Getting in Tehran
Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA: IKA ICAO: OIIE), located 30km southwest of the city center, is the international airport in Tehran to which passenger flights operate. The domestic airport is called Mehrabad which is inside of the city. If you need a connecting flight inside Iran, you need to travel between the two airports which may take between 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on the traffic.
There are direct flights to/from from numerous European, African, Middle Eastern, and Asian cities; however, there are no direct flights to/from North America or Australia, maybe in the future these flights become available.
If traveling within Iran, train tickets should be bought at the station, from travel agencies, or on the website of the Raja passenger train company .
There is a train that runs between Tehran and either Ankara (€45) or Istanbul (€50). The train departs Istanbul every Wednesday night at 23:55, and departs Ankara on Thursday morning at 10:25, arriving in Tehran on Friday evening at 20:20 (although delays are frequent). The service requires a 4-hour ferry ride and a change of trains at Lake Van. The trains are comfortable and clean and reasonably priced food is available.
Traffic is congested but has improved with the completion of several new tunnels and highways (referred to as Bozorgrah or Otoban in Persian language) across the city. You can drive in from Turkey fairly easily as well as from the Southern parts of Iran.
Almost every city and far-flung village in Iran has bus services to Tehran, as evidenced by the hundreds of buses that pour in and out of the capital each day. Most buses arrive to, or depart from one of four major bus terminals:
- The Western bus terminal (Terminal-e-gharb) is the biggest, busiest and best equipped of Tehran's terminals. Most international buses (e.g. Armenia), as well as those heading to the Caspian Sea region and destinations west of Tehran originate and terminate here. The terminal is a ten minute walk north-west from Azadi Square, and a few minutes walk west from the Tehran (Sadaghieh) metro station.
- The Eastern bus terminal (Terminal-e-shargh), seven km north-east of Emam Hossein square, handles buses to/from Khorasan province, as well a small number of services to the north.
- The Southern bus terminal (Terminal-e-jonoob) is well equipped and handles buses head to and from destinations south of Tehran. It is 2 km east of Tehran's main train station and easily accessible via the dedicated Terminal-e-Jonoob metro stop.
- The Beihaghi bus terminal (Terminal-e-beihaghi) is located beside Arzhantin Square, around 1 km west of the Mossallah metro stop. (Frequent shared taxis to/from the metro should be no more than 10000 rials). The station has services to /from most major destinations in Iran including Mashhad, Esfahan, Rasht, Shiraz, Tabriz and Yazd.
Internationally, Tehran is connected with a bus service to Yerevan (60 USD one way).