Tehran City Guide

Tehran City Guide
Quick Facts
Known Names:
Language:Persian (Farsi)
Population:Approx. 8.7 million
Religion:Islam (Shia majority)
Area Code:+98 21
Currency:Iranian Rial (IRR)
Time Zone:Iran Standard Time (IRST) - UTC/GMT +3:30 hours

General Information / Guide

Tehran, the capital of Iran, has transformed from a small city to a bustling metropolis. The discovery of oil wells in the country played a crucial role in the city's development, making it the most populous and developed city. Additionally, the Mongol invasion of the neighboring settlement, Rey, further accelerated the urbanization process of Tehran. Forced migrations from Rey to Tehran resulted in a rapid increase in population and triggered a growth and development phase for the city. Situated on the southern slope of the Elburz Mountains, Tehran is located far from the sea or other water sources, resulting in significant air pollution as a major challenge for the city. Despite this environmental concern, Tehran has become a significant industrial, economic, and cultural hub for Iran.


Climate / Weather / When to Go

Tehran experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters. The optimal times for a visit are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is mild and the city's gardens and parks are especially beautiful.


How to Get There

Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad Airport serve Tehran, connecting it to cities around the globe. The city is also a major hub for railways and has an extensive road network connecting it to other parts of Iran.


Food / Restaurants / What to Eat and Drink

Tehran's cuisine offers a mix of traditional Persian dishes like Kebabs, Fesenjan (walnut and pomegranate stew), and Tahchin (saffron rice cake). Tea houses and street vendors serve local snacks and sweets, such as Saffron Ice Cream and Persian nougat.


Important Places / Places to Visit

  • Golestan Palace: A stunning historic palace complex, one of Tehran’s oldest monuments, adorned with elaborate tile work and mirror mosaics.
  • Milad Tower: The sixth-tallest tower in the world, offering panoramic views of Tehran.
  • Tehran Grand Bazaar: A bustling marketplace offering everything from carpets and spices to jewelry and household goods.


What to Do

Explore the lavish Golestan Palace, a masterpiece of Qajar era architecture. Wander through the bustling Grand Bazaar, a hub for traditional goods and crafts. Visit the modern Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and try Persian specialties like kebabs and saffron ice cream in Darband.


Nightlife / Bars / Entertainment

Tehran has a burgeoning underground nightlife scene despite restrictions, with private parties and gatherings offering music and dance. More publicly, cafes and restaurants, particularly in the northern parts of the city, offer a place to enjoy local cuisine and tea late into the night.


Shopping / What to Buy

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar is a sprawling market where you can find everything from Persian rugs to spices and jewelry. Modern shopping can be found in malls like the Tehran Mall. Don’t leave without purchasing some saffron or Persian pistachios.


Festivals/ Events

March: Persian New Year (Nowruz) (national celebrations marking the Persian New Year with family gatherings, public festivities, and traditional events)
October: Tehran International Book Fair (one of the biggest publishing events in Asia)


Holidays / Festivals / Important Days

11 February: Revolution Day
21 March: Nowruz (Persian New Year)
4 April: Sizdah Bedar (Nature Day)
29 October: Cyrus the Great Day
Eid al-Fitr (varies)
Eid al-Adha (varies)
Ashura (varies)
Eid-e-Milad un-Nabi (varies)


Things to Pay Attention to / Important Information

Persian (Farsi) is the official language. Limited English is spoken outside tourist sectors.
Strict dress codes apply, especially for women who are expected to wear headscarves and modest clothing.
The city has a semi-arid climate, with extreme temperature variations between summer and winter.
Bargaining is part of shopping culture, particularly in bazaars.



Tehran's public transport includes buses and a rapidly expanding metro system that covers most of the city.
Taxis are plentiful, with the option to hire private or use shared taxis for a cheaper alternative.
For navigating the more congested parts of the city, motorcycles and motorbike taxis are a fast, though riskier, option.

View on the Map