The 32nd national capital of Iran at the lower slopes of the majestic Alborz Mountains once was called as Taheran by the Italian traveller Pietro Della Valle on his visit back in 1618. This small village in neighbouring the prominent Median city of Ray started to grow fearlessly in the past 200 years during the last Iranian imperial monarchies of Qajar and Pahlavi. The cosmopolitan Tehran welcomes you to the most intrepid and eventful experience of Iran's avant-garde metropolis for a full day semi-walking tour.
Visiting the prominent contemporary monuments of Tehran
Beholding Tehran city above the Iran's tallest tower
Finding out the perspective of the city before and after the Islamic Revolution
Visiting the last imperial dynasty's palace and headquarters
Delving into the local life and nightlife of Tehran and Tehranis
Overpassing Tabirat bridge between Ab-o Atash and Taleqani park viewing the mountains and daily life of people
Taking part in one of the most vivid markets and walk on the nostalgic boulevard's paving to watch brisk city nightlife
Tehran has been veiled by the majesty of what Kashan, Isfahan and Shiraz reveal to the visitors. But this aura megacity with its numerous museums, hidden gardens and deluxe modern architectural monuments are bound to surprise you to have a new list to tick off and recommend to every other traveller who may miss the lovely chaotic heart of actual Iran.
In the last 18th century the founder of the Qajar monarchy chose Tehran as the capital of Iran. Tehran inhabitants were less than 10.000 after 50 years of the Qajar era and up until the reign of Naser al-Din Shah the fourth Shah of Qajar, Tehran consisted of a walled citadel, a covered Bazaar and three major neighbourhoods of Udlajan, Chale-meydan and Sangelaj. Then he started to sketch a new master map for his utopia monarchy by constructing modern streets, royal residents, clubs and restaurants.
In the late years of the Qajar era, Tehran had been started its growth to the point that the old foursquare citadel no longer could resist its increase. Finally with the arrival of the Pahlavi dynasty Reza Shah started to prepare a master sketch for the Iranian capital of Tehran. The expansion of the city grew insanely that resulted in mass migration to the capital from all over Iran since then.
Iran's second and last Shah Mohammad Reza Shah made a huge modernity performance in the capital exemplifying western development.
Shah wanted to symbolize a gateway to the megacity, so the Azadi tower and square came into existence to be the western door to this charm. Framing the snowcapped Alborz Mountains at the north, the vaulted arch and all of the elements of Azadi tower evoked the mesmerizing art and elegance of Iranian architecture. Now after the Islamic revolution and swelling of city size, this tower will still give you the sight over the past on the right and the future on the left side of you.
Right after taking the frame of Tehran over the Azadi tower, getting to the high altitude above the most contemporary tower of whole Iran may pamper your sight even more. Milad tower which is the world's 6th tallest self-support tower hosts you in the sky of the capital where you will have the panoramic view of imposing mountains and city glittering daily life through highways and parks.
The royals of Qajar and Pahlavi started building their magnificent palaces dreaming to monarch unendingly on the Iranian plateau but let's say if their dream would have come to true, then we could not take the ticket and visit the royal palaces from up to down as easy as today. In the full day modern Tehran tour we will travel from Milad tower straight to the north and visit a garden with several interesting buildings and palaces which the first Shah of Pahlavi Reza Shah get to built at the shore of a river and slopes of the mountains.
After Visiting the Sa'ad Abad complex, continue to the hiking trail of Darband. A once village at the most inaccessible part of the mountains of Tehran which is now a live neighbourhood for hikers and outing place for families during weekends.
The next palace which is a specific place for the contemporary history of Iran is the Niavaran palace. The house to the last king of the imperial state of Iran, Reza Shah. The turning point for the Islamic revolution and the new era after the 2500 years of the imperial dynasty came to an end from this palace where Reza Shah left Iran forever. The emergence of this gone made the staff and so much of clothing, furniture and jewellery remain in the palace as a token of Pahlavis.
From the last palace seen an Iranian monarch, let's go further into the daily life of the city and let the past remain in the gorgeous royal buildings. What about an actual excellent monument of Tehran?
Over the highway, it connects two of the most beautiful public parks of the city through 270 metres. Tabiat Bridge meaning Nature Bridge is the masterpiece of Iranian architecture is a place for people to stay and ponder, not simply pass according to its architecture. So it is the best-suspended place to get involved with the daily life of Tehrani families and take some shots from the spectacular views of north Tehran and the mountains the bridge offers.
Like any other capital city in the world, Tehran offers a variety of foods owning endless of good and high-quality restaurants, cafes and street food offers. We will have lunch in one of the restaurants in Darband and tea with a snack in the evening in the local market in the city centre.
Tehran activity and local life
The last but not least point of our visit to be explored is a noble Boulevard and a local cosy market to leave you awe-inspiring in Laleh park. Shopping from the craftspeople that are not concerned about the material life but the quality of it, you are in the best place to eat your snack and order a professional herbal tea from the most favourite café of students and teenagers.
At the last get to walk in nostalgic Keshavarz Boulevard or Elizabeth Boulevard as it used to be called before the revolution when it used and still is the place for lovers to meet and talk about sweet life, where many of the first modern manifestations of the city before and after revolution occurred surrounding.
Starting at 8.30 in the morning first will visit Azadi tower the west gateway of Tehran and head to Milad tower to take a panoramic landscape above Tehran. Taking a taxi, we will go to sa'ad Abad palace at the foot of the mountains and have lunch in the Darband area in the hiking trail into Mount Tochal, which towers over Tehran. After lunch and some rest, we will be going to Niavaran palace, visiting the late Shah's apartment in the north district.
Having a tea or coffee at the coffee shop, we will go and discover Nature Bridge, the new bridge of Tehran which is a place for people to spend time and walk. Going to see the nightlife of Tehran and stroll in Keshavarz Boulevard and Laleh Park as the last point of this itinerary. By discovering the nightlife of Tehran and eating local food, we feel Tehran not just as a tourist attraction rather it is now a familiar story for us whom we read its dairies notes.