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Tehran

Travel Guide Middle East Iran Tehran

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Introduction

Azadi monument

Azadi monument

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Tehran is the capital, largest city and central hub of Iran. A sprawling, modern city whose contemporary architecture belies its rich history, Tehran is home to nearly 8 million people, though unofficial estimates are almost 50% higher. Tehran lies at the base of the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran.

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Sights and Activities

Thanks to the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah, who believed historical buildings had no place in a modern city, many of the symbols of Tehran's history were systematically destroyed over the past half-century. There are, however, a few notable exceptions, such as the Golestan Palace. There are also a number of modern buildings, such as the Maydun-e Azadi or Freedom Square which is the icon of the city.

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Weather

Tehran generally has warm to hot weather. Average summer temperatures (June to September) are between 32 °C and 37 °C, but highs of 43 °C have been recorded. Nights are still warm, around 20 °C. Winters are mostly mild during the day, between 7 °C and 11 °C from December to February, but drop below zero in January mainly. Nights of around -20 °C have been recorded. May to October is almost completely dry, while most of the rain (and some snow, but sparce) falls from November to April. Humidity is fairly low year round, somewhat higher in winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max7.2 °C9.9 °C15.4 °C21.9 °C28 °C34.1 °C36.8 °C35.4 °C31.5 °C24 °C16.5 °C9.8 °C
Avg Min-1.1 °C0.7 °C5.2 °C10.9 °C16.1 °C20.9 °C24 °C23 °C19.2 °C12.9 °C6.7 °C1.3 °C
Rainfall37.2 mm34 mm37.4 mm27.8 mm15.2 mm2.9 mm2.5 mm1.4 mm0.9 mm13.7 mm20.6 mm36.3 mm
Rain Days6.45.16.35.43.80.90.50.40.32.63.46

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Getting There

By Plane

International
Iran Air is the main national airline of Iran and is based at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) near Tehran. It flies to a significant number of cities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and destinations include Bangkok, Rome, Amsterdam, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Moscow, London and Beirut. Dozens of other airlines serve the airport, for example with budget airline Air Arabia from Sharjah, Air Asia X from Kuala Lumpur, and Air France and KLM from Paris and Amsterdam. Most airines are within the region, serving cities like Damascus, Kuwait and Dubai and several cities in Central Asia.

Domestic
Iran Air and Aseman Air among a few other airlines have an extensive network of domestic flights. The main destinations from Tehran include Tabriz, Mashad, Esfahan, Shiraz, Kish and Zahedan, but there are several more options that might come in handy. Prices are very low compared to many other countries and a one hour flight generally won't cost much more than around 40 USD.

To/from the airport

  • Car: Imam Khomeini Airport is accessible from Tehran by using the Tehran-Qom Freeway. An airport access road connects the freeway to the airport terminal.
  • Rail: An extension to the southern part of Line 1 of Tehran Metro for IKA airport is currently under construction and scheduled to reach the airport in first quarter of 2011. There is also plan to have Line 3 of the Tehran Metro to reach it's southern terminus at IKA in future.

Although it's still the busiest airport in the country, the Mehrabad International Airport is now mostly used for domestic flights, cargo and special Haj and Umrah flights.

By Train

International
The Trans-Asia Express travels on a weekly schedule between the gateway to Asia, Istanbul, and the Tehran. Trains leave Istanbul Wednesdays at around 11:00pm and arrives in Tehran about 70 hours later. In the opposite directions, trains leave Tehran Thurdays around 6:30pm and take about the same time. The trainride is divided into two parts, one from Istanbul to Lake Van and one from Lake Van to Tehran and only one carriage actually is moved over the lake to make the entire journey.

There is a weekly train travelling from Damascus to Tehran, stopping in Aleppo in Syria and Tabriz in Iran along the way. Like the train from Istanbul to Tehran, the journey contains two stages, one to Lake Van and one from Lake Van onwards.

Domestic
Raja Trains offers a number of comfortable, reliable and cheap rail links across the country, some of which are really spectactular like the Tehran to Mashad overnight train. The main routes include Tehran - Jolfa, Tehran - Gorgan, Tehran - Bandar-e-Abbas, Tehran - Mashhad and Tehran - Khorramshahr. Notable stops on the routes are Qom, Kashan, Shiraz, Esfahan and Yazd, which are all reachable by train.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Pariz Hotel17, Mina Blvd, Afrigha Ave. TehranHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

You'll find internet cafes in most cities and even smaller towns now have access to the world wide web. Like other countries with a very strict censorship, the country has strict rules about using the internet and also has a very restricted domestic version, highly unlikely to be used by travellers. Connections are generally good and it's cheap to use as well.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international country calling code of Iran is +98. Special numbers include 110 for the Police, 115 for Ambulance, 125 for the Fire Department and 112 for calls from mobile phones. Iran Telecom is the main telecommunication company in the country and provides, together with Irancell, almost all mobile services as well.
You can find a complete list of telephone codes at Farsinet.com.

Post

The I.R. Iran Post Service is the national postal service in Iran. Services are fairly reliable and cheap, but rather slow. It usually takes at least several weeks for your letter or postcard to arrive in European countries, longer for other Western areas. Post officies generally are open from around 7:30am to 3:00pm Saturday to Thursday, so the main offices in big cities tend to have somewhat longer hours. Your best bet is to visit in the morning if you need to use their services. Stamps can usually be bought at small shops and kiosks as well. Sending parcels is more expensive but also quicker and more reliable with international companies like FedEx, DHL, TNT and UPS.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 35.7061
  • Longitude: 51.4358

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This is version 11. Last edited at 8:17 on Oct 14, 11 by Utrecht. 54 articles link to this page.

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