In spite of Iran's amazing nature and historical sites, you may have no time for museums in Iran. But there are some museums which you can't easily close your eye on them! Tehran has so many to offer, and in other cities, there are incredible museums either. Here are short introductions of top museums of Iran.
This UNESCO heritage site is located in the heart of the Grand Bazaar of Tehran and is a must to do in Tehran! When you walk through the garden, you pass by grand buildings that are glamorously decorated with beautifully painted tiles. It's too hard to stop staring at their details while you're passing through the graceful garden of this palace. This palace carries different ages, from Safavid to Pahlavi, and initially were enclosed to the walls of Tehran's Arg. But the most important era of this masterpiece is Qajar's which successfully shows the first western influences on Persian art and architecture.
Note that entrance to Golestan Palace's different halls needs separate tickets, and you'll choose which ones you decide to visit at the entrance to buy its ticket. There are many halls each is worth visiting.
Address: Tehran District 12 Fifth Khordad Avenue, Arg Sqr، Panzdah-e-Khordad St
Visiting hours: 9:30 AM- 6:30 PM | spring and summer
8:30 AM- 4:30 PM | autumn and winter, every day except the holiday calendar of Iran sites
The main archaeological museum of Iran which its brick building was designed by inspiring Sassanian principles and blending it with brickwork. The National Museum has two parts. The Museum of Ancient Iran, which has an arc-shaped entrance and the other building, is The Museum of Islamic Era which started working after the 1979 revolution.
The Museum of Ancient Iran has so much to present for most people. Either if you like archaeology or strange facts about ancient life and culture, it would be a great visit for you. The pieces of evidence of ancient civilization have been brought to the museum from Persepolis, Turang Tappeh, Shush, Rey, Ismailabad, Zanjan, Lorestan and many more. Notably, none of the museum's objects has been bought in the museum.
The collection of this museum includes tools from stone-age, a copy of the Babylonian code of Hammurabi, a Salt man, and his tools which were buried along with him in a salt mine more than 16 centuries ago. Also, ceramics, pottery, and stone figures which mostly had brought from the excavations of Persepolis. You can use the Imam-Khomeini metro station to reach the museum and don't forget to ask for an English brochure from the ticket centre.
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, 30th Tir Avenue, The National Museum of Iran
Visiting hours: 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM | spring and summer
9:00 AM- 5:00 PM | autumn and winter, every day except the holiday calendar of Iran sites
This museum is, in fact, a hidden treasure under the Central Bank of Iran Building. This treasury is one of the top 10 jewellery museums in the world. You can find priceless, unique pieces of jewels and objects there, some of which have been brought to Iran by businessmen and merchants.
The most famous and worthwhile object in this museum is the "Sea of Light" diamond(Darya-ye-Noor) which locates in the middle of the place.
There are countless worthwhile objects in this museum, for many of them, it's hard to price including exquisite gemstones, crowns, shields, rubies. Some of these precious items are brought from India, France, Ottoman, Italy to Iran by kings or as a nation presents. Some have gained in wars as trophies.
This museum is located downtown, Ferdowsi St., therefore you can plan to see other museums there on the same day.
The National Jewelry Treasury is a high-security museum, and you can't bring any object inside. Also, it's not allowed to bring children under 12 for visiting the museum.
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, Javadiyeh, 213 Avenue Central Bank of، Ferdowsi
Visiting hours: 2:00 PM–4:30 PM, Saturday to Tuesday except for the official holidays
In a Qajar-aged mansion that belonged to a famous, wealthy merchant in Yazd city, there is a museum of genius engineering techniques and traditions of the desert dwellers.
Yazd is a flourished city in the middle of the desert. Water is the first concern for life in dessert. The hidden world of aqueducts let life spread in the desert. Yazd is well-known for its aqueducts which are even older than Roman ones and still functioning.
These aqueducts which we call Qanat in Persian have been used for the past 2000 years in Iran to connect the underground water to the city and agricultural fields. The exciting part of this museum is that its location is situated upon a large Qanat.
In this museum, you can find two qanats which are connected through a stairway called Payab. Qanats had been through many old mansions in Yazd, collecting in pools in basements known as Sardab.
Besides visiting Qanat, you can find old water ownership documents that show how farmers and householders divided water between each other. The most exciting documents and evidence show the way they pinned locations for drinking and fielding water. The museum is also a great collection of various water objects and tools. All in all, this museum represents water history in the region and cultural traditions.
Address: Yazd Province, Yazd, Qiyam
Visiting hours: 8:00 AM–2:30 PM, 3:30 PM–7:00 PM, every day except the holiday calendar of Iran sites
When you walk through the Armenian Quarter in Jolfa houses, don't forget to visit this soul fresher museum. This museum is the first private music museum in Iran which is collected more than 300 kinds of traditional Persian musical instruments. The museum founders have been collecting these instruments for 20 years who were two famous Iranian musicians.
This museum has well-organized halls, and you have the chance to listen to Persian live impromptu music by using Persian instruments. Besides, you learn so many about instruments that you might have never heard of them before. From the way, hand-built instruments are made by Persian artists, to how to use them.
The seven sections of this museum are Hall of National Instruments, Regional Instruments, The home of Traditional Iranian Music, The Instrument Factory, The Home of Music, Café and Giftshop.
Address: Isfahan Province, Isfahan, No 74, Mehrdad Street, Tohid St, Mehrdad St, 81738 86161
Visiting hours: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM - 9:00 PM, every day except the list of holidays
In the world, when it comes to qualified unique carpets, the Persian carpet is shining in every mind. And actually, carpets are somehow a manifestation of Iranian art. This brilliant record is a result of hardworking hands that have been knotting carpets for more than 7000 years. The Carpet Museum of Iran is the best place to show you the history of carpets and their relations with Iran's culture.
You will lose hours in a load of different types of Persian carpets, their beautiful patterns, variation in colours and forms. This impressive collection which is a combination of arts and culture had been woven in different provinces of Iran such as Tabriz, Kashan, Isfahan, and Kerman. The museum was founded in 1977, and in opening time it was intended to be a research centre for carpets.
On the ground floor of the museum, you will see that carpets are arranged chronologically, beginning with the oldest knotted carpet. But on the first floor, you can find temporary knotted carpets. As it's near the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, you can plan to visit both museums on the same day.
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, Dr Fatemi St, Laleh Park
Visiting hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, every day except Mondays and the list of Iran's museums' holiday
To visit this strange museum, you must go down the Blue Mosque about twenty steps. At the bottom, there is a small mud gate, which is the entrance to the main museum site.
A strange fear is coming to you, a dark spiritual place underground, full of skeletons with different ancient precious objects. They are buried in different styles along with their ornamentals. The graves are the earliest artefacts to be found in this area, which are 38 graves dating back to 1800 BC.
Most of the corpses found at this site had been dead at an early age. Children had been buried with their toys, women with jewels, and men with their war instruments. The burial manner of putting the corps in the potteries with an amount of food beside them confirms their belief in the second life and resurrection.
In other words, due to the Mithraism beliefs, the bodies buried before noon posed to the east and the bodies buried in the afternoon posed to the west. But no matter the direction of burial, the corpse's face is always facing north. The other exciting thing about the museum is that the platform hasn't changed. And what you visit is the primary design from thousands of years ago.
You will experience a different kind of adventure by visiting this ancient museum site in Tabriz, and it is recommended to place it in your itinerary.
Address: East Azerbaijan Province, Tabriz, Bazar, Emam St, Tabriz Iron Age Museum. (It's recommended to use The Blue Mosque route for entrance.)
Visiting hours: 8:00 AM – 2:45 PM, every day except the holiday calendar of Iran sites
This lively museum is the first attempt at the national level for the rural heritage's preservation and identification, aiming to reconcile the new generations with unwritten knowledge of the past age. You can go beyond a random museum's visitor and experience the original Gilani life and soul flowing in the vast area of the museum locates in the Saravan forest park.
Eighty indigenous structures from nine different regions of Gilan province have been fetched from their location and rearranged in the first eco-museum in Iran; 35 buildings of this collection are inscribed as the national heritage. It's a miniature Gilan, which is successfully represented different aspects of life and culture in Gilan.
Involve in the Gilani cookery, costume, and crafts. You can watch and participate in traditional games, growing medical herbs, daily markets, crafts workshops, rice fields and tea gardens in the museum area.
Address: Gilan Province, Rasht, Fuman - Saravan Rd, Gilan Rural Heritage Museum
Visiting hours: 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM, every day except the holiday calendar of Iran sites
By Reyhaneh Jafari / TasteIran