Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran is the primary gateway for international travelers visiting the capital city of Iran. Situated in the southwest of Tehran, this bustling airport serves as the arrival point for international flights, welcoming visitors worldwide.

Imam Khomeini International Airport boasts two terminals that cater to the needs of passengers arriving in Tehran. As travelers step off their planes, the runway and the first terminal greet them, providing their initial glimpse of the country. This well-equipped airport ensures a smooth and efficient arrival process for foreign tourists, making their entry into Iran comfortable and convenient.

Changing Money at Tehran Airport

With its strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities, Imam Khomeini International Airport is vital in connecting Tehran to destinations worldwide. It is a vital hub for international travel, facilitating seamless connections and opening the doors to exploration and discovery in Iran.

About Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport has an intriguing history. Originally, its construction commenced in 1979, just before the Iranian Revolution, with American designers leading the project. However, following the revolution, the initiative was abandoned. It was later revived under the supervision of Turkish and local experts.

On May 8, 2004, the airport was officially opened, although its full operation commenced on October 28, 2007, after undergoing management changes. Covering an expansive area of 135 square kilometers, the airport boasts two runways and serves as a hub for numerous Iranian airlines.

In terms of passenger traffic, Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport ranks as the third busiest airport in Iran, trailing behind Mehrabad Tehran Airport (the city’s former international airport) and Mashhad Airport. The airport facilitates flights operated by approximately 50 international and Iranian airlines, with Istanbul (Turkey), Najaf (Iraq), and Dubai (UAE) being the most frequently connected destinations.

Salam Terminal Tehran (Terminal 2)

Salam Terminal (Terminal 2) at Tehran Airport

Salaam Terminal (Terminal 2) at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) holds the distinction of being Iran’s first smart airport terminal. It commenced operations in June 2019, serving as an essential addition to the airport’s capacity by accommodating an extra five million passengers.

Looking ahead, Tehran Airport has further expansion plans in store. Alongside the Salaam terminal, a second runway was constructed as part of the airport’s initial development phase. Simultaneously, the construction of a third terminal called Iranshahr is underway, taking place in successive stages.

Anticipated to be completed in multiple phases, the Iranshahr terminal will significantly bolster the airport’s capacity. During its initial development phase, the terminal is expected to increase passenger capacity by 25 million. Once the construction is fully finalized, this capacity is projected to soar to 90 million.

Notably, the Salaam terminal is well-equipped to handle commercial wide-body aircraft, including the Airbus A380. Furthermore, it serves as a departure point for Haj flights, catering to the needs of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia.

IKA is Iran’s biggest airport.

Location of Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran

Imam Khomeini International Airport is situated approximately 30 kilometers southwest of Tehran, in close proximity to Robat Karim and Eslamshahr cities. The airport can be conveniently accessed by car via the Tehran-Qom or Tehran-Saveh Highway. Traveling from IKA, you can reach significant landmarks within specific timeframes: Imam Khomeini Holy Shrine in 30 minutes, Azadi Tower in 45 minutes, Golestan Palace and Milad Tower in 1 hour, and Tochal Ski Resort in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Getting to and from IKA Airport

The recently constructed Imam Khomeini Airport Metro Station is linked to the airport terminal through a pedestrian bridge. Currently, the metro service operates between Imam Khomeini Airport and Shahr-e Aftab Station on line 1 where the Book Fair is held, running from 6:40 am to 1:20 pm. The journey duration is approximately 35 minutes, and the fare for the trip is 75,000 IRR. You can also take a taxi, read our guide here on taxis.

IKA Airport Cafe Land

Airside and Landside offers at IKA

Inside Imam Khomeini International Airport, passengers will find a range of facilities and services to meet their needs. Whether arriving or departing, there are convenient amenities available. For transportation, taxis and car rental services are readily accessible. Passengers can also visit the currency exchange point, mobile operator booths, and airline offices for any necessary arrangements.

To satisfy hunger or enjoy a quick meal, there are several cafes within the airport. Cafe Tehroon offers a breakfast menu and light snacks, while Amir Chocolate provides a selection of beverages and desserts. For those craving fast food, BurgerLand offers Iranian-style options. Additionally, passengers have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs or explore the duty-free shop before their flight.

Read our guide to the visa on arrival at Tehran Airport Guide to Visa on arrival. 

Hotels near Imam Khomeini International Airport

For travelers seeking convenient accommodation near Imam Khomeini International Airport, there are two hotels located within walking distance. The 4-star* Remis Hotel and 5-star* Rexan Hotel are situated in the same building and connected to the airport terminal via a pedestrian bridge. This proximity makes them ideal for those with long layovers or a preference for easy access to the airport.

Both hotels offer flexible options for short stays, allowing guests to book rooms for either 3 or 6 hours. This allows travelers to rest and relax during their journey as needed. Additionally, 24-hour stays are also available for those requiring a longer stay.

Guests can expect world-class service and comfortable accommodations at these hotels. Whether you’re looking to unwind during a layover or seeking a cozy place to rest before continuing your trip, the former Ibis and Novotel Hotels near Imam Khomeini International Airport provide a convenient and welcoming stay.

Guide on changing money at IKA Airport

Business Class Lounge at Tehran Airport Terminal 1

IKA CIP Terminal

CIP Terminal for Flying in and Flying out of Tehran

The best reason to pay the extra to use the CIP terminal, is to avoid the the queues and and immigration lines on both incoming and going.

Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) hosts a dedicated CIP (Commercially Important Persons) Terminal, which is a standalone building located approximately 500m away from the main terminal. The CIP Lounge is designed to cater to VIPs and premium passengers and is open 24 hours a day.

Upon arrival at the CIP Terminal, passengers are greeted by an agent who processes their check-in, bypassing the usual crowds at the main terminal. The CIP Terminal also handles immigration procedures behind the scenes, returning the passenger’s stamped passport upon boarding the flight​​. But you can pay to get in and it is worth it! Trust us

The CIP Terminal is composed of two floors. Officially, the ground floor caters to business class passengers, while the top floor is designated for First Class passengers. However, this separation is not strictly enforced, and both floors provide similar amenities and features.

Just a word of warning, no third-party can book the airport CIP, there have been reports of fraudsters taking money, Living in Tehran advises to use the official site.

Better to use the CIP Terminal

Most amenities such as souvenir shops and banks are located on the ground floor, while the First Class floor offers a more open layout and better views. The terminal boasts a modern, efficient, but somewhat bland design, with effective air conditioning and a variety of seating options including armchairs, sofas, and lounge chairs. However, power outlets are notably lacking​.

The lounge’s buffet offers a modest selection of cold items and snacks such as fruit, olives, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, and mini-sandwiches, along with cooked-to-order omelets available at breakfast time.

As for beverages, soft drinks are available, and an espresso machine is also present. There is no dedicated dining area, and food is typically consumed at the various large coffee tables scattered throughout the lounge. Additional amenities on the ground floor include souvenir stores, banks, and an ATM for Iranian card holders only​.​.