Just on the coast of the Caspian Sea, where powdery raindrops sparkle on the leaves of the forest and find their way into the water, you can find the magical city of Rasht. The city of “Silver Rains” invites you to an outstanding experience of walking among dense forests, touching the glittering sands of the beach with your bare feet, and getting amazed by watching rice cultivation.
Gilak men and women (an ethnic group based in Gilan Province) wear their colorful traditional costumes, go to the paddy fields in the early mornings and start rice planting festival to make high-quality rice. Their hard work is not the only reason that everyone calls Gilan Province and its capital city, Rasht, “the heaven of foods.” The diversity of delicious Persian cuisine takes your experience of tasting new foods to the next level.
The earliest sign of Rasht in historical documents goes back to the Sassanid era. The courageous people of Rasht experienced many ups and downs throughout history. However, nothing could stop people of Rasht from developing their city. They made the finest eco-friendly buildings so beautifully. These places can be seen today as well. Due to the heavy rains in that area, Rasht’s architects needed to make slope roofs. This form of architectural design continued until today and became the symbol of the city. People of Rasht are famous for their open-minded beliefs and desire for change. Therefore, you feel this dynamic spirit in every corner of the city.
There are many different opinions about the true meaning of Rasht. Some linguistics believe that Rasht should be pronounced as Resht, which means rain. This idea sounds logical due to the fact that this city is one of the rainiest cities in Iran. Iranians and especially Zoroastrians assume that Rasht got its name from the divinity of rain, Tishter in Zoroastrianism. Some others argue that Resht actually means silk because Rasht was one of the biggest cities for producing silk in Iran.
If you are a pluviophile and enjoy rainy days, you will fall in love with Rasht since you can witness rainy days, even seven days of a week. At the beginning of the fall, when the weather is not freezing yet, you can travel to Rasht, go to the forest and enjoy the foggy and wet weather of the region.
During the summer, the weather can be muggy. However, the most pleasant time to visit Rasht is during spring when you can enjoy the tranquility of the sea and get off to the woods for having meditation inside nature.
Rasht is located in Gilan Province in the north of Iran. As the largest city on the Caspian Sea’s coast, the population of Rasht is about 713,000 to embrace many different people.
If you look at the map below, you will realize that Alborz Mountain Range is located in the south part of Rasht, which is covered with high trees, and in the north, you can see the fascinating Caspian sea.
What Are Rasht’s Top Attractions?
Traveling to the north of Iran, you will be surrounded by mesmerizing natural wonders, phenomenal historical buildings, and vibrant local bazaars.
If you look at literary books, you will find a deep connection between human beings and the sea. Sea is a place to purify your thoughts, gives you inner tranquility, and lets you forget all problems while you are looking at the ending line of the world when the sky and sea are becoming one.
Like other seas in the world, the Caspian Sea is a great deal to the people of Iran. Many Iranians in that area make a living by fishing. Others go to the sea for meditation and enjoy watching their children make their dreams with sands. By waiting for the waves when they are coming to touch your feet and hunting for shellfish to bring for your loved ones, you will understand how generous the sea can be.
Located in the west part of Tehran-Rasht road, Saravan is one of the oldest forest parks in Gilan. Although walking on natural mossy pavements surrounded by high old oak trees and watching birds flying around is fantastic, you have to experience riding a boat on the green swamps inside the park to truly appreciate the beauty. The surface of the swamp is covered with algae that make the whole area look even greener.
Inside this forest park, you can find The Rural Heritage Museum, which gives you the experience of watching Gilak lifestyle where you can see many handmade tools, traditional costumes, and dishes that go back to hundreds of years ago.
Just in the middle of Mohtasham Garden, when wherever you look, you will see high trees with old mossy trunks, you can explore the garden to see Kolah Farangi mansion.
This mansion was built during the Qajar Dynasty and shows you how Persian architectural design can adjust itself with different ecosystems.
Although if you look at the wood and brick-made building, you will see a three-floor white mansion with clay-made roofs; in fact, this place has four floors and used to be the house of one of the Gilan’s rulers.
If you ask people about Rasht, Shahrdari Square is probably one of the first things that come to their mind to talk about. This place is one of the best locations to enjoy Rasht nightlife. You can see the trace of Russian architectural design, which is combined into Persian art and formed a masterpiece.
Walking on the pavement around the circle shape fountain and looking at the lights which shine among the trees is a phenomenal scene. You can take a deep breath to feel the fresh air close your eyes for a moment and try to listen to the sound of the city during the night.
The local and oriented Rasht Bazaar or Rasht Grand Market is where you get to see a vivid image of the goods’ diversity. You can walk through the bazaar and enjoy looking at the colorful natural products such as different local fruits and vegetables while you are smelling their delicious aroma.
If you are a fan of seafood, you can buy fresh fish there and have a delicious fish barbeque in nature.
What Are Some of the Best Restaurants in Rasht?
Traveling to Rasht, you should forget about eating international food and invite yourself to an unforgettable delicious Persian cuisine tour. The variety of foods in Rasht allows you to find something to eat even if you are a vegan or vegetarian, a picky eater, or on a special diet.
Shore Coli or Shour Koli Restaurant got its name from a delicious fish that can be found in the Caspian Sea.
When you enter the place, you will see wooden chairs and tables all around the salon. The walls are decorated with many picture frames, each telling a story of Rasht and its history. All the foods are served in clay-made shiny blue dishes to give you the authentic feeling of eating a Persian meal, and the taste is just amazing.
If you are looking for a luxury place when you travel to Rasht, you have to visit Razeghi Restaurant. This restaurant offers you live piano music when you are sitting on a wooden chair and enjoying the golden lights on the dark brown and creamy color of the walls.
You can ask for many different traditional dishes and enjoy their heavenly taste, but you have the option of choosing international food as well.
Mirza Local Restaurant located in Deylaman Boulevard of Rasht is where you can see how architects could get inspired by Gilani architectural design and create a restaurant to make you feel like you are dining in a Persian house.
The walls of the restaurant are covered with clay to display the coziness and traditionality of an Iranian house. The walls are designed with blue frames that look like Persian windows with colorful glasses and the flower pots next to them.
You can take off your shoes, sit on the Persian sitting areas called “Takht” and enjoy your mouthwatering local food.
Persian Kebabs are famous in the world, but trying Doush Kebab in Haj Hosein Kababbi( a restaurant that only serves kebabs) would be a unique experience.
This special kebab is made of a particular part of bulls. This loin meat is not edible if the bull is old, so for having a Doush Kebab, chefs of this restaurant choose calves, cut the loin off and marinate it with onion, salt, and pepper, then they use the meat to make this juicy, greasy food.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is pleasant, although the decoration may not be dashing. You can enter the tiny restaurant, sit on the wooden chairs, and look at the black and white tiles on the walls and floor.
You can find this restaurant in Shariati Street.
What Are the Best Hotels in Rasht?
When you travel to Rasht and see how calming this city can be, you do not want to leave it soon. You can see some of the best Rasht hotels here to find your ideal one among them and have a comfortable time there.
The five-star Kadous Grand Hotel located in Manzarieh Boulevard is where you can have easy access to Rasht’s attractions. Kadous or Gilan Grand Hotel was built in 1982 and hosted many people since then.
The white exterior design of the hotel can remind you of a massive ship on the water. You can walk inside the hotel’s yard, sit under the pergolas, and see the palm tree leaves moving with the wind.
Although the lobby of the hotel looks luxurious because of the golden color of the columns and its bright marbled floor, the hotel’s facilities might be less than a five-star hotel found in other cities.
This four-star hotel is located in Golsaar Square and invites you for excellent accommodation in Rasht.
When you enter the lobby, you will see a cozy place with a wooden counter and sofas all around the salon. After booking your room, you will be guided upstairs to see a comfortable bed in the middle of the room. You can have a sweet sleep after your journey in Rasht and dream about the rest of your trip in this lovely city.
Although the hotel looks cozy and warm, it is not as good as a four-star hotel. However, the tidiness of the rooms can make you feel satisfied.
Two-star Pardis Hotel is a great choice for you if you are looking for a budget-friendly place to stay while you are in Rasht. Being located in Imam Khomeini Boulevard allows you to have easy access to Rasht Airport and Rasht Bus Station.
You can go inside the hotel and enjoy its wooden decoration, which gives you the feeling of staying in a cabin in the middle of a jungle.
The wooden staircase guides you to your rooms, and you can rest in your comfortable bed without being bothered.
Pamchal Hotel Located in Mosala Square is one of the best accommodation options in Rasht. The building of the hotel reminds you of the Shahrdari building, which looks terrific. You can wait in the lobby, which has a bright atmosphere because of the white marble floor and golden lights.
When you enter your room, you will enjoy the clean and calming ambiance of it. Although the rooms are small, the bright color and lighting used in their design make the place look bigger.
Once you come to the gorgeous city of Rasht, you will find a connection with its urban sites and wonderful natural phenomena. You should start planning your trip to this green city, get your visa, and get stunned by the lively ambiance of it.
⭐ Best For:
Natural attractions, Caspian Sea
🕌 Top Sights:
Shahrdari Square, Saravan Forest Park, Gilan Rural Heritage Museum, Saqalaksar Lake
🛏️ Where to Stay?
Kadus Grand Hotel, Ordibehesht Hotel
😋 What to Eat?
Mirza Ghasemi, Baghala Ghatogh, Torshi Tareh, Kabab-e Torsh
💭 Interesting Fact
With 113 mm of rainfall per month, Rasht is the wettest cit of Iran