This tour incorporates many of the celebrated landmarks of central Iran. From the ancient ruins of Persepolis, the ceremonial and spiritual capital of the vast Persian Achaemenid Empire, to the most famous relics of 18th and 19th century Shiraz; from the city’s renowned gardens to the evocative tombs of the highest figures in classical Persian literature; from the 6th century BCE world heritage site of Cyrus the Great’s capital of Pasargadae on to the historical city of Yazd with its magnificent 14th century mosque, the amazing desert architecture with cleverly-designed badgirs (wind towers), and impressive structures such as the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence; and culminating in an enchanting experience of Isfahan, the monumental capital of 17th century Safavid Persia and home to Iran’s finest works of Islamic art and architecture, best manifested in Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Isfahan (or Es·fa·han (ĕs’fə-hän’, Persian: اصفهان) is a city in central Iran, south of Tehran and is the capital of Esfahan Province. The Persians call it “Nesf-e-Jahan”, meaning “Half The World”. Due to its beautiful hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An ancient town and capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722, it was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree. Today, textile and steel mills take their place. Its architecture, tree-lined boulevards and relaxed pace make it one of the highlights of Iran.
It is easy to get around Isfahan by bus. A single journey costs IRR10000 (November 2016); you can pay the driver directly, or buy multi-journey contactless cards at certain bus stop booths. Note that there are separate men (front) and women (rear) sections on each bus.
From Kaveh Bus Terminal, take Bus 91 which runs down Chahar Bagh-e Pa’in St towards the city centre, past Takhti Junction and Imam Hossein Sq.
There is a tourist information on the main boulevard a bit west of the palace. They speak English and can give helpful tips and have English maps.
For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. There is not a lot of room for haggling as prices are more or less fixed. Ask locals who take taxis about what the price should be and agree with the driver before you get 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 is always good 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.