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The modern powerhouse of the government and its engineers, Tehran (meaning warm slope) was originally a village on the suburb of Rey, Iranian capital until Mongol invasion of the country in I220 AD; when it population moved to the present site of Tehran. Actually, very little is known of the origin and early history of Tehran. It is possible that it may date back to the ninth century AD, but for the first few hundred years of its existence it was an insignificant town, its development being retarded by its proximity to the larger and flourishing Rey {now 7 km to the south of Tehran).

Karim Khan Zand, Shah of Iran (1750- 79) came to Tehran in 1759. He was evidently most favorably impressed with the town and its situation, for he gave orders for a government office to be erected there that would rival the great Sassanian palace at Ctesiphon, as well as a number of other building. He entertained for a time the idea o(making Tehran his capital in place of Shiraz, but finally he dropped the idea and returned to Shiraz.


Tehran's development as an independent city, however, began in the 18th century,  when it was finally made Iran's capital by Agha Mohammad Khan, the first of the Qajars impressed with Tehran, in 1795, because of its enjoying special importance from the geographical, political, and economical points of view. That is why most of the historical buildings of Tehran are of the Qajar period.
With a difference in elevation of more than 500 meters, and an officially announced population of 6,620,461 (according to 1992 census) in an approximate area of 600 square km, modern Tehran is situated on the northern fringe of the great central plateau and at the foot of the southern slope of the impressive mountain chain of Alborz. The Towchal ridge, just under 4,000 meters high (which was climbed by Fath-Ali Shah Qajar, successor of Agha Mohammad Khan) dominates the town on the north; while nearly 80 km to the northeast, but seemingly much closer in the clear air of the Iranian uplands, is the magnificent snow-capped volcanic cone of Damavand, 5,670 meters in height (see also Sports and Games), the highest mountain in Iran with which many legends are connected. According to one such legend, Zoroaster once lived on the lower slopes of Damavand, close to where the picturesque village of Ask now stands. Also according to another legend, many of the episodes of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh have taken place in and around this same mountain.


The 200th anniversary of Tehran's nomination as the nation's capital was celebrated in 1991. Probably the first European to visit Tehran was Don Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo, the Ambassador of King Henry III of Castile to the Great Timur. Clavjjo halted at Tehran in July 1,404, while on his long journey to Timur's court at Samarqand.
Despite being a creation of early twentieth century, the present-day Tehran is becoming an established highlight on the foreign tourist's itinerary because of its vestiges of antiquity dating mainly from the Qajar period. For some, its attractions are shops, well stocked with every modern product, as well as local handicrafts, and the museums with their spectacular exhibits on display. Since most international flights take in Mehrabad Airport, the town has become an important distribution center for visitors from abroad. Furthermore, its status as a capita] city and commercial center brings many businessmen and diplomats every year. As a result, most of the country's hotels, both large and small, as well as tourist facilities have grown up in Tehran.


Summer relaxation resorts and recreational centers are equally available for local and foreign travelers and tourists in and around Tehran: parks, reservoirs and banks of three major dams (Air Kabob, equipped for water skiing, boating and swimming, Latyan, and Lar), mountain entertainment facilities north of Tehran, Towchal Tele- cabin, Damavand peak, bowland other wholesome pastimes, the valleys of Jajrud and Karaj rivers (both a trout fisherman's paradises), and the ski resorts of Dizin, Shem, and Ab-e Ali. Reception and accommodation facilities are so versatile in Tehran and its suburbs that they would no doubt suit the taste and choice of every tourist.
When in Tehran, most probably a taxi will take you to your hotel from Mehrabad International Airport (an ultra-modern airport is already under construction) while passing around a spacious roundabout in the middle of which the remarkably beautiful monument of Azadi Tower attracts one's attention.
There are three bus lines from the Mehrabad Airport to three major destinations in the north (Vanak Square), center (Enghelab Square), and south (Rah Ahan Square or the railway station) of Tehran, which are incomparably cheaper than any taxi. After getting settled, all in all we advise traveling everywhere in Tehran by service taxi and planning your visit to each of the following sites in advance.
There are sufficient number of package tours and all other tourist centers, which you can book either through the hotel or personal contact. The prices are not so ruinous compared to American or European standards.

  • Tehran and Its History                             

  • Tehran Carpet Museum

  • Tehran museums

  • Tehran Palaces

  • Tehran Parks


198 (traffic), 6171,342443.

Iran Air (Homa) Offices:
I. Ferdowsi Office 8826532.
2. Hotel Homa Office 2269026.
3. Mehr Abad Office (Terminal 4) 9112546.
4. Mehr Abad Office (Terminal 2) 9112566.
5. Nejatollahi Office 8829080.
6. Taleghani Office 6468342.
Most of the airline offices and air agents are in or very near Ostad Nejatollahi Street. Foreign airline offices are generally open from 9 am to 4 PM, Saturday to Thursday, except Iran Air which opens from 9 am to 4.30 PM, but only the Head Office is open on Friday. Aseman Air is open from 9 am to I PM.

The following airlines operate flights into or out of Iran:
I. Asseman 674084-9
2. Aeroflot 836164
3. Air France 674110
4. Air India 8719892
5 Alitalia 8712707
6. Austrian Airline 8712488
7. British Airways 670100-9
8. Gulf Air 8804915
9. Japan Airline 8823086-8
10. KLM 8717855
11. Kuwait Airways 835860
12. Lufthansa 8713382-6
13. Pakistan International Airline 8824095-9 14 SAS 892227-8
15. Sabena 8824026-9 16. Saudi 899119-21 17. Swiss Air 835881-7 18. Syrian Airline 835057-9
19. Turkish Airline 6469026.

There is one bus from the airport to the center of town. Service and airport taxis can be arranged immediately on the north side of the airport exit Taxi tare fora solo passenger will be around 5000 Rials to any destination in town For information on domestic and international flights, ca1191027-8

1 Bank Melli Iran (central branch), Ferdowsi Ave, opposite the German Embassy. 323 I
2. Bank Mellat, Esteghlal Branch 3124634.
3. Bank Mellat,MirDamadBranch 215717.
4. Bank Saderat Iran, Shiraz-Vanak Branch 2261287,2267381
5. Bank Tejarat, Mir Damad Branch 296978.
6. Adib Eskan Exchange Office, Vali Asr Ave, Eskan Bldg 2279807.
7. Atlas Exchange Office, No 2, Ferdowsi Ave 6451052
8 Negin Exchange Office,. Karim Khan Zand Ave, Negin Bldg. 894044.
9. Parham Exchange Office, Niavaran Ave, Sadaf Shopping Center 2283050.
10. Razzaqi Exchange Office, Seyed Jamal od- Din Asad Abadi Junction 672263.
11. Shadman Exchange Office, No 12, Dr Fatemi Ave 890118.
12.Zarrin Exchange Office, No 1207, Dr Shari'ati Ave 8084719.
Tehran Stock Information Bank. 838460.
See also MONEY MA TTERS in Practical Information section

East 781040-9 South 550047-8
West 6071044-5

The dialing code for Tehran is 021

Drug Store Information and address inquiries. 191
 1. Pascal, Dr Shari'ati Ave 840348.
 2.13th Aban, Karim Khan Zand Ave 8822804.
 3. Mehr, Zartosht St 655506.
 4. Bonyad-e Shahid (Nos. 1-5) 896695, 650994,6403855,356407, 2269096.

It's hoped that you won't need any of the fonumbers:
Ambulance 220071-2. Tehran Traffic 197, 8834910. General 115, 6469990. Water 5634000. Power 3261.
Gas 194

FIRE STATION: 125,955555

1 Amir Kabir, Qaitarieh St, Qaitarieh Park, 0800 am-20.00 PM Tel. 2207051.
2. AJldisheh, Pol-e Seyed-e Khandan, Helal-e Ahmar Park, 08.00 am-20.00 PM. Tel: 865090.
3. Arasbaran, Pol-e Seyed Khandan, Jolfa St, Arasbaran St, 08.00 am-20:00 PM. Tel: 864818-9.
4. Ebn-e Sina, Shahrak-e Ghodss, North Iran Zamin St, 08:00 am-20.00 PM. Tel: 8070106.
 5. Jamshidieh (Ferdowsi), Jamshidieh St, Ferdowsi Park, 09;00 am-20.00 PM. Tel. 2282793
6. Shafaq, Seyed Jamal od-Din Assadabadi St, Shafaq Ptnk, 08.00 am-20:00 PM. Tel: 8718849.

Provincial Government's Office (Ostandari), Ostad Motahari Ave, to the west of its intersection with Modarres Highway, 838051-5.

If you need to see a doctor or dentist, your consulate should be able to recommend one. One gooplace is the Imam Khomeini Hospital (930040) on Keshavarz Blvd Telephone numbers of some of the numerous hospitals in Tehran are.
1. Arad 761001-6
 2. Asia 8721978-80
 3. Jam 882001-9
 4. Mahrad 859004-6
 5. Pars 650051-9
 6. Pasteur Now 8724551
 7. Sa.iiad 8721191-6
 8. Tehran Clinic 8728113-6
 9 Tus 8725875-7

5611112 Behesht St, south of City Park.


The main post office is on the north side of Imam Khomeini Ave, 150 meters to the west of Imam Khomeini Square.
Post Package Reception on Site. 193
The main telegraph office is on the south of Imam Khomeini Square. This is one of Tehran's landmarks, with its satellite towers visible several km away. This is the only telegraph office open 24 hours a day.

Telegrams 120 Telegraph Failure 127
There are other post, telegraph and telephone offices in most of the larger hotels and other telecommunications branches allover town, most of them with efinternational services. The following are useful telecommunications numbers.
Telephone Connection (Int'l) 195
Telephone Connection (Local) 126
Telephone Failure 17
Telephone Information 118
Telephone Inquiries (Int'l) 124
Telephone Inquiries (Local) 196

Rah Ahan Square, southern Tehran 5121. Ticket office is in a separate building from the train station itself. set to the left of it as you face the station For checking formalities it would be better to arrive at least one hour early. For the latest information on trains, call 556114-5

There are hundreds of restaurants in Tehran, few of which are actually bad, and at weekends it's often a good idea to make reservation. There are many very good, even luxurious restaurants in the far north of Tehran, right up to the foothills of the Alborz, but they are very expensive and very difficult to get to from the center without private transport.
Tehran also has some excellent cake shops and confectioneries. Mally of the best are owned by Armenians, and the greatest concentration is in Ostad Nejatollahi Street This is also the place to buy pistachios or luxury foods. Almost any food not forbidden by Islam can be found in Tehran and other major provincial capitals. Many foreign food restaurants or restaurants catering to foreigners advertise in Tehran Times. look out for any new ones. Before going to any restaurant, have a look at the following list of some famous Iranian foods:
Chela Kabab-e Kubidel,
Stakes of minced meat and onions broiled on coal fire, assorted with broiled tomatoes, served with rice. sumac, onion, and bread.-
Chela Kabab-e Barg
Stakes of tenderized fillet meat broiled on coal fire, served together with rice, sumac, pickles, onions. and bread.

A chicken cooked with ground nuts in sour pomegranate juice, eaten with rice.
Jujeh Kabab
A delicious meal of broiled chicken assorted with various pickles.
Baqali Polo
A tasty meal of rice, beans and dill leaves cooked with lamb.
Tah Chin
A tasty dish of rice and lamb cooked with yogurt and flavored with saffron
The following is a short list of restaurants in Tehran:
 I. Agh Banu, Vali Asr Ave, Opposite Mellat Park 2222596..
2. Ajdaha-e Tala'ei (Chinese), Vali Asr Ave, Opposite Esteghlal Hotel (former Hilton) 2040508.
 3. Ali Qapu, Gandhi Street 2267803.
 4. Ardalan, Vali Asr Ave, Ma ah Alley 64
 5. Arvand Kenar, Vali-Asr Ave, Opposite Sa'ei Park 806568.
 6. Arvand Rud, South Sohravardi Street 838061.
 7. Ashpaz Bashi, Mir Damad Ave, Naft Street 2221244.
 8 Ashyaneh, Passdaran Ave, Zarrabkhaneh 2272605
 9. Bita, Vali Asr Ave, Pessian Crossroads 2221687.
10 Borj, Vali Asr Ave 2040827
11. Chinese, Abdoh Alley, Vali Asr Ave 890714.
12. Ehsan, Mir Damad Ave 2224718.
13 Fanus (kababi), No 85, Mulla Sadra Ave, South Shiraz Street 8033645.
14. Felfel-e Sabz, Vanak Square, Vanak Shopping Center 8885580.
15 Ferdows, Vali Asr Residential Complex, Bagh-e Ferdows 6495413.
16.Gol Shahr, Africa Highway, Nahid Blvd 2206616
17. Golshan, Passdaran Ave 2588576
18 Hani,Vali Asr Ave, corner of Motahari Street 890389. I
19 Hatef, Motahari Ave, Amir Atabak Street 8828011.
20. Kandu, Vali Asr- TaleghIntersection 6408009.
21. Kasra (chelo kabab and chicken kabab), Niavaran Street, Kashanak Junction 2288047.
22 KhDadash, Fatemi Ave, Kaj Street 658665
23 Khaneh Kabab, Passdaran Ave, Now BonyadSquare2574613.
24. Khansalar, Argentine Square 8728764.
25. Khoshnud, No 1420, Vali Asr Ave-Shahid Chamran Highway Intersection, Opposite Qodss Department Store 2041140.
26. Kolbeh, lafar Street, comer of N aft Street 8090654
27. Kuchini, Keshavarz Blvd, South Felestin Street 8890317
28. Kuhsar-c Darband, Darband, Sar-e Band Squarc 2209279.
29. Lak Lak, No 1739, Dr Shari'ati Ave, north of Pol-e Rumi 2209091.
30. Lotus (pizza and hamburger), Shahrak-c Qodss, Golestan Shopping Center 8099000, 8095252.
31. Lux-e Irani, Tajrish Squarc 2209838.
32 Lux-e Tala'ei, Vali Asr Ave, Homayun Station 2041654.
33. Mellat, Vali Asr Ave, Opposite Mellat Park 2228182
34. Mikhak-e Tala'ei, Vali Asr Ave, Rahban Alley 895228.
35. Mir Damad, Mir Damad Ave, Opposite Asia Supcrmarket 2059939.
36. Morvarid, Vali Asr- Taleghani Intersection 6461626.
37. Nakhl, No 128, North Felestin Street 651203.
38. Nayeb (the first and oldest chelo kababi in Iran), with the following three branches: I. Aban Branch, No 9, Karim Khan-e land Ave, South Aban Strcet 8899143,894643 2. Sa'adat Abad Branch, Sa'dat Abad Ave, Kaj Square, Abrisham Shopping Center 2078463, 2063652. 3. Vali Asr Branch, Vali Asr Ave, south ofSa'ei Park 8715029, 8713474.
39. Negah, No 95, Mir Damad Ave 2058037.
40 Niavaran, No 180, Shahid Dr Bahunar Street (Niavaran) 276767,273075.
. Papa, Darband Street 2209263.
42. Papa, Vali Asr Ave, Fereshteh Street 2040311.
43. Part, Tajrish Square, Eram Street 2201248 44. Pizza Chubiz (pizza), Dr Shari'ati Ave,
   Pol-e Rumi, Rezaeih Station 2201090.
45. Qassr-e , Mir Damad Ave 2222850.
46. Raftari, No 826, Vahdat-eEslami Squarc 5381458-9.
47. Ray hun, Africa Highway 2050877.
48 Royal Vanak, Van!lk Street, end of Shiraz Strect 2260496
49. Sa'ei, Vali-Asr Ave, Oppositc Sa'ci Park 2222668.
50. Shabha-ye Shiraz, Dr Shari'ati Avc, Elahieh Alley 264122.
51. Shab Sara, North Sohravardi Street, Palizi Square 8763800.
52. Shater Abbas, Vali Asr-Shahid Chamran Intersection 2040557.
53. Surena, Vali Asr Ave, Tajrish 2042696.
54. Tapu, North Felcstin Street 892852.
55. Ti$ara, No 26, Motahari Ave 841191.
56. Yass, Niavaran, Aqdassieh 2547142
57. Za'faranieh, Vali Asr Ave, Za'faranieh 2204101.
The orange and white service taxis, although they take some getting used to, are really the best way of getting around the maze of Tehran Sec also TAXI under PRACTICAL INFORMATION section.
If you want to go to the airport or cover a long distance on a hurry, it's best to book a telephone taxi at one of thc many agencies allover the town, or to get a hotel receptionist to order one for you.
Tehran Telephone Taxi 840011-20.
Available in Persian and English.
Vali-Asr Ave, 11 Dameshgh Strect 892212.
1 .Ali Qapu, Vanak Square, Beginning of Gandhi St, 8778
2. Amir Kabir, Qaitarieh St, Qaitarieh Park, 2216492
3. Bi Bi, Shahrak-e Ghodss, Farahzad Blvd, Sepehr Shopping Center, 8099906
For all visa affairs, particularly if you have any problems, get in touch with your consulate However, some helpful Iranian offices to take care of your requirements in this area are Foreign Affairs Ministry 3211
Foreign Citizens Affairs 3202474
Passport Office 939595


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