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Travel Guide: Persepolis, Iran

I visited Iran and one of the places I went to was Shiraz; the latter is the jump-off point for day trips to Persepolis. The ancient city is in ruins, but its legend goes beyond the borders of the country. It was amazing to see it even in its ruinous state.

The Ancient City of Persepolis

What attracted me to Iran was its rich culture and ancient history. Just walking around the cities provided me with a glimpse of the country's storied past. I was excited to finally go to Persepolis, which was one of the musts on my itinerary. The drive from the city to the ruins was quite scenic, desert landscape with some flowers blooming.

Not very good at selfies haha
The English word 'Persepolis' was a derivative of the Greek words 'Perses' and 'polis' which translates to 'the Persian city.' Ancient Persians called it 'Parsa.'

Thankfully, the Turkish guy I was with spoke Persian and he talked to the driver about the time we have to be back at the parking lot.

We walked up the steps until we reached the Gate of All Nations, the symbol of power and influence of the Persian kingdom. Two mythical creatures (lamassu) bulls that had heads of men greeted visitors. This UNESCO World Heritage Site follows the Achaemenid style of architecture.

The carvings and bas reliefs depicted the respect (and fear) of the conquered kingdoms.

The evidence found by archaeologists led to the conclusion that Persepolis dates back to 515 BC. Darius I had the palaces and terraces built, and it became the ceremonial capital of the empire. Alexander the Great took the city during his campaign to expand his kingdom, and later had it plundered.

I could only imagine what the place was like during its heyday. Celebrations and gatherings taking place, visitors coming and going with gifts and news, and the royalty showing off their opulence. Tourists can use the VR goggles to get a glimpse of the ancient city in its former glory. Walking around the complex was the closest thing I got to stepping into a time warp. Some of the places of interest inside are the Apadana, Throne Hall, Hall of the Hundred Columns and Tachara.

Here's a video:

There was a viewpoint that had a short hike; it provided sweeping views of the ancient city below.

There were more local tourists than foreigners, I liked this about traveling in Iran. The Iranians want to learn more about their history (and take lots of selfies haha).


IRR (Iranian Rial) 200,000 - entrance fee
US$12 - car rental from Grandma B&B

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How to get to Persepolis

The easiest way to get to the site is by renting a car; I went with a Turkish friend staying at the same hostel. We paid US$12 each (you'll pay less with more passengers, we were only 2 going). I heard there was a public bus that makes a stop somewhere a few kilometers before the ruins and then take a shared taxi to the site and back. However, it's difficult to take public transport because very few people speak English, even if it's cheaper.

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