Iran is an exciting and varied destination, with many interesting attractions for visitors. With thousands of years of history and a rich, welcoming culture, visitors to Iran are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to see and do.
One of the most popular destinations for tourists is enchanting Tehran, which serves as Iran’s capital and is the entry point for most visitors. Tehran is a dynamic, modern city with awe-inspiring architecture and seemingly endless shops, restaurants and cafes. Overwhelmingly, those living in Tehran are friendly and hospitable, and pleased to welcome visitors to their city.
Narrowing down what to do and see in Tehran can be one of the biggest challengers about visiting the city. Here are our suggestions for the Top 10 Things to Do and See in Tehran:
This UNESCO World Heritage site is truly dazzling. Built in the 18th Century by the Qajar rulers, the palace mixes Persian and Western art and architectural styles to create a beautiful and enchanting Royal Palace. Visitors will enjoy not only the Palace itself, but also viewing the amazing 18th and 19th Century artefacts that are stored within it.
The National Museum of Iran
The impressive National Museum of Iran is actually two separate complexes: The Museum of Ancient Iran, and the Museum of the Islamic Era. Together, they showcase artefacts and objects from 35,000 years ago up until modern-day. The Museum offers an unparalleled look into Iranian days gone by.
Glass and Ceramics Museum
Located within the former Prime Minister’s house, this Museum houses an impressive collection of glass and ceramic items. Some of these items date back over to 1000 BC, and all have artistic or cultural significance. There is also a library which has over 3,000 books in both English and Farsi.
The National Jewellery Treasury
To see and understand the opulence of Iran in days gone by, look no further than The National Jewellery Treasury, which displays some of the most beautiful jewellery in the entire world. The awe-inspiring collection includes objects such as crowns of past royals, and is staggering in the size and amount of jewels on display. Even if you are not usually a fan of jewellery, it is well worth a visit!
Agha Bozorg Mosque
Built in the late 18th Century, the Agha Bozorg Mosque is open to visitors who wish to admire its beauty. It is built-in a classic, understated Iranian style, with a large courtyard and numerous decorated minarets. The walls of the mosque are adorned with art and Quranic scripture. As the mosque is done in classical style and welcomes tourists, many domestic and overseas visitors enter it every year.
Spanning over 2.3 hectares, Fin Garden is the oldest garden in Tehran, having been completed in 1590. The Garden is a lovely, tranquil place to enjoy the beautiful sites and get away from the hustle and bustle and instead reflect within. The Fin Garden is also significant historically and politically, with the Fin Bath being the site of the assassination of Amir Kabid, the Qajar chancellor, by the King in 1852.
Located over more than 300 hectares, the Sa’dabad complex is not just one attraction, but many. The complex has been added to by Qajari and Pahlavi monarchs, and as many buildings which are interesting both due to their architectural style, and what is within. The buildings themselves, such as the White Palace are very beautiful, and there are also interesting objects on display, including clothing, cars, and calligraphy.
Niavaran Palace Complex
This complex is night quite as large as the Sa’dabad Complex, but is home to five buildings which are important historically and politically. The Niavaran Palace Complex was also built by Qajari and Pahlavi monarchs, with one of them serving as the residence of the last Shah. Today, these buildings are open so that the public may view them and the collections inside, including an impressive art collection within the Jahan Nama Museum.
Perhaps the most well-known export of Iran is the Persian Carpet, a decorative item that adorns many homes all over the world. Some of the very finest carpets from the last 500 years can be found in this museum in Tehran, which also gives visitors an insight into the development of this fine artform over the years.
Tehran Grand Bazaar
After seeing so many amazing things on your trip to Tehran, you may want to purchase a little piece of it to take home and remind you of your travel memories. You are able to find souvenirs and much, much more at the bustling Tehran Grand Bazaar. This is a wonderful place to shop, and also get an insight into everyday life in Iran. Just don’t panic if you get lost – just try to look for a helpful local who will help to guide you out!