Tehran, Iran has a unique and very compelling charm that made it a must-see place for travelers. It may not be the oldest or most beautiful city in Iran, but Tehran’s attractions made a visit to the place truly worthy.
Tehran, Iran’s metropolis is bustling with points of interest and it will be easy to fall in love with a largely concrete skyline that is set against the Alborz mountains and rises out of the smog below. As home to over 10 million Iranians, the city of Tehran is an underrated as a tourist destination, learn more about its attractions in the post below.
Must-See Tehran Attractions
Golestan Palace in Tehran
A very famous attraction in Tehran, Golestan was the royal home of the Qajar dynasty. The palace complex within the old city walls dates back to the Safavid dynasty, right at the beginning of Islamic Persia. The palace took on its current appearance largely in the 19th century, incorporating a blend of traditional Islamic architecture and Western influences.
The National Jewelry Museum in Tehran
Tehran’s National Jewels Museum showcases some of the most opulent regalia you’re likely to encounter anywhere in the world. One of the most well-known displays features an ornamental world globe made from more than 50,000 different precious stones. You can see amazing examples of finery dating from ancient Persia, up to the 19th century Qajar dynasty.
When it comes to diamonds, the Darya-e Noor, which translates to ‘”sea of light,” is one of the most celebrated pieces among the Persian Crown Jewels. Mounted on an elaborate frame, the 186-carat pale pink, table-cut diamond is also considered to be one of the largest cut pink diamonds in the world.
The history of the diamond dates back to when Nader Shah ruled during the Afsharid dynasty (1736–1757) and brought the diamond to Iran after invading the Mughal Empire (India). Following his death in 1747, the diamond was passed down the royal bloodline and inherited by his grandson Shahrokh, the last Shah of the Afsharid dynasty.
After the dynasty was taken over by Agha Mohammad, the founder of the Qajar dynasty, the diamond was passed down to the successor—his grandson Fath-Ali Shah—who inscribed his name on one side of the gem. After the fall of the Qajar dynasty, the diamond was left in the custody of the Pahlavi dynasty rulers (1925-1979), the last dynasty of Iran.
The Ski Slopes
Didn't think you'd be skiing in Iran? In recent years the sport has been gaining popularity. There are now four downhill areas near Tehran alone, and costs are generally far lower than in Europe.
For those who are planning a Tehran tour, take note that the skiing season in the Alborz Mountains lasts roughly from November until late March.
Azadi Tower (Borj-e Azadi)
The Azadi Tower, which literary means “Freedom Tower” was built in 1971 in commemoration of the 2500 years of Persian monarchy. This iconic tower should be a part of any Tehran travel as it showcases fine architecture that fuses the elements of Sassanian, Achaemenid, and Modernist architecture. The Azadi Tower in a park in the east of Tehran, Iran is Y-shaped and has well-constructed underground museum. Sightseeing in Tehran is a lot better if you will go to its top floor to see the most fantastic views of the city.
Tehran’s Grand Bazaar
When you travel to a place like Tehran, Iran, you simply must visit the city’s biggest market. Not only is the Tehran Grand Bazaar the city’s largest and most famous market, it's also the largest bazaar in the entire world.
There’s evidence that traders have used this site for nearly 1,000 years, although the market in Tehran, Iran that we see today is just under 200 years old.
Tehran bazaar has always played an important role in the city’s economy, and many important historical decisions were made here. This is because many of the bazaris, or the owners of shops and stalls, are very wealthy and have a lot of political influence. They represent the religious and politically conservative part of society.
Those who are familiar with the bazaars in Istanbul or Marrakech, may be disappointed when they visit their Tehrani counterpart. While those markets are considered more “touristy” with their exotic and decorative artefacts, the Grand Bazaar is more down to earth. It is a true (giant) local market, where locals trade gold, paper, food, copper and the odd knick-knack. Those who are looking for cute exotic things may not find the Grand Bazaar as appealing.
The nearly endless maze that forms the bazaar is the perfect place to wander. Here, the more you walk around, the more there is to find. It is not uncommon to feel a little lost. Not that it’s much of an issue, because you will always find a helpful local to point you in the right direction, or even walk you to the next exit, just out of pure helpfulness.
Amidst chats with the locals and so much hustle and bustle, one can easily forget to notice the intricate architectural details present in the bazaar. There are arches and ceilings richly decorated in varied shapes and different colours, featuring the Arabesque style rarely found outside Iran.
With a range of Tehran attractions to make your trip in Iran complete, you’ll only need to find a strategically located Tehran accommodation for the most convenient, fun and worry-free stay in the city.
Hop on Hop off buses in Tehran
SightseeingIRAN.com is the first and only HOP ON HOP OFF concept city tours in Iran. Starting with the Capital Tehran our internationally well known concept tours offers an audio-guided bus tour around the city with the right to hop-on and hop-off the bus as many times as you please during it’s period of the ticket validity. Our stops are conveniently placed right by the must-see attractions to make sure no one misses out on anything that this magnificent country has to offer.
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