Tehran is the capital of Iran and of the Tehran province. It is the largest city and urban area in the country, and is known as the largest city in West Asia. The city remained as an unimportant village before being chosen as the country's new capital by Agha Mohammed Khan in 1796, and being its (actual) 32nd capital city as proclaimed. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the city has received mass migrations of people all over Iran due to its progressiveness. It is also home to many historic mosques, as well as churches, synagogues, and Zoroastrian fire temples. And although modern structures, such as the Azadi Tower and the Milad Tower, have been incepted to symbolize the city, there is no doubt that Tehran has had a rather short yet colorful past.
What to see & do
Azadu Tower – the Azadi Tower has been the longstanding symbol of Tehran. It was constructed to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian conglomerate, and is inspired by the glorious days of the said empire. The structure of the tower-arch combines elements of Sassanid and Islamic architecture, with the entrance of the tower doubling as the mark of the main vault, which leads to the Azadi Museum (in the basement).
Treasury of National Jewels – The Treasury of National Jewels is considered as the biggest collection of jewels found anywhere in the world. Here, travelers will get to see the huge collection of precious rocks including the Darya-e-Noor (which is the largest pink diamond in the world) and the Kuh-e-Noor (or the Mountain of Light) diamonds. Other highlights of the museum include the biggest uncut ruby in the world, the Peacock throne, the Kiani Crown, the Crown of Pahlavi, and the Globe of Jewels, a free-standing globe made from 34 kilograms of gold and an astounding 51,366 precious stones.
Golestan Palace – considered as the oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace complex consists of 17 palaces, museums, and halls. It currently houses a museum from the Qajar period in the self-important style of the last century, along with the Golestan Garden, which has a one-story pavilion housing one of the best organized museums in Tehran, and the Golestan (Rose Garden) citadel, which is one of the mainly visited places in Tehran for its coolness amid all the heat.
How to get around
Taxis, buses (or Bus Rapid Transportation), and the new subway or metro system are the best ways to get around in Tehran. Out of the three, the new train system is the fastest and the most convenient way to get around the city. It eliminates the noise made by honking cars trying to get away from traffic, and is relatively cheaper as compared to other modes. Four lines are currently available here, so choose whichever you need. But if the subway or the train doesn't float your boat, taxis and buses are always ready to serve you. Taxis in Tehran are convenient and can be found everywhere, but prices are a bit steep as compared to other cities in the country. Meanwhile, the bus system is quite extensive and can easily bring you to various destinations, although can be confusing especially if you do not speak Persian or such.
How to get there
The Imam Khomeini International Airport is the international airport serving the city of Tehran. It is located 55 kilometers south-west of the city center, with flights between Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia. There are no direct flights to Australia and the Americas from the airport, so travelers who are planning to go to Tehran or to go to Iran via Tehran are advised to look for other possible means. Also, there is a smaller Mehrabad Airport in Tehran that caters to domestic flights. Local travelers may land here to escape the business of the main international airport. Other means meanwhile include trains (running between Tehran, Ankara and Istanbul) or buses (inter-city buses within Iran).
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Airports near Tehran
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