Iran Middle East Tehran Travel

Tehran Photo Stories

Editor’s Note: Part 4 of the Iran series continues with photo stories through Tehran.

1. Paytakht Shopping Centre

Tehran shopping centre
Paytakht shopping centre

At Paytakht (which means Capital) shopping centre, they mainly sell software, computers, hardware and camera equipment. Software is very cheap in Iran due to there being no copyright or if there is copyright, it’s not respected and it is just copied anyway.

2. Tea House Vendor

Tea House Vendor
Tea House Vendor

This vendor was trying to sell produce outside a tea house on a particularly cold night without much success.

There are water-soaked walnuts in jars (seen next to the man), chaghale badoom (small green-like tomatoes in left foreground), broad beans on a tray in front to the man, lots of dried fruits such as apricots, prunes. I have one word for this vendor, location, location, location! People very rarely want to buy food after they’ve eaten. But perhaps he does a good trade here, otherwise why would he be here?

3. Tehran Toll Gates

Toll gates Tehran
Tehran Toll gates

These are toll gates on the outskirts of Tehran which you have to pass through to get to and from the capital. They look much more ornate than toll gates in Australia.

4. Karaj


Karaj is a city about an hour to hour and half drive west of Tehran and this is the city where we attended our big fat Iranian wedding. The illuminated billboard has the emblem for the Iran Khodro, the national car of Iran. This car is styled on the Fiat 124 from the early 1970’s, which wasn’t a bad car in its day. Under the illuminated billboard, street signs are both in Persian (Farsi) and English which is rare. I’m not sure how many English speaking visitors get to this part of Iran but if I ever got lost, I could at least read some of the signs.

The number 118 at the traffic lights is counting down until the next red light. It doesn’t mean much as Iranians ignore the lights as much as possible and only stop when the light has been red for a couple of seconds and the traffic from side streets is starting to enter the intersection.

5. Red Light Hotel

Red Light Hotel - Tehran
Karaj – Red Light Hotel

I snapped this photo as we were swerving and dodging traffic in Karaj. Only when I got home did I realise what I had snapped, a red-light hotel above a burger joint!

6. Aria Shahr Street

Aria Shahr street (Shahr = City) is closed on Iranian New Year’s Eve (21st March) and hundreds of market stalls are set up. The road gets crammed with sellers and buyers as far as the eye can see. We walked from the beginning of the road where this photo was taken and didn’t even get half-way to the other end before tiring and finding a restaurant to sit and have lunch. A lot of people stopped and said hello to me – “hello” being the limit of their English, then would then just continue to stare after I said hello back. We’d then continue on our merry way through the masses.

Aria shahr
Aria Shahr

Loads of police were behind me when I was taking this photo and my wife kept telling me to hurry up. I was trying to take the perfect shot by climbing up on a railing, thereby making myself more conspicuous to the aforementioned Police and making the aforementioned wife more jittery and increasing the rate of “hurry-ups” she uttered making me more nervous. It was only after snapping this shot and climbing back down that my wife told me the police were looking for women who weren’t wearing modest clothing or not wearing the hijab correctly such as showing too much hair.

Iranians celebrate New Year’s Day on 21st March, which is also the Spring Solstice, a time where a few ancient cultures used to celebrate New Year.

Next in Part 5 – Azadi Tower: The Symbol of  Tehran

Photographs are copyright Bryan Freeman – All rights reserved.

About the author

Bryan Freeman

Bryan is a Sydney-based photographer who loves to travel and capture architectural, landscape, still life/abstract photographs and images of people. Photography is the air he breathes. While he loves the quality film can bring to a scene, he also enjoys the creativity and versatility that digital imaging has brought to everyone. More on Bryan Freeman here