The best areas to stay in Tehran
Are you planning to visit or settle in Tehran? Discover the best neighborhoods to stay in Tehran!
Located at the foot of the Alborz Mountain range, Tehran is the sprawling capital of Iran. With almost 9 million inhabitants and 15 million people in its metropolitan area – the population has increased 40-fold in 200 years of history – Tehran’s economic and cultural development is booming. Charming despite the pollution resulting from rapid urbanization, Tehran is a fascinating city divided from north to south. With a massive mountain range bordering the city to its North and National Parks to its East, its rapid expansion has been unequal and the city sprawls in all directions. The Iranian capital boasts an impressive cultural heritage, along with many museums and monuments, as well as excellent restaurants.
Iran has been a cultural and historical power since the different Persian Empires, having its roots in the ancient history of Mesopotamia and at one point extending from Cairo to Istanbul to the West, and as far as modern day New Delhi in the East. Today, Tehran is a cosmopolitan city known for the warmth and friendliness of its people. With changes in its political regime and in culture, you will be able to see the contrast between the more Westernized parts and parts that modernized in a different fashion. The city is subdivided into 112 districts, of which we will present only a small part: discover the best places to stay in Tehran.
The City Center
The downtown neighborhoods are mainly found in districts 10, 11, 12 and 17. Though they offer different atmospheres, they are all great places to stay in Tehran. We recommend you book accommodation in the city center, home to most of the city’s landmarks and bustling social life. Don’t miss the Golestan Palace – one of the oldest monuments in the city of Tehran, enjoying world heritage status – and the Great Bazaar of Tehran. In the Bazaar, take this opportunity to purchase your souvenirs for a few rials – remember that bargaining is a widespread activity and part of the Bazaar experience. Take a detour via Imam Khomeini’s mosque and admire the Pamenar minaret.
North of City Park, take the time to visit the National Museum of Iran, a pre-Islamic archaeological museum housing a myriad of antiquities, including pottery, books or artifacts from Ancient Persia, offering a kaleidoscopic view of Persian heritage. Even further north, in Laleh Park, the Carpet Museum of Iran is worth a visit. It features a wide variety of the world-famous Persian rugs from the 18th century to the present day and over 7,000 books.
If you are particularly fond of ancient art, visit the Glassware and Ceramics Museum of Iran – Abguineh Museum – housing pottery from the 4th century BC. Enjoy Eastern pastries along with excellent tea, and treat your taste buds with delicious Iranian specialties (lamb and chicken skewers, rice, as well as “ousban,” and “khoresh fesenjan”). Choose the city center to stay in Tehran if you want to experience the capital’s history-laden beating heart.
Elahieh, and especially Tajrish, are among Tehran’s most sought-after districts. Situated in one of the oldest parts of the city, these two affluent districts attract the upper-class – diplomats, expatriates, artists, etc. – due to the low level of pollution. Indeed, thanks to its northern location, on the foothills of the mountains, the air is more breathable and you might enjoy a pleasant breeze in the evening. Besides, the area is home to two major tourist sites: the old bazaar and the Imam Zadeh Saleh mausoleum. Tajrish Square is one of Tehran’s liveliest squares. A pleasant place to stay in Tehran, far from the hustle and bustle of the polluted center. However, with the expat community and touristic spots, it can get a little pricey, especially if you head to the many foreign restaurants. We would recommend sticking to the (exquisite) local cuisine for more interesting prices and enjoy quality meals. In the north, take the opportunity to visit the Saad Abad Palace, a group of palaces built by the Qajar dynasty and the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran, offering visitors an eyeful of Iran’s cultural.
In and around district 3
Extending from the north of Tehran to the westernmost parts of the city, District 03 features several residential areas including Gholhak, Jordan, Ekhtiarieh, Davoodiyeh, and Darrous. These areas attract many visitors all year round. Ideally situated between the tranquility of the north and the bustling city center, this is an excellent area to stay in Tehran. Jordan is an affluent residential area featuring many shopping malls, fashion boutiques, florists, restaurants, cafés, and art galleries. Darrous is one of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods. In Vanak, you will find many parks, cafés, shopping malls. Pleasant to browse through and aimlessly walk around while still close enough to the City Center for visits, this is a nice area to stay in Tehran.
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