Budget travelers and backpackers in Tehran, tourists who come to the Iranian capital from different cities and other countries, prefer to try low-cost and free entertainment.
Tehran is a city of museums and old mansions, and sightseeing there can be a lot of fun. But museums have entrance fees, meanwhile, the cost of traveling around the city as well as eating at cafes and restaurants with staggering prices should not be overlooked.
If you are one of those backpackers in Tehran, that have stopped enjoying their stay in the capital because of pricey cafes and restaurants, the entrance fee to museums and palaces, and the exorbitant cost of providing ski or mountaineering equipment, we recommend reading this article to better understand the low-cost attractions of Tehran.
1. Walking on Valiasr Street in Tehran
One of the most attractive streets in Tehran, which is about 19 km long, is Valiasr, the longest street in the middle east, that recently being considered as a UNESCO registered site.
The sidewalks on this street, unlike most parts of the city, are wide enough for pedestrians. We suggest you start from railway Square and move toward the north of Tehran, ie Tajrish Square.
On the way, you will pass Mellat park, Saei park, city theater, and Ferdows garden, which are some of the best sights in Tehran.
The presence of eye-catching sculptures on this route is one of the things that double the pleasure of your stroll, of course, if you are not in the mode for a walk, you can always take a bus, in rapid transit line to your destination as well.
If as backpackers you want to choose Valiasr street as one of the best free entertainment in Tehran, we recommend you spend a whole day for it and do not forget the camera.
2. Enjoy the Gorgeous View of Tabiat Bridge
Another great attraction of Tehran is the modern and extraordinary Tabiat bridge (means nature bridge). This very unusual or remarkable bridge crosses the Modarres expressway in Tehran and connects the two “Ab-o Atash” park (means water and fire park) and Taleghani park. This bridge is even more glamorous than at night due to its lighting, but the bridge has an exceptional view in daylight as well.
Tabiat bridge is usually crowded, but its large space makes it hard to feel that. The afternoons of this place are very enjoyable. In some areas, people are playing ping-pong, and in other areas and surrounding parks, picnics and laughter are present.
It is nice to know that the Tabiat is a multi-story bridge with an irresistible view of the city. If you are interested in walking, I suggest you first choose the “Ab-o Atash” park and then enter Taleghani park through Tabiat bridge for an afternoon till night time.
3. Visiting Milad Tower in Tehran
Milad tower, the tallest telecommunication tower in Iran, and another low-cost recommended past-time in Tehran for backpackers interested in giant tall buildings.
Of course, visiting the floors of Milad tower requires a ticket, but many sections can be explored without one. This structure with a height of 435 meters is the sixth tallest tower in the world and is an important tourist attraction in Tehran. The construction of this tower with the slogan of “the sky is near” took about 11 years.
The most recognized facilities of Milad tower are the lobby, the municipal museum, the coin museum, the museum of celebrities, the revolving restaurant, the indoor viewing platform, the open viewing platform, the sky-dome, the dolphin park, the paintball field, the laser show hall, the 3D cinema, the conference and concert halls, also cafes and restaurants.
4. Say Hello to Azadi Tower
In Tehran, a city that sees the unveiling of a new structure on a regular base; Azadi tower (tower of freedom), built-in 1971, is still a big deal in Tehran.
Azadi tower has long been a symbol of Tehran and in present-day is known as one of notable Tehran’s tourist attractions. We suggest you visit this place after hours; as the lighting of this monument is very sensational at night, surrounded by magnificent fountains.
it is interesting to know that the green space of this square has been built according to the traditional Persian gardens and perhaps this building can be considered one of the rare buildings in Iran in which the combination of traditional and modern architecture is well preserved.
5. Explore Tehran Grand Bazaar
The assumption that people only explore the market to purchase goods is not always right, especially when we are talking about traditional markets with the specific old charms, waiting for you to explore.
Tehran grand bazaar, an extensive center is located near Golestan palace and is almost always crowded.
If you are interested in busy places, meeting diverse people, and strolling glamorous markets with all kinds of different products, this market is the place for you, otherwise, we suggest you visit this market in the morning on working days! because it is more secluded at that time.
There are also traditional coffee houses in this bazaar, which can be an interesting experience for you if you are a tea drinker, and you will also get familiar with the glorious architecture of the Safavid period (dynasty era).
6. Bam-e Tehran; Standing Over the Whole City
Going to Bam-e Tehran (the roof of Tehran) means standing above the whole city and watching over houses, streets, cars, and people from up there. Bam-e Tehran is located in the Velenjak neighborhood, at the foot of the Alborz mountain range.
There are walking paths on Bam-e Tehran and you can easily reach the highest place of capital by foot, but if you are not a fan of walking, there are buses that take you up there, and drive you at the lowest possible cost, to almost cable car stations; where the best scenery awaits you.
There are all kinds of cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. on Bam-e Tehran, and all the amenities you need for a few hours of entertainment are at your disposal.
When you get to this point, you want to take photos from everywhere and take selfies of this indescribable view, so don’t forget to bring a camera or your cellphone along.
7. Iranian Artists Forum; All Cultures in One Place
As backpackers or budget travelers, if you are looking for one of the best free entertainment in Tehran and you want to learn more about Iranian cultures and customs, Iranian artists forum located on Artists park is one of the best options.
This establishment in Tehran has displayed all Persian cultures in one place and is home to many ancient and contemporary paintings in 7 galleries.
In addition to visiting galleries and exhibitions at the Iranian Artists forum, you can also find and talk to very young Tehran from the art world there, because this building is usually a hangout for artists, students, and, of course, tourists and will convey a good sense of artistic passion in you. Take a walk around the galleries and then relax on the benches outside the complex.
These galleries are not free but they cost very little and considering a journey you’ll take, I say it worth it.
8. Tehran Darband; Combination of Hiking and Mountain Climbing in Pristine Nature
Darband is one of the most popular tourist areas of Tehran that even if you are new here, you probably have heard of its pristine nature.
Located in the north of Saadabad garden, Darband is considered as one of the old areas of Shemiran, so stunning that in the past many kings and rulers of Iran lived there.
This very pleasant and refreshing neighborhood is one of the best free entertainment that is offered to you in Tehran, especially in summer.
Many residents of Tehran consider this area as a separate village, but nowadays this place has become so well-received that it can be considered a significant part of Tehran.
People who are interested in mountaineering spend their weekends in this area and the very breathtaking nature with a delightful climate and its unforgettable scenery can not be ignored.
Of course, this area is not only for athletics; Many people who are looking for delicious food in a fabulous setup also like Darband.
In short, Darband is great for those who want to spend a whole day hiking and climbing and also enjoy a delicious meal, exactly what backpackers can expect enjoyable in a city like Tehran.
Read more: Traveling to Isfahan on a Budget
9. Don’t Forget Glassware and Ceramic Museum
If you are interested in handicrafts, a visit to the glassware and ceramic museum, called the “Abgineh” as one of the least expensive fun activities for backpackers in Tehran, can also make you happy.
This museum is an elegant mansion, with a combination of Persian and European architecture, in which the art of Iranian masters is more visible, and mirrors and plastered ceilings convey an eastern vibe for sure.
The history of Tehran’s Abgineh museum dates back to the Qajar period, but the European art used in it has made it very attractive. It is interesting to know, the “Abgineh” museum takes care of ancient glasses that belong to the 2nd millennium BC.
10. Finally Vanak Village & Persian Garden
Vanak village is one of the old and green neighborhoods in the north of Tehran. During the Qajar period, this borough and its surrounding lands and gardens belonged to the family of Mirza Hassan Khan Mostofi al-Malik. His tomb is also located in the complex known as “Bagh Mostofi” (the current location of Al-Zahra University) in Vanak village.
If you are looking for a quiet area in Tehran, as budget backpackers, we suggest visiting Vanak village and the Persian garden located there.
This quiet area is located in the north of Vanak Square and is one of the old areas of Tehran.
Vanak village once had large gardens, but these days there is no sign of them left, however, the lack of gardens does not detract from the attractiveness of this area, and there are narrow alleys and beautiful wooden doors that have created a spectacular view.