header kashan

Kashan is much smaller and more conservative than Tehran. It’s a place where wealthy Iranians buy beautiful courtyard houses and restore them to their former glory, for use as cool weekend houses. Complete with walled gardens, private pools, fountains and Iranian antiques, all decorated in turquoise, terracotta, pine green and teal, these sprawling mansions are slowly installing the city with its former allure. Winters are cold and summers scorching, so the best time to visit Kashan is early spring.

The Perfect Day

Buy a small packet of popular street snack chaghale badoom (raw almonds) for sustenance and begin with a walk around Bagh-e Fin, a lush historical Persian garden. If it’s not too busy, queue for a hammam at the house complex – the very place where Iranian nationalist hero Amir Kabir was murdered in 1852. Head back to central Kashan and mingle with locals over a traditional lunch at Abbasi House restaurant, before leaving this so-called ‘modest’ quarter and following signs to other Kashani Houses. The many historical courtyard residences – lots of which now operate as museums and galleries – are clustered together, so pop in and out as you please. Tabatabaei House, Borujerdis House and Abbasi House are among our favourites. You must also make a pit stop at Manouchehri House to gorge on delicious cardamom and rosewater-flavoured cakes and rice-flour biscuits, washed down with sweet tea.

There are also lots of lavish hammams here, such as the Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, adorned with turquoise and gold mosaic. Go for a walk around the Kashan Bazaar, where you can stock up on more nuts, tea and spices. Be sure to buy some freshly ground turmeric – the colour and smell is sensational. Unwind and enjoy the coolness of the breeze brought by sunset, before getting ready for an unforgettable dinner at the stunning Saraye Ameriha restaurant.

TO STAY

Manoucherhri House

Resurrected from total ruin, this is now an architectural gem and reason enough in itself to visit Kashan. In addition to its enchanting dining room (serving truly superb food) the staff, rooms and location are all second to none. Book as far in advance as possible as the hotel is (unsurprisingly) in very high demand.

  • +98 31 55 24 26 17
  • Go to Website
  • No. 49, 7th Emarat Alley, Sabet Alley
    Mohtasham Street
    Kashan
    87134

Sarape Ameriha Boutique Hotel

Another restored courtyard mansion, Saraye Ameriha is a great option thanks to its beautiful garden, cosy but chic rooms and sumptuous restaurant. It’s worth a visit even if you’re not staying, so be sure to at least book in for dinner.

Ehsan House

We highly recommend this lovely guesthouse, which will suit those on a tighter budget. A popular option thanks to its super-central location and great rooftop with views across Kashan, you’ll need to get your reservation in early.

TO EAT

Abbasi House Restaurant

This restaurant was built inside the Abbasi House, which once belonged to a wealthy Kashani family. Back then, this stunning courtyard was just another part of the house, meant to be ‘simple and functional’. If only our houses looked like this…

  • +98 31 55 24 57 64
  • Alavi Street
    Kashan
    87134

Mahinestan Raheb Restaurant

We know we keep banging on about it, but it is such a treat to eat out in the traditional courtyard houses of Kashan and Mahinestan Raheb is one of the best. As well as being a handsome boutique hotel it offers delightful, atmospheric dining and one of the best tea-time experiences.

  • 31st Lane
    Hazel Naraghi Street
    Kashan
    87134

Golshan Restaurant

Typically a gathering place of celebrating Kashanis, Golshan is always buzzing, known for its reasonable prices and modest surroundings. This is the one for a truly local experience where you’ll pick up plenty of tips from fellow diners and friendly staff.

  • Shahid Motahari Blvd
    Kashan
    87134

TO DO

Rooftop of the Bazaar

Get your most persuasive face on and convince one of the traders in the market to open one of the little entrances to the bazaar’s rooftop. Climbing on top of these domes will make you feel like an intrepid explorer who’s been let in on a secret. From there, you can see see the sprawling city surrounded by endless desert. This is where you will have an on-top-of-the-world Lion King moment – but try to resist roaring.

  • Baba Afzal Street
    Kashan
    87134

Abyaneh Village

If you’ve got time for a day trip, hit the road towards the 2000-year-old mountain village of Abyaneh. Lined with rusty coloured mud-brick houses (the earth is rich in iron dioxide), it’s a dreamy sight. You’ll be spoiled by traditionally dressed, older Iranian women with their flowing flower-patterned headscarves (typical to women of Abyaneh) offering you endless sweet tea. Wander around and explore before a massive rainstorm paints the buildings a darker shade of red.

  • Abyaneh

Visit Kashan Mosques

The great Agha Bozorg mosque embodies the city in its characteristically Kashani architecture and colours. Located in the centre, it attracts photographers thanks to its changing its shades of sand, beige, pink and gold, depending on the weather and time of day. Sit in the courtyard and enjoy the view of its larger iwan (hall), then head over to the Jameh mosque. Translating as ‘Friday’ – the holy day in Islam – there’s one in almost every city and it’s where people congregate to worship and pray. Dating back to the 11th century, it’s one of Kashan’s oldest monuments and said to have been built over a Zoroastrian fire temple.

  • +98 91 38 61 70 90

Manouchehri House

Saraye Ameriha Boutique Hotel

Ehsan House

Abbasi House Restaurant

Mahinestan Raheb Restaurant

Golshan Restaurant

Rooftop at the bazaar

Visit Abyaneh village

Kashan Mosques

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