People sitting at a roof café in Yazd with a blue lightened up mosque in the background.

Yazd Travel Guide

City of mud-brick houses and architectural wonders

It’s not dark yet. The sound of Azaan comes from a local mosque. I think I am lost. Or not. I’m not so sure. I look ahead, and I see an alleyway that seems familiar. Have I been here before? Am I walking in circles? I decide not to think about it and keep moving on. That’s what I’ve always known in life.

As I walk in the quiet and maze-like alleyways of this historical city, I think about old friends, lost loves, and forgotten companions. Images of my last world come to my mind and fade away soon. The same way these alleyways change faces whenever I look at them. I suddenly remember those important to me in the past.

I see two minarets hanging above my head like tall cypress trees. I suddenly know where I am: Grand Mosque of Yazd.

A map shows Yazd in green and its neighbor provinces in gray.

General Facts about Yazd

City of windcatchers, and quiet and lovely afternoons, Yazd is a gem in the heart of ancient Persia. This historic city is evidence of how hardworking the people of deserts have been throughout history. Living in Yazd, one will wonder at how harsh natural elements have affected the lives of the citizens of the city. Looking at the city over a roof, or the famous Towers of Silence at the outlying suburbs of a town, you will think of how one the city is with its surrounding nature.

Historically located on the ever-famous Silk Road, Yazd is home to a myriad of architectural wonders as well as historical gems. There are many places to visit in Yazd: Walking in narrow alleyways of the old town, you will come across windcatchers, Qanats, Ab Anbars, Sabats, and Gozars. These structures, mostly made from clay, color the city in a way typical of a desert city in Iran. And these are what make the city to be registered on the UNESCO world heritage list and are included in every Yazd day plans as well as Yazd sightseeing tours.

Tourists standing and taking photos in front of the Yazd city sign.

People come from all around the world to touch the piece of history left behind in Yazd.

Population in Yazd

In Yazd, you can find a diverse community from all over the country. From migrating Afghans to locals who decided to live in Yazd from other cities in Iran, such as Baluchistan, Zahedan, Bandar Abbas, and even Kerman, Yazd is a mixture of it all. With more than half a million in population, Yazd is not a large city like Tehran or Mashhad. But among the desert cities of Iran, it is one of the huge ones.

Additional to racial and ethnical diversity, there is a religious diversity in the city of Yazd. It is one of the few cities of Iran (alongside Tehran, Isfahan, Kashan, etc.) that is home to the Jewish community in Iran. And obviously, the biggest Zoroastrian community lives in the city and is greatly respected by the Muslim majority. They even chose a Zoroastrian member for their city council. And that’s the beauty of Yazd; manifold of ethnical and religious groups live with each other, harmoniously, in the heart of traditional Iran. The diversity of the city is one of Yazd’s Attractions.

Real-Life Fact

One of Yazdis’ notable characteristics (especially emphasized in Iranian film and TV series) is their sweet-sweet accent. Soft and melodic, you get somewhat elongated vowels at the end of syllabuses. Hmm, one could listen to a grandmother from Yazd telling stories of her childhood in her sweet Yazdi accent for hours!

Yazd Climate

You ask any Iranian what Yazd’s weather is like, and they will respond: hot, hot, and hot. The dryness of the area and the aridity of the land is one of Yazd’s prominent features. You must always remember that when you’re traveling in Yazd. But that’s all old news. What is interesting about Yazd’s climate? Well, the fact that the local mountain called Shirkooh, at more than 4000 meters has snow almost all months of the year. Let’s get more precise. Imagine traveling around Yazd in a car. Your driver stops to show you a Qanat at the side of the road. A single mountain faraway catches your eyes. You ask your driver, “What mountain is that?” And he replies, “Shirkooh.” And you look in the peak, squint your eyes while sweating a bit from the heat. And there you see it! Snow, on the top of the mountain, while the mighty sun is above your head!

However, it does get cold – desert-cold that is – during the winter. But it’s still bearable during the cold season.

When to visit Yazd

Best time to visit Yazd? Well, if you’re not looking for anything specific like the amazing Ashura festival during Muharram, then the best time to visit this historic gem is autumns and springs. However, the week leading up to Nowruz (the Persian New Year) is one of the best times to visit Yazd. The whole city has a holiday feel to it, and the weather is just fair and temperate, and there are many places to visit in Yazd.

History of Yazd

If there’s one thing Yazd should be known about is its history. When passing in the 13th century, Marco Polo described it as “a good and noble city.” Heart of traditionalism in Iran, this city was also the center for commerce and trade. Its main products were silk, carpet, and textile. Now they are among Yazd attractions and things to take home from the city.

The Mongol invasion of Iran did not hurt Yazd as it did other cities of Iran. And it was because the local ruler quickly accepted the Mongols’ commands and obeyed them. The barbaric invaders decided to let this one go. The city stayed as it was and even grew to become a commercial and cultural center of its time. However, it was during the Timurid Empire – a Torko-Mongol dynasty, that Yazd’s prospered even more. Amir Chakhmaq square, as well as its mosque, the exquisite tilework of the great Jame mosque, libraries, schools, and mosques, and many other Yazd attractions were built during their reign.

Walking around in Yazd will take you back in years: to the centuries you’ve not born in, to the people you’ve never met, and to the places you’ve never been. When you’re traveling in Yazd, you’re not only visiting an ancient city; you’re also taking up a historical course in traditions of Iran, Persian, and Islamic architecture, as well as a more general course about the value of water. There are so many historical sites that you might wonder to yourself: what to see in Yazd.

The view of Yazd with the clay houses and windcatchers and the blue sky.

The historical neighborhood of Yazd takes us back in time like a time machine.

Heart of the city: Qiam Street and Safayieh Neighborhood

When we talk about the heart of the city in Yazd, we must speak of two different places in the whole town. The first one is, obviously, around Amir Chakhmaq and Jame Mosque, where the old historical part and most of Yazd attractions are, specifically: Qiam Street. You can access the bazaar, the Amir Chakhmaq complex, the Jame Mosque, and so many other exciting places such as the Water Museum, the Mesgarha (copper-makers) section of the bazaar, as well as myriad of traditional cafes and beautiful historical gems. Fahadan is within walking distance. Here’s why Yazd is inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage. Heart of Iran’s traditionality is underneath your feet. Qiam Street is on all of Yazd day plans, for sure.

However, another fantastic place, which is the second heart of the town and not talked about in most Yazd travel guides, is the Safayieh neighborhood located on the other side of the city. Although lacking in traditional or historical elements, Safayieh is the hub for students and the younger generation of Yazd. Stretches of green boulevards are excellent places for the youth to go out and hang around with each other. Villa houses and modern buildings show the other face of Yazd: the one with a modern-ish style.

Yazd’s Economy

Natural elements have shaped Yazd’s economy. In an arid area like central Iran, you can’t afford to be lazy; you have to think of creative ways to make a living. And that’s what Yazd has done throughout the centuries. It has never been a significant “governmental” city; there are not so many office jobs in Yazd. However, the prosperous city has always been the center of trade and commerce, as Marco Polo also mentioned when he was traveling through the area.

Nowadays, businesses like tile companies, carpet factories, and pottery workshops in Yazd are among the most successful ones in the country. Even though it’s in the central desert parts of Iran, Yazd can take care of herself. It has among the lowest rates, regarding youth unemployment throughout the country. And that’s is partly because local businesspeople from Yazd are hiring the young, creating new jobs, and generating income for everybody.

Real-Life Fact

Many political figures have risen from Yazd. The most famous of whom is Mohamad Khatami, who was born in Ardakan (a neighboring city of Yazd) and is the one who proposed the idea of Dialogue Among Civilization in response to an American political scientist’s viewpoint: Clash of Civilizations.

Yazd’s Souvenirs

A trip to Yazd is not complete without raising your blood sugar by a notch. Yazdi Sweets are among the most famous in the whole country. Baklavas in Yazd are rich in Iranian pistachio and saffron, making it some of the best and most delicious Baklava in the world. But that’s not all. Qottab – which is probably the most iconic sweet from Yazd – is also a local dessert that is usually served with tea. Round and tasty, Qottabs are filled with crushed almonds and cardamom and sometimes honey. It’s also covered by powdery sugar, giving it a snowy outlook. Haj Khalife confectionary close to Amir Chakhmaq Complex is the leading brand for Yazdi Sweets and is a culinary Yazd attraction site.

However, souvenirs of Yazd are not only diabetes-leading products. Termeh, copper products, and the Persian carpet are also among the most prominent souvenirs of Yazd and are made locally in traditional workshops located in the bazaar.

Yazd’s Culture

Yazd is a cornerstone of Iranian culture. Home to the first monotheistic religion of the world – Zoroastrianism – Yazd is bound to be rich in cultural events, traditional and peculiar ways of life. And having lived near the desert for centuries, they have come up with various ways to adapt their lives: windcatchers, qanats, arch-shaped alleyways are some of the examples of desert elements you need to know about the city and put into your Yazd day plans.

Little girls walking to their school with their uniform while one turns and smiles at the camera in Yazd.

Yazdi people are known for their hardworking but yet joyful characteristics.

Religion

Having Yazd as a top religious city in Iran is an unusual thing. There are cities like Mashhad and Qom in Iran, where religion – namely Islam – is the central theme. In Yazd, however, we have a different perspective. Yazd is home to a rainbow of various faiths, peacefully and beautifully, living alongside each other. Iconically, Muslims, Zoroastrians, and Jews have been living in Yazd alongside each other for a long time.

Yazd during the Ashura festival is like no other city in the whole world. There are so many things to do in Yazd on this day. Traveling to the city will give the visitors incredible insights on how still relevant Islam is to their societies and everyday lives. Many people from all over Iran go to Yazd to see the way locals mourn the death of their third Shia Imam: Hussein. To the outsider’s eyes, it looks like an exceptional symphony – but one that is not carried out by a group of professionals, a symphony played by local people.

Many Yazd travel guides will tell you that during the Muharram festival is the answer to the question “when to visit Yazd.” And it’s somewhat true: there are so many things to do in Yazd at that time.

Its people are known for

To stay in the desert for centuries and to create such a rich culture asks for specific characteristics. Ingenuity, diligence, creativity, passion, and an excellent sense of art are some of them. One wonders how a group of people living in harsh natural conditions can be so hardworking and adaptive to their surroundings and at the same time, so charitable.

When you talk to an Iranian about Yazd and what they think of its people, during your conversation, they will mention the traditional and religious side of Yazdi people. Maybe living in the heart of the desert of hundreds of years, and having to make a living from the scarce sources you have, does not allow for much freedom of action and indulgent spending. They go on with their lives the same way they always have, thus making them some of the more traditional and adaptive people of Iran. One thing you should do in your Yazd sightseeing tours is to visit the Water Museum, which showcases the tools and techniques that locals have used to create underground waterways over 4000 years.

Real-Life Fact

Iran’s SAT is called Konkour. It is held annually in which all students of all Iran take part. It is a gruesome competition. But not for Yazdi students, it seems! Every year, many Yazdi students get top ranks in this million race; and that seems to be the norm! Education is crucial to Yazdi parents.

When walking in Yazd’s neighborhoods, either in the old parts or the more modern ones, you rarely see a house extravagantly showing off. And that speaks volumes about the characteristics of the city and the people of Yazd. They may be successful, but they don’t spend their money on the façade of their homes. Still, instead, they’d prefer to put their money into businesses, or even founding charity organization helping the vulnerable in their communities.

Real-Life Fact

One thing Yazdis are surely known for is how hardworking and diligent of a community they are. Think about it; designing a comfortable way to extract water from the heart of the desert is pretty impressive, don’t you think? Ingenious is what they are these people.

Art and architecture in Yazd

Walking around in the old part of the city in your Yazd day plans, you may come across these architectural wonders: a perfectly shaped arch, a humbly gorgeous minaret, or a traditional wooden door half open to a welcoming house. Fahadan neighborhood will surprise you in many small ways. It is also adjacent to the traditional bazaar of Yazd. This speaks volumes of how bazaar, the traditional market place was relevant to the everyday lives of the people.

Yazd is called “the City of Windcatchers” for a reason, and that is the existence of the forest of windcatchers, popping up here and there. Other architectural gems are hidden away in maze-like alleyways, local mosques, and quaint homes of the traditional part of town. They include Gozars (arch-shaped alleyways) Ab Anbars (traditional cistern to save drinking water) Yakhchals (evaporative coolers), and many more. There are many things to do in Yazd, and walking around in Fahadan is the most exciting one.

Yazd atmosphere

Looking for an exciting adventure that you would tell your friends and boast about it at parties? Want to experience a high adrenaline rush and be hyped-up for a few days? Searching for what to see in Yazd that is most thrilling? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but don’t travel to Yazd. It’s a city to contemplate, to ruminate, and to relax. When you’re walking in the small alleyways of the town, your mind might also wander into your own past. Yazd will invite you to think about your life choices, how you ended up here, and where you’re heading to.

Yazd’s atmosphere is calm and lovely; it lacks excitement. And that might be precisely what you’re looking for. The smell of adobe in the old part of town will take you to places you’ve never been to before. During your Yazd sightseeing, you will come across older men and women living in the old part of town who have a habit of sitting in front of their doorsteps, saying hi to the passersby, inviting them for conversation over a cup of tea. You may not speak of the same language, but the aroma of tea and the power of hospitability goes beyond cultures.

An old man with his green beanie sitting at the entrance of the Bazaar in Yazd.

Elders lighten up the spirit of the historical city of Yazd with their presence everywhere.

Yazd’s handicrafts

As the center of traditionalism in central Iran, Yazd bears so much of handicrafts heritage of the country. It is home to many different gems: ikat (called Darayee in Iran), carpets, copper products, and Termeh are just some of the valuable merchandise. The bazaar is one of the places to visit in Yazd to get your hands on these handicrafts. Dire climatic conditions in the region led to the excellence of Yazdi people to create such materials. Darayee and Termeh are among the most prominent handicrafts in Yazd.

Bowls of natural ingredients sitting next to each other and threads hanging inside an old store in Yazd.

Our ancestors knew the most sustainable ways of dying thread and fabrics.

Festivals of Yazd

Islamic festivals: Ashura

During the Ashura festival, Yazd is like no other city in the world: almost everybody in the town gets out of their homes to join the mourning ceremony of the death of their third Imam. Everybody has things to do in Yazd during Ashura.  En masse and with hypnotizing harmony, locals gather around in Amir Chakhmaq Square to beat their chests, sing prayers, and chant stories of events of Karbala, a city in Iraq.

Like a well-organized orchestra, locals perform their mourning in the most peculiar ways; it is as though they have been hired to stage their actions so harmoniously. But they haven’t; it’s all volunteer work for religious purposes. Attending these events will give you insights on how deeply-rooted are these religious beliefs among the ordinary Iranian like nothing else. And hey, you’re also visiting a top Yazd attraction!

Crowd of people in black doing their rituals for the Ashura ceremony in Yazd.

Storytelling is the main element that makes Ashura rituals in Yazd so special and unique.

Zoroastrian festivals: Mehregan

Zoroastrianism is the religion of festivals. These pre-Islamic people also had 30-day months on their calendar. And for each day, they had a different name, which also included the names of the months. Whenever the name of the day collided with the name of the month, there was some celebration. Mehregan is one of those festivities. Held to honor Mithra, the goddess of love, affection, and courtship, Zoroastrians in Yazd gather around in their fire temples to celebrate this day. However, these rituals are not allowed for people outside their religion and are held behind closed doors of their fire temples. So your typical Yazd travel guide might not talk about these festivals at all.

People holding their hands up in prayer outside the Chack Chack Zoroastrian temple in Yazd.

People pray to the ancient gods beneath a towering cliff face in the desert of central Iran.

Yazd’s Nature

Kavir is a familiar name to those from Yazd and other central parts of Iran. It means the desert. And Yazd is located in the heart of it all. For hundreds of kilometers around Yazd except some cities or villages, it’s mostly nothing but sand, the Kavir, and arid lands. Yazd, however, is on a flat plain, protected by mountains – the tallest of which is the almost-always snow-capped Shirkooh.

The mountains of Yazd are beautiful changes, be it physically or spiritually. For both the locals and visitors, whenever they want to have a gateway to someplace with more moderate weather, they go on a hike. These mountains offer those running away from the heat a resting place. Shirkooh which is the most prominent mountain of the region provides panoramic views of Yazd and can be included on your Yazd day plans if you’re interested.

Angèle M, from France, on TripAdvisor

What an amazing experience! Iran’s mountains are so beautiful; we were alone in the spectacular nature! If you have the occasion to discover that place, don’t hesitate a minute! Alone it’s a bit tricky; it’s better with a guide.

The Shirkuh mountain range under the blue sky of Yazd.

The mountains located in the hearts of the desert in Yazd are quite mind-blowing.

How nature affects their lives

To deal with extreme temperatures in the city during the summer, people have come up with many inventions: windcatchers, arch-shaped structures for alleyways called Sabats, aqueducts, Qanats, water reservoirs, and many more. These constructions all speak of the identity of Yazdi people: elegant, hardworking, genius, peaceful, and calm.

Tourists walking in the narrow alleys of Fahadan historical neighborhood in Yazd.

Yazdi people have adjusted their living spaces to the rules of nature since ancient times.

Surfing in Yazd

For the braver traveler, surfing in Yazd means a whole day of walking around in Fahadan and the old part of the city, on their own and without a guide. Preferably alone. It means architectural beauties you won’t find anywhere in the world. It means real people living in old traditional houses inviting you in for a cup of tea and a warm conversation. The stories hidden in the narrow alleyways of Yazd might be the real reason why it’s registered on the UNESCO world heritage sites, and rightly so.

For local people, exploring Yazd is an easy task. Unlike other major cities, they don’t have to travel around the city to find what they want. Living calm and happy lives, the people of Yazd conveniently find whatever they wish for in an accessible distance. Ideal for a comfortable and peaceful life, don’t you think?

Nightlife in Yazd

Alcohol may not be the answer to your nightlife adventures in Yazd. But, how about striking up a conversation with a stranger you met on a rooftop of a traditional artistic cafe, overlooking the Jame Mosque, as the sun goes down while drinking endless cups of black tea? Is that a pleasant thing in your nightlife adventures? Or you want more than that? How about driving to the nearby desert, lighting up a campfire, with someone playing traditional Iranian music while you watch the myriad of stars dancing above your head in galaxies far away? Does that constitute as nightlife for you? The answer is an absolute ‘hell, yes’! There are many things to do in Yazd’s night; you just have to decide for yourself.

Tourists and locals spending their evening at a hookah roof café in Yazd.

The serenity and relaxing vibes of Yazd cafes make you want to stay there forever.

Main areas for eating, shopping, and hanging out in Yazd

Sitting on a rooftop overlooking the old town and the magnificent Jame Mosque while talking to fellow travelers when the sun is going down behind a towering mountain is something you can’t find in any other cities of Iran. Yazd has so many traditional houses and art cafés that offer this, for free, for anyone interested. Fooka Café close to the Jame Mosque and Art Café provides this for travelers and visitors. These sorts of homestays and ecolodges – additional to being great places to visit in Yazd – are lovely sites to meet a like-minded traveler or a local to have a conversation with over a cup of coffee under the star-lit skies.

Tourists eating inside a traditional café at Yazd.

There are many authentic and traditional cafes in which you can eat during your trip to Yazd.

Off-the-beaten activities of Yazd

Nature has a strong presence in the atmosphere of Yazd; that is why off-the-beaten tracks and activities are so close to the city. Within a day, you can travel to the heart of the desert, lit a campfire, and spend a lovely evening under limitless galaxies. But wait, there are other things to do in Yazd’s off-the-beaten-tracks. Yazd also offers hiking and trekking experiences to those interested. Shirkooh is on the 1515 list of major mountains in the world and provides panoramic views of the city. For a more local experience, you can also travel to Chak Chak, less than 100 km from Yazd. This religious village is like a Mecca for the Zoroastrian community and is among the top things to do in Yazd.

Transportation

Reaching Yazd is relatively easy. Considered a significant city in all over Iran, business people, locals, students, domestic travelers, and the wanderers head to Yazd in high numbers.

An old man with a blue beanie walking with his bike on the street of Yazd.

Many locals use bicycles as a form of transportation in Yazd.

How to reach Yazd?

It is connected to the Iranian railway system. So you can hop on a train wagon from Tehran, Isfahan, Kashan, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, etc. to reach Yazd. Buses from Tehran leave hourly to Yazd. You can walk into Tehran’s South Terminal and ask for a ticket to Yazd, and they almost always will offer you a bus ride that leaves in less than an hour! The same applies to Isfahan’s Kaveh or Soffeh Terminal. And for planes, at least four flights depart from Tehran to Yazd daily. It takes just a bit more than one hour to reach this historical gem.

How to get around in Yazd?

Unlike other cities in the rest of the country, Yazdi people don’t primary way of transportation around their town is not the commonly-used shared taxis. However, the local bus system is pretty strong. Want to go to the other side of the city and experience what locals do? Well then, throw away your Yazd travel guide and ask your Yazdi friend for the right bus route that goes your way and be in the bus station in time! Enjoy your ride while you go through beautiful neighborhoods of Yazd.

Is all that too much for you? Don’t worry, Snapp and Tap30 (Iranian Uber and Lyft) work perfectly in town, and they’re pretty cheap compared to Tehran.

Top Places to Visit in Yazd, and the Best Things to do in Yazd

Amir Chakhmaq Complex

Symmetrical and spectacular, Amir Chakhmaq is the symbol of Yazd. The whole complex includes a Hussainiya (a gathering place for mourning), a mosque, and a pedestrian square. The latter is a great place to socialize with locals and to meet new people, Iranians or foreigners. Façade of this three-story building showcases Iran’s architecture; grandiose and public. Right in the corner of the pedestrian square, there’s a wooden structure called Nakhl. It is used only once a year, only on the 10th of Muharram, known as the day of Ashura.

Zurkhaneh rituals are also performed every day near this magnificent site. Called Saheb Al-Zaman, this Zurkhaneh is very accessible from Amir Chakhmaq (less than one-minute walking distance) and is one of the few on the whole country that allows women to enter. So if you don’t know what a Zurkhaneh is, it’s basically, a historical and traditional Persian gym, inscribed on UNESCO. Originally, it was created to prepare soldiers for times of combat and war. Now, it’s among the places to visit in Yazd and maybe even get a chance to participate in one of those rituals.

Real-Life Fact

Yazdi people love sweets. “Shirini Yazdi,” which translates into “Yazdi Sweets,” is one of the cities’ more famous souvenirs. Haj Khalifeh is the most renowned brand that cooks these sweets; its original store is located at Amir Chakhmaq. So, if you’re walking around the square and see a confectionary shop, with an extremely long que, don’t be surprised. It’s probably Haj Khalife’s store.

Mosque located at Amir Chakhmaq Complex in Yazd with a group of people in front of it.

Amir Chakhmaq Complex is known for its symmetrical sunken alcoves.

Fahadan and its many gems

Heart of traditional Yazd, this is where all the excitement begins. Fahadan neighborhood, located close to the Jame Mosque and Qiam street, is home to many gems. Locals call it “the historical texture” and for a good reason. Most of it is registered on the UNESCO world heritage, making Yazd the first city in Iran, and the second one in the world (after Venice) to be inscribed on that list. Walking around in Fahadan is quite a ruminative experience that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Quaint houses, exquisite mosques, like the Jame Mosque, elegant windcatchers, traditional Ab-Anbars (water-reservoirs), cone-shaped Yackchals (evaporative coolers), and the world-famous Zarch Qanat are just some of the plethora of hidden gems in this neighborhood. What blows your mind is that they are, almost entirely, made of adobe. There is a myriad of things to do in Yazd’s Fahadan, and you should put it in your Yazd day plans.

Pretisan, from Italy, on TripAdvisor

Construction in bricks of mud and straw dried on the sun, and at sunset go on top of a roof to have a view of the city and the badgir (towers to capture wind and cool ambients).

Tourists sitting at a roof café with the view of the many windcatchers of Yazd.

Fahadan takes you back in time to feel the essence of authenticity and togetherness.

Fire temple

Islam might be the primary religion in Yazd, but the Zoroastrian temples of Yazd – Atash Bahram Fire Temple – showcases exquisite elements of Zoroastrianism in the heart of Islamic Iran. Walking around in the yards of the main building, you might feel you’re stepping back into Iran’s pre-Islamic Era. Your experience might reach a climax when entering the main hall and seeing the eternal fire. The flame has been burning for more than 1500 years, and if you’re lucky enough, you might get the chance to see the priest coming to the fire room holding holy wood, to keep the sacred flame ignited for another hour or two. If you’re wondering what to see in Yazd for an evening, the Zoroastrian fire temple might be the answer.

Mickeywonder13, from Greece, on TripAdvisor

It’s the most important temple of Zoroastrianism in Iran. Zoroastrianism is an ancient monotheistic religion that dates back to around 3500 years ago, was the principal religion in Iran before the Islamic conquests, and the community still lives on in some parts of the country. Yazd is the center of Zoroastrianism in Iran.

Tourists walking inside and out from the fire temple of Atash Behram in Yazd.

One of the oldest sacred fire flames burning since about 470 AD lies inside Atash Behram temple.

Towers of Silence

Another element of Zoroastrianism found in the outlying parts of the town are the twin Towers of Silence – or also called Dakhmeh. These impressive towers outlasting Islam are definitely worth the visit on a gloomy/lazy afternoon when you want to sit on a hill and look over Yazd. But what are these towers for? Why are they called Towers of Silence? Well, until 40-50 years ago, corpses were still lying around at the top of these twin hills. Initially, they were “sky burial sites” where Zoroastrians would put the bodies of their loved ones for the prey birds to pick on. This was a way to complete Zoroastrian’s belief that the earth is purifying. Nowadays, however, located on the outskirts of Yazd, they are a place to ponder, to meditate, and to think about lost loved ones.

Tourists walking by the mountain and the building of tower of silence in Yazd.

This is one of the most sacred sites for Zoroastrians in Iran.

Dowlatabad Garden

Among the various things to do in Yazd, visiting a Persian Garden is one of the most rewarding ones. Nine of these gardens are inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage; Dowlatabad Garden is one of them. And it is home to the tallest windcatchers in the world. But forget all of that! Imagine standing underneath the tall tower and “catching” cold wind from 30 meters above your head! That’s quite an experience! Exquisite works of wood-work, Qanat, and Persian geometrical ceiling manifest themselves in the building located in the center of the Garden as one of Yazd’s attractions.

The trees on the two sides of the fountain pools inside the Dowlat Abad garden of Yazd.

There is a sense of mindfulness and peace in all the gardens of Yazd.

Jame Mosque

In a city of mud bricks and brownish color, a turquoise structure towers herself out of all buildings in the old part of town. Similar to the color of the sky, it was as though if you prayed here, you’d be closer to the entity in the heavens. But the Jame Mosque is not the only guide to the heavens but also a guide to those lost in the narrow maze-like alleyways of Yazd. Serving as a lighthouse to those walking in Fahadan, the lost and the wanderer will find their way home if they look up and see where the twin turquoise minarets are.

Graced with two 48 meters-high minarets, the great mosque of Yazd is the center of religious activities in Yazd. Situated in the heart of the old part of Yazd, this congregational mosque used to be a Zoroastrian fire temple site, but with the advent of Islam, it turned into a mosque. It was redone in the 14th century and now attests to the wonders of Persian architecture from that era and is on all of Yazd sightseeing tours.

Tourists walking and taking photos in front of the Jame mosque of Yazd.

Jame mosque is one of the symbols of Yazd and its beautiful architecture.

Quran’s Gate Desert

Of course, Yazd has the magical deserts you have seen in movies or video clips about Iran. Leaving the city from the northern part, called Quran’s Gate, you will reach a desert. Calm and peaceful, it might seem devoid of life at first glance. But don’t be mistaken, the beauties of the desert will show up if you’re patient.

A Middle Eastern desert rings the bells of a safari or an adventurous trip to the heart of nowhere. It’s true, Yazd’s desert does offer adrenaline rush to those who seek for. But that is only one of the things to do in Yazd. If you want to try something different this time, something that will stay with you for the rest of your life, the Quran’s Gate desert is the place. Imagine this: after a long day walking around in the historical parts of Yazd, meeting locals and visiting gem after gem, you’re lucky to go to a desert close enough to the city to be part of your Yazd day plans. You’d take it. Spending the night under the star-lit skies of the desert while listening to local music around a bonfire is a memory to take home, a story to tell, and maybe a short story or a poem to write.

Yazd Included Tour Packages

9 Days

An Adventure to Real Iran

From
960

9 Day Iran Cultural Tour

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An Adventure to Real Iran

From
960

Experiencing most famous cities of Iran including Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Yazd

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12 Days

Get on A Time Machine

From
1290

12 Day Iran Cultural Tour

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Get on A Time Machine

From
1290

Travel with peace of mind on the silk road to explore Iran in depth

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14 Days

Mysterious Persian Odyssey

From
1480

14 Day Iran Cultural Tour

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Mysterious Persian Odyssey

From
1480

Iran two weeks tour through the classic path

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21 Days

Touch the Diversity

From
2190

21 Day Iran Cultural Tour

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Touch the Diversity

From
2190

To explore Iran's people and its ancient civilization, architecture, mountains, deserts, jungles and seas

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