Grand Bazaar is without a doubt a must see top place to visit in Tehran. It is in the heart of old Tehran where the economy thrived.
There has been a restoration around this historic place where streets around it have pedestrianized, widened and car forbidden. The result is a pedestrian friendly tourist attraction, less polluted place at the heart of the old capital. The Bazaar itself enjoys the traditional archetypal ceiling with narrow crowded interlinked alleys with vibrant lighting from the shops. The Bazaar covered stores line more than 10km of lanes and there are several entrances, but you get a great view down a central artery by using the main entrance facing the square Sabze Meydan. In addition to shops, the Grand Bazaar contains mosques, guest houses, banks and church that you can visit it too. Most lanes specialize in a particular commodity: copper, paper, gold, spices, carpets, nuts, handicrafts, clothes, cosmetics, home appliances and everything that you want it but the carpet, nuts and spices bazaar might be the most photogenic.
As this isn’t enough, there are lots of kabab houses ( kabab is a dish consisting of meat and tomato, threaded onto skewers and grilled and have a various types ) all around its corners. If you want to complete your day plan to have lunch at Moslem which is a unique restaurant feeding thousands of hungry people each day in a communal table sharing. It is an experience you would never forget. Food portions in Moslem are huge so you could easily order one dish for two.
After your lunch, itʼs time for visit Golestan Palace, the distance of Grand Bazaar to Golestan Palace is just 3km. it was partially built during Safavid era but was dramatically expanded after Agha-Mohammad Khan brought Qajar into power, chose Tehran as his capital and his coronation ceremony was held in this palace.
This palace has a different sections:
Shams-ol Emarat ( Edifice of the sun )
Shams-ol Emarat is the most stunning structures of the Golestan Palace. This is one of the first high-rise building of old Tehran, Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar ordered to build it. The building has two identical towers. The exterior views have multiple arches, intricate tile work and ornate windows. This building is a fusion of Persian and European architecture. This palace is located in the eastern section of Golestan Palace that you can visit it.
Talar-e Aineh ( Hall of Mirror )
Talar-e Aineh is the most famous of the palace hall. This relatively small hall is famous for its extraordinary mirror work.
Emarat-e Badgir ( building of wind catchers )
Emarat-e Badgir was constructed during the reign of Fath Ali Shah. The building is flanked by two rooms known as Goshvar ( earrings ) . There is a central room which boasts the finest stained glass window in the Golestan Palace. Outside, there are four wind towers of blue, yellow and black glazed tiles and a golden cupola. The wind catchers are constructed to allow the cooling wind move through the structure.
Talar-e Berelian ( Hall of Brilliance )
The brilliant hall was named so for it is adorned by the brilliant mirror work of Iranian artisans.
Talar-e Almas ( Diamond Hall )
The Diamond Hall is located in the southern wing of the Golestan Palace, next to the building of wind catchers. It is called Talar-e Almas because of the exceptional mirror work inside the building. The construction of this hall dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah.
Chador Khaneh ( House of Tents )
Chador Khaneh is located between the Badgir and Talar-e Almas. This building was used as a warehouse for royal tents.
Aks Khaneh ( House of Photographs )
There is an early photographic collection at Golestan Palace which includes photos which are mainly related to the time of the 19th century progress of photography in Europe. It was created by the order of Nasser al-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty. It is mentioned that photography was so common at the royal palace that the kingʼ wives and his servants also took pictures and posed playfully in front of the camera.
Takht-e Marmar ( Marble Throne )
The spectacular terrace as Takht-e Mrmar was used in 1806 by order of Fath Ali Shah Qajar adorned by paintings, marble-carving, tile-work, stucco, mirrors, enamel, wood carvings and lattice windows. The throne is made of sixty-five pieces of marble.
Howz Khaneh ( Pond House )
Further east is the Howz Khaneh, named for the small pool and fountain in its center. The Pond House was used as a summer chamber during the Qajar era. A special cooling system pumped water from a subterranean system of streams into ponds inside the chambers.
Khalvat-e Karim Khani ( Karim Khani Nook )
The basic structure of the Karim Khani Nook is similar to the Marble Throne but the structure is much smaller than the Marble Throne and it has much less ornamentation. Nasser al-Din Shah found of this corner of the Golestan Palace. He is said to have spent much time here in rest and repose, smoking his water-pipe in quiet reflection.
Ivory Hall used as a dining room. It was decorated with gifts presented to Nasser al-Din Shah by European monarchs.
Talar-e Zorof ( Containers Hall )
This building located in the north of ivory hall. All the chinaware that were dedicated to Qajar kings by the European kings were takento his room.
Talar-e Salam ( Reception Hall )
Talar-e Salam was originally designed to be a museum. This hall was designed to hold special receptions in the presence of the king, hence the name Salam Hall.
This building was built as the residence of Queen Elizabeth II during her short visit to Iran.
Back near the entrance, the Abyaz Palace houses the Ethnographical Museum featuring a range of mannequins in traditional ethnic costumes.
Except of the buildings of the palace, there are some museums such as Museum Hall, Museum of Gifts that you can visit it. For each section you should buy a ticket and enjoy this beautiful palace.
At the end, I am sure you need a place to rest because of the long walking through the palace, so Golestan Coffee shop is the best choice.
If you want a good and international 4-star hotel near this palace in the heart of Tehran, you can go Ferdowsi Hotel. It is located at the cultural center of Tehran near museums of archaeology. It is quite close to the central park, jewelers, Abgineh, Ancient Museums and the national library. So, if you choose this hotel you will have an amazing time to discover these ancient places too.