Things to Do in Gilan – Activities & Attractions

Understand GIlan

Gilan or Guilan is a beautiful region of Iran along the coast of the Caspian Sea. The forested coastal plains rise up quickly into the Alborz Mountains. Rasht is a city in the north of Iran around 40 kilometers from the shore of the Caspian Sea.

This region in the North of Iran and South of Caspian Sea, has been of interest in this study due to its specific potential of visiting. Nature of Gilan province with mild climate, dense forests, and beautiful landscapes such as sea, waterfalls, forest-covered mountains and plenty of flowing rivers, green gardens and countryside has created potentials for different types of activities.

Cultural and historical richness of Gilan along with a large diversity of local lifestyle let this province to be a candidate for Ecotourism. All these above come up with the necessity of further developing of ecotourism in Gilan in the international scale.


Like everywhere in Iran Rasht is well connected with Tehran and neighboring towns by bus. You can use the Azadi Terminal (Tehran West Bus Terminal) to take Bus (~15 USD) or Taxi to Rasht. From Tehran to Rasht 350 km North of the Tehran (~4 Hours). A private taxi also is very cheap, about 40 USD.


Traveling by taxi in Rasht, the main city of Gilan province is easy and inexpensive. A shared taxi (savari) costs around 9,000—150,000 rials and private hire (darbaz) costs up to 150,000 rials, depending on where you are going.


It is recommended for traveler to use the ride-sharing apps such as SNAPP or TAP30 since they are cheaper than the regular taxi most of the time.


Shahrdari Building:

The Shahrdari is the Rasht’s most identifiable landmark. its colonial style tempered by a token mini-dome topping a distinctive whitewashed tower. It looks great when floodlit at night.

Rudkhan Castle:

Over 50 kilometers southwest of Rasht, in deep green and temperate rainforests of Gilan, well-preserved Rudkhan Castle or Qal’e Rudkhan in Farsi overlooks the lush woods with the streams cascading down the mountain. Some historians say the construction of the castle dates back to the Sasanian era, over 14 centuries ago. But it has been renovated around the 10th century during Seljuq dynasty.

The castle is built from stone and is famous for about 1000 stairs which get you to top of it, then prepare yourself for a 50-minute steep trekking and wear your hiking shoes. Climb up to have a great view of the fortress and its surroundings. There are vendors and shops along the way where you can have snack and else. If you want to feel the mysterious atmosphere of this intact ancient castle, visit it on a foggy day. You can also enjoy plenty of traditional food and drinks along the way.

The Jelveh Building:

A heritage building’ is Rasht’s first private high-rise and identifiable landmark, erected circa 1931, with its distinctive French-Russian architectural.

Rasht Museum: 

The Rasht musum is small, but well presented in a 1930s house. Its mannequin displays illustrate Gilaki lifestyle, amid a selection of 3000-year-old terracotta riton drinking horns in the shape of bulls, rams and deer. Supping from such vessels supposedly endowed the drinker with the powers and skills of the animal depicted.

Rasht Grand Bazaar: 

Rasht Great Bazaar bazaar is the heart of the economy in Gilan Province and is located in the old texture of Rasht. Rasht Bazaar dates back to the Safavid era (1501–1736). Unlike similar traditional bazaars, it is not covered and has no ceiling domes or lightwells. The bazaar has maintained its traditional appearance throughout the years and is still a place where agricultural products, different fish, local foods and handicrafts are sold. Read more…

Anzali Lagoon:

Anzali Lagoon is one of the most beautiful natural attractions of the northern Iranian province of Gilan. The lagoon, which is actually a wetland, divides the city of Bandar-e-Anzali into two parts and is considered to be one of the best locations for bird watching. That is to say, until 2012, around 187 bird species have been observed and recorded here.

It is also home to more than 80,000 wintering birds such as ducks, geese, swans, and coots. This astonishing wetland is surrounded by paddy fields and fish ponds and about two-thirds of the whole lagoon is covered by reeds. Read more…

Guilan Rural Heritage Museum:

Located in Saravan- Shaft road, before police station, 18th km of Rasht- Qazvin freeway. About a four-hour walks are needed to visit all parts of this breathtakingly verdant museum in the forest and get to know all styles of cottage architecture through the rural history.

Showcasing traditions and customs give you the opportunity to explore the rural living environment and even take a picture local clothes. You can also buy handicrafts or even have a piece of hot flat bread.  There are coffee shops and restaurants in which you can have a bite of Sour Kabob or Baqali-Qatoq. Many rural houses demonstrating the architectural style of the coastal or plain as well as mountainous areas of Guilan have been identified and subsequently, have been dismantled and reconstructed in the museum.

Mirza Kouchak Khan Tomb:

Mirza Kouchak Khan House The horseman statue is Kuchuk Khan, the Jangali leader of ‘Soviet Iran’. A steady flow of well-wishers visit his mausoleum on Manzariyeh St, sheltered by a contemporary brick gazebo with intricate wooden roof.

Visadar Waterfall:

“Visadar Waterfall”, with 15 m high, is an impressive place located in a mountainous area and along a lush road. The surrounding rock cliffs are also attractive. Adventurous visitors can swim downstream from the waterfall.

Saqalaksar Lake:

“Saqalaksar Lake” is a unique place having a beautiful and calm nature where you can get relaxed and enjoy the silent atmosphere of the forest around the lake. There is also a cozy café beside this lake. The route to this place is really nice and scenic as well.

Gisum Forest:

Gisum is another tourist attraction and an area with a really beautiful nature in Gilan Province, including forest and beach. You will depart from forest to the beach through a really amazing road in the heart of the dense Gisum Forest.

Masal County:

The city of Masal is a countryside in lush highlands of Gilan Province, it’s a relatively untouched spot in the nature of Northern Iran. It’s hard to express its beauty through words. There is a really picturesque village in this region which is called “Olasbelangah” with lovely wooden houses. It’s also possible for Visitors to stay in hotel or local homes there.

Lahijan Lake:

“Lahijan Lake” is an artificial lake at the foot of Sheitan Kooh in the city of Lahijan. It’s a green area with pleasant weather which is a great place for walking and family picnics and it has a friendly atmosphere. The mountain across from the lake (Sheitan Kooh) offers a great view of the lake and the whole city. There are also traditional cafés and restaurants around the lake.

Asalem-Khalkhal Road:

Asalem-Khalkhal is a dreamlike forest road and one of Iran most beautiful roads in the midst of foggy forests which connects Gilan Province to Ardabil Province. It is about 20 hours of hiking in forests and mountains, but it should be accompanied by an experienced guide. Visitors can find hostels on this way. Best time for going to this area is summer. Read more…


Subatan Countryside is a dreamlike lush land amongst mountains. Although reaching to this hidden paradise is tough, it’s absolutely worth all the effort. There are lots of things to see and enjoy, including rural cottages and groups of horses. This place is also near to exquisite Neor Lake and Talesh Forests. It’s suggested not to go there in cold months.

Boujagh National Park:

Boujagh is a wetland (national park) by Sefidrud river. It is home to over 200 species of birds that come from different parts of the world to this place every autumn. Besides birds, there are groups of horses and fishermen in their boats. Visitors could see many stunning views there, especially in spring.

Laton waterfall:

Laton is the highest waterfall in Iran (105 m high) near to the city of Astara. For reaching to this attractive waterfall, you should pass through beautiful dense forests in highlands which it takes you 4 hours.

Heyran Pass:

Heyran pass which connects Astara to Ardabil is the most beautiful road in Iran. This road passes among mountains, forests and green lands and you will be enchanted by its exquisite scenery. The gondola lift is 1,500 meters long through beautiful landscapes of Alborz mountain range, there are really wonderful views of foggy lush highlands.

Chamkhaleh Beach:

The best beach of Caspian Coastline is the sandy “Chamkhaleh Beach” which is a great and peaceful place for swimming or sun tanning. You will also enjoy watching wonderful view of the sea, and unforgettable sunrise by the sea from this lovely beach.


Firstly you must go & see the area named as Golsar in the north of the city, it’s the most modernized section of the city, you can find the youth roaming over there, beautiful shops & restaurants, & other occasions make you find yourself in a European country in the middle of an Asian civilization.

Golsar pronaunced golsâr is a suburb of Rasht, the capital of the northern Iranian province of Guilan. Golsar used to be a very small neighborhood so that a chain gate had been put at the entrance before 1979. A few security guards were always monitoring and taking care of this gate. During the past couple of decades the demand for living in Golsar raised so that the area of this neighborhood started to grow rapidly. This area of Rasht is now the most expensive place in the city to purchase a house or apartment. Golsar is filled with many shops, restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops, and is the most popular place for teenagers and young adults to meet and socialize with peers. This crowd is due to an opportunity for young girls and guys to meet each other and exchange their phone numbers for either long-term or short-term relationships.

  • Masouleh historical village is a spectacular little village built on such a steep slope that the roads inside the village lie on the roofs of the houses below. A walk around town is very pleasant.
  • Bandar-e-Anzali is Iran’s main Caspian port. You will see fish markets and large ships from the other countries around the Caspian. For IR 200,000 per hour for an entire boat you can go on a motorboat ride through the harbor and into the large lagoon. The boat drivers often suggest that since you are in “Lagoonland” women should be allowed to remove their headscarves. It is a good opportunity since after wearing the scarf for long a breeze through the hair on a motorboat is most welcome!
  • Golestan National Park. As a vast, unspoiled and intact natural reserve situated both in the south-east of the scenic Caspian Sea and 70 km away from historic city of Gonbad-Ghabous, Golestan Natural Park constitutes one of the richest and most significant habitat and sanctuary of variant types of vegetation and wildlife. Over 150 species of mountain birds as well as brown bears, tigers, wild cats, deers, mountain goats, foxes and coyotes are among the beautiful and rare inhabitants of this 10,000 ha long splendid natural park.


The artworks made by craftsmen of Gilan province are very specialized and largely various in types and materials.

The most well- known handicrafts of Gilan are; decorative and utilitarian articles in wood, wicker work, statues, pottery, ceramics, bamboo products, straw mats, silk weaves, carpet weaving include gelims and Jajim (fine carpets made of wool or cotton), felting and crochet. Different kinds of jam and sweets are also produced by local people such as Kolucheh which has nationwide fame.

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