Tehran (/tɛˈræn, -ˈrɑːn, ˌtɛhə-, ˌteɪə-/; Persian:
تهران Tehrân [tʰehˈɾɒːn] ( listen)) is the
Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.8
million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of
Tehran is the most populous city in
Iran and Western
Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle
East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its
In the Classical era, part of the territory of present-day
occupied by Rhages, a prominent Median city. It was subject to
destruction through the medieval Arab, Turkic, and Mongol invasions.
Its modern-day inheritor remains as an urban area absorbed into the
metropolitan area of Greater Tehran.
Tehran was first chosen as the capital of
Iran by Agha Mohammad Khan
Qajar dynasty in 1796, in order to remain within close reach of
Iran's territories in the Caucasus, before being separated from Iran
as a result of the Russo-Iranian Wars, and to avoid the vying factions
of the previously ruling Iranian dynasties. The capital has been moved
several times throughout the history, and
Tehran is the 32nd national
capital of Iran. Large scale demolition and rebuilding began in the
Tehran has been a destination for mass migrations from all
Iran since the 20th century.
Tehran is home to many historical collections, including the royal
complexes of Golestan, Sa'dabad, and Niavaran, where the two last
dynasties of the former Imperial State of
Iran were seated. Tehran's
most famous landmarks include the Azadi Tower, a memorial built under
the reign of Mohammad
Reza Shah of the
Pahlavi dynasty in 1971 to mark
the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State of Iran, and
the Milad Tower, the world's sixth-tallest self-supporting tower which
was completed in 2007. The Tabiat Bridge, a newly-built landmark, was
completed in 2014.
The majority of the population of
Tehran are Persian-speaking
people, and roughly 99% of the population understand and speak
Persian, but there are large populations of other ethno-linguistic
groups who live in
Tehran and speak Persian as a second language.
Tehran is served by the international airports of Mehrabad and
Khomeini, a central railway station, the rapid transit system of
Tehran Metro, a bus rapid transit system, trolleybuses, and a large
network of highways.
There have been plans to relocate Iran's capital from
another area, due mainly to air pollution and the city's exposure to
earthquakes. To date, no definitive plans have been approved. A 2016
survey of 230 cities by consultant Mercer ranked
Tehran 203rd for
quality of life. According to the Global Destinations Cities Index
Tehran is among the top ten fastest growing destinations.
1.1 Classical era
1.2 Medieval period
1.3 Early modern era
1.4 Late modern era
2.1 Location and subdivisions
2.3 Environmental issues
5.1.1 Highways and streets
5.1.4 Railway and subway
5.2 Parks and green spaces
7.4.1 Football clubs
8 Twin towns and partner cities
9 Panoramic views
10 See also
13 External links
See also: Timeline of Tehran
The origin of the name
Tehran is uncertain. The settlement of
Tehran dates back over 7,000 years.
Tehran is situated within the historical region of Media (Old Persian:
𐎶𐎠𐎭 Māda) in northwestern Iran. By the time of the Median
Empire, a part of the territory of present-day
Tehran was a suburb of
the prominent Median city of Rhages (Old Persian: 𐎼𐎥𐎠 Ragā).
In the Avesta's Videvdat (i, 15), Rhages is mentioned as the 12th
sacred place created by Ohrmazd. In Old Persian inscriptions,
Rhages appears as a province (Bistun 2, 10–18). From Rhages, Darius
I sent reinforcements to his father Hystaspes, who was putting down
the rebellion in
Parthia (Bistun 3, 1–10). In some Middle
Persian texts, Rhages is given as the birthplace of Zoroaster,
although modern historians generally place the birth of
Khorasan. Rhages's modern-day inheritor, Ray, is a city located
towards the southern end of Tehran, which has been absorbed into the
metropolitan area of Greater Tehran.
Mount Damavand, the highest peak of Iran, which is located near
Tehran, is an important location in Ferdowsi's Šāhnāme, the
Iranian epic poem that is based on the ancient legends of Iran. It
appears in the epics as the homeland of the protoplast Keyumars, the
birthplace of king Manuchehr, the place where king Freydun binds the
dragon fiend Aždahāk (Bivarasp), and the place where
Arash shot his
During the reign of the Sassanian Empire, in 641, Yazdgerd III issued
his last appeal to the nation from Rhages, before fleeing to
Khorasan. Rhages was dominated by the Parthian Mehran family, and
Siyavakhsh—the son of Mehran the son of Bahram Chobin—who resisted
the 7th-century Muslim invasion of Iran. Because of this
resistance, when the
Arabs captured Rhages, they ordered the town to
be destroyed and rebuilt anew by traitor aristocrat Farrukhzad.
In the 9th century,
Tehran was a well known village, but less known
than the city of Rhages, which was flourishing nearby. Rhages was
described in detail by 10th-century Muslim geographers. Despite
the interest that Arabian
Baghdad displayed in Rhages, the number of
Arabs in the city remained insignificant and the population mainly
consisted of Iranians of all classes.
Oghuz Turks invaded Rhages discretely in 1035 and 1042, but the
city was recovered under the reigns of the Seljuks and the
Khwarezmians. Medieval writer Najm od Din Razi declared the
population of Rhages about 500,000 before the Mongol invasion. In the
13th century, the Mongols invaded Rhages, laid the city in ruins, and
massacred many of its inhabitants. Following the invasion, many of
the city's inhabitants escaped to Tehran.
In July 1404, Castilian ambassador
Ruy González de Clavijo
Ruy González de Clavijo visited
Tehran while on a journey to Samarkand, the capital of Turco-Mongol
conqueror Timur, who ruled
Iran at the time. In his diary,
described as an unwalled region.
Early modern era
Pietro della Valle
Pietro della Valle passed through
Tehran overnight in
1618, and in his memoirs, he mentioned the city as Taheran. English
traveler Thomas Herbert entered
Tehran in 1627, and mentioned it as
Tyroan. Herbert stated that the city had about 3,000 houses.
A portrait of Qajar ruler Agha Mohammad Khan, kept at London's V&A
In the early 18th century, Karim Khan of the
Zand dynasty ordered a
palace and a government office to be built in Tehran, possibly to
declare the city his capital; but he later moved his government to
Shiraz. Eventually, Qajar king Agha Mohammad Khan chose
Tehran as the
Iran in 1776.
Agha Mohammad Khan's choice of his capital was based on a similar
concern for the control of both northern and southern Iran. He was
aware of the loyalties of the inhabitants of former capitals Isfahan
Shiraz to the Safavid and Zand dynasties respectively, and was
wary of the power of the local notables in these cities. Thus, he
probably viewed Tehran's lack of a substantial urban structure as a
blessing, because it minimized the chances of resistance to his rule
by the notables and by the general public. Moreover, he had to
remain within close reach of
Azerbaijan and Iran's integral northern
and southern Caucasian territories—at that time not yet
irrevocably lost per the treaties of Golestan and Turkmenchay to the
neighboring Russian Empire—which would follow in the course of the
Tehran in 1857
After 50 years of Qajar rule, the city still barely had more than
80,000 inhabitants. Up until the 1870s,
Tehran consisted of a
walled citadel, a roofed bazaar, and the three main neighborhoods of
Udlajan, Chale-Meydan, and Sangelaj, where the majority resided.
The first development plan of
Tehran in 1855 emphasized the
traditional spatial structure. Architecture, however, found an
eclectic expression to reflect the new lifestyle. The second major
planning exercise in
Tehran took place under the supervision of Dar ol
Fonun. The 1878 plan of
Tehran included new city walls, in the form of
a perfect octagon with an area of 19 square kilometers, which mimicked
Renaissance cities of Europe.
Late modern era
The Triumph of Tehran: Sardar Asad II and Sepahsalar e Tonekaboni
Tehran in July 1909
The growing social awareness of civil rights resulted in the
Constitutional Revolution and the first constitution of
Iran in 1906.
On June 2, 1907, the parliament passed a law on local governance known
as the Baladie (municipal law), providing a detailed outline on issues
such as the role of councils within the city, the members'
qualifications, the election process, and the requirements to be
entitled to vote. The then Qajar monarch Mohammad Ali Shah abolished
the constitution and bombarded the parliament with the help of the
Russian-controlled Cossack Brigade on June 23, 1908. That followed the
capture of the city by the revolutionary forces of Ali-Qoli Khan
(Sardar Asad II) and Mohammad Vali Khan (Sepahsalar e Tonekaboni) on
July 13, 1909. As a result, the monarch was exiled and replaced with
his son Ahmad, and the parliament was re-established.
After World War I, the constituent assembly elected
Reza Shah of the
Pahlavi dynasty as the new monarch, who immediately suspended the
Baladie law of 1907, replacing the decentralized and autonomous city
councils with centralist approaches of governance and planning.
From the 1920s to the 1930s, under the rule of Reza Shah, the city was
essentially rebuilt from scratch. That followed a systematic
demolition of several old buildings, including parts of the Golestan
Palace, Tekye Dowlat, and Tupkhane Square, which were replaced with
modern buildings influenced by classical Iranian architecture,
particularly the building of the National Bank, the Police
Headquarters, the Telegraph Office, and the Military Academy.
The changes in urban fabric started with the street-widening act of
1933, which served as a framework for changes in all other cities. The
Bazaar was divided in half and many historic buildings were
demolished to be replaced with wide straight avenues. As a result,
the traditional texture of the city was replaced with intersecting
cruciform streets that created large roundabouts, located on major
public spaces such as the bazaar.
As an attempt to create a network for easy transportation within the
city, the old citadel and city walls were demolished in 1937, replaced
by wide streets cutting through the urban fabric. The new city map of
Tehran in 1937 was heavily influenced by modernist planning patterns
of zoning and gridiron networks.
During World War II, Soviet and British troops entered the city. In
Tehran was the site of the
Tehran Conference, attended by U.S.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Tupkhane Square in 1911
A former Parliament Building, built in the 1920s
A street in
Tehran during the 1930s
National Bank of Iran, Sabze Meydan, in the 1940s
Tehran Conference, 1943
Expressways in Tehran
The establishment of the planning organization of
Iran in 1948
resulted in the first socio-economic development plan to cover from
1949 to 1955. These plans not only failed to slow the unbalanced
growth of Tehran, but with the 1962 land reforms that Reza Shah's son
and successor Mohammad
Reza Shah named the White Revolution, Tehran's
chaotic growth was further accentuated.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s,
Tehran was rapidly developing under
the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah. Modern buildings altered the face of
Tehran and ambitious projects were envisioned for the following
decades. In order to resolve the problem of social exclusion, the
first comprehensive plan of
Tehran was approved in 1968. The
consortium of Iranian architect Abd-ol-Aziz Farmanfarmaian and the
American firm of
Victor Gruen Associates identified the main problems
blighting the city to be high density suburbs, air and water
pollution, inefficient infrastructure, unemployment, and rural-urban
migration. Eventually, the whole plan was marginalized by the 1979
Revolution and the subsequent Iran–
Azadi Tower was built in 1971.
Tehran's most famous landmark, the Azadi Tower, was built by the order
of the Shah in 1971. It was designed by Hossein Amanat, an architect
who won a competition to design the monument, combining elements of
classical Sassanian architecture with post-classical Iranian
architecture. Formerly known as the Shahyad Tower, it was built in
commemoration of the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial
State of Iran.
During the 1980–1988 Iran–
Tehran was the target of
Scud missile attacks and air strikes.
The 435-meter-high Milad Tower, which was part of the proposed
development projects in pre-revolutionary Iran, was completed in
2007, and has thence become a famous landmark of Tehran. The 270-meter
pedestrian overpass of
Tabiat Bridge is a newly-built landmark,
designed by award winning architect Leila Araghian, which was
completed in 2014.
Location and subdivisions
The metropolis of
Tehran is divided into 22 municipal districts, each
with its own administrative center. 20 of the 22 municipal districts
are located in
Tehran County's Central District, while the districts 1
and 20 are respectively located in the counties of Shemiranat and Ray.
Although administratively separate, the cities of Ray and
often considered part of Greater Tehran.
Regions and municipal districts of Tehran
• Dar Abad
• Sadat Abad
• Šahrak-e Garb
• Džanat Abad
• Amir Abad
• Jusef Abad
• Park-e Lale
• Khak Sefid
• Šams Abad
• Šemiran No
• Abas Abad
• Nezam Abad
• Dušan Tape
• Niru Havaji
• Teheran No
• Sad Dastgah
• Haft Čenar
• Šejh Hadi
• Bazar-e Tehran
• Park-e Šar
• Pič-e Šemiran
• Hazane Falah
• Kale Morgi
• Ali Abad
• Bag-e Azari
• Jahči Abad
• Nazi Abad
• Abdol Abad
• Hava Niruz
• Nemat Abad
• Dovlat Abad
• Čahar Bari
• Jaft Abad
• Šad Abad
• Tolid Daru
• Parc Čitgar
Municipal districts of Tehran
Location within Tehran
منطقه ۱ – Mantaqe ye Yek
منطقه ۲ – Mantaqe ye Dow
منطقه ۳ – Mantaqe ye Se
منطقه ۴ – Mantaqe ye Ĉahār
منطقه ۵ – Mantaqe ye Panj
منطقه ۶ – Mantaqe ye Ŝeŝ
منطقه ۷ – Mantaqe ye Haft
منطقه ۸ – Mantaqe ye Haŝt
منطقه ۹ – Mantaqe ye Noh
منطقه ۱۰ – Mantaqe ye Dah
منطقه ۱۱ – Mantaqe ye Yāzdah
منطقه ۱۲ – Mantaqe ye Davāzdah
منطقه ۱۳ – Mantaqe ye Sizdah
منطقه ۱۴ – Mantaqe ye Ĉahārdah
منطقه ۱۵ – Mantaqe ye Pānzdah
منطقه ۱۶ – Mantaqe ye Ŝānzdah
منطقه ۱۷ – Mantaqe ye Hefdah
منطقه ۱۸ – Mantaqe ye Heĵdah
منطقه ۱۹ – Mantaqe ye Nuzdah
منطقه ۲۰ – Mantaqe ye Bist
منطقه ۲۱ – Mantaqe ye Bist-o-Yek
منطقه ۲۲ – Mantaqe ye Bist-o-Dow
Tochal in the winter of 2006
Ekhtiarie, northern Tehran
Hormozan Street, Qarb Town
Bucharest Street in Tehran's Abbas Abad
Valiasr Street, near Saei Park, in central Tehran
Tehran is the wealthiest part of the city, consisting of
various districts such as Zaferanie, Jordan, Elahie, Pasdaran,
Kamranie, Ajodanie, Farmanie, Darrous, Qeytarie, and Qarb
Town. While the center of the city houses government
ministries and headquarters, commercial centers are more located
towards further north.
Urban sustainability analysis of the metropolitan area of Tehran,
using the 'Circles of Sustainability' method of the UN Global Compact
Tehran features a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate
classification: BSk) with continental climate characteristics and a
Mediterranean climate precipitation pattern. Tehran's climate is
largely defined by its geographic location, with the towering Alborz
mountains to its north and the country's central desert to the south.
It can be generally described as mild in spring and autumn, hot and
dry in summer, and cold and wet in winter.
Mellat Park in autumn
Because the city is large with significant differences in elevation
among various districts, the weather is often cooler in the hilly
north than in the flat southern part of Tehran. For instance, the
17.3 km (10.7 mi)
Valiasr Street runs from Tehran's railway
station at 1,117 m (3,665 ft) elevation above sea level in
the south of the city to
Tajrish Square at 1712.6 m
(5612.3 ft) elevation above sea level in the north. However,
the elevation can even rise up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) at the
Velenjak in northern Tehran.
Summer is long, hot, and dry with little rain, but relative humidity
is generally low, making the heat tolerable. Average high temperatures
are between 32 and 37 °C (90 and 99 °F), and it can drop
to 14 °C in the mountainous north of the city at night. Most of
the light annual precipitation occurs from late autumn to mid-spring,
but no one month is particularly wet. The hottest month is July, with
a mean minimum temperature of 26 °C (79 °F) and a mean
maximum temperature of 34 °C (93 °F), and the coldest is
January, with a mean minimum temperature of −5 °C
(23 °F) and a mean maximum temperature of 1 °C
The weather of
Tehran can sometimes be unpredictably harsh. The record
high temperature is 43 °C (109 °F) and the record low is
−20 °C (−4 °F). On January 5 and 6, 2008, a wave of
heavy snow and low temperatures covered the city in a thick layer of
snow and ice, forcing the Council of Ministers to officially declare a
state of emergency and close down the capital on January 6 and 7.
Tehran has seen an increase in relative humidity and annual
precipitation since the beginning of the 21st century. This is most
likely because of the afforestation projects, which also include
expanding parks and lakes. The northern parts of
Tehran are still more
lush than the southern parts.
Climate data for Tehran-Shomal (north of Tehran), Altitude: 1548.2 M
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Climate data for
Tehran - Elevation: 1168 M
Average Ultraviolet index
Source: Weather Atlas 
In February 2005, heavy snow covered all of the parts of the city.
Snow depth was 15 cm (6 in) in the southern part of the city
and 100 cm (39 in) in the northern part of city. A newspaper
said it had been the worst weather for 34 years. 10,000 bulldozers and
13,000 municipal workers deployed to keep the main roads open.
On February 3, 2014,
Tehran reached a heavy snowfall, specifically in
the northern parts of the city, with a height of 2 meters. Within one
week successive snowfall, roads were made impassable in some areas
along with a temperature variety of −8 °C to
On June 3, 2014, a severe thunderstorm with powerful microbursts
created a haboob that engulfed the city in sand and dust. Five people
were killed and more than 57 injured. This disaster also knocked
numerous trees and power lines down. It struck between 5 and
6 pm, plumping temperatures from 33 °C to 19 °C in
just an hour. The dramatic temperature drop was accompanied by wind
gusts reaching nearly 118 km/h.
See also: Environmental issues in Tehran, Environmental issues in
Iran, and List of earthquakes in Iran
Air pollution in Tehran
A plan to move the capital has been discussed many times in prior
years, due mainly to the environmental issues of the region.
rated as one of the world's most polluted cities, and is also located
near two major fault lines.
The city suffers from severe air pollution. 80% of the city's
pollution is due to cars. The remaining 20% is due to industrial
pollution. Other estimates suggest that motorcycles alone account for
30% of air and 50% of noise pollution in Tehran.
In 2010, the government announced that "for security and
administrative reasons, the plan to move the capital from
been finalized." There are plans to relocate 163 state firms and
several universities from
Tehran to avoid damages from a potential
The officials are engaged in a battle to reduce air pollution. It has,
for instance, encouraged taxis and buses to convert from petrol
engines to engines that run on compressed natural gas. Furthermore,
the government has set up a "Traffic Zone" covering the city center
during peak traffic hours. Entering and driving inside this zone is
only allowed with a special permit.
There have also been plans to raise people's awareness about the
hazards of the pollution. One method that is currently being employed
is the installation of Pollution Indicator Boards all around the city
to monitor the current level of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen
dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide
See also: Demographics of Tehran
Further information: Ethnicities in Iran
Population of Tehran
Tehran in 1985 and 2009
The city of
Tehran had a population of approximately 7.8 million in
2006. With its cosmopolitan atmosphere,
Tehran is home to diverse
ethnic and linguistic groups from all over the country. The
present-day dominant language of
Tehran is the Tehrani variety of the
Persian language, and the majority of people in
themselves as Persians. However, before, the native language of
the Tehran–Ray region was not Persian, which is linguistically
Southwest Iranian and originates in Fars, but a now extinct
Northwestern Iranian language.
Iranian Azeris form the second-largest ethnic group of the city,
comprising about 25% to 1/3 of the total population, while
ethnic Mazanderanis are the third-largest, comprising about 16% of the
total population. Tehran's other ethnic communities include Kurds,
Armenians, Georgians, Bakhtyaris, Talysh, Baloch, Assyrians, Arabs,
Jews, and Circassians.
According to a 2010 census conducted by the Sociology Department of
the University of Tehran, in many districts of
Tehran across various
socio-economic classes in proportion to population sizes of each
district and socio-economic class, 63% of the people were born in
Tehran, 98% knew Persian, 75% identified themselves as ethnic Persian,
and 13% had some degree of proficiency in a European language.
Tehran saw a drastic change in its ethno-social composition in the
early 1980s. After the political, social, and economic consequences of
1979 Revolution and the years that followed, a number of Iranian
citizens, mostly Tehranis, left Iran. The majority of Iranian
emigrations have left for the United States, France, Germany, Sweden,
With the start of the
Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), a second wave of
inhabitants fled the city, especially during the Iraqi air offensives
on the capital. With most major powers backing
Iraq at the time,
economic isolation gave yet more reason for many inhabitants to leave
the city (and the country). Having left all they had and having
struggled to adapt to a new country and build a life, most of them
never came back when the war was over. During the war,
received a great number of migrants from the west and the southwest of
the country bordering Iraq.
The unstable situation and the war in neighboring
Afghanistan and Iraq
prompted a rush of refugees into the country who arrived in their
Tehran being a magnet for many seeking work, who
subsequently helped the city to recover from war wounds, working for
far less pay than local construction workers. Many of these refugees
are being repatriated with the assistance of the UNHCR, but there are
still sizable groups of Afghan and Iraqi refugees in
Tehran who are
reluctant to leave, being pessimistic about the situation in their own
countries. Afghan refugees are mostly Dari-speaking Tajik and Hazara,
speaking a variety of Persian, and Iraqi refugees are mainly
Mesopotamian Arabic-speakers who are often of Iranian heritage.
List of religious centers in Tehran
List of religious centers in Tehran and Religion in Iran
The majority of Tehranis are officially
Twelver Shia Muslims, which
has also been the state religion since the 16th-century Safavid
conversion. Other religious communities in the city include followers
of the Sunni and Mystic branches of Islam, various Christian
denominations, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Bahá'í Faith.
There are many religious centers scattered around the city, from old
to newly-built centers, including mosques, churches, synagogues, and
Zoroastrian fire temples. The city also has a very small
Sikh community that has a local gurdwara that
was visited by the Indian Prime Minister in 2012.
Tehran's Shah Mosque
Tehran's Greek Orthodox Church of Virgin Mary
Saint Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, Tehran
Yusef Abad Synagogue
Adrian Fire Temple, Tehran
See also: Economy of Iran, Industry of Iran, and Communications in
Central Bank of Iran
Tehran is the economic center of Iran. About 30% of Iran's
public-sector workforce and 45% of its large industrial firms are
located in the city, and almost half of these workers are employed by
the government. Most of the remainder of workers are factory
workers, shopkeepers, laborers, and transport workers.
Few foreign companies operate in Tehran, due to the government's
complex international relations. But prior to the 1979 Revolution,
many foreign companies were active in Iran. Tehran's present-day
modern industries include the manufacturing of automobiles,
electronics and electrical equipment, weaponry, textiles, sugar,
cement, and chemical products. It is also a leading center for the
sale of carpets and furniture. The oil refining companies of Pars Oil,
Speedy, and Behran are based in Tehran.
Tehran relies heavily on private cars, buses, motorcycles, and taxis,
and is one of the most car-dependent cities in the world. The Tehran
Stock Exchange, which is a full member of the World Federation of
Exchanges (WFE) and a founding member of the Federation of Euro-Asian
Stock Exchanges, has been one of the world's best performing stock
exchanges in recent years.
See also: List of shopping malls in Iran
Tehran has a wide range of shopping centers, and is home to over 60
modern shopping malls. The city has a number of commercial
districts, including those located at Valiasr, Davudie, and Zaferanie.
The largest old bazaars of
Tehran are the Grand
Bazaar and the Bazaar
Most of the international branded stores and upper-class shops are
located in the northern and western parts of the city. Tehran's retail
business is growing with several newly-built malls and shopping
Hyperstar, Tehran's subsidiary of French retailer Carrefour
Tirazhe Mall in western Tehran
Tandis Mall in Tajrish
Tehran's Old Grand Bazaar
See also: Tourism in Iran
Tehran, as one of the main tourist destinations in Iran, has a wealth
of cultural attractions. It is home to royal complexes of Golestan,
Saadabad and Niavaran, which were built under the reign of the
country's last two monarchies.
There are several historic, artistic and scientific museums in Tehran,
including the National Museum, the Malek Museum, the Cinema Museum at
Ferdows Garden, the Abgineh Museum, Museum of the Qasr Prison, the
Carpet Museum, the Reverse Glass Painting Museum (vitray art), and the
Safir Office Machines Museum. There is also the Museum of Contemporary
Art, which hosts works of famous artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo
Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
The Iranian Imperial Crown Jewels, one of the largest jewel
collections in the world, are also on display at Tehran's National
A number of cultural and trade exhibitions take place in Tehran, which
are mainly operated by the country's International Exhibitions
Company. Tehran's annual International Book Fair is known to the
international publishing world as one of the most important publishing
events in Asia.
National Museum of Iran
Museum of Contemporary Art
Carpet Museum of Iran
Museum of the Qasr Prison
See also: Transport in Iran
Highways and streets
See also: List of Expressways in Tehran
The metropolis of
Tehran is equipped with a large network of highways
Kordestan Expressway interchange with Resalat and Hakim expressways
A number of streets in
Tehran are named after international figures,
Henri Corbin Street, central Tehran
Simon Bolivar Boulevard, northwestern Tehran
Edward Browne Street, near the University of Tehran
Gandhi Street, northern Tehran
Mohammad Ali Jenah Expressway, western Tehran
Iqbal Lahori Street, eastern Tehran
Patrice Lumumba Street, western Tehran
Nelson Mandela Boulevard, northern Tehran
Bobby Sands Street, western side of the British Embassy
See also: Automotive industry in Iran
According to the head of
Tehran Municipality's Environment and
Sustainable Development Office,
Tehran was designed to have a capacity
of about 300,000 cars, but currently more than five million cars are
on the roads. The automation industry has recently developed, but
international sanctions influence the production processes
According to local media,
Tehran has more than 200,000 taxis plying
the roads daily, with several types of taxi available in the city.
Airport taxis have a higher cost per kilometer as opposed to regular
green and yellow taxis in the city.
Traffic light in Tehran
Traffic in Modares Expressway
Tehran's hybrid taxi
Tehran's former Mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, driving a taxi
Trolleybuses in Tehran
Trolleybuses in Tehran and
Tehran Bus Rapid Transit
Tehran's bus rapid transit at the Azadi Terminal
Buses have served the city since the 1920s. Tehran's transport system
includes conventional buses, trolleybuses, and bus rapid transit
(BRT). The city's four major bus stations include the South Terminal,
the East Terminal, the West Terminal, and the northcentral Beyhaghi
The trolleybus system was opened in 1992, using a fleet of 65
articulated trolleybuses built by Czechia's Škoda. This was the
first trolleybus system in Iran. In 2005, trolleybuses were
operating on five routes, all starting at Imam Hossein Square. Two
routes running northeastwards operate almost entirely in a segregated
busway located in the middle of the wide carriageway along Damavand
Street, stopping only at purpose-built stops located about every 500
metres along the routes, effectively making these routes
trolleybus-BRT (but they are not called such). The other three
trolleybus routes run south and operate in mixed-traffic. Both route
sections are served by limited-stop services and local (making all
stops) services. A 3.2-kilometer extension from Shoosh Square to
Rah Ahan Square was opened in March 2010.
Tehran's bus rapid transit (BRT) was officially inaugurated in 2008.
It has three lines with 60 stations in different areas of the city. As
of 2011[update], the BRT system had a network of 100 kilometres (62
miles), transporting 1.8 million passengers on a daily basis. The city
has also developed a bicycle sharing system that includes 12 hubs in
one of Tehran's districts.
Railway and subway
See also: Iranian Railways and
Tehran has a central railway station that connects services round the
clock to various cities in the country, along with a Tehran–Europe
train line also running.
The feasibility study and conceptual planning of the construction of
Tehran's subway system were started in the 1970s. The first two of the
eight projected metro lines were opened in 2001.
Tehran's railway station
Inside one of Tehran's subway stations
Stairway of Tehran's Khomeini metro station
Interior of one of Tehran's subway trains
Karaj Metro Station
See also: Airlines of Iran
Tehran is served by the international airports of Mehrabad and
Khomeini. Mehrabad Airport, an old airport in western
doubles as a military base, is mainly used for domestic and charter
flights. Khomeini Airport, located 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of
the city, handles the main international flights.
Parked airliners at the Mehrabad Airport
Entrance of the Khomeini Airport
Inside the Khomeini Airport
Undergoing maintenance at the Mehrabad Airport
Airbus A350 demonstration at the Mehrabad Airport
Parks and green spaces
See also: List of
Tehran metropolis parks
Jamshidie Park, Niavaran
There are over 2,100 parks within the metropolis of Tehran, with
one of the oldest being Jamshidie Park, which was first established as
a private garden for Qajar prince Jamshid Davallu, and was then
dedicated to the last empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. The total green
Tehran stretches over 12,600 hectares, covering over 20
percent of the city's area. The Parks and Green Spaces Organization of
Tehran was established in 1960, and is responsible for the protection
of the urban nature present in the city.
Tehran's Birds Garden is the largest bird park of Iran. There is also
a zoo located on the Tehran–
Karaj Expressway, housing over 290
species within an area of about five hectares.
There are four parks in
Tehran established exclusively for women,
totaling about 80 hectares in area, in which the female mandatory
dress codes are not required.
See also: Education in Iran, List of colleges and universities in
Tehran, and Science in Iran
Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Research Center
Tehran is the largest and the most important educational center of
Iran. There are a total of nearly 50 major colleges and universities
in Greater Tehran.
University of Tehran
University of Tehran is the oldest modern university of Iran.
Since the establishment of Dar ol Fonun by the order of
Amir Kabir in
the mid-19th century,
Tehran has amassed a large number of
institutions of higher education. Some of these institutions have
played crucial roles in the unfolding of Iranian political events.
Samuel M. Jordan, whom
Jordan Avenue in
Tehran was named after, was
one of the founding pioneers of the American College of Tehran, which
was one of the first modern high schools in the Middle East.
Among major educational institutions located in Tehran, Sharif
University of Technology, University of Tehran, and
of Medical Sciences are the most prestigious. Other major universities
Tehran University of Art, Allameh Tabatabaei
Amirkabir University of Technology
Amirkabir University of Technology (
K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Shahid Beheshti University
(Melli University), Kharazmi University,
Iran University of Science
Iran University of Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad
University, International Institute of
Earthquake Engineering and
Seismology, Iran's Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, Shahed
University, and Tarbiat Modarres University.
Tehran is also home to Iran's largest military academy, and several
religious schools and seminaries.
See also: Architecture of Tehran
The oldest surviving architectural monuments of
Tehran are from the
Qajar and Pahlavi eras. Although, considering the area of Greater
Tehran, monuments dating back to the Seljuk era remain as well;
notably the Toqrol Tower in Ray. There are also remains of Rashkan
Castle, dating back to the ancient Parthian Empire, of which some
artifacts are housed at the National Museum; and the Bahram fire
temple, which remains since the Sassanian Empire.
Tehran only had a small population until the late 18th century, but
began to take a more considerable role in Iranian society after it was
chosen as the capital city. Despite the regular occurrence of
earthquakes during the Qajar period and after, some historic buildings
have remained from that era.
Tehran is Iran's primate city, and is considered to have the most
modernized infrastructure in the country. However, the gentrification
of old neighborhoods and the demolition of buildings of cultural
significance has caused concerns.
A view of the building of the City Theater of Tehran
The Courthouse of Tehran
the National Garden
the National Garden
Qeytarie in February 2010
Previously a low-rise city due to seismic activity in the region,
modern high rise developments in
Tehran have been built in recent
decades in order to service its growing population. There have been no
major quakes in
Tehran since 1830.
Tehran's International Tower is the tallest residential building in
Iran. It is a 54-story building located in the northern district of
The Azadi Tower, a memorial built under the reign of the Pahlavi
dynasty, has long been the most famous symbol of Tehran. Originally
constructed in commemoration of the 2,500th year of the foundation of
the Imperial State of Iran, it combines elements of the architecture
of the Achaemenid and Sassanid eras with post-classical Iranian
architecture. The Milad Tower, which is the sixth tallest tower
and the 24th-tallest freestanding structure in the world, is the
city's other famous landmark tower. Leila Araghian's Tabiat Bridge,
the largest pedestrian overpass in Tehran, was completed in 2014 and
is also considered a landmark.
The Roudaki Hall, Tehran
Under the reign of the Qajars,
Tehran was home to the royal theater of
Tekye Dowlat, located to the southeast of the Golestan Palace, in
which traditional and religious performances were observed. It was
eventually destroyed and replaced with a bank building in 1947,
following the reforms under the reign of Reza Shah.
Before the 1979 Revolution, the Iranian national stage had become the
most famous performing scene for known international artists and
troupes in the Middle East, with the
Roudaki Hall of Tehran
constructed to function as the national stage for opera and ballet.
The hall was inaugurated in October 1967, named after prominent
Persian poet Rudaki. It is home to the
Tehran Symphony Orchestra, the
Tehran Opera Orchestra, and the Iranian National Ballet Company.
The City Theater of Tehran, one of Iran's biggest theater complexes
which contains several performance halls, was opened in 1972. It was
built at the initiative and presidency of empress Farah Pahlavi, and
was designed by architect Ali Sardar Afkhami, constructed within five
The annual events of Fajr Theater Festival and
Tehran Puppet Theater
Festival take place in Tehran.
Ferdows Garden houses Iran's Cinema Museum.
The first movie theater of
Tehran was established by Mirza Ebrahim
Khan in 1904. Until the early 1930s, there were 15 theaters in
Tehran Province and 11 in other provinces.
In present-day Tehran, most of the movie theaters are located
downtown. The complexes of Mellat Gallery and Cineplex, Azadi Cinema,
Cinema Farhang are among the most popular cinema complexes in
Several film festivals are held in Tehran, including Fajr Film
Festival, Children and Youth Film Festival, House of Cinema Festival,
Mobile Film and Photo Festival, Nahal Festival, Roshd Film Festival,
Tehran Animation Festival,
Tehran Short Film Festival, and Urban Film
See also: Sport in Iran
Football and volleyball are the city's most popular sports, while
wrestling, basketball, and futsal are also major parts of the city's
Dizin, Iran's largest ski resort, is located near Tehran.
12 ski resorts operate in Iran, the most famous being Tochal, Dizin,
and Shemshak, all within one to three hours from the city of Tehran.
Tochal's resort is the world's fifth highest ski resort at over 3,730
meters (12,240 feet) above sea level at its highest point. It is also
the world's nearest ski resort to a capital city. The resort was
opened in 1976, shortly before the 1979 Revolution. It is equipped
with a 8-kilometre-long (5 mi) gondola lift that covers a huge
vertical distance. There are two parallel chair ski lifts in
Tochal that reach 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) high near Tochal's peak
(at 4,000 m/13,000 ft), rising higher than the gondola's 7th
station, which is higher than any of the European ski resorts. From
Tochal peak, one has a spectacular view of the
including the 5,610-metre-high (18,406 ft) Mount Damavand, a
Azadi Stadium is the largest football stadium in West Asia.
Tehran is the site of the national stadium of Azadi, the biggest
stadium by capacity in West Asia, where many of the top matches of
Iran's Premier League are held. The stadium is a part of the Azadi
Sport Complex, which was originally built to host the 7th Asian Games
in September 1974. This was the first time the
Asian Games were hosted
in West Asia.
Tehran played host to 3,010 athletes from 25
countries/NOCs, which was at the time the highest number of
participants since the inception of the Games. That followed
hosting the 6th AFC Asian Cup in June 1976, and then the first West
Asian Games in November 1997. The success of the games led to the
creation of the
West Asian Games Federation (WAGF), and the intention
of hosting the games every two years. The city had also hosted the
final of the 1968 AFC Asian Cup. Several FIVB Volleyball World League
courses have also been hosted in Tehran.
The first football club of Tehran, named
Iran Club, was founded in
1920 and dissolved within two years in 1923. Today, Tehran's oldest
existing football club is Rah Ahan, which was founded in 1937.
Persepolis and Esteghlal, which are the city's biggest clubs and two
of the biggest clubs in Asia, compete in the
also home to the football club of Ararat, a popular Armenian football
team based at the Ararat Stadium.
The following table lists Tehran's six major football clubs.
Rah Ahan F.C.
Azadegan League (AZL)
Tehran Province League
Iran Pro League (IPL)
Iran Pro League (IPL)
Iran Pro League (IPL)
Iran Pro League (IPL)
Smaller clubs based in
Tehran are listed below.
Niroo Zamini F.C.
See also: Iranian cuisine
There are many restaurants and cafes in Tehran, both modern and
classic, serving both Iranian and cosmopolitan cuisine. Pizzerias,
sandwich bars, and kebab shops make up the majority of food shops in
A restaurant in Darband
A pizzeria in Kamyab Street, Tehran
A Japanese restaurant in Tehran
Shemroon Cafe, in Tehran's Iranian Art Museum
Main article: Graffiti in Tehran
A scene from the 2016 documentary film Writing on the City, showing
graffiti in Tehran's Sa'adat Abad
Many styles of graffiti are seen in Tehran. Some are mainly political
and revolutionary slogans painted by governmental organizations,
and some are works of art by ordinary citizens, representing their
views on both social and political issues. However, unsanctioned
street art is forbidden in Iran, and such works are usually
During the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests, many graffiti
works were created by people supporting the Green Movement. They were
removed from the walls by the paramilitary
In recent years,
Tehran Municipality has been using graffiti in order
to beautify the city. Several graffiti festivals have also taken place
in Tehran, including the one organized by the
Tehran University of Art
in October 2014.
Twin towns and partner cities
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Tehran is twinned with:
State / Province / Region / Governorate
Seoul National Capital Area
La Habana Province
Venezuelan Capital District
Central Federal District
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tehran has also signed Mutual Cooperation and Understanding with a
number of cities, including Baghdad, Kabul, London, Milan, New York
City, and Saint Petersburg.[dead link]
A panoramic view of
Tehran at night
A panoramic view of
Tehran during the day
A panoramic view of
Tehran during the day
Iran International Exhibitions Company
Islamic City Council of Tehran
Tehran City Council (1968–1979)
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Tehran visit to give impetus to city diplomacy 30
See also: Bibliography of the history of Tehran
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tehran.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Tehran.
Google Map: Tehran
Tehran Municipality website
Tehran Geographic Information Center
Tehran Traffic Control Center
Tehran Yellow pages (Ketabe Avval)
Tehranimages. A photographic project focusing on neglected pieces of
architecture in downtown Tehran, Iran.
Tehran's detailed development plan
Tehran today – Part I Part II Part III
Iranian architecture in
Press TV (2010)
Tehran's hazardous air quality
Articles Related to Tehran
Lat. and Long. 35°41′46″N 51°25′23″E / 35.69611°N
51.42306°E / 35.69611; 51.42306
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