7 Most Famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran
Iran has 26 UNESCO World Heritage Sites as of August 2021, 24 of which are cultural and 2 are natural.
The first UNESCO site in Iran, Tchogha Zanbil, was registered in 1979. The latest is the Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat, registered in June 2021. These sites are located throughout Iran, 7 of which are situated along the Iran Classic Tourism route. The Iran Classic route crosses through 5 main tourist destinations which are Tehran, Kashan, Esfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz. Most travelers start this route in Tehran as the majority of international flights land in the capital, although a minority of visitors commence their trip from Shiraz. There are also a few other international airports in Iran as well as the option of joining up from areas along Iran’s borders which may be suitable for some travelers. Most of Iran’s first-timers usually like to visit the main travel destinations located along Iran’s Classic route.
Below is a list of main UNESCO sites on the Classic route in Iran:
1. Golestan Palace, (2013), Tehran
2. Jame Mosque, (2012), Esfahan (Masjed-e Jame)
3. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, (1979), Esfahan (Meidan Emam)
4. The Historic City of Yazd, (2017)
5. Pasargadae, (2004), Sa’adat Shahr in Fars province, (140 km north of Shiraz)
6. Persepolis, (1979), Marvdasht in Fars province, (60 km north of Shiraz)
7. The Persian Gardens (2011): Ancient Garden of Pasargadae (140 km north of Shiraz), Bagh-e Eram (Shiraz), Bagh-e Chehel Sotun (Esfahan), Bagh-e Fin (Kashan), Bagh-e Dolat Abad (Yazd)
UNESCO registered 9 different Persian Gardens scattered throughout the country. Five of these gardens are on the Classic Route as mentioned in the last item on the above list.
Iran embraces another 57 sites which are not yet registered but are on UNESCO’s waiting list. Alongside the above-mentioned sites, there are another 11 sites that are on the list of UNESCO Tentative sites and are present on the Classic Route.
1. Nasqsh-e Rostam and Naqsh-e Rajab, (1997), Marvdasht, Shiraz in Fars province
2. Tape Sialk, (1997), Kashan
3. Persepolis and other relevant ruins, (2007), Marvdasht, Shiraz in Fars province
4. The Historical-Cultural Axis of Fin, Sialk, Kashan, (2007), Kashan
5. The Historical City of Maybod, (2007), Yazd province
6. The Historical Village of Abyaneh, (2007), Esfahan province
7. Silk Route, (also known as Silk Road), (2008), located in different regions of Iran
8. The Zandiyeh Ensemble of Fars Province, (2008), Shiraz
9. Persian Caravanserai, (2017), located in different areas of the country which are a part of the Silk Road route in Iran
10. The Persian House in Central plateau of Iran, (2017), located in Iran’s various cities
11. Monastery of St. Amenaprkich, (New Julfa Vank), (2019), Shiraz
Iran’s principal attractions and its numerous places to visit are not limited to the above sites. There are countless other fascinating attractions in the 5 tourist cities mentioned above. The bazaars in these cities are most captivating and well worth a visit. Moreover, if you are interested in the arts and culture, there are a lot of exceptional places in the Classic route which are a must-see and are not listed in your guidebook. Furthermore, if you check the Persian calendar, there are plenty of historical events like Nowruz, Sizdah Bedar, Chahar Shanbeh Soori, Yalda Night, and Jashne Sadeh plus a few religious events which are so exciting for visitors to observe such as Ashoora. Depending on where you are on your planned trip, you will see such a variety of amazingly different Iranian customs during these occasions, which are not only mesmerizing but may well become an unforgettable memory.