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Tehran Travel Guide

Tehran is the capital and most populous city of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is divided into two parts as the north and south. While the northern districts are regarded as more prosperous and modern, the southern areas are cheaper but less attractive.  Tehran became the capital of Iran in 1778 during the time of Agha Mohammad Khan, the first of the Qajar Kings. 

Tahran şehri gezi rehberi

Petroleum resources, in particular, are among the most important factors that contributed to the development of the city’s economy along with numerous industrial products ranging from pharmaceuticals, sugar, porcelain, cement and textiles. The city is the pearl of Persian culture with its unique museums, beautiful parks, squares and magnificent palaces that attract many visitors as a gateway to the glorious history of the country. It is considered to be the most liberal and secular city in Iran which is ruled by theocracy with strict religious regulations governing the public life. 

Tehran is regarded as the main access point for many international flights to Iran, as the country’s major cities such as Esfahan, Hamadan, Kermanshah, Rasht, Mashhad and Tabriz are a bus ride away.  

General Information 

Country: Iran
Region: Northern Iran
Area: 730 km²
Language: Persian
Average temperature: 16.4 °C
Climate: Steppe Climate
Vegetation: Steppe
The difference between GMT: GMT + 4:30
Telephone Code: +98 21
Currency: Iranian Rial
Socket Type: Type


How to Get to Tehran?

Pegasus Airlines offers direct flights to Tehran from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport. You can buy your plane ticket to Tehran from other cities through many linked flights from Istanbul.

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Transportation from Tehran Airport to City Center

Tehran International Imam Khomeini Airport is well connected by bus, metro, taxi or car rental services. All the details regarding different transportation options are explained on the official webpage of the airport. There are no regular buses to the city center. Metro is another comfortable means of transport as Imam Khomeini Airport metro station is situated right at the first level of Terminal 1. As an alternative, minivans which are running between the airport and Shahed metro station provide another convenient option. You can also benefit from car rental services offered by Pegasus Airlines. 


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Public Transport in Tehran

Tahran şehir içi ulaşım

Tehran has a well-functioning metro system. It is the best way to get around the city to avoid the crowded traffic. You can obtain the metro card that can also be used for the buses and official taxis at the metro stations. There are also frequent buses running in the city although they can be slow and badly organized. 

Best Time to Visit Tehran

Tahran ne zaman gidilir

Spring and autumn months are the best time to visit Iran with great weather for sightseeing. Nowruz celebrations in March when the Iranians bless the arrival of spring is also a joyful time to visit Tehran even though the prices can increase at this time of the year. It is recommended to stay at least 2-3 days to discover all the beauties of the city. 

Festivals in Tehran

Iranians like to celebrate several occasions throughout the year: 

  • International Fecr Film Festival (February)
  • Tehran Book Fair (May)
  • Tehran Puppet Theater Festival (August)
  • Parvin Etesami International Women's Film Festival (December)

Places to Visit in Tehran

You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit this friendly place and discover its unique oriental civilization that has flourished throughout centuries. Here are the places you should visit while in Tehran.

Azadi Tower

Tahran Azadi Kulesi

The Azadi Tower, one of the symbols of the city, was built in 1971 by Mohammad Reza Shah. The word “Azadi” emphasizes the national independence. The tower is formed through two adjoining columns that build up a tall entrance. You can get to top of the tower and have a glimpse at Tehran’s skyline. 

The Treasury of National Jewels Museum

Treasury of National Jewels Museum in Tehran is affiliated with the Central Bank. It hosts the most valuable jewels and stone collections gathered throughout the country’s history. Displaying the glorious culture and civilization of Iran, the special collections represent the power and wealth of its past rulers beginning with the Safavid monarchs. The exact value of this unique collection cannot be estimated correctly, due to inclusion of some of the world’s most precious pieces. 

Golestan Palace

Tahran Gülistan Sarayı

Built by the Kacar Dynasty, Golestan Palace was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Construction of the 200-year-old palace began in the 17th century during the Safavid dynasty and the structure was expanded into 9 separate building complexes over time. It was used as the residence of the Shah during the last period of the Safavid dynasty and the Qajar dynasty which ruled in 1794-1925. The Pahlavi dynasty used the palace for official ceremonies and guests of the state. It has turned into a museum which attracts many visitors today. 

National Botanical Garden of Iran

National Botanical Garden of Iran in Tehran is a natural site that you cannot miss during your trip. It was founded in 1968 but opened to public in 2011. Home to various types of plants and the most important arboretum of Iran with a gorgeous park to walk by, the garden is worth visiting to spend a calm day in the nature within a short distance from the city’s chaos. 

Niavaran Palace

Niavaran Palace was the residence of last Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi until the Iranian Revolution. The large complex consists of the Niavaran Palace Museum, Ahmad Shahi Pavilion, Sahebgharani Palace, Jahan Nama Museum and the private library along with other cultural, historical and natural sites such as the Blue Hall, Niavaran Garden Private Cinema and Jahan Nama Gallery. Other remarkable collections in the complex are exhibited at the Museum of Royal Clothes and Museum of Royal Family’s Vehicles. 

Sa’d Abad Museum Complex 

Comprising of 18 separate buildings located on an area of 100 hectares throughout the foothills of Darband, Sa’d Abad Museum Complex will take you on a time travel into the glorious life of the Shahs. It was used to be the summer estate of royals since the Qajar dynasty and had been extended during the Pahlavis’ rule. White Palace and Green Palace with their exclusive exhibitions are among the places you shouldn’t miss. 

Where to Stay in Tehran?

Tehran offers numerous accommodation options. Hotels in the city are usually located in the city center. Espinas Hotel, the Tehran Grand Hotel, the Ferdowsi International Grand Hotel, the Asareh Hotel and the Melal Apartment Hotel are among the popular places for accommodation in Tehran. 


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What to Eat in Tehran?

Tahran yemekleri

Here is a list of some popular restaurants where you can taste the delicacies of the city:

  • Çelo Kebab, Barg Kebab, Taas Kebab: Nayeb Restaurant, Shater Abbas, Hayyam Restaurant
  • Chicken and Kebab: Sharaf El Islam Restaurant
  • Far Eastern Food: Monsoon Restaurant
  • Hosseini Kebab, Sholeh zard, Fesenjoon: Alborz Restaurant, Alighapoo
  • Seafood: Gilaneh Restaurant
  • Indian Food: Tandoor
  • World Cuisine: Bistango Restaurant

Shopping in Tehran: The Best Souvenirs to Buy

Tahran'da alışveriş

Bazaar-ı Borg is the biggest market area in Tehran. Located near the Golestan Palace, it is a huge place which is divided into different sections. You can buy authentic jewelries, carpets and clothing. It is also a great place to have lunch, as it has some of the best restaurants in the city. Tajrish Bazaar, and Crystal Bazaar of Shoosh are also listed among some of the popular places to go for shopping, while Milad Noor, Tandis, Tirajeh, Vanak, Palladium, Diamond and Goldis are the most popular shopping centers of the city.

Nightlife in Tehran

Tahran gece hayatı

Nightlife in Tehran is subject to restraining rules and regulations due to strict political and religious conditions in the country. However, there are certain venues that people gather around to socialize. Artists (Honarmandan) Park, Bam-e-Tehran (Roof of Tehran), Café Nazdik, Lamiz Café are some of the places where young people like to go for entertainment. Then there are nice outdoor spots to enjoy a calm night walking by the Tabiat Bridge or Darban neighborhood. Alternatively, you can fine dine at one of the restaurants such as Azari Tea House and enjoy the traditional Iranian music. 

Things to Know Before Visiting Tehran

  • Be aware that separate seats are reserved for men and women in public transport. Traffic is deemed as chaotic in this overly crowded city, that may require some precautions when driving or crossing across the streets.
  • There is definitely a rooted bargaining culture in the city whether you are doing shopping or taking a taxi. 
  • In restaurants, the first and second offer for tipping is rejected and only the third time it gets accepted, according to the local tradition. Do not forget to offer to tip three times at the restaurants in Iran.

Essential Numbers

Country Code: +98

City Code: 21

Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport: +98 21 5100 6015

Ambulance: 115

Fire Department: 125

Police: 110 (112 from mobile phones will also get you through to the local police)   

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