Tehran Itinerary And Travel Guide: Best Places To See On A Budget

Tehran Itinerary And Travel Guide: Best Places To See On A Budget

By DAN FORTEZA

Iran’s exceptional artistic heritage and the incredibly hospitable and friendly people make visiting the land of Ancient Persia a fascinating experience. I visited Iran for the first time last September 2019 and my visit in Tehran was truly unforgettable. So without further ado, let me share with you my 4-day Tehran itinerary with travel guides which include Tehran’s top attractions specifically for budget travelers.

Hi there! First of all, I am Daniel – a solo backpacker from the Philippines. If you don’t know my story yet, feel free to read this article where I talked about how I quit my job in order to travel. This article was also featured on TripZilla Philippines.

At the Negarestan Museum | Dantravels.org
At the Negarestan Museum | Dantravels.org

Aside from Tehran, I also went to Damavand City (east of Tehran) wherein a Couchsurfer hosted me for a night. I will be creating a separate blog about my memorable experience in Damavand for sure!

DO YOU NEED A VISA?

Depending on your nationality, you might or might not need a visa. Check out my Iran visa guide to check if you’re legible for an e-visa or visa on arrival or no visa at all.

OTHER REMINDERS:

  • Bring CASH!

IMPORTANT: Bring CASH in either USD or Euro. Take note that Mastercard or Visa and the likes are not accepted in any of Iran’s ATM. Before you go to Iran, make sure you have some cash with you in either USD or Euro. While I was in Bangkok, I immediately bought some dollar cash. Then you can easily exchange you cash to rial in Tehran specifically in Ferdowsi avenue.

  • COVER yourself!

IMPORTANT: If you’re a woman, a headscarf is required in Iran. So make sure you put your scarf on once you get off the plane. Regardless of gender, wearing long pants are preferred. It is not illegal to wear shorts but it is not usual (people might stare at you.)

WHERE IS TEHRAN?

Tehran is the capital and most populous city in Iran. It is located to the north of the central plateau of Iran. It is a 3-hour flight away from Istanbul, roughly a 3 ½-hour flight away from either Dubai or Moscow, and about 5 hours from Frankfurt.

Language: Farsi (Persian)
Currency: Iranian Rial (IRR)*
Airport: IKA, THR
Preferred mode of transportation: Metro Train / Subway
Time Zone: GMT +3 ½

*Although the “toman” is no longer an official unit of the Iranian currency, Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices of goods in tomans. (1 toman = 10 rial.)

NOTE: The exchange rate you see on Google.com for Iranian Rial is not very accurate. When I was in Iran, the exchange rate on the street of Tehran is in the range of 110,000-114,000 rials for every US dollar vs 42,102 rials for every US dollar per Google rate. Again, Ferdowsi is the famous avenue where you can find several shops to exchange your dollars.

FLIGHTS TO TEHRAN:

Finding a cheap flight ticket to Tehran, Iran from the Middle East is relatively easy. I booked mine coming from Colombo, Sri Lanka with a layover at Muscat’s airport in Oman. My flight carrier was Oman Air.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

HOW TO GET AROUND?

    • Subways are the best way to get around Tehran. But as I mentioned in my budget travel tips blog – “walk as much as you can!

One-way subway ticket normally just costs 15,000 rial (0.12 USD). Very cheap!

    • Go with Taxis if not accessible by subways. In general, you can get 3 kinds of taxis in Iran or better say, Tehran: Getting a Darbast (private taxi) in the street, getting a normal shuttle or shared taxi in the street, calling a taxi using Snapp (Iranian Uber).

HOW I GOT TO THE CITY:

I arrived at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) at around 3:40 AM from a 3 ½-hour flight from Muscat, Oman. I then headed to the visa section hall to process my Iran visa-on-arrival. The whole visa process took about 40 minutes to complete.

After passing through the border check gate, I met a friend of mine (Mohsen) who was waiting for me at the exit of the arrival area. He drove me to my hostel in downtown Tehran. It was around 6:00 in the morning when we arrived there.

Mohsen and I | Dantravels.org
Mohsen and I | Dantravels.org

In case you don’t have a ride like mine (haha!), you can take either a taxi or subway (airport to downtown) which I personally prefer. Subways normally start to operate at 7:00 AM. One-way subway ticket normally just costs 15,000 rial (0.12 USD). Very cheap, right?

WHERE DID I STAY?

  • Tehran Heritage Hostel (click here to book)
    • Hostel room type: Bunk Bed in Mixed Dormitory Room
    • Hostel rate: 7 – 8 USD per night
    •  Hostel also offers FREE breakfast!!!
    • Nearest subway tation: Baharestan station

NOTE: I usually book my hostel accommodation at booking.com but looks like Tehran’s hostels/hotels are not available in Booking.com neither in Agoda, so I used HostelWorld. Just like Booking.com, they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

MY 4-DAY TEHRAN ITINERARY

DAY 1:

1st Stop: Azadi Tower

Starting off the day with one of the most iconic landmarks of Iran is this tower in Tehran. This is the Azadi Tower and is easily accessible by the subway at Azadi Square station.

Azadi Tower from my Tehran itinerary | Dantravels.org
Azadi Tower | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2-3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Azadi Square station.

2nd Stop: Tabiat Bridge

Tabiat Bridge is the largest pedestrian overpass in Tehran. The 270-meter (890 ft) bridge connects two public parks — Taleghani Park and Abo-Atash Park — by spanning Modarres Expressway. From Shahid Haqqani station, I took a 10-minute hike along the Taleghani Park to reach the bridge.

Tabiat Bridge from my Tehran itinerary
Tabiat Bridge | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Shahid Haqqani station

3rd Stop: Milad Tower

Standing at 435 meters, Milad Tower is the tallest man-made structure in Iran. I took this photo while crossing the footbridge near Medan-e Sana’t station.

Milad Tower from my Tehran itinerary
Milad Tower | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Medan-e Sana’t station

DAY 2:

4th Stop: Theater Building

After the heavy breakfast c/o Tehran Heritage Hostel (my hostel), I headed to the City Theater subway station to see this famous Theater Buiding in Tehran.

Tehran's Theater Buiding from my Tehran itinerary
Tehran's Theater Buiding | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • Nearest train station: City Theater station

5th Stop: Laleh Park

Did you know that I walked 2 km to get here? Though the weather was hot, that long-distance doesn’t seem noticeable when you’re having fun walking and wandering the city of Tehran. With the help of my pre-downloaded Google Maps, I’ve reached this beautiful green area (from the City Theatre Building) which is, by the way, one of the biggest parks in Tehran.

Laleh Park | Dantravels.org
Laleh Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2-3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Meydan-e Enghelab-e Islami station

6th Stop: Saint Sarkis Cathedral

Iran is obviously an Islamic country, but believe it or not, there are few Christian Churches here as well. I went to the Saint Sarkis Catherdral to see it for myself. As soon as I enter the gate of the church, an old man called me while signaling his hand for me to come inside the church. It was beautiful inside. Calm and serene. I sit there for a while and prayed. (I was born Catholic by the way in case you’re wondering.)

To get there: I again took the subway and get off at Meydan-e Vale Asr. Then I just walked 10-15 minutes to reach this church.

Saint Sarkis Cathedral | Dantravels.org
Saint Sarkis Cathedral | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Meydan-e Vale Asr station

7th Stop: Honarmandan Park or Artists Park

Another recreational area with lushed green trees is the Honarmandan Park or Artists Park in Tehran. It is considered as a very important cultural and artistic location in Tehran. It is about 11-15 min by foot from Saint Sarkis Cathedral.

Honarmandan Park or Artists Park | Dantravels.org
Honarmandan Park or Artists Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Meydan-e Vale Asr station

8th Stop: Negarestan Museum and Garden

Negarestan Art Gallery Museum and its garden! My newfound friend Mojtaba (from my Instagram post) took me here. He even paid for my museum ticket which cost 200,000 rials (1.8 USD). This museum is close to my hostel in Baharestan.

At the Negarestan Museum | Dantravels.org
At the Negarestan Museum | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Baharestan station

DAY 3:

9th Stop: TAJRISH BAZAAR

I started the morning going up north of Tehran at Tajrish and its Bazaar. Tajrish Bazaar is a great place to see how traditional markets look like in Tehran, from fresh fruits and vegetables to piles of Safran, traditional sweets, all kinds of herbs, olives, home-made sauces, and bizarre stuff.

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tajrish station

10th Stop: Jamshidiyeh Park

From Tarjish, I went further up north to Jamshidiyeh Park. Also known as Stone Garden, Jamshidiyeh Park climbs steeply up the lower reaches of the Alborz Mountains. What a beautiful park!

How to get up there: I went by taxi from Tarjish. Taxi is the only transportation option to get you there. COST of taxi (one way): 200,000 rials (1.8 USD). How to get down: I was in the mode of walking so I went for a stroll down the street of Omidvar till I reach the bigger street of Bahonar. From Bahonar, I took the bus going to Tajrish which saved me some cash instead of going by taxi. COST of bus (w/ hike; one way): 15,000 rials (0.13 USD).

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2-3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tajrish station (need a taxi to get there)

11th: Darband

Another great place to see near Tarjish is Darband. Aside from its cooler weather, Darband offers expensive-looking restaurants and a nice trekking route complete with rivers and waterfalls. For me, this place feels too touristy and the food is pricey, too. So I’d rather eat my “chicken with rice” again down the avenue near Laleh Park haha! How to get there: I took a taxi from Tarjish. If you have strong legs for a 3-km hike, go for it and hike up! COST of taxi: 150,000 rials (1.4 USD).

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2-3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tajrish station

DAY 4:

12th Stop: Tehran’s National Garden (Bagh Melli)

The National Garden is a historical and governmental compound in Tehran, Iran. Formerly referred to as the Parade Square, it used to be a military shooting range during the Qajar period. It was then turned into a public park for a short period, and eventually important governmental offices and museums were built around it.

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Emam Khomeini station

13th Stop: Golestan Palace

Visiting Tehran will not be complete without seeing the Golestan Palace as it is one of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran. The complex of Golestan Palace consists of 17 structures, including palaces, museums, and halls. The palace is just a short walk from the National Garden.

The admission ticket costs 150,000 rials and there are several add-ons to see as well such as Main Palace (310,000 rials), Howz Khaneh (80,000 rials), Edifice of the Sun (80,000 rials), Wind Tower (80,000 rials), Ethnology Museum (80,000 rials), Halls of Diamonds (80,000 rials), Marble Throne (80,000 rials). As for me, I only purchased the admission ticket just for the sake of telling myself I’ve seen it before leaving Tehran.

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 3-4 hours
    • Nearest train station: Emam Khomeini or Kayyam station

14th Stop: Tehran Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar is considered the heart of the business of Tehran. So many shops here at Tehran Grand Bazaar! This is something not to be missed in Tehran.

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • Nearest train station: Kayyam station

15th Stop: BAM-E, TEHRAN

Bam-e Tehran (also known as The Roof of Tehran) is a place located in the north of Tehran where you can go to have a fair view of the city. You can walk through the walking path – it has a mild slope or gets on the available inexpensive bus to get there. There are kiosks and food stalls along the way and at the end of the path.

My friend Mohsen and his wife took me here by car before I leave Iran the next day for Georgia.

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 2-3 hours
    • Nearest train station: Tajrish station (need a taxi to get there)

What do you think of this 4-day TEHRAN itinerary?

I hope that you find this 4-DAY TEHRAN ITINERARY useful!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.

BOOKING ESSENTIALS

  • Hotel / Hostel
    • HostelWorld. I usually book my hostel accommodation at booking.com but looks like Tehran’s hostels/hotels are not available in Booking.com neither in Agoda, so I used HostelWorld. Just like Booking.com, they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.
  • Flights
    • KAYAK. All of my flight bookings are all from KAYAK. Kayak is one of the world’s leading travel search engines and searches hundreds of travel sites.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

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