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ITehran is the capital and biggest city in Iran, Tehran has also one of the highest population densities in the world which is 13 persons per 10 square meters. City population at night is nearly 9 million and at day time it even can reach up to 13 million people, such over-population has resulted in a steady decrease in quality of life due to air pollution, excessive use of already limited resources and frustrating traffic jams. Such high population density can be traced back to multiple factors.

In recent years Tehran hosted massive waves of immigrants from other Iranian cities, due to higher income and much more job opportunities, and also Afghan refugees fleeing from the war. Additionally population growth rose exceptionally after the Islamic revolution due to socio-religious reasons. These phenomena resulted in overpopulation in Tehran which the city was not prepared for.

Since 10 years ago municipality of Tehran started to invest heavily in city projects to increase the effective capacity of the city. Such as building new streets, highways and tunnels and also developing public transportation system, today Tehran has the largest and the most advanced public transportation network in Iran.


Geography and climate

Tehran borders southern Alborz mountain range to the North and Iran’s central desert to the South, its altitude varies between 1200 meters in the south and 2000 meters in the north which means Tehran is usually sloped in most areas which gets more and more steep as you go towards the northern mountains. Temperature difference between Northern and Southern parts of the city is quite vast. Also Tehran has thousands of sewers which lead rivers coming from the mountains through the city to the south for farming.

Winds mostly come from the West and South East which leads air pollution to North West and South of Tehran.

In recent years Tehran like other Iranian cities had to deal with the issue of drought. Because of the decline in annual rainfalls, most days in Tehran are mostly sunny and as a result, Tehranis love rainy days and pray for it.

Tehran’s climate is considered semi-arid with a moderate temperature, between 5 to 39 degrees.

Security and safety

After the population boom, safety rate decreased tremendously, and since security forces were using dated equipment and lacked efficient skills the situation got worse day by day, this lack of safety resulted in shoplifting, burglary, robbery, drug trafficking and also street fights, so much so that in some areas drug dealers were operating openly and no one had the power to stop them; but since 15 years ago police started to renew their strategies and acquired large amounts of new and high-end equipment like high speed cars, modern helicopters, security cameras, new body armors, etc…

They also started to train their forces and additionally introduced a unified emergency line (110) by which civilians can call the police and ask for help; they also asked for military help to clear out crime-prone areas from criminals and specially drug dealers, they used special forces and armored vehicles to uproot criminal gangs from those areas and in some instances even demolished an entire neighborhood and afterwards handed them over to municipality, Police park in Eastern Tehran is a famous example.

Nowadays it is safe to say that there is no security concern in Tehran, but always be careful for pickpockets in crowded places like the subway.

Urban Texture

Tehran was originally a small village but hundreds of years ago became the capital of Iran by Aqa Mohammed Khan Qajar, the head of Qajar Dynasty, resulting in mass migration to Tehran. After several decades, during Pahlavi rule Mohammad Reza, The second Pahlavi king, decided to enact industrial reforms by constructing several manufactories in Iran specially in Tehran, unfortunately industrialization of Iran was faster than what society could handle, resulting in millions of villagers leaving their villages and moving to cities to work in companies and factories; Tehran as the most important city of Iran, received biggest share of immigrants.

After the revolution another population boom happened in Iran and again Tehran got the biggest share. Furthermore, since most facilities and companies are based in Tehran, even now various types of people come to Tehran each day because of lack of opportunities in other cities (with a few exceptions).

Subsequently, Tehran turned into a city with different types of people and different cultures all living with each other.

• North

Northern part of Tehran has the highest prices for residential places in Iran, reaching even 7000 USD per square meters. A big portion of People living in north of Tehran have modern lives and have their own society, they have special parties and entertainments. North part of Tehran is one of the oldest parts of Tehran and formerly had several gardens specially pomegranate, nowadays most of those gardens are replaced with skyscrapers.

Also There is an interesting nightlife activity in northern Tehran called “Dowr Dowr” which means roam and roam, in which youngsters with expensive cars roam around in a district over and over to find suitable matches, meaning another car with members of the other gender, willing to share the night or at least exchange numbers. Since this kind of relationships outside marriage are illegal in Iran and also because this habit occasionally causes heavy traffic in some areas, usually police forces monitor the well-known “dowr dowr” spots and stop suspicious cars.

• Center North

Center North of Tehran was built after central Tehran, many private companies and most of governmental organizations are located here, this area is the second most expensive part of the city, people living in this area mostly have medium to high income. Because this area is occupied by educated upper-middleclass citizens, it is a good place for tourists to reside since most locals can speak English. Additionally close proximity to some tourist attractions is notable.

• Center

Central Tehran is one of the oldest parts of the city; you can find most of Tehran’s tourist attractions there like Golestan Palace, National Museum and Jewelry Museum in there. On the flip side, it has polluted, busy and noisy days but quiet and boring nights. This part of Tehran is home to most of old and traditional families of the city. City center is the focal point of Tehran’s transportation system, thus very easy to reach.

• South

Tehran’s south and south-center were the first parts settled parts of the city. Narrow alleys, old buildings, high population density, big families and lower class citizens are the most famous characteristics of Southern Tehran. Even today you can find many big houses with traditional Iranian architecture: a little pool at center and several little rooms around, each for a relative and their family.

That being said, some of the families living in Southern Tehran are pretty reach but have chosen to stick to their ancestral residence.

In the past, security was an issue in Southern Tehran but since about 10 years ago all districts of Tehran are safe and several parks and cultural and entertainment centers are built in the previously unsafe area; so safety wise, these parts are just like any other place in Tehran today.

• East

East of Tehran hosts a wide variety of people and cultural textures. North east of Tehran was built before revolution as a residential area for people serving in the army, but later on after the revolution many of them were sold to regular people.

Despite being populous, Eastern Tehran sports a satisfactory public transportation system utilizing its many streets and highways.

• West

Western Tehran is relatively new and was developed in the past 50 years. Azadi tower is one of the most famous buildings in Western Tehran.

• North West

North West of Tehran is totally compared to the rest of the city. Many of the immigrants or even some locals without sufficient money to buy a house in their home district reside here. That being said, some of the old neighborhoods are becoming quite expensive. It is worth noting that Tehran is expanding from its western side. Recently the municipality of Tehran municipality has done enormous construction projects like the Azadi Lake. Since the public transportation system in North Western Tehran is quite poor, reaching the city center from that side is inconvenient and time consuming.


One of the biggest problems in Tehran is traffic. Tehran’s population density much more than what transportation system can bear; however the traffic in Tehran peaks at 7:30 am until 9:30 am towards the city center, and again at 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm towards the main exits. So we recommend you book your hotel near central parts of city which helps you move easier and faster in Tehran.

Tehran also has two traffic-restricted areas in which only authorized cars can pass through, for which you can buy daily permits for your car. The main restricted area is forbidden for all cars (other than those belonging to public services and those with the aforementioned permit) but second one (which encircles the main area) has a different rule: Cars with number plates ending in odd numbers can enter it on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; And cars with license plates ending in even numbers can enter this area on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Fridays and holidays are restriction-free.

Urban cleanliness

Tehran is one of the cleanest mega cities of the word; Municipality of Tehran collects the garbage several times per day, washes streets using street sweepers and also washes public transportation vehicles on daily basis. Urban cleanness in Tehran is among the first things travelers notice upon arriving in Tehran.


Tehran is polluted in many different ways; with the most concerning being the air pollution, which is the result of the over-population of people, vehicles and industries in a city walled by mountains to three sides, blocking the required air flow. Tehran also suffers from noise pollution caused by vehicles and construction sites. Nowadays there are discussions about water pollution too, evidently due to decrease in water resources nitrate level in drinking water has rose to dangerous levels so we recommend using bottled water in Tehran.