Nowadays Tehran owns one of the most advanced metro networks of the world. It is the least expensive one, too .The longest possible way you ride will not cost even half a euro! Besides, it is the perfect way to design a Tehran day tour.
Few days back I met a middle-aged Swedish couple in Taleghani metro station just next to former American embassy, and few hundred meters from “House of Artists”. They needed little help to find their way to Sadr station on the red line northbound and I was going the same direction, so I accompanied them and enjoyed a short talk in a clean and brand new metro train car. It was early afternoon and the streets was much less crowded in comparison to rush hours. The Swedish man, a bit astonished to see such a clean air conditioned car, said:
“London metro is old, dirty and no air con. But yours is clean with pleasant air circulation…”
This incident was a motivation to give you an idea how to use metro to enjoy a perfect day tour in Tehran. I choose line 1 (the red one on the map) for the tour as majority of Tehran must-sees are easily accessible via this line.
The tour starts from Tajrish, the famous square in upscale north, and it ends in Tehran Grand Bazaar. Depending on your accommodation location you can start the tour from bazaar and end it in Tajrish which is a better option if you plan to stay at downtown places. Besides, visiting some points of interest such as Tabiat Bridge and Darband in late afternoon or evening is recommended.
Here is a guide to Tehran metro network!
1- Northern Tehran
Tajrish district in northern Tehran, a combination of large and tranquil gardens and villas sprawled on rocks and hills just few hundred meters from Tajrish Bazaar as a major attraction.
A labyrinth of old traditional bazaar and modern shopping malls .You may find all kinds of fresh and dried vegetable and fruits, rural dairy and a large variety of wild plums and other edibles, jeans, jewelry, sportswear, street snacks, and many more, all on the edge of a main bus station. This bazaar is a very good place to experience a glimpse of lifestyle and daily activities of northern residents of Tehran. From Tajrish you also have easy access to Saadabad and Niavaran palaces as well as Darband– a mountainous hiking area popular among Tehranis.
After enjoying the attractions in the north, head back to Tajrish metro station in Qods Square to move southward.
2- Nature Bridge & Holy Defense Museum
Next stop is Haghani station (a 6 station ride). Here are vast modern parks of Taleghani and Ab-o Atash (Fire and Water Park) connected through Tabiat Bridge (Nature Bridge) and offering beautiful views of Tehran.
It is a perfect place to spend an hour with locals and enjoy a snack or local food in different restaurants spread over the bridge or through the Ab-o Atash Park. This place has become a major magnet for Tehranis to spend their spare time with their family and friends.
You can also visit Holy Defense Museum adjacent to the station. Then, walk back to metro station to move more southward.
3- Treasury of National Jewels
Continue southward to get to Sa’adi station (an 8 station ride). Get off here and walk to the Treasury of National Jewels (open Saturday to Tuesday 14:00-16:30).
After a 7 minute walking, you will be in front of this priceless treasury hidden in the basement of the old building of the Central Bank, just opposite the Turkish and German embassies. Berlin Alley is neighboring southern walls of German embassy and houses another old local market of clothes and accessories. Enjoy visiting the treasury peacefully although other attractions are very close and there is no need to rush!
Please note if you want to visit former American embassy, you have to get off the train in Taleghani station.
4- Downtown Museums
When your treasury visit is finished, walk for a few minutes to reach your next destination, Imam Khomeini Square, the next station after Saadi and there is no need to take metro again.
Just on the right hand side of the square, there is a vast compound entirely stone paved and closed to traffic, a tranquil and silent place and home to all buildings of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli (Old Gate of Tehran) and a few museums:
- National Museum of Iran (everyday 9:30-17:30)
- Malek Museum (Sat-Thu 9:00-16:30)
- Iran Post Museum (Sat-Wed 8:00-16:00, Thu 8:00-13:00)
All surrounded by century old tall trees , most of the MFA buildings are built by German architects of the time of Reza Shah Pahlavi (re. 1925-1941) which are sturdy and glorious.
In Si-e-Tir Street where National museum is located there are many more attractions such as Abgineh Museum (Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran). Read our article on Tehran streets to learn more about must-sees on Si-e-Tir Street.
5- Golestan Palace and Grand Bazaar of Tehran
There is a large street, completely stone paved and closed to vehicles but open to the electric train and horse carts. The train is free but you should pay for the carriages. You can also take the metro; it is just one station southward- get on the train at Imam Khomeini Square station and get off at Panzdah-e Khordad station.
Golestan Palace is the only world heritage site in Tehran and it is one of the oldest buildings in the city of Tehran. The palace borders the bazaar!
So far, it should be evening and your tour has to come to an end. But, if there is still time, get back to Panzdah-e Khordad station and head towards Azadi Tower.
6- Azadi Tower
To visit Azadi Tower you have to change metro line.
From Panzdah-e Khordad station take the train towards Tajrish (line 1- northward) and get off the train in Darvaze Dowlat station (2 stations). Then, change your line and take line 4 toward Eram-e-sabz and get off the train in Azadi Square station (8 stations). On your west, you can spot the Azadi Tower. Here you can visit the Azadi Tower and Museum just in the middle of the square.
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