. The sleepy mud brick village is known for its very ancient Jameh brick mosque, thought to be the first mosque to ever have been built in all of Iran.

The village is quite small and there’s not much else besides the mosque and the peaceful vibe of the narrow, silent roads. We wouldn’t come here on a day trip exclusively to visit the village, but Fahraj makes a worth addition to a multi-attraction trip.

Fahraj village

Kharanaq Village

Kharanaq village is yet another labyrinthine mud brick village… we visited so many of them in Iran especially around the area of Yazd, but loved all of them!

Our first impression of Kharanaq was its similarity to some ancient, biblical village. It was almost completely deserted and very exciting to explore with great views of the surrounding area. Right next to the village is a restored, rather pretty caravanserai, but we were far more fascinated with the crumbling village ruins.

The ruins include a rather mysterious ‘shaking minaret’ and is one of apparently three moving minarets in Iran, and the reason as to why they can be shaken, even by hand, is not known. The minaret in Kharanaq is entirely built with mud, and devoid of any tile work, as opposed to the other shaking minarets in Isfahan. 

Entrance fee caravanserai: 50,000 rial (5,000 toman)

Entrance fee village: 150,000 rial (15,000 toman)

Shaking Minaret
Kharanaq Village - things to do in Yazd


Meybod is yet another mud-brick, desert town, not in ruins this time and certainly not abandoned. Our interest in Meybod was its number of attractions namely, a large castle, an ancient ‘ice house’ (or Yakhchal) which could be visited, and lovely pigeon tower.

Narein (Narenj) Castle, constructed from mud bricks, as most of the buildings in the area were, is semi-preserved, and considering its buildings materials, a true testimony of how mud brick structures can be pretty resilient. There’s a great view of Meybod from the top of the windy castle!

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

Narein Castle in Meybod

The Ice House or Yakhchal, in the centre of the town is similar in appearance to the one we visited in Kerman, however this one has been restored. A guide will explain how ice was made and stored within the ice houses in the middle of the desert… the ice was still preserved during the summer months. A great feat of ingenuity in the midst of the desert!

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

Ice house (Yakhchal) in Meybod

The Pigeon Tower is another example of the smart concepts local people came up with. Pigeon towers can be found in different parts of Iran and were used to house birds who would excrete valuable guano used by locals as fertilizer for their crops. This particular tower housed up to 4,000 pigeons and the architecture inside is as unique as it is magnificent!

There’s also a caravanserai in the middle of town which is ok to see, but not different to many of the caravanserais we had already been to.

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

Pigeon Tower in Meybod
Inside the Pigeon Tower in Meybod

 Chak Chak

I’m not too sure of how to describe Chak Chak and whether it is worth a visit. The small village perched on a cliff face is home to a sacred Zoroastrian fire temple which is visited by pilgrims mostly in the month of June. In fact, some structures in the village have been constructed just to accommodate pilgrims.

The shrine consists of a burning flame in a cave which was soaking wet when we went there. There are a bunch to steep steps leading up to the village as well as the shrine which was closed when we got there, but we found a man who was apparently the caretaker of the shrine, who opened it for us.

You need to take off your shoes before entering the shrine and there’s a notice indicating that menstruating women should not enter. The roof of the cavern is constantly dripping, so do NOT attempt to walk around in your socks like I did (Chak Chak actually means ‘drip drip’).

We simply walked around the shrine (myself in wet socks) and observed the flame in silence. There was not much else to do, and having been to the Zoroastrian temple in Yazd, we did not consider the shrine in Chak Chak to be more interesting or unique. Of course, our perception of it would have been very different had we been practising Zoroastrians!

We think that the scenery around the village of Chak Chak must be amazing, but it was foggy when we were there, so didn’t get to see any of it!

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

Zoroastrian Fire in Chak Chak
View from Chak Chak


We went to Na’in simply to visit the mosque and ruined fortress there, seeing that it was on our route from Yazd to Kashan. We feel that there’s no real need to stop here unless it is on your way, however we had seen enough mud brick village and structures to really have our fill of them by this time!

The Jame mosque in Na’in is one of the oldest mosques in all of Iran. It is rather unique for the absence of a dome and for having one iwan rather than the usual four, and also has some stucco work on its columns. The basement below is apparently a lot cooler than the ground floor area, but seeing that it was already really cold when we were there, we didn’t bother with finding someone who would open up to allow us go down.

Nain mosque - things to do in Yazd
Nain mosque dome - things to do in Yazd.jpg

The nicest experience in Na’in was surely being offered tea and cakes and (and a heater!) in a carpet shop which initially seemed to be closed. Our driver knew one of the locals who called the owner of the shop, who led us to a table in a warm room furnished with many beautiful carpets.

At the base of the table was a heater, and we were told to put our legs under the cloth and just warm up our legs as we sipped hot sweet tea and were given a short lecture on carpet making. Honestly, SO welcome in the bitter cold! We initially thought that it was a ‘scam’ to entice us to buy one of the beautiful carpets Na’in in known for, but we were dying to get inside and went along. Luckily, we were not pressured into buying anything. The carpets are indeed gorgeous but we weren’t looking to buy any.

Heated base at the table

Where to stay in Yazd

We stayed at the lovely Jungle Hotel for a price of €15 / night for a room with private bathroom in the old part of Yazd.

Breakfast, which was included, was super abundant and consisted of soup, bread, cheese and eggs, grape syrup and tahini, and even halva, a delicious addition to other breakfasts which my hips did not appreciate! Breakfast is served on the rooftop with some great views of the typical badgirs of Yazd!

You can book Jungle hotel and look for other accommodation options on 1st Quest.

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The desert city of Yazd is a popular destination in Iran known for its lovely badgirs and adobe houses. Here are the top things to do in Yazd. #iran #irantravel #iranissafe #toptouristattractions #tourism #travel #travelstoke #offthebeat #iran #attractions #worldheritage #kerman #unesco #worldheritage
The desert city of Yazd is a popular destination in Iran known for its lovely badgirs and adobe houses. Here are the top things to do in Yazd. #iran #irantravel #iranissafe #toptouristattractions #tourism #travel #travelstoke #offthebeat #iran #attractions #worldheritage #kerman #unesco #worldheritage
The desert city of Yazd is a popular destination in Iran known for its lovely badgirs and adobe houses. Here are the top things to do in Yazd. #iran #irantravel #iranissafe #toptouristattractions #tourism #travel #travelstoke #offthebeat #iran #attractions #worldheritage #kerman #unesco #worldheritage

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