Kashan Travel Guide + 5 Things To Do In Kashan
Kashan Travel Guide + 5 Things To Do In Kashan was originally written in April 2020
Kashan was a stop on my Iran itinerary I debated axing. I was needing to pick the pace on my journey toward Tehran and onward to Tabriz and Kandovan to eventually cross the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, because I spent more time than I originally intended to in Shiraz and on Hormuz Island (and I don’t regret it for a second). In the end, I decided to keep Kashan (and forgo Qom) on my list, treating it as a 1.5 day stopover between Esfahan and Tehran. The oasis-like town on the edge of the Dasht e Kavir is definitely worth a stop after making the call and spending an all-too-short time here.
Kashan was incredibly crowded when I visited. Not because it was April, or that it was peak season- it was that it was a Friday and (I believe) the birthday of an Imam. I hardly saw any foreign tourists in Kashan despite this fact- it was actually local day-trippers from Tehran. If you’re concerned about beating the crowds, I’d suggest avoiding Fridays or holidays, but if you don’t mind meeting plenty of Iranians enjoying travel within their own country or the bustle of it all maybe a weekend visit is best.
Things To Do In Kashan
Visit The Historic Houses Of Kashan
The Historic Houses of Kashan are one of the city’s main draws. In the 18th and 19th centuries, several large and intricately decorated homes were built in Kashan. Many of them have since been divided up to house multiple families, but a handful of these traditional houses remain as they were, open to the public to visit.
Tabatabaei House is best viewed in the afternoon when the light hits just right to cast colorful motifs on the white walls and floor inside through its famed stained glass windows. You visit Tabatabaei House, Abbasi House, and Hamam e Sultan Mir Ahmad all on one combination ticket (it’ll be cheaper if you plan to visit all three). When you purchase your entrance ticket at the first of the three sites just tell the cashier you want to purchase a combi ticket.
Starting from Tehran? Check out my Two Day Tehran Guide
The Abbasi House was personally my favorite of the Kashan historic houses because of its extensive and intricate stained glass works and its beautiful courtyards.
Going to Esfahan afterward? Plan your trip with my Esfahan Travel Guide
Boujerdi House is a symmetry lover’s dream with impressive painted ceilings. You’ll see some resemblances between Boujerdi House and the Tabatabaei House as both were actually designed by the same architect.
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Hammam e Sultan Mir Ahmad
This over 500-year-old Iranian bathhouse displays fine Kashani architecture. The interior of Hammam e Sultan Mir Ahmad is divided into a bathing hall and a dressing area with ceilings in walls decorated in intricated paintings and tilework. Continue onto the roof for views over the city and the surrounding snowcapped peaks.
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Agha Bozorg Mosque
Built in the 18th century Agha Bozorg Mosque is a true highlight of visiting Kashan. Upon entrance through the front doors, you’ll first see a beautiful sunken courtyard below the domed mosque itself in the back. Agha Bozorg Mosque is especially noteworthy for its symmetry. Don’t miss the nearby Khajeh Taj ad-Din (Tomb of Ghotbs Kashani) when visiting the mosque. Ghotbs Kashani was a famous mystic of the Qajar era.
Note that women entering Agha Bozorg Mosque will be given a chador to wear over your outfit (I’m wearing one at Agha Bozorg Mosque in the photo below).
Check out my solo female travel guide to Iran for my best tips & tricks
The Kashan Bazaar is definitely worth a visit as it is one of the best in terms of grandeur in Iran and isn’t quite as busy as ones in Tehran, Shiraz, and Esfahan.
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Bagh e Fin
I’ll be honest here, I do regret not visiting Bagh e Fina a little, especially now that I’ve returned home and looked at photos of it. The architecture of the gardens alone look worthy of a visit.
(If you’re wondering why I forwent a visit- It’s because I ran out of time and also I was a little garden-ed out after Kerman, Shiraz, and Esfahan).
Things To Do Near Kashan
Truth be told, I didn’t have time to visit these nearby attractions outside of Kashan, but these did come highly recommended by my Iranian friends in Shiraz and Kerman.
Perched at the foot of Mt. Karkasm, Abyaneh is known as the Red Village owing to its reddish stone buildings and is one of the oldest inhabited villages in Iran. The villagers still speak a dialect of Middle Persian that dates back to the Sasanian Empire that ruled over Iran from 224-651 AD, and many of the inhabitants still retain the traditional wardrobe.
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Shrine Of Hilal Ibn Ali In Aran Va Bidgol
The Shrine of Hilal Ibn Ali is a gorgeous tomb located about 15 kilometers from Kashan in the town of Aran Va Bidgol. Hilal Ibn Ali was one of the sons of Ali and is believed to have been buried here.
Take A Desert Tour
If you’re short on time in Iran, taking a desert tour from Kashan can be a great way to experience the Iranian desert without having to trail too far from Tehran.
Want to go to a desert a bit further away? Check out my post on visiting the Kaluts
Where To Stay In Kashan
I stayed at the Shirin Hotel & Hostel (in the dorm) on my visit to Kashan and have no complaints as it was right around the corner from Agha Bozorg Mosque and a short walk from the historic houses. Other highly rated budget options are the Kamal al Molk House and the Sayeh Saray. A great midrange option is the Kasian Hotel Kashan. For those looking to splurge try the Saraye Ameriha Boutique Hotel.
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Getting In & Out Of Kashan
Kashan is located about three and a half hours south of Tehran by bus with many departures in either direction throughout the day. Several buses every day go to and from Qom taking about an hour and a half, and to and from Esfahan taking about two and half hours. If you like to plan in advance, you can book your bus tickets at 1stQuest. There are also four trains a day between Kashan and Tehran but takes longer than the bus at three and a half hours.
Have Any Questions About Kashan Travel Or Any Of The Things To Do In Kashan Mentioned Above?
Ask your Kashan travel questions in the comments below.
Need Travel Insurance For Iran?
Start shopping plans over at 1stQuest as most other travel insurance providers will not cover travel in Iran.