The most charismatic city of Iran, the ancient Yazd is located exactly in the center of the country, at an almost equal distance from Isfahan, Kerman and Shiraz. There is everything here to feel like you have landed on another planet: entire forests of wind towers – “badgirs”, thanks to a complex system of turbulences delivering fresh air to homes languishing from the summer heat, the oldest Zoroastrian temple, the sacred fire of which has been kept unquenchable for 15 centuries, and a labyrinth of narrow streets of the old city, where the best silk fabrics in the world are born in weaving workshops, which once captured the imagination of Marco Polo himself. You can spend the night here in one of the unusual hotels: old residential buildings with all their century-old attributes have been converted into inns in Yazd, and you can drink a cup of morning coffee in the pleasant company of a believing Zoroastrian who will tell you that heaven is hot, but hell is on the contrary, icy (with which we, the inhabitants of cold Moscow, agree one hundred percent). Among other things, Yazd is the second oldest city of mankind, inhabited to this day – the first mention of the settlement dates back to the 3rd millennium BC.
How to get to Yazd
Like most cities in Iran, Yazd has its own airport that accepts international and domestic flights. The most convenient way to get to Yazd is via Tehran on Aeroflot or IranAir flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo. At least two planes depart from Tehran to Yazd daily; Travel time is just over an hour. To get from the airport to the center of Yazd, take a taxi (about 6-10 EUR).
According to wholevehicles, Yazd can also be reached by train, both from Tehran and from other cities in the country. The Tehran-Yazd train departs every evening, the journey takes about 6 hours, the ticket price is from 9 EUR in a six-seater compartment to 12 EUR in a comfortable carriage (we recommend the second option).
In addition, you can arrive in Yazd by intercity express bus from any city in Iran. We remind you that it is better to take the “super” class with a “snack” included in the price and air conditioning. By the way, the Tehran-Yazd road is of excellent quality, and such a trip can be classified as very pleasant.
Transport in the city
The old city of Yazd can be easily explored on foot. For longer trips, you can use the services of a taxi: 4000-6000 IRR for an individual trip to the specified address and 1000-2000 IRR for the opportunity to get into a collective car and get off where necessary, in the direction of the taxi. There are also motorcycle taxi drivers in Yazd who will whistle you through the streets of the city with a whistle in their ears. Such a trip will cost even less, and will give a lot of impressions!
Cuisine and restaurants of Yazd
Yazd offers travelers a rare opportunity to dine in ancient buildings converted into restaurants. One of the most popular establishments is the Hammam-e Khan restaurant, as you might guess, located in the premises of the old hammam. Here you can enjoy excellent Persian cuisine under the rhythmic ripple of water in the baths, under the shade of vaulted ceilings and surrounded by intricate wall ceramics. In addition, almost every restaurant in Yazd, as a free addition to the meal, offers a view of one or another attraction, for example, the Friday Mosque (Marco Polo restaurant), the old city (Malek-o Tozhzhar) or an old manor with a magnificent garden (“Mozaffar”).
Delicious sweets and cakes can be tasted in a specialized confectionery on Jomhuriye-Eslami Boulevard – sweet craftsmen work right in front of you and, best of all, they allow you to taste the result of their labors.
Stop by Amiran Paludeh and enjoy a bowl of Iranian sherbet – a palude made from rice flour, fruit pulp and rose water (1500 IRR per bowl).
Shopping and stores
The main shopping location in Yazd is the bazaars of the old city. Here you can see and buy wonderful carpets (moreover, at lower prices than in Tehran and other cities of the country popular among tourists), chased and leather products, spices, sweets and souvenirs. Pay attention to the Yazd silks, called “tirma” here. You can buy cuts of fabric or ready-made products – from headscarves to bedspreads.
Entertainment and attractions of Yazd
The old city of Yazd is one big attraction. The appearance of most of the buildings here has not changed for more than one century: dark brown walls of buildings made of raw bricks baked in the sun and otherworldly structures of wind towers-bagdirs on each roof. Climbing up to the roof of one of the buildings open to the public, you can see the endless expanses of the desert surrounding Yazd from all sides.
The Zoroastrian temple of Atashkade is a place of pilgrimage for followers of this religion from all over the world. The sacred fire of the temple has been maintained since 470; it can be seen through a small window in the central hall.
The Water Museum presents an interesting exposition that tells about the ancient method of delivering water to the city through underground tunnels. The art of arranging such a water supply has more than two thousand years!
The Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, which were used, according to the beliefs of the Zoroastrians, in order for the body of the deceased to naturally rot in the air, ceased to serve their purpose only from the 60s of the 20th century.
The Zoroastrian Towers of Silence are located a short distance from the city and are easily accessible by taxi. According to the beliefs of the Zoroastrians, the body of the deceased should naturally decay in the air – therefore, the dead were taken to remote tower-type structures, where they were left on the upper platform to be eaten by birds of prey. By the way, the towers have not been used since the 60s of the 20th century.
For great Islamic architecture, head to the Friday Mosque, Khazire Mosque and Amir Shakmah Mosque.
Not far from the Amir Shakmah mosque is the complex of buildings of the same name, from the top of which you can see Yazd from an almost bird’s eye view.
Do not ignore the most beautiful kazhar house with 150 years of history – Khan-e Lari. Here you can see some of the best preserved wind towers, graceful arched passages, alcoves and traditional doors.