Tehran: Suggested Itinerary
Modern and traditional, secular and religious, rich and poor
Day 1: The Iranian capital is a city bursting with history, culture and religious significance. Situated at the foot of the Alborz mountain range, it features a vast network of sophisticated highways that are unparalleled in Western Asia. Most go here to ski, but many come for the culture too and even if you are planning to spend more time in the alpine areas, you can easily spend a couple of days seeing the cultural highlights. The first place to go is Golestan Palace. The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg. Various monuments can be observed here and there are plenty of places in the vicinity to grab a bite or two. Catch the Iranian Imperial Crown Jewels at the Iranian Central Bank too, a truly dazzling, in every sense, experience.
Day 2: Start the second day where you left the first by eyeing some expensive stones in the National Jewels Museum. Here you may see the Darya-e Nur diamond, The Peacock Throne and the Jewelled Globe. Among other famous pieces of jewellery are the crowns of the Qajar and Pahlavi Kings. After eyeing the stones, look for some traditional Iranian Bazaars to find that perfect and unusual Middle-Eastern gift to surprise your loved ones with. There are many such places throughout Tehran, a great place for unusual finds. Once you’ve shopped your heart out, finish the day by visiting the city’s famous Carpet Museum. Not far from the Museum of Contemporary Art and also adjacent to Laleh Park, the Carpet Museum of Iran is one of the most rewarding to visit of Tehran's many museums. In the evening, there are plenty of places where one can try traditional Iranian delicacies like felafels, abghoosht stew, authentic kebabs and the intriguing yogurt-based drink, Doogh.
Day 3: Begin where you left off by visiting another of Tehran’s fine museums, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Labyrinthine corridors spin off the central hall and guide you through the history of modern Iranian art. Kargar Avenue; there is a small admission fee to see these fantastic works in all their glory. After you’re done admiring the magnificent art forms, take in the Azadi Monument. This distinctively shaped arch is situated in the western part of Tehran near Mehrabat International Airport. This is a good place to visit as it allows a panoramic view of Theran from its hefty summit, whilst also encompassing an extensive museum in the basement and well worth a stop. Finish your day by travelling to the famous, Holy Shrine of Imam Khomeini, the man who the airport is named after. The huge Holy Shrine of Imam Khomeini, south of Tehran, is the final resting place of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic Republic. The vast mausoleum includes four 91m towers (Khomeini died aged 91) and is visited by hundreds of thousands of mourners on June 4, the anniversary of Khomeini's death in 1989. There’s also an interesting graveyard here commemorating those that died in the Iran-Iraq War.
Day 4: If you have a lot of time on your hands, you might want to explore the nearby alpine mountain range of Alborz and maybe even indulge in a spot of skiing. If not, spend this day trawling round the city’s many bazaars before heading home, culturally exhausted.