Persepolis, or Takht-e Jamshid in Persian, was the magnificent ceremonial capital of the ancient Achaemenid Empire, over 2500 years ago. Ransacked by Alexander the Great, the site represents the pinnacle of ancient Iran’s political and architectural achievements. The UNESCO world heritage site is located about 70 kilometers northeast of Shiraz, and tours will take you from the city center on a day trip. The impressive ruins require a good few hours to explore, although take plenty of water, for the midday sun can be pretty unforgiving.