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Almost everything about Mashhad relates to its role as the holiest city in Iran, even its name (literally: burial place of the martyr). As the capital of Iran Iran's Khorasan province, Mashhad's year-round cool temperatures and faschinating insights into the Shi'ite heartland have much to offer visitors.


Mashhad started life out as Sanabad, a village pitstop for trade caravans headed towards [Turkmenistan]. But in the ninth century, the charismatic and popular spiritual leader Imam Reza was poisoned by a jealous caliph. Imam Reza was buried in Mashhad, and his shrine began to attract hordes of pilgrims.

Over the next thousand years, the shrine complex was levelled, ransacked and rebuilt a number of times depending on the ruling army of the day. The shrine now attracts millions of worshippers each year, and is second only to Mecca as a pilgrimage destination for Shi'ite Muslims.

Get in

Mashhad is 260km outside of Gonabad. There are two roads to Tehran about 900km east of Mashhad.

Mashhad is reachable by train. There is an international airport as well.


  • Imam Reza Shrine Complex Shrine to the eighth Imam of Shi'ate Islam. Complex includes a library and Ghoharshad mosque.
  • Nader Shah Park & Mausoleum Monument to t he founder of Afshar dynasty (1736 - 1747)
  • Ferdowsi Park & Mausoleum
  • Khwajeh Rabih Mausoleum
  • Gombade Sabz Mausoleum


Mashhad has three large bazaars. Interesting things to buy include Khorassan crafts, fur-cloak, jewlry, perfume, saffron, and religious souviners.

  • Bazaar-e Reza (or Bazaar-e Bozorg) two stories hight and one of the main shopping centres in the town.
  • Sara-ye Bazaar-e Reza Mostly a fabric and textile bazaar.
  • Kuwaiti Bazaar, om th 17th Shahrivar Square.


Mashhad attracts large number of visitors during several religious festivals as well as in the summer months, so be sure to make travel reservations in advance.

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