Tehran Tourist Attractions 25 Oct 2023 BY Batul Iddi

Darband: A Natural Haven in Tehran, Iran

Are you seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of Tehran? Darband is the perfect place to unwind, enjoy scenic walks, indulge in delicious street food or a satisfying meal, and embrace the refreshing mountain air.

Darband is one of the most calming places in Tehran, with a mountain-village ambiance, providing the perfect setting to unwind with a cup of tea and a qalyan.

Darband in Persian means a "door of the mountain." this former village near Tajrish, a neighborhood within Tehran's metropolis, holds a rich history spanning two centuries.

Darband's famous hiking route winds through a narrow rocky valley, accompanied by water from the river cascading down the mountains. It is spattered with a panoramic sequence of restaurants, teahouses, booths, and hookah lounges adorned with flowers, pools, and fountains, immersing you in the allure of the mountain-village atmosphere.

Join us as we embark on a journey to explore this idyllic retreat, delving into its fascinating history, remarkable attractions, favorable climate, and the best time to experience its wonders.


The History of Darband in Tehran

The History of Darband in Tehran

Darband is situated in the northern part of Tehran's Shemiran district near Sa'd Abad Palace. It offers enchanting valleys and cascades, such as Osoon Valley, Abshar-Sootak, and Twin Falls (Abshar-dogholou). The mountainous terrain has shaped a unique lifestyle for the inhabitants, who still reside in old rustic houses along narrow, winding lanes, often accompanied by their domestic animals.

Its historical roots can be traced back almost 200 years, with notable landmarks like Morgh-Mahalle, Kalagh-Par and Shater Garden, which is nearly a century old.

The first inhabitants of Darband in Tehran were a couple from Taleghan who established the foundation for the village. Due to its strategic location, the area attracted a significant number of affluent individuals and officials during that time. Many wealthy people and kings constructed private residences in this summer retreat, contributing to the neighborhood's allure. The popularity of Darband soared during the Qajar period, with princes like Kioumars Mirza and Prince Allah Verdi calling this neighborhood home.

In 1923, Nasser-al Din Shah Qajar established his first dining room in the region. The area experienced further prosperity with the construction of Sa'd Abad Palace during the Pahlavi era.


Darband Hiking Trail

Darband Hiking Trail

If you would like to hike, the Darband hiking trail is a popular starting point for hikers, particularly those seeking to climb the Tochal summit. This trail offers a delightful loop that attracts many outdoor enthusiasts. The journey begins in Pas Ghal'eh village and takes you on a gradual ascent, leading you to notable landmarks along the way.

One of the highlights of the Darband hiking trail is the majestic Abshar Dogholou waterfall. With a length of 20 meters, this waterfall provides a breathtaking sight for hikers to admire. Continuing the ascent, you will come across the Shirpala hut, a mountain shelter located at an elevation of 2750 meters above sea level. The Shirpala hut offers basic facilities, providing a place for hikers to rest and recharge before proceeding further.

To enhance accessibility and make the hiking experience more convenient, the Darband chairlift was established four decades ago. Initially designed for the easy commute of hikers and residents of Pas Ghal'eh village, the chairlift now serves both hikers and visitors who wish to enjoy light hiking while also indulging in the offerings of Darband restaurants and teahouses higher up the mountainside.

The chairlift operates on weekdays from 8:00 am and on weekends from 6:00 am, accommodating the varying schedules of hikers and visitors. To access the chairlift, there is a lift available at Sarband Square that takes you to the entrance. At Sarband Square, you will also encounter the famous climber statue, serving as a symbol of the adventurous spirit that awaits you along the Darband hiking trail.


The Unique Nightlife of Darband

The Unique Nightlife of Darband

One of the best things about Darband is its unique and vibrant nightlife, where the mountains come alive after dark. This cozy neighborhood in northern Tehran offers a variety of restaurants, teahouses, and hookah lounges that stay open late.

Locals and tourists gather to savor Persian cuisine, sip on traditional teas, and enjoy the cool mountain air. As the evening progresses, the atmosphere becomes more lively, with many places offering live music and a chance to socialize.


The Climber Statue

The Climber Statue

The Climber Statue in Darband, Tehran, stands as a 3-meter icon in the area, built around fifty years ago to honor Colonel Amir Shahghadami. This courageous officer played a pivotal role in saving a group of American climbers whose plane crashed in the northern mountains of Tehran. For his brave rescue operation, he received a medal of courage from US President John F. Kennedy.

Recognizing his heroic actions, the Iranian government of that time decided to commemorate Colonel Amir Shahghadami by erecting a statue in the middle of Sarband Square. This square serves as the entrance to the mountainous region and holds significance for visitors to Darband. Though the Climber Statue is a popular subject for photographs, its historical background remains less known to many.

Even after fifty years, the Climber Statue stands proudly in Darband Square, preserving the memory of Colonel Amir Shahghadami's remarkable bravery. He retired with the rank of colonel and passed away in May 2008, leaving behind a legacy of heroism and gratitude for his selfless actions.


Darband Food: Famous Restaurants and Cafes

Darband Food and Famous Restaurants and Cafes

Darband is a haven for food enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of culinary delights. From street food vendors to cozy cafés and elegant restaurants. Let's explore the food scene and some famous establishments in this vibrant neighborhood:

  1. Cafés and Tea Houses: As you enter Darband, you'll be greeted by a charming mountainous atmosphere. The winding path is lined with numerous small cafes, traditional teahouses, and restaurants. These establishments are popular among both locals and tourists, especially in the evenings. The décor is often adorned with flowers, pools, fountains, couches, and carpet cushions, creating a delightful ambiance.
  2. Cliffside Restaurants: Darband is famous for its cliffside restaurants, offering a stunning dining experience. Darband Persian restaurants serve a mix of traditional and modern cuisines. Here, you can enjoy having your meal or drink while listening to the harmonious melody of the river and the waterfalls at Darband restaurants.
  3. Street Food Delights: Apart from restaurants and cafés, Darband is also a great place to indulge in street food. Numerous stalls offer kebabs, Darband Persian grill, grilled corn (balal), cooked beans and beetroot (baghali and laboo), hot or cold drinks such as Dough-e Abali, as well as snacks, cookies, chocolates, and famous Darband Persian fruit conserves with a variety of sweet and sour flavors.


Some Famous Restaurants in Darband

Some Famous Restaurants in Darband

There are several renowned restaurants in Darband that are worth a visit and the best thing is that most Darband restaurant hours are 24/7. Kouhsar is a popular choice, known for its beautiful decoration and diverse menu featuring Iranian, international, and seafood dishes.

Baghe-Behesht is another famous restaurant, which becomes even more captivating at night with its illuminating lights. Kouhpayeh offers a pleasant dining experience with a blend of Iranian, Italian, and European cuisines. For a luxurious experience, head to Roast, located on Sarband Square, which boasts spectacular mountain views and serves fantastic international cuisine.


Darband Trekking Route

Trekking Route

If you're planning a trek in Darband, The trek begins from the spiral asphalt route next to the telesiege (chairlift). From there, you'll want to follow the westward path. After approximately 1 kilometer, you'll come across a bypass. If you take the bypass, it will lead you to Imamzadeh Ibrahim. However, if you continue on the main path, you'll reach a fork known as "Osoun."

Continuing on the main path, you'll trek for about three kilometers until you reach a metal bridge. Once you pass each side of the fork after the bridge, you'll arrive at a picturesque valley alongside a river. This valley is an ideal spot for resting and relaxation, with its towering trees and refreshing breeze. The elevation of this location is approximately 2050 meters above sea level.

From this valley, there is a pathway that leads to Twin Falls and Shirpala Shelter, offering further exploration opportunities. If you're seeking a longer trek, these destinations can be included in your itinerary.


Zahir-od-Dowleh Cemetery in Darband

The Zahir-ol-Dowleh cemetery in Darband is the final resting place of numerous Iranian giants of art and culture. Renowned figures such as Iraj Mirza, Forough Farrokhzad, Mohammad-Taqi Bahar, Abolhasan Saba, Ruhollah Khaleqi, Rahi Moayyeri, and Darvish Khan are buried here.


Things to Do in Darband

Things to do in Darband

Besides hiking and enjoying the diverse culinary options, Darband offers other activities that can enhance your experience in this beautiful area. Here are some additional things to do:

  1. Relaxation Spot: If you're seeking a tranquil retreat, continue walking for about 10 minutes from the main area. You'll discover a serene oasis adorned with lush plants, natural streams, and even waterfalls. Here, you'll find platforms furnished with cozy rugs and pillows. Take the opportunity to unwind, sip tea, indulge in various snacks, or even try a hookah.
  2. Tehran Sledge: If you're a fan of exciting games and amusements, make sure to include a visit to Tehran Sledge in your plans. The Tehran Sledge is located near Darband Street, and it provides an opportunity to engage in thrilling activities while enjoying breathtaking mountain vistas.


Where to Stay Near Darband

Where to Stay Near Darband

When it comes to finding a place to stay near Darband, you have several options that ensure a comfortable experience including Osuan Hotel, Darband hotel, and Wisteria hotel. If you need assistance with hotel bookings, we can help you make arrangements for your stay.


Best Time to Visit Darband

Darband holds its charm throughout the year, with each season offering its unique atmosphere. Spring and summer bring vibrant colors and pleasant weather, making it an ideal time to visit. The surrounding nature flourishes, and you can enjoy the lush greenery and blooming flowers.

Autumn paints Darband in warm hues, creating a picturesque setting. The crisp air and falling leaves add to the enchanting ambiance, making it a great time for a visit.

Best Time to Visit Darband

Even during winter, Darband has its own allure. The snow-covered landscape creates a stunning winter wonderland, offering a different perspective and a chance to enjoy some winter activities.

While Thursdays and Fridays tend to be more crowded due to the weekend, you can visit Darband any day of the week and at any hour to have a delightful experience. So, choose the season that suits you best or visit whenever you have the opportunity, and immerse yourself in the beauty and enjoyment that Darband has to offer.


How to Get to Darband

How To Get To Darband

There are multiple ways to reach Darband, depending on your preferred mode of transportation:

  1. By Car: You can access Darband from either Tajrish Square or Shariati Street. From Tajrish Square, take Farah Khosrow Street and continue onto Darband Street. Alternatively, you can travel along Shariati Street, and Darband Street will be alongside it. It's as simple as that!
  2. By Metro: If you choose to take the metro, disembark at Tajrish Metro Station on the 1st line. This station is the last stop on that line. From there, you'll find yourself directly in front of Darband Street. It's a 3-kilometer street, so you can either take a car or enjoy a leisurely walk.
  3. By Bus: To reach Darband by bus, hop on BRT 7th line and ride it to the last station. This will bring you to Tajrish Square. From there, follow Gholam Jafari Street until you reach Darband Street.
  4. On Foot: If you prefer to explore on foot, you can easily find your way to Darband from Tajrish Square. Take Fana Khosrow Street and continue until you reach Darband Street. The walk typically takes around 30 minutes.


Bottom Line

Darband is a must-visit destination for travelers in Tehran. With its captivating natural beauty, rich cultural experiences, and delectable cuisine, it offers a unique and refreshing escape from the city's fast pace. Whether you're exploring the scenic hiking trails, indulging in traditional restaurants, or savoring the tranquility of the charming tea houses, Darband provides an opportunity to unwind and embrace the simple pleasures of life.

Book one of our tour packages today and experience this hurly-burly aura full of people spending their evenings. Start your Darband adventure now!

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