A Guide to Qazvin

Qazvin is located in 150 kilometers of the northwest of the Capital of Iran, Tehran. This city is surrounded by the sceneries of the beautiful Alborz Mountain Range in the north. However, in the east and west it is connected to the plains of Iran. Qazvin was once the capital of the Safavid Dynasty (about 400 years ago) for more than 40 years. This city was the meeting point of the merchants on their way from west to east. That being said, for its strategic location, Qazvin, was considered as one of the important centers of trade and commerce. In this article, we will get into the story of Qazvin, its handicrafts, Local Food, how to get around and more by giving you a special travel guide to this city.


The Story of Qazvin

The story of Qazvin starts when it was founded by the Sasanian King, Shapur the first, in 7th century during the early Islamic era. This city played an important part in the history of the Safavid Dynasty (about 400 years ago). Shah Tahmasb the first which was one of the major kings of Safavid, moved the capital of Iran from Tabriz to Qazvin. The city almost lost its glory when the capital of Iran was moved to Esfahan by another Safavid king. Qazvin was then reestablished during the reign of the following dynasty known as Qajar Dynasty. It was then that this city became an important meeting point for foreign traders. From the 19th century, Qazvin has been a witness to several movements such as the political interferences of Russia and the nationalistic movements. While visiting Qazvin, make sure to put the points of interests which are introduced as below in your plan.

What Makes Qazvin Exceptional?

Qazvin, as a medieval capital of one of the most important dynasties in Iran known as Safavid Dynasty, represents much historic importance. The stunning mosques, Palaces, and Bazaars of Qazvin are only a part of the historic highlights of this city. Most of the attractions of Qazvin have been inscribed on Iran’s national heritage list. These attractions reflect the Islamic and Persian architecture that are combined together in a remarkable way. As for the natural beauties of Qazvin, the beautiful Ovan Lake and the natural wonders of Alamut Valley are located within a close distance to this city. Below, we are going to introduce the exceptional points of Interest of Qazvin along with the traditions, handicrafts, and signature dishes of this city.

Need to Know

People & the cultural customs of Qazvin

The people of Qazvin speak Persian with Qazvini dialect. The Qazvini dialect shares much of its roots with the ancient Persian language. The locals of Qazvin have their own family traditions. One of the interesting customs of Qazvin is the Panjah Bedar gathering. Panjah translates as the number fifty. The tradition is that on the 50th days of the New Year in the spring, the locals of Qazvin spend their day in the nature with their family. This tradition is symbolic in a way to celebrate the prosperity of the New Year. Hazelnut festival is another traditional that is held in Alamut area and several villages in Qazvin province. Qazvini girls make necklaces out of hazelnuts during harvest season and keep them until winter. When the winter comes they give these necklaces which are called Golwaneh to their husbands.

What is the best time to travel to Qazvin?

Like the northern cities of Iran, Qazvin is also located in the mountainous region of Iran. Having said that the best time to travel to Qazvin is during May to the mid-September when cool spring and moderate summer weather prevails. On the other hand, the cold autumn days of Qazvin start from October to January. During December and February, the cold winter and snowy weather is persisted. However, during March and April, the weather tends to be more moderate and on the cool side.

What is the best way to get to Qazvin?

Qazvin is located in the midway of the most visited touristic cities of Iran. On your way from or to Tehran, Gilan, Zanjan, or Hamdan you can plan to visit this city since it is located only a few Kilometers away from these cities. You can either drive to Qazvin or use the train and intercity bus services. 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 Qazvin

The bus services are available through the city of Qazvin. Here is the latest Qazvin’s Bus Map. Taxi stations and online Taxi apps are also available in Qazvin. That being said, the best way to get around the city is by taking a Taxi or simply using the available Online Taxi Apps.  Also, if you are looking for car rentals for your trips you can rent a car through Travelopersia.


The City Map

Trip Ideas

To help you make the most out of your trip to Qazvin, we are going to introduce its touristic highlights. Aside from the attractions of the city, you can visit the ancient Alamut Castle which is located within 100 kilometers of Qazvin. This castle along with Lambsar castle near Razmian (within 57 km of Qazvin) were among historical fortresses in Iran. As for the natural wonders of Qazvin you can visit the Ovan Lake which is Located in Qazvin Province and near the Alamut Castle. However, the historic attractions of Qazvin are listed as below. You can find more information on these attractions by checking out our Blog’s posts.

  • Caravanserai of Sa’d al-Saltaneh and Bazaar which are among the top attractions for the visitors of Qazvin. This caravanserai is known as one of the biggest roofed caravanserais in Iran. Currently, this place is the center of artists’ workshops where they exhibit and sell their crafts. Between the old Bazaar and this caravanserai, the Nabi mosque is located.
  • Chehel Sotun Palace which was established by Shah Tahmasb as an imperial Palace. This Palace is currently a museum of Calligraphy
  • Imamzadeh Shazdeh Hossein is a 16th century shrine that has been favored among the many holy shrines in Iran. This shrine with its beautiful blue dome, mirror works, and tile works has caught the interest of many of its visitors.
  • Cantor Church which is a red-colored orthodox church. Today, this church no longer serve its religious purposes.

Other Attractions

  • The Qajar mansion of Aminiha Hosseiniyeh
  • Qajar Bathhouse and Anthropology Museum
  • Ali Qapu and Darbe Khoushk gates
  • Haji Kazem, Sardar-e Kuchak and Bozorg Cisterns

Local Food & Signature Dishes

Of the most famous signature dishes of Qazvin are the Qeime Nesar stew, and Shirin Polo (a kind of sweet rice with nuts and zests). Domaj is also another famous local food of Qazvin which is a kind of finger food. The main ingredients of this finger food are cheese, vegetables, and some nuts. You can try the main Iranian dishes and some local dishes in Qazvin’s restaurants around the city. Here is a list of hand-picked Restaurants and Cafes in Qazvin. You can also find several sweets such as Qazvin Qottab and Baklava as edible souvenirs of Qazvin.

Handicraft & Souvenirs

The handicrafts of Qazvin range from cloth and cotton weaving to wool carding and many more. You can find these handicrafts in the Bazaars of Qazvin. The most notable handicrafts of Qazvin are mentioned below.

  • Nam Nam Dozi is a kind of decorative art that is done on different fabrics with sewing beads
  • Sermeh which is another kind of decorative art with more than 2500 years of antiquity
  • Qazvin Carpets which come in different patterns and designs
  • Tents and specially night tents that come in different colors from blue to cream and azure
  • Maleki Giveh which is a special kind of Shoe that is made out of durable and comfortable fabrics
  • Qazvin Jajim which is called Moj and is made out of sheep’s wool

Explore the City