Revision as of 10:30, 11 November 2012
Shiraz  (شیراز) is the capital city of Fars province and a treasure trove of Persian culture. It is also the former capital of Iran, during the Zand dynasty's era (1747-79), and also the celebrated birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi. It is also been said to be the origin of one of the best wines in the world called Syrah. The city has a population of about 1,300,000.
Turkish Airlines is operating weekly 4 direct flights from Istanbul to Shiraz and vice versa.
Shiraz is well connected to most parts of the country by bus.
Motorways connect the city to Isfahan, Kerman, Bushehr, Ahvaz and Yasouj, and Bandar-e Abbas is reachable by highway.
Shiraz Train station has recently been finished and there are Trains to Isfahan and Tehran. However, the bus journey is shorter (2hrs less), so that might be recommended.
For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. However be sure to haggle for a good price prior to getting into the car.
If an unmarked car stops while you are hailing a taxi, don't be alarmed. Many taxis in Shiraz are unmarked and also as a means to supplement their income, is not uncommon to find private car owners touting themselves as taxis.
However it always best to find a taxi through a reputable "telephone taxi" agency. For a set fee, drivers of these agencies will take passengers to their destination, drive them around town and also wait for them while they shop or run errands. All hotels and local residents will have a phone number of one these agencies. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.
The city also has a reasonable bus service.
Dont hesitate to talk to people, especially youths. Almost all of them speak English well enough to talk to you, answer your questions and chat with you. They're all very welcoming and like getting into conversation with you. Some of them might even invite you to be their guest.
- Hafez Tomb - Recommended. Mausoleum of Hafez- Hafez (1324-1391), the greatest master of Persian lyric poetry and the literary giant of the 14th century in the west and central Asia, was born in Shiraz, lived all his life here, sang its praises in unsurpassed verse and was buried in a garden known after him as the Hafezieh, in the northeast part of the city. The extraordinary popularity and the wide appeal of this great poet among all Persian-speaking people make his tomb a cherished placed, visited by all. This mausoleum too was rebuilt in the early 50’s. A flight of stone steps reaches to the tomb under a tiled cupola resembling a dervish’s hat. The tombstone is beautifully inscribed with two of Hafez’s poems or Ghazals. Visitors to the tomb can still, as they have done for centuries, take the omens, or faals, by picking a page at random from a volume of Hafez, kept for this purpose.
- Saadi Tomb - Recommended. Mausoleum of Saadi: Here lie the earthly remains of one of Iran’s greatest poets-Sa’di. Even from the very early days after the poet’s death, the mausoleum of Sa’di became a place of pilgrimage to lovers of poetry and literature. In 1808 AD Karim Khan Zand renovated the mausoleum. The tomb was rebuilt in the early 50’s. The porch with its tall columns of pinkish marble is a traditional feature of Iranian architecture.
- Arg of Karim Khan - formerly a prison, but now an architectural wonder on exhibit. The design of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of Karim Khan and the military centre of the dynasty. Tile works depicting legendary tales were added at the entrance gate of the citadel during the Qajar period.
- Afif abad Garden (Bagh-e-afifabad) - a garden and houses owned by the Ghavami family. Highly recommended. It contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden that is one of the oldest gardens in Shiraz, all open to the public.
- Eram Garden (Bagh-e-eram) - Highly recommended. This stunningly beautiful complex contains a vast network of gardens, as well as a colorful palace and a system of small artificial rivers flowing throughout the entire area. Tourists can admire the wonderful flora or follow the little canals' intricate system. Make sure the weather is sunny before coming here!
- Narangestan Qavam (Bagh-e-naranjestan)is both traditional and historical house, It was built in the mid-to-late 19th century by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam "Naranjestan" preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the upper class families during the 19th century. The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house, overlooking onto gardens lined with date palms and flowers.The house today is a museum open to the public. Highly recommended.
- Delgosha Garden (Bagh-e-delgosha)
Interior of Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
- Nasir al-Mulk Mosque it was built during the Qājār era, the mosque has extensively colored glass in its facade, and other traditional elements such as panj kāseh-i (five concaves) in its design.
- Jame’e Atigh Mosque
- Vakil Mosque was built between 1751 and 1773, during the Zand period; however, it was restored in the 19th century during the Qajar period where its exuberant floral decorative tiles date from.
- New mosque
- Vakil Bath - An old public bath, highly recommended.
- Vakil Bazaar - has beautiful courtyards, caravansarais, bath houses, and old shops where hundreds of vendor are housed, which makes it deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques. Highly recommended.
- Saray-e-Moshir - a caravansary at the south entrance of Bazaar Vakil, which now functions as exhibition space for Iranian handicrafts. highly recommended.
- Mesgarha Bazaar
- Moshir-e-Now Bazaar
- Shah Cheragh - Highly recommended. Seyed Amir Ahmad, known as Shah-e Cheragh, the brother of Imam Reza, came to Shiraz in the latter half of the 8th century. He passed away in the city and his tomb is now a respected place of pilgrimage. The structure, tile work and the dome of the mausoleum have been rebuilt several times over the centuries. The tomb, the beautiful silver doors and the exquisite mirror work are the handicrafts of masters and contemporary artists of Shiraz.
- Abesh Khatoon Tomb
- Seyed Taj-e-din Gharib Tomb
- Sheykh Roozbahan Tomb
- Khan school
- Ghal'eye Karim Khan
- Christians Church
- Qor'an Gate (Dar vazeh Quran) - the city's main entrance. The original gate was built as an ornamental decoration by the Buwwayhids (Buwayhid dynasty) about 1000 years ago, but this was replaced 60 years ago by new gate, which is considered one of the finest architectural designs in Iran and has won numerous awards. From the the gate walk up the stone stairways to enjoy picturesque and panoramic views of Shiraz. The tomb of Khajooyeh Kermanee, a famous poet is also located here. Hidden in the alleys on the hill-side are numerous restaurants that serve the finest chelo kabob. It is an excellent place for picnics and taking photographs.
Retail stores usually open between 9AM and 1PM, reopening again from 5PM to 9PM. It is customary to haggle for a discount, which is referred to as a takhfeef.
- Bazaar Vakeel - a huge ancient bazaar specializing in fine carpets, textiles, antiques and handicrafts, and spices . There is also a wonderful courtyard with a pool located in the bazaar perfect for photographs. It is called 'SARAYE MOOSHIR'. Visit Sharzeh and Hamam Vakeel for a great dining experience located just outside the bazaar.
- Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk (The house of Zinat ol-molk), Next to Naranjestan Qavam. Historical house and adjoining gardens that house the Fars Dignatories museum.
- Aftab Fars Shopping Centre, MaaliAbaad Blv.
- Hafez Shopping Centre, Afifabad Blv.
- Persian Gulf Complex, Sepidan Hwy. Near Sadra and Golestan Towns (Will be opened in September 2012)
- Setareh e Fars Shopping Centre, Afifabad Blv.
- Sina Shopping Centre, Motahhari Blv.
- Zaytoon Shopping Centre, Paramount Intersection.
- Kebab with rice - like elsewhere in Iran, the mighty old kebab with rice is a common fare, though Shiraz does offer a local variation on the national dish.
- Shirazi Salad - A delicious and famous salad available throughout Iran, made with cucumbers,
tomatoes, onions and a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing.
- Kalam polo - A traditional food is just cooked in Shiraz. Some delivery food restaurants serve this food , it can hardly find in normal restaurants. It is a dish made of Rice, meat balls, chopped cabbage and some other vegetables and spices.
- 'Ash shirazi - It is a kind of soup made of vegetables and meat. It serves all over the city early in the morning. People eat this for breakfast. But please note that it just serves really early in the morning. Starts from 5 to 7 a.m.
- Masghati Halva - a great dessert and snack.
- Nokhod(Chickpea) Cookie - delicious cookie made of chickpea, known as one of Shiraz's souvenirs.
- Shirazi Paloodeh - Paloodeh is an ice cream made of rice starch, which takes the form of noodles. It is flavored with "sharbat" (sugar water), which can be of different flavors. Shirazian paloodeh is the best paloodeh in Iran especially when mixed with Bahar-e-Naranj Distill.
- Soltanie Shopping Centre, Motahari Square.
Almost all of these places have Live music playing
- Haft khan, buffet and classic restaurant, Iranian and international cuisine
- Bel passi, Italian Rstaurant
- Lotus Restaurant, on the 13th floor of Pars International Hotel
- Lotus Restaurant, on the top floor of Setareh-e-Fars Shopping Centre
- Kaktoos Restaurant
- Shater Abbas
- Sharzeh Restaurant, a classic old restaurant located just outside the Vakil bazaar
- Soofi Restaurant, traditional restaurant located at Sattarkhan St.
- Hammam-e-Vakil (Vakil Bath), classic old style restaurant
- Parmin Restaurant
- Shandiz Restaurant
- Sita Traditional Restaurant, with Live Iranian Music
- Gambron SeaFood Restaurant, serving famous food from the whole of Persian gulf
- Dragon, Chinese Food
- Noor , Lebanese Restaurant,Chamran Blv
- Zeytoon , Classic restaurant, Iranian restaurant.
- Shater abbas , Traditional Iranian restaurant , located in khak shenasi St. and another one in Chamran ave.
You can find at least one fast food parlor in every Street of Shiraz.
- Bagro, Experience the real and exellent taste of pizza and sandwich in a lovely place.
- Givani, Modern restaurant offering Burgers,FC,Pizza
- Safir SFC, another Modern themed restaurant
- Exis, Italian and Mexican Fast Foods
- Sand,A lovely Fast food with Unique interior design.
- 110 Wimpy
- Zaver, Great Italian Pizzas.
- Haft khan
- lio good,
You can find coffee shops at shopping centres and on the main streets. Some are big and some are small.
- Brentin ,Sattarkhan Blv
- Blensi ,Dena Building, Moali abad Blv
- Wafi ,Dena Building, Moali abad Blv
- Parmin ,Parmin Building, Moali abad Blv
- Tulip ,Khakshenasi st
- Safir ,Ghasr dasht st
- Soofi ,Chencheneh Intersection
There are a lot of gardens out of Shiraz, most have been remodeled as restaurants. Most have live music playing in the evenings and offer great view.
- Nakhlestan Garden
- Padra Garden, relatively new
- Darband Garden
- Silvia Garden
Drinking, selling and producing alcoholic drinks are illegal in Iran, though available on the black market. Shiraz is internationally famous for its distinctive red wine.
- Doogh is a popular and delicious naturally-carbonated yogurt drink. It is generally served with ice and a dash of mint.
- Distill's - Shiraz have many kind of aromatic distill's.
There are a few budget hotels located about 200m south of the roundabout at Arg-é Karim Khan.
Darya Hotel is clean and 50,000 rials per night (5,000 tomans)( about four euro)
- Niayesh Boutique Hotel, No. 10, Shahzadeh Jamali Lane, Bibi Dokhtaran Mausoleum Lane, Namazi junction, Lotfali Khan-e Zand St., ☎ +98-711-2233623 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 13.00. A new hotel with a nice inner courtyard and an OK restaurant serving standard fare. Nice and clean dorms. Bit difficult to find, but it's not far from Shah-e Cheragh Shrine. From the police station 300 metres or so up the road it's clearly signposted. Great value for money. Optional extras like tea and laundry are quite expensive, so make sure you settle on a price before agreeing to use additional services. Dorms go at US$ 10 (excl breakfast).
- Shiraz Hotel reservation - Pardis Reservation Network 
- Aryo-Barzan Hotel, Roodaki Ave. Tel: +98 (711) 2247182-4 . Fax: +98 (711) 2228959 
- Parseh Hotel, 22Bahman St. Tel:+98 (711) 2226600 . Fax: +98 (711) 2223003
- Parsian Hotel, Roodaki Ave. Tel:+98 (711) 2304965-69 . Fax:+98 (711) 2331000
- Apadana Hotel, Ahli St. Tel:+98 (711) 2301336 & 2359322 . Fax:+98 (711) 2301337
- Shiraz Eram Hotel, Karim Khan-é Zand. Tel:+98 71 230-3884 
- Homa Hotel, Meshkinfam St., next to Azadi Park. Tel:+98 (711) 2288000-9 . Fax:+98 (711) 2288014 & 2288021  - housed in the former Intercontinental.
- Pars International Hotel, Zand Boulevard. Tel:+98 (711) 2332255 . Fax:+98 (711) 2307006 & 2336380 - highly recommended.
- Persepolis International Hotel, Atlasi Sq. , Azadi Blvd., Tel: +98 (711) 2271280-94 . Fax: +98 (711) 2280941 
- Chamran Grand Hotel,Chamran Blvd., Shiraz, Iran ,Tel: +98 (711) 6271218, 6289494, 6288484 - Fax: +98 (711) 6291111 Email: Info [at] ChamranHotel [dot] com
Pasargad was a Persian capital built by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. Around 500 BC, Darius I built a new capital at Persepolis 50 km away. Both are now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and both are near Shiraz.
- Takht-e-Jamshid (Persepolis) - The centre of the great Persian Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians and the showpiece of Achaemenian art, Persepolis (Capital of Persia in Greek) is a historic site in Fars Province, 60 km to the northeast of Shiraz. Iranians call it Takht-e Jamshid (The throne of Jamshid), Jamshid being the first, probably mythical, ruler of Iran. This magnificent court was the summer residence of the Achaemenian emperors and their official reception quarters. It must be by some strange accident of history that Persepolis was never mentioned in foreign records, for it was here that representatives of all the varied peoples of the empire gathered to pay homage, and bring tribute, to the King of Kings, probably each spring, at the time of the ancient Now Ruz festival. Although set on fire and destroyed by Alexander in a gesture symbolizing the destruction of Persian imperial power, its still impressive ruins permit a fairly complete reconstruction of its original appearance.