Iran’s second largest city and spiritual centre, Mashhad is in the northeastern province of Khorasan, a historically significant transit city along the Silk Road. Governed by different ethnic groups over the course of its history, the city enjoyed relative prosperity in the Mongol period.
Mashhad is home to some of the most significant Iranian literary figures and artists, such as the poet Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, and Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, the traditional Iranian singer and composer.
Kuh-e Sangi is Mashhad’s best park, and an excellent spot for an afternoon or early evening picnic. A small stream runs through its centre, which you can cross by climbing the rock formations or hopping across stepping-stones. Ice cream and other treats are readily available. The park is filled with families most evenings and boasts excellent views of the city from its highest point.
Mashhad Bazaar Fakaleh Ab square is the saffron-centre of the world, the spice, which is sold gram-for-gram, is more expensive than gold, and makes for an excellent souvenir or present.