Mashhad Travel Guide | Mashhad Attractions | Things to Do and see in Mashhad
Mashhad / City of Paradise / Imam Reza city / the most important pilgrimage city of Iran
Mashhad is a city that was the capital of Iran in Afsharid time and nowadays it is the second mega city of Iran and the capital of Razavi Khorasan province. The city is located in north east of the country. Since Mashhad is known as housing the tomb of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam, every year more than 30 millions Iranian pilgrims and about 1 million foreign pilgrims visit the city and Imam Reza Shrine. Geographically, from the north the city leads to Kalat county, from the north west it leads to Dargaz city, from the west it leads to Chenaran and Nishabur cities and from the east it leads to Sarakhs and Torbat-e Jam cities.
About the origin of the name of the city it should be said that “ Mashhad” means the place of martyrdom. Imam Reza was killed by Al-Ma’mun Abbasi in 202 AH and was burried in Aaron tomb in Sanabad. Since that time Sanabad-e Noghan city has been called “ Mashhad” and it became wide during the time, especially in time of Shah Tahmasp I. People of Tus city also migrated to Mashhad. It should be said that for the first time the city was labeled as “ Mashhad “ by Mahmud of Ghazni. Nowadays Mashhad is one of the most crowded cities of Iran and the Middle East in terms of attracting tourists. In addition to Imam Reza Shrine, there are many great mosques, historical graves, traditional schools and Bazaars in Mashhad that persuade you to travel and visit the city.
Where to stay in Mashhad?
Since Mashhad is one of the most crowded cities of Iran and many tourists travel to the city every year, it has a lot of good hotels such as Darvishi hotel, Homa hotel 1, Pardisan hotel, Ghasr international hotel and Ghasr Talaee international hotel that are very expensive. Sinoor, Khaneye Sabz, Soroush and Parmida are also good but less expensive hotels of Mashhad. If you prefer to stay at aparthotels, Espino hotel and Parsian Tourist Toos hotel are good choices for you. But it should be mentioned that their price are as same as three star hotels. We recommend you to visit Shandiz county near the city that has many beautiful rivers and it is a worth seeing place. You can also buy handicrafts like pottery things, Kilim and traditional Fur clothing from Shandiz’s shops. The other place that you should not lose during your trip to Mashhad is Torqabeh which is located in 15 km from the city. It is a spectacular ancient region with pleasant cool weather. You can also go and visit Anbaran village in 1 km from Torqabeh which has a great vegetation that make the whole region fragrant.
What to eat? Where to eat?
Mashhad like other cities of Iran has its own local foods such as: Shashlik, Haleem, Congee ( Shole), Digcheh, Changali, Eshkeneh, Turnip soup, Koko shirin, Chelo Mahicheh and Reshteh polo that are hard to find in the restaurants of the city. But you can eat the best kind of Shashlik in Eram Shandiz restaurant, the most delicious kinds of Haleem and Shole in Baharestan restaurant and the best kind of Mahicheh in Pesarane Karim restaurant. Baba Ghodrat, Moein Darbari, Bagh Salar and Baame Koohsar are other nice restaurants of the city. We have also some special suggestions for you, the first one is Dizi Seyed restaurant for those who like Dizi ( Abgoosht), the second one is Yarane Gonabad Ash place for those who like different kinds of Ash, the third one is Chili Cheese, Pizza Pizza and MeChef Italian restaurant for those who interested in eating fast food and foreign foods, and the last one is Dariush traditional restaurant and Blue Lantern restaurant for those who like traditional peaceful places. There are also some good restaurants outside the city that Shandiz restaurant located in 25 km from the city is the most popular and luxurious one. The beautiful landscape and perfect menu of Shandiz restaurant make it popular among the tourists and pilgrims. Torqabeh and and Anbaran also have nice traditional restaurants like Bolbol-e Anbaran, Shabhaye Anbaran and Kariz restaurants.
Beverages ( Soft Drinks)
Mashhad has many cafes that we introduce the best of them to you: Sugar Cafe, Eden Cafe, Vanilla Cafe, Biscuit coffee shop and Didar Cafe which have suitable environments and good menus.
What do we buy from Mashhad?
Mashhad has popular souvenirs such as: Saffron, Leblebi with Raisin, Turbah, Tasbih, Agate jewellery and prayer rug that you can buy them from Bazaar-e Reza near Imam Reza Shrine, Goharshad mall and central Bazaar. If you prefer modern shopping centers, you should go Sajad street of Mashhad where many shopping centres are in. Arman shopping center, Almas-e Shargh shopping mall, Melal shopping center, Zist-e Khavar shopping mall and Vilaj Tourist mall are other good choices for shopping in Mashhad.
Health and Care
An important point that should be considered by the tourists during a trip is a matter of health. If you suffer a special disease or take certain medications, we recommend you to choose a place for staying which is located near health centers to easily access to health services. But if you need emergency aids you should call 115. Mashhad has equipped hospitals that provide you with complete therapeutic services for example: Razavi, Mehr, 17 Shahrivar and Farabi hospitals.
Where to go and visit in Mashhad?
The most important place that you should not forget to visit is Imam Reza Shrine, but Mashhad has many other attractions that you can visit and enjoy such as: Sang Bast complex which is the oldest monument with Islamic architecture of Khorasan, Harunie edifice that is the only historical monument of Tus city, Dodar school that is the most beautiful symbol of Timurid architecture, Haj Malek historical house, Tomb of Nader Shah, Mehdi Gholi Beyk Bath, Mardom Shenasi ( Anthropology) museum, Tomb of Palandouz, Ghoharshad mosque, Tomb of Ferdowsi, Haft Hoz garden, Vakil Abad park, 72 Tan mosque, Koohsangi park and Akhlamad Yaylak.