Because of the rich culture and diverse climate, Iranian culinary is very rich and this rich food culture is one of the best features of Iran as a travel destination. Most of foreign travelers find Iranian foods very delicious, healthy and diverse and believe that considering their good quality, Irianian cuisines have very reasnable prices. In recent years, foodlovers are traveling to Iran for joining Iran food tours and learning about its rich culinary.
Contact your cellular telephone provider to determine if your phone operates on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and what, if any, activation may be required. but we suggest you to buy local sim cards which are cheap and easy to get .
In general tipping is expected in Iran, especially in tourism niche. Hotel bellboys usually expect from 100.000 to 150.000 Rials or 3-4 USD for each day and in a classic restaurant tipping about 150.000 to 200.000 Rials is fine. If you’re getting room service, then tipping is a must and paying around 100.000 Rial would be fine. On a one-day tour, tipping the guide with about 10-15 USD and the driver with the half of this amount is fine, while on a group tour which takes a couple of dayes tipping the guide with 6-8 USD per person per day, would be OK. But in general, tipping way more than mentioned above is totally common and it depends on how satisfied you are with each service.
Different types of Persian carpets, including rugs and kilims are the most common souvenirs among foreign travelers, since Iran is one of the most important and oldest producers of carpet in the world. Persian carpets are so diverse that in each city and region you can find amazing ieces with different designs, colors, and quality. Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz, Kerman, Yazd, and Kashan are the best cities of Iran for buying carpets. Each foreign traveler is allowed to take up to 12 sq. m of Persian rug with no tax and most of the carpet dealers will ship carpets with bigger sizes for free. While spending a lot of money on a rug, being more cautious and consulting with your guide about the originality of the carpet is highly suggested.
Since Iran is a historical country with a very rich and diverse culture and many ethnic groups, you have numerous choices while buying souvenirs in this country. From different types of handicrafts like Khatam, Miniature, Minakari, to fabulous pieces of Persian carpet, to traditional sweets and spices like Gaz, Sohan, Saffron, etc., there are a lot of things that you can buy in bazaars and handicraft shops in Iran.
Totally, Iran has a hot, dry climate with long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. January is the coldest month and August is the hottest. Average temperatures range between the low 50s°F at night to the upper 80s°F during the day.
The classic route of Iran goes right into the heart of the country and covers Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd and Tehran known as the major cities but depending on your field of interest you can visit other cities such as Tabriz or Kerman and etc. The mentioned cities are suggested to first time travelers and cultural travelers, and there are many other exotic and unique cities and destinations that attract travelers with special taste of travel. For more information and new ideas please take a look at destinations in Iran.
Iran is a four-season country with a very diverse climate and nature. Therefore, travelers with different tates can enjoy traveling in Iran throughout the year. In general, from March to May and then from late September to mid-November are the best times of the year for visiting Iran especially the main touristic cities like Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman, Shiraz. From October to March is the best time of the year for visiting southern cities with warm and humid climate, while May to October is a good time for climbing over 4000 m peaks and visiting the cities in the northwest. Read abot traveling to Iran during different seasons on this blog.
Of course there is Internet access everywhere in Iran, and you are not going to face any major issue. In hotels, coffee shops and most restaurants you will have no problem accessing Wi-Fi and some carriers offer decent 4g Internet. It may be spotty sometimes but it will work! Also arriving IKA or other international airports in Iran, you can buy SIM-cards and use its mobile data internet.
Totally, photography is allowed in most of the attractions that you visit in Iran and you can easily find out about the photography restrictions in each attraction by the signs available at the entrance. At most of the mosques, visitors are allowed to take photos except during praying time, and in some museums you are not allowed to take photos of the objects. Also taking photos at military and government areas and flying drones in every spot in Iran are forbidden. Before taking photos of the local people in Iran, you’d better to ask them, although they are usually interested in posing for photos.
Yes. There is no law against traveling to Iran and staying in the same hotel rooms as foreign travelers, and foreign travelers even unmarried couples can enjoy visiting Iran.
People from almost every nationality are able to travel to Iran without any guide, however many people prefer to have a guided Iran tour, especially as a first time traveler, we highly suggest to explore Iran accompanied by a guide in order to save time and receive interesting cultural and historical information about attractions you visit. But US, UK and Canadian citizens, are required to travel to Iran through an authorized Iran travel agency, with a pre-booked Iran trip Itinerary.
Drinking alcohol has been strictly forbidden since the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, and even foreigner travelers are not allowed to produce, buy or consume any type of alcoholic beverage while they are in Iran. Also, pork is a type of meat that you can’t find in Iran as this is not considered as a kosher meat in Islam.
Iranian culinary includes plenty of vegetarian foods, like different types of Aash (Iranian soup), Kashk o Bademjan (eggplant and whey), lentil soup, etc. and most of cafes and restaurant have tasty vegetarian foods on their menus. You can also find all types of fruits and vegetables in shops. So, as a vegetarian traveling in Iran you are not going to face any problem, finding good food to eat.
Rice, different types of meat, and bread are staple foods in Iranian culinary and they are usually served with vegetables like potato, eggplant, tomato, etc. What you’ll be served in most of Iranian restaurants is going to be different types of Kebabs made with lamb, chicken or ground beef. You will also have different types of stews made with meat and vegetables, Dizi (mashed meat) and local sea food which can be widely found in southern and northern cities by the sea. You can also easily find fast foods and restaurants serving international food (Italian, Indian, Brazilian, Chinese, etc.) in most all the cities.
The citizens of following countries are allowed to enter Iran and stay for a specific duration without receiving Iran visa: Armenia (90 days) Azerbaijan (30 days) Bolivia (30 days) Egypt (30 days) Georgia (45 days) Lebanon (30 days) Malaysia (15 days) Oman (30 days) Syria- arriving by aircraft straight from Damascus (90 days) Turkey (90 days) Venezuela (15 days) China
Fro big cities to most of villages, you can easily access internet almost everywhere in Iran. Most of hotels and hostels provide free Wi-Fi with good speed and you can have your own data internet by buying a local SIM card upon your arrival at the airports and also mobile shops. Irancell is the most popular local SIM card among travelers which provides 4G and LTE service and costs about 10 USD. The important note is that some websites and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are blocked in Iran and you need to add a VPN on your device, before arriving Iran, however you can also download one in Iran.
Iran is one of the countries that respects the Islamic rule of Hijab since the 1979 Islamic revolution, and according to this rule, all adult females (above 12) are required wear hijab in public, and this rule includes foreign female travelers as well. This Hijab rule is not strict or burdensome especially for the foreign travelers and tourists and they don’t usually face any issue finding a suitable outfit while spending time in Iran. For example, wearing clothes with any color or wearing sandals are allowed for both men and women and there is no problem with painted nails and face make up.
Women dress code in Iran: In Iran, women cover their hair with a headscarf and wear Manteau or Tunic dress to cover their thigh and upper body. Of course women don’t have to wear Burqa and Chador in Iran and there are only some mosques that asks women to wear chador while they visit. White Chadors are available at the entrance and women can borrow them before they enter. Men dress code in Iran:
Men are required to wear trousers and in public and a shirt with long sleeves is a better choice. Men are allowed to wear shorts in sport clubs and while riding bicycles.
-While entering some mosques or an Iranian house, you should take off your shoes.
-It is obvious that women are not allowed to be on beaches without hijab, but there are plenty of female-only beaches by the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf and the swimming pools in cities and hotels have private hours for women and men.
Travel insurance is one of the mandatary documents you need for traveling to Iran. You can buy your travel insurance before traveling to Iran, but you should make sure that the travel insurance company covers Iran, otherwise the authorities might refuse accepting this when you arrive at the airport in Iran. You also have the option to buy your Iran travel insurance in the airport with less than 20 USD.
As a budget traveler your daily budget in Iran would be around 50 USD, including entrance fees to most of attractions for 5 USD, meal in restaurants for 5-10 USD, dorm bed or a room in midrange hotels with 10-40 USD and public bus tickets for transportation between cities with about 10 USD.
As a midrange traveler in Iran you would need 50-200 USD a day, including a double room in 3 star hotels with 30-50 USD, meal in restaurant with about 8-15 USD, guided day tours with 50 USD and flight ticket between cities which is around 60-70 USD.
As a luxurious traveler you are going to need 200 USD and more each day and it will cover a double room in 4 or 5 star hotel with 150 USD or more, a meal in a top restaurant with 20-40 USD and the guide driver salary about 80 USD a day.
As a result of sanctions against Iran, credit cards do not work in this country and travelers should bring their money in cash. US Dollars, UK Ponds and Euros are usually exchanged more easily and you can exchange your money to Rials in Iranian banks and exchange shops (called Sarrafi) which are easily found in all cities. There are also some new services such as Mah Card that let travelers add fund to their temporary debit cards and exchange it to Iranian Rials. Also some souvenir shops like carpet shops work with creditcards, so you can pay them with your credit card.
There are two curriencies used in Iran. Iranian Rial is the official currency, while sometimes prices are in Toman. Ten Rials is equal with one Toman and when something is quoted 50,000 Tomans (or 50 Toman) it means that it is 500,000 Rials. This might seem to be a little tricky on first days, therefore you’d better double check the prices.
There are now many travelers who are visiting Iran with their family and children, and YES Iran is a safe place for children. Iranians love children and they are extremely kind to them and you are not going to face any issue finding healthy water and food, diapers and baby food in all the cities of this country even in villages, however, for finding famous brands you might have to check Hypermarkets in big cities like Tehran. Before traveling to Iran with children, there are some notes that should be considered:
We can claim that no major crime against solo female travelers in Iran has been recorded until today and the number of both local and foreigner solo female travelers in Iran is increasing every year. Some of foreign female travelers visit Iran in a private tour and some experience more adventurous types of travel like cycling or even trekking trips. Of course, like anywhere else in the world, women need to be cautious about where they go and what outfits they choose to wear, but in general according to what most of solo female travelers have written, locals behave them with respect and offer them help.
Totally, Iran is a very safe destination to travel to and it has been described as “one of the safest countries with the most friendly and welcoming people”, or “even safer than many of the touristic and European countries we’ve been to”, by the travelers and bloggers who have visited Iran in recent years. According to the Travel Risk Map, violent crime, kidnapping and theft against travelers in Iran is very rare (near zero) and the police of Iran is very helpful to travelers if they need any help, especially in more touristic cities like Isfahan, Shiraz or Yazd. Usually, first time travelers feel surprised the first days of their travel in Iran, because they findout that the reality of Iran is much different from what they have heard in political news and media. Like other destinations in the world, by fitting in local costumes and considering some facts in Iran, every traveler can feel safe and respected and have a memorable time.
According to the rules of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the British, American and Canadian passport holders can only visit Iran with a guided tour operated by a valid tour operator in Iran and they are required to stay with their authorized local guide throughout the tour, and the guide is required to stay at the same hotel as the traveler. Also, their visa process is more complicated and their authorization codes take more than one month to be issued. According to the last update, the required Iran visa documents for the British, American and Canadian passport holders are:
You can checkout this blog for more information.
Yes, you can easily extend your Iran visa twice for 30 days, as the maximum duartion of stay in Iran is 90 days. You should refer to the offices of police of foreign affairs which is available in many cities like, Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Yazd, Bandar Abbas and etc. and ask for extending your Iran visa. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.
For receiving Iran visa in advance, you should first contact a local Iran tour operator to apply for your Authorization code (invitation letter), which usually takes less than a week to be issued and costs around 29 Euros. Three working days after your authorization code is issued, you can refer to the nearest Iranian embassy to receive your Iran visa, holding your passport with 6 months validity after your trip in Iran ends, 2 passport sized photos, passport copies, visa application form, and the visa fee which differs according to your nationality. The authorization code is valid for one months and you should receive your visa within this period.
Note: Since 2018, you have the option to avoid receiving Iran visa stamp on your passport and you can ask the authorities to give you your visa on a separate paper, which should be with you throughout your travel in Iran. This option is also valid for passengers who receive visa on arrival.
The citizens of all countries can receive Iran visa on arrival except: Canada, UK, US, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka. For receiving Iran visa on arrival you just need to have passport, 2 passport sized personal photos, hotel reservation or host contact, travel insurance, visa fee (preferably in Euro) with you upon arrival and receive your visa at international airports in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, Qeshm and Kish islands.
Note: The visa fee usually differs according to your nationality and it usually ranges from 40 to 150 Euros. Interesting Note: If you are among the nationalities who can receive Iran visa on arrival, you are allowed to spend up to 14 days in Kish and Qeshm Island with no visa required. These southern islands are wonderful winter destinations and are close to Dubai.
If you are not among the nationalities mentioned above, you should receive Iran visa for traveling to Iran. You can receive Iran visa on arrival at some of the international airports or at borders or you can receive your Iran visa (with an authorization code) before arriving.