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Bookstores in Iran’s Capital
Iranian people have a strong passion for reading. In the bookstores of Tehran, you can find a wide range of literary works, including the poetry of Rumi, the writings of Sadeq Hedayat, the existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir, and the magical realism of Joseph Conrad. Whether you prefer books in Persian or translated versions, Tehran is a city where book lovers are embraced, and you can easily find whatever you’re searching for. In this article, we explore some of the finest bookstores in Tehran.
Book City (Shahr-e Ketab)
Shahr-e Ketab is one of the largest bookstores in Tehran. It is located in the western part of Tehran and covers a large area. This complex consists of several buildings, each floor of which houses various books, including literature, science, history, philosophy, art, and more. Additionally, inside Shahr-e Ketab, there are spaces provided for sitting, reading, and book purchasing. This complex is a popular destination for book enthusiasts in Tehran, and discounts and special sales are usually held here. Shahr-e Ketab, as a large and diverse bookstore reference, is an excellent choice for individuals looking for a variety of books at affordable prices.
Book City does not have just one branch. It has various branches in different parts of Tehran, from the north to the south, from the east to the west. Shahr-e Ketab has different branches in each area of Tehran, particularly in the northern regions. Even a simple visit to one of Shahr-e Ketab’s branches in Tehran can bring you moments and enjoyable times. From original English books to classic Iranian literature and stationery items, everything can be found in Shahr-e Ketab centers. In the following, we will highlight some of the essential branches of Shahr-e Ketab.
Alef Book City
Alef Shahr-e Ketab is considered one of the trendiest bookstores in Tehran. Located on Alef Alley, Moghadas Ardabili Street, in the Tajrish area, it offers easy access to residents of districts one and two in Tehran. Inside this Shahr-e Ketab, you can find a wide range of stationery, Persian, English, and French books, as well as handicrafts. The atmosphere of Shahr-e Ketab Branch Alef is particularly notable due to its location on a quiet alley. Rest assured, a visit to this branch of Shahr-e Ketab will not leave you empty-handed.
- Address: Alef Avenue, Moghadas Ardabili Street, Tajrish District
Ibn-e Sina Book City
Shahr-e Ketab Ibn Sina is a bookstore spanning 750 square meters and consisting of four floors. It is the most significant cultural supply center in West Tehran. The current credibility of this bookstore is attributed to its well-organized and up-to-date collection, which has been shaped by its dedicated team. On the fourth floor, in the music section of Shahr-e Ketab, they have created a different space for discussion and conversation, where you can take a break and engage with friends about the latest artistic and social events.
Hot beverages and homemade cakes are served in the Shahr-e Ketab café. Supporting local artists is an integral part of Ibn Sina Shahr-e Ketab’s activities. This support is carried out through the sale and distribution of artworks by domestic artists. Pottery, candles, paintings, handmade notebooks, glassware, mirrors, and cultural collages are some of the creations by these artists.
Artworks have brought a more refined perspective to this section. The gift section has quickly gained popularity among customers, especially foreigners who want to understand Iranian culture deeply. Many book buyers are enthusiasts of visual collections, calligraphy, illustration, and the exquisite poetry of ancient poets. Others consider precious books as the best gifts, and visitors living abroad have a particular interest in valuable books that showcase the history and civilization of Iran. The books in this section have been sourced from among the best domestic and international editions, ensuring a broad and diverse range. Ibn-Sina Book City is among the best bookstores in Tehran.
- Address: Iran Zamin Avenue, Shahrak-e Gharb, Tehran
Central Book City
Shahr-e Ketab Central Branch is the oldest bookstore in this establishment, located on Shariati Street in Tehran. The atmosphere of this bookstore is very distinct from other bookstores in Tehran. Persian books and stationery are situated on the ground floor, while English, French, German, Russian, and other language books are located on the upper floor. In this bookstore, you can not only browse and purchase a wide range of books and stationery but also listen to live music and buy Iranian musical instruments such as tombak, daf, santoor, setar, and more. The dedicated parking and excellent accessibility of Shahr-e Ketab Central have turned this bookstore into a gathering place for Iranian and international book enthusiasts. Additionally, all the staff in this establishment are fluent in English and can assist you in your purchases.
- Address: No. 75, Kalateh Street, Shariati Avenue, Tehran
Howz-e Noghre (Silver Basin)
The Silver Basin (Howz-e Noghreh) is one of the unique bookstores you’ll find in West Tehran. This bookstore is located in Bamland, near the shores of the Tehran Lake. Amidst dozens of clothing and lifestyle stores, it can confidently be said that Howz-e Noghreh is the most distinctive shop in the Bamland complex. The wooden shelving, haphazard and eclectic decoration, and the use of peculiar and fantasy sculptures all contribute to creating an extraordinary atmosphere.
Additionally, handmade wooden-bound notebooks, oversized and hand-carved pencils, creatively crafted labels, and a variety of fascinating handicrafts are all gathered together in Howz-e Noghreh Bookstore. You can also find the most peculiar and exciting types of stationery there. If you visit Bamland from Sadaf Boulevard, near the parking entrance, you will see a red iron door. Although it is specifically for the employees of the bookstore, visitors are also allowed to use it. The Silver Basin also has another branch on Valiasr Street.
- Address: Bamland Complex, Khalij Fars Lake (Tehran Lake), Chitgar District
The Bookland Bookstore started its activities as a teeny tiny shop in 2014 in the Palladium Center. Palladium branch, being the first branch of Bookland, is located in the Zafaranieh area of Tehran, on Moghadas Ardebili Street, on the third floor (Food Court). The Palladium branch offers services in various sections, including adult books, children and young adult books, entertainment, gifts, and stationery, serving its customers. Bookland Palladium has also provided a space for sitting, socializing, reading, and discussing books, events, experiences, and lives narrated in the heart of stories for its audience.
In the adult book section of the Palladium branch, a variety of books are available in extensive subject categories, including literature from different countries and nations (such as British, French, Russian, American, and German literature) and poetry bookshelves, ranging from Persian classics to contemporary world poetry. The wall shelves dedicated to humanities include up-to-date books as well as essential books in the fields of Western philosophy, Islamic philosophy, social sciences, Iranian and world history, cinema, and theater. Among the Bookland shelves, you can also find a wide variety of foreign language textbooks and original language novels.
- Address: Palladium Mall, Moghadas Ardebili Street, Zaferaniyeh Neighborhood
Avacentre is the second branch of Bookland, which was opened in 2018 in Aqdasiyeh, Tehran, on Movahed-Danesh Street. Avacentre’s Bookland has a cozy and intimate café with a space for customers to sit and enjoy various hot and cold beverages, providing a pleasant environment for flipping through the pages of books. The café in this Bookland creates a comfortable space for gathering, reading, and discussing books and immersing oneself in the world of stories. This bookstore offers a celebration of the aroma of coffee, the sound of music, and countless stories. In the entertainment section, there are various products, including puzzles, board games in different styles and varieties, toys, educational and entertaining products, and brain teasers for children, teenagers, and even adults. Avacenter’s Bookland is considered one of the must-see bookstores in Tehran.
- Address: Avacenter Mall, Movahed Danesh Street, Aghdasieh Neighborhood, Tehran
Nashr-e Saless (Saless Publication) is one of the reputable Iranian publishers in the field of Persian literature, and it has opened two branches of its bookstores so far. One of Nashr-e Saless’s bookstores, which is also among the largest bookstores in Tehran, was recently opened in Iran Mall. Nashr-e Saless’s luxurious and modern decoration in Iran Mall perfectly matches the ambiance of Iran Mall itself. The store space is designed on two floors, and the high ceiling of the store provides a pleasant and serene environment for reading and browsing books.
The entrance of the store is very spacious, and the glass windows showcase the interior of the store beautifully. Nashr-e Saless covers an area of over a thousand square meters. The first Saless store is located on Karim Khan Street, which can confidently be said to be one of the most unique bookstores in Tehran. This store is spread across three floors and welcomes book lovers and art enthusiasts.
- Address: Iran Mall (Western Tehran)
Cheshme bookstores are among the most popular bookstores in Iran. The most famous branch of Cheshme is Cheshme Kourosh, located on the fifth floor of the Kourosh Commercial Complex. One of the reasons for the store’s fame is the organization of two book signing events for books by Adel Ferdowsipour at this bookstore. The store has a vibrant and lively atmosphere, and its staff are all avid readers. Therefore, they assist customers carefully in selecting books. The benefits of this store include the well-organized categorization of books, friendly interactions with the staff, and the perpetually welcoming environment. Cheshme’s central branch, located on Jalaal Al-Ahmad Boulevard, is another well-known bookstore in this chain. Cheshme has seven large stores in Iran.
- Address: Kourosh Mall, Sattari Highway, Tehran
Book Garden is officially the Middle East’s most significant bookstore. Making an effort to visit is definitely worthwhile. Located near the Haghani Metro Station, close to the renowned Nature Bridge, there are shuttle services available for convenient transportation to and from the bookstore. Alternatively, you can take a Snapp taxi, which can drop you off, and finding your way back is easy, either by taxi or shuttle bus. It is recommended to allocate at least half a day for your visit, as the space spans over 64,000 square meters, with 14,000 square meters dedicated solely to books.
If you have children, they will particularly enjoy the children’s section and the Kid’s Cafe located above it. It evoked a strong sense of nostalgia, especially with the larger-than-life statues of beloved animated characters, such as Sinbad, Pippi Longstocking, Ali Baba, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and many more. Additionally, there are ten cinema screens and a good selection of cafes and street food-style outlets. The complex also boasts a 25,000-square-meter green roof garden and impressive vertical gardens at the entrance. Plus, free WiFi is available!
- Address: International Iranian Library, Haghani Highway, Vanak Sq, Tehran
Enghelab Street’s Bookstores
If walking amidst colorful books and inhaling the scent of new and old books is one of your passions, nothing can fill the void like the bookstores along Enghelab Street. When you take a stroll there, everyone is on the lookout for books. Enghelab Street is not only a hub for buying new books but also a center for purchasing second-hand books. If your desired book is a bit old and rare, explore the alleys and corners of Enghelab Street and never lose hope during your search. Even street vendors sell books on this street. If the fatigue of extensive searching takes a toll on your feet, it won’t hurt to visit one of the numerous cafes on this street. Besides getting some rest, you can also indulge in reading a bit of your new book there.
- Address: Azadi Tower, Enghelab Street
It’s Worth Walking into the Bookstores in Tehran
In this article, we have tried to acquaint you with the most important, most significant, and best bookstores in Tehran. Keep in mind that the bookstores in this big city are not limited to just the few examples we mentioned. However, in order to have an enjoyable shopping experience, we have endeavored to introduce the best ones to you, where you can find books in various languages and have personnel who can assist you in your purchase.