A huge city in the north of Iran with pre-Islamic influences, Tehran is now a bustling, buzzing megalopolis. In much the same way that Beirut is reaping the benefits of supporting and promoting a bright, young generation of natives, Tehran has set its eyes on the road to modernity.
So what can visitors expect to see? It’s hard to ignore the giant 435 meter Milad Tower, the centerpiece of an international area and a shining example of the city's forward-thinking attitude. But of Tehran’s numerous monuments, the most iconic is the Azadi Tower, the true gateway to the city.
For a throwback to the Persian era, the Golestan Palace and its numerous structures provide a great educational base. The mosaic walls of Karim Khani Nook are among the most beautiful in the region.
In Tehran, modern shopping malls jostle for your attention alongside traditional souks like the Tajrish marketplace. The Grand Bazaar is the city’s busiest shopping area; food, clothing, jewelry, rugs, and trinkets spill out from shops into the streets.
The range of restaurants puts Tehran in the same league as some of the best foodie cities in the world. On one end of the scale there are humble kebab houses welcoming thousands of people a day. On the other sits black gold—caviar, a popular export that can be found in Tehran’s best restaurants.
Traditional teahouses are the hub of the social scene for locals and visitors alike. Live music accompanies dinner in these atmospheric settings, which often host guests around large tables, making them great places to meet some of Iran’s friendly locals.