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Isfahan: where exotic culture and natural beauty combine

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    Each infant should be accompanied by one adult. When an infant fare is booked, the infant will be seated on the parent’s lap.

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Book a flight to Isfahan with Qatar Airways

Right in the heart of Iran sits Isfahan, a bustling city that is the capital of Esfahan Province. While the city’s name translates to ‘Half the World’, it magnificently remains one of the region’s best-kept tourist secrets. It is a relaxed, laid-back city with a cosmopolitan feel, underlined by traditional Persian cultural motifs that can be seen in the architecture and lavish decoration of its mosques.

Book a flight to Isfahan with Qatar Airways and not only will you discover a wealth of artistic expertise and culture, but also a thriving commercial centre where entrepreneurs and investors are welcomed. 

Isfahan highlights

Hand-painted tiles and wide-open green spaces give Isfahan a tranquil air, while the markets still bustle with carpet sellers and silversmiths.

  • Tourist attractions

    Dominating the city is the Royal Palace. Towering more than 48m high and stretched across seven floors, this early 17th-century masterpiece is famous for its music room and wall paintings by Reza Abbassi. The city also boasts several other palaces, all of which date from the 1600s. Talar Ashraf is a charming and well-maintained palace, while the Hasht Behesht or Palace of the Eight Paradises was reportedly built to house the King’s Harem in the latter half of the 17th century. Chehel Sotoun, or the Palace of 40 Columns, is actually smaller than you might expect, and in fact hosts only 20 columns, which reflect on the palace’s pool, hence the name.

    A trip to Isfahan also gives you the opportunity to explore the city’s mosques, all of which embrace the rich artistic culture of the region. One of the true masterpieces of the city and in fact the whole region is the Imam Mosque, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fabulous example of the tilemaker’s art. Alternatively, the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is an exceptional example of early 17th-century architecture, and was the private mosque attached to the Royal Palace via an underground tunnel. 

    Gardens are prominent in Persian design and culture, and a visit to Isfahan will introduce you to one of the most beautiful in Iran. The Flowers Garden should be visited in spring, when it is in full bloom, although at other times of the year other aspects of the garden come to the fore such as the secret waterfalls, and the cactus garden.

  • Leisure activities

    Close to the city centre is Sofeh Mountain, which at 2,257m gives you excellent panoramic views of the city. It is a relatively easy hike to the summit, or you can catch a telecabin to take you up to the top with a little less effort. Ifclimbing to the top of the mountain doesn’t appeal to you, then head to the bowling alleys underneath the telecabin station.

    Cycling and walking are popular, particularly along the paths beside the Zayandehroud River. If you fancy a bike ride, bicycles can be rented for free at the old city bus station. For a romantic trip around the heart of the city, go for a horse-drawn carriage ride, or explore the city’s many gardens and parks.

  • Food

    The city is renowned for its excellent cuisine, including local specialities like saffron ice cream, regional variations of chelo kebab, kebab with rice, and biryani made from mutton or lamb. If you have a sweet tooth then look out for khoresht mast, which translates as ‘yoghurt stew’ and is a dish unique to Isfahan. Wash everything down with fresh coffee, which is served hot, sweet and very strong at any of the coffee and tea houses in the bazaar or under any of the city’s many bridges.

  • Shopping

    Isfahan is filled with modern shops, but for a more authentic experience during your travels to Isfahan, head for the bazaar. Here, you will find the very finest Persian carpets on sale; each depicting the subtle differences that distinguish the region it comes from.

    Isfahan is also famous for its miniature paintings, which use camel bone as a canvas. Other crafts to look for are Persian wood inlay, Khatam Kari, which are boxes, frames and gaming boards created from thousands of individually cut and positioned coloured sticks. Buying in and around the main square can be very expensive, so wander a little further afield from the shopping square and down the lanes and alleyways to find some bargains.

Essential facts about Isfahan

Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip

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