When searching the travel attractions of Iran, one of the most iconic sites of Iran is the ancient city of Persepolis. Once the grand capital of the Persian Kingdom during the Achaemenid dynasty era, today the ruins of this historical grand city is an important touristic and archaeology location that is visited by thousands of tourists each year. The city was chosen to be the capital of Persia in the year 518 BC and from then the extravagant expansions to its foundation began. The famous Achaemenid kings Darius, Xerxes and Ardashir converted this once small town into one of the most magnificent capitals known to the ancient world. Extraordinary palaces, large halls, engraved pillars and massive statues were erected all over Persepolis, making it into one of ancient wonders of the world. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of Persia and the Achaemenid empire for 200 years and throughout its history was host to many impressive gatherings that saw hundreds of people pay their tribute and homage to the honorable Achaemenid rulers, mostly respected in the country and neighboring civilizations. This grand city was sadly mostly destroyed in the attacks of Alexander the Great and his invasion of Persia. Alexander torched Persepolis and left it to burn, destroying many precious artifacts and glorious structures. Tourists Planning to travel to Iran, should also visit the National Museum in Tehran to complete their visit of Persepolis as many artifacts and statue remains are exhibited in the museum.
Located at a 60 km distance from the city of Shiraz, Persepolis is now a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of this former Persian capital are itself wonderful to view and give a glimpse of the marvelous history of Persepolis, its palaces and massive halls. In this article we shall provide tourists with some practical information about visiting the ancient city of Persepolis during their travels to Iran.
What to see in the city of Persepolis:
– The Gate of Nations:
With a grand doorway featuring massive stone statues carved into tall walls, the gate of nations was the entry point of foreign delegates planning to visit the Achaemenid ruler. The grand entrance was designed to show the strength and glory of Persia to all guests from the lands near and far.
– Tachar Palace:
Built by Darius as one of his first palaces in Persepolis, the Tachar Palace still holds its strong foundation and is considered one of the healthiest remains of this complex. Tourists will be able to see many wall and pillar ruins each having lovely carved designs that once were covered in polished stone, reflecting light all throughout the hallways and corridors of the palace.
– The Apadana Palace:
Also known as the “Kings Treasury”, the Apadana Palace with its tall column remains, is one of the most important palaces in the Persepolis complex.
– The Three Gate Palace:
Strategically placed in the center of Persepolis, this palace got its name from the placement of three gates around its structure that connected to the other surrounding palaces.
– The Hadish Palace:
The remains of this palace mark the main throne room of Xerxes.
– The Persepolis Museum:
For tourists interested in taking a closer look at the various artifacts dug out from the remains of Persepolis, the museum exhibits some very interesting and ancient remains.
How to get to the ancient city of Persepolis:
As the Persepolis complex is located almost an hour from the north of Shiraz, tourists will have to plan their visit to the ancient city. Although most tours in Shiraz planned by official Iran tour operators such as Kimia Journey include a private tour of Persepolis, for visitors planning to travel on their own to Persepolis we suggest one the below routes:
– Taking a private taxi or a day tour from Shiraz city center which should cost between 20-60 USD depending on the duration of the service and number of passengers. For tourists only wanting a cab till Persepolis, the average rate for a private cab is between 6-8 USD.
– Catching a bus to the nearby city of Marvdasht and then book a cab to the Persepolis site. A bus ride to Marvdasht that is about 50 km north of Shiraz should only cost about 1-2 USD.
When is the best time to visit Persepolis:
As Persepolis is located in a vast open area with desert features, it can get hot in the summer so for tourists visiting Shiraz and the ancient city of Persepolis in the summer we recommend carrying along a sunscreen, a cap, sunglasses and drinking plenty of water. The best time to avoid the high temperatures and even get a mild breeze while visiting Persepolis is in the spring and between the months of March to early May.
What are the working hours of Persepolis:
The ticket office of Persepolis is open daily from 8 AM to 6:30 PM and the ticket price for international tourists is 5 USD.
Persepolis is one of the most important travel attractions in Iran and around the city of Shiraz that no tourist should skip of they plan a tour to Shiraz and a trip to Iran.