Tehran, also spelled Teheran, is the modern capital of Iran situated in the north of the country. Hugging the lower slopes of the magnificent, snowcapped Alborz Mountains, Tehran is Iran’s most liberal and secular city. Since its establishment as the capital city by Agha Mohammad Khan more than 200 years ago, Tehran has grown from a small city to a major metropolis. Metropolis which currently holds close to 20 million inhabitants, which makes it Iran’s largest city and one of the most populous cities in whole world. Exploring this fascinating metropolis will transport you on a journey through more than 250 years of Iranian history, city holds many sights and places which leaves you speechless.

For instance, its central Golestan Palace complex, with its ornate rooms and marble throne, was the seat of power of the Qajar dynasty. Or National Jewelry Museum which holds many of the Qajar monarchs’ jewels, while the National Museum of Iran has artifacts dating back to Paleolithic times. Also, Milad Tower offers panoramic views over the city and that is just few of many. Or adjacent Grand Bazaar and notorious former US embassy. In such places, as well as, in contemporary cafes, traditional tea houses and on the walking trails in the mountains, you can relax and enjoy all that's good about Tehran.

What people abroad portrays about Tehran was strongly influenced by the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970’s. For these past two decades of the 20th century, television, newspapers around the world created image of Tehran as a religious city steeped in tradition, fighting against modernization and Westernization. While on the other hand Iranian self-image is that of an ancient people with a long history and a rich heritage. As more than half of Tehran population is less than 30 years old, they challenge this created image. Often uneasy coexistence of old and new, of continuity and change, and a deep social divide between rich and poor characterize the city, causing vitality as well as tension and upheaval—reflected in two revolutions and many social movements during the 20th century.

Spending time here allows you to realize that the city is so much more than a chaotic jumble of concrete and crazy traffic. Which even locals are afraid of by the way. Here you can find the nation's dynamic beating heart and the place to get a handle on modern Iran and what its future will likely be. With a dramatic topography reflective of its proximity to the highest peak in the country, Tehran is Iran’s gateway to the outside world.

Helpful tips

Restaurants. Tehran has plenty of bars and restaurants located in the city center or close to it, on top of that there are many places just outside the busy traffic zones where you can enjoy beautiful panorama and dinner. We had help as we stayed with the locals, they advised us and took us out for a dinner.

In the city center you need to find “Naderi” café, then turn left and go to the restaurant. In there they have local number one Shatoberian, also, a tasty Beef Stroganoff and it is said to be a great place to try borsch (here they are completely different than in Ukraine or other Eastern European countries).

Just on the edge of Grand Bazaar you will find a Qadah restaurant where menu is just something different. It has delicious meet dishes and you will know what you want just after you see the menu.

Last but not least, quite far from the busy streets of Tehran on to of a hill in the north eastern side of the city lays “Garden” (“باغچه جهانبخش”) restaurant. It has spectacular view of whole city, especially nice to have a dinner there and enjoy the lights of the city from above. There you will also be able to try many traditional cuisine dishes and fill you belly with delicious food.

Markets. In Tehran as in every other location on the world enjoyed by tourists you will have a chance to buy overpriced souvenirs. However, prices in grocery shops are similar as in all country.

Be sure to visit Grand Bazaar, it is full of so many interesting shops and counters that you will be amazed by their colors and number of them.

Transportation. To get to Tehran you can use car, bus, train or plane which ever you think is more convenient for you it is the capital after all. We hitchhiked and it was super easy as it attracts quite heavy traffic coming in and out of the city every day.

To get around the city is best with metro and also on foot or with motorbike, sometimes taxi might be a quick option as well. However, if you live near center it is best to do it on foot! You will avoid crazy traffic and see the lively city.

Best of luck planning your holidays in Iran!

Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Iran?

If you have anything in mind, please let us know and let’s discuss it.

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