6 of the Best Iran Guide Books | To Iran Tour (2023)

There are lots of Iran guide books for those who want to travel to Iran. Some of these books are written by international organizations like Lonely Planet and some are written by those who have come to Iran and experienced Iran firsthand.

Here is a shortlist of these Iran guide books:

Table of Contents
1. Lonely Planet Iran (Travel Guide)
2. Iran (Bradt Travel Guide Iran)

4. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind
5. Iran, Persia: Ancient and Modern
6. Iran, Islamische Republik und Jahrtausendealte Kultur (German Book)

1. Lonely Planet Iran (Travel Guide)

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Lonely Planet Iran is the most accurate and up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Hike among the Castles of the Assassins in Alamut Valley, Lose yourself in Esfahan’s historic bazaar, or ski in the Alborz Mountains; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Iran and begin your journey now!

  • Full-color maps and images throughout.
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests.
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots.
  • Essential info on your fingertips – hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices, etc.
  • Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, and going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss.
  • Cultural insights give you a richer and more rewarding travel experience – festivals, cuisine, religion, history, architecture, literature, music, crafts, and environment.
  • Covers Tehran, Esfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Persepolis, Kashan, Choqa Zanbil, Takht-e Soleiman, Tabriz, Masuleh, Mashhad, Garmeh, Alamut Valley, Alborz Mountains, Kaluts, Qeshm Island, and more.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet

2. Iran (Bradt Travel Guide Iran)

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Now into its fifth edition, Bradt’s guide book regarding Iran continues to provide the most detailed background, history and cultural information available when visiting this “Jewel of Central Asia“. This new edition has been thoroughly reviewed to provide all the latest information, from updated history and cultural developments to security, language, and hotel prices, plus expanded practical information for independent travelers. Food and arts, rugs, and handicrafts are all covered, plus new details of skiing in Iran and recommended Iranian movies. For outdoor enthusiasts, swimming, desert, and eco-tours are also included. With new direct flights to Iran now available from Europe, and a warm-hearted and welcoming people eager to meet tourists, visiting this intriguing country has never been easier.

Iran’s cities are packed with gilded mosques and blue-mosaic shrines built in honor of the country’s greatest leaders. Its people are generous and its terrain ranges from the sands of the Persian Gulf to the Alborz Mountains in the north. The expert authors give first-hand descriptions of attractions ranging from the exquisite mosques of Esfahan and the museums and palaces of Tehran to the spectacular mountain hikes. New maps and up-to-date information on all the basics – hotels, restaurants, businesses and shops – help you to uncover the mysteries of ancient Persepolis, to enjoy a soak and scrub in a local hammam (bath), or to pick up a pair of giveh slippers or a Persian rug in Kerman’s bazaar.

Thoroughly updated, this new edition also includes new details of ‘Around Tehran’, caravanserai, Nishapur, Qaleh Rudkhan, and Kurdish villages on the Silk Road Trail, plus new maps of the historic bazaars of Esfahan, Yazd, Kerman, and Shiraz. It has been updated by Middle East expert Maria Oleynik, who is fluent in ten languages, including Persian and Arabic.

3. Iran – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

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Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Travelers have long been seduced by the echoes of the extraordinary ancient history contained in the word “Persia.” But Iran is also a modern society that is experiencing great changes. Although it is still feeling the effects of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, social restrictions have loosened considerably in recent years. Strict Islamic rules coexist with an increasingly dynamic society driven by an overwhelmingly young population. Animosity toward the West at a political level sits side-by-side with a wholehearted welcome for foreigners as individuals.

Iran- Culture Smart!” is one of those Iran guide books that takes you beyond the clichés to show how life in Iran really is and how you can feel comfortable in its society. It offers insights into a country full of surprises. Despite Iran’s deep commitment to Islam, the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian past is still a part of people’s everyday culture. Its language, Farsi, shares linguistic roots with English and French. It is a country where one of the most genuine democracies in the Middle East is overlaid by an unelected theocracy. And where “No, thank you” really does sometimes mean “Yes, please.” If nothing else, this entrancing, beautiful, and sometimes infuriating place is a country whose inhabitants genuinely wish visitors Khosh Amadi! —Welcome!

Author: Stuart Williams

4. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind

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Iran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran’s religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi’a Muslim clerics in the world, yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life: wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but they are always stylish.

In “A History of Iran”, acclaimed historian Michael Axworthy chronicles the rich history of this complex nation from the Achaemenid Empire in sixth century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In engaging prose, this revised edition explains the military, political, religious, and cultural forces that have shaped one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world, bringing us up modern times.

Concluding with an assessment of the immense changes the nation has undergone since the revolution in 1979, including a close look at Iran’s ongoing attempts to become a nuclear power, A History of Iran offers general readers an essential guide to understanding this volatile nation, which is once again at the center of the world’s attention.

Author: Michael Axworthy

5. Iran, Persia: Ancient and Modern

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Iran, or Persia as it was formerly known, has been of interest to outsiders for millennia. From the Greco-Persian wars of antiquity, through the rise and flourishing of Islam, to the age of European imperialist expansion in the East, Iran has been a central player in global history. Drawn by its strategic location along the Silk Road, ancient and distinctive culture, and abundant natural resources, foreign diplomats, traders, and travelers have been coming to Iran for centuries.

The Islamic Revolution of 1979 and subsequent events put a strain on Iran’s relationship with the outside world, particularly the West, leading to sanctions and a decline in tourism and trade. Today, the country’s attractiveness to outsiders has been greatly increased, with travelers and business people once more setting their sights on Iran.

  • Zoroaster, Cyrus, Darius & Alexander
  • Shi’a Islam, religious art and architecture
  • The complexities of Iran’s fraught
  • Persepolis, Pasargadae, Isfahan & Shiraz
  • Ferdowsi, Attar, and Hafez
  • Iranian film, food & music
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • 464 pages, 133 color photos
  • 17 easy-to-use maps

Authors: Christoph Baumer, Helen Loveday, Fitzroy Morrissey, Bijan Omrani, Bruce Wannell

6. Iran, Islamische Republik und jahrtausendealte Kultur (German Book)

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Alle Regionen Irans auf 600 Seiten – Mehr als 400 Farbfotos – Die wichtigsten Reiseinformationen im Überblick – Viele Hintergrundinformationen zu Geschichte, Kultur und Alltag – Ausführliche Beschreibung aller Sehenswürdigkeiten – Mehr als 50 Stadtpläne und Übersichtskarten – Zahlreiche praktische Hinweise sowie Reisetipps von A-Z.

Der Iran ist ein faszinierendes Reiseziel, das während seiner jahrtausendelangen Geschichte stets ein Schmelztiegel der Zivilisationen, wovon beeindruckende antike Ausgrabungen wie Persepolis oder Pasargadae zeugen. Das Land besitzt neben unvergleichlichen Baudenkmälern eine verblüffende landschaftliche Vielfalt mit fruchtbaren Tälern, kargen Hochebenen und hohen Gebirgsketten. Dies alles und vor allem die gastfreundlichen Bewohner des Landes hinterlassen bei jedem Besucher unauslöschliche Eindrücke.

Wer sich entgegen mancher Vorbehalte ein eigenes Bild verschaffen möchte, wird überrascht sein, wie sicher man sich in dem Land als Tourist bewegen kann, und mit vielen positiven Eindrücken zurückkehren.

Author:Peter Kerber

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