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Coordinates: 35°41′46″N 51°25′23″E / 35.69611°N 51.42306°E / 35.69611; 51.42306

تهران Tehrān

Tehran is located in Iran
Coordinates: 35°41′46″N 51°25′23″E / 35.69611°N 51.42306°E / 35.69611; 51.42306
Country  Iran
Province Tehran
County Tehran County
Rey County
Shemiranat County
 - Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
 - Metropolis 730 km2 (282 sq mi)
 - Metro 18,814 km2 (7,264 sq mi)
Elevation 1,200 m (3,900 ft)
Population (2006)
 Density 10,327.6/km2 (26,748.3/sq mi)
 Urban 8,429,807
 Metro 13,413,348
 - Population Rank in Iran 1st
  Population Data from 2006 Census and Tehran Municipality.[1][2] Metro area figure refers to Tehran Province.
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 - Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Area code(s) 021

Tehran (Persian: تهران Tehrān pronounced [tʰehˈɾɒn]), is the capital and largest city of Iran, and the administrative center of Tehran Province. Tehran is a sprawling city at the foot of the Tochal mountain range with an immense network of highways unparalleled in Western Asia. The city is famous for its numerous resorts on the Alborz slopes, large museums, art centers, and palace complexes.

Tehran is the largest city in the Middle East and is the 16th most populated city in the world with a population of 8,429,807. Tehran is one of Iran's largest urban areas. [3] Most Iranian industries are headquartered in Tehran, including the manufacturing of automobiles, electrical equipment, military weaponry, textiles, sugar, cement, and chemical products. Tehran is also a leading center for the sale of carpets and furniture. There is an oil refinery located south of the city.[4]

In the 20th century, Tehran faced a large migration of people from all around Iran. Today, the city contains various religious minorities, and has many historic mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. Contemporary Tehran is a modern city featuring many tall structures, of which the Azadi Tower and the Milad Tower have come to be symbols of Tehran itself. Internationally Tehran is the least expensive capital in the world and only the second least expensive city globally after Karachi.[5][6] Furthermore globally it stands 14th by city population,[7] 56th by the size of its GDP and 29th by the population of its metropolitan area[8]. Due to long history of Iran, there have been many instances of capital city relocations over the ages and Tehran, currently is the 31st national capital of Iran.



The original Parliament Building built in the 1920s.
Shams ol-Emāreh was Tehran's first tallest building, built between 1865 and 1867.
Green Palace at the Sadabad Palace complex.
Tehran in 1985 and 2009.

The origin of the name Tehran is unknown. Excavations place the existence of settlements in Tehran as far back as 6000 BC.[9] Tarran was well known as a village in the 9th century, but was less well-known than the city of Rhages (Ray) which was flourishing nearby in the early era. In the 13th century, following the destruction of Ray by Mongols, many of its inhabitants escaped to Tehran. In some sources of the early era, the city is mentioned as "Rhages's Tehran" . The city is later mentioned in Hamdollah Mostowfi's Nuz'hat al-Qulub (written in 1340) as a famous village.

Don Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, a Castilian ambassador, was probably the first European to visit Tehran, stopping in July 1404, while on a journey to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan) and the Mongol capital at the time. At this time, the city of Tehran was unwalled.

Tehran became a residence of the Safavid rulers in the 17th century. Tahmasp I built a bazaar and a wall around the city, but it somewhat fell out of favor after Abbas I turned sick when he was passing the city to go to a war with the Uzbeks.

In the early of 18th century, Karim Khan Zand ordered a palace, and a government office to be built in Tehran, possibly to declare the city his capital, but later moved his government to Shiraz. Tehran finally became the capital of Iran in 1795, when the Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan was crowned in the city. It remains the capital to this day.

During World War II, British and Soviet troops entered the city. Tehran was the site of the Tehran Conference in 1943, attended by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

Following the war, the city's older landmarks were started from scratch under the rule of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah believed that ancient buildings such as large parts of the Golestan Palace, Takieh-ye Dowlat, the Toopkhaneh Square, the city fortifications and the old citadel among others should not be part of a modern city. They were systematically destroyed and modern 1950s and 1960s buildings were built in their place. The Tehran Bazaar was divided in half and many historic buildings were destroyed in order to build wide straight avenues in the capital. Many excellent examples of Persian Gardens also became targets to new construction projects.

During the 1980–88 Iran–Iraq War, Tehran was the scene of repeated Scud missile attacks and air strikes against random residential and industrial targets within the city, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties. Material damage was repaired soon after each strike. Tehran attracted war refugees by the millions.

After the war, cheap Soviet-style apartments multiplied throughout the city without any plan. At present, little is left of Tehran's old quarters. Instead, modern high-rise buildings dominate the city's skyline and new modern apartments have and are replacing the few remaining old houses at a rapid pace. Tehran-style home architecture has almost vanished completely. This is often referred to as "Tehran Identity Disaster".[citation needed]

Tehran is also home to many grand mansions in the north of the city.(Farmanieh, Zaferanieh, Niavaran, etc)

Tehran in 2008


View of Mount Damavand as seen from the Dizin ski resort.

Under Köppen's climate classification, Tehran features a steppe climate. Tehran's climate is largely defined by its geographic location, with the towering Alborz Mountains to its North and the central desert to the South. It can be generally described as mild in the spring, hot and dry in the summer, pleasant in the autumn, and cold in the winter. As a large city with a significant differences in elevation among various districts, the weather is often cooler in the hilly north as compared to the flat southern part of Tehran. Summer is usually hot and dry with very little rain, but relative humidity is generally low and the nights are cool. The majority of the light annual precipitation occurs from late-autumn to mid-spring, but no one month is particularly wet. The hottest month is July (mean minimum temperature 23°C, mean maximum temperature 36°C) and the coldest is January (mean minimum temperature -4°C, mean maximum temperature 6°C)[10]
Although compared with other parts of the country Tehran enjoys a moderate climate, weather conditions can sometimes be unpredictably harsh. The record high temperature is 48°C and the record low is -20°C. On January 5 & 6, 2008, after years of relatively little snow, a wave of heavy snow and low temperatures shocked the city covering it in a thick layer of snow and ice, forcing the Council of Ministers to officially declare an state of emergency and calling the following two days (January 6 and 7) off for the capital.[11]

Climate data for Tehran
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17
Average high °C (°F) 5
Average low °C (°F) -1
Record low °C (°F) -12
Precipitation mm (inches) 43
Sunshine hours 173.6 182.8 205.5 222.8 289.5 345.1 349.5 340.3 304.0 256.1 194.9 166.1 3,030.2
Source: [1] 2009-06-01


Population of Tehran

The city of Tehran had a population of approximately 8 million in 2006 [12].

With its cosmopolitan air, Tehran houses diverse ethnic and linguistics groups from all over the country and represents the ethnic/linguistic composition of Iran (though with a different percentage). Today the majority of Tehran residents are known as Persians who speak various dialects of Persian corresponding to their places of origin, including Esfahani, Shirazi, Yazdi, Khuzestani, Dari, Judeo-Persian, etc. However, the main dialect of Iranians is pure Persian.[citation needed]

Other minority groups of Iran include Azeri, Kurds, Baluch, Qashqa'i, Armenian, Bakhtiari, Assyrian, Talysh, etc. There are also a number of a few long established linguistic minorities such as Punjabi-speaking traders from Punjab (India) and Romas as well as a small number of ethnic Georgians, who have resided in Northern Iran for centuries. A number of Arabic speakers of Iraqi and Lebanese origin also live in Tehran.[citation needed]

Tehran saw a drastic change in its ethno-social composition in early 1980s. Following the political, social and economic consequences of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 and onwards, many Iranian citizens, mostly Tehranis left Iran due to mounting political, social and most importantly religious pressure. Many Iranians fled to countries such as Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, Sweden and other European countries. The highest Iranian emigration has been to the United States and Canada.

With the start of the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988) following an Iraqi invasion, a second wave of inhabitants fled the city, especially during Iraqi air offensive on the capital. With most major powers backing Iraq at that time, economic isolation caused even more reasons for the inhabitants to leave the city (and the country). Having left all they had and having struggled to adapt to a new country and build a life, most of them never came back when the war was over. During the war, Tehran also received a great number of migrants from the west and the southwest of the country bordering Iraq.

The unstable situation and the war in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq prompted a rush of refugees into the country who came in millions, with Tehran being a magnet for modest workers who helped the city to recover from war wounds, charging far less than local construction workers. Many of these refugees are being repatriated with the assistance of UNHCR but there are still sizable groups of Afghan and Iraqi refugees in Tehran who are reluctant to leave, being pessimistic about the situation in their respective country of origin. Afghan refugees are mostly Persian-speaking Hazara or Tajiks, speaking a dialect of Persian, and Iraqi refugees, who are mainly Shia Islam Mesopotamian Arabic-speakers of Iranian origin.

The majority of Tehranis are the followers of Twelver Shia Islam which is also the state religion. Religious minorities include followers of various sects of Sunni Islam, Zoroastrianism, Bahá'í Faith, Judaism, and Christianity (including the adherents of the Assyrian Church of the East, Armenian Apostolic Church, Roman Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Iranian Protestant churches, Kelisa-ye Khanegi-ye Iraniyan, Armenian Evangelical Church, Jama'at-e Rabbani (Assemblies of God), Armenian Brotherhood Church, Russian Orthodox Church, and the Presbyterian Church). There are also smaller groups of Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Mandeans, Spiritualists, Atheists, Azalis, Yazidis, Yarsan, Ismaili, Secular Muslims and followers of Mystic Islam.

Despite being the seat of a theological government and the fact that most important religious unions and academies of the country are based in Tehran, the city remains the most secular and liberal in the nation, a fact that attracts many youngsters from elsewhere to study in the capital.[citation needed]

Location and subdivisions

Tehran county borders Shemiranat county to the north, Damavand county to the east, Eslamshahr, Pakdasht, and Ray counties to the south, and Karaj and Shahriar counties to the west.

Neighborhoods and districts of Tehran

Municipal Districts of Tehran

The city of Tehran is divided into 22 municipal districts, each with its own administrative centers.

Within these 22 districts, Tehran contains the following major neighborhoods:

Abbas Abad, Afsariyeh, Amaniyeh, Amir Abad, Bagh Feiz, Baharestan, Darakeh, Darband, Dardasht, Dar Abad, Darrous, Dehkadeh Olampik, Ekhtiyariyeh, Elahiyeh, Evin, Farmanieh,Gheitariye, Gholhak, Gisha, Gomrok, Hasan Abad, Jamaran, Jannat Abad, Javadiyeh, Jomhuri, Jordan, Lavizan, Mehran, Narmak, Navab, Nazi Abad, Niavaran, Park-e Shahr, Pasdaran, Piroozi, Punak, Ray, Sa'adat Abad, Sadeghiyeh, Seyed Khandan, Sohrevardi, Shahrara, Shahr-e ziba, Shahrak-e Gharb, Shemiran, Tajrish, Tehranpars, Tehransar, Vanak, Velenjak, Yaft Abad, Yusef Abad, Zafaraniyeh, etc.

For a map of the relative locations of the neighborhoods and the full list, see List of the localities around Tehran.

Older neighborhoods

Tehran's old city fabric changed dramatically during the Pahlavi era. Some of the older remaining (Qajar era) districts of Tehran are: Oud-lajan, Sangelaj, Bazaar, Chaleh Meydan, Doulat. Chaleh Meydan is the oldest neighborhood of the aforementioned. Districs during pahlavi era are: Sepah str.(imam khomeini , toup-khaneh sqr., Laleh-Zaar str. (the architecture of this street was European style) & Eslambol str. (shopping center of northern tehran) other old districs are : doushan-tappeh, doulab, sabzeh-meydan, seyed khandan, zarab-khaneh, galou-bandaak

Food and Restaurants

Tehran has many modern and chic restaurants, serving both traditional Iranian and cosmopolitan cuisine. The most popular dish of the city is the chelow kabab (kabob/kebab is originally a Persian word meaning grill). However, Western-style fast food is becoming popular, especially with the younger generation. Pizza, sandwich and kebab shops make up the majority of other food outlets in the city.


Tehran Skyline

Tehran is the economic centre of Iran.[13] About 30% of Iran’s public-sector workforce and 45% of large industrial firms are located in Tehran and almost half of these workers work for the government.[14] Most of the remainder of workers are factory workers, shopkeepers, laborers, and transport workers. Few foreign companies operate in Tehran because of the Islamic government and its poor relations with the rest the world. But before the Islamic revolution many foreign companies were active in this region. Today many modern industries of this city include the manufacturing of automobiles, electronics and electrical equipment, weaponry, textiles, sugar, cement, and chemical products. It is also a leading center for the sale of carpets and furniture. There is an oil refinery near Ray, south of the city. Tehran has four airports, including Mehrabad International Airport, Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ghal'eh Morghi airfield and Doshan Tapeh airbase.

Tehran relies heavily on private cars, buses, motorcycles, and taxis, and is one of the most car-dependent cities in the world. The Tehran Stock Exchange, which is a full member of the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV) and a founding member of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges, has been one of the world's best performing stock exchanges in recent years.[15]


The metropolis of Tehran enjoys a huge network of highways (280 km) and of interchanges, ramps, and loops (180 km). In 2007 there were 130 kilometers of highways and 120 kilometers of ramps and loops under construction.[16]


Tehran is served by two airports. Mehrabad Airport, an old airport which doubles as a military base is used for domestic and pilgrimige flights. This airport is located in the Western part of the city. Imam Khomeini International Airport, located 50 kilometers (31 mi) south of the city, handles almost all international flights.


Tehran has one of the cleanest and most convenient metro systems, in terms of accessibility to different parts of the city, in the region.[citation needed] The feasibility study and conceptual planning of the construction were started in 1970s. In 2001, the first two of the seven projected metro lines were opened. Tehran Metro has five operative lines and is 120 km long with another 3lines under construction. Tehran has the longest metro line in the Middle East and currently the fourth longest in Asia.[citation needed] The Tehran Metro is fast and convenient with average arrival time of 3 to 5 minutes at most stations.[citation needed]


Building of Central train station by architect Vladislav Gorodetsky

Tehran also has a central train station with connecting services round the clock to various cities in the country. Tehran-Europe Train Line is active.


Tehran has the most bus stops in Asia.Tehran Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was officially inaugurated on 14 January 2008 by Tehran's mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf in order to facilitate the motor traffic in Tehran. BRT has 3 lines with 60 stations in different city areas. Tehran's trolleybus was active in 1950s and it's the first trolleybus in Asia, but now there are only 10 trolleybuses active and the rest are kept in Tehran's Bus Museum. Tehran's bus transport system is active since the 1920s. There are four bus terminals that also provide connections at low rates. The terminals are located on the South, East, West, and Bei-haghi Park-Drive.


While the center of the city houses the government ministries and headquarters, the commercial centers are more located toward Valiasr Street (formerly known as Pahlavi street), Taleghani Ave, and Beheshti Ave further north. Although administratively separate, Rey, Shemiran, and Karaj are often considered part of the larger Tehran metropolitan area.


Alborz Mountains seen from Tehran on a day of relatively clean air.

Tehran suffers from severe air pollution and the city is often covered by smog making breathing difficult and causing widespread pulmonary illnesses. It is estimated that about 27 people die each day from pollution-related diseases.[17] According to local officials, 3,600 people died in a single month due to the hazardous air quality.[18] 80% of the city's pollution is due to cars.[19] The remaining 20% is due to industrial pollution.[citation needed] In 2007 Iran imposed fuel rations but the plan has met little success in reducing the pollution levels.

The air pollution is due to several different reasons.[citation needed] 1) Economical: most Iranian industries are located on the outskirts of Tehran. The city is also overrun with old and aging cars which do not meet today's emission regulations. Furthermore, Iran's busiest airport, Mehrabad International Airport, is located in the west of the city; 2) Infrastructure: Tehran has a poor public transportation network. Buses and metros do not cover every area of the city. Most people are then obliged to either use private cars or hire taxis. This has created severe traffic congestion; 3) Geographical: Tehran is bound in the north by the massive Alborz mountain range that is stopping the flow of the humid Caspian wind. As a result, thermal inversion that traps Tehran's polluted air is frequently observed. The lack of humidity and clouds makes Tehran a very sunny city. The UV radiations then combined with the existing pollutants significantly raise the level of the ozone.

The government, however, is engaged in a battle to reduce the air pollution.[citation needed] It has for instance encouraged taxis and buses to convert from petrol engines to engines that run on compressed natural gas. Furthermore, since 1979 the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has set up a "Traffic Zone" (طرح ترافیک) covering the city center during peak traffic hours. Entering and driving inside this zone is only allowed with a special permit. The government is also trying to raise people's awareness about the hazards of the pollution. One method that is currently been employed is the installation of Pollution Indicator Boards all around the city to monitor the current level of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). The board also displays the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), which is a general indication of air quality based on the measurements of the above-mentioned five pollutants. The Pollution Indicator Boards classify the level of each pollutants as either safe, hazardous or dangerous.

Education and research

Dar ul-Funun, Iran's first Modern school, founded in 1851

Tehran is the biggest and most important educational center of Iran. Today there are nearly 50 major colleges and universities total in Greater Tehran.

Since the establishment of Darolfonoon in the mid 1800s, Tehran has amassed a large number of institutions of higher education. Some of these institutions have played crucial roles in the unfolding of Iranian political events. Samuel M. Jordan, whom Jordan Avenue in Tehran is named after, was also one of the founding pioneers of the American College of Tehran. Among major educational institutions located in Tehran, Sharif University of Technology, is the most prestigious technological university of Iran and University of Tehran is the largest and oldest state university in Iran and one of the oldest in Central Asia and Middle East.

Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), K.N.Toosi University of Technology, Iran University of Science and Technology, Shahid Beheshti University (Melli University), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Shahed University and Tarbiat Modarres University are other highly ranked universities of Iran located in Tehran.

Tehran is also home to Iran's largest military academy, and several religious schools and seminaries.


This is a list of Universities in Tehran Provience, sorted by date established:


Tehran was the first city in the Middle East to host the Asian Games. The 7th Asian Summer Games in 1974, was held with the participation of 2,363 athletes and officials from 25 countries.

Tochal Telecabin


Tehran is also the site of Iran's national football stadium on Azadi Sport Complex with 100,000 seating capacity. Azadi Football Stadium is biggest stadium in Iran and Middle East and one of the biggest in the World. Many of the top matches of Iran's Premier League are held here. In 2005, FIFA ordered Iran to limit spectators allowed into Azadi stadium because of a fatal crush and inadequate safety procedures. Other stadiums in Tehran are Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium, Takhti Stadium, and Shahid Shirudi Stadium, among others.

International Snowboard championship in Dizin. The ski resort of Dizin is situated to the north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountains range.

Within 10 minutes driving distance from Tehran lies a ski resort. Tochal is the world's fifth highest ski resort, at over 3,730 metres (12,240 ft) at its highest 7th station. The resort was completed in 1976 shortly before the overthrowing of the Shah.

Here, one must first ride the eight kilometre (five mile) long gondola lift which covers a huge vertical. The 7th station has three slopes. The resort's longest slope is the south side U shaped slope which goes from the 7th station to 5th station. The other two slopes are located on the north side of the 7th station. Here, there are two parallel chair ski lifts that go up to 3,900 metres (12,795 ft) near Tochal's peak (at 4,000 m/13,125 ft), rising higher than the gondola 7th station. This altitude is higher than any of the European resorts.

From the Tochal peak, one has a spectacular view of the Alborz range, including the 5,671 metre (18,606 ft) high Mount Damavand, a dormant volcano.

At the bottom of the lifts in a valley behind the Tochal peak is Tochal hotel, located at 3,500 metres (11,483 ft) altitude. From there a T lift takes skiers up the 3,800 metres (12,500 ft) of Shahneshin peak, where the third slope of Tochal is.

Azadi Stadium is the fourth biggest stadium in the world.

Tochal 7th station has skiing eight months of the year. But there are also some glaciers and year-round snow fields near Tehran where skiing began in 1938, thanks to the efforts of two German railway engineers. Today, 12 ski resorts operate in Iran, but the most famous are Tochal, Dizin, and Shemshak, all within one to three hours of Tehran.


In Football (soccer), Tehran is the host to three major football clubs in Iran's Premier Football League, namely:

Club Sport Founded League Head Coach
Esteghlal F.C.[20] Football (soccer) 1945 Iran Pro League (IPL) Samad Marfavi
Persepolis F.C.[21] Football (soccer) 1963 Iran Pro League (IPL) Ali Daei
Steel Azin F.C. Football (soccer) 2007 Iran Pro League (IPL) Hamid Estili

Architecture and landmarks

Khalvat Karimkhani
Milad Tower at Night
Tehran Skyline
See also Architecture of Tehran

Tehran is a relatively old city; as such, it has an architectural tradition unique to itself. Archaeological investigations and excavations in Tehran demonstrate that this area was home to civilizations as far back as 6,000 years BC. Tehran served only as a village to a relatively small population for most of its history, but began to take a more considerable role in Iran after it was made the capital in the late 18th century. Despite the occurrence of earthquakes during the Qajar period and before, some buildings still remain from Tehran's era of antiquity.[22] Today Tehran is Iran's primate city, and has the most modernized infastructure in the country; however, the gentrification of old neighborhoods and the demolition of buildings of cultural significance has caused concerns.[23]

The Azadi Tower has been the longstanding symbol of Tehran. It was constructured to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian empire, and was originally named "Shahyad Tower"; after the Iranian revolution, its name changed to "Azadi Tower," meaning "Freedom Tower." The recently constructed Milad Tower may eventually replace the Azadi Tower as Tehran's new symbol. The Milad complex contains the world's fourth tallest tower, several restaurants, a five star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park.[24] Traditionally a low-lying city due to seismic activity in the region, modern high rise developments in Tehran have been undertaken in order to service its growing population.

The tallest residential building in Iran is a 54-story building located North of Youssef Abad district, the Tehran International Tower. It is architecturally designed similar to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in the Paradise community of Clark County, Nevada, United States.[25] Appealing to the principle of vertical rather than horizontal expansion of the city, the Tehran International Tower is bound to the North by Youssef Abad, to the South By Hakim Highway, to the East by Kordesstan Highway and to the West by Sheikh Bahai Highway, all of which facilitate access to various parts of the city.[25] Tehran has a beautiful skyline with many midrise buildings and towers. In 2004, 200 cameramen took photos of Tehran's skyline from the mountains outside the city.

Tehran International Tower, A.S.P complex  
Skyline of Tehran  
Azadi Tower (Freedom tower)  

Tourism and attractions

The Achaemenid collection of The National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

Tehran, as Iran's showcase and capital city, has a wealth of cultural attractions. The Peacock Throne of the Persian Kings (Shahs) can be found in Tehran's Golestan Palace. Some of the well-known museums are National Museum of Iran, Sa'dabad Palaces Complex, Glassware and Ceramics Museum of Iran, The Carpet Museum of Iran, Tehran's Underglass painting Museum, and Niavaran Palace Complex. The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art features the works of great artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. The collection of these paintings was selected by the former Empress Farah Diba.[citation needed]

Tehran is also home to the Iranian Imperial Crown Jewels, also called the Imperial Crown Jewels of Persia, its is claimed to be the largest, most dazzling and valuable jewel collection in the world. The collection comprises a set of crowns and thrones, some 30 tiaras, numerous aigrettes, jewel-studded swords and shields, a vast amount of precious loose gems, including the largest collections of emeralds, rubies and diamonds in the world. It also includes other items collected by the Shahs of Iran during the 2,500 year existence of the Iranian Kingdom. The Imperial Crown Jewels are still on display in the Iranian Central Bank in Tehran.

Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) Is known to the International Publishing World as the most important publishing event in Asia and the Middle East.[26]


Laleh Park's southwestern entrance with a statue of Biruni, a medieval Persian astronomer.

The most popular social activity, especially among the younger generation is cinema. Most cinema theatres are located downtown. The Azadi Cinema was inaugurated in 2008. It is the largest cinema theatre in Tehran with ten salons. The Iram Zoo and Iram City Game are also popular meeting points, especially for families with children. A new larger zoo is planned for 2010.

Artists often mingle at the House Of Artists. Theatre Shahr was opened in 1962. It is the largest theatre in Tehran and the Middle East. Tehran TV 1, Tehran Cinema TV, Omid TV and Tehran Show TV are among the most popular TV stations in Tehran. Tehran TV2, Tehran TV3 and Tehran Sport are planned to be launched in 2010.

The following table shows some places for outdoors activities in Tehran:

Tochal Ski resort Darband hiking trail Chitgar Park Niavaran Park Sa'ei Park Daneshju Park Goft-o-gū Park
Mellat Park Laleh Park Jamshidieh Park Shatranj Park Darabad hiking trail Darakeh hiking trail Jahan-e Kudak Park
Azadi sports complex Enghelab Sports Complex and Golf course Latyan Lake Lavizan Forest Park Vardavard Forest Park Khajeer National Park Kavir National Park
Tar Lake Amir Kabir Lake Lar Protected Natural Habitat Varjeen Protected Natural Habitat Pardisan Tangeh Savashi Farahzad

Religious Centers

  • Hosseiniye Ershad
  • Soltani Mosque, built by Fath Ali Shah
  • Atiq Mosque, built in 1663.
  • Mo'ezz o-dowleh mosque, built by Fath Ali Shah
  • Haj Seyd Azizollah mosque, built by Fath Ali Shah
  • Al-javad mosque, Iran's first modernist design mosque.
  • The Old Sepahsalar mosque, another prominent Qajar era mosque.
  • The new Sepahsalar mosque (Madreseh e Motahari)
  • Filsuf o-dowleh Mosque, Qajar era
  • Moshir ol-Saltaneh Mosque, Qajar era
  • Mo'ayyer ol-Mamalik Mosque, Qajar era
  • Shahr Banu Mausoleum
  • Javan-mard Qassab Mausoleum, a pre-Islamic semi-mythical hero
  • Dozens of Imam-zadeh shrines, hundreds of years old, including that of Imam Zadeh Saleh.
  • Dozens of Saqa Khanehs: traditional places of prayer
  • Several Tekyehs: traditional places for mourning Muharram ceremonies for Husayn ibn Ali.
  • Ebn-e Babooyeh cemetery, where many Iranian giants such as Takhti and Ali Akbar Dehkhoda are buried.
  • Zahir o-dowleh cemetery, where many Iranian giants of art and culture such as Iraj Mirza, Mohammad Taghi Bahar, Forough Farrokhzad, Abolhasan Saba, Ruhollah Khaleghi, and Darvish-khan are buried.
  • Kordan Tomb, Seljuqi era, Karaj.
  • Maydanak Tomb, 13th century, Karaj
  • The Polish Cemetery 1-north of Tehran in British Gholhak Garden, where numerous World War II western Allied soldiers are buried. 2- Polish cemetery (Catholic cemetery) Dulab south of Tehran
  • Orthodox Cemetery, Dulab/The Russian Unknown Soldier's Tomb (Cenotaph) is located here with a red star over it
  • Tower of silence (Dakhme gabrha). Located on Moshiryh Road behind 7th unit of Tehran cement factory. It is circular in shape.
  • Naghare Khane Tower. Located on a mountain with same name (Nagharekhane) in Haftdastagh District, beside Amin Abad Road. Its age is not clear but it is related to the Seljuk Era. This tower is the tomb of a Seljuk king. Under the tower you can see other historical ruins (Einanj Dome). This place is a royal cemetery and was used in the early years of the Islamic Era in Persia.


Saint Sarkis Armenian Cathedral in Tehran cnr Nejatollahi and Karim Khan-e Zand Sts, Valiasr Sq Area
  • Sarkis Cathedral, 1970 [27]
  • Saint George Church, 1790
  • Thaddeus Bartholimeus Church, 1808
  • Tatavus Church, from the Qajar era
  • Enjili Church, 1867
  • Assyrian Church
  • Sarbaz Church
  • Armenian Church
  • Tree Church
  • Holy Church
  • Star Church


  • Abdollah Zadeh Synagogue
  • Abrishami Synagogue
  • Bagh Saba Synagogue
  • Ettefagh Synagogue
  • Ettehad Synagogue
  • Haim Synagogue
  • Fakhrabad Synagogue
  • Kohan Synagogue
  • Kourosh Synagogue
  • Lubian Synagogue
  • Pole Choobi Synagogue
  • Mahariv Synagogue
  • Nosrat Synagogue
  • Rafi Nia Synagogue
  • Rah-e Danesh Synagogue
  • Synagogue of Gisha
  • Tafian (Hakim)(Pesyan) Synagogue
  • Yusef Abad Synagogue
  • Zargarian Synagogue

Sister cities

Country City
United States United States Los Angeles[28]
United States United States New York City
Canada Canada Toronto
India India New Delhi
India India Mumbai
India India Agra
People's Republic of China China Beijing
United Kingdom United Kingdom London
Syria Syria Damascus
Cuba Cuba Havana[29]
South Korea South Korea Seoul[30]
South Korea South Korea Busan
South Africa South Africa Pretoria
Russia Russia Saint Petersburg
Russia Russia Moscow
Belarus Belarus Minsk
United Arab Emirates UAE Dubai
Philippines Philippines Manila[31]
Venezuela Venezuela Caracas
Afghanistan Afghanistan Kabul
Brazil Brazil Brasilia
France France Paris
Germany Germany Berlin
Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait
Israel Israel Jerusalem
Sudan Sudan Khartoum
Yemen Yemen Sanaa
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Riyadh
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Jeddah
Indonesia Indonesia Jakarta
Australia Australia Sydney
Japan Japan Tokyo
Mexico Mexico Mexico City
Indonesia Indonesia Jakarta
Egypt Egypt Cairo
Greece Greece Athens
Indonesia Indonesia Jakarta
Lebanon Lebanon Beirut
El Salvador El Salvador San Salvador
Sweden Sweden Stockholm
Norway Norway Oslo
Niger Nigeria Lagos
North Korea North Korea Pyongyang
Pakistan Pakistan Karachi
Pakistan Pakistan Islamabad
Pakistan Pakistan Lahore


  • 1974 Asian Games: The 7th Asian Games were held from September 1, 1974 to September 16, 1974 in Tehran, Iran. The Azadi sports complex was made for the Games. The Asian Games were hosted in the Middle East for the first time. Tehran, the capital of Iran, played host to 3,010 athletes coming from 25 countries/NOCs, the highest number of participants since the inception of the Games.[32]
  • 1976 AFC Asian Cup: The 1976 AFC Asian Cup was the sixth edition of the Asian Nations Cup, the football (soccer) championship of Asia (AFC). It was hosted by Iran. The field of six teams was split into two groups of three. Iran won their third title in a row, beating Kuwait in the final 1-0.[33]
  • 1997 1st West Asian Games: The 1st West Asian Games was first organized in Tehran from 19 to 28 November 1997. It was considered the first of their kind. The success of the games led to the creation of the West Asian Games Federation (WAGF) and the intention of hosting the games every two year.[34]


Panoramic view

Panoramic view from Tehran
Panoramic view from Tehran at night

See also


  1. ^ Statistical Center of Iran - 2006 Census
  2. ^ Tehran Municipality, Atlas of Tehran Metropolis
  3. ^
  4. ^ Tehran Oil Refining Company Official Website. Tehran Oil Refining Company Official Website
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Behrooz, Samira; Karampour, Katayoun. A Research on Adaptation of Historic Urban Landscapes ; The Case of The Historical City of Tehran. Tehran Historical City Office.
  10. ^ Climate of Tehran
  11. ^ Heavy Snowfall in Tehran (in Persian)
  12. ^
  13. ^, accessed: June 2009.
  14. ^
  15. ^ BBC:
  16. ^ Tehran. An Educational Website about Tehran
  17. ^ هر روز 27 تهرانی به دليل آلودگی هوا می ميرند. September 18, 2006
  18. ^ Iran smog 'kills 3,600 in month'. BBC News Online. January 9, 2007
  19. ^
  20. ^ Esteghlal F.C. Official Website. Esteghlal F.C.
  21. ^ Persepolis F.C. Official Website. Persepolis F.C.
  22. ^ Tehran Capital City of Iran. Tehran
  23. ^ The Style of Tehran. Library of Congress. Accessed 04-13-2008.
  24. ^ Milad Tower Official Website. Milad Tower
  25. ^ a b Tehran International Tower Website. Tehran International Tower Website
  26. ^ tibf, accessed June 2009.
  27. ^ Sarkis Cathedral, Tehran - Lonely Planet Travel Guide
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Sister Cities of Manila". © 2008-2009 City Government of Manila. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  32. ^ 7th Asian Games. Asian Games
  33. ^ AFC Asian Cup. AFC Asian Cup
  34. ^ West Asian Games. West Asian Games

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Tehran is a metropolis of 14 million situated at the foot of the towering Alborz range.
Tehran is a metropolis of 14 million situated at the foot of the towering Alborz range.

Tehran (also spelled Teheran) (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.

One of the best views of Tehran is from Modarres Highway
One of the best views of Tehran is from Modarres Highway

Tehran is a cosmopolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, 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 (also called the 'downtown') is 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. Event though the 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 centers, urban service organizations, and academic and methodical centers 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 one of the most excellent in the world.

Get in

By plane

There are no direct flights from North America or Australia, but there are flights direct from numerous European, African and Asian cities as well as cities in the Middle East. Iran Air [1], the national carrier of Iran, flies to many destinations such as London (Heathrow), Amsterdam and Tokyo. You can also fly direct from London (Heathrow) with BMI (previously known as British Midland). Alternatively, you can enter via Dubai and then take Emirates [2] or Air Arabia [3] to Tehran

Tehran's Mehrabad airport (IATA: THR ICAO: OIII) [4] is the old pre-revolution airport and has been partially replaced with the new Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA: IKA ICAO: OIIE) [5]. Recently all International flights are designated to Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad is only used for regional and cargo flights. The old airport is located relatively close to the city center and the abundant taxis available are definitely the best way to get into Tehran. There is a booth organizing taxis for you right outside the arrivals hall. WARNING: you'll not be able to enter Iran if there is an Israeli stamp on your passport, and you'll be in even bigger trouble if you come with an Israeli passport.

Imam Khomeini Airport is a significant improvement over Mehrabad and it is still only in International use. Be warned that it can take up to an hour and a half to get to the airport in bad traffic but if you book your departure early in the morning it can be much faster. Taxis are cheap and plentiful. A bus service has recently been added from Mehrabad Terminal 5 to Imam Khomeini. You may have to ask a few people about the service as it is relatively new and not well known yet.

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 travelers only when leaving Iran on land or by sea.

By train

Tehran has rail connections to other cities in Iran and neighbouring countries. If travelling within Iran, train tickets should be bought outside the station, in travel agencies or through internet from Raja passenger train company [6] that is the passenger daughter company of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) [7].

  • There is a three-day train service departing from Istanbul to Tehran every Wednesday at 10.55pm, costing 105 Turkish lira. You change trains on Friday at Lake Van which requires a four hour ferry ride to get across. Both the Turkish and Iranian trains are comfortable and clean. Waggon restaurants are rather cheap. Arrival on Saturday at 6.45pm (but expect up to 10 hours delay…).
  • There is a three-day train from Damascus, crossing Turkey via Lake Van.
  • Several trains a day from Mashhad, including night trains.
  • There are at least one train each day to Isfahan, Tabriz, Kerman, Yazd, Sari, Gorgan, Ahvaz and Bandar Abbas in Iran.

By car

Traffic is very congested but has improved with the completion of several new tunnels and highways (referred to as autobahns by the locals) 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

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 kilometres north-west 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 Central bus terminal (Terminal-e-arzhantin) is located beside Arzhantin Square, around 1.5 km south-west of the Mossallah metro stop. (Frequent shared taxis to/from the metro should be no more than IR 1,000). The station has services to /from most major destinations in Iran including Mashhad, Esfahan, Rasht, Shiraz, Tabriz and Yazd.
Congested midday traffic in front of Tehran's iconic Azadi (Freedom) Monument.
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

Tehran has an expansive but confusing bus network. Tickets (IR 200) can be bought from booths beside the bus stops. 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)

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) and Imam Khomeini square (South of Tehran) directly to the North (Tajrish square) . Tickets (IR 200) can be bought from booths beside the bus stops. In high-traffic hours (7AM to 9AM & 4PM to 8PM) it is the best to travel West-East-West part of your way. 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 and men sits and queues are separate.

Tehran Metro
Tehran Metro

Tehran's new metro system [8] is comprised of three 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.

There are currently four lines (numbered strangely 1, 2, 4 and 5) but the two most useful are lines 1 (north to south) and 2 (east to west) which connect at the central Imam Khomeini station. All stations have signs in both Farsi and English. Trains run every ten minutes (25 minutes on holidays) from around 6:30AM until 10PM every day.

Tickets (IR 2000) are valid for two trips (including change of lines) and can be bought from ticket booths at every station. The Tehran metro is segregated, with two women-only carriages at one end of the train. Despite this, some women choose to travel in the men's part of the train, usually accompanied by a man.

By taxi

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 to 8AM and 5PM to 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 5,000 Rls (500 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.

  • If you want to drool over gold and glitter, take a look at the Treasury of the National Jewels (Ferdosi St, near the corner of Jomhuriyeh Eslami Ave; Metro: Saadi; look for the heavy iron gate and rife wielding guards beside the Central Bank). For the IR 30,000 admission fee you'll get to see a collection of some of the most expensive jewels in the world. Highlights include the world's largest uncut ruby, the world's largest pink diamond (the Sea of Light) and a free standing golden globe made from 34 kilograms of gold and an astounding 51,366 precious stones. An informative IR 6,000 information book is available at the ticket counter.
  • The National Museum of Iran [9] has ceramics, stone figures and carvings dating all the way back to around the 5th millennium BC.
  • The gigantic Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini (Metro: Haram-e-Motahar) is on the southern edge of the city. The sheer size of the shrine/shopping center is enough to make the trip worth it. Entrance to the actual mausoleum is free.
  • Milad Tower. 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.  edit
Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace
  • Golestan Palace, [10], the oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran. 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.
  • Niavaran Palace, [11]
  • Kolahstudio-an Art Basement, [12]
  • Sa'd Abad Gallery of Fine Arts, [13]
  • Glassware Museum of Tehran, [14]
  • Iran's National Rug Gallery, [15]
  • Reza Abbasi Museum, [16]
  • Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, [17]
  • Tehran Theater of the Performing Arts (Te'atr e Shahr)
  • Talar Vahdat Theater
  • National Museum of Iran, [18]
  • Darabad Museum of Natural History
  • Saadabad Palace, [19](Persian site).
  • Time Museum, Evolution of time-measurement instruments. Located in Farmaniye district, north of Tehran
  • Money Museum, Coins and banknotes from different historic periods. Located in Mirdamad street.
  • National Arts Museum, Located in Baharestan district.
  • Ebrat Museum, The prison of Shah ages.

A1one Graffiti

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 center 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.

  • Tochal Sport and Recreational Complex (تله‌کابین توچال), end of Velenjak St (take the Metro line 1 to Mirdamad, then bus line 33 for 25 minutes to Tajrish Square. 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 IR 4,000. Otherwise charter one privately from Tajrish Square), +98 (21)22404001-4, [20]. 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 4000m above sea level so it can be chilly. Tickets range from IR 10,000 to IR 50,000 depending on how far up the mountain you want to go. From the entry gate a minibus service (IR 1,500) 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.
  • 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.
University of Tehran Entrance gate
University of Tehran Entrance gate
  • Amir Kabir University of Technology, [21]
  • K.N.Toosi University of Technology, [22]
  • Iran University of Science and Technology[23]
  • Shahid Beheshti University[24]
  • Sharif University of Technology, [25]
  • University of Tehran,[26]
  • University of Allameh TabaTabaei, [27]
  • University of Art, [28]
  • Power & Water University of Technology, [29]
  • Islamic Azad University, [30]
  • Alzahra University, [31]
  • Imam Sadiq University, [32]
  • Tarbiat Modares University, [33]
  • Iran University of Medical Sciences
  • Tehran University of Medical Sciences, [34]
  • Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences & Health Services, [35]

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.


ATM's in Iran do not accept foreign (non-Iranian) cards except some which accept those from Arab state banks, so bring all the money you might need in cash, preferably in US dollars or Euros. Once in Iran, changing your money to Rials should not be a problem. In January 2009, US$1 and €1 can get you about 10,000 and 13,700 Riyals respectively.

There is a possibility to get a pre-paid ATM card from Bank Melli in Iran if you are concerned with carrying too much cash on you.

You can exchange your currency in most banks for a small commission after filling out between two and five forms. If you know the exchange rate then it is a better option to visit one of the many exchange offices on Ferdosi St that begins from Imam Khomeini Square. All will give you a good rate but some might give slightly less than the official rate or claim a commission. Just say no and go to the next one.

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.

Be aware that prices in Iran are quoted in tomans, a thousand tomans is equivalent to one of those ten thousand Rials bills. You will soon get used to this. Iranians are also sometimes prone to state prices in thousands of tomans, saying "four" when they mean four thousand tomans or forty thousand rials.


Those looking to stock up on computer software--copied, but legal thanks to Iran's refusal to sign up to the Bern Convention--can start looking at the computer bazaar on the corner of Jomhuriyeh Eslami Ave and Haafez St. Just remember that importing these CDs into any country that is a signatory to the Convention may be a criminal offence. You can also try "Computer Capital" at intersection of Vali-e-Asr and Mirdamad, a 7 storey modern complex filled with computer equipments but also latest pirated copies of every software imagineable.The prices at "bazaar reza" (at charrah-e-vali-asr) are usually less . In both these bazars you also may find individual hardware parts. You may find some famous hardware brands really cheap but you should be careful not to buy the fake one. It is hard to distinguish the original one. Sometimes even the fake one would work quite well comparing to its cheap price!

To save even more money you can buy one of those software packages . For example you can buy "King of the Programming" with about 70,000 Rls . This is a 5 or 6 CD package of compressed programs which contains almost any well-known software you can imagine .

Jewellery & Gold boutiques located in Geisha, Milade Noor, Karim Khaan St.The most beautiful golds, gems, dimonds you could ever see. To buy a very good set of gold, it costs around 2,000,000 toman minimum which is equivalent to £1400-£2000.

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

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 centers in Tehran.

Jahan Crystal Co. No.1643_Upper than Park way_Valye asr ave._Tehran_Iran, ☎ 00982122668916-9. Here you can find the best iranian art and quality in crystal items with reasonable prices.Jahan crystal sells crystal items with JCC brand. in this shop you can find prices in Iranian rial and US dollar so do not be worried about currency the timing is 9:00am-9:00pm except Fridays

  • Some of the best of Iran's ubiquitous falafels are to be found sizzling away in stalls on 15 Khordad Ave, across the road from the bazaar. The cost greatly depends upon lots of aspects but there you should expect like 5,000-7,500 Rls(500-750 Tomans) for such a budget type meal.
  • The Iranian Traditional Restaurant (Agha Bozorg) on 28 Keshavarz Blvd offers great and cheap dizi (2500 tomans). Afterwards there is the option to sit back with a flavored Qalyan water pipe and people-watch the Iranians who gather in this place.
  • 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.
  • Note that the Jaam-e-Jam food court at the moment only sports an Italian restaurant, a Boof branch and a coffee shop. You can find western import products in several stores underneath however. There is also a decent bakery here with western type bread.
  • Boof is a fast food chain serving burgers etc, similar to McDonalds.
  • SFC is the Iranian version of KFC. Serves very good chicken burgers.
  • Kabab and sandwich joints are found everywhere.
  • For a somewhat exhilarating experience, head to Armenian Club on 68 Khark Street, corner France Ave. Almost like walking into another world (or country rather) you will be surprised to see women not wearing their hejab, which they can choose not to as it is a Christian establishment - for non-Muslims only, however.
  • Try Khayam Restaurant just some meters from Khayam Metro Station. It is the one on the street right opposite to the Mosque. A no-limits evening of a chef kabab with rice and drink - and qalyan pipe, tea and sweets for dessert will set you back around 120000 Rials in total. Worth it.
  • Coffee Shop & Veggie Restaurant of Iranian Artists' Forum, Baghe Honarmandan, Moosavie Str, Taleghani Ave. (just behind the Den of Espionage (former US Embassy)inside the Iranian Artists' Forum building), +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. Nice outdoor area as well.   edit

A new Kabob restaurant called Naveed has opened that offers excellent food comparable to Alborz but at lower prices. The atmoshpere is very European looking and feeling but not as high end as Alborz.

  • Many locals regard the upper class Alborz Restaurant, Nikoo Ghadam Alley (North Sohrevardi Avenue) as a somewhat goodchelo kababi in Tehran. There are also many western style restaurants around the city with more interesting food.
  • For something different try Monsoon. A trendy Asian restaurant serving good Thai curries and decent sushi. Located in Gandhi Shopping center.
  • Boulevard is a cool and modern place on a small street heading east of Valiasr Avenue between Vanaq Square and Park-e Mellat serves very good French and Italian food.
  • 'Nayeb' in Tajrish is located in north of Tehran. It's a prestigeous restaurant and it costs around 30,000 tomans per person. It is very shik and offers excellent services to its customers.
  • Dashte-Behesht is a traditional restuarant located in Saadat-Abad. It's very high class, the menu consists of different Kebabs and stews. There is always live music to make the atmosphere more enjoyable.

Other places of this kind include: -Barbod in Vanak -S.P.U in Darake -AAli Ghaapoo in Gaandi'


For all you coffee-starved travellers through Iran (or the soon to be coffee-starved if Tehran is your first port of call in the country) you'll be glad to find the 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 IR 4,000. There is also a well-known, but small coffee shop called Hot Chocolate - 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.

A few doors west of these shops is a delightful coffee shop next to Hotel Naderi. They serve 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.

Coffee shops (called, in Farsi, "coffeeshop" versus "ghaveh-khane" (literally, coffee house) which means a tea house) have become especially popular in the affluent North, so if need, a visit to the White Tower (Borj-e Sefid) along Pasdaran Ave, or any other mall in the area should suffice. These coffee shops can also be very appealing to tourists interested in watching how young, affluent locals deviously bend the government regulations on contact between the sexes. Definitely worth a visit if in the area- try "White Rose" in the White Tower.

  • A visit to Sanaee Coffee Shop on Sanaee Street, 13th Street is 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.
  • Many places you can find fresh sickly-sweet carrot juice - as well as some other juices - for just 500 tomans 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.
  • The quintessential Persian drink is a Doogh. Its is a mixture of yoghurt, water, salt and spices. It can be purchased at almost any establishment and is often consumed in the afternoon while eating kababs. It comes in two main varieties fizzy (gaz-daar) and non-fizzy (bigaz). Typically the flavour has a slightly subtle mint flavour and is a good accompaniment to most foods.
  • For trendy cafes filled with liberal Iranins try Gandhi Shopping center where you will find about ten coffeshops as well as a few very good restaurants, including Monsoon.
  • The best and most atmospheric cafe in Tehran must be Entracte Cafe. Bohemic cafe operated by actor Leila Hatami and her husband. Ask for the traditional Iranian tea which is amazing. They serve a fantastic brunch between 11am and 2PM on Fridays and it includes sausages, normal bread and brie! It is located upstairs in a cinema on Jomhuri Avenue, just west of Valiasr Avenue.(This Cafe and the Cinema burnt down some months ago,so dont count on it.)
  • 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



Amir Kabir Street a grubby street filled with car-repair shops near Imam Khomeini square offers accommodation options for the budget-minded. Expect to pay around 50,000 Rials (5,000 tomans/roughly US$5) for a tiny single. The area is not nice but it is safe and is central to the metro and buses.

  • Mashhad Hostel, 416 West Amir Kabir Avenue, Amir Kabir Street, (), [36]. Propably the cheapest accomodation 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. Dorm beds for 50,000 rials, Single Rooms 70,000 rials and Double Rooms for 100,000 rials.  edit
  • Firouzeh Hotel, Dolat Abadi Alley, Amir Kabir Street, +98 21 33113508 (), [37]. Good hotel with very friendly receptionist, who is a good source for information, especially regarding embassies and visas. Great place for breakfast, tea and meeting other travelers. Internet available. Rooms from 130,000 Rial.  edit
  • Hotel Khazar Sea, 12 Ohady Alley, Amir Kabir Street, +98 21 33113860. Very friendly place and relaxed atmosphere around quiet courtyard 60,000 Rial for a single and 80,000 Rial for a double room | shared bathroom facilities.  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. 150,000 Rial for a single.  edit
  • Simorgh Hotel, Valiasr Street near Saei Park, [38]. Cheapest rooms currently US$139. Nice location on cosmopolitan upmarket section of Valiasr St. Saei Park is almost next door and a beautiful green oasis in a deep valley. Hotel was once the Miami Hotel, and on the top floor is still the Miami Restaurant. Excellent food - try the strogen (sturgeon) fish kebabs, and the chicken cordon bleu. Rooms are comfortable and well equipped. Business centre with very fast internet. Terrific indoor pool with separate bathing times for men and women.



Since few if any foreign phone companies have roaming agreements with the Iranian one, an alternative to mobile phones is needed. One very good one is purchasing a regular telephone card for local calls and then the Pars Net international telephone card. It offers international calls to anywhere in the world at the comparatively cheap price of IR 1,500 a minute and with the regular phone card you can use it from any of the abundant public phones or the phone at your hotel.

  • 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 for IR 8,000 an hour.
  • Pars Net is one of south Tehran's hottest coffee nets, dishing up reasonable speed for IR 9,000 an hour. 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.
  • Another place in Tehran's south is the Coffee net Firouzeh which you find in the nice and very friendly Firouzeh Hotel. [39] They charge you IR 8,000 an hour.
  • Iranian Trade Center around Valiasr Square offers several Internet cafes (coffee nets) lined up.

Stay safe

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.

Never take unmarked taxis.

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 2:00 AM.

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.

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 careful when traveling to Tehran due to strict regulations on homosexual activity (though quite rarely enforced). If a tourist is found to be a homosexual the government will technically immediately deport them- however, as mentioned before, this is extremely rare. Exercising caution in public is the key thing to remember.

If you decide to smoke the qalyan (waterpipe), make sure that you are not smoking opium or other kind of drugs if you didn't intend to do it! Although drugs and alcohol are illegal in Iran, it is very easy to obtain it, especially in Tehran. Since the Iranian government decided to ban the qalyan and cigarettes in public places, it is very 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.


The traffic in Tehran is horrendous. To get a break from it head to the parks in the north of the city. Jamshidieh Park which is located in the Niavaran district at the base of the Kolakchal Mountain, is one of the most picturesque and beautiful parks in Tehran. Mellat Park in Valiasr street is one of the largest recreation areas in the Middle-East. 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.

  • 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 IR 500,000 (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 is about two hours away from Tehran by bus and one hour by car [120 km].
  • 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'.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Alternative spellings


From Persian تهران (Tehrān).


  • (UK) IPA: /ˈtɛ.ɹæn/, /ˈteə(ɹ).ɑːn/; SAMPA: /"tE.r\{n/, /"te@(r\).A:n/

Proper noun




  1. The capital of Iran.




Proper noun

Tehran [1]

  1. Tehran


Simple English

Nickname(s): The city of 72 nations.
Coordinates: 35°41′46.28″N 51°25′22.66″E / 35.6961889°N 51.4229611°E / 35.6961889; 51.4229611
 - Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
Elevation 1,189 m (3,900 ft)
Population (est.)
 - City 8,000,000
 Metro 14,000,000
  Data refers to Tehran Province
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 - Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3:30)

Tehran (or Teheran[?]) (تهران in Persian), is the capital of Iran and the center of Tehran Province. The word Tehran means "warm mountain slope". Tehran is located at the foot of the Alborz mountains range and has a large network of highways. Tehran is the largest city in the Middle East and is the 16th most populated city in the world. It has a population of around 7 million people.


Tehran today replaces Ray, the ancient capital of Iran destroyed by the Mongols in 1220 A.D. , the ruins of which can be seen 6km south of Tehran. In 1869/70 A.D. , Tehran acquired considerable prestige and was enclosed in an 8km rampart which had 12 gates.

During the safavid period, Shah Safi created a military base in Tehran, and had two great towers erected therein, which became know as Ghaleh Meydan AND Ghaleh Hessa.

In the Qajar period, Tehran was chosen as the capital city of country. During the reign of Agha_Mohammad khan, the governmenal head quarters were built north of Emam_zade Zayd, and during the reign of Fath_Ali shah, the soltani mosque, the Abbas_abad bazaar, and the Ilchi garden (the site of today`s Russia embassy) were added.


In this vast city, numerous historic sites can be admired, the most famous of which are the palaces of Sa`d_abad, Niavaran, Sahebqaranyyeh and Golestan, the mosque of Seyyed Azizollah, the great Bazar of tehran and a multitude of museums, such az Reza Abbasi museum, the carpet museum of Iran, Abguineh (glass and ceramics) museum, the Azadi museum, etc.

Leisure and sport resorts around Tehran include Abe`Ali, Dizin, Gajereh and Shemshak ski stations, the Karadj dam water ski station and the slopes of Darband and Shemiran.


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