Tehran - a capital city at the foot of the mountains
Tehran is a thriving city by the Alborz mountain range. Rich in history and full of cultural monuments, it has many museums full of ancient artefacts, and some picturesque parks and outside areas.
Best Tehran climate, holidays and festivals
Temperatures between April and October are generally pleasant. Spring and autumn are quite mild and the middle of summer can be hot. The winter months have a tendency to be wet.
Visitors should be aware that Iranians take Fridays off, and many of the shops and attractions will be shut. Iranians celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at the beginning of February. Nowruz, which translates as the New Day, is the beginning of spring and the new year in the Persian calendar, usually celebrated on or around the 21st March. Republic Day falls around the 1st April and June 3rd/4th is the anniversary of Imam Khomeini's death.
Important information about Tehran
Tourists to Iran will need a visa to enter the country. Your passport must be valid for up to 5 months or longer. If your passport has an Israeli stamp you may be denied entry into the country. It is recommended, but not required, that you get vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Typhus, Tetanus and Diphtheria. Certain items are not allowed to be imported into the country. These include western publications, such as newspapers and magazines, pork and alcohol. Punishments for trying to bring these into the country can be quite severe.
Shopping here can be an interesting experience. Prices in markets are marked high, and visitors are expected to haggle. Tap water can cause illness if drunk, so bottle water is recommended. The cost of living is much cheaper than in the UK. Popular snacks like a falafel, cost around 25,000 IRR, which converts to roughly 60 pence. Restaurants do not include tax or service charges in their prices, so your meal may be a third more expensive than stated.
After arriving in Tehran
Upon arrival at the airport, a shuttle bus is available to Azadi Square, which costs around 20,000 IRR. A taxi will cost you approximately 300,000 IRR, which is roughly £7. The journey will take around eighty minutes. Double rooms in a hotel per night will cost you around 1,000,000 IRR, which is roughly £24. Bus journeys around the city can be quite slow due to the heavy traffic. The metro is faster, but can be quite crowded. They are cheap to travel on, with single tickets costing between 3,000 - 6,000 IRR. The first and last carriages on the metro are reserved for women only. Private taxis, which are yellow and green, are readily available, but the price should be agreed upon before starting your journey.