Located in the northeast of Iran, Mashhad is the second largest city in Iran. Mashhad is best known for hosting the shrine (haram) of Imam Reza, the 8th imam in Shia Islam. The city has grown around this ever expanding monument. Over a millenium after his martyrdom, Iranians still feel a very deep personal connection with Imam Reza. Millions of pilgrims make their way to Mashhad annually to pay their respect to the only Shia Imam buried in Iran. As one of Iran’s former capitals, Mashhad is home to many significant historic sites, monuments and museums.
A short trip from Mashhad to the villages of Shandiz and Torghabeh will take you to some of Iran’s finest and most famous kabab restaurants. Another great side trip from Mashhad is the historic cities of Neyshabur and Tus. Nestled next to the Silk Road, Neyshabur was one of the cultural and scientific hubs of the old world. On your journey to Neyshabur make sure to look for turquoise that the city has been world renowned for over many centuries. In the ancient city of Tus, a large mausoleum commemorates the millennial birthday of the famous Iranian epic poet Ferdowsi who is buried there.
While visiting Mashhad, be sure to visit Bazar Reza next to Imam Reza’s shrine where you can buy Iran’s world famous saffron. Dried fruits are also a specialty in this part of Iran and can be found in the bazaar. Foodies should seek out some of Mashhad’s popular local specialties such as Lavashak, a Persian fruit leather, Shishlik, a type of kabob made from lamb, and Shole Mashhadi.
Due to the large number of pilgrims that visit Mashhad annually travelers have a wide variety of hotel options to choose from. Many of the best hotels are located close to the shrine. The area closest to the shrine is generally packed with tourists and caters to them, however for those travelers looking to see the real Mashhad you will need to visit different neighborhoods outside of the shrine.
What to Buy, Soghat of Mashhad:
Saffron: Iran has the best saffron in the world, and the province of Khorasan is the saffron hub of Iran.
Dried Fruits: Local specialty in Khorasan province. Dried apricots, peaches, plums, and currants.
Turquoise: Neyshabur became a wealthy city in the old world due partially to its vast turquoise mines with great quality.
Tours & Activities in Mashhad
Located in the northeast of Iran, Mashhad is the second largest city in Iran. Mashhad is best known for hosting the shrine (haram) of Imam Reza, the 8 READ MORE