Best Places to Visit in Iran During the Nowruz Festival

Nowruz in Iran

The March equinox marks a very important event for Persians all around the globe: the coming of spring and the Persian New Year. Known also as Nowruz and the Iranian New Year (although it’s not limited to Iran), there are many essential elements to this thirteen-day long holiday, including Haft Seen, Hajji Firuz (the Persian equivalent of Santa), Dido Bazdid (visiting your relatives and them visiting you back), and of course, traveling. Because traveling is a key part of Nowruz for many Iranians, it’s not unusual for hotels in popular cities to be fully booked even before the holidays start.

This, however, shouldn’t stop you from visiting Iran in this glamorous time of the year. While certain cities become overcrowded with visitors during Nowruz, others stay untouched or even become less crowded. Below we will take a look at some of the best places that you can fit in your Nowruz trip itinerary.


You might be surprised to see Tehran on top of the list. Afterall, Tehran isn’t known for its plethora of natural wonders. What sets Tehran apart from any other tourist destination, however, is the fact that the city’s population almost drops down to half because it’s not popular in Nowruz at all.

But this unpopularity is not justified. Tehran without the traffic and bustling streets is simply stunning. You can take a stroll in the beautiful Vali’asr street and enjoy the spring weather, chat with your friends over a cup of tea in the city’s countless coffeehouses, or visit Tehran‘s numerous museums and historical attractions.

Golestan Palace in Tehran is a fantastic Nowruz destination.

We have a few suggestions for you if you decide to go sightseeing . The Golestan Palace is a magnificent royal complex that belonged to the Qajar monarchs. It consists of royal buildings, gardens, and museums that contain artifacts of that time. The Sa’dabad Complex is another royal palace that has been turned into a tourist attractions. It consists of multiple museums, royal buildings and a vast garden with a beautiful Howz. Lastly, you should definitely give the Grand Bazaar a visit, not just for its historical and cultural value, but to buy souvenirs to take back home!

Golestan Province

The northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran are extremely popular destinations in Nowruz because of their nature and the fact that they have access to the Caspian sea. Oddly, the other northern province, Golestan, features both of the above qualities but somehow is not nearly as popular as the other two.

If you make your way to Golestan, there are a few places that you should definitely visit. The Kavus Tower in Gonbad-e Qabus, a 53-meter UNESCO world heritage site, is the tallest brick tower in the world. Nahar Khoran is a vast forest in the south of Gorgan, whose origins date back to Jurassic times.

Shirabad Waterfalls in the Golestan Province

The Shirabad waterfalls, a combination of 12 large and small waterfalls, are located in the pristine Shirabad village and are definitely a sight to behold. Finally, give the Jahan Nama village a visit to round up your trip with a view of its ethereal land.

Hormuz Island

Hormuz Island is the perfect island to visit during Nowruz.

Kish and Qeshm might be over crowded and uncomfortable during Nowruz holidays, but their unpopular sister, Hormuz Island, is not. Located in the Persian Gulf right next to Qeshm, Hormuz ranks 3rd in popularity among Iranian islands, which actually means it’s a better choice for peak seasons like Nowruz. Like its neighbor Qeshm, natural wonders and historical sites are a key part of this island.

There are more than a few places to visit in Hormuz. The Hormuz Portuguese Castle is a 500-year-old red stone fortress from the colonial rule of Portugal in the Persian Gulf. The Rainbow Valley and the Valley of Statues are natural wonders that will tickle the artistic side of your brain and leave you inspired for days. The sight of turtles and dolphins will also add a new flavor to your trip to the beach in Hormuz island.


Kermanshah is the capital city of the Kermanshah province and home to the largest Kurdish population in Iran. This city is a fantastic tourist destination because of its numerous natural and historical attractions, but it’s during Nowruz that you can find Kermanshah in its most serene state.

There are a number of places that you shouldn’t miss when you visit Kermanshah. The Zagros Paleolithic Museum exhibits a rich collection of stones, figures, and animal fossils from the Paleolithic age in Iran. It is the best museum in Kermanshah (there are quite a few), and one of the best of its kind in the middle east.

An ancient skull put on display in the Zagros Museum.

Talab-e Hashilan, located 26 kilometers north of Kermanshah in the Hashilan village, is a 1500 hectare wetland that shelters over 200 kinds of birds. Additionally, Hashilan is also home to a variety of reptiles and mammals, including foxes, rabbits, turtles and water snakes. There are over 110 tiny floating islands in this Marsh formed by the water plants, which are a strange yet gorgeous sight to witness.

Taq-e Bostan, literally meaning the stone arch, is a historical heritage from the Sassanian Empire that dates back to the 4th century AD. It contains multiple rock reliefs with sculptures of ancient Sassanian kings and soldiers. The carvings are among the best-preserved examples of old Persian sculptures, which depict a variety of scenes such as the crowning of the king, court games, and soldiers in armor.


The historic city of Yazd, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety, is perfect for your Nowruz trip if you prefer historical sites and a warmer weather to humidity and natural wonders.

There are more than a few historical sites in Yazd. The Yazd Fire Temple has been a place of worship for Zoroastrians since almost 2500 years ago, and it holds the only Atash Behram in Iran (Atash Behrams are the highest grade of fire in a Zoroastrian temple).

Yazd Atash Behram
The Atash Behram in Yazd has been burning for over 1500 years.

The museum of Zoroastrians History and Culture is located close to the fire temple and is the perfect place for you to start learning about the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.

Yazd is not limited to Zoroastrianism in its historical sites. There are a few other must-see attractions which include the Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Alexander’s Prison and the Amir Chakhmaq Complex. If you have decided to visit Yazd for holidays, make sure you compare your options and find the best deal.

Browsing Category:Attractions Iran Tourism

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