Tehran, Iran’s capital, is one of the most beautiful megacities in western Asia. With a population of more than 15 million people, it’s snuggled up on the slopes of Alborz Mountain Range which itself includes Mount Damavand, the highest mountain in the Middle East. The first factor contributing to the city’s splendor is the majestic mountain range that lies to its north where Tehran’s socializing hotspots like Darband and its wonderful ski resorts are located. There are chic restaurants, cafes, and teahouses all around the city and despite the city’s relatively short history, Tehran is home to great museums and palaces that embody the ancient Persian culture. The city’s numerous art galleries are also frequently visited by fashionable Iranian artists and art lovers.
Most of the tourists travelling to Iran arrive in planes that land at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA). Tehran is also the last city that most of the tourists visit because they have to fly back home from IKIA. Due to its central location in Iran, Tehran has come to be like a base for professional travelers who travel to cities in Iran’s north, northwest, northeast or other directions. It happens that some travelers come and stay in Tehran up to three times during their trip in Iran.
Compared to ancient cities like Shiraz that is around 7000 years old, Tehran does not have a long history. The earliest records on Tehran go back to the 13th century when Tehran was just a village in Rey’s suburb. And Rey, itself being an important center of commerce and politics at that time was plundered during the Mongols’ invasion in 1220 and many people from Rey fled to Tehran and took refuge there. These very refugees made the city prosper in later years. It was in the 16th century that Tehran’s amazing weather conditions and gardens attracted the attention of one of the Safavid Shahs called Tahmasp I. He fortified Tehran and the town became a popular destination for the rest of the Safavid Shahs who took the throne after Tahmasp I and the town continued to prosper. In 1789, Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, the first Shah of the Qajar Dynasty conquered the throne and later on moved the capital from Shiraz to Tehran. The city expanded very fast during the reigns of Qajar and Pahlavi Shahs and after the Islamic revolution in 1979, it gained huge importance as the capital of one of the few politically independent countries in the world.
There are few hostels in Tehran and as far as the hotels are concerned, they're relatively expensive. There is one major factor behind the high rates of hotels in Tehran and that is the astronomical prices of properties in this city. If one is to buy a piece of land or a nice building in the north of this city and start a hotel in Tehran, he/she will have to invest a fortune. Still, we have tried our best to enlist Tehran's most popular and convenient accommodation options on this website.
The best time to visit Tehran is during Nowruz (Persian New Year) two-week-long holiday starting from March 21. This is true especially during its first 5 days when more than half of Tehran's huge population go on vacation to other cities. In these 5 days the Grand Bazaar in Tehran and most of the shops are closed. On the other hand, most of the sights that usually attract foreign tourists such as museums, gardens and mountain resorts are open. Needless to say, Tehran’s best weather conditions are also experienced during these 5 days.
At this moment that I’m writing this text (Dec 2015), Tehran is considered a polluted city. This misfortune is the result of a series of inefficient, corrupt mayors who took office in the past twenty years. Most of the Tehrani people are abhorred by the way the mayors are bribed to ignore the property owners who uproot the ancient trees and construct ugly buildings. Tehran is mostly polluted in Oct, Nov, and Dec but for the rest of the year it’s survivable.
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