Tehran is often unfairly overlooked by tourists. The bustling city that is Iran's capital offers parks, museums and everything in between, making a trip there an enjoyable experience for everyone from the curious traveler to the culture buff.
Explore the bazaars
The Jomeh Bazaar, held each Friday morning on Jomhuri Street, features traders from various regions selling handmade wares such as clothes, crafts and instruments. This huge flea market stocks antiques and relics from the past alongside one-of-a-kind items created by young artists. Jomeh Bazaar simply radiates Iranian culture of old and new. Make sure to get there early to avoid the bustling crowds.
To enjoy some traditional tea and simple dishes such as a delicious omelet, visit the Tajrish Bazaar Teahouse on Tajrish Square. The walls upstairs feature carpeted seating spaces and artwork depicting moments from Persian history.
Grab a bite
Sample authentic dizi, a traditional stew dish in Persian culture, at Dizi on Mousa Kalantari Street. This popular restaurant has a traditional atmosphere with lovely blue Persian porcelain pieces on display throughout. For a more upscale experience with a wonderful mountainside view while you dine, visit Divan on Fayazi Boulevard. Divan has an open terrace and windows facing the Alborz mountain range.
Top off your gastronomic adventures with chocolate treats and delicious hot and cold beverages at Cafe Mojgan on Valiasr Street. This hideaway is known for its friendly atmosphere and conversation.
Soak in the culture
You don't have to love gemstones to get taken in by the brilliant displays of The National Jewelry Treasury on Ferdowsi Avenue. The bright and colorful jewelry pieces on display are from different Iranian dynasties, and you can get a brief explanation of their history using the available guides.
Fans of the performing arts can head to the Talar Vahdat Opera House on Shahriar Street. It's the only opera house in Iran, and its luxurious interior rivals the great opera houses around the world. Although opera performances are held infrequently here, it's the home of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra and hosts many different live theater shows.
Immerse yourself in an important piece of Iran's history at the Golestan Palace on Arq Square. This stunning complex features statues, stained glass windows, and a Persian garden, and it was once the home of the royal Qajar family.
Step out of the city
Tochal Mountain is the place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of Tehran and enjoy its landscape. You can choose from walking paths of varying difficulties to take in the bright skyline and natural beauty of the area or use a telecabin to visit the small ski resort at the peak. Darakeh Village, nestled in the Alborz Mountains foothills in North Tehran, is a quiet, relaxed place with a countryside feel. The village is popular with younger Iranians and a great place to go to meet new people and try traditional foods by visiting the local restaurants right along its main road.