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Shiraz

Travel Guide Middle East Iran Shiraz

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Introduction

Bazar-e Vakil, Shiraz, Iran

Bazar-e Vakil, Shiraz, Iran

© All Rights Reserved TLWH

Located in the south of Iran, Shiraz is an ancient city that's rich in culture and sites. It's the base for any trip to Persepolis and at tone time infamous for its red wine! It is also home to a diverse number of religious people from Muslim and Christians to a strong Jewish community.

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Neighbourhoods

Shiraz is actually quite an easy city to navigate for the tourist. A central tourist booth is right beside the Shohada Square where many city bus routes pass though. The tourist office can easily point at the right bus you need to get on as it passes by.

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Sights and Activities

  • Arg-e Karim Khani - This well preserved fortress dominates the downtown Shiraz. High sandstone colored walls and ramparts surround a beautiful rich colored garden inside. Access to the building inside will cost a little but are worth it. There also seems to be some strange advertising going inside as well, in late 2007 a bill board was constucted inside depicting women crying as they were told to remove their veils.
  • Bazar-e Vakil - One of the larger and ornate bazaars in Iran. Wide corridors house large carpet stores and silk stores on either side. Spice merchants and gorgeously sweet deserts fill the air with delicious scents. Towards the rear the bazaar looses some space and becomes full of curious narrow lane ways with a wondrous selection of trinkets for sale. You may also like to check out the colognes and perfumes made from fantastic oils and fragrances that but any modern day can of deodorant to shame.
  • Mausoleum of Hafez - Hafez was a famous Iranian poet, and about the only poet in the world still regarded amoungst the youth as a pop star. His mausoleum can be reached on foot, or on a short bus ride. It is set in small pleasant garden. Worth it if you are a fan, or just looking for a break from the city.

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Nearby Sights

View of Persepolis

View of Persepolis

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  • Persepolis - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, created during the Achaemeid empire by King Darius the Great I, this is as about as ancient a city can look. A huge two tiered staircase brings you up to the magnificent engraved gates of this huge palatial city. One can wonder freely around, touching the black marble inscriptions and marveling at huge intricate sculptures the dot the complex. The city was razed by Alexander the Great as he passed though, but the remains still hold wonder and awe. You can arrange a guided tour, pay a taxi or take a bus out to the area. If you like this type of place bring food for the day, their is a restaurant near the entrance but its a little pricey. Be sure to check out the tombs set high in the mountain behind the city and the museum which is full of hieroglyphs and incredible black onyx carvings.
  • Naqsh-e Rotam - Emblazoned into a cliff face are the magnificent tombs of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xeres I. Its is truly a sight to behold. Dotted all along the wall are details carvings depicting the kings of past either in battle or enjoying their royal stature. Curiously standing in front of the tombs is a large pit that has a cube like building rising out of it. This is believed to be a Zoroastrian Fire temple.
 Nasqsh-e Rostom, Iran

Nasqsh-e Rostom, Iran

© All Rights Reserved TLWH

  • Pasargad - UNESCO World Heritage Listed, Pasargad is a vast open site that houses the tomb of Cyrus the Great. As of late 2007 the tomb was covered in scaffolding. The area is set in desert and the flat plains truly gives you the feeling of abandonment. Scattered throughout this site are various columns and platforms that only an archeologist would truly appreciate. Written in to stone on one of the sites is the inscription "Passer-by, I am Cyrus, who gave the Persians an empire, and was king of Asia. Grudge me not therefore this monument."

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Weather

During the summer Shiraz can reach 40 °C. While in the winter it's not unknown for night time temperatures to plummet below 0 °C.

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Getting There

By Plane

Shiraz International Airport (IATA: SYZ, ICAO: OISS) has many flights coming and going at regular intervals. Airlines flying into this airport include Gulf Air (to Bahrain), Iran Aseman Airlines (to Kuwait, Dubai, Tehran and Mashad), Iran Air (to Bahrain, Bandar Abbas, Doha, Esfahan, Kuwait and Tehran) and Jazeera Airways (to Kuwait).

Note that 7 or 14-day visas are also available upon arrival.

By Car

The roads to Shiraz are tarred and well maintained. Persepolis is best be reached by (shared) taxi.

By Bus

There is a large well run bus station with routes linking to all parts of Iran. Regular buses go to Esfahan, Tehran and Yazd.

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Getting Around

By Car

Driving around the city centre is not necessary. A car and map would serve very well to visit the ancient sites around the city.

By Public Transport

City bus routes a numerous and well spread out. It is preferable that tourists obey local law and women enter the read entrance of the local bus.

By Foot

Shiraz is easily walkable and most sites are within walking distance of eachother.

By Bike

If you have a bike then Shiraz would be a great place to tour around, though walking around obviously is better for your nerves.

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Eat

There are many fast food restaurants around the city. There are also some expensive flash places offering traditional music.

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Drink

Try the Bazar-e Vakil for some great tea houses, and malt beers.

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Sleep

Budget

  • Esteghial Hotel, Denadi Street Tel: 222 5383. Offers private singles, doubles, triples and quads both en suite and shared bathroom. Prices start around 3 Euro
  • Zand Hotel, Denadi Street Tel: 222 2949. Opposite the Esteghial Hotel is a another hotel with similar prices.

Bargain hard in both for better deals.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Post

You'll find internet cafes in most cities and even smaller towns now have access to the world wide web. Like other countries with a very strict censorship, the country has strict rules about using the internet and also has a very restricted domestic version, highly unlikely to be used by travellers. Connections are generally good and it's cheap to use as well. There are a few cybercafes near Shohada Square and along Zand Boulevard (Karim Khan-e Blvd).

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international country calling code of Iran is +98. Special numbers include 110 for the Police, 115 for Ambulance, 125 for the Fire Department and 112 for calls from mobile phones. Iran Telecom is the main telecommunication company in the country and provides, together with Irancell, almost all mobile services as well.
You can find a complete list of telephone codes at Farsinet.com. Calls can be made cheaply from the Internet cafes.

Post

The I.R. Iran Post Service is the national postal service in Iran. Services are fairly reliable and cheap, but rather slow. It usually takes at least several weeks for your letter or postcard to arrive in European countries, longer for other Western areas. Post officies generally are open from around 7:30am to 3:00pm Saturday to Thursday, so the main offices in big cities tend to have somewhat longer hours. Your best bet is to visit in the morning if you need to use their services. Stamps can usually be bought at small shops and kiosks as well. Sending parcels is more expensive but also quicker and more reliable with international companies like FedEx, DHL, TNT and UPS.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 8:12 on Jul 8, 12 by Dodger. 6 articles link to this page.

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