Isfahan’s main tourist area is the Imam Square. At one end it has the Imam Mosque (a UNESCO World Heritage site, together with the square). On the other 3 sides there is a huge bazaar with shops selling Persian carpets (the one pictured had an asking price of USD 200), handicrafts, antiques and sweets.
In addition, there are several cafes and traditional restaurants. A special dish is called “dizy”: arrives at the table as a soup that has been boiled for hours. The server will separate the liquid (to be eaten with bread) and then mash the vegetables and meat until they become a puree. Eat it with raw onion and ayran. Delicious!
A fun way to explore more is to rent a bicycle (free for up to 3 hours). There are several centuries-old bridges, as well as gardens and parks to be seen. Not too far is also the old Armenian quarter featuring churches and narrow alleys.
At night most parks and gardens become picnic areas. The ground is cold but the people bring huge rugs and sit on them.
Many tourist guides talk about what to do when you visit an Iranian home. Just when we were asking ourselves what would be the point for mentioning that, since foreigners rarely have friends in Iran, we found the answer: as we were asking for directions, a couple on the street started writing something in Farsi on our map. Another passer-by who knew some English explained that was the family’s address and they were inviting us for lunch the next day. It was such a warm welcome from complete strangers. We exchanged gifts and they prepared traditional Iranian food, absolutely amazing! They asked if we wanted to eat European style (at the table) but we preferred to experience the Iranian way.