Mashhad is the capital city of Khorasan Razavi Province, located in northeast of Iran. Since the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam, is located in this city, every year around 30 million people come to Mashhad for pilgrimage and visiting the Imam Reza Shrine. Mashhad is the second largest and the second most populous city in Iran after Tehran. Mashhad was the capital of Iran in Afsharid dynasty and it saw its greatest glory under Nader Shah, Afsharid ruler of Iran who made this city the capital.Read more to know about Mashhad Travel Guide & Tourist Attractions
Top tourist attractions in Mashhad
Imam Reza Shrine
The holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia Imam, is the main reason to choose Mashhad as travel destination. In this shrine, not only you will enjoy the spiritual and peaceful atmosphere but also you will admire the Persian and Islamic architecture like the marvelous mirror works in the shrine. Near to this magnificent shrine, there is the central museum of Astan Quds Razavi with lots of precious objects.
Nader Shah Tomb
Nader Shah was one of the most powerful kings of Persia in 18th century and the founder of Afsharid dynasty. His tomb is located in the city of Mashhad. Its architecture is attractive and it’s based on just two shapes of square and triangle. Adjacent to the tomb there is the statue of Nader Shah riding a horse. There are also two museums in this place containing historical swords, weapons and cannons and other war stuff and also other historical objects. This complex is inside a beautiful garden.
“Kooh Sangi” is a famous mountain and park in the city of Mashhad. It is one of the oldest places for recreation in Mashhad. It’s worth mentioning that the materials for constructing the Tomb of Nader Shah are the stones of this mountain.
“Goharshad Mosque” is one of the historical and impressive buildings in Mashhad near to the Imam Reza Shrine which was built in Timurid dynasty by the order of “Goharshad” the wife of a powerful ruler in that era. This mosque has beautiful tileworks and Persian architecture.
The tomb of “Ferdowsi” is located in the city of Tus, his birthplace, 20 km away from Mashhad. Ferdowsi is one of the most well-known poets in Iran and even in the world specially among Persian speakers. He was the author of “Shahnameh” which is the national epic poem about the ancient Persian myths. Ferdowsi has a very important role in Persian language and reviving and preserving it. This tomb is similar to the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.
Omar Khayyam Mausoleum
Omar Khayyam was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, poet and actually a great polymath and an influential thinker who believes in the value of the moment. His tomb is located in Nishapur that is a city near to Mashhad. The architecture of his tomb is attractive and you could notice the elements inspired from mathematics, astronomy and poetry behind its design. This mausoleum is inside a beautiful garden.
In the city of Nishapur, there is the unique and attractive “wooden mosque” since it is made completely with wood. This mosque has two 13 m minarets. This mosque is earthquake resistant and also termite resistant.
In the city of Gonabad, 280 km away from Mashhad, there is a series of qanats: Ghasabe Qanats of Gonabad which are the oldest qanats in the world (6th century B.C.) and contains near 500 water wells, this site inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List. Qanat is an underground canal to transport water from a deep water well to surface for irrigation and drinking. This was an old system of water supply which was developed in ancient Iran and it is still in use.
Best places to eat in Mashhad
Shashlik (a kind of kebab) is the most famous food in Mashhad. It’s a dish of skewered and grilled marinated lamb. There are good restaurants in Mashhad like “Pesarane Karim Restaurant” where you can eat delicious Shashlik and other traditional Persian foods, but you could also find the best Shashlik in Shandiz, a pleasant city 12 km away from Mashhad. Two most famous restaurants in Shandiz are “Eram” and “Hossein Shishlik” restaurants which are great places for meat lovers.
Mashhad souvenirs and where to buy them
The most well-known souvenirs in Mashhad are saffron and dried barberries which are used extensively across Persian cuisine. Also, a precious souvenir is turquoise (mined at Nishapur) and jewelries made from it. Traditional places to buy these souvenirs are the long Bazaar-e Reza and also the shops surrounding Imam Reza Shrine. Mashhad is also a great city for buying Persian carpets. Besides traditional bazaars, there are also some modern shopping malls, Almas-e Shargh and Proma shopping centers are the best ones.
Best hotels in Mashhad:
Ghasr Talaee Hotel
Homa Hotel 2