Top ChoicePalace in Tehran

Golestan Palace

Golestan Palace

The glories and excesses of the Qajar rulers are played out across this complex of grand buildings decorated with beautifully painted tiles and set around an elegant garden that's worth visiting in its own right....

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tehran

Sa’d Abad Museum Complex

Sprawling across the foothills of Darband, this estate was a summer home to royals since the Qajar dynasty, although it was the Pahlavis who expanded it to the site you see today. Covering 110 hectares and...

Top ChoiceBazaar in Tehran

Grand Bazaar

The maze of bustling alleys and the bazaris (shopkeepers) that fill them make this a fascinating, if somewhat daunting, place to explore. Despite being known as the Grand Bazaar, most of the architecture is less...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tehran

Niyavaran Cultural-Historic Complex

In the Alborz foothills is the palace where Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his family spent most of the last 10 years of royal rule. It’s set in 5 hectares of landscaped gardens and has six separate museums, the...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tehran

Iran Holy Defense Museum

This epic-scale museum, on a landscaped site of 21 hectares, is dedicated to the Iran–Iraq War, a bloody eight-year conflict that claimed a million lives. The main building consists of seven halls that...

Top ChoiceMonument in Tehran

Azadi Tower (Borj-e Azadi)

The inverted-Y-shaped Azadi Tower, built in 1971 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the first Persian empire, is one of Tehran's visual icons. Designed by Hossein Amanat, it ingeniously combines modern...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tehran

Treasury of National Jewels

Treasury of National Jewels

Owned by the Central Bank and accessed through its front doors, the cavernous vault that houses what is commonly known as the ‘Jewels Museum’ is not to be missed. The Safavid, Qajar and Pahlavi monarchs adorned...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tehran

Islamic Museum

Next door to the National Museum, and part of the same complex, this museum offers a stunning collection of arts and antiquities from throughout the Islamic period, including calligraphy, carpets, ceramics,...

Top ChoiceBridge in Tehran

Tabiat Bridge

It's easy to see why this multilevel, sculptural pedestrian bridge, designed by Iranian architect Leila Araghian, has won awards and been a huge hit with locals. The 270m long walkway connecting Park-e Taleghani...

Top ChoiceIranian in Tehran

Dizi

The name gives a clue to the menu: that's right, it's Iran's favourite lamb, potato and chickpea stew. Here they do it damn well, served with all the trimmings including fresh herb salad and a jug of the minty...

Top ChoiceIranian in Tehran

Divan

Plush Divan is the pick of several restaurants operated by the Monsoon Group on the 8th floor of the swanky Sam Center. Chic furnishings, including striking portraits by Iranian artist Fataneh Dadkhah, set the...

Top ChoiceIranian in Tehran

Azari Traditional Teahouse

Just north of the train station, this large and wonderfully atmospheric chaykhaneh (teahouse) is justly popular with locals. The dizi (lamb, potato and chickpea stew) and kashk-e bademjan (eggplant fried and...

Top ChoiceMarket in Tehran

Jomeh Bazaar

All levels of this car park are transformed every Friday morning when traders from across Iran and Central Asia and members of the general public lay out their stalls to sell whatever they can. It’s a lively,...

Top ChoiceIranian in Tehran

Koohpayeh

There's fierce competition for diners at the many restaurants and teahouses that line the babbling river that flows through Darband, but most in-the-know locals favour this elegant place near the start of the...

Top ChoiceCafe in Tehran

Sam Cafe

A coffee roaster dominates the entrance to the slickest of north Tehran's many fashionable cafes and chief hang-out of the city's privileged. Down your third-wave brew at the long shared table or lounging in a...

Top ChoiceIranian in Tehran

Gilaneh

Rustic wooden beams, glazed tiles and a lively, friendly atmosphere all set the scene for the delicious Gilan-region food served at one of Tehran's most popular restaurants. Sample the mix of dips and the deep...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tehran

Qasr Garden Museum

This imaginative sculpture park and museum occupies two former prisons, one for criminals and one for political prisoners, and the grounds surrounding them. The architects Experimental Branch of Architecture have...

Top ChoiceTeahouse in Tehran

Haj Ali Darvish Teahouse

There's been a teahouse here next to Abdollah Khan Madrassa since 1917, and Haj Kazem's father Ali took over the business in 1962. It's now a stand-up 2m-wide stall rather than a sit-down teahouse, but still...

Top ChoiceIranian in Mt Damavand

Koohestan

Run by clued-up, English-speaking mountaineer Amir, this cosy log-cabin-style restaurant serves up excellent kababs, braised lamb shanks and vegetable dishes. It's on your left near the top of the hill as you...

Top ChoiceIranian in Tehran

Khoone

The next best thing to getting invited to a Tehrani's home for a meal is sampling the lovingly made dishes at this cute, cosy cafe. Khoone means 'home' in Farsi and the place is deliberately designed to put...