Tehran is where the past and present collide. A dynamic, loud, chaotic and cutting edge city, the Iranian capital is home to 15 million people, bold fashion, art galleries, restaurants and cafes. It is also home to museums overflowing with ancient treasures, magnificent palaces, inspiring yet imposing mosques and dramatic government buildings. Endlessly enchanting, Tehran is one of the brightest gems in the Middle East.
You could spend weeks exploring the city’s many museums, learning about Iran’s history, culture and people. One of the best is the National Jewels Museum, featuring an over-the-top, staggering collection of artifacts encrusted with dazzling gems. The 37 display cases are filled of pearl-covered crowns, emerald and ruby-encrusted globes, swords covered in thousands of rose-cut diamonds and more. Everywhere you look in the museum, something is sparkling, shining and glittering in the light.
Even more treasures are on display at the Golestan Palace, a complex of 17 halls, museums and palaces built during the 200-year reign of the Qajar kings. Each of the halls presents visitors with something new and wonderful to explore. The Takht-e Marmar awes with its marble carvings, ornamental throne, lattice windows and fanciful traditional architecture. Masterpieces by European artists are on display at the Hoze-Khaneh, the royal jewels astonish at the Negar Khane, and the Museum of Gifts contains a fascinating collection of decorated ostrich eggs and other presents given to the Qajar kings. Chinaware takes center stage at the Talar Zoroof, mirror work impresses at the Talar-e Aineh, and the Shams-ol-Emareh stuns with its towers, multiple arches and intricate tile work. These are just some of the abundant riches that await visitors at the Golestan Palace.
There are many other museums worth exploring in Tehran, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Reza Abbasi Museum, the National Museum of Iran, the Carpet Museum of Iran, the Film Museum of Iran, the impressive Glass and Ceramics Museum, the Museum of the Islamic Period, the one-time prison at the Iran Ebrat Museum, the Sa’d Abad Museum Complex and the Negar Khane, home to a fine collection of art from the Qajar era.
Museums can only tell visitors so much about a place. To really get to know Tehran, spend an afternoon exploring the walking trails of Darband and Darakeh. Trade the chaos of the city center for the peaceful respite of the Alborz Mountains’ foothills, then refresh after a hike at the teahouses and stalls that line the lower reaches of both trails. Enjoy a dish of dizi, a cool drink, a kabab and a puff on a hookah by the stream. Mingle with the locals while feasting on mulberries, apricots, walnuts, dates and other treats plucked from the surrounding areas. In the near-oasis, you will soon forget you are in one of the busiest cities in the Middle East.
The only places in Tehran that can rival the beauty of the walking trails are the palaces. The White Palace, once the royal summer home, features 5,000 square meters of pure opulence. Handmade carpets blanket the marble floors, extravagant furnishings sit under chandeliers dripping with diamonds and tiger pelts decorate the walls. At the Green Palace, mirror stalactites hang from the ceilings and Persian and European architectural styles combine effortlessly at the Shams-Al Emarat Palace.
Other highlights to explore in Tehran include the well-designed green space of Park-e Laleh, the Sarkis Cathedral, the Madraseh va Masjed-e Sepahsalar, the Imam Khomeini Mosque, the colorful Tehran bazaar, the Holy Shrine of Imam Khomeini, the 435-meter high Milad Tower, the Iranian Photographers’ Center, the Azadi Tower, Tehran University and the former United States Embassy.
Tehran Geographical Location
Tehran is located in north-central Iran and is its largest city with a population of approximately 13,415,000.
Although Persian is the official religion of Iran only about half of the population speaks it as a first language. Turkic Dialects and Kurdish are also very popular in Iran.
Tehran Predominant Religion
- 98% Muslim
- 2% Other
Islam is the official religion of Iran.
The Iranian Rial is the official currency of Iran.
Tehran is extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The majority of precipitation occurs during the cooler months with very little rain during the summer.
Tehran Main Attractions
- National Jewelry Museum
- The Golestan Palace of Tehran
- The Azadi Tower
Other Attraction in Tehran
- Carpet Museum of Tehran
- National Museum of Iran
- Grand Bazaar
- Saabad Palace