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Nowshahr is a port city in Mazandaran Province, which was considered the unofficial summer capital of Iran during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919- 1980) as most high-level government officials lived and worked there during the summer. 

The city borders the Caspian Sea in the north, the Alborz Mountains in the south, Nour in the east and Chalous in the west. Nowshahr has humid subtropical climate with warm summers and cool, humid winters.

The old name of this city was Sang Tajan. In the Qajar era (1781–1925) as commercial ships docked there, its economy flourished and it became an important point for trade with Russia. During this time, a nobleman named Habibollah Khan took interest in this small town and initiated developing the city which became known as Habib Abad after its benefactor. In 1318, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty Reza Shah (1878-1944) began the construction of a port, supervised development projects in the city and renamed it Nowshahr.

The city is famous for its natural beauty, beautiful parks, and green mountains.  Some of the major attractions of Nowshahr include Sisangan Forest Park and protected area, which is home to an endangered plant species named Boxus, the beautiful Sisangan Coast, the Avidar Dam Lake and Chalandar Waterfall.

Some of the famous personalities to hail from his city include, cartoonist Bahman Abdi (1951), playwright Rostam Kiakojouri (1955), composer and music producer Fardin Khalatbari (1964), footballer Mohsen Ashouri (1965), footballer Kianoush Rahmati (1978), wrestling world champion Hassan Rangraz (1980) and inventor Mercedeh Khajavikhan.

Nowshahr is one of the few Iranian cities with access to land, sea and air transport networks.  



  • Population


  • Coordinates

    36°38′56″N 51°29′46″E

Top things to do: 

Top foods to try: 

  • Torshe Somaq- A stew consisting of verjuice, beans, sumac and garlic with chicken breast served with Caspian sticky rice (Kateh).
  • Mahi Shekam Por or Stuffed fish - Caspian white fish filled with a stuffing consisting of coriander, cilantro, mint, garlic, walnut, pomegranate paste and crushed pomegranate seed, seasoned with turmeric and black pepper. This dish is served with Caspian sticky rice (Kateh).
  • Morq-e Shekam por or Stuffed duck – A whole duck filled with a stuffing consisting of pomegranate paste, walnut, parsley, coriander, garlic and saffron.