Qazvin was an ancient capital in the Persian Empire and now is known as the calligraphy capital of Iran. The most famous calligrapher was Mir Emad Qazvini. Dehkhoda who wrote the Persian dictionary (you can find his statue in Azadi Square. The most famous poet was Ubayd Zakani.
Qazvin can perhaps be said to be a moderate city, in relation to its adherence to Islamic religious and cultural values. Many people, women in particular, dress modestly but are not limited to the a black hejab, and many women can be seen wearing thin, brightly coloured scarves to cover their hair. However, many women wear an enveloping headress, designed to completely cover all hair. It is advised to dress respectfully in this context, by all means express yourself through a nature of hejab materials and colours, but be mindful of social and religious values at play.
Arriving at either airport you can easily hire a taxi, get bus or train to take you to Qazvin. Make sure to hire a registered taxi and agree on payment before you actually set off. Your taxi fare to Qazvin from IKIA is around US$50 (July 2017) and from MIA is around US$40. You travel all the way through a straight highway taking your time at most 2 hours and in the meantime you may enjoy watching beautiful sightseeing and two giant plants of the country, Abeyek Cement and Shahid Rajaee Gas Power plants.
There are multiple trains per day from Tehran, journey time is just under 2½ hours.
- 1 Qazvin railway station.
Buses depart very frequently from near Azadi Square in Tehran. The fare is US$2 for the old Mercedes buses and US$3 for modern Volvo or similar buses (July 2017). It takes 2 hours by bus from Tehran to Qazvin.
The bus terminal is open from 06:00 to 22:00.
Qazvin is linked to Tehran and other major cities via a series of motorways, These are not usually too busy, though attempt to avoid times where workers are communting to and from work. Cars can be hired at Tehran International Airport. Taxis are usually the most easiest means of travelling to Qazvin by car. You have a choice of private taxis, or travelling via official taxi ranks. The main difference between the two is the state of the actual cars, however do not be put off by the sight of an elderly, slightly unconventional car, these are usually perfectly safe to travel in.
The normal rate for a shared taxi from Tehran to Qazvin is US$5-9.
From Qazvin you can do a day trip to the mountains of Alborz. Most visitors go here to see the remains of Hasan-e-Sabah's castle Alamut, from where he ruled the assassins order, a medieval terrorist organisation. The English words "assassin" and "hashish" are both derived from Hasan's name. The Mongols took Alamut and broke the power of the assassins but failed to completely wipe them out. The castle was reconstructed around 2013 in a way that may seem a bit dubious from an archeological point of view.
- 1 Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai. Built during the Qajar era, this is one of the preserved urban caravanserais in Iran.
- Qajar Hamam
- The Grand Hotel - The first modern hotel built in Iran
- The first modern school built in Iran
- The first street built in Iran (Sepah)
- The first Municipality built in Iran
Qazvin contains three buildings built by Russians in the late 19th-early 20th century. Among these is the current Mayor's office (former Ballet Hall), a water reservoir, and the Cantor church, where a Russian pilot is buried.
- The Russian Church of Qazvin.
Qazvin contains several archeological excavations dating back 9000 years. There are also 23 castles from the Ismaili Assassins nearby as well. And in the middle of the city lie the ruins of Meimoon Ghal'eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area.
Qazvin contains few buildings from the Safavid era, when it was capital of Persia. Perhaps the most famous of the surviving edifices is the Ali Qapu mansion, today a museum in central Qazvin.
- 2 Jameh Mosque of Qazvin (مسجد جامع عتيق قزوین). One of the oldest mosques in Iran, and is the grand, congregational mosque (Jāmeh) of Qazvīn city. The foundation of the mosque is laid on a Zoroastrian fire temple.
- 3 Al-Nabi Mosque. Also known as the Soltani Mosque, this massive mosque was built in 1787, with some parts dating back to the Safavid dynasty era.
- Sanjideh Mosque- Another mosque of Qazvin dating back to pre-Islamic Iran; a former fire temple. Its present-day form is attributed to the Seljukian era.
- Peighambarieh Shrine- Where four Jewish saints who foretold the coming of Christ, are buried.
- Sardar School- A mosque Made by two brothers Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan Sardar in 1815, as a fulfillment of their promise if they came back victorious from a battle against the Russians.
Other attractions near Qazvin are the tombs of two Saljuki era princes, Aboo Saeed Bijar, son of Sad, and Aboo Mansoor Iltai, son of Takin — located in two separate towers known as the Kharaghan twin towers. Constructed in 1067 CE, these were the first monuments in Islamic architecture to include a non-conic two-layered dome.
Wander in the bazaars.
Have a break at Negarossaltaneh Café located at Rasteh Vazeer, Sad-o-saltaneh complex.
Visiting famous parks
- Mashahir in Shahrdai Street
- Barajin (Fadak) (10 km from Qazvin)
- Varchor Waterfall in Razjerd (25 km from Qazvin)
- Qazvin Museum
- Kantour Church
- Hammam Qajar
- Aminiha Hosseiniyeh
- Imamzade Hossein
- Nabi Mosque
- Jame Mosque
- Sepah Street (first street of Iran)
- Chehel sotoun
- alamut (hike, trek)
Paragliding in blue sky flight site in Shafi Abad & Barajin Road, near to Fadak Park (ask a local agent like Irantaste.)
Watching Iranian movies in Bahman Cinema in front of Melat Park (the ticket costs about US$2).
Swimming in Ovan Lake (2 hours by car from Qazvin).
Try to learn Persian, and use it while in Iran. Iranians are noted for their hospitality, and would greatly appreciate a tourist's attempts to communicate via Persian. Qazvin is an historical city, try and broaden your historical knowledge by sampling the historical sites.
Take a visit to the bazaar of Qazvin. It is huge and you will be able to find all sorts on display. Jewellery in Iran is of high quality, and cheap by Western standards. The same can be said for electronical goods, which arrive in Iran via Japan, sometimes before the products can be bought in Europe and America.
- City Star in Khayam Street
- Ferdosi in Ferdosi Street
- Iranian in Adl Street
- Aftab Samir Gostar (Aftab), 13km of Ghazvine- Tehran highway, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a commercial complex with restaurants, fast-food, a coffeeshop, stores and a gas station. Very elegant and classy.
- noor, felestin street near to felestin junction.
Food in Iran is a delicacy, and is made up of a whole range of Middle Eastern influences. Do eat chelo kebab in one of the many restaurants in Qazvin. This meal is pretty much a standard dish in Iran, however Qazvin does have its own regional variations on the dish. The famous Qazvinian food is called "Gheime Nesar". Try to sample as many different foods as possible while in Qazvin, the diversity of flavors and influences makes for delicious food. Restaurants are usually very hospitable, so asking for a variation in the dish, or asking for vegetarian options or about food allergies will not be a problem.
International health agencies advise drinking bottled water in Iran. This is cheap and therefore not a concern. Alcohol is not tolerated (except for non-Muslims and non-Muslim religious practices). In Iran, if any Muslim is caught partaking in or producing alcohol it is illegal and punishments can be very severe.
There are hotels scattered all over the city, it might not be very difficult for you to find a hotel in the Qazvin Area.
- Qazvin Safir Hotel. 1-min walk to bazaar, clean, breakfast UD$40 for double room.
- Alborz. Recommendable, clean and nice staff. Not so easy to spot from the street, located in 1st floor and above. 2,000,000 rials for a single room (Sept 2015).
- Merkezi. Showers are okay. Near the bazaar. Economic choice. Rooms smell of cigarettes. Linens clean, but blanket not. 1 080,000 rials (Dec 2019).
- Bouali guesthouse (Bouali -Saadi junction), ☏ . near bazaar, clean 450,000 rials.
- Mir Emad Hotel, ☏ , . No single room is available. Clean and helpful staff. The receptionists in the morning and evening speak proper English. 10 minutes drive south-west of Azadi Sq.on Asad Abadi Blvd. US$35 for a double room.
- Eagles House in alamut (alamut homestay).
In need of help or advice, contact your national embassy, located in the capital city (Tehran) or you can find tourist information centers in Qazvin, and for Police you can call 110.
Iran is generally a safe country. It is advised however, that being an obvious tourist may attract some unwanted attention from interested Iranians, but do not be alarmed or react negatively. Standard advice to keep your bag secured and safe, and to leave personal and valuable belongings in your hotel room or hotel safe should be regarded. Iranians are generally peaceful, hospitable people, but it is advised to act with caution when walk in the streets alone late at night or when approached by strangers to the same degree that you would in your native country.
- Police: 110
- Fire department: 125
- EMS: 115
- Road EMS: 115 or 112
Qazvin is located in a modest and mountainous region and the weather in summer is slightly cooler than Tehran. The temperature in summer does not go higher than 35C. However, the best time is in the spring and fall, when the climate is warm and breezy.
Apart from Alamut, a day trip to Alborz has a lot of impressive landscapes to offer along with some other castles from Hasan's time.