Points of Interest
When talking about Mashhad, the first thing that comes to mind is the holy shrine of Imam Reza. But this in not all Mashhad has got to offer. You can find more information on the following attractions by checking out our Blog’s posts. Mashhad is not only the center of religious tourism in Iran but also:
- One of the main centers of health tourism. Many hospitals and clinics there are ready to receive tourists for different cosmetic and curative surgeries. Some of the most experienced and famous surgeons in Iran are in Mashhad.
- the resting place of several Scholars, poets and other Persian literary figures
- the center of traditional Bazaars and some of the greatest shopping malls in Iran
The Natural attractions
Before getting to the cultural attractions, we will be talking about its natural sites and nomadic centers. One of the most popular part of the city is Mellat Park. Its rose garden, lake, and amusement park are open to the public. Kooh Sangi Park which is among the high mountains is also another famous Park in Mashhad.
The natural wonders around Mashhad are:
- Chalidareh Dam Complex with chairlift, paddle boats, zip line, and more ( within 35 km of Mashhad)
- Shandiz Countryside (within 44 km of Mashhad). This region is famous for its springs, cherry gardens, and mostly its nomadic life.
- Akhlamad waterfall (within 91 km of Mashhad)
- Ortokand Waterfall and Khorshid (sun) Palace in Kalat Naderi town (within 160 km of Mashhad)
- Neyshabur’s Wooden Village and Mosque ( within 122 km of Mashhad)
- Village of Torqabeh that leads to Kang Village. This village is known as the Masouleh of Khorasan where the rooftop of each house is the yard of another. (within 44 km of Mashhad)
Now let us get into the main points of interest.
The Holy Shrine of Imam Reza
Imam Reza is the only Shia Imam that is buried in Iran. Thousands of Iranian Muslims visit this holy shrine year by year to pay their love and respect. Non-Muslim and foreign travelers can also visit this glorious shrine. This great holy shrine has a golden dome that blends with the blue background of the tilework of the walls. The interior Mirror and tile works are also special in their own way.
Aside from the Shrine of Imam Reza, you can visit other parts of this shrine complex which are:
- The Goharshad Mosque with its turquoise blue dome which is the masterpiece of middle age Timurid era. The Plaster and mirror works of its interior has caught the interest of many visitors.
- Astan Quds Razavi Museum with a vast collection of ancient parts of the shrine, tiles, calligraphies, old coins, and paintings.
- Tomb of Nader Shah, the founder of Afsharid Dynasty who wished to be buried near Imam Reza’s Shrine. You can see the monument of Nadir Shah on a horseback in Naderi Garden near the Shrine of Imam Reza. There are also two museums with collections of old maps of Iran and weapons in this tomb complex.
The Tombs of the Influential Persian Scholars & Literary Figures
Mashhad and specially its surrounding areas were the birth place of many ancient and even contemporary figures. Some of these tombs and mausoleums are located in Neyshabour (within 120 km of Mashhad):
- The Tomb of Omar Khayyam. He was a famous Iranian scholar, mathematician, philosopher and poet. This 11th century poet’s iron and stone mausoleum is structured in a special geometrical shape.
- Tomb of Attar Neyshaburi. Attar is known as the famous Iranian poet who was also a theoretician and hagiographer. His octagonal mausoleum and onion shaped dome with blue tilework creates a spiritual atmosphere.
By visiting the ancient city of Tus which is located within 36 kilometers of Mashhad, you can visit:
- The Tomb of Ferdowsi. The white marble tomb of this Persian poet of epic myths is a place of worship for Persian literature enthusiast. Ferdowsi is famous for his literary masterpiece known as Shahnameh. This great national Persian epic poem is one of the world’s longest epic poems.
- Harounieh Dome which is the only reminiscent of the ancient city of Tus. This 15th century monument has special baroque stucco reliefs.
The Many Shopping Malls
As mentioned earlier, there are many great and famous Shopping Malls around Mashhad. You can explore these Shopping Malls for buying souvenirs and more. You can also visit Bazaar Reza which is a historical Bazaar. Bazaar Reza is near Imam Reza Shrine. The Shopping Malls on the other hand reflect the modern life of the metropolitan area of Mashhad. The top Shopping Malls in Mashhad are:
- Almas Shargh Mall
- Vesal Shopping Mall
- Proma Shopping Mall
- Arman Shopping Center
- Atlas Shopping Center
- Morvarid Goharshad Shopping Center
- Mahdi Gholi Beyk historical bathhouse
- Tavakoli Historical House
- Vakil Abad Garden
Local Food & Signature Dishes
Among the many local dishes of Mashhad, Sholeh and Shishlik stand out the most. Sholeh is a kind of stew that has special range of beans, rice, and beef or lamb meat in it. Shishlik, on the other hand, is a kind of lamb ribs Kebab which is coated with yogurt, lemon, and fresh herbs. Rhubarb Stew, Polo Makhloot (mixed rice), Reshteh Polo, Mashhadi Yatimche are among other famous local dishes of Mashhad. You can try the main Iranian dishes and some local dishes in Mashhad’s restaurants around the city. Here is a list of hand-picked Restaurants and Cafes in Mashhad. Now, there are also some world famous edible souvenirs that you can find in Mashhad.
Some of the main food souvenirs are:
- Nabat which is a kind of crystal rock candy
- Noghl which a hard candy with sugar and rose water
Mashhad is also the world capital of high quality Saffron. Saffron is one of the most expensive Persian spices. It has a sweet and floral taste which can give different Persian dishes and specially deserts a special tone.
Handicraft & Souvenirs
The art of stone carving is one of the most ancient arts that is practiced in Mashhad. This is due to the reason that there are Turquoise Stone Mines around Neyshabour, a region near Mashhad. The art of mining and carving these stones goes back to 2000 years ago. Agate stone rings with Islamic prayers written on them are another special craft of Mashhad. Prayer Rugs and Misbaha are also among the main souvenirs of Mashhad which come in different and colorful kinds.
Other handicrafts are:
- Mashhad carpets which have large patterns. Interestingly, one of the largest Mashhadi Carpet is held in Mellat Palace in Sa’dabad Complex in Tehran.
- Mashhad Leather that is known worldwide. There are two famous brands of Mashhad leather that offer unique designs of leather clothing, bags, shoes and accessories.
You can purchase these handicrafts while exploring Mashhad Bazaars and Shopping Malls.