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Semnan, Booming Semnan city is well placed to give swift access to both the Alborz Mountains and the vast Dasht-e Kavir desert, while still being an easy 240km drive by expressway from Tehran.

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Since Sassanian times it has been a key stop on the silk route, attracting wealth and regular destruction in equal measure. At first glance it’s a diffuse, nondescript city of low-rise modern buildings and wide boulevards. But around the appealing covered bazaar is an interesting complex of historical buildings.

Best Time to Go

Generally the best time to visit Iran is during the spring and autumn. There are ideal temperatures across most of Iran from March until May and then again from late September to early November.

Unesco Sites

There is no place


Semnan Bazaar, Semnan’s cross-shaped covered-bazaar marks the old heart of the city. While far less extensive than the great bazaars of Kerman or Tabriz, there is plenty of 19th-century vaulting and the north-south section (bisected by Imam Khomeini St) links two log-pillared takiyeh (three-storey tall covered halls). The southern of these, Takiyeh Pehneh, is an access point for most of Semnan’s key historical sites and is the centre for religious mourning during Moharram.

Masjed Imam, Founded under Fath Ali Shah in the 1820s, this mosque is a large courtyard affair with four iwans at the cardinal points – the higher east and west ones offer a measured use of restrained coloured brickwork. On Friday mornings the courtyard is filled with colourful carpets to prepare for lunchtime prayers.

Water Cistern, A steep stairway near Mashahir Sq leads down into what was once a water cistern, though it’s now blocked off. Behind, what appears to be a fortress tower was actually a decorative element from a since-demolished cotton factory.

Darvaza-e Arg, Spiked with blue-tiled baby minarets, Darvaza-e Arg is Semnan’s dinky but iconic Qajar-era city gate, with appealing tile murals adorning the northern facade.

Darchin Restaurant

Darchin Cafe and Traditional Restaurant is located in Semnan, Mashahir Square

There are a wide range of meals such as Persian and international one with the different style of design (Traditional and Modern)

Khatun Restaurant

The traditional Khatun restaurant serves a variety of delicious Iranian cuisine in a traditional and relaxing atmosphere.

Jahangardi Hotel Restaurant

If you are looking for a good breakfast in Semnan, try Jahangardi Hotel restaurant. Its price is very good and its breakfast is in a buffet, containing eggs, cheeses, butter, honey, and lenses. Do not take the high level of attention! But you need to try a variety of foods of high quality.

Cheshmeh-ye Ali is a village in Rudbar Rural District, in the Central District of Damghan County, Semnan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its existence was noted, but its population was not reported.

Cheshme Ali-semnan

Oben Waterfall is one of a beautiful waterfall in Iran is located in the middle of Dodangeh jungle, on the border of Semnan and Mazandaran provinces.

oben waterfall Semnan
Gerd kuh Semnan

Gerdkūh or Girdkūh was a major castle of the Nizari Ismaili state located near Damghan, Iran. Due to a circular shape of the mountain peak, it was named Gerdkuh, Gerd for “circular” (round) and kuh for “mountain”. The castle was surrounded by a triple ring of forts making its position seemingly impregnable. Hasan Sabbah and other Nizari leaders often sent their families to this castle for refuge. Hulagu Khan with 5,000 men started a siege against Girdkuh in 1253. Girdkuh held out against the Mongol siege for 17 years and was the last Nizari stronghold in Persia to surrender to Mongols.


Cloud Forest Abr jungle (cloud jungle) is one of the oldest and most beautiful jungles in Iran with some rare plants and animals. Cloud forest is located about 45 km north of Shahrood city, between Shahrood and Azad Shahr in Semnan province. It is called Abr forest because in most seasons it is covered by an ocean of clouds and fog. The scenes of this forest are so beautiful and sometimes it seems that trees are over the clouds.

Shopping Center


Shahmirzad is a town and capital of Shahmirzad District, located in the north of Iran and on the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains. The permanent population of the town was recorded as 7,273 people, 1,860 families in the 2006 census but increased to 8,882 by 2011. During the Summers, the town’s population rises to up to 40,000 people, as tourists visit the town for its cool climate and popular gardens.

Bayazid Bastami

Bayazid Bastami At the heart of ancient Bastam, now a village-suburb of Shahrud (around 7km from the center), is a collection of mostly 13th-century historical buildings. The main group is set around the relatively simple grave of Bayazid Bastami (804–874), a philosopher nicknamed ‘Sultan of gnostics’ who fused Muslim, Mithraic and Zoroastrian ideas in formulating a poetic form of Sufism. Behind, a contrastingly grand imamzadeh has an attractive, almost art nouveau, floral interior. The associated Bayazid mosque has a remarkable grey mihrab.

Tarikkhoneh, This unique, partly ruined mud-brick structure has 18 extraordinarily sturdy rear columns that date from about AD 760 – reputedly making this the second-oldest mosque in Iran (though it may have started life as a Zoroastrian palace-temple). The broken columns and partly renovated arches of a colonnaded courtyard are similarly massive and undecorated. In striking contrast, the 30m-high brick minaret (from 1038) is very finely detailed. Now slightly leaning, it’s within the yard of a new mosque next door.

Tarikkhane mosque

Badab-e Surt is a series of terraced travertine (limestone) pools – smaller than those at Turkey’s Pamukkale, but more colorful and serenely isolated within a mountain-ringed valley, 23km east of the Damghan–Sari road turning at Telma Dareh.

Padeh Village Though not one of Semnan’s classic caravanserai villages, Padeh’s sizeable shattered citadel, dating back at least 1500 years, has been so eroded by water and weather that it seems to be an almost abstract sculpture of hill-sized proportions. You can poke around in a preserved hammam site and pudding-shaped ice house amid many ruined old structures.

padeh- village