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    Mashhad Tourism
    Nearly 20 million pilgrims annually flock to Mashhad, the holiest city in Iran and the location of the shrine of Imam Reza. The city serves as a pilgrimage site as well as a jumping off point for excursions into Khorasan or onward travel to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

    Getting There

    Mashhad is connected to other cities in Iran by bus, although bus stations are located far from the city's central area. Most flights to Mashhad originate in the Arabian Gulf or the Central Asian cities of Bishkek, Dushanbe and Kabul.

    When to Go

    The most pleasant times to visit are spring and autumn, although you may have trouble finding accommodations if you travel during pilgrim season. If you want to avoid crowds, don't go to Mashhad during Islamic holidays. The Muslim calendar is based on a lunar calendar, so dates of holidays change each year.


    After the death of Imam Reza is 817, a shrine was built around his grave in the village of Sanabad. Pilgrims started coming to the grave, and since then the shrine has gradually enlarged to the current day Haram complex.


    Aside from the Haram complex and Shrine of Imam Reza, there are many other mosques and sites of interest in the Mashhad. Visit the 72-Martyrs Mosque, the Main Museum and the Nader Shah Mausoleum.


    Within the city, one of the most popular tourist activities is shopping for carpets. You can also buy trinkets and crafts at the Caravanserai Azizolaof around the Haram complex.

    Article Written By Heather Carreiro

    Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.

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