What to see in Tehran - info and photos

6, 7 November 2018 

Many tours in Iran will either start or finish in Tehran: we take this opportunity to discover the many attractions that this city offers to visitors, including gorgeous palaces, lot of museums, bazaars and sumptuous shrines.


Tehran is a vast metropolis, business and administrative capital of Iran, home to over 12 million of inhabitants. Although most of the city is quite modern and recently built, there are plenty of attractions keeping visitors busy for at least a couple of days, which is convenient since most tours in Iran will either start or end in this city, as this is one of the main entry points in the country. When planning a tour in Tehran visitors have to consider traffic and the long distances, reason for which you will need longer time if you want to see all or most of the things. To move around in Tehran, there are taxis (very cheap), shared taxis, a subway with a number of lines and buses. If, on the other hand, you booked the tour in Iran through an agency, to visit Tehran you will probably have a car with a driver / guide, which is the best way to learn more and to optimize the available time.

The main tourist attractions in Tehran that should not be missed are:

But now let's see some photos of Tehran, at least of the places that it was possible to visit during the 2 days of stay.

Tehran Tehran panorama
Tehran, the capital of Iran, is a vast metropolis that is home to well over 10 million inhabitants and extends onto a large area at the foot of Mount Elburz. As the city is home to the most important international airport of Iran, many trips to the country will either start or end in Tehran, where the visitors will certainly take the opportunity to visit the many attractions offered by the city.
Niavaran Palace Ahmad Shahi Palace
Our tour in Tehran begins visiting the Niavaran palace complex, a series of historical buildings dating back to the Qajar dynasty (1794-1925) and Pahlavi (1925-1979) used as a summer residence and administrative centers by royal families.
Palace of Niavaran Removable ceiling
The Niavaran palace is a relatively modern building, used as residence and office by the Shah of Persia until the late 70s. Many politicians from the most relevant countries, artists and intellectuals, visited this palace to attend important meetings. One of the peculiarities of the Niavaran palace is the ceiling that can be opened to allow the sunlight to enter from top into the living room.
Facade of Niavaran palace Vintage Yamaha system
Iranian carpet Carpets in Iran
Shah of Persia residence Residence of Shah of Persia
Children vintage room Residence of royal family in Tehran
The Niavaran palace shows a vintage furnishing, where a great influence from Western countries over traditional Persian architecture, can be easily noticed. From the photos we can see the music room with a vintage system donated by Yamaha, Iranian carpets designed with incredible details, the dining room and children's rooms with old toys and posters.
Picasso hand paint
Shah of Persia paintings collection
The Shah of Persia's wife was fond of art and has collected precious paintings bought mainly from Europe. Paintings include works by Picasso, Van Gogh and more modern artists such as Warhol, now exhibited in a small museum adjacent to Niavaran palace.
Tehran museum Museums in Tehran
In the museum housing the paintings collected by the wife of Shah of Persia, there are also numerous statues and artifacts from various parts of the world, while the ceiling shows an extremely elaborate painting depicting buildings with a typical western architecture.
Sadabad Park Teheran Sadabad gardens
Another interesting complex of palaces in Tehran is Sa'dabad, nestled in a large park with trees that change color in November. It was built and inhabited by the Qajar dynasty during the 19th century and hosts several pavilions with different museums.
Green Palace
Teheran Green Palace

The Sa'dabad complex houses also the Green Palace, so named for the color of the stone used to cover the facade. It dates back to the end of the Qajar dynasty and was later renovated and modified: inside it houses some rooms with walls and ceilings covered with mirrors, where it is not allowed to photograph (but I will have the opportunity to photograph the interior of similar buildings, sumptuously decorated with mirrors, later in Shiraz).
Tehran Art Museum Museum of Art in Tehran
Paintings in Tehran

The palaces of Sa'dabad include pavilions housing museums and art galleries with beautiful paintings highly detailed. Some works were made in Europe between the 17th and 20th centuries, while others are attributed to Salvador Dalì.
Sadabad Art Museum Sadabad palaces
Some paintings hosted in Tehran at the Fine Art Museum, within the Sa'dabad palaces complex.
Kitchen museum Royal kitchen Tehran
Among the various curiosities that can be found in Sa'dabad, there is also the Royal Kitchen Museum showing how the meals were prepared for the royal family and for all the staff working in the complex.
Tajrish Bazaar Bazaar of Tajrish
Bazaar in Tehran Teheran Bazaar
During a tour in Tehran, visitors should never miss a visit to a bazaar, a characteristic market where it is possible to buy everything. The Tajrish Bazaar is located in the northern district of Tehran and is home to hundreds of shops and small local handicraft activities: here you can buy sweets, spices, pottery, carpets, fruit and any other type of product.
Imamzadeh Saleh mosque Imamzadeh Saleh
Not far from Tajrish bazaar there is the magnificent mosque of Imamzadeh Saleh. This shrine is home to the tomb of the Imamzadeh Saleh, son of the seventh Imam Shiite duodeciman Musa al-Kazim.
Imamzadeh Saleh shrine
Mosque in Tehran
The entrance to the shrine of Imamzadeh Saleh shows a huge chandelier that illuminates walls and ceilings finely decorated with multicolored ceramic tiles. The effect is surprising and a visit during the night perhaps allows to appreciate shapes and colors even better.
Tehran mosque
The stunning interior of Imamzadeh Saleh shrine. An infinite number of mirrors and shimmering decorations completely cover walls and ceilings, creating an almost psychedelic effect.
Tabiat Bridge Tehran bridge
Green area in Tehran

The Tabi'at Bridge is a 270-meter-long structure spread over 3 levels and designed by architect Leila Araghian when he was only 26 years old. This bridge is located in a green area of Tehran, considered as a kind of lung for the city, where people spend their free time in a vast park that also offers restaurants and other attractions.
Tehran Planetarium Gardens in Teheran
Park in Teheran

A short walk from Tabi'at bridge leads to a planetarium used as a theater and as a university classroom for astronomy lessons, while the surrounding gardens offer the opportunity to rest and enjoy some cleaner air.
Charity boxes in Iran
These charity boxes are found in many cities of Iran and those who want to donate something to the poorest people can do so by leaving money inside them. A local organization takes care of collecting all the donations from the various boxes scattered around the city.
Tehran old city Old city Tehran
Tehran historical center Tehran alleys
A walk through the historical center of Tehran reveals traditional buildings and alleys. It is easy to get here by subway from many areas of Tehran and there are also numerous restaurants where visitors can try typical Iranian food.
Ancient device to see photos
Strolling through Tehran's historic center, can also happen to stumble across this vintage photo viewer, which was used in very old times to show to Iranians pictures of European capitals.
Grand Bazaar
Tehran Grand Bazaar
The Tehran Grand Bazaar is a dense maze spread in a network of over 10 kilometers of covered alleyways, with thousands of shops and traditional handicraft activities, where visitors can buy food, pottery, jewels, carpets, electronics and any other type of thing. My visit coincides with a national holiday and therefore the Grand Bazaar is unfortunately empty.
Procession in Iran
Among the alleys of the Grand Bazaar we come across a procession that commemorated, on 7 November 2018, the death of Prophet Muhammad and the Martyrdom of Imam Hassan.
Azadi Tower Symbols of Tehran
The tour of Tehran ends with a visit to the Azadi Tower, symbol of the city, a 45 meters high structure built in 1971 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the foundation of the Achaemenid Empire by Cyrus the Great.

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