Esfahan is Iran’s top tourist destination for good reason. Its profusion of tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings gives it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city, and the many artisans working here underpin its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. Walking through the historic bazaar, over the picturesque bridges and across the Unesco-listed central square are sure to be highlights of a holiday.
Esfahan is an important city as it is located at the intersection of the two principle north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. It was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, having many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets, and the city also has many historical buildings, monuments, paintings and artefacts. The fame of Isfahan led to the Persian proverb “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast”: Esfahan is half of the world.
The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world. UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.