Built in 1971 in commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of the first Persian empire, the Azadi Tower in Tehran is a "gateway into the city." It was named the "Shahyad" (King's Memorial) in honor of the Shah, but was changed to "Azadi Tower" (Freedom) after the Revolution of 1979. After being closed for years, the tower reopened in 2006. It is 50 meters (164 ft) tall and completely clad in cut marble. The main display is occupied by a copy of the Cyrus Cylinder (the original tours the world, but lives in the British Museum).
The Azadi Tower in Tehran was built with white marble stone from the Isfahan Province, and it contains eight thousand blocks of stone, each calculated by a computer and programmed to include all the instructions for the building's work. The park surrounding the monument is an oasis compared with the crazy traffic beyond. The Azadi Tower was the scene of much protest during the 1979 revolution and remains a focal point for demonstrations today, including some huge demonstrations during the post-election crisis in 2009. You can reach the top by stairs or lift. To get here, take Metro line 4 (light blue) to Meydan-e Azadi (try not to confuse the other Azadi station). You can explore the Azadi tower in 30 minutes, but you might want to allow a few hours to explore the park.
These are just some of the most famous places to visit in Tehran. But the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
The best way to discover Tehran is to hire an experienced local tour guide. Either compare the packaged Iran tours or join a cheap Tehran Walking Tour to learn about it's rich history and inspiring culture. You'll get more information of the places to visit in Tehran with an experienced local tour guide.
My favorite luxury hotels in Tehran are the 5 Star Espinas Hotel and Parsian Azadi Hotel Tehran (ex-Grand Hyatt Hotel prior to revolution), both with professional staff and great views from different parts of Tehran. Double rooms start from US $230 and $250 respectively, including breakfast.
Decent 4 Star Hotels also include Niloo Hotel and Escan Hotel. Or for more budget options, the 3 Star Rated Mashad Hotel is right next to Taleghani Metro and provides comfort at US $130 for a double, including breakfast. Otherwise Iran Central Hotel (Hotel Markazi), Firouzeh Hotel, and Golestan Hotel Tehran are also some of the better budget options under $80/night.
There are also Hostels in Tehran from $10 U.S. per night for the budget travellers.
Of the Best Restaurants in Tehran, not far away from the city centre is the popular Gol Rezaeieye Cafe serving great traditional Iranian meals in a cute and hip American diner setting. Dizi Restaurant is also rated highly on Trip Adviser for a great stew, or Coffeeshop and Veggie Restaurant serves only vegetarian meals if that's more you (conveniently near Artists Park in Tehran). Or if you're in northern Tehran near Darband, Tehran SPU Restaurant is highly recommended. But for a great cup of coffee checkout Romaan Book Cafe near the Italian Embassy (what a perfectly match).
For general up-to-date information about the Azadi Tower in Tehran (Borj-e Azadi) see this website:
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