Tehran Travel Guide, Iran
Tehran: The Heart of Persia
It is a vast metropolis housing 12 million people from all over Iran. A truly modern city with roots in antiquity, this juxtaposition is what gives Tehran its vibrant spirit. With its rich history and unique culture, Tehran is the true gateway to modern Persia.
Giant at the Foot of the Mountains
Counted among the largest cities in the world, this sprawling city rests at the base of the Alborz range in Western Iran. With these mountains to the north and the central desert in the south, the city displays a diverse array of various landscapes. Local Tehranis particularly enjoy the towering Mount Damavand, the highest peak in Iran.
Boasting a relatively mild climate for the region, Tehran's seasons are relatively orthodox. The weather is mild in springtime and hot and dry in the summers. The numerous parks give ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Cool rainy autumns and cold winters round out the year when enthusiasts troop to Tochal to enjoy world class skiing.
Proud Prince of Ancient Persia
As part of the Persian Empire, the history of Tehran is rich in Middle Eastern mystique. Although human occupation in the area can be traced back to over six thousand years, it only gained its identity as 'Tehran' in the 13th century. It gained steadily in prominence eventually becoming the seat of Persian Civilization in the 1795 when the Shah Agha Mohammad Khan was crowned in the city. Foreign visitors can still see the fabled Peacock Throne in Golestan Palace.
Strategically located in the crossroads of European and Asian civilizations Tehran still enjoys an important role in world affairs. Building on the glories of its past, it is a bustling modern city with one of the world's highest urban growth rates. It houses many impressive edifices with the Iranian government complexes in the center and the commercial districts further north. The Azadi or Freedom Tower is its best known symbol. Its construction commemorated 2500 years of the Persian Empire.
A Piquant Slice of Iranian Life
A cosmopolitan hub of commerce and industry, Tehran’s population represents the diverse breadth of Iranian culture. The official language is Persian but its inhabitants speak a gamut of tongues from Arabian to Punjabi. Most are followers of the state religion Shia Islam; but the city remains mostly secular with many different houses of worship. Students from all over the region come to study in its prestigious learning institutions. This mélange of influences has resulted in a vigorous cuisine guaranteed to excite even the most jaded of palates.
The local infrastructure has grown to meet the needs of the populace boasting an impressive network of highways. Tehranis rely on private cars and motorcycles but the city has a clean and convenient metro system. Visitors will find it easy to access the city's many attractions. Of special note is its wealth of museums with varied offerings including contemporary art as well as the Imperial Crown Jewels.
For anyone from scholars and long-time admirers of Persian culture to beginners longing for a taste of modern Iran, Tehran is a destination designed to delight.
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