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A complete guide to Money in Iran exchanging and costs

A complete guide to Money in Iran exchanging and costs

How much money should I bring to Iran? What currency is easily exchanged in Iran? Do credit cards work in Iran? Here is a complete guide to money in Iran.

December 14, 2020

Before traveling to Iran you need to consider things like what to wear, top things to do in Iran, and many other things, but money in Iran seems to be the most important issue that you should take care of before traveling to this amazing destination, as it might be a little confusing for the first time travelers. The official unit of currency in Iran is the Iranian Rial (IR) and all bank transactions and payments are based on this currency, however you will hear about another currency named Toman in daily life, which equals 10 Rials. So, you might need to double check the prices and get sure about the Rial/Toman prices with the shopkeepers or exchange shops during the first few days after you arrive Iran. Also you can easily put your finger on the last zero of the cash in your hand and find out how much the cash is in Toman.

Iranian money

Iranian money

Bring cash

In result of all sanctions against Iran, this country has not been a part of the international financial communication system for decades. Therefore, foreign travelers can’t use their credit cards, debit cards, and traveler’s cheques here in Iran and the ATMs only work with local debit cards. So, you are required to bring all the money you need in Iran in cash, especially in US Dollars, Euros, and British Pound, UAE dirhams. Recently some hotels, and carpet shops and travel agencies are equipped with foreign accounts, so you can do some of your transactions with your credit cards with about 10% service charge.

Exchanging money in Iran

Arriving Iran, you will need to exchange some money and get some Rials. The first choice is the official exchange shop available at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) or other international airports at which you arrive. In more touristic cities including Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, there are plenty of credible exchange shops available around hotels and main attractions, where you can exchange your money easy and safe. You can also refer to banks for exchanging money but bear in mind that banks exchange money based on the government rate which is lower rate than the market rate in the exchange shops.

Exchange shop in Iran

Exchange shop in Iran

Tipping in Iran

In Iran, tipping is not a very significant issue, however it has got more common especially in hotels, cafes, and restaurants in recent years. In some restaurants a 10% service fee is usually added on your bill, but in other cases a small tip (around 1-2 USD) would be appreciated by the room service waiters, bellboys, doormen, etc. If you are traveling on a group tour for a week or more it is common to consider a 10-15 USD per day for your tour guide and 5-10 USD for the driver.

Iran travel cost

How much money do you need to bring to Iran? If you are traveling to Iran on a guided tour, many of your expenses like hotel, transportation, and tour guide, are included, but you need to take cash for other expenses like food, entrance fees, etc., however with the notable decrease in Rial value you are going to receive very good and standard services with a low price.

Depending on the restaurant where you eat and the food you choose, the cost of a healthy and good food in Iran differs from 5 USD to 30 USD, a cup of espresso would be from half a dollar to a dollar, and a bottle of mineral water is less than half a dollar.

Iran is home to numerous historical monuments that leave you speechless, so do not hesitate to consider enough money for the entrance fees. Currently, the entrance fee for most of the attraction in Iran is 500,000 Rials which is around 3 dollars, while for visiting the UNESCO world heritage sites you’ll need to pay about 6 dollars.

From Ghalamkar textiles and Mina Kari pieces, to kilims and carpets, you have many choices for buying souvenirs in Iran. A small piece of Persian carpet costs from 1000 to 10000 USD, a piece of fine Mina Kari dish is 2-3 thousand dollars and the price of a piece of turquoise stone can reach 1000-2000 dollars.


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