kamila

Can’t live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Fairy-tale-alike Kashan – my last stop in Iran

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!


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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!

Kashan, Iran

Finally planning a trip to Iran is so much easier! I remember how much I’ve struggled not being able to book anything ahead. Fortunately it has changed with 1stQuest website!

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 of Amused Observer 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!

Iran practical information

How to get to Iran?

I flew from Tbilisi to Tehran and then back to Berlin, with a stopover in Doha, with Qatar Airways. I booked my ticket some 3 weeks before the departure and it was just 300USD which I think is a really good deal, considering the short notice. Qatar Airways has another advantage – while the majority of flights arrive to Tehran in the middle of the night and the queue to visa on arrival is rather long and time consuming my flight from Doha landed around midday and there were two people in line ahead of me. You can also check and book flights via SkyScanner. I always use it when looking for flights as it has this cool option of choosing “anywhere” destination or “anytime” date.

There is no public transport from Teheran airport to the city, you have to use the taxi. There’s an official price list and how much you pay depends on the car you use. From Tehran bus station you can get just about everywhere in the country. I used mostly VIP buses as they were the most comfortable and still not that expensive. On the way back however I managed to catch the bus from Kashan that stopped at the airport.

Where to stay in Iran?

Most important – you need to have at least the first night of your accommodation booked when applying for visa on arrival. Finally you can book your accommodation online at 1stQuest website (when I visited it was still impossible and that was my biggest issue with the trip). In Kashan I stayed at Ehsan Guest House and it was just perfect!

Iran packing list

If you are a woman first and foremost when traveling to Iran you need a scarf to cover your hair and a tunic to wear. They are an absolute must there! You have to wear both from the moment you exit the plane till the second you enter it again. Since the sun is very strong I actually found the scarf not that bad as it protected my head from the heat. Because of the sun I also can’t imagine going to Iran without the sunglasses!

Everyone visiting Iran, including me, uses Lonely Planet guide book and it really was useful! I wish I had Farsi Phrasebook too, it would make getting around so much easier! That said I really recommend learning at least numbers before your trip!

Iran is a photography paradise, it’s just too amazing to describe! You would need couple of memory cards and battery sets to be prepared to capture all the beauty around! I always have some extra ones so I know I can take picture whenever I want to. I also travel with powerbank so my mobile phone won’t run out of the power. As for the equipment: recently I’ve switched from DSLR to mirrorless camera, now I have Fujufilm X-T10 and I can’t recommend it enough! Not only it’s very small and light but it also takes wonderful pictures! Now I’m just saving for some better lenses

I never travel without an insurance as you never know what might happen. In countries like Iran, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t even imagine not having an insurance! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!


If you think of visiting Iran or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:

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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24 Kwi '16

There are 30 Comments.

  1. 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.

    • kami
      21:49 29/04/2016

      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!

  2. jak patrzę na Twoje fotki, to coraz bardziej chcę jechać do Iranu! :D

  3. o, właśnie piszę o Kaszanie też!:)))

  4. 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!

  5. W mojej głowie powstał pomysł wyjazdu do Iranu. Realizacja pewnie w przyszłym roku ;)

  6. Megan
    02:07 27/04/2016

    this looks good to me! ill def add it to my future iran itinerary!
    Megan latest post…Celebrating Maslenitsa in TransnistriaMy Profile

  7. 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

    • kami
      21:52 29/04/2016

      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! :)

  8. 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.
    Kasia latest post…Co kupić na Węgrzech? Najpopularniejsze węgierskie produkty.My Profile

    • kami
      21:56 29/04/2016

      Thank you. I’m surprised it’s not that popular as well. Guess there’re just more stunning places in Iran!

  9. kori
    09:10 28/04/2016

    Fantastic photos and description, especially the traditional houses. And the baazar – I’m pretty sure I could spend a lot of money there :)

    • kami
      21:56 29/04/2016

      Thank you! Yes, it was so easy to get crazy on Iranian bazaars ;)

  10. 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! :)

    • kami
      21:04 03/06/2016

      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 ;)

  11. 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!

    • kami
      21:05 03/06/2016

      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!

  12. Ehsan
    09:10 25/08/2016

    Hi KAMI.
    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
    Ehsan

    • kami
      13:27 31/08/2016

      Thank you Ehsan. Hopefully next time I will have a chance to visit Qazvin as well as it sounds very nice! All the best!

  13. dzawani
    03:54 08/11/2016

    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.

  14. andre
    16:33 20/03/2017

    i had a nice experience there,kashan is amazing and we even went to desert there!

  15. Mehrdad
    05:35 08/07/2017

    Kashan is really great, I hope everyone visit your website and know more about it and get eager to visit…

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