Tehran (Tehrān or Teheran), is the capital city of Iran and the country's largest and most populous city with 8.7 million residents in the city and 15 million people in Greater Tehran. With numerous sky scratchers and huge buildings, the rapid system of Tehran Metro, and bus rapid transit (BRT), this city was chosen as one of the ten fastest-growing cities of the world by the Global Destinations Cities Index in 2016. Visiting Tehran usually surprises foreign travelers as they find out Tehran is a modern metropolis home to people with a modern lifestyle, while it was introduced as a religious standing against modernization by the western media.
The first evidence of human life in this region traces back to the Neolithic era and includes 7000-year-old human bones. In the 7th century when Shar-e Rey was ruined because of the war and its people migrated to Tehran, Tehran began to develop as a city and it became an even more important city during the Safavid Dynasty. But, its main development happened when it got chosen as the capital of Iran during the reign of Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar Dynasty (1789 - 1925). This city has been the capital of Iran since then.
Tehran is located in north-central Iran at the foothills of the Alburz Mountain Range and Damavand Peak which is the highest peak in Iran. The altitude of Tehran is from 900 meters to 1800 meters above sea level and has a semi-arid climate while the weather gets 2-3 degrees cooler in the north of Tehran where it meets the foothills of Alburz Mountain Range which prevents the humidity of the Caspian Sea in the north of Iran from the city. In summer, the average temperature can reach 43 °C (109 °F) and in winter the average temperature reaches -10 °C. The average precipitation in Tehran is about 10 inches (230 mm).
Known as one of the most important museums of Iran, the National Museum of Iran includes two buildings. The first building which resembles the Taq Kasra is where you can see objects from prehistoric times like the Neolithic and Paleolithic eras and ancient civilizations including Achaemenids, Parthians, and Sassanids. The second part of the National Museum showcases some of the best examples of Persian arts and handicrafts from Islamic dynasties between the 9th - 18th centuries like Timurid, Safavid, etc.
The attractive Golestan Palace is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tehran and one of the most amazing attractions of the city. This complex includes royal palaces and halls, gardens, and museums built during the Qajar Dynasty. This architectural masterpiece shows the combination of Persian architecture and the European style.
The National Jewels Museum of Iran is one of the unique museums of Tehran which is housed in the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This museum exhibits one of the most precious collections of jewelry in the world including Darya-i Nur, Naderi Paisley, etc. that have been collected over centuries and show a piece of the glory of Persian empires.
Founded in 1976, the Carpet Museum of Tehran displays a fabulous collection of hand-woven Persian carpets from the 16th century to the present. The collection includes nomadic, rural, and urban carpets with amazing colors and designs from different regions of Iran. The museum's construction is designed by architect Mr. Farmanfarmaian and its exterior resembles a carpet loom.
The lush Sa'dabad Complex is a 300-hectare area located in Shemiran in the north of Tehran. This royal complex was built by the order of the Qajar kings in the 19th century as their residential palaces, and then it was used as the summer residential palace of Reza Shah the Pahlavi king, and his son Mohammad Reza Shah. Since the 1979 revolution, Saadabad Complex has become a public museum including forests, streets, galleries, mansions, and palaces.
Grand Bazaar is a roofed Persian bazaar in Tehran that is divided into different corridors, each assigned to trading a type of good. This bazaar is more than 10 hectares long and is one of the most important trading centers across the country. There are also some traditional teahouses and restaurants in this bazaar which are among the top places to eat in Tehran.
Now known as one of the new icons of Tehran, the Tabiat (nature) bridge of Tehran was designed by a young female architect, Leila Araghian, who won several international prizes for its creativity. Tabiat Bridge is located between Taleghani and Ab-o Atash public parks and spans the width of the Moddares Motorway. Apart from being a modern architecture masterpiece, the Tabiat Bridge is packed with several restaurants and places to sit and admire the view of the city.
Formerly known as the Shahyad Tower (meaning: the remembrance of the king), the Azadi Tower of Tehran was built in 1971 by the order of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi to commemorate 2500 years of the Iranian monarchy. Azadi Tower which is the most significant icon and symbol of Tehran, was designed by architect Mr. Hossein Amanat and shows the genius combination of modern architecture with tokens of Iranian classic architecture style.
Located on the foothills of the Alburz Mountain Range, Tehran is close to some professional ski resort that attracts ski lovers from all over the world. These resorts include Tochal Ski Resort, Darbandsar Ski Resort, Shemshak Ski Resort and Dizin Ski Resort which is the top ski resort in the Middle East and is known for its great powdery snow.