Iran, a country that surprises and upsets you with its contradictions. A country that should be visited and lived in contact with people and their incredible hospitality. A country that must be explored being aware of its present and past history, without pretending to understand it. Iran is one of those places where we would come back, yes… without any doubt.
Our trip lasted 12 days, here are the main stops with some small tips for sleeping, eating and moving. For all the main and common attraction you can check out our posts about each city and the Lonely Planet, of course.
Tehran (2 days, 1 night)
→ Tehran Heritage Hostel (that’s a good starting point to get around the city, also because it is near the metro. Possibility to leave your luggage even if you return for just a day stopover)
→ Azari Traditional Teahouse: a restaurant near the main train station; recommended to eat the typical dish called dizi
→ Night train to Isfahan (you can get your ticket at the central train station, it costed around 4€) – trains with berths, clean sheets and breakfast…the bathrooms…well…are bathrooms on a train…
Isfahan (2 days, 2 nights)
→ Amir Kabir (We didn’t particularly like it; rooms were essential with balcony doors…big red curtains were the only way to obscure them. Poor breakfast. Old bathrooms.
→ Azadegna Cafe is well-known for its decorations and the typical doogh (a cold savory yogurt-based beverage) in the main square… but watch out the ice cubes!!!
→ biriani is a typical food and you can get it in the bazar. Overall, eat in the bazar or in little “restaurant”; big and expensive ones don’t really worth going.
→ Have a look at Tolou Art Gallery on the left side of the main square looking at Masjed-e Shah. The owner speaks good English and their art crafts are very nice.
→ The metro is new and very convenient to go to the bus station
→ Day bus to Shiraz – it costed about 4€ as we took the VIP one with wide seats – also used by the Iranians for long trips – a snack and people to chat with included in the service 🙂
Shiraz (3 days, 2 nights)
→ Seven Hostel o Niayesh Hotel (Highly recommended place. It is divided into different houses with courtyards. Each one has a caretaker available for laundry…and a nice chat! Excellent breakfast). Tip: Book with them the trip to Persepolis and Necropolis.
→ Near the hostel – turn right once on the main road where the bus stop is – there is a square with a mosque, on its left there is a “restaurant”, go down the stairs and … you’ll see! Very local and typical! Delicious rice with badengiun (eggplant).
Night bus to Yazd – VIP one , comfy and punctual.
Yazd (2 days, 2 night)
→ Friendly (hotel/hostel) – traditional house.
→ Underneath the “Yazd’s door” there are shops and restaurants…if you ask discreetly they will let you taste honey and bread.
Day bus to Na’in – you have to ask for the stop.
Na’in (1 day, 1 night)
→ The only hostel on the Lonely Planet… well, you’d better check out the other hotel!
→ It’s a useful foothold to visit the Sand Dunes
→ From Na’in to Kashan there is only one bus at 16.30…the taxis are too expensive for such a long distance…so we decided to stand at the roundabout to wait for a bus and hitchhike – a distinguished gentleman was there with us – …after ten minutes a boy stopped and took us to Kashan – the gentleman took advantage of the situation and got a lift to Teheran.
Kashan (2 days, 2 night)
→ Sana Historical Hostel (super nice and welcoming)
→ Day bus to Tehran (it takes 3 hours, so we didn’t get the VIP but the regular one… please note that it leaves only when full so … be extremely patience! however, the time of arrival is surprisingly accurate!)
Tehran (1 afternoon)
→ Holy Defense Museum… a must-see!!