There is perhaps no better place to see the lifestyle of the 'Last Shah' than the Sa'dabad Palace Complex. Perched on approximately 110 hectares of spectacular mountainside parkland above Tehran Iran, the complex was a royal summer residence during the Pahlavi period.
Sa’dabad Palace Complex Tehran was originally established under the Qajar rule in the 19th century as their summer retreat. But during the Pahlavi era, northern Tehran transformed with it's largest period of growth turning pastures and hilltops into wealthy suburbs. The palace complex has since been converted into many museums after the Iranian Revolution, housing diverse royal treasures and their related stories, making for a pleasant half day around the extensive park.
It displays many historical artifacts and documents that reflect Iran’s rich cultural history. And fortunately the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) manages the public areas, and certain parts are currently utilized for presidential affairs such as hosting foreign dignitaries. This is similar to Qajar and Pahlavi times, the only difference being the main gates which are open to the public.
You'll need approximately 3 hours minimum to see the main sights, but you could spend a whole day in the parklands. Just maybe not in winter.
The complex opens between the hours 9am to 8:30 pm spring and summer, and 9:00am to 5:00 pm in winter and fall.
|Entrance Fees||Green Palace||White Palace||All Other Museums|
|Non-Iranians||15,000 Toman||15,000 Toman||15,000 Toman||8,000 Toman|
|Iranians||2,500 Toman||2,500 Toman||2,500 Toman||2,000 Toman|
1. Nezamie Gate - Military Entrance, from which Reza Shah most often entered.
2. Zaferanie Gate - for presidency organizations
3. Darband Street Gate - from which Mohammad Reza Shah most often entered.
4. Darband Square Gate
5. Jafar Abad Gate No.1
6. Jafar Abad Gate No.2
7. River Gate
8. White Palace Gate
The Sa’dabad Palace Complex has 18 Houses remaining from Qajari and Pahlavi era. The better museums are highlighted.
1. Ahmad Shahi House (currently Women's Basij)
2. Green House (currently Sabz or Shahvand House)
3. White House (currently Mellat Museum, residence of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Farah Diba)
4. Museum of Natural History (currently special House by Presidential Office)
5. Black House (currently Fine and Visual Arts Museum)
6. House of Shams (currently Museum of Anthropology)
7. House of Ashraf (currently Glassware and Handicrafts Museum)
8. House of Gholam Reza Pahlavi (currently Government Agency Building 36)
9. House of the Mother Queen (currently Presidential Office)
10. House of Ahmad Reza Pahlavi son of Reza Shah (currently Government Agency)
11. House of Abdol Reza son of Reza Shah (currently Administration Complex)
12. Bahman Pahlavi son of Gholamreza (currently Training Centre)
13. House of Shahram (currently Military Museum)
14. House of Faradeh Ghotbi mother of Farah Diba (currently Museum of Artistic Creations)
15. House of Reza Pahlavi (currently Museum of Behzad)
16. House of Reza Pahlavi (currently Museum of Dafineh)
17. House of Farahnaz and Ali Reza Pahlavi (currently Emad Museum)
18. House of Leila Pahlavi (currently Abkar Museum)
There is also a few cafe's for variety of drinks and light meals. But investigate deeper and you might come across a chicken farm, cow farm, banana green house, green houses, pools, tennis, badminton, bowling, cinema, and open theater hall. Talk about a royal summer re-treat!
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).
What do you think of the Sa’dabad Palace Complex Tehran? Leave your comments below.
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