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Tehran

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Tehran is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Tehran is a metropolis of 14 million situated at the foot of the towering Alborz range.

Tehran (Persian: تهران), is the capital city of Iran. A bustling metropolis of 14 million people, it is situated at the foot of the towering Alborz mountain range.

Understand[edit]

One of the best views of Tehran is from Modarres Highway
Tajrish traditional Market

Tehran is a cosmopolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, and warm friendly people. It deserves at least a few days of your Iranian itinerary.

The city can be roughly divided into two different parts - north and south. The northern districts of Tehran are more prosperous, modern, cosmopolitan and expensive while southern parts are less attractive but cheaper.

At the time of the Zand dynasty, it was a little town that was significant from a strategic point of view. The first of the Qajar kings, Agha Mohammed Khan, named Tehran as the country's capital in 1778, and most of its growth started during the reign of a subsequent Qajar monarch, Fath-Ali Shah. The castle which Agha Mohammed Khan had built was to contain the new majestic buildings.

At the same time, the city's populace was redoubled. Due to the increasing significance of the city, gates, squares and mosques were built and it was at the time of Nassereddin Shah that the city's master sketch was prepared and modern streets were constructed. Later, huge central squares like Toopkhaneh square (now Imam Khomeini) and quite a few military buildings were built. Even though the Qajar dynasty was in a period of decline, Tehran soon took the shape of a modern city. The structure of large government buildings, new streets, recreation centres, urban service organizations, and academic and methodical centres were started, even as most of the old gates and buildings were destroyed and the city's old architectural fabric replaced by a contemporary one.

Tehran has also earned itself the rather unenviable reputation as a smog-filled, traffic-clogged and featureless sprawl of concrete bursting at the seams with 14 million residents. But you can also find an endless number of nice and cosy places in and around the city - if you know where to look. Tehran is also a city of parks and possesses more than 800 of them, all well-kept. The city is nearly a mile high above sea level and as a result is cooler than other cities in the middle east. Summer temperatures are around 32°C or about 90-95°F. The air tends to be very dry.

A combination of factors make Tehran a pleasant place to visit: The dry climate which is constantly cool (at least in the evenings), the proximity of the mountains, the parks and gardens where flowers blossom all through the year, the alleys of trees in the avenues or even smaller streets, and even the water that runs down from the upper city along deep and wide gutters which look like small rivers during spring. The Alborz range on the north of Tehran, which hosts the highest peak in Iran, provides fantastic conditions for ski lovers in the winter. In winter, the mountain hotels and ski-clubs at Shemshak, and Dizine are full several days a week. Some specialist skiers consider the snow value in northern Tehran to be some of the best in the world.

Get in[edit]

Travel Warning
Visa Restrictions:

Entry will be refused to citizens of Israel and travelers with any evidence of visiting Israel: not just Israeli entry stamps. So, if you wish to visit Iran you should renew your passport.

By plane[edit]

Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA: IKA ICAO: OIIE) [1], located 55km southwest of the city center, is the only airport in Tehran to which passenger flights operate.

There are direct flights to/from from numerous European, African, Middle Eastern, and Asian cities; however, there are no direct flights to/from North America or Australia. Iran Air [2] is the national carrier of Iran.

To travel between the city center and the airport:

  • Buses operate between the airport and Azadi Square, with stops at the Haram-e-Motahhar Metro Station on Line 1 (Red), from which you can take the metro to the city center. The bus costs 20,000 Rials. The metro operates from 5:30 to 23:00.
  • Taxis cost a fixed rate of 250,000 Rials for a local Samand car or 300,000 Rials for a Toyota. Drivers will accept US Dollars. The drive to/from the city center takes 45 minutes without traffic, but can take upwards of 90 minutes with traffic. There is a booth organizing taxis right outside the arrivals hall. You can also bargain with taxis dropping off passengers at the arrivals hall because otherwise they would have to go back to Tehran empty.
  • Tehran's Mehrabad airport (IATA: THR ICAO: OIII) [3] is an older airport that is only used for cargo flights

Despite the warnings in some travel guides, there is no exit fee for foreign travelers, neither in Mehrabad nor in Imam Khomeini Airport. The exit fee applies to foreign travellers only when leaving Iran on land or by sea.

By train[edit]

Domestic travel[edit]

If traveling within Iran, train tickets should be bought at the station, from travel agencies, or on the website of the Raja passenger train company [4].

There are at least one train each day to the Iranian cities of Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, Kerman, Yazd, Sari, Gorgan, Ahvaz and Bandar Abbas.

International travel[edit]

There is a train that runs between Tehran and either Ankara (€45) or Istanbul (€50). The train departs Istanbul every Wednesday night at 23:55, and departs Ankara on Thursday morning at 10:25, arriving in Tehran on Friday evening at 20:20 (although delays are frequent). The service requires a 4-hour ferry ride and a change of trains at Lake Van. The trains are comfortable and clean and reasonably priced food is available.

By car[edit]

Traffic is very congested but has improved with the completion of several new tunnels and highways (referred to as Bozorgrah or Otoban in Persian language) across the city. You can drive in from Turkey fairly easily as well as from the Southern parts of Iran. Driving is often dangerous and seat belts should be worn at all times.

By bus[edit]

Almost every city and far-flung village in Iran has bus services to Tehran, as evidenced by the hundreds of buses that pour in and out of the capital each day. Most buses arrive to, or depart from one of four major bus terminals:

  • The Western bus terminal (Terminal-e-gharb) is the biggest, busiest and best equipped of Tehran's terminals. Most international buses, as well as those heading to the Caspian Sea region and destinations west of Tehran originate and terminate here. The terminal is a ten minute walk north-west from Azadi Square, and a few minutes walk west from the Tehran (Sadaghieh) metro station.
  • The Eastern bus terminal (Terminal-e-shargh), seven km north-east of Emam Hossein square, handles buses to/from Khorasan province, as well a small number of services to the north.
  • The Southern bus terminal (Terminal-e-jonoob) is well equipped and handles buses head to and from destinations south of Tehran. It is 2 km east of Tehran's main train station and easily accessible via the dedicated Terminal-e-Jonoob metro stop.
  • The Beihaghi bus terminal (Terminal-e-beihaghi) is located beside Arzhantin Square, around 1 km west of the Mossallah metro stop. (Frequent shared taxis to/from the metro should be no more than 3,000 rials). The station has services to /from most major destinations in Iran including Mashhad, Esfahan, Rasht, Shiraz, Tabriz and Yazd.

Get around[edit]

Congested midday traffic in front of Tehran's iconic Azadi (Freedom) Monument.

Getting around traffic-clogged, sprawling Tehran is a true test of patience. While taxis are your best bet, they are pricier here than the rest of the country. A large local bus network will also take you almost anywhere you need to go, as long you can make sense of the routes and Persian line numbers. The true star of Tehran's transport system however, is the brand new metro.

By bus[edit]

Tehran has an expansive but confusing bus network. Some require prepaid contactless card (min 20000 rials), which can be bought from booths beside the bus stops and Metro Stations used when you get off the bus, and some should be paid by cash (ranging from 3,500-6,000 rials). Note that the buses are partitioned in two sections, men-only (the front section) and women-only(the back section).

Note that in the BRT lines, the women-only section is at the front. Also, the fee is paid on the station, using the prepaid contactless card (shared with Metro), or paying to the guard.

Since bus numbers, route descriptions and other information is in Persian, your best bet is to look confused at a bus terminal; a local will surely stop to help. Each bus line has a certain and almost invariable path but only people know exactly which bus stations exist for a certain road. You shouldn't expect a map or guides even in Persian showing the bus network or bus stations. Even asking the bus driver wouldn't be a great help for you to find your way either. If you get in a bus and looking for a certain station to alight, ask one to help you - you will find many people wish to help you to find your way, most of the time.

BRT (Bus Rapid Transportation)[edit]

The BRT buses are colored in red. BRTs has special lines and travels very quickly from Azadi square (west of Tehran) directly to the East (Terminal-e-Shargh). Railway square (South of Tehran) directly to the North (Tajrish square). Azadi square to free university(northwest). Azadi square to south Terminal and parkway bridge(north of tehran) to jomhuri square. Costs between 1,000-3,000 rials. In high-traffic hours (7AM-9AM & 4PM-8PM) it is the best way to traveling . BRT has too many stations near main streets. Although you may not find an empty seat on the bus because of the crowds, people give their place to you if they know you are a tourist. The women's and men's seats and queues are separate.

By metro[edit]

Tehran Metro

Tehran's new metro system [5] is comprised of four lines that will whisk you quickly from one end of the city to the other without having to deal with the noise, pollution and chaos of Tehrani traffic. However, many residents decided to leave their cars and commute by metro, so expect huge crowds during rush hours.

There are four lines available (numbered strangely 1, 2, 4 and 5)(line 3 is still being constructed) but the two most useful are lines 1 (north to south- from northern most Tajrish Station to Kahrizak Station) and 2 (east to west) which connect at the central Imam Khomeini station. All stations have signs in both Persian and English. Trains run every 10 minutes or less on rush hours (15 minutes on Fridays and holidays) from around 5:30AM-11PM every day. line4(yellow line) recently extended eastward to Kolaahduz station and westward to Eram-e-sabz Station. It's really crowded since it is connecting some of most important points like University of Tehran in Enqelab Sq. and an interconnection to line5 (green); line5 is going to Karaj, which is a 3 million population suburb! line3 (light blue) is constructed and under the test and would start to work from Azadegan to Beheshti before march 2014.


Tickets are valid for 1 or 2 trips (including change of lines) and cost 3,500 or 5,500 rials respectively. There are ticket booths at every station. You can also buy a contactless fare card which is the best option if you are going to use metro a lot, or simply want to have less hassle by paying 30,000 rials for a card and use it on both metro and most of city buses (note that if you use this card, you usually pay less than any other tickets, since they charge for the longest trip on the network), to charge minimum cost in metro with this chargeable tickets you should use the card in exit station. There are three dedicated women-only carriages at two end of the train, one and half in each side. Women can anyway choose to travel aboard the other carriages.

By taxi[edit]

As with the rest of the country private and shared taxis are abound in Tehran, although you may find flagging down a shared taxi more difficult amid the traffic and chaos, while private taxis are more expensive than in the smaller cities. See the Get Around information on Iran for details on flagging a taxi. If you want to get around by shared taxi, your best bet is to hop from square to square, as drivers will be reluctant to pick you up if your shouted destination deviates too far from their route. In each square you will find certain places where the private taxis are lined up in a queue and drivers call for passengers to a destination. (mostly happening during the times when the number of waiting taxis exceeds the number of passengers). In this case, they would wait until the car gets full of passengers (mostly one people at front and 3 people at back, excluding the driver). Otherwise the people have to line up in a queue waiting for the taxis to come. This is the case during rush hours (approximately 7AM-8AM and 5PM-8PM). All these depend upon finding their regular station in the square. You can also ask them to alight sooner than your destination wherever you like but you have to pay their total fee up to destination. The cost of such a ride from Azadi square to Vanak Square is around 25,000 rails (2500 Tomans) for each person. Most drivers are very poor at English though.

Motorcycle taxis are a Tehran specialty and offer a way to weave quickly through the city's traffic-clogged streets. You'll see plenty of these drivers standing at the side of the road calling "motor" at all who pass by. Keep in mind motor taxi operators can seem even more suicidal than the average Tehran driver when driving. Agree on a price before you take off and expect to pay slightly less than chartering a private taxi.

See[edit][add listing]

Monuments[edit]

Azadi tower
  • Azadi Tower. has been the longstanding symbol of Tehran. It was constructed to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian empire, combines elements of Sassanid and Islamic architecture. The entrance of the tower is directly underneath the main vault and leads into the Azadi Museum on the basement floor.  edit
  • Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, (Metro: Haram-e-Motahar, on the southern edge of the city). The sheer size of the shrine/shopping centre is enough to make the trip worth it. Free.  edit
  • Milad Tower, [6]. Milad tower is the fourth tallest tower in the world and 12th tallest freestanding structure in the world, and it is visible from almost everywhere in Tehran. Note that tickets to enter the observation lounge must be reserved in advance. There is a rotating restaurant at 390m above the ground, which has become one of the most luxurious restaurants in the country.  edit

Museums[edit]

Golestan Palace

Tehran has more than 50 museum and 100 art galleries.

  • Treasury of the National Jewels, (Ferdosi St, near the corner of Jomhuriyeh Eslami Ave; next to the Iranian Central Bank). Saturday to Tuesday from 2PM to 4:30PM. The largest collection of jewels found anywhere in the world. You'll get to see the collection of jewels including Darya-e-Noor diamond, the sister diamond to the Kuh-e-Noor diamond. Other highlights include the world's largest uncut ruby and a free standing golden globe made from 34 kilograms of gold and an astounding 51,366 precious stones. Admission: IRR150,000. Free tours (with paid admission) are given in English..  edit
  • National Museum of Iran, 30 Tir Ave, Emam Khomeini Ave, [7]. Contains some of the most precious and significant artefacts from ancient Persia (dating back to 5000BC) and post-Islamic Persia (800AD). The must sees are the Salt Man, a prince who was naturally mummified in a salt mine for 2000 years. His clothes and jewels are still intact. Furthermore, there are statues of Parthian kings and there are many examples of Persian columns and structures. The building itself is a masterpiece from 1930s Iran.  edit
  • Golestan Palace, [8]. the oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran. The Complex consists of 17 palaces, museums, and Halls. The Golestan (Rose Garden) citadel is one of mainly visited places in Tehran, which was the Qajars' royal residence, and its garden is an oasis of coolness and peace in the heart of the city. The major building, architecturally unpretentious, houses a museum with objects from the Qajar period in the self-important style of last century. In the Golestan garden, a one-story pavilion to the right and a short distance from the entrance, shelters one of the best organized museums in Tehran. It encloses about thirty showcases presenting almost everything related to Iran, which makes up the critical originality of Iranian life in the a variety of provinces of the country.  edit
  • Niavaran Palace, [9]. is a historical complex which consists of several buildings and a museum. The Sahebqraniyeh Palace, from the time of Naser al-Din Shah of Qajar dynasty, is also located inside the complex.  edit
  • Kolahstudio-an Art Basement, [10].  edit
  • Safir Office Machines Museum, [11]. It was founded in 2008 by Frashad Kamalkhani, the museum owner. It includes a collection of early office machines.  edit
  • Sa'd Abad Gallery of Fine Arts, [12].  edit
  • Glassware Museum of Tehran, [13].  edit
  • Carpet Museum & National Rug Gallery, [14]. exhibits a variety of Persian carpets from all over Iran, dating from 18th century to present. It has a library that contains 7,000 books.  edit
  • Reza Abbasi Museum, [15]. named after Reza Abbasi, one of the artists in the Safavid period. The collections of this museum belong to a period from the 2nd millennium BC to the early 20th century.  edit
  • Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, [16]. Features the works of great artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. The collection of these paintings were selected by the former Empress Farah Diba.  edit
  • Darabad Museum of Natural History. Iran's most famous museum for nature and wildlife  edit
  • Saadabad Palace, [17]. is a palace built by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran in the Shemiran area of Tehran.The complex was first inhabited by Qajar monarchs and royal family in the 19th century.Currently, parts of the Saadabad Palace compound are museums, in which visitors can roam through and look at the rich history of Iran.  edit
  • Time Museum, No. 12, Baqdadi St., Zaferanieh St., Vali Asr Ave., +98 21 241 7336/7. The 700 Sq. m building is situated in a 6000 Sq. m garden. It is embellished with various dazzling Iranian arts and crafts such as ornamental brickwork, arched ceiling decorated with painting, plasterwork, tile work, nodular wood work and stone work. The garden includes biological clocks, sundials, and geologic measures of time. The building includes mechanical clocks, watches, and calendars.  edit
  • Money Museum, Mirdamad street. Coins and banknotes from different historic periods.  edit
  • National Arts Museum, (Baharestan district).  edit
  • Ebrat Museum. The prison of Shah.  edit

Parks[edit]

  • Jamshidieh Park which is in the Niavaran district at the base of the Kolakchal Mountain, is one of the most picturesque and beautiful parks in Tehran.
  • Niavaran Park is one of Tehran's famous and most pleasant public city parks. It is located within the Niavaran district and is situated immediately south of the Niavaran Palace Complex.
  • Park Mellat (Literally the Nation's Park) is situated on Valiasr Street (the longest street in the Middle East) is the largest park in Tehran situated in close proximity to the national television headquarters.

Murals[edit]

A1one (aka Alonewriter, tanha) graffitis and street art works are a sort of interesting stuff in Tehran's Urban Space. A famous local graffiti artist is currently at the centre of controversy about whether his work is art or vandalism, and you can see his early works on the Tehran-Karaj Expressway, on the southern side walls UP in Ekbatan and Apadana districts. A more recent work of stencil art is located at the entrance of the Saba Art Institute.

Theater[edit]

  • Tehran Theater of the Performing Arts (Te'atr e Shahr).  edit
  • Talar Vahdat Theater.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Tochal Sport and Recreational Complex (تله‌کابین توچال), end of Velenjak St (take the Metro line 1 to Gheytarieh, then any bus or taxi to Tajrish Square (about 5 minutes). Ask the driver to let you off at Meidan Tajrish. If you visit on a holiday when Tehranis flock to the mountain, you should be able to jump in a shared taxi to the telecabin entry gate for 4,000 rials. Otherwise charter one privately from Tajrish Square), +98 21 22404001-4, [18]. A recreation area on Mount Tochal that offers hiking trails, a ski resort, gym and other activities. It's also a great place to get some scenic views over Tehran and enjoy a little peace and quiet in contrast to the bustling city. Normal means to the top is via the Tochal gondola lift. However, if you're energetic (or strapped for money), you can simply hike all the way up. You can also start walking and hop on one of the telecabins at the next station when you get tired. If going to the top, bring a jacket, even in summer, as the summit is 4,000 m above sea level so it can be chilly. Tickets range from 10,000-50,000 rials depending on how far up the mountain you want to go. From the entry gate a minibus service (1,500 rials) can take you to the base station.  edit
  • The Darband chair lift is an alternative to the one at Tochal. Taxis to Darband go from Tajrish Square.
  • Darake is another entry point into nearby mountains. Like Darband, Darake hiking trail begins with tens of open-air restaurants alongside a stream. The easiest way to get there is to take a taxi or minibus from Tajrish Square.
  • Wander around Tehran's massive bazaar (بازار) in the city's south (Metro: Panzdah-e-khordad). The main entrance on 15 Khordad Ave leads to a labyrinth of stalls and shops that were once the engine room of Iran's commodity markets and one of Imam Khomeini's greatest sources of conservative, pro-Revolution support. As usual, shops are clustered according to the products they sell. If you're planning on heading out into remote areas, the bazaar is an ideal and cheap place to stock up on almost anything you need.

Learn[edit]

University of Tehran Entrance gate
  • AmirKabir University of Technology, [19]
  • K.N.Toosi University of Technology, [20]
  • Iran University of Science and Technology[21]
  • Shahid Beheshti University[22]
  • Sharif University of Technology, [23]
  • University of Tehran,[24]
  • University of Social welfare & Rehabilitation Sciences [25]
  • University of Allameh TabaTabaei, [26]
  • University of Art, [27]
  • Power & Water University of Technology, [28]
  • Islamic Azad University,Science and Research Branch, [29]
  • Alzahra University, [30]
  • Imam Sadiq University, [31]
  • Tarbiat Modares University, [32]
  • Iran University of Medical Sciences
  • Tehran University of Medical Sciences, [33]
  • Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences & Health Services, [34]
  • Loghatnameh Dehkhoda Institute & International Center for Persian Studies [35] is the only school which offers Persian courses and can arrange student visas for foreigners. Consult the timetable at their website and apply at least 3 months before. People with tourist visas are not allowed to attend classes.

It is easy to find work in Tehran, but you must have a university diploma to be applicable for good jobs. Although there is some inflation, many of the people in Tehran have good and well paying jobs. Like every other big developing world city, there's a big difference between poor and rich.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Money exchange[edit]

For information on Iranian currency see Iran#Buy.

You can exchange your currency in most banks after filling out between two and five forms, but the exchange rate in exchange offices is always better than what is offered by banks. It is much advisable to go to one of these offices which are mostly (but not only) on Ferdosi St which begins at Imam Khomeini Square.

Also, most exchange offices in Tehran don't exchange before 9AM, when the daily rate gets fixed.

Do not exchange your money with one of the many individuals offering to exchange along Ferdosi St. It is a lot more risky and illegal.

Bazaars and shopping malls[edit]

Visit the Bazar, very appropriate for shopping. It ranges from cheap things to very expensive luxury things. You can find almost anything in Bazar, from clothing to carpets, kitchen accessories, decoratings, jewellery....

When in the Bazar, don't miss out the 'Sharafol-eslam' restaurant located in the Bazar. It is very famous for its kebabs and chickens, excellent food, excellent quality, you'll never have enough. It gets really crowded though, which requires some patience.

There are also numerous shopping malls in the city. Valiasr Street and Tajrish Square (also includes a traditional bazaar) are two of the many locations full of shopping centres in Tehran.

Computer software[edit]

Due to Iran's refusal to sign up for the Bern convention, the sale of pirated software is legal in Iran. However, bringing the software home may be illegal and carry large fines or jail sentences. In addition, the software many not include the correct ID keys and therefore may not work on your computer.

Places where pirated software is for sale include the bazaar at the corner of Vali-e-Asr Ave and Enghelab Ave., Bazar-e-Reza, Bazar-e-Iran, and "Paytakht Computer Complex", a 7-story modern complex filled with computer equipment, at the intersection of Vali-e-Asr and Mirdamad. The prices at "bazaar reza" (at charrah-e-vali-asr) are usually cheaper. Some of the computer equipment that is sold in Iran are cheap knockoffs.

Jewelry & Gold[edit]

Jewellery & Gold boutiques located in Geisha, Milade Noor, Karim Khaan St. Golds, gems, and diamonds.

Bags & shoes[edit]

Designer bags and shoes such as Gucci, Versace,Dior, Armani in Golestan shopping centre & Milade noor.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Note that prices quoted on the menu may exclude an 8% tax, a 10-15% service charge, and a 10% tip. Be prepared to add as much as 1/3 to the prices quoted on the menu.

Budget[edit]

You'll find cheap & good enough abgoosht stew in any of the places they call ghahvekhuneh (قهوه‌خانه) which you can find in any non-strictly-residential area. Just ask for a ghahvekhuneh or get this قهوه‌خانه printed and show it. Nice traditional working class ambience as a rule.

You can find several food courts around Tehran with a variety of cuisines from Thailand, India, Italy, China and Turkey.

  • Cafe Bork, No.6 , Abdi Nejad Alley, 16 Azar St., Keshavarz Blvd., +982188985049, [36]. 10-21. Cafe and vegetarian foods.  edit
  • Delsin Sandwiches, Jordan Blvd, in Golfam St. Kebab and sandwich joints are found everywhere. This one has interesting salad, and humus (lebanese mezeh). They have roast beef, chicken, turkey sandwiches that comes with fresh vegetables, like mint and basil. sandwiches priced between US$2-4.  edit
  • Dizi Sara, Jordan Blvd.. A hangout of the rich and famous. Abgosht (meat stew): IRR130,000.  edit
  • Falafel Stalls, 15 Khordad Ave (across the road from the bazaar). 10,000-25,000 rials.  edit
  • Food Court at Jaam-e-Jam Mini Mall, Corner of Vali Asr Ave & Taheri Street. A sight to see - not for the food. This is the closest thing in Iran to a pick up bar. Teenagers push the limits on acceptable clothing. Has western import products in several stores underneath. There is also a decent bakery here with western type bread.  edit
  • Iranian Traditional Restaurant, 28 Keshavarz Blvd (near Agha Bozorg Mosque, underground, down a staircase east of the Canon/Konica shop). Full of young Iranians flirting, smoking flavored water pipe, and eating. The dizi is recommended. Dizi: IRR55,000.  edit
  • Super Star Fried Chicken (SFC). The Iranian version of KFC. Serves very good chicken burgers.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Armenian Club, 68 Khark St (corner of France Ave - Unmarked. Look for the ornate door). Since this is a Christian restaurant, women are allowed to remove their headscarves and alcohol is served (albeit at very inflated prices). The food is Iranian - not Armenian. There is usually a piano player performing. Muslims are technically not allowed inside. Kebab: IRR 300,000.  edit
  • Barbod Restaurant, 87 Seoul St.; Vanak Square.  edit
  • Coffee Shop & Veggie Restaurant at Iranian Artists' Forum, Baghe Honarmandan, Moosavie Str, Taleghani Ave. (just behind the Den of Espionage (former US Embassy) inside the Iranian Artists' Forum building. There are two restaurants at Artists Forum, the vegetarian one is reached from inside the building (turn right as you go in) and has a terrace overlooking the park.), +98 21 88310462. Fantastic place to stock up on those much needed vegetables. The menu is pure veg and very, very good. Also, great coffees and desserts at very reasonable prices. Serves pizza, sandwiches, and salads.  edit
  • Dizi, near Karimkhane-e Zand St. downtown. A beautiful Dizisara. With many Miniature paintings on walls and a nice meal of Abgusht (traditional Iranian soup-like food, but way heavier than normal soups), it is worth a visit for lunch. Not open for dinner.  edit
  • Farid, 39 Shahid Sereni St (5 minute walk from Vali Asr Street). Speciality is the steamed blue fish.  edit
  • Hani, Corner of Vali Asr Street & Motahari Street, [37]. Delicious Iranian food served buffet style.  edit
  • Iran Tak, 431 Vali Asr Street (Just north of the metro station. Look for the unmarked ornate blue tile entrance and a staircase down to the basement). Ambient cellar restaurant with ornate chandelier and fountain. Popular with young people since water pipe smoking is allowed for both men and women. Try the lamb leg dishes. Complete meal with drink: IRR250,000.  edit
  • Khayyam Restaurant, (200m south of the Khayyam metro station, opposite the mosque). Beautifully decorated, originally part of the mosque. 300-year old building restored in 2002. Typical Iranian food.  edit
  • Sofre-Khaneh Sonatee Ali Ghapoo, Gandhi Ave, +98 21 8877 7803. noon-3pm & 7.30-11pm. Basement restaurant. Popular with large groups of Iranians. Very noisy. Live music starts at 9PM. Enjoyable atmosphere with waiters in traditional dress.  edit
  • SPU Restaurant, Darakeh Square, 0098 21 224 19494. Iranian food. Ranked as one of the best outdoor restaurants in Tehran.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Alborz Restaurant, Nikoo Ghadam Alley & North Sohrevardi Avenue, [38]. Many locals regard this as a fairly good chelo kababi in Tehran.  edit
  • Bistango @ Raamtin Hotel, 2153 Vali Asr Street, [39]. European décor and cuisine. Serves high-end dishes such as filet mignon, caviar, prawns.  edit
  • Boulevard, 3 Nahid Boulevard (on a small street heading east of Valiasr Avenue between Vanaq Square and Park-e Mellat), +98 21 2205 1947. Trendy and modern place; serves very good French and Italian food.  edit
  • Dashte-Behesht, (Saadat-Abad). Very high class, the menu consists of different Kebabs and stews. There is always live music to make the atmosphere more enjoyable.  edit
  • Divan, Fayazi Blvd (Fereshteh) (SAM Shopping Center - 8th Floor), 21-22653853, [40]. Fusion Persian food in a luxurious setting. Consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in Tehran.  edit
  • Gilac, 15, Parc des Princes, Kordestan highway, 88 03 04 04, [41]. Specializes in fish from the Caspian Sea.  edit
  • Monsoon, 8 Gandhi Street (Shahid Gandhi Shopping Center), [42]. The best Asian restaurant in Tehran, serving good Thai curries and decent sushi. European décor and music.  edit
  • Nayeb, 2220 Vali Asr Street (Across the street from the Raamtin Hotel), [43]. Traditional Iranian food served in style.  edit
  • Ranch, No.108, on the corner of Satari and Afriqa (Jordan) Blvd, +98 21 8865 1618, [44]. An Italian restaurant opened in 2014 by Valentino Salvi. Nice outdoor eating space.  edit

Confectionaries[edit]

  • Bahar Confectionary, Sarcheshmeh Crossroad (Beside Keshavarzi Bank). The oldest Confectionary of Iran founded 1938. birthplace of paderazi and sugar bread. Best Known for traditional Paderazi and Shekari cookies. Quality is guaranteed. Diverse range of cookies and pastries are available.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

For information on popular drinks in Iran, see Iran#Drink

Coffee shops[edit]

Coffee shops are a great place for people watching as well as drinking.

  • There is a string of coffee shops on the south side of Jomhuriyeh Eslami Ave, a couple of hundred metres west of Ferdosi St. You can stock up on coffee beans and related paraphernalia, or even sample a cup for 4,000 rials.
  • Cafe Naderi - serves coffee, tea and pastries to a mix of Tehran's intelligentsia and bohemian elite. It's a great place to sit and watch hip young guys eyeing gossiping girls while old men reminisce about the "good ol' days" under the Shah.
  • Gramophone Cafe, Charrahe Vali-e Asr (Vali-e Asr St. - In front of Theatre building). If you want talk to your friends, you can go to Gramophone coffee shop, listen to nice music, and have a nice coffee. Some of people who work there can speak English. Ask for Beiruz.  edit
  • Hot Chocolate Coffeeshop - they stock cigars and a number of European cigarettes as well. This coffee shop is on occasion, a meeting place for some of Iran's sporting elite.
  • Sanaee Coffee Shop, Sanaee St, 13th Street. Definitely worth it for their absolutely fabulous chocolate milkshakes. Try the 'Icepack' chain with their huge sortiment of milk- and ice-shakes. Popular with the Iranian youth.
  • White Tower (Borj-e Sefid) along Pasdaran Ave, Definitely worth a visit if in the area- try "White Rose" in the White Tower.

Tea houses[edit]

  • Azari Traditional Tea House - Just north of the train station. A bit far from the center but worth the trek. The atmospehere here is unique, from the moment you enter from the beaded doorway. This is a popular hangout for people of all ages. Features an eclectic collection of water pipes and tea pots.
  • Chai bar (Anjoman Khoshnevisan), 145 North Salimi Blvd (Farmanieh), +98 21 22210310. located in a beautiful historic garden in Tehran. It is an ideal place to spend late afternoons/evenings. It offers great selection of teas and coffees as well as sandwiches.  edit
  • Entracte Cafe, (upstairs in a cinema on Jomhuri Ave ,just west of Valiasr Avenue ). An atmospheric and bohemic cafe operated by actress Leila Hatami and her husband. Ask for the traditional Iranian tea which is amazing. They serve a fantastic brunch between 11AM-2PM on Fridays and it includes sausages, bread and brie. Damaged by fire but possibly re-opened.
  • Gandhi Shopping centre. For trendy cafes filled with liberal Iranians. You will find about ten coffeshops as well as a few very good restaurants, including Monsoon.

Juice bars[edit]

  • In many places you can find fresh sickly-sweet carrot juice - as well as some other juices - for just 30,000 rials a cup.
  • By most main bazaar in Tehran you can get a drink of blended honeydew melon with ice and sugar. Its delicious and extremely

refreshing on a hot day.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Amir Kabir Street a grubby street filled with car-repair shops near Imam Khomeini square offers accommodation options for the budget-minded.

  • Firouzeh Hotel, Dolat Abadi Alley, Amir Kabir Street, 33113508 Cell: +98 9124361974 (), [45]. checkout: 2PM. Good hotel with very friendly receptionist, Mr Mousavi, is a good source for information, especially regarding embassies and visas. Great place for breakfast, tea and meeting other travellers. Internet and wifi available. Single: US$22; Double: US$30.  edit
  • Hotel Hafez, Bank Alley, off Ferdowsi Street, Tehran, +98-21-66709093 (), [46]. checkout: 12PM. Location quite good, 5min's walking to National Jewelry Treasure and Turkey Consulate, which nearby is full of Exchange place. The duty manager (an old gentlemen) is very nice and speaks good English. Rooms are good and clean, bathroom water is hot. Can help you book train/bus/flight tickets, car/van or even visa renewal. Breakfast included. Free Wifi, but singal is not good in the room. Double room: US$25.  edit
  • Hotel Khazar Sea, 12 Ohady Alley, Amir Kabir St, +98 21 33113860. Very friendly place and relaxed atmosphere around quiet courtyard, however, it seems the cleaner and the plumber haven't been around since the revolution. Single room from: 300,000 rials (as of Sept. 2014).  edit
  • Mashhad Hostel, #388 Amir Kabir Street, Opposite Seraj Mosque, (), [47]. One of the cheapest accommodation in Tehran. Nothing fancy and not exactly very nice but the obvious choice for those on a budget. Has a small kitchen with possibility to boil water and a dial up Internet connection. They do laundry for a reasonable price of 30,000 rials, dorm beds for 200,000 rials.  edit
  • Hotel Naderi, Jomhuri Ave.. One of the cheapest hotels outside the grubby Amir Kabir Street. Still in central Tehran but Jomhuri Ave. has more restaurants which Amir Kabir st. lacks. Hotel Naderi is an old famous hotel where writers and intellectuals still meet in the downstairs Cafe Naderi. Some bathrooms are very old and somewhat dirty but the beds are reasonably clean. Ask for a room in the back to avoid the noise. Not to be confused with Hotel New Naderi. 300,000 rials for a single.  edit
  • Hotel Saadi, 375 Laleh Zarno St (get off Metro at Saadi Station. Walk down Jomhouri, it's very close from the metro, the intersection is Laleh Zar to the left and Laleh Zarno to the right. Go right and then the hotel is on right side of street about 200-300 m.), +98 21 33117653, [48]. Very new small hotel with free wifi for guests. Single: IRR850,000; Double: IRR1,240,000.  edit
  • Yas Hotel & Guesthouse, 458 Laleh Zarno St (Near Hotel Saadi (see above)), +98 21 33903796, +98 21 33902111. Good location off Jomhuri Ave, close to Saadi Metro. Clean room and shared bathrooms. Clean and simple budget accommodation with shared bathrooms. Sink and TV in rooms. Single from 20,000 toman (200,000 rials).  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Amir Hotel, 325 Taleghani Ave. Between Iranshahr and Forsat., (+98-21) 8830 4066-69 (, fax: (+98-21) 8882 4505), [49]. 70 nice rooms with a great location. Popular with business travelers. Double: $83.  edit
  • Atlas Hotel, #206 Taleghaani Ave (7 minutes walk west of Taleqani metro station), (+9821) 88907475 - 88906058 - 88900286-8 (fax: (+9821) 88800407). checkin: 2PM. Two-star hotel in convenient location and good rooms. Insist on a room in the rear building as rooms in the front building face the very noisy Taleghaani Avenue. Must pay in USD or Euros. Breakfast included. Single: $48; Double:$76; Triple: $97.  edit
  • Ferdowsi International Grand Hotel, No. 20, Kooshk e Mesri street, Ferdowsi Ave (Along Ferdosi Street North of Imam Khomeini Metro Station), +98 21 66727026 - 31 (fax: +98 21 66711449), [50]. Very nice and posh rooms and fantastic breakfast buffet. Centrally located in the city so it's very convenient. Highly recommended. Single: $99; Double: $140.  edit
  • Hotel New Naderi, off Jomhuri-ye Eslami Ave #53, Gohar Shad Alley, 0098-21- 66709530 & 66703761 & 66701356 & 66709531 (, fax: 0098-21-66709532), [51]. By 'new', they mean 1970s. Clean rooms. Single: $44; Double: $63.  edit
  • Ideal Apartment Hotel (هتل آپارتمان ایده آل), Fatemi Sq Kamran Alley, No. 10 (in a small quiet street just off the busy Fatemi/Vali Asr intersection), [52]. Offers apartments with kitchens and separate sleeping rooms. While not palaces, they are good for self-caterers or people who face a longer stay in Tehran. Staff is motivated and speaks English. US$80 including buffet breakfast.  edit
  • Iranshahr Hotel, No 81, South iranshahr street‍, 02188846650 - 02188820518 (), [53]. Opened in 1953; renovated in 1981. Nice rooms and good service. Single: $70; Double: $98.  edit
  • Hotel Mashad, 190 Mofatteh St, near Talequani ave., (), [54]. Rooms are renovated but small. Some rooms have a view into the former US embassy complex. Single: $59; Double: $84.  edit
  • Parasto Hotel (Parastoo Hotel), Mohammad Buyk Alley, off Jomhuri-ye Eslami Ave (Near the British Embassy, a bit of a hike from Ferdosi Metro), (). Basic hotel popular with tour groups. Rooms can be smoky or dirty. Single: $25; Double: $39.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Esteghlal Hotel, Crossroads of Dr. Chamran Experessway & Valie-Asr Ave. Tehran-Iran (near Elahieh and the International Expo Center), (+98 21) 22 66 00 11-25 (), [55]. Formerly a Hilton hotel. 15 floors, 550 rooms, built in 1962.  edit
  • Espinas Persian Gulf Hotel, 126 Keshavarz Blvd, [56]. Opened in 2010, it is one of the nicest hotels in Tehran. 224 rooms, gym, sauna, pool. Single: $168; Double $224.  edit
  • Raamtin Residence Hotel, 2153 Valiasr Ave (directly across from the gas station), (+98) 21 8872 27 86 - 8 (), [58]. 50 spacious rooms with leather couches. Single:IRR3,200,000; Double: IRR3,900,000.  edit
  • Simorgh Hotel, 1069, [59]. Nice location on cosmopolitan upmarket section of Valiasr St. Saei Park is almost next door and a beautiful green/concrete oasis in a deep valley. Hotel was once the Miami Hotel, and on the top floor is still the Miami Restaurant. Fairly good food - try the estrogen (sturgeon) fish kebabs, and the chicken cordon bleu. Good coffee in ground floor cafe. Rooms are comfortable and well equipped although rather dark. Business centre with fast internet and wifi in most rooms. Terrific indoor pool with separate bathing times for men and women. The hotel cars are in very poor condition, better to take a taxi from the street. Single: $168; Double $205.  edit

Contact[edit]

For information on mobile phone operators and using the internet in Iran, see Iran#Contact

Internet Cafes[edit]

  • Ferdosi Coffee Net - Enghelab Ave, (a few doors east of Ferdosi Square) is hard to find (look for the small sign plastered to a building) has two banks of computers.
  • Pars Net - one of south Tehran's hottest coffee nets, dishing up reasonable speed. It is on the eastern side of Ferdosi St, between Jomhuiyeh Eslami Ave and Enghelab Ave, across from the British embassy. They also provide fax and long distance phone services.
  • Coffee Net Firouzeh - In Tehran's south in the nice and very friendly Firouzeh Hotel
  • Iranian Trade Centre - around Valiasr Square offers several Internet cafes (coffee nets).

Stay safe[edit]

Tehran is still relatively one of the safest cities to travel through, particularly considering its size and security. Common sense and the usual precautions against pickpockets in bazaars and crowds should ensure your visit is hassle free.

Even late at the mid-night it is safe in most parts of the city while you will find the city still crowded. It is advisable not to take a private taxi for instance at 2AM.

The fake police that target Esfahan's tourists have also found their way to Tehran in recent years. These are usually uniformed men in unmarked cars flashing phoney IDs are requesting to see you passport or search your luggage. It goes without saying that you should just ignore such requests and head to the nearest police station if you feel unsafe. The trouble is that it can be a little hard for the untrained tourist eye to tell these from the real police.

Another thing to watch out for are phone snatchers. One guy will wait on a motorcycle while another rips your smart phone out of your hands and jumps on the back of the bike before they take off. Happens in less busy streets at night. A precaution is to only use your phone inside shops.

The traffic in Tehran is very dangerous and should be considered some of the worlds worst. Try to cross the street when the locals do. At first it looks impossible but the drivers do a very good job to avoid pedestrians even though they drive crazy.

Gay and lesbian travellers should be extremely careful when travelling to Tehran due to strict and harsh regulations on homosexual activity. Iran justice has death penalty for homosexuals, even teenagers.

Exercising extreme caution in public is the key thing to remember, and in fact, it is mandatory to abstain from any kind of intimacy even for heterosexual couples, but it doesn't mean you cannot hold hands.

It is also recommended, even for westerners and non-Muslim women, to wear a head scarf or veil, on their head, when exiting their apartment or hotel rooms.

If you decide to smoke the qalyan (waterpipe), make sure that you are not smoking opium or other kinds of drugs if you don't intend to do it. Although drugs and alcohol are illegal in Iran, it is not impossible to obtain them, especially in Tehran. Since the Iranian government decided to ban the qalyan and cigarettes in public places, it is a bit difficult to find a decent place for smoking.

And if you really want to try the qalyan, you can expect to find this in dodgy places.

Cope[edit]

The traffic in Tehran is horrendous. To get a break from it head to the parks in the north of the city.

Embassies[edit]

  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, Velenjak Area, 16th Street, Building No. 13, +98 21 22171033 (, fax: +98 21 22419103), [61]. 9:00 AM - 16:30 PM.  edit
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 43 Esfandiar Av., Africa Express Way, +98 21 2205 0533, Emergencies:+98 91 2158 2533 (, fax: +98 21 2205 7431).  edit
  • Flag of Serbia (state).png Serbia, 9th Street, nr. 9, Velenjak, +98 21 2241 2569 (fax: +98 21 2240 2869).  edit
  • Tr-flag.png Turkey, Ave. Ferdowsi, No: 314, +98 21 311 8997 (fax: +98 21 311 7928).  edit
  • Pk-flag.png Pakistan, Block # 1, Aitemadzadeh Street, West Doctor Fatemi Avenue, Tehran, +98 21 6694489 (, fax: +98 21 66944898), [63]. 0830 hours to 1600 hrs(Sat - Wed).  edit

Get out[edit]

  • If the hustle and bustle of Tehran becomes too much, it's possible to go to the Caspian Sea for a day or two. The holiday town of Ramsar is about five hours away, and the drive across the Alborz Mountains is spectacular. A taxi round-trip for a day shouldn't set you back more than 500,000 rials (ask for taxis near Azadi Square).
  • Namakabrud Villa city and gondola lift in beautiful green coasts of Caspian Sea in the northern Iran is about 4.5 hours away.
  • Qom (The most religious city of Iran followed by Mahshhad) is about 2 hours away from Tehran by bus and one hour by car [120 km].
  • Na’in is the first Desert destination toward south. it's a small and quiet town at the edge of desert. A perfect pattern of a desert town. Everything you like to see in a desert town you can find there. to get there from Tehran, bus available in both of Terminale' Jonub (10am and 5pm) and Beihaghi terminal.


  • Two of Iran's biggest ski resorts are 1-2 hours north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountains.
  • Shemshak is the closest of the two and its steep slopes are considered more appropriate for expert skiers and boarders.
  • Dizin is the larger resort with more facilities and is considered better for beginners and intermediates. The resorts generate some rivalry amongst the locals, with some 'Shemshakis' looking upon those who ski in Dizin as 'kids in the park' and see Shemshak as the place for 'true skiers'.
Azadi (Freedom) square
Golestan palace
jewish antique shop in tehran
Niyavaran palace
Tehran street painting
Azadi square park


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