|If nothing else, Iran has a great deal of history and culture to offer visitors to this country, which has evidence of there being civilisations here since 4000 BC. Visitors who enjoy being able to step back in time will therefore want to visit some of Iran’s oldest and most important ruined ancient cities, such as Persepolis.
Persepolis is situated close to the far more modern city of Shiraz in western Iran. It was built around 500 BC to replace another ancient city, Pasargad (50km away), as the new ceremonial capital of Persia. This is quite a large site and has many structures which are intact or have been re-constructed including Apadana Palace and the Throne Hall. Both Persepolis and Pasagard are protected under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
Even older still than Persepolis and Pasagard is the ancient city of Susa which is believed to have been founded in 4200 BC. There is not much left of this ancient city, and in fact the modern city of Shush now stands here. However, there are still some historic sites here such as the Tomb of Daniel.
Iran’s modern cities are generally large, busy and polluted, and the capital, Tehran, is no exception. Despite this, Tehran is actually a nice looking city which benefits from a picturesque backdrop in the form of Alborz mountain range and a great deal of green space – Tehran has 800 parks! Visitors will definitely find that there is a lot to see and do here.
Milad Tower is the 4th highest tower in the world – it’s visible from just about everywhere in the city so it’s no surprise that the whole city will be visible from the top of this tower, which has only just been completed in 2008.
The Treasury of the National Jewels is a recommended visit if you like ogling over very expensive jewels which include the world’s largest uncut ruby. Or to see some priceless artefacts, visit the National Museum of Iran which includes items dating back to the 5th millennium BC.
In contrast to the pollution and bustle of cities like Tehran, Iran also offers visitors eco tourism opportunities. Qeshm Island, in the Persian Gulf, has a large range of eco tourism attractions, like the Hara marine forests.
Also within the Persian Gulf is Kish Island. Kish Island has the attraction of being a ‘free trade zone’ and is hence very popular for shopping with its multiple shopping malls and other attractions, as well as featuring many of Iran’s best hotels and resort hotels.