Tehran, Iran’s Capital hugs the southern face of snow capped Alborz range. As every other capital city, Tehran is now overpopulated. Houses are more and more moving up to the mountain foothills. At first sight you may only find the city nothing more than a chaotic jumble of concrete or interminable traffic. However, on second thought and after spending 2 or more days, you’ll soon realize that the city is way more than congestion and pollution.
You maybe have heard more about cities like Isfahan or Shiraz as you intend to travel to Iran, but we assure you, your trip won’t be complete without a stop in Tehran. Tehran is like a melting pot with its cultural and historical diversity.
In countries, politically and economically dependent on the central power such as Iran, everyone wants their own share of the capital. People from other cities flood to Tehran to seek a higher standard life and pursue their wishes. Consequently, in every part of Tehran you encounter people with different accents and sometimes languages other than Persian. For you as a tourist, if don’t have enough time on hand, it seems the whole Iran is jam packed in a smaller size. In one hand this verity may be so confusing or overwhelming, on the other hand after hours of walking and talking to locals you will find it worthwhile.
Tehran has changed considerably
Tehran has changed a lot. In better words, Tehran is the first place in Iran which deals with upcoming changes. Even for Iranians who has moved from Iran for years, visions of tolerance and mutual co-existence are a far cry from their preconceived images of Tehran; yet alone for foreigners whose only resources are the global media. But Tehran and as a result other cities of Iran are facing ongoing changes. Changes which are now inevitable by the new millennia’s entrance in different fields.
What to see in Tehran
Tehran attractions are naturally divided into two in terms of age and accessibility. Owing to long years of being capital, almost from Qajar era, Tehran has different historical layers. Due to Iran’s specific situation, people are so conservative in terms of religions, beliefs and lifestyle. Therefor you will need at least 2 days of meandering and delving into its old and modern attractions to fully sink hidden culture of ordinary people.
Old Tehran, mostly southern part of the city, is teemed with magnificent buildings now turned into museums or other recreational centers. Golestan palace who bears the honor of capital’s only UNESCO world heritage site, is a Qajar-era complex. A well preserved monument, greatly inspired by European style of architecture, Golestan complex consists of halls, galleries and a lovely garden. It used to be much bigger and more glorious in its own era but some very important parts of it are only traceable in pictures hanging from the gallery’s walls. So don’t miss the gallery. A square away, across the street, Tehran’s grand bazaar hustle and bustle draws your attention. Busy people moving so fast among tight alleyways, each lined with shops in either side, while their chatting sound is within earshot. You can venture on foot and get lost into the labyrinth alleys of Tehran’s economic beating heart.
If you are a museum buff, Tehran has got a bunch in different fields. Whatever you are into, you can easily find one out of your interest. However, the most precious one, not only in Tehran but in Iran, is National museum of Iran. Aging more than 70 years, it is not only the largest museum of History and Archaeology of the country, but ranks as one of the few most prestigious museums of the world in regard to grand volume, diversity and quality of its huge monuments.
30 Tir street is home of this magnificent structure . Though being brimmed with cultural features, the street had lost its heyday’s hustle and bustle. In spite of being located in the heart of Tehran’s old district and as a result lined with museums and culturally remarkable landscapes; it wasn’t until recently that 30 Tir street became one of locals’ favorite hangout spots. It boomed once again and become Iran’s first food street. After paying visit to the museums, people line before every shop patiently to get their food ready. Abgineh and Moghadam Museums are in the area you can walk to and enjoy great stories each of them has to tell. National Jewelry Museum is one more option for you to visit in an evening.
Your second day would be way busier than first but this time in north of Tehran. Saadabd and Niavaran complexes, both located in northern part of the city, are representing Qajar and Pahlavi historical legacies. Delving in Tajrish bazaar, local’s favorite, you can buy whatever you need with high quality and affordable prices.
You can visit modern Tehran if you have time on your hand and if the city has been amazing enough to convince you stay one more night. Mostly packed in Abass abad region which is going to turn into Tehran’s nightlife hang out spot. Tehran book Garden is among the largest areas dedicated to books. There you can buy, read, drink cafe or eat when you get hungry. At the end of a road which connects book garden to holy defense museum, a catching structure stands out. From there you can walk to Taleghani Park which is connected to Tabiat (nature) bridge. Stroll leisurely on Tabiat pedestrian bridge and continue walking to Planetarium where you can get a dose of astronomy.
Tehran has two major towers, modern Milad tower (among the largest ones worldwide) and Historic Azadi tower. Enjoy a guided walk to tell you the history of each. Apart from informative historical and cultural tours, inside each you can find different kinds of entertaining activities and lavish and luxury restaurants as well as fast foods.
Where to Stay?
Here in Iran’s capital you won’t have any problem finding hotel or restaurant. Multinational restaurants are available throughout the city mostly northern parts. You can find hotel room to stay easily almost year around except exhibition times. So try to book soon if you are on a business trip or the trip is going to coincide with international fairs in Tehran. Be in touch, we can recommend you the best.