Tehran city is the capital city of Iran. It is among the fastest growing destinations for tourists. When you plan to travel to Iran, it is hard to ignore to visit Tehran city and the whole Tehran tourism potentiality.
If you happen to travel to Iran, it should be noted that Tehran city is the most populous city in Iran and the second in the Middle East. Many of the oldest buildings in the city are not older than a century; therefore, in terms of historical background, it is rather a pretty young city compared to Isfahan city and Shiraz city.
Although Rey city, is one of the ancient Persian cities in its south traces its origin to the ancient times.
The Northern parts of Tehran city are seat to more prosperous neighborhoods. Here is where you may find glitzy shops for famous Western brands.
Tehran city is located to the south of Alborz mountains; this means, when you travel to Tehran, the northern parts of the city are closer to ski resorts and mountain climbing sights.
Therefore, if you plan to travel to Iran, Tehran to enjoy its nature, you would preferably want to find an accommodation in the northern parts.
On the other hand, if your travel to Iran and your idea of Tehran tourism is to visit its historical attractions, the central and the southern parts are good for you.
Generally, the more you move to the south the poorer the neighborhoods become. The central part is its oldest, most densely crowded region.
Travel to Tehran
Most of the people who travel to Iran, initially arrive at Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA). You may travel to Tehran city from there, using either a taxi or the subway. The subway however, runs in some hours and is not operational during the others.
Using internet ride hailing app in Iran such as Snapp is an affordable yet reliable option.
In case you want to continue your travel to Iran by visiting other cities, three major bus terminals are available to get you to almost any region in Iran. Those three are South, West and Beyhaghi terminals.
If you use Tehran metro app, you should know that Beyhaghi terminal, is named Haghani there.
Additionally, you may use Tehran BRT app to take advantage of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Tehran.
The two stations are named Mehrabad Airport Payane 1&2 and Mehrabad Airport Payane 3&4.
Payane means Terminal and this word in Farsi is write پایانه.
The station is named “Rah Ahan” (i.e. railway) in BRT and metro maps.
It is not usually hard to travel to Tehran from another Iranian city, as most of the cities in Iran do have buses and flights to Tehran city.
However not all the major cities are connected to the railway network.
Getting around in Tehran
The development of Tehran highway network in recent times has been very rapid, more rapid than the development of public transport, such as Tehran metro and buses.
This has been unfavorable to pedestrians as many parts of Tehran city are really hard to pass without one’s own car.
When you travel to Tehran, to get around Tehran city, you have quite a few options. If you choose public transportation, you should attain a ticket card, which works with buses and the subway all the same.
The electronic card may be purchased at any subway station and bus terminal across Tehran city.
There are also shared taxis available; If you are familiar with ‘service’ taxis in Arabic countries, these are the same as those.
These shared taxi in Iran are cheaper than private taxis. However, the boards and tableau for these taxis are exclusively in Persian, so you will have a hard time using them, if you do not know Persian or do not have someone to guide you.
We have elaborated on some Persian expression and catchphrases which might be helpful when getting a shared taxi in another article.
There are also many different ride hailing apps operational in Tehran city that you can use.
Walking in the central neighborhoods is a big challenge especially in the rush hours as the streets are crowded with cars, the pavements packed full of people and motorbikes and even parked cars!
However, during your travel to Tehran, you do not want to miss exploring different neighborhoods by foot when you get the chance to do so.
Many would advise you to walk Valiasr Street, the longest street in Tehran city, stretching across the city from its north to the south.
Lastly, to be able to better take advantage of BRT and metro in Tehran, you may take advantage of some of the useful apps for visiting Iran.
Attractions of Tehran
If you are looking for older attractions in Tehran city, you have to head southwards to the ancient city of Rey and visit Bahram fire temple and Tughrul Tower.
Since this city was the capital of Iran at the time the nation’s transition to modernity, you may observe the traces of this change and the impact it had on the life of Iranians in Tehran city, better than anywhere else.
For that aim, we suggest visiting National Garden. It was originally a field, constructed in Qajar period as a shooting range.
Later, Reza Shah Pahlavi constructed some of the governmental offices around it, many of them have been turned into museums.
The compound and its surrounding museums are surely good destinations and will take one full day of your trip, so plan to start your visit in the morning.
If you travel to Tehran and do not pay a visit to its traditional bazaars, you have missed a lot.
Tochal mountain and ski resort is located in the north of Tehran.
A gondola lift connects Velenjak valley to the main ridge with an altitude of 3740 meters.
The good news is that Velenjak valley is basically located in an urban area, where you may simply park your car, get in the gondola lift, get off in Tochal Complex and start skiing.
Along with the ski resort, Tochal Complex also features a hotel with a coffee shop, a restaurant etc. The complex is open to public in winter.
Iranian Dishes in Tehran
In Tehran city, there are increasingly more options available for food. When you travel to Iran, you will not regret trying different varieties of kebab, since you will not find many of them in other countries. You have a wide range of choices for eating kebab, from the fancy Nayeb and Alborz restaurants to more affordable ones such as Moselm and Reza Loghme.
If you happened to visit National Garden, keep in mind that the nearby Sie Tir Street hosts a really good variety of food booths offering fast food and more traditional Iranian dishes, mostly for a very reasonable price.
Dizi is another Iranian food which may make your travel to Iran a bit more delicious.
Dizi restaurant in Iranshahr neighborhood only serves Dizis, as its name also suggests.
Azari restaurant around Rah-Ahan Square also serves quality dizis.
Iranian stews (aka. Khorsesh) are some of the mostly loved Iranian dishes, and are usually served with rice.
The delicious category includes Khoresh Gheymeh, Khoresh Sabzi and Khoresh Fesenjan.
Although, these dishes are very popular and many restaurants across Tehran serve them, we suggest you to pay a visit to Ghanari Restaurant, if you are looking for some of the most delicious ones.
All the dishes mentioned so far include meat, so you might ask: How to survive as a vegetarian in Tehran?
In any condition, you may get help from Foursquare website and its application, as countless restaurants in Tehran are listed there and even Iranian users write their comments and reviews mostly in English.
Tehran tourism on the rise
As many media outlets suggest, there has been an increase in the number of visitors who travel to Iran and travel to Tehran as well. Many find their stay very enjoyable because of the hospitality Iranians offer them.