Tehran (Persian: تهران – Tehrān, pronounced [tehˈrɒːn] ( listen)) is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 9 million in the city and 16 million in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is the largest city and urban area of Iran, the 2nd-largest city in Western Asia, and the 3rd-largest in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
In the Classical era, part of the present-day city of Tehran was occupied by a Median city that in the Avesta occurs as Rhaga. It was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century, and remains now as a city in Tehran Province, located towards the southern end of the modern-day city of Tehran.
Tehran was first chosen as the capital of Iran by Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty in 1796, in order to remain within close reach of Iran's territories in the Caucasus, before being separated from Iran as a result of the Russo-Persian Wars, and to avoid the vying factions of the previously ruling Iranian dynasties. The capital has been moved several times throughout the history, and Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran.
The city was the seat of the Qajars and Pahlavis, the two last imperial dynasties of Iran. It is home to many historical collections, such as the royal complexes of Golestan, Sa'dabad, and Niavaran, as well as the country's most important governmental buildings of the modern period.
Large scale demolition and rebuilding began in the 1920s, and Tehran has been a destination for the mass migrations from all over Iran since the 20th century.
The most famous landmarks of the city include the Azadi Tower, a memorial built during the Pahlavi period, and the Milad Tower, the world's 17th tallest freestanding structure, which was built in 2007. Tabiat Bridge, which was completed in 2014, is considered the third contemporary symbol of the city.
The majority of the people of Tehran are Persian-speaking people, and roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian; but there are also large populations of other Iranian ethnicities in the city such as Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Lurs, and Kurds who speak Persian as their second language.
Tehran is served by the Mehrabad and Khomeini international airports, a central railway station, the rapid transit rail system of the Tehran Metro, as well as a trolleybus and a BRT system, and has a large network of highways.
There have been plans to relocate Iran's capital from Tehran to another area; due mainly to air pollution and the city's exposure to earthquakes. To date, no definitive plans have been approved. A 2016 survey of 230 cities by consultant Mercer ranked Tehran 203rd for quality of living. According to the Global Destinations Cities Index, Tehran is among the top ten fastest growing destinations.
In order to help you best enjoy your stay in Tehran, we have prepared a list of some of the most famous tourist attractions this city has to offer:
1- Azadi Tower: This tower, which is located at Azadi square, is one of the symbols of modern Tehran. Follow this link to read about it in Wikipedia or visit the official website here.
2- Golestan Palace: The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel). Follow this link to read about it in Wikipedia or visit the official website here.
3- Tabiat Bridge: The Nature Bridge or Tabiat Bridge is the largest pedestrian overpass built in. This landmark is considered to be the third contemporary symbol of Tehran. Follow this link to read about it in Wikipedia.
4- Milad Tower: Milad Tower, also known as the Tehran Tower, is a multi-purpose tower in Tehran. It is the sixth-tallest tower and the 17th-tallest freestanding structure in the world. Follow this link to read about it in Wikipedia or visit the official website here.
5- Tehran Bazar: The Grand Bazaar is an old historical market in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Located at the Arg Square in Southern Tehran, it is split into several corridors over 10 km in length, each specializing in different types of goods, and has several entrances, with the main being the entrance of Sabze Meydan. Follow this link to read about it in Wikipedia.
There are many more places to visit, other than the ones suggested above. There is a more comprehensive list of “Things to do in Tehran” at TripAdviser that we recommend.
Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get the subway map from this link or check the online map here.