Mellat Park – Explore one of Tehran’s Biggest Parks

Mellat Park, in Tehran, is in the Northern part of the city, towards Tajrish, and about half way between the two different hotels I stayed in on my last project in Tehran.

It’s one of the biggest green spaces in the city and boasts a wide range of things to see, as well as plenty of places where you can just chill out and enjoy the park.

I was staying at the Homa hotel when I walked up to the park one weekend and took these pictures. It was in early February, so the middle of Winter, and the trees were all bare (and it was very cold!).

But it must look spectacular in the Summer!

This map shows the location of the park in relation to the Homa hotel and the Vanak district:

Map of northern Tehran focusing on Mellat Park

The park is about a 15 – 20-minute walk from the Homa and sits on the left (west) of Vali-e-asr Street as you walk up towards Tajrish.

The lower part of that street boasts a small park on the left that contains exercise equipment (not heavily used when I took this!):

Exercise equipment beside the lower part of Vali-e-asr Street, Tehran

There are benches and gardens in the park, where you can just sit and chill. I tried to capture the style of these street lamps because they are very European (French, to my mind):

Lamps in the rest area beside Vali-e-asr Street, Tehran

Walking up Vali-e-asr Street I came to the main entrance to the park.

The tunnel of lights at the entrance was obviously a temporary structure to celebrate something – I assume it was Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which was about two weeks away when I took these pictures (it must have looked fantastic at night):

Tunnel of lights at the entrance to Mellat Park, Tehran

Walking into the park I climbed up some steps to the edge of a small lake (which is behind me in the picture below). Turning around, this is looking back at from where I’ve walked into the park:

Looking back towards the main entrance to Mellat Park

At the other side of the lake there’s a cafeteria area, with a number of restaurants where you can get something to eat and drink. Not very busy when I was there but, no doubt, a different story in the Summer:

Cafeteria area at the edge of the lake in Mellat Park

The park is beautifully maintained and, as I said earlier, it must look beautiful in the Summer when the trees have their leaves and the flowers are in bloom:

View of Mellat Park

There are some sculpted bushes in the background of this circle. It looks like a roundabout but, of course, there are no cars in the park:

Sculpted bushes in Mellat Park

And this one is from the other side of the ’roundabout’ above – a closer look at the sculpted bushes:

A closer look at the sculpted bushes in Mellat Park

I was impressed by the number of feral cats that roamed the park. At least, I assume they are feral because the nearest residences are on the other side of Vali-e-asr Street, and the cats would be taking their lives in their hands crossing that!

There are actually 5 cats in this picture, but they will be hard to spot if you’re viewing this on a hand-held device:

Feral cats in Mellat Park

And the one downside, for me: a zoo and aviary. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not a fan of animals kept in captivity and the enclosure in which the animals here were kept looked pretty bare of food.

However, I do recognise that zoos can provide an educational function and, although I’m not able to read Farsi, I assume that these notices are imparting information about the in-mates:

Zoo in Mellat Park, Tehran

As I’ve said elsewhere, I thoroughly enjoyed my times in Tehran. Everyone was incredibly friendly and very happy that I was taking an interest in their city.

The policies of the government do mean that there are some quirks you will come across that could well make you feel uneasy the first time you visit.

I covered some pointers for the first-time visitor here.

As in so many countries, though, there’s a big gap between the government and the people, and I do recommend a visit to Iran if you get the chance.

Test your knowledge! Have fun with one of our travel quizzes – click here!

Have you visited? Let us know in the comments!

Cheers,

Martin Malden

Martin Malden
The Expat Traveller

What do you think?

2 comments… add one
  • Matt Lin Apr 26, 2020 @ 19:44

    Hi Martin,

    Love to know there is equipment on the street for people who want an exercise in summertime, not wintertime. I found the design of exercise equipment is very similar to those kinds in my hometown, so they look familiar to me.

    It’s rare for me that having wild animals in a public park instead of in a zoo. For red deers kept in Mellat park, isn’t it improper? Or they were kept there because that area is their habitat in the past?

    Matt

    • Martin Malden Apr 27, 2020 @ 8:39

      Hi Matt,

      I’m not a fan of animals kept in captivity.

      I would still describe the enclosure in Mellat Park as a zoo, because the animals are in captivity. A far better way to enable people to watch animals is to create game reserves. These are usually 100s of square miles in area and the purpose is not to cage the animals but to protect them from humans. The animals run freely within the reserves and they live and feed themselves as they do naturally.

      Visitors can view the animals with properly trained and qualified guides who know where the different types of animal can be found.

      This is a much better way of doing things!

      Cheers,

      Martin.

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