Sa’d abAd museum complex
Sprawling across the foothills of Darband, this estate was a summer home to royals since the Qajar dynasty, although it was the Pahlavis who expanded it to the site you see today. Covering 110 hectares and comprising 18 separate buildings, it will take you a good three hours to see everything. For a glimpse into the luxurious life of the shahs, don’t miss the extravagant 54-room White Palace, built in the 1930s. The more classical-looking Green Palace dates from the end of the Qajar erea Other highlights include the eclectic Nations Art Museum, found in the basement of the White Palace, and the well-curated Fine Art Museum. And for those whose tastes run to particular subjects, there are exhibitions covering royal vehicles, military paraphernalia, royal costumes and even royal tableware. The museum-complex grounds are also a pleasant place for strolling. All tickets must be bought at either the front gate near Tajrish or at the northern entrance from Darband; entering from the north makes sense if you’ve previously spent the morning and had lunch in Darband. Ask at either ticket office for the useful English map. There’s a minibus (IR10,000) that shuttles regularly from the front gate, pausing at the White Palace on the way up to the Green Palace, then back again. For refreshments, there are two pleasant but unexceptional cafes inside the grounds. To get to the front gate, walk or take a taxi (IR80,000) 1.5km northwest from Tajrish Sq, beginning on Ja’fari St and turning left and right (ask anyone for ‘Musee Sa’d Abad’). Or go to Darband and enter from there.