Kashan was my last stop in Iran, before heading back to the airport and leaving the country after amazing 10 days of discovering Persia. To be honest I didn’t have big expectations, I thought by then I’ve seen all top places in Iran that could have impressed me a lot and there was no way something would still surprise me. Big mistake! Kashan enchanted me, a lot, and I enjoyed every single moment there, falling in love with the beautiful old houses and laid-back atmosphere. While many tourists don’t bother with visiting Kashan for me it was one of two favorite places in Iran!
One of my highlights in Iran
The road from Isfahan to Kashan was rather boring, leading through the desert. I was supposed to take yet another bus between the cities but friends of my awesome CouchSurfing hosts in Isfahan were heading to Tehran and kindly offered me a ride as Kashan was on their way. Even if they barely could speak English the language barrier wasn’t that much of a problem, we both tried really hard to communicate and it was just fine. Some 2 hours later we were in Kashan, after saying good byes I took a taxi to the hotel recommended by Lonely Planet – Ehsan Guest House. It was one of the highlights of my stay in Iran, really! Usually I don’t follow LP’s recommendations but in Iran it was a different story – both places that I stayed at (the other one was in Yazd) were so beautiful and charming, like from “One Thousand and One Nights”. Since I still had pretty much money left (and I had to spend them all, that’s how Iran works) my last night in Iran was pretty luxury, but I’m not complaining!
Finally planning a trip to Iran is so much easier! I remember how much I’ve struggled not being able to plan anything ahead. Fortunately it has changed!
- Get your insurance for Iran here! (you will need it for the visa anyway)
- Book accommodation in Iran!
- Book domestic flights in Iran here!
- Book your bus connections in Iran here!
- Get help with your visa application and authorisation code here!
Happy Iran travels!
Beautiful mosque in Kashan, Iran
The best thing about the hotel was the location. I was exactly in the middle of the town and between all major attractions of Kashan. It was only few steps to Agha Bozorg Mosque – a stunning, 18th century building. Of all the mosques I’ve seen in Iran this one was the most empty one, during my visit there were maybe three other people around. It was amazing to have the place all to myself, I was able to carefully admire every single detail and focus on its beauty. It was just stunning! For sure it wasn’t the most breathtaking mosque in Iran but this very moment did the trick for me and made me like the place much more than I expected!
Traditional houses – the biggest attraction of Kashan
But the biggest attraction of Kashan are the traditional houses, a perfect example of fine Persian architecture. In 18th and 19th century the town was a favorite holiday destination for rich and famous, many of them have built their vacation houses in Kashan. These days it’s possible to visit some of them and even if at first I was a little bit reluctant now I can confirm they live up to the hype. I’ve been to two of them – I expected them to be similar but I couldn’t have been any more mistaken! Both Khan-e Boroujerdi and Khan-e Tabatabai looked like nothing special from the outside but stepping inside is like moving into another world, the fairy tale one. The house is focused around the courtyard with the little pond in the middle but what impressed me the most was the decoration, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! Mirrors, stained glass work, frescoes – it was all there! I spent pretty much time in each house, just enjoying the incredible beauty and vibe of the place. Being there was like moving back in time, it was easy to imagine how the life in the golden times used to look like, when those houses were full of people and vibrant atmosphere. Before going to Iran I was looking forward to seeing all the incredible mosques but as it turned out those traditional houses in Kashan impressed me the most.
Best place to eat out in Kashan
For lunch I headed to probably the most popular (at least among tourists) restaurant in Kashan – Abbasi Teahouse. It was pretty busy, the whole families were sitting on the carpets in special boxes and enjoying their time together. I was lucky to find a seat for myself, next to a lovely older Australian couple and their Iranian guide with whom I’ve chatted through the whole meal. To be honest I wasn’t such a big fan of the Persian cuisine (maybe except of breakfast, I loved those!) and so lunch in Kashan also was just fine. But I didn’t go to this restaurant for the food, more for the whole experience and I got exactly what I was hoping for. The place was truly magical, again, probably the best one I’ve eaten out at in Iran!
Kashan bazaar – the best bazaar in Iran
There was one more reason why I found the city so extraordinary – Kashan bazaar. In every city I’ve visited in Iran bazaars were on my agenda yet the one in Kashan was the most authentic one I’ve seen. And the most beautiful one too! All the ornaments and decorations were incredible, you just need to look carefully around to see them all. The bazaar also hides miracles such as teahouses, mosques or hammams. It was also the only bazaar where I got lost for a while but it was a pure pleasure. Since it was my last day I did my Iran shopping there: spices, nuts, the best tea I’ve ever had or freshly baked bread, still too hot to eat it! Everything was a bargain and shopping was such a cool experience! Funny (or not!) thing is, I somehow deleted my pics from the last day in Iran so I don’t have a single one from the bazaar! Fortunately my friend Monika visited Iran recently and was kind enough to let me use her pictures here so you can see what a beauty it is. Also read Yomadic’s post on Kashan bazaar.
all pictures taken by Monika
Kashan – a perfect place to end the Iran trip
No matter how much I enjoyed the city, the majority of my time in Kashan was spent in the hotel and for the first time ever I was more than fine with that. It was yet another typical Persian house, with beautiful courtyard and a pond in the middle. Around there were standing numerous beds with massive pillows and I did a very good use of them. I spent so much time there, just lying, reading a book (that’s where I found out about Chernivtsi, Ukraine for the first time, in the book by Anne Applebaum!) and napping. The water was hissing quietly, birds were chirping, sun was shining and it was just perfect. A well deserved and needed relax after 3.5 weeks in Georgia, Armenia (where dreams came true) and Iran. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending of my epic trip!
With over 15 years of independent travelling I’ve learnt which websites and services are the best when planning a trip. I always use and trust following websites:
Accommodation – Finally it’s possible to book accommodation in Iran online (that’s what I’ve strugled with the most during my trip). You can do that at 1stQuest website. Click here to see the hotels and book the place for yourself!
Insurance – I never travel without the insurance as you never know what might happen on the road (I’ve learnt my lesson). In Iran you need to get the insurance from the local agency and you have to have one for the visa anyway. Fortunately you can do it online! Click here to check the options and book your insurance for the trip to Iran!
Day tours in Iran – I do go for a day trips when I travel as often they are the most convenient way to see the place that save you time and money. Click here to see and book the best day tours in Iran
If you think of visiting Iran or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:
- Visit Iran – practical information
- Solo female travel in Iran
- Visa to Iran (when you plan to travel solo there)
- and more!
If you’re looking for articles about any place in particular this map with posts might be useful for you. Or just take a look at the “destinations” page.
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Zofia25/04/2016 at 16:33
I love this post! Before going to Kashan I’ve heard zilion travelers say that Kashan is not worth an overnight stay. So happy I ignored these people. Also, if you have time a day trip to Abyaneh is a nice detour.
kami29/04/2016 at 21:49
I’ve heard Abyaneh is nice but still relaxing in Kashan won for me :) It was such a lovely place, I’m not surprised you enjoyed it as well!
Szymon Król25/04/2016 at 20:23
jak patrzę na Twoje fotki, to coraz bardziej chcę jechać do Iranu! :D
Kami and the rest of the world28/04/2016 at 20:03
dzięki :) oby Ci sie udało!
Anna Alboth26/04/2016 at 06:46
o, właśnie piszę o Kaszanie też!:)))
Kami and the rest of the world26/04/2016 at 08:31
Zaskakująco przyjemne miejsce :) będę czytać!
Marta Knasiecka26/04/2016 at 06:58
Chyba nie powinnam już więcej czytać o Iranie, bo nie można już bardziej chcieć tam jechać :D Jak ja Ci zazdroszczę- dosłownie płonę z zazdrości!
Kami and the rest of the world28/04/2016 at 20:04
to nie trzeba zazdrościć tylko postarać się pojechać! :) i to im szybciej tym lepiej :)
Tomek Luks26/04/2016 at 09:16
W mojej głowie powstał pomysł wyjazdu do Iranu. Realizacja pewnie w przyszłym roku ;)
Kami and the rest of the world28/04/2016 at 20:03
trzymam kciuki, żeby pomysł w realizację przekształcić!
Megan27/04/2016 at 02:07
this looks good to me! ill def add it to my future iran itinerary!
kami29/04/2016 at 21:50
for sure, it was amazing!!
Kasia / Szukając Słońca27/04/2016 at 10:55
it doesn’t look crowded at all, I guess it’s not the most popular place to visit in Iran ;-) I’m not really into sight seeing but I’m pretty sure that I’d enjoy sitting in the teahouse with all these people the most. Anyway, very useful post for those who plan to visit the city
kami29/04/2016 at 21:52
It’s fairly popular but there were people only in certain places and it wasn’t that difficult to avoid them. And actually the best thing about Kashan was this relaxed atmosphere, I bet you’d enjoy it too! :)
Kasia28/04/2016 at 08:28
Beautiful architecture, it’s strange that it’s not popular city. And that’s nice that at the end of the article you write some practical information about this trip.
kami29/04/2016 at 21:56
Thank you. I’m surprised it’s not that popular as well. Guess there’re just more stunning places in Iran!
kori28/04/2016 at 09:10
Fantastic photos and description, especially the traditional houses. And the baazar – I’m pretty sure I could spend a lot of money there :)
kami29/04/2016 at 21:56
Thank you! Yes, it was so easy to get crazy on Iranian bazaars ;)
Marcin04/05/2016 at 10:12
It’s interesting how sometimes the weather can define the way we experience some places. I actually got to Kashan on a nightmare day. I left a place where the temperature was reaching nearly 25 degrees and in the evening, got to Kashan where it dropped to 0 degrees and started raining. It was quite an interesting place, but being in the end of my route, I didn’t really feel it as that special. I do however say openly that it is my fault, I was just tired of the weather conditions. Therefore I consider your post to be a nice touch for Kashan and on my next trip over there, I will give it another chance! Thanks and cheers! :)
kami03/06/2016 at 21:04
You definitely should give Kashan one more chance, it was a lovely place to visit. It was also my last stop in Iran but I can imagine it makes a perfect introduction for people visiting the country for the first time, Kashan had everything you might wish for. And I agree, the weather can change the perspective so much! It happened to me few times and even the cities that were supposed to be the most amazing ever were simply too much to deal with ;)
kamieverywhere05/05/2016 at 13:36
To be honest, I haven’t heard about Kashan before, but it looks pretty awesome, especially beautiful architecture of traditional houses. I’m sure I would wander around the bazaar for hours, i love this kind of places!
kami03/06/2016 at 21:05
I also haven’t heard of the place prior my trip to Iran but it is such a gem! I’m sure you’d love it as well!
Ehsan25/08/2016 at 09:10
First of all, I really hope to see you in Iran again.
I am happy to hear that you truly enjoyed our country
However I would like to invite you and your friends to my city, QAZVIN.
A beautiful city with delicious foods and sweets.
If you let me, I have to say, Qazvin bazaar is the oldest and best bazaar in Iran. Nowhere else you would find such a beautiful place.
Favorable weather, nice sceneries, historical monuments and tasty foods and sweets will be interesting for you.
with the best
kami31/08/2016 at 13:27
Thank you Ehsan. Hopefully next time I will have a chance to visit Qazvin as well as it sounds very nice! All the best!
dzawani08/11/2016 at 03:54
hi kami..thanks a lot for ur review of Iran. i just recently put this place as my travel list but feq objections fr others as what u faced. i am now more more xomfortable with it. listed in my 2017 hopefully. feel free to catch me if u r coming to my state.
kami16/11/2016 at 13:03
I hope you will be able to go, Iran is amazing!
andre20/03/2017 at 16:33
i had a nice experience there,kashan is amazing and we even went to desert there!
kami29/03/2017 at 15:00
It really is incredible!
Mehrdad08/07/2017 at 05:35
Kashan is really great, I hope everyone visit your website and know more about it and get eager to visit…
kami21/08/2017 at 20:52
I hope so too! :)
Luna03/08/2018 at 16:14
Hello! I have read a lot of posts of your bogs. I will be travelling to Iran soon, so I would like to ask you how did you travel from Shiraz to Kashan? I have found a night train that takes almost 12 hours :D it must be a nice experience.
I would also suggest you to remove world nomads from the insurance for Iran, as they do not cover it anymore.
kami11/08/2018 at 13:23
I took buses (and stoped along the way) from Shiraz to Yazd, from Yazd to Esfahan and from Esfahan to Kashan but I can imagine it takes 12 hours as it’s a long journey! You will love Kashan, it’s such a beautiful place! And thank you for telling me about World Nomads, I will take care of it right away! Have a great trip!