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 visiting 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 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 ancient times.
The Northern parts of Tehran city are seats to more prosperous neighbourhoods. Here is where you may find glitzy shops for famous Western brands.
Tehran is located to the south of the Alborz mountains; 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 find 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 neighbourhoods become. The central part is its oldest, most densely crowded region.
How Do You Travel to Tehran?
Most 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 for some hours and is not operational during others.
Using internet ride-hailing apps in Iran, such as Snapp, is an affordable yet reliable option.
If 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.
Using the Tehran metro app, you should know that the Beyhaghi terminal is named Haghani.
Additionally, you may use the Tehran BRT app to take advantage of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Tehran.
Travelling to Iran by plane to other Iranian destinations is possible via Mehrabad Airport. The airport is accessible through line 4 of the Tehran metro.
The two stations are Mehrabad Airport Payane 1&2 and Mehrabad Airport Payane 3&4. (Payane means Terminal, and this word in Farsi is written پایانه.)
Tehran railway station is within your reach by the subway and Bus Rapid Transit network in Iran (BRT network) if you travel by train.
The station is named “Rah Ahan” (i.e., railway) on 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 the Tehran highway network has been very rapid, more rapid than the development of public transport, such as the Tehran metro and buses.
This has been unfavourable to pedestrians as many parts of Tehran city are hard to pass without one’s 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.
The electronic card may be purchased at any subway station and bus terminal across Tehran.
There are also shared taxis available; If you are familiar with ‘service’ taxis in Arabic countries, these are the same as those.
These shared taxis in Iran are cheaper than private taxis. However, the boards and tableau for these taxis are exclusively in Persian, so you will have difficulty using them if you do not know Persian or have someone to guide you.
In another article, we have elaborated on some Persian expressions and catchphrases that might be helpful when getting a shared taxi.
There are also many different ride-hailing apps operational in Tehran city that you can use.
Walking in the central neighbourhoods is a big challenge, especially in the rush hours as the streets are crowded with cars, the pavements packed full of people, motorbikes, and even parked cars!
However, during your travel to Tehran, you do not want to miss exploring different neighbourhoods on foot when you get the chance to do so.
Many would advise you to walk Valiasr Street, the most extended city in Tehran, stretching across the city from its north to the south.
Lastly, to better take advantage of BRT and the metro in Tehran, you may take advantage of some useful apps for visiting Iran.
Attractions of Tehran
The city was the capital city during the Qajar dynasty’s reign. Inheriting some of its current attractions like Golestan Palace, Bahrestan, and Ferdows Garden from that period.
If you are looking for older attractions in Tehran city, you have to head southwards to the ancient city of Rey and visit the Bahram fire temple and Tughrul Tower.
Since this city was the capital of Iran at the time of the nation’s transition to modernity, you may observe the traces of this change and its impact on the lives of Iranians in Tehran city better than anywhere else.
For that aim, we suggest visiting National Garden. It was initially a field constructed in the Qajar period as a shooting range. Later, Reza Shah Pahlavi completed some of the governmental offices around it; many have been turned into museums.
The compound and its surrounding museums are undoubtedly good destinations and will take one full day of your trip, so plan to start your visit in the morning.
You have missed a lot if you travel to Tehran and do not visit its traditional bazaars.
Tajrish traditional bazaar to the north and Tehran Grand Bazaar to the central south will surely be good destinations if you are fond of conventional Eastern bazaars.
Tochal mountain and ski resort are located in the north of Tehran.
A gondola lift connects Velenjak valley to the main ridge at an altitude of 3740 meters.
The good news is that Velenjak valley is located in an urban area, where you may park your car, get on 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 the 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 kebab varieties since you will not find many in other countries. You have many choices for eating kebabs, from the fancy Nayeb and Alborz restaurants to more affordable ones such as Moselem and Reza Loghme.
If you happen to visit National Garden, keep in mind that the nearby Sie Tir Street hosts a perfect variety of food booths offering fast food and more traditional Iranian dishes, mainly for a very reasonable price.
Dizi is another Iranian food that may make your travel to Iran more delicious. Dizi restaurant in the Iranshahr neighbourhood only serves Dizis, as its name suggests.
Azari restaurant around Rah-Ahan Square also serves quality dizis. Iranian stews (aka. Khorsesh) are the most 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 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?
Charmy’s Pasta and Ananda Vegan Restaurant are the answers.
In any condition, you may get help from the Foursquare website and its application, as countless restaurants in Tehran are listed there. Even Iranian users write their comments and reviews mainly 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 Tehran. Many find their stay very enjoyable because of the hospitality Iranians offer them.