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Transport in Tehran

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Even though Tehran has a seemingly limited public transportation system as compared with most major European cities and suffers from major gridlock, the fact is travelling in and around the city could not be easier.

From the Airport (regular international terminal)

Arriving for the first time in a new city that has an international airport a distance away from the city centre can feel daunting.  Getting home or to your hotel from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKEA), however could not be safer and easier.  As soon as you exit the airport terminal, you will notice a taxi stand.  The airport has a professional fleet of (light yellow) cars called “Sayrosafar” that can take very safely get you to your destination.   The fares are fixed and you will be looking to pay 800,000 IRR for a one-way trip.

Please note: There will be many very friendly Iranians who will want to very helpfully direct you to the taxi stand, but there will also be many who will want to offer you rides in their private cars. Whilst it is, obviously, highly advisable to stick to the official airport cars, you will soon find that a disproportionate number of Tehranis operate as cabbies for a second job and it is therefore quite normal in Tehran to hop into the car or a complete stranger and feel confident that you will arrive to your destination safely – more on this later!


Metro Airport Extension

The principle Tehran Metro line, Line 1 or the Red Line has recently been extended to the airport but it currently runs a very limited service. The new airport extension is Line 8 – the Green Line. Trains run every half-hour from 6.45 AM- 01.30 PM daily.  The entrance to Tehran Metro from Imam Khomeini International Airport is in front of Terminal A.  The metro extending to the international airport is very welcome news indeed, as when fully operational, it will cut travel-time for the city centre easily by an hour – taking approximately 30 minutes in total.

From CIP (Commercially Important Persons)

Should you have the privilege of arriving at the CIP airport lounge, you will have many high-end transport options to choose from including Volvo sedan or you can even rent a car.  For more information, please visit:

Tehran Metro

Like all big cities, taking the metro is naturally the fastest, most efficient mode of public transport.  Although ever expanding, as mentioned above, it remains relatively limited in terms of its reach and access.  If you live or are staying near to a metro station, then it is clearly not only a system you should definitely take advantage of, it is also an experience you should not miss! The Tehran Metro currently operates eight lines (although two lines are actually extensions of existing lines). Maps are easily downloadable from the internet.  Trains mainly operate between 5.30 AM-10.30 PM.  For urbanites who are accustomed to taking the metro in other cities, Tehran Metro will be second nature.  You can buy a one-way or return ticket from the “kiosk”, but it is advisable to invest in a (pay as you go) travel card, which can be currently purchased for 50,000 IRR and which has to be topped up.  A one-way fare is very inexpensive and will cost you about 10,000 IRR.  Like most European metro lines, the lines have numbers and are identified by the final stop on the line. The accessible lines are line 1 (the Red line) and line 4 (the Yellow line). Imam Khomeini and Darvazeh Dolat stations are the main connecting stations.

metro map

Although men, woman and families use all carriages, there is a “woman-only” carriage at the end of each train should one choose.  Please note that like most metros, Tehran Metro can get very crowded during peak times.  During the crammed, busy periods, female travelers may prefer to opt for the woman-only carriage.  This is mainly because you will quickly notice that ‘personal space’ in Iran is somewhat tighter than in Europe.  If someone stands closer to you than you are accustomed to and that makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and ask them to stand away.

Tehran Bus Network

Buses are a real wonder in Iran! They are frequent, timely, clean and fabulously cheap. 

Bus Rapid Transport (BRT)

Tehran BRTlinesmap

The BRT is as the name implies is a rapid bus network with dedicated buses lanes across Tehran. The network carries approximately two million passengers daily. There are 10 principle Bus routes running every 3-4 minutes daily.  The daytime buses are operational from 5.00 AM – 09.00 PM.  There is also a night service starting from 10.00 PM – 5.00 AM across the 10 routes, but which runs a less frequent service.

Although you can pay by cash, Travel Cards are becoming increasingly mandatory.  These are the same travel cards that are used in the Metro.  They card is purchased for 50,000 IRR and then topped up.  If you don’t have a card however do not fear, the driver will surely accept cash if he notices you are new in town.  In any case, you will see that Iranians who are famously very generous and hospitable will pay your bus fare if they see you are in a tight spot. 

Similarly, to the Metro, the back of the bus is designated as the for “woman-only” section.  It is easy to feel offended to be relegated to the back of the bus.  In practice, however, choosing this option as a lone female traveler can also feel reassuring - knowing nothing untoward will happen when using public transport.

Use Bus App

Tehran municipality has recently developed a mobile phone application for both Android and iOS to help travellers plan their journey by public transport. Users can check bus and metro arrivals, congestion zones, gas stations, hospitals and much more.

Once you input the start and end of your journey, the application will suggest the best routes between stations and stops, places of interest, as well as the address. The Android version of Tehran Traffic is available for free download from Bazaar (Iranian Android Market). If you can read Persian, it is free to download for iOS too.

Buses to Provinces

The Buses from Tehran to the Provinces is truly a marvel, whose price, cleanliness and efficiency will bring any British traveler to tears.  Bus Terminals are divided into regions. There is “Beyhaghi” for the North, and South, East and West Terminals.  All you need to do is to show up, buy your ticket and hop on board.  The fares are very reasonable and obviously vary according to where you are travelling to. They run very frequently and they even provide you with fruit juice and a cake.


As previously mentioned everyone is a cabby in Tehran!  Taxi’s therefore come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  There are the official Yellow or Green “Taxi” cabs that run set routes and run on a metre.  There are regular marked or un unmarked communal taxi cabs that run set routes called also called “Khati”, meaning ‘Line’.  There are regular members of the public who run taxi services from their personal cars.  They can be taken privately or communally – if you wish to specify that you do not want the driver to pick up other passengers en route, you have to specify that you want to take a “dar-bast”, meaning ‘closed-door’.  Other private cab services include the “Agence”, which are telephone taxis, similar to what “mini-cab” services in London.

The fares for the communal cabs and khatis are still very inexpensive, but the taxi services, dar-bast and Agence services have reached astronomical prices in recent years and seem to be a law on to themselves.  You should be aware that as a recent arrival working out and then negotiating the correct fare can be extremely challenging as you are bound to be over-charged.  Even die-hard Tehranis can find themselves being taken for a ride, literally!!

Snapp and Tap30

Snapp and Tap30 are Tehran’s answer to Uber.  The Apps are easily downloadable on your phone and the language can be set to English.  Snapp and Tap30 prices are rising but they are still a lot cheaper than if you were to catch any variation of the private (as opposed to communal) taxi services mentioned above.  Furthermore, with the fares being set, you can rest assured that you will not be ripped-off. The care, the driver and fare are announced in the app at the point of confirming the ride.  Although peak fare hikes have been recently introduced just like there were with Uber.  Unlike Uber, they do not alter during the ride should congestion or the route change. You can pay electronically as well as by cash and you can opt to receive an electronic receipt should you opt to do so. 


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32 Sharifi Manesh Street

Elahieh 19274

Tehran - IRAN

Phone 1 : (+98) 912 402 7916

Email: .

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