Welcome back to our series on Tehran’s nostalgic streets! We hope you enjoyed first article. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure that you do.
Unlike the previous piece, where we named streets that are interlinked, the entries on this list are slightly further apart. Nonetheless, they’re worth your time.
So, without further ado, here are four more streets in Tehran that you have to see!
Si-e-Tir, which is Persian for “Tir 30th” (the fourth month on the Iranian calendar), is a street in Tehran’s District 12 named in commemoration of the July 21, 1952 uprising, which coincides with Tir 30th on the local calendar.
Tir 30th marks the date when Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the second and last Pahlavi king, gave in to people’s demand after three days of bloody protests and reinstated Mohammad Mossadeq as the country’s prime minister. The popular politician had resigned after the Shah disagreed with his request to give the government control over Iran’s armed forces.
The cobblestone street is home to two of the most popular museums in Tehran: the National Museum of Iran and Abgineh Museum (museum of glassware and ceramic).
For some, Si-e-Tir has come to symbolize unity and coexistence due to the presence of different houses of worship on the street: Hazrta-e Ebrahim Mosque, St. Mary’s Church, St. Peter’s Church, Chayyim Synagogue and the Temple of Adrian (for Zoroastrians) are located in the vicinity of each other.
Coffee and food carts have recently popped up around the beginning of the street (where Si-e-Tir branches out of Imam Khomeini Street). Some say their presence, particularly due to the classic designs of the carts, help give the street a quaint atmosphere.
However, because they’re located on the sidewalk, others say they make it difficult for tourists to get of their bus as they have set up their carts where tour buses generally park.
The street runs north, connecting Imam Khomeini to Jomhouri. If you continue walking north for five minutes after reaching the end of the street, you’ll end up just outside the Russian Embassy.
To get there, take the subway and get off Hassan Abad Station (Line 2) and walk west, or get off Imam Khomeini Station (an interchange station where lines 1 and 2 meet) and walk east.
Named after the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini Street in central Tehran is lined with attractions and historical structures, including the National Garden, whose entrance gate has served as one of the symbols of the Iranian capital for decades.
Connecting Yadegar-e-Emam Highway in the west to Imam Khomeini Square downtown, the former Sepah Street is replete with fast food joints and ice cream shops. Despite being named after one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century, the street is still commonly referred to as Sepah.
The street’s top sites include the Marble Palace (Kakh-e-Marmar), an 80-year-old structure where the Expediency Council meets; the National Garden, which prior to the construction of Azadi Tower was Tehran’s only symbol; and Post & Telegraph Museum.
Accessing Sepah is easy as there are three subway stations located in the western parts of the street: Imam Khomeini, Hassan Abad, and Daneshgah-e Emam Ali.
For a well-known street in a famous area, there’s surprisingly very little information online on Mostafa Khomeini Street.
The street has a number of historical structures, chief among them Golshan Bathhouse (Hammam-e Golshan), Haj Qanbar Ali Khan mosque-cum-school, and the house where Parvin E’tessami (1907-41), Iran’s most famous female poet, lived in. All these sites are inscribed on the National Heritage List.
Formerly called Sirous (Persian for Cyrus), the street’s name changed to that of Imam Khomeini’s eldest son following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
According to the locals, the area was initially called Si Rouz (Persian for “30 days”), which through time it changed to Sirous.
They say the origin of the street’s name goes back to the time of Reza Shah (founder of the Pahlavi dynasty in the early 20th century). He was said to have been sitting in his carriage as it was going down the road which would later be called Mostafa Khomeini when suddenly one of the horses breaks a leg after stepping into a pothole.
Seeing the poor state of the road, Reza Shah issues an ultimatum to the district mayor to repair the street within 30 days (si rouz) or lose his job. Needless to say, the road was repaired within 30 days, compelling the locals to call it Si Rouz.
Running south, the street begins at Baharestan Square—a cobblestone roundabout where the Parliament (Majlis) is located—and ends at Molavi.
The simplest way to get to Mostafa Khomeini is to take the subway and get off Baharestan Station on Line 2.
Arguably Tehran’s most famous street, Valiasr (formerly called Pahlavi) is the Middle East’s longest avenue at 19.3 kilometers, splitting the Iranian capital into eastern and western sections.
Some consider the street to be the most beautiful thoroughfare in the city, with 90-year-old plane (Persian: Chenar) trees planted in wide gutters along the avenue forming canopies above the street, particularly in the northern regions.
Connecting Rah Ahan Square in southern Tehran (where the train station is) to Tajrish Square in the north, Valiasr is replete with sites of interest.
In the southern region, you’ll find traditional teahouses that serve hookah and diners that serve Iranian kebabs and Dizi or Abgusht (a type of stew). Going up the street, there’s a noticeable increase in the number of shops, mostly clothes and electronic equipment, as well as fast food joints and trendy cafes, where you’re likely to see “artsy” young people.
Going up north sees a noticeable increase in the number of restaurants and classy cafes, with the odd shop here and there.
Among important venues on the street are the City Theater (Theatr-e-Shahr), a well-known performing arts complex on the Valiasr-Enghelab intersection in the middle of Valiasr in downtown Tehran; Mellat and Shahr parks; Bazaar Reza, a center for electronic gadgets; Tehran Railway Station in Rah Ahan Square; and Qa’em Shopping Center in Tajrish Square.
Once you’re at Tajrish, you have easy access to two of Iran’s most famous palaces: Saadabad and Niavaran. These palace complexes are open to public and have a variety of art and historical collections on display. Furthermore, Darband, a mountainous area popular with hikers and the outdoorsy-type, is only a short drive away.
Getting to and around Valiasr is easy: Depending on what part of the street you want to go to, you can get off at Jahad Square Station (Line 3), Valiasr Square Station (Line 3) and Theatr-e-Shahr Station (Line 4). Also, buses have their own dedicated lanes (Bus Rapid Transit) that allows them to travel from one end of the street to other pretty quickly. They also make getting around the street easy.
So that’s it for now! We hope you enjoyed the two-part series. If you feel that we’ve missed a street, drop us a comment below and tell us what makes the street so special to merit a place on the list.