Trekking Iran Tours - Hiking on Alamkouh tour
Top Trekking Iran Tours, Guide and Routes
March 29, 2020
Mount Damavand-Highest Volcano in Asia- Climbing Guide
Mount Damavand Climbing Guide
March 21, 2021

Iran Heritage Sites and Tours

Iran Travel Guide Book-Iran Cultural Tours- Iran Heritage Map


Are you planning to travel to Iran? Looking for good information about Iran Heritage Tours and sites? Want to have a free Iran Travel Guide Book?

Congratulation! You will find all the necessary information about Iran’s cultural tours, Iran Heritage sites and related tours in this series of posts.

As a best Iran Tour Operator, Iran Exploration team share their experience and knowledge about Iran Heritage Tours and sites, for you freely.

So don’t miss this Heritage information for your Iran Travel.


Iran Heritage Sites and Tours

Iran, with its rich nature, ancient culture and civilization, has 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (until March 2020). Of these, 22 are registered as a Cultural World Heritage Sites, and two are Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Iran was one of the first countries to join the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in February 1975.

Following the introduction of a list of Iranian cultural monuments to UNESCO, subsequently in 1979, TChogha Zenbil, Persepolis, and Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Imam Square in Isfahan) were the first to be registered by Iran in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Subsequently, more works, such as Takht Suleiman, Citadel of Bam and … of Iran, were registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention was adopted in late 1972 to preserve natural, cultural and historical World Heritage Sites in different countries, regardless of the member’s race, religion or nationality.

In so doing, while preserving the sovereignty of the registrant country, protection is the duty of all members.


Criteria for registering Iran Heritage Sites in UNESCO List

To monuments of Iran (or other countries) be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it must have one of the following characteristics.


  • Iran Heritage Cultural Sites should have at least one of the following characteristics:

  1. It represents a masterpiece of human ingenuity and creativity.
  2. Represent the exchange of human values ​​over a while in a cultural area in terms of advances in architecture or technology, urban planning or landscape design.
  3. A unique or at least exceptional testimony to a living or lost cultural tradition or civilization.
  4. An outstanding example in architecture or technology that represents an important stage in human history.
  5. Be a prominent example of human-environment interaction or representative of a culture.
  6. Be of universal importance directly or tangibly related to life events or traditions, thoughts and ideas or works of art or literature.

For example, the TChogha Znabil Temple of Iran, which was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1979, had the number 3 and 4 features on the list. Persepolis in the Shiraz city, as the second Iranian World Heritage Site, had features 1, 3 and 6.

Also, the Naghsh-e Jahan in Isfahan, with criteria 1, 5 and 6 as the third one, was registered on Iran Heritage Site.


  • Iran Heritage Natural Sites should have at least one of the following characteristics:

  1. A unique natural phenomenon with exceptional and aesthetic backgrounds.
  2. An outstanding example of the stages and changes in geological history.
  3. An outstanding example of environmental and biological processes in terrestrial evolution, coastal and marine ecosystems, and communities of plants and animals.
  4. It contains important natural habitats for biodiversity and contains endangered species.

Till now (March 2020), of the 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran, only two are natural.

Lot Desert was registered as the first natural phenomenon of Iran World Heritage in 2016.

The 50 million-year-old Hyrcanian forests, located south of the Caspian Sea and the northern slopes of the Alborz mountains and Mt. Damavand, became as Iran’s second natural monument in UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2019.


Iran is among the top 10 countries in the world with its many historical, natural and cultural monuments registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This capability has made Iran Exploration (as one of the best tour operators in Iran) able to plan and execute a wide variety of UNESCO World Heritage Tours in Iran.

In this post, we will introduce and explain the monument of Iran’s best Heritage sites and related tours.

Of course, considering a large number of these monuments and their large volume of explanations, we present you the Contents in the following three separate articles:

  • Historical and cultural monuments of Iran Heritage registered by 2009
  • Historical and cultural monuments of Iran Heritage registered from 2009 – 2020
  • The Natural phenomenon of Iran Heritage registered in UNESCO list


Related Iran Heritage Tours

Adventure To The Heart Of Iran


Jewels Of The Ancient Persian Culture


Historical and cultural monuments of Iran Heritage registered by 2009

Iran, with 22 Historical-cultural and two natural World Heritage Sites, now ranks 10th in the world with the highest number of registered monuments.

Of course, Iran has more than 2000 artifacts with the capability of registering in UNESCO, but 57 of them listed in the waiting list of UNESCO World Heritage to be chosen.

It should be noted that under the World Heritage Convention, each country can only nominate one UNESCO World Heritage Candidate per year.

Now we read the magnificent Iranian artifacts that have been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage by 2009.



1.   Tchogha Zanbil, City of Susa (1979)


Iran Travel Guide Book-Iran Cultural Tours - Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat at Night


Tchogha Zanbil or Chogha Zanbil (name of the place) Ziggurat, is one of the most prominent religious shrines in ancient Iran. It was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site listed in 1979.

One of the largest Ziggurats in the world and the best preserved of this type of stepped pyramidal monument.

It dates back over 1250 BC, on the reign of the Elamites. Chogha Zanbil is located near the ancient city of Susa (Shoosh) and the ancient area of ​​Haft Tapeh in Khuzestan province.

Chogha Zanbil itself as one of the oldest known cities in the world has multiplied the attraction and value of visiting this area.

It is on 5 floors with a height of 52 meters but today only 2 floors with a height of about 25 meters remain.

The building (Ziggurat Chogaznabil) is a masterpiece of architecture in Iran and is the main part of our “Best Iran Heritage Tours”.



2.   Persepolis, Shiraz (1979)


Iran Travel Guide Book - Iran Cultural Tours - Sunset of Persepolis in Shiraz


Persepolis is a great complex rest at the foot of Kuh-e Rahmat (Mountain of Forgiveness) near the Shiraz city.

It is among the world’s greatest archaeological sites.  This monument is symbol of the greatness and civilization of the Persian empire. It builds on 2500 years ago, during the Persian Empire of Achaemenes.

Achaemenes Empire was the first-only largest Empire that built based on the laws of peace and humanity.

Darius the king orders some of the most skilled architects and artists from across the empire. He invited them to design a Persepolis. Today we see everyone enjoy the beauty, creativity, and art of it.

Persepolis was a capital for celebrate ceremonies and celebrations, especially Nowruz.

It also was a place of meetings that have always admired for being unique and exemplary at the time. The kings at that time always were wonderful about it.

It designed to symbolize universal unity and peace. It shows the rich Iranian civilization for thousands of years.

Travel Iran without knowing the glorious history of Iran in Persepolis is useless.

We invite you to a 2500-year trip to see all of this thing and discover the history and genius of Persian in the “Iran Heritage Sites Tour”.



3.  Naghsh-e-Jahan Square, Isfahan (1979)


Iran Travel Guide Book - Iran Cultural Tours - Meidan Emam, Isfahan

Naghsh-e-Jahan Square or Meidan Emam or Imam Square is one of the greatest attractions in Isfahan.

When we talking about Isfahan and the Safavid kingdom, we must point to the great era of urban architecture in Iran.

Truly, Naghsh-e Jahan Square, with all that beauties and shows the art of Iran.

undoubtedly, Isfahan was of the most beautiful cities in the world during the Safavid era. It still magically shining today in Iran Historic Tours.

Naghsh-e Jahan Square with more than 400 years’ history behind, is the second-largest square in the world.

Moreover, its beauty and existing monuments on its four sides, like the AliQapu Palace, Shah Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, The Qeysarie Gate and the Grand Bazaar, have made it the number 1 world-historical complex.

The Naghsh-e Jahan Square, along with Tchogha Zanbil and Persepolis (or Takht-e Jamshid), is the earliest Iran Heritage Sites to be registered in UNESCO in 1979.



4.   Takht-e Soleyman, Zanjan city (2003)

Takht-e-Soleyman as very unique and extraordinary historical sites in Iran registered In 2003 as a forth Iran Heritage site.

Its located in a volcanic mountainous area near Zanjan city. With many fanatic legends, encourage you to visit Takht-e Soleiman historical complex in “Iran World Heritage sites” tours.

Local people have beliefs that Takht-e Soleiman is the birthplace of Zoroaster (the Holy Prophet), the Solomon Prison (monster prison). but it is the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in reality. Hearing these legends from local people is one of the attractions of this site.

It was Anahita temple during the Sassanid period in the 6th and 7th centuries. It also rebuilt by the Ilkhanid (Mongol) in the 13th century.

Takht-e Solieman has great importance due to its effect on Islamic architecture afterward.



5.   Bam and its Cultural Landscape, Kerman Province (2004)


Iran Travel Guide Book - Iran Cultural Tours - Arg-e Bam in Kerman


Arg-e Bam is the world’s largest adobe monument and one of the most important architecture in Iran history.

Bam and its Cultural Landscape, including the Old Town and its fortress, is about 2 hectares in size. The citadel and castle area is approximately 2 hectares.

Arg-e Bam has always been one of the most important cities in Iran because of its location on the Silk Road. Unfortunately, more than 80 percent of these archaeological sites were destroyed after an earthquake that struck Bam 2003. It’s restoring and till now over 80% of this Iran Heritage site is restored well.

About the greatness of Arg-e Bam we can say that, with the advanced technologies in architecture, today’s bricks are not as good as the original bricks for the repair of destroyed parts.



6.   Pasargadae, Shiraz (2004)

Pasargadae is registered in the UNESCO list in 2004 as the sixth Iran World Heritage site.   It was the first Capital of the Achaemenes Empire and largest empire in the world, founded by Cyrus the Great in the sixth century BC. He was the greatest man in history and the first person to speak of peace and friendship in the world.

This collection shows a huge number of Achaemenes monuments.  Today a lot of people in the world know the historical complex of Pasargadae. It’s one of the main important sites that they see in their Iran travel and visiting the Shiraz Tour.

The tomb of Cyrus built in his time and under his order. It’s Pasargadae’s most beautiful monuments.

The Achaemenes Empire, which runs through the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindu River, is the first empire to respect the culture of other countries.



7.   Soltaniyeh Dome, Zanjan Provience (2005)

Soltanieh Dome, the largest clay dome in the world is the 7th Iran World Heritage site that registered at the UNESCO list in 2005.

Soltaniyeh Dome is located near Zanjan city and it was the capital of the Ilkhanid Kingdom (Mogul) 700 years ago.  The 50-meter-high dome with blue tiles that attract eyes from any distance.

this Dome is a masterpiece of architecture with all the beauty. The interior decoration of the dome, including plaster, mahogany, tiling, decorative lines, and brick attracts every tourist in Iran.

It is also the first double-walled dome in the world. According to historical researchers, Soltanieh Dome has been a source of inspiration to Taj Mahal makers and many important buildings in the world.



8.   Bisotun Historical Complex, Kermanshah (2006)

One of the most famous historical sites of tourism in Iran is the Bisotun World Heritage site.

It’s famous for the inscription of Darius the Great, Achaemenes king and registered in as an 8th Iran Heritage site in UNESCO, dating back 2500 years.

Mount Bisotun has 28 recorded historical monuments in Iran. Including inscriptions, sculptures, inns, historic sites and ancient caves before human history. It is one of the best and most famous destinations for Iran Cultural Tours and historical Tourist attractions in Kermanshah.

Bisotun Historical Heritage, placed in the heart of Zagros Mountains in the west of Iran, with a 25 km distance from Kermanshah city.

Mount Bisotun that is the greatest Marble Rock Climbing Wall in Iran, with huge numbers of over 3000 m of Zagros mountains, around it, provides a really good potential for hiking tours, Iran Trekking and rock climbing trip in Iran.

The rich nature around of Bisotun historical complex makes it capable to spend a couple of days in Kermanshah Kurdish Nomad as well.

Also, spending overnight in one of Iran’s oldest caravansaries in the vicinity of this historic site multiplies your Iran Heritage Tour.



9.   Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran (2008)

Another unique Iran World Heritage Sites that registered UNESCO, is the Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran.

This monument, with three monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian, is located in the north-west of the country in the West Azerbaijan province.

The history of the presence of Christians in Iran is very long and even today much live-in peace in Iran. In past Iran has always been a haven for Armenians and Christians in the region because of the genocide and killing of Armenians by the Ottomans.

Shah Abbas and the Safavid kingdom were among them that support the Armenian through this madness and killing. So, many of these churches were built on the orders of Shah Abbas Safavid in support of Christians in pristine places.



10.   Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System (2009)


Iran Travel Guide Book - Iran Cultural Tours - Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System


Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System Heritage is one of the most famous engineers in world history.

Also, It’s one of the most beautiful attractions of the “Iran Heritage tour” that shows Iranian architecture and engineering.

Historians refer to Shushtar Hydraulic Heritage as the “largest industrial complex before the Industrial Revolution” and UNESCO refers to it as the” A masterpiece of genius and creativity”.

These structures consist of a connected set of bridges, canals, mills, waterfalls, and enormous water-conducting tunnels that work together for several thousand years.

Visiting this beauty of engineering, which in its time, and even after thousands of years, is nowhere to be seen, will be unforgettable memoirs from your Iran Tour.




In the series of articles, we intend to present in detail Iran’s World Heritage Sites. Related tours with all necessary details for the people who want to Travel Iran.

Iran has acceded to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention since 1975. Iran registered 24 natural, historical and cultural World Heritage sites in UNESCO, during these years.

In this post, you read about 10 first Iran’s Heritage Sites registered till 2009.

These huge numbers of unique attractions made Iran one of the best destinations for world tourists.

Fortunately, Iran Exploration, as one of the best Iran tour operators in, has designed many cultural tours in Iran. We provided enjoyment itineraries by visiting Iran’s World Heritage sites in addition to other cultural, historical and natural attractions in Iran.

Similarly, you can find the best information about Iran World Heritages in the following posts:

  • Historical and cultural monuments of Iran UNESCO World Heritage registered from 2009 to 2020
  • The natural phenomenon of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage


All the pictures are taken from UNESCO



  1. Amber singht says:

    Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  2. Melody Snif says:

    I wish to see the Lut desert.
    Is it a heritage site in Iran?

  3. Peter Mosch says:

    26 Heritage sites in Iran!
    Please write about all of them…