A Guide to Kermanshah

Kermanshah is one of the western cities in Iran. This city is home to many ancient and important national and worldwide cultural and natural heritage. Due to its strategic location on the famous Silk Road, it gained much importance since ancient times. Aside from connecting the western roads to the eastern ones, this city is also in the vicinity of Iraq. As a home to the Kurd-community in Iran, it is also famous as the capital of Kurdish festivals.  Overall, Kermanshah is known for many exceptional things. In this post, we get more into the points that make Kermanshah an exceptional travel destination. We will also talk about its points of interest, history, Local Food, how to get around and more.


The Story of Kermanshah

According to some sources, the antiquity of Kermanshah dates back to 200 years before the birth of Christ. That is why this city has been an important resource in prehistoric studies. However, it was during the Sassanid reign that this city became an interest to the kings. It was king Khosrow I, who decided to make Kermanshah his spring capital. After the advent of Islam, the city met its downfall during the Arab conquest and Mongol invasions. In the following years, during the Safavid era, the Ottoman Empire took this city under its rule. However, this city was taken back during the reign of Nader Shah of Afsharid and then Karim Khan of Zand.

A beginning of a new era for Kermanshah

Finally, during the Qajar era, Kermanshah became the Iranian Kurdistan. Back then, it became an important point of connection between Iran and Ottoman Empire. For its strategic location, it played an important role in both first and second world wars. Moreover, during the 8-year war of Iran-Iraq, this city played a central role in defending the borders. Today, the city is one of the main centers of cultural and natural tourism.

What Makes Kermanshah Exceptional?

Kermanshah is one of the first regions for human civilization. Moreover, this city was once the second capital of the Sassanid Empire. That said, there are many exceptional examples of Sassanian Monuments in the city or its vicinity. Accordingly, Taq-e Bostan Sassanid bas-reliefs and Anahita Temple are some its elaborate historical sites. Overall, there are an about 2200 national sites along with UNESCO recognized sites in Kermanshah. This city is also famous for its exceptional nature and its nomadic and village life. Plus, there are many local festivals held in Kermanshah that have over 2700 years of antiquity. With this in mind, we can now start getting more into introducing these special points of interest. Also, we will be talking about the unique handicrafts and Signature Dishes of Kermanshah.

Need to Know

People & the cultural customs of Kermanshah

As we mentioned before, Kermanshah is home to a great part of the Kurd Community. That is why locals mainly speak the Kurdi language. Also, the people speak Persian with Kalhori accent. Orami and Sorani are other famous accents of the Kurdi language in Kermanshah. A minority of Armenians, Arabs, Turks, Lurs, and Laks also speak their own language.

The customs practiced by the locals and families:

  • Kha Bazi which is an old custom related to New Year in Kermanshah. It is actually a game played by the youngsters with gathering eggs.
  • Shal Andazi, which is another ancient New Year ritual. For this, the youngsters would have given each other special treats hidden in a scarf.
  • Kurdish Dance
  • Playing special instrument for festivals and even mourning ceremonies.

Some of these customs are not practiced anymore. However, there are still seasonal festivals held in Kermanshah’s villages.

 Some of these festivals are:

  • Atash Nowruzi Festival
  • The ceremony for the end of raining season
  • Cheleh Havin Festival ( a mid-summer ceremony)
  • Pomegranate festival

What is the best time to travel to Kermanshah?

Kermanshah is located in the mountainous zone of Zagros Mountain Range. That said, the city enjoys a moderate mountainous climate. Overall, the best seasons to visit this city and its nearby districts are spring, some months in summer, and fall.

Accordingly, the best time to travel to Kermanshah is:

  • During spring from April to the end of May.
  • From May to the end of September is the best time for enjoying the nature of Nature of Zagros Mountain.
  • During the end of summer to the beginning of fall from September to the end of October.

Keep in mind that from June to the end of August, the hot summer weather prevails. On the other hand, heavy snow falls occur during winter, from December.

What is the best way to get to Kermanshah?

You may find seasonal international flights to Kermanshah’s Shahid Ashrafi Esfahani Airport. Also, there are many domestic flights from around Iran to this city. You can also use intercity bus services to reach Kermanshah. However, one of the best ways to travel to Kermanshah is by a car. Accordingly, there are several highways from around the country leading to this city. Interestingly, you can travel to Iraqi Kurdistan from Kermanshah by taking the ‘Rah Karbala’ Highway. If you need a private guide, driver or simply if you need to book domestic flights, trains or intercity buses, you can get the best deals through Travelopersia.

How to get around Kermanshah

Kermanshah is still in development in terms of public transportation. Currently, there are few bus line which can take you around the city. Since most attractions are outside the city, it is better to travel around by a car. That said, the best way to get around is by taxis, getting a driver guide, or renting a car. If you are looking for car rentals for your trips you can rent a car through Travelopersia.

تکیه معاون الملک (4).

The City Map

Trip Ideas

Kermanshah’s Points of Interest

When talking about Kermanshah, the first thing that comes to mind is its Sassanid stone reliefs. But this in not all this city has got to offer. Interestingly, most cultural attractions of the city are in the heart of a wonderful nature. For that you can enjoy the cultural, historical, and natural beauties of the city all at the same time. Below, we will be talking about the main cultural and natural attractions of Kermanshah. Moreover, we will be introducing some of the most notable attractions which are actually in districts near the city. You can find more information on the following attractions by checking out our Blog’s posts. This city is also home to many caves, making it one of the best destination for Cave Climbing.

Two of the most notable caves in Kermanshah are:

  • Parau Cave in Parau Mountain ( the third vertical cave in Iran)
  • Quri Qala Cave in Ravansar (one of the longest caves in western Asia)

Attraction in Kermanshah

  • Taq-e Bostan Complex of Sassanid Bas-Reliefs in the heart of a mountain with the same name.
  • The 3600 meters long forest boulevard of Taq-e Bostan
  • Biglar Baigi Tekieh, a building with Qajarid mirror decorations and Brickworks.
  • Caligraphy Museum and Paleontology museums in Biglar Baigi Tekieh.
  • Moaven al-molk Tekieh, a Qajar building and a collection of eye-catching tile-Mosaics.
  • Emad al-dolah Mosque, the one and only and the most beautiful Sunni Mosque in the city.
  • Kermanshah traditional Bazaar.
  • Do Ashkaft Cave
  • San-e Rostam Rock Tomb and Dakhmeh
  • Pol-e Kohne or Old Bridge
  • Hashilan Wetland
  • Qanbar Headwater
  • Mahidasht Carvanserai
  • Haj Shahabkhan Bathhouse

Attractions near Kermanshah

As we mentioned earlier, some of the most important attraction of the city are in districts around Kermanshah. Each of these counties and districts have their own story and significant historical and natural attractions. Below, we have gathered a list of top districts and their attractions near Kermanshah.

Kangavar County

  • Anahita Temple
  • Godin Tepe Archeological Mound
  • Imamzadeh Ibrahim Shrine
  • Koocheh Bridge
  • Ghel-maran Ancient Quarry
  • Maran, Fash, and Kabootar-Laneh Headwater
  • Imamzadeh Baqer Shrine

Bistun District

  • The UNESCO World Heritage site of Bistun
  • Darius the Great, inscriptions and Bas-reliefs
  • Khosrow Castle and Ancient Bridge
  • Shah Abbas Caravanserai
  • Shekarchian Cave
  • Mar Do-dar Cave
  • Maraftab Cave
  • Mar-Tarik Cave
  • Median Temple
  • Seleucid Statue of Heracles
  • Gutharses, Mithradates, and Volgases Bas-reliefs
  • Ilkhanid Castle

Sahneh County

  • Darband-e Sahneh Resort
  • Darband Rock Reliefs
  • Mianrahn Ancient Bridge
  • Awaza Cave
  • Sahneh Ethnology Museum
  • Dinavar River
  • Gamasiab River
  • Big-e Sorkh Headwater
  • Kandooleh Village

Gilan-e Garb County

  • Direh Rock Tomb
  • Tang-e Golom Waterfall
  • Moort Headwater
  • Cham-e Imam Hassan River
  • Sarab-e Moort Palace

Harsin County

  • Ganj Dareh Neolithic settlements
  • Sorkhe-Deh Rock Tomb
  • Is-haqwand Rock Tomb
  • Takht-e Shirin Rock Platform
  • Gamasiab and Dinawar Rivers
  • Sarmaj Castle
  • Noojiwaran Village
  • Harsin Park
  • Ghehr Bridge
  • Harsin Castle

Islam Abad-Gharb

  • Milmilaga Fire Temple
  • Shian Fire Temple
  • Sarab-e Harasam Village
  • Palangard Fire Temple

Sonqor Region

  • Malek Tomb
  • Charmaleh Olia Village
  • Golvig Headwater
  • Dalakhani Mountain

Qasr-e Shirin County

  • Palm Groves
  • Qasr-e Shirin Qarvanserai
  • Enthology Museum
  • Alvand River
  • Chahar Qapi Fire Temple

Paveh County

  • Crown Lilies Plain
  • Hajij, Shamshir, Khaneqah Villages
  • Siwan and Lilieh Rivers
  • Kaniba Spring
  • Palanganeh Forest
  • Touristic regions of Nosood, Bayangan, and Nodesha

Sarpol-e Zahab

  • Anubanini Bas-Reliefs
  • Taq-e Gara Arch
  • Dokan-e Dawood Rock Tomb
  • Piran Waterfall
  • Ahmad-ibn Is-haq Mausoleum

Javanrood County

  • Mountainous nature
  • Ethnology Museum of Javanrood Castle

Local Food & Signature Dishes of Kermanshah

Aside from points of interests of Kermanshah, its local dishes present a whole new world. You can try the main Iranian dishes and some local dishes in Kermanshah’s restaurants. Below, there is a list of top Kermanshahi dishes that you would not want to miss.

  • Dande Kebab, the top signature dish of the city which is a rib Kebab
  • Ash-e Tarkhineh which is a kind of Porridge made with a mixture of vegetables
  • Jarg o Boz, a traditional dish with the liver of sheep
  • Khoresht-e Khalal stew which has almond and lamb meat as its main ingredients
  • Ash-e Abbas Ali, a winter porridge
  • Kookooye Paghare, a vegetarian dish
  • Sib Polo, a rice dish with potatoes
  • Valak Polo, a rice dish made with mountain vegetables such as Valak or Kool


Now, there are also some edible souvenirs that you can find in Kermanshah.

 Some of the main food souvenirs and breads of Kermanshah are:

  • Nan-e berenji which are special cookies made with rice-flour
  • Nan-e Khormayi which a kind of cookie filled with date
  • Kak or yokheh made with thin sheets of dough
  • Ghavoot, a mixture of nutritious nuts
  • Kalaneh Bread, Kurdish Scallion Bread with Brown Butter
  • Sajji Bread, made on a special plates called Sajji

Handicraft & Souvenirs

One of the main handicrafts of the city is the production of musical instruments. Accordingly, in many festivals and rituals of Kermanshah, music plays an important role. Some of these Persian instruments are: Daf, Tanboor, Tar, and Setar.

Other handicrafts of the city are:

  • Giveh or Kalash, a special kind of footwear made with leather, or rubber, and etc.
  • Jajim Coats made with wool. Oraman and Salas-e Babajani County are famous for the production of this handicraft.
  • Moj Bafi (weaving Moj), a type of blanket made with wool in geometrical patterns.
  • Kilim (a type of carpet) with a wide variety of patterns. The Kilims of Harsin County are famous in Iran.
  • Wickerwork

You can purchase these handicrafts while exploring Kermanshah traditional Bazaar.

Explore the City