It is likely you have heard lots of things about Iran’s ancient history. If you want to revise visually all of Iran’s history from 1 million years ago to the contemporary era, you ought to visit the National Museum of Iran in the center of Tehran. Also, the National Museum is one of the top 10 places in Tehran and a must-see for tourists; especially history enthusiasts.

In this blog post, we will give you a brief regarding the national museum, things to visit there, and more information about this museum. Read on to find out what is going on in the national museum. Is it worth visiting this museum or should you spend your time visiting another attraction?

What will you find in the National Museum?

National Museum of Persia is divided into the ancient Iran museum (Muze-ye Iran Bastan) and Museum of Islamic era (Muze-ye Eslami). They each are in a separate building which are accessible through the yard. We suggest you to start the visit from the first signs of humans in the history section in the ancient Iran museum on the side of the entrance.

Before talking about these two museums, we should add that this complex is the first and the most important museums of Iran, since they consist of arts, heritage, culture, and lifestyle of people who were living inside Iran’s border. Also, this precious collection reflects Iran’s ancient civilization.

Now it is time to have a brief review of the ancient Iran museum and the museum of the Islamic era with a focus on the objects that are exhibited there.

Ancient Iran Museum

The ancient Iran museum was constructed in 1933 by the French architecture Andre Godard (Designer) and two Iranian builders. The ancient Iran Museum’s building has two floors and a basement. The antiques collection is arranged base on the historic eras. The eras range from about 1 million years ago to the Sassanid era (Before the Islamic era).

Now! We start the visit together from the entrance of the museum. Are you ready?

The arch design of the entrance was retrieved from the famous Sassanid monument named Taq-e-Kasra. Then, you can start your visit from the second floor to the first floor. In this way, you will first visit the objects belonging to the Paleolithic to the early state period. The first floor objects, however, belong to Eliminates to Sassanid Era. To classify the periods in the museum from the start to the end are:

  • The Paleolithic Period: The Neolithic Period
  • The early States and Urban Societies:
  • Elamite (Iron age)
  • The Achaemenids
  • The Seleucids
  • The Parthians
  • The Sassanid

Although without enough background information, one might feel confused at the beginning, the artistic designs of the objects attracts the attention on the first floor. This is for the reason that it is hard to imagine that people from more than 2000 years ago with their simple tools, made these high-level objects with remarkable details.

The second floor is a world of beauties itself. You just have to remind yourself that these objects had been used by an early human when there was not any concept of civilization.

Overall, it is better to have some basic knowledge of Iran’s archeology in advance. I suggest using the brochures which are available in the museum or buying guide books from a bookstore near the museum.

It is interesting to know that some Iranian heritage was transferred abroad from the exploration site. Accordingly, if you have visited of the most important museums in the world like louver, Hermitage, or British Museum, you may have visited Persian tangible heritage there.

Museum of Islamic Era

The Museum of Islamic era started its exhibition in 1996. Although the building design seems modern, it is inspired by the Sassanid palace in Bishapour; this museum was in the process of development until 2015. This museum has 3 floors. However, only the first and second floors are available as museums. Also, its basement is used for seminars and conferences.

The Museum of Islamic art includes everything the archeologist found in around Iran borders from the birth of Islam in Iran (1500 years ago) to the contemporary era. The periods of history in this museum are:

  • The first century of Islam
  • Seljuk period
  • The Ilkhanid period
  • Timurid period
  • Safavid era
  • Afshari period
  • Zandieh period
  • Qajar period

The objects in this museum mostly include dishes, pottery, and architectural decorations with calligraphy and arabesque designs. You can see how Islamic art is a mixture of complicated and elegant details. The Colors will also catch your eyes with their eye-catching harmony.

If you visit both the ancient Iran museum and the Islamic art museum, you will find out that the art in the Islamic era is a continuation of the previous eras. For instance, the art of pottery has developed in its structure and design

Things you need to know before visiting the National Museum

  • It is important to know that these two museums are just a selection of the ancient and Islamic era. You can visit the carpet museum, museum of glass, coin museum and more if you are interested.
  • Visiting the whole national museum takes at least 3 hours. Make sure to rest enough beforehand and pack mineral water and snacks you.
  • It is better to start your visit early in the morning before rush hours.
  • If you are interested you can try the street food near the museum for your lunch.
  • For visiting the ancient museum, you should give your bag to the bailment at the entrance. You can wear a coat or a jacket, so you can put your mobile and other necessary stuff in your pocket before entering the museum.
  • A guidebook of the museum will help you get more information about the museums.

How can you get there? When and where can you visit the National Museum?

The national museum is located in the center of Tehran. This means that though you can get there by public transformation easily, the streets are going to be too crowded during rush hours. The best choice is using the subway. You can get off at the nearest station which is Imam-Khomeini station and arrive at the museum with a 5 or 7-minute walk.

Address: 30 Tir Ave, Emam Khomeini Ave, Tehran

Visiting Hours: 9 am-7 pm Apr-Sep, to 6 pm Oct-Mar

 Tel: +98 21 66702061


We wish this content has helped you get useful information about the national museum of Iran. Also by checking out the blog’s posts, you may find many posts that will help you travel to Iran as easily as possible. If you have any other questions you can contact us.