Also known as the “City of Rain”, it is the capital city of Gilan Province. Having the population of 700,000, Rasht is the largest city on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast. Historically, Rasht was a major transport and business center which connected Iran to Russia and Europe, and because of this was known as the “Gate of Europe”. The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century but its modern history dates back to the Safavid era during which Rasht was a major silk trade center with numerous textile workshops. Rasht enjoys a moderate and humid climate with variable humidity during the year. The race of Rasht people is Aryan and they are from Gilak tribe speaking in Gilaki with Bieh Pas and Rashti dialects; they are also mostly Asna Ashari Shia. Some Armenian and Jewish live in this city, as well.
The tourist attractions of Rasht are:
UNESCO City of Gastronomy
Rasht is one of the cities listed on UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy. There are a variety of local foods in the area that makes it unique in this regard. The most known dishes of Rasht are Mirza Ghasemi , Torsheh Tareh, Baqala Qatoq , Aloo Mosamma, Anar-Bij, Sir-Qelyeh, kal Kabab, sour Kebab. The people in the province has been planting rice for a long time. Also the area was covered by grass, vegetables and forests leading to the power to breed a high amount of livestock and poultry. As the result, most of the foods contain eggs, vegetables, and meat.
Dishes of Rasht
Guilan Rural Heritage Museum
Gilan Rural Heritage Museum is located in Saravan forest park, Rasht, Gilan Province. The museum covers an area of 260 hectares in Saravan forest park. This museum includes the buildings of 9 original villages of Gilan Province
which present the original architecture of Gilan. The buildings are transported to the museum site from the original place. When going through the alleys of the museum, you can feel the old life of who were living in the area. Inside the houses, there are old furniture giving the tourists the sense of living in those architecture.
Gilan Rural Heritage Museum
Saqalaksar Lake is situated in Saqalaksar village, in the central part of Rasht city in Gilan province of Iran. The water of the lake originates from the spring fountains of the surrounding area. The village of Saqalaksar has a fantastic landscape surrounded by massive tall trees and plenty of natural attractions are besides the lake.
Kolah Farangi Mansion
Kolah Farangi Mansion has 4 floors built during the Qajar era while looking to have 3 floors from outside. It was a summer residence for Rasht rulers before the conversion of Mohtasham garden into a public park. Nowadays, it is a center for the preservation and instruction of the local arts of Gilan province.
Caspian Sea (Hajibekandeh)
Rasht is not a port, but the country reaches to the shoreline of the Caspian Sea. The coastal village of Rasht which is a tourist place is called Hajibekandeh. It provides the facilities for swimmers and boaters; and also for the one who wants to take a sunshine on the sandy beach and take a motorcycle or bike for pleasure.
Rasht’s Traditional Bazaar is an old market which is in place for centuries. Thousands of people have been acquiring their needs in this Bazaar. The most important products that takes every passenger to this market is fish. Fishes have always been a common meal for the people in the area, and thereby the main alley of the Bazaar is advocated to fishes. The well know fish is Sefidmahi (Caspian Kutum).
There isn’t only raw fishes that attract customers, but also fish products such as salty fish. Salty fish is a common flavor in the province. It is mostly used for the dishes that are either sour or have not salty constituents like Baghlakhorosh which is made of beans.
Raw fish and salty fish
Shahrdari square is the center of Rasht city. Shahrdari (Municipality) of Rasht was the main building in the city a century ago and due to that reason the square is called Shahrdari by the people. In the nearby, pedestrian streets are provided with sitting and walking places which together with the municipality present a beautiful site. The building of municipality has a structure inspired from Saint-Petersburg architecture.