Kayvan describes what you can do and see in this surprising city.
Describing a city that is 7000 years old and with a population of over 8 million is not easy. But these are some of the things I would show you.
One very important street in Tehran that connects the west with the east of Tehran is called Enghelab Street. The other, that connects the south of Tehran, from Tehran Main Station with the north, by the Tajrish Bazaar and the Tochal Buttresses is Valiasr St.
In the southern district of Tehran is the old and traditional Tehran Bazaar, (Metro Khayyam, Open 9 – 6 Saturday to Wednesday, 9-4 Thursday & Friday) where you can buy everything you need, from food to clothes made of gold, shoes, of course, carpets, in fact, everything.
Just to the north is the Palace of the Ancient Kings of Iran who lived in Tehran for about 200-250 years. It is called Shams Ol-Emareh. (Open daily 9-5). It is part of the Golestan Palace complex and considered to be the most stunning of all the buildings there. It was built in 1830 and was the tallest building in its day. The decoration is a mixture of traditional Iranian and European styles.
The old places in Tehran are Hassan Abad Square, which has old buildings and traditional Iranian arches. It was built in 1780. On each of the square’s corners is an identical building.
At the intersection of Valiasr Street and Enghelab Street, a theatre complex and a mosque with a modern facade have been built. The Vali Asr Mosque does not look like a typical mosque as it does not follow the rules of Islamic architecture. The mosque, therefore, blends in with the local neighbourhood. The building’s flowing lines lend it a heightened sense of spirituality, but the construction has been controversial. It is worth mentioning that the Tehran Municipal Theatre (Shahrzad Theatre) has been in operation for more than 70 years.
Not far from where I lived is a pastry shop called French Pâtisserie. It’s located at the intersection of Abu Reihan Enghelab Vesal, which offers very delicious and varied cakes.
The Milad Tower, which is mainly used for television and radio, is located in the northern part of the Gisha district. It is 435 meters high and there is a revolving restaurant at the top. At the bottom is the Milad hospital.
At the end of Valiasr Street, north of Tehran, there is the Tajrish Bazaar and Tajrish Mountains. It is not as touristy as the Tehran Bazaar in the south of the city.
In the north-western outskirts of the city is Lake Chitgar. The total area of the complex is about 250 hectares, of which 130 hectares is the lake and the rest park. The crown level of the lake is 1268.5 meters above sea level and the maximum water level of the lake is 1267.5 meters. The lake is drained during the wet seasons from the beginning of January to the end of April. The volume of the lake behind the dam is estimated at 6.9 million cubic metres.
Another place of interest in Tehran is the Bridge of Nature. The length of this bridge is 300 meters, and the weight of its structure is 2000 tons. Nature Bridge is the largest vehicle-free bridge in Iran. This bridge has an area of 7,000 square metres and the width of the bridge varies between 6 metres and 13 metres at different locations. The main body of the bridge is built on a tripod and for its construction, 14,000 pieces of steel of different dimensions at a height of 40 metres were assembled and installed. More than 102 km of welding and 6,200 cubic metres of concrete were carried out for the construction of this bridge.
To eat, I would take you to my brother’s restaurant, the Anahita Cafe restaurant is located in Takht Tavous. It offers coffee and confectionery and typical Persian dishes, with grilled meats and chicken, fresh vegetables, beans, rice. It is in the 2nd District of Tehran and open from Saturday to Thursday from 12 noon to 9 pm.
One of the most famous snack and sandwich places in Tehran is the Fereydoon Sandwich, which is so delicious that its customers wait in long queues and for a long time to buy their sandwich and eat it on the street because there is no room inside the shop. (Eshqyar Street, open daily 11 am – 11 pm)
One of the most beautiful nature spots in Tehran for the weekend is that of mountaineering, located north of Tehran.
Tehran is an exciting and very welcoming city, well worth visiting.