The capital of Iran is, for want of a better word, big. Really big. With 16 million occupants in the wider area it is the 29th largest city in the world by population and is ranked in the top 10 fastest growing global destinations. It is also considered the most liberal city in Iran and younger generations flock from all over the country for acceptance and education. Though settlement in the area dates back over 7,000 years, Tehran itself was demolished and rebuilt from scratch in the 1920s so has little to offer in ancient architecture, but it makes up for that with its fantastic museums, galleries, restaurants, cafés and walking trails.
Probably the biggest tourist trawler in the city is the Treasury of National Jewels. Accessed through the front doors of the central bank, it houses jaw-dropping examples of jewellery belonging to former royalty now serving as a reserve for the national currency. The Kuh-e Nur (the largest cut diamond in the world) used to be among these treasures but managed to find its way to the Tower of London in 1747. However, the Darya-ye Nur is said to be the largest uncut diamond in the world and is unmissable on display here at a massive 182 carats. It goes without saying that touching anything here will cause you significant distress.
Escape the smog of the city for a day-trip to Darakeh & Darband, walking trails at the foothills of the Alborz Mountains. Dotted with teahouses and stalls, it makes for a relaxing retreat, passing by waterfalls and streams on the way up the hills. There is also a well-priced ski-lift on Darband.
For a shopping experience like no other, take a deep breath and delve into the labyrinthine Tehran Bazar. There are over 10km of lanes here and the stalls selling everything you can possibly imagine are broken up by banks, mosques and even a fire station. You will get lost here, but the locals are friendly and can point you in the right direction, as long as you buy something!
The best way to see the city is by walking tour. Whether self-guided or taken by a local, these free tours will help you gain a deeper understanding of the Tehrani way of life.
Please note Strawberry Tours does not operate the tours listed above, however, we are currently looking for people from all over the world who are excited to show their hometown to others.
Are you from Tehran and want to be a tour guide? Please get in touch by submitting your details on this page!