Asia Iran Travel

Shiraz – the city of poems and wine

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shiraz is a city famous for wine… Or, frankly speaking – it used to be. From the ninth century, the whole area was full of excellent vineyards… Then the year 1979 came together with the Islamic Revolution and wine became just a nice memory. The government has introduced prohibition and made citizens dry grapes (raisins!) instead of fermenting them. Though you won’t experience any wine tasting here anymore, it’s still worth visiting this city. Where you should head for while in Shiraz?

1. Hafez Tomb

When it comes to wine… we have to mention Hafez. The most famous Iranian poet wrote about wonderful properties of this drink in his poems, which, he allegedly created under its influence… The Islamic Revolution could deal even with that – and began to promote an idea that when writing wine the poet really meant Allah. The legend of Hafez alone was too strong to fight with. Rumour has it that in Iran, every family has his poems… but not necessarily the Qur’an on the bookshelf. Many Iranians know his verses by heart. 

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Dozens of Iranians go here to experience this almost mystical atmosphere. They slowly and gracefully make steps towards the grave, solemnly reading Hafez verses engraved on alabaster board. Then they gather in groups and the fun begins… they predict future from randomly opened books of Hafez! The whole mausoleum is exquisitely decorated, located in a garden full of roses and orange trees, here and there are cute little ponds. In this unusual set, young poets sit in the park and look for some inspiration… Who will help them better than Hafez while the wine is banned? For us the visit was a truly unique experience, I can’t imagine anyone behaving with such dignity while visiting let’s say Shakespeare’s tomb.

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Hafez Mausoleum in Shiraz

2. The Pink Mosque – Nasir-al-Molk

Stunning, kaleidoscope-like, breathtaking views… You’ll read about this true marvel and see more photos in the previous post.

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

3. Shah Chergah Mosque

On our way back from Pink Mosque, once again we got lost in the streets of Shiraz… In front of us there was a square full of women in black chadors… and two mosques. They looked beautiful  even from the distance, but we approached the entrance hesitating – there were no tourists! It turned out that the square can be accessed only with a guide, and I had to wear the colourful chador 🙂 First time in my life… And the last I hope – I really admire the Iranian women, walking in chadors with such ease and grace! I felt more like a “burrito-man.”

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shah Chergah mosque

Unfortunately, infidels can’t enter the mosques. What a pity… I checked Google Graphics and apparently part of the mosaics in both mosques was replaced with mirrors… looks like a starry sky. We had to be happy only watching them from the outside, although the guard at the eagerly moved the curtain, so we could take a  look at an interior full of gold and crystal… This luxury, however, is not surprising. Shah Cheragh Mosque is one of the Shiite pilgrimage places – this is where are the tombs of two brothers, Ahmed and Mohammed, the sons of Musa al-Khadim, the seventh Shiite imam. We came across a group of giggling 9-year-old girls who wore a hijab for the first time and visited the mosque to celebrate… It quickly reminded us of Polish children’s excitement about First Communion 🙂

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Girls celebrating wearing hijab for the first time

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Mosque entrance

4. Bazar-e Vakil

Yes, we mentioned about the bazaar in Shiraz, where we got lost so many times… Narrow streets, looking almost the same, similar stalls… In addition, in fact the bazaar is combined of several markets, which also doesn’t help. The most famous is Bazar-e Vakil. Under the arches made of ivory bricks, floats the smell of curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and other million spices, Europeans never heard of. Salesmen spread carpets, encouraging passers-by to purchase. Iranian women pick colorful, full of sequins materials, which contrast sharply with their black chadors. You should come here at least for a moment, to feel the atmosphere of truly oriental bazaar, which you will never experience in the resorts of Egypt, Turkey or in so touristy Dubai souks. There is a chance that this “moment” turns quickly into a day trip… like I said, it’s hard to find a way out!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

PRACTICAL HINTS

How much time do you need?  1-2 days

Where to stay in Shiraz? We can recommend you quirky Karim Khan Hotel (Roodaki Street), 50$ per double room with breakfast. If you booked your hotel room online in advance, remember to confirm one day before your arrival – or they could rent it to someone else!

Where to eat in Shiraz? Falafel saved us again 🙂 Sharzeh (Vakil Street) is a very good restaurant, although vegetarian choice is rather limited… and the price is a bit touristy (approx. 20 000-30 000 tomans/5-8 EUR for a dish).

How to get to Shiraz? If you travel from Tehran, plane is the best solution. Flights take place several times a day. We chose Mahan Air – cheaper (40 EUR per person) and supposedly safer than Iran Air. Despite initial concerns (in my job I read a lot about aviation crashes, so my imagination is THAT BIG), the airline surprised us positively. We got a big bag of really good snacks, even Sesame Seed <3 Buy your ticket in advance – I was mega surprised that big Airbus was stuffed to the brim… And the airport is full of people trying to get on the waiting list! If you fly off from Tehran, remember that domestic flights departure from quite a different airport (THR) than international ones (IKA)!

When it comes to the other cities, bus is the best option. You will pay for a VIP bus from Yazd approx. 35 000 tomans (9 EUR) per person, the route takes 7 hours. If you still decide to travel by bus from Tehran, it will tak you only 13-14 h.

Fee: For every entrance to the mosque / temple / another attraction, you will be charged 15 000-20 000 tomans (4-5 EUR) per person. You have to estimate your budget very well in advance, but bear in mind that information in the guides is mostly outdated!

Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

Are you going to see Shiraz soon? Read more about our adventures in Iran!

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Shiraz is the city of wine and poems. What to visit in Shiraz, Iran? The Pink Mosque Nasir ol-Molk is not the only attraction here!

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Ricci - wheninmyjourneys
    February 25, 2017 at 02:57

    I have seen Iran on a different light with all your posts. It’s a lovely place with a very interesting culture and history. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Magda | follow the view
      February 25, 2017 at 08:02

      Thanks a lot, Iran has a really complex history, real mix of cultures, beliefs and traditions, that’s why it is so interesting to visit…

  • Reply
    the drunk kid traveling
    February 25, 2017 at 12:56

    the mosques are soooo colorful, kind of putting Taj Mahal to shame!

    • Reply
      Magda
      February 25, 2017 at 14:21

      Haha, you are right! 😀

  • Reply
    ellisveen
    February 25, 2017 at 15:33

    I loved Shiraz a lot. Such a beautiful city to wander around and stumble upon hidden mosques and shrines. I was lucky to stumble upon some more local shrines as well.

    • Reply
      Magda
      February 25, 2017 at 18:56

      Yes, a lot of people actually don’t like Shiraz… So our expectations were rather average, but we really loved this town after all!

  • Reply
    danik
    February 25, 2017 at 17:30

    Wow, the place looks so colourful. Never heard of this city but so want to explore it now. Great post 🙂

  • Reply
    mackinawroad
    February 25, 2017 at 20:26

    So many beautiful colors!!!

  • Reply
    onlybyland
    February 26, 2017 at 12:08

    Wow, you really captured Shiraz beautifully. As I travel only by land I’d take the VIP buses around Iran, they seem very cheap too! The scenery between the cities must be incredible too. From Shiraz the place I’d most like to photograph is the Pink Mosque, although I’m pretty impressed with all the places you visited there.

    • Reply
      Magda
      February 26, 2017 at 13:15

      Thank you 🙂 Yes indeed, buses are very cheap… but also airplanes! Apparently there is a cap on ticket prices set by the government so everyone could afford it. Our ultimate guide to Iran will be published next week, so stay tuned 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracy (lifeofkuhl)
    February 26, 2017 at 17:12

    It makes me so sad that in a place known for its wine, you can no longer enjoy. Such a vibrant and colorful city. Loved your photos.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Bills
    February 28, 2017 at 03:49

    I love that you are opening people’s eyes to a different way of looking at Iran. Shiraz is a city famous for wineI got so excited when I read Shiraz is a city famous for wine…its heartbreaking that the city can no longer enjoy that status.

    • Reply
      Magda
      February 28, 2017 at 14:25

      Thank you, we always try to show something less mainstream…

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