Inside Golestan Palace in Tehran, Iran

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Last Updated on April 22, 2024 by Audrey Scott

Persia's Qajar dynasty kings knew how to have a good time. (Some may argue that they did so at the expense of their subjects and their country, but that's another matter entirely.)

For now, a visual. Take a peek inside the lavishly tiled and ornate Khalvat-e-karimkhani room at Golestan Palace in Tehran, Iran. Imagine Qajar dynasty kings from 200 years ago relaxing with a water pipe in this cool outdoor lounge and waiting to greet their subjects from their marble throne.

Golestan Palace in Tehran, Iran.
Khalvat-e-karimkhani room at Golestan Palace in Tehran, Iran.

Disclosure: Our trip to Iran is in cooperation with G Adventures as Wanderers in Residence. We paid our own transport to and from Iran, some expenses on the ground and for an additional one week private tour. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.


Our experiences above were from the G Adventures Discover Persia Tour. If you plan to book this or another tour with G Adventures, please consider starting the process by clicking on the ad below. The price stays the same to you and we earn a small commission that helps us to continue sharing stories like this. Thank you!

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About Daniel Noll
Travel and life evangelist. Writer, speaker, storyteller and consultant. Connecting people to experiences that will change their lives. Originally from the U.S. Daniel has lived abroad since 2001 and most recently has been on the road since 2006. When he's not writing for the blog you can keep up with his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about him on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

16 thoughts on “Inside Golestan Palace in Tehran, Iran”

  1. If you have visited the Mughal dynasty palaces in India (and I know you have), this reminds me of that – but this seems to be on steroids of the Mughal version! (Don’t know). Mughals originally came from Persia.

    But, yes, these people knew how to live! Wow!

      • Thanks, Imran. Is this then what is characteristic of so-called pre-Mughal style, as in the 60-dome mosque pictured here?

  2. @Sutapa: It’s interesting you mention the Persian influence on the Mughals because the Persians are actually Aryans who had migrated from India thousands of years ago. Kind of feels like history coming full circle. The Qajar Dynasty was especially known for it’s opulence (and greed), not always to the benefit of the country. You should have seen the rest of the palace and mirrored rooms! Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside.

    @Frank: To make these panoramas we use an 8mm fisheye lens and take 4 photos at a 90-degree angle (plus one on top for good measure). Then we use special software (Autopano Giga) to stitch the 5 images into a flat panorama. After that, we use PanoTour Pro to make it into the flash “tour” you see above. If the images are shot well, it’s actually a very easy process.

    We also wish we had this lens and technology when we first started traveling through Central Asia…maybe we’ll just need to return 🙂

  3. love the panoramas… how do you shoot those, equipment and such ?…breathtaking…makes me want to return to every incredible vista I’ve seen with my eyes to share with my friends, as you so wonderfully do

  4. I could definitely imagine myself relaxing in this outdoor lounge…shisha pipe and tea in hand. Really beautiful design and masterful tile artwork, beautiful!

  5. Wow, the intricate detail work is very beautiful. I’m so glad you two are in Iran so I can experience it vicariously through you – I’d love to visit sometime, but right now my partner is a little on the hesitant side. 🙂

  6. I was fascinated to read your post on why you’re going to Iran, and to see the updates and the tale of your ‘Iranian Grandma’! I love it when people can report that their experience of a country are so very different to the perceptions we have through the media.

    Love this panorama too 🙂

  7. thanks for the info, Audrey. I’m laying on my couch right now and my ceiling isn’t nearly as nice.You guys are so gracious and kind in sharing your life and knowledge. You bring a beautiful world to us with remarkable vision and perception that is at once exhilarating, human, and humbling. Thank you.

  8. Normally these kind of architecture is quite seen in Central Asia. The Islamic architecture what you can call it as. There are some dome architectures i visited where it echoes the sounds. Though it is ancient, the people then had great thought for architecture which is lacking even today.

  9. Having never been to the Middle East (though I’m hoping to get there in 2012!) I am so excited to see such beautiful image – I especially love the way you featured it as panorama. The tile work is so amazing. Nice shot!

  10. @Mark: The shisha pipe (or qalyan, if you like) is the kicker!

    @Christy: It really was. I can appreciate the hesitancy, but our experience demonstrated to us that Iran is safe, certainly much safer and enjoyable than media coverage would let on.

    @Andrea: Glad we are able to communicate something a little closer to reality about on-the-street Iran than we might get through traditional media. Glad you enjoyed the panorama, too.

    @Frank: Thanks for such a kind comment. Exhilarating, human and humbling. We are grateful for such a gracious characterization.

    @Azeem: The history of Islamic architecture throughout Central Asia is impressive. We remember our time, especially in Uzbekistan. Iran definitely has some of the most representative works for sure.

    @Jeremy: Was one of the many amazing places throughout Iran, really. Glad you like the panoramas…more coming.

    @Jessica: Glad you like the panorama. It seemed a fitting way to capture some of these interiors. Enjoy your travels in the Middle East.

  11. @kourosh: Thank you for the compliments! We’re glad we could take you back home on a journey to Iran. Stay tuned, we’ll be writing about Iran some more in the coming weeks.


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