Though neither Iran’s oldest or prettiest city, the bustling metropolis of Tehran is not without its own compelling charm. Tehran is a home to over 10 million Iranians and the largely concrete skyline is set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Alborz mountains, which rise out of the smog below.
Here we present 12 must to-dos while in the capital:
1. The Grand Bazaar
Right in the heart of the city, the Grand Bazaar is an essential visit for any tourist in Tehran. The bazaar is absolutely huge. There are banks, restaurants, tea houses, stunning mausoleums and mosques and it covers over 6 miles (10 km). You will find everything from jewelry to carpets and pots and pans for sale here. You will meet bazaari people here who are one of the strongest and most conservative groups in society and their support has been instrumental during the Islamic revolution.
The Grand Bazaar
Website: The Grand Bazaar
2. Azadi Tower
Azadi Tower was built in 1971 to commemorate 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. This iconic tower fuses elements of Sassanian, modernist and Achaemenid architecture. The tower name means “Freedom Tower” and the Y-shaped building is situated in a park in east Tehran. You can visit its featured, well laid out underground museum. It gives a fantastic view of the city from the top floor.
Address: Azadi Tower, Tehran Province, Tehran, Azadi Square, Iran
3. Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace is located in southern Tehran, near the bazaar - the oldest and poorest part of town. The magnificent palace is located just a few minutes from the Grand Bazaar. The palace complex consists of 17 structures in total which include reception halls, throne rooms, museums, and royal quarters and it boasts impressive, well-kept gardens too. You will be thrown into a whimsical world of mirrored halls and tiled facades, stained glass windows and alabaster tables. The spectacular tile walk makes for some amazing shots!
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, District 12, ark sqr, Panzdah-e-Khordad St, Iran
Website: Golestan Palace
4. Tajrish Bazaar & Imamzadeh Saleh
The bazaar in the northern district of Tajrish is smaller, prettier and altogether less stressful than the Grand Bazaar. Checkout the nearest kebab restaurant in the center of the bazaar and the tea house just off the main drag. You will find a colorful market of fresh fruits and vegetables and some excellent touristy shops selling traditional crafts and kitschy memorabilia.
Tajrish Bazaar & Imamzadeh Saleh
Address: Tajrish Bazaar, Tehran Province, Tehran, Iran
5. Milad Tower (Borj-e-Milad)
One of the Tehran’s most iconic structures and the most prominent feature of the city’s skyline is Milad Tower. The tower was completed in 2017 and stands at an impressive 435 meters (1,427 feet), making it the sixth tallest tower in the world. The tower also boasts a fancy, revolving restaurant.
Milad Tower (Borj-e-Milad)
Address: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
6. Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
In a striking concrete modernist building on the western side of Park-e-Laleh, this museum’s impressive collection boasts works by Van Gogh, Miro, Bacon, Matisse, Monet, Munch, and many others. The architecture itself is impressive, as are the surrounding sculptures.
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Website: Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
7. Mount Tochal
Did you know that you can go skiing by subway? The town is bordered by the Alborz mountains on the northern side. The Mount Tochal sits in the mountain range with its peak reaching a staggering 3,993 meters (13,100 feet). This place is an excellent challenge for mountaineers; trails set off from Darakeh and Velanjak with tea houses staggered along the way. This place is ideal for a quick afternoon gateway.
Website: Mount Tochal
8. Carpet Museum of Iran
Museu do Tapete do Irã: uma jóia abandonada. Uma pena :/ Carpet Museum of Iran: an abandoned jewel. Such a pity :/Posted by Felippe Moraes on Monday, 22 May 2017
Housing more than 100 pieces dating from 17th-century to the present day, this is a great place to see the full range of regional patterns and styles found in Iran. The museum was designed by Farah Diba Pahlavi, the last Queen of Iran. It’s also functional as it casts cooling shadows on the main walls.
Carpet Museum of Iran
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, Dr Fatemi St, Iran
Website: Carpet Museum of Iran
Shahr-e-Rey is an important political and religious center that predates Tehran and lies just to the south of the capital. The place is accessible by the metro. The main attractions includes a quaint traditional bazaar, the ruins of a Sassanid fortress and Seljuk tomb. Imamzadeh Shah Abdol Azim located in this area is a shrine for a descendant of the second Shia Imam, which attracts pilgrims all year around.
Address: Tehran, Iran
10. The National Jewelry Treasury
National Jewelry Museum of Iran - TehranPosted by The Imperial crown jewels of Persia on Sunday, 18 June 2017
The National Jewelry Treasury is housed within the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Safavid, Pahlavi and Qajar monarchs adorned themselves and their belongings with an astounding range of priceless gems and precious metals, which make this collection of bling quite literally jaw-dropping. Cameras, phones, bags and guidebooks must be left at the reception area.
The National Jewelry Treasury
Website: The National Jewelry Treasury
11. Sadabaad Palace
The Sadabaad Palace is a palace built by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran in the Shemiran area of Tehran. Browse through a vast collection of art and artifacts housed in the 19th-century royal residence at Sadabaad Palace. The highlights include the eclectic Nations Art Museum, found in the basement of the white palace, and the well-curated Fine Art Museum. The museum complex grounds are also a pleasant place for strolling.
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, Shahid Kamal Taheri Street, Shahid Fallahi Street Street,, Valiasr St, Iran
12. National Museum of Iran
You will find an impressive range of treasures and objects from the 30,000 years of human habitation in the Iranian plateau. Explore stone age tools, primitive art, coins and pottery. This museum features items from the length and breadth of Iranian history.
National Museum of Iran
Website: National Museum of Iran (in Persian)
Why not to visit Tehran once?
Tehran is another wonderful place you should not miss. The place offers more than what you would expect - there are museums, bazaars, restaurants, and mountains. I highly recommend you visit Tehran once in your life!
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