The ancient city of Shiraz is built in a green plain at the foot of the Zagros Mountains in the south of Iran, some 800km from Tehran. At 1,500 metres above sea level Shiraz is famous for its variety of climates. Every season in this city shows its full potential and that is why the locals also call it “the city of all seasons”. Shiraz has its own way for everything, from foods and deserts to slangs and phrases. Here we will take a closer look at these mind-blowing aspects of Shiraz:
- The city goes back to at least 6000 years ago
- Its previous names have been “tirazis”,” Shirazis” and “sirajis” but after the frequent changes in phonetics, it has been changed to Shiraz
- It used to be the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty
- Its population is almost one million and a half.
- 15th of Ordibehesht (May 7th) is named “Shiraz’s Day”
- Even though the city is part of an Islamic country, it used to be known for its own brand of wine called Syrah
This city's climate differs from season to season. Best time to visit this city is probably in spring when the weather is mild the trees are filled with blossoms and their pleasant fragrance fill the air. Spring is high season of Shiraz, both for domestic travellers and foreign tourists, so it means the sites and tourist attractions are very crowded, and the queue line is longer than any other time of the year. Autumn is also the best time to visit. Not only the weather is very mild and pleasant, but also the crowd isn't as insane as it was in spring, because in this season the schools start and there isn't any major holiday for traveling. Shiraz’s summers are hot and dry. But most of the places are air conditioned so you won't be very uncomfortable, but early morning weather is significantly more pleasant then high noon, also in the evenings, you can enjoy a walk around the city. There is a great temperature difference between winter and summer, Shiraz’s winters are very cold, night-time lows can drop to -5°C and cold wind, rain showers, and occasionally snow can be expected but there are plenty of indoor activities and shopping malls available.
How to get there
Airplane: there are regular flights to all the major cities and some small towns of Iran from Shiraz shahid dastghaib international airport. Most of the airlines in Shiraz operate international flights to Istanbul and Gulf cities like Dubai and Kuwait.
Train: the train to Shiraz from Tehran takes at least 10 to 15 hours.
Bus: many buses come and go to Shiraz from all over Iran, the main stations in Shiraz are karandish bus terminal, Modaress, and Amirkabir.
Cabs are the most common way of going around in Shiraz. There are also systems that are like uber such as snap and tap30 that are significantly cheaper than a taxi, and easier to use. You can also use public transport, like the metro and busses.
Where to stay
There are numerous options for accommodation in Shiraz. From high quality 5-star hotels to hostels and local houses that are available for rent. If you’re looking for luxury places, homa hotel and Shiraz grand hotel are the best options. But if you’re looking for more budget-friendly options, there are lots of other below 4-star hotels and hostels all over the city. In addition, Shirazian people are very friendly and hospitable, so it’s highly recommended to stay with locals if you can.
Culture and art
Poems and carpet weaving are a big part if this city’s culture. There are not any Shirazians whodoesn't know and love this city’s great poets like Hafez and saadi and all over the city people readand cherish their poems. Shiraz is also known for its beautiful and artistic handicrafts such as silverware and mosaic work and Shirazian rugs that called “gilim and jajim” you can buy some of these handicrafts and take them home as souvenirs. Sites and historical places
Vakil bazaar: Karim Khan built this bazaar as means to make Shiraz the prominent trading centre. This vibrant and beautiful bazar is the best place to buy rugs, Persian sweets, spices and much more.
You cannot visit Shiraz and don't try its delicious local food. Shirazian foods are very famous, they have their own special way of cooking as well. They have a special type of food for every meal, like ash sabzi for breakfast and kalam polo for lunch. They use the very best ingredients and the most unique recipes for their cooking.
Ash sabzi is a common Persian breakfast. This food is a national Iranian soup that is made of vegetables and chickpea. Ash sabzi is usually served with fried onions and a special Iranian bread called “sangak”.
Kalam polo is the most famous Shirazian food that is served in most restaurants in Shiraz as their traditional dish. The main ingredient of this food is rice mixed with cabbage and small meatballs. this delicious Shirazian food is often served with salad Shirazi. Also being another special Shirazian type of salad as it’s showing in its name, it is made of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, chopped onions and sour grape juice.
Dampokhtak has many different kinds, but mainly, its rice cooked in a way that it's still wet and mushy. The additional ingredients differ in different types of this food, but the most famous way is to add mashed tomatoes and chopped potatoes to the rice.
Kufte holo in Persian means “peach balls”, but surprisingly enough there's no sign of actual peach in the ingredients. It's just the size of the balls that represents peach. But the ball itself is made of minced meat, corn flour, rice, raisins, and carrots with sugar added to it that gives it a sweet taste.
Masqati originally comes from lar, a small town in Fars province, but it's a well-known pastry that can be found in almost every pastry shop in Shiraz. It usually is served with Persian brewed tea.
Youkhe is another well-known pastry in Shiraz. It is made from thin layers of dough that were peppered with sugar powder and cinnamon before the baker rolls it up and cut it to pieces.
Faloodeh Shirazi is the best and the most famous dessert in Shiraz. This traditional cold dessert is made of vermicelli sized noodles and semi-frozen syrup made of sugar and rosewater. It often is served with lime juice and sometimes ground pistachios. it can be found in every ice cream shop in Shiraz and if you like, you can have it served with traditional Persian ice cream.
Looking for feedback
Now, after everything that we said about this beautiful city, we would like to know what you think about this city? Would you ever travel to Shiraz? Where would you visit first? What is the most exciting thing you found out about this city?