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56 Tips You Must Know Before Travelling to IRAN

56 Tips You Must Know Before Travelling to IRAN

Figure 1- Tehran Roof View

  • Best Time to Travel to Iran
  • As Iran is a so-called 4 seasoned, vast country with varied landscapes, the ideal destination depends on one’s preference.
  • Overall, the optimal time to visit Iran is during autumn or spring, as winters can be too cold, and summers can be sweltering in several parts of the country.
  • Iran is Safe!

Figure 2- Chinese Tourists

  • Iran is often depicted as an unsafe country by mainstream media outlets, but this is a false portrayal.
  • Despite biased efforts to paint Iran as dangerous, it is actually quite safe.
  • Numerous travelers visit Iran each year and can attest to this.
  • Iranian locals are incredibly friendly and helpful to foreigners, and their hospitality is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
  • Despite being located in the Middle East, there are no signs of war or Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS in Iran.
  • However, it is still important to take certain precautions, such as securing your hotel room and valuables, and avoiding unpopulated areas at night.
  • Reading reviews from other travelers on platforms such as Trip Advisor can provide additional reassurance regarding safety in Iran.
  • Iranians are incredibly amiable and accommodating, with a genuine desire to ensure visitors have a wonderful experience and spread the word to encourage more people to come and visit. Despite being aware of the negative perceptions propagated by the media and some parts of the world towards their nation, the locals aim to demonstrate their inherent kindness and magnanimity.
  • You Need a Visa for Iran
  • If you’re planning a trip to Iran, you’ll need to obtain a tourist visa. In the past, this process was notoriously difficult, but with the introduction of visa on arrival in 2016, things have become easier. As of February 14th, 2016, citizens from 180 countries can apply for a 30-day visa on arrival at select international airports in Iran.
  • However, travelers from certain countries including Afghanistan, America, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, England, India, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka cannot obtain a visa on arrival.
  • Citizens from Canada, U.K., and U.S can only come to Iran with a tour accompanied by a tour guide everywhere. People from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Georgia, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela don’t need a visa at all.
  • Additionally, citizens of Israel are not allowed to enter Iran.
  • The cost of the tourist visa for Iran varies depending on nationality, ranging from 40€ to 150€.
  • It is also mandatory to have travel insurance when applying for a visa on arrival.
  • It’s important to note that you cannot obtain a visa on arrival if you enter Iran overland. If you plan to travel to Iran by land, you’ll need to arrange your visa in advance.
  • A one-month visa is typically granted for traveling in Iran.
  • Important:
  • Finally, if you have traveled to Israel in the past six months, you will not be able to obtain an Iran visa. This is an important tip to keep in mind when planning your trip.
  • Good News:

Figure 3- No Stamp on Passport

  • When visiting Iran, be aware that Iranian authorities no longer stamp passports, as this could be an issue when traveling to the USA. Instead, visas are issued on a separate piece of paper.
  • If you need to extend your visa, you can do so twice for 30 days each time, allowing you to stay in Iran for up to 90 days. Visa extensions can be arranged in all provincial capitals.
  • Travel Insurance
  • If you plan to travel to Iran, it is important to note that travel insurance is mandatory for the duration of your stay. However, only a few insurance companies offer coverage for Iran.

We suggest Hanse Merkur, recommended by the Consulate of Iran in Munich. The specific insurance plan is called “Auslandskrankenversicherung ohne USA/CND” and it costs just 25 € for 17 days. This can be a reliable and affordable travel insurance option.

To obtain this insurance, simply follow the link provided below. The website is also available in English, and the insurance is referred to as “travel health insurance.” Don’t forget to get your travel insurance before entering Iran.

Check out the link here to get your insurance.

  • For Booking Flights, Ask Your Agent
  • To get the best deals on domestic flights, consider booking through your local agent or your accommodation provider. This is particularly helpful in countries where the local airline pages are in a language you may not understand, such as Persian.
  • Try to have VPN Prepared in Advance
  • It’s important to be aware of the restrictions on social media access in Iran, and using a VPN can be a useful tool for accessing these platforms.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, Tinder, Couchsurfing, blogs, and many other platforms are blocked and only can be open through VPN.
  • However, it’s also important to note that the use of VPNs in Iran is technically illegal, and the government actively blocks VPN websites. As a result, it’s a good idea to download and set up a VPN before arriving in Iran, and to have access to multiple VPNs in case one is blocked or not working properly.
  • It’s also a good idea to exercise caution and be aware of the potential risks associated with using a VPN in Iran.
  • Bring a Backpack Rather Than a Suitcase
  • Iran is an amazing destination for backpackers, and it’s important to choose the right gear for your travels. Instead of a suitcase, we highly recommend using a backpack, especially in Iran where roads and paths can be uneven. Wheeling a suitcase around would be a nightmare.
  • To ensure the best support, always choose a lightweight backpack that fits you perfectly. If you prefer the convenience of wheels, consider a hybrid backpack that has harnesses and wheels on the bottom for the times when you don’t want to carry it.
  • Purchasing a SIM Card

Figure 4- Iranian SIM Cards

  • If you are traveling to Iran as a foreigner, getting a local SIM card is a great idea. Contrary to what you may have heard, it is possible to buy one as a foreigner. This will enable you to make bookings and stay in touch with friends and family back home through apps like WhatsApp and Snap while on the go.
  • We suggest doing it yourself.
  • When you go to the phone store to buy a SIM card, it’s a good idea to bring a phrasebook or a local friend. You won’t need to show any ID, but having your passport with you just in case is helpful. Pay in cash and you’ll be good to go.
  • You can top up your SIM card at little general stores displaying the IranCel sign. The store employees will handle the process on your phone and charge a small fee for their time, typically around 25 cents USD. We were able to get 5GB of data for about $10 USD.
  • Here are websites for the main SIM Card providers in Iran:
  • http://www.mci.ir
  • http://www.irancell.ir
  • http://www.rightel.ir
  • Bring a Comfortable Footwear
  • When traveling to Iran, it’s important to bring comfortable footwear. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, especially since the towns are so amazing that you’ll probably end up walking at least 10km every day. Therefore, it’s essential to look after your feet.
  • While hiking boots might be necessary for treks, you don’t necessarily need them for everyday activities. Instead, opt for some flat shoes that you can wear all day without any discomfort.
  • It’s important to note that heels are not recommended for this trip. They’re unnecessary and impractical.
  • It’s best to bring a pair of hiking shoes and a pair of sandals. This combination worked perfectly for us.
  • Accommodation in Iran
  • Iran does not have access to major booking websites like Airbnb, Agoda, and Booking.com.
  • In such cases, it is advisable to rely on TripAdvisor or other trustworthy travel sites to recommend hotels. Budget-friendly accommodations in Iran can be found on Hostelworld, which is the only international website that accepts international credit card payments.
  • For booking hostels, this website is frequently used due to its convenience and increasing availability of hotels and homes.
  • It’s important to note that in Iran, it is often possible to book a room in a cheap hotel for a lower price than a hostel bed.
  • Lastly, it is a common practice in Iran for hotels to hold on to their guests’ passports during their stay.
  • Couchsurfing in Iran
  • Couchsurfing can be an excellent means of discovering Iranian culture and connecting with its people, particularly if you are on a tight budget.
  • Iranians are known for their hospitality, and staying with locals through Couchsurfing is an ideal way to immerse yourself in their customs.
  • Despite being technically prohibited, Couchsurfing is widely practiced and can be a safe way to interact with locals.
  • They are incredibly welcoming and may even invite you to stay for several nights.
  • However, it’s important to note that citizens of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are not permitted to enter Iranian homes, let alone lodge with locals.
  • No International Credit Cards- No Visa or MasterCard
  • International credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, are not accepted in Iran due to the country’s autonomous banking system.
  • To make payments while traveling in Iran, you should consider carrying cash or obtaining an Iranian Tourist Card.
  • A wide range of currencies are accepted in Iran and can be exchanged for the local currency, the Iranian Rial.
  • It is recommended to obtain foreign currency from exchange agencies rather than banks for better exchange rates.
  • Alternatively, you can opt for an Iranian Tourist Card, which is a local debit card that can be pre-ordered to avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • How Much Money Do I Need to Travel to Iran?
  • Nowadays, Iran is a country that provides excellent value for money; however, it’s crucial to plan accordingly when it comes to finances.
  • This is because foreign cards are not accepted in any ATM, and paying by card is not an option.
  • Like Cuba, Iran operates on a cash-only basis.
  • It is advisable to bring Euros or US Dollars with you, even though some websites and travel blogs suggest bringing only Dollars.
  • If traveling alone or with a companion, you should anticipate spending around $20-40 per day. Although it’s not an overly tight budget, we recommend bringing more money as a precautionary measure. This will allow you to afford a double room in an affordable hotel, local meals, taxis, and bus fares.
  • Keep in mind that Iran is renowned for its stunning Persian carpets and handicrafts, so you may want to purchase one as a memento of your trip.
  • Iranian Debit Card
  • Iran has launched a new prepaid debit card service called Mah Card, which is aimed at foreign travelers who prefer not to carry large amounts of cash.
  • To sign up, visitors can apply online and upon arrival at their hotel, Mah Card representatives will issue the card and deposit foreign currency onto it.
  • One Interesting Point about Payment in Iran
  • The payment process may seem unusual to some visitors as they are required to disclose their pin number. This was the case for one individual who found it so surprising that they refused to give their pin number and instead went behind the bar to enter it themselves.
  • While this may seem odd to some, it is a common practice in Iran and visitors quickly become accustomed to providing their pin number to merchants when using their debit card.
  • Items Forbidden to Bring to Iran
  • Prior to traveling to Iran, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the list of prohibited items, which comprises alcoholic beverages, narcotics, firearms, ammunition, aerial photography equipment, communication devices, and literature, magazines, and multimedia that may pose a moral, cultural, or political risk.
  • Medical Assistance Needs
  • It could be surprising, but Iran has high medical standards that attract a significant number of medical tourists from Arabian countries.
  • The country boasts of highly skilled doctors and medical staff, along with modern medical facilities that ensure your health safety.
  • However, it’s important to note that medical treatment in Iran is not free, and it’s recommended to have travel insurance with health coverage.
  • Must Have Apps in Iran
  • Apps for communication
  • WhatsApp: If you want to stay in touch with the hostels, hotels, tour guides, and new friends you meet in Iran, WhatsApp is your best bet. Sharing your WhatsApp number is a common practice in Iran, which has a very sociable culture. You may be surprised how many people will ask for it.
  • Instagram: Instagram is another popular platform to connect with your Iranian acquaintances or to discover travel-related content about Iran. However, note that Instagram is not accessible in Iran without using a VPN app, so make sure to install one before you go.
  • App for taxi
  • Snapp: It is the Iranian Uber. In Iran the taxi is cheap, but Snapp is even cheaper.

12 Must have Apps During your Trip to Iran

  • Iran’s Islamic Dress Code
  • When traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to immerse yourself in the culture and customs of the local people.
  • To comply with Iran’s Islamic dress code, appropriate clothing is necessary. Below are some guidelines to keep in mind:
  • For Females:
  • Arms, legs, and head must be covered, including a hijab, loose long-length shirt with long sleeves, and pants.
  • Leggings or tight jeans are acceptable if the top is long enough to cover the bottom and down to the ankles.
  • Scarves are the most common way to cover the head, and bright colors are commonly worn.
  • Sandals are acceptable, and some accommodations may allow the removal of the headscarf, but it’s best to confirm beforehand.
  • For Males:
  • Shorts are not permitted in public, so lightweight pants are recommended.
  • T-shirts are appropriate for public wear, and sandals are acceptable.
  • If you wear inappropriate clothing, locals may give you disapproving looks or kindly suggest appropriate attire. In Tehran, the locals tend to push the limits of public clothing standards, but it’s best to wait until arrival in the country to confirm the dress code.
  • For female travelers, it is respectful to have a headscarf readily available in your carry-on luggage to wear immediately upon arrival at the airport.
  • Overall, the culture and people of Iran are a highlight of any visit, and you’ll likely fall in love with it once you experience it firsthand.
  • Some Customs in Iran
  • If you’re invited to someone’s home, it’s customary to bring a gift such as candy, pastries, or flowers.
  • Additionally, you may encounter the tradition of Ta’arof, where locals may refuse payment for a service out of politeness. It’s important to insist on paying, but if the refusal persists, it may be a sign of exceptional hospitality.
  • Language In Iran
  • Persian (Farsi) is the official and main language of Iran, spoken as a mother tongue by about 63% of the population. Azerbaijani is the second most spoken language, followed by Kurdish, Arabic, and many others.
  • Fortunately, many educated people in Iran speak basic English, with those under 30 being more proficient. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to learn some basic Persian phrases, such as greetings, addressing, and asking for prices to facilitate communication during your stay. Knowing the written form of Persian numbers is also helpful since prices are usually written on products.
  • Here are a few phrases that can be useful:
  • Hi! – Salam!
  • Thank you – Sepas/Mamnun/merci/moteshakkeram
  • How much? – Chand?
  • Where is…? – Koja?
  • How are you? (formal) – Haal-e Shoma Chetor-e?
  • How are you? (informal) – Khoobi?
  • I’m fine! – Khoobam!
  • Goodbye – Khodahafez!
  • Rial or Toman? – Rial ya Toman?
  • We recommend learning Farsi numbers to read prices yourself:
  • Zero – ۰
  • One – ١
  • Two – ۲
  • Three – ۳
  • Four – ۴
  • Five – ۵
  • Six – ۶
  • Seven – ۷
  • Eight – ۸
  • Nine – ۹
  • Electrical Devices Compatibility
  • Iran operates on a 220 V supply voltage and 50 Hz.
  • Thus, you’ll need an adaptor to use electrical appliances working in a different voltage range.
  • In addition, the plugs in Iran are the European type (type c) and you’ll need a converter for other sockets.
  • Money and Currency

Figure 5- Iranian Money

  • When visiting Iran, it’s important to bring enough cash for your entire trip as none of the ATMs in the country accept foreign credit or debit cards due to the embargo.
  • Determine your usual budget and bring a bit extra just in case.
  • USD is widely accepted, but Euros and British Pounds are also accepted in Tehran.
  • Currency Rates
  • There are two exchange rates in the country: the official rate and the black-market rate, with the latter being better. You can find exchange booths that offer close to the black-market rate.
  • Avoid exchanging all your foreign cash into Rials at once to avoid getting ripped off on the exchange rate when exchanging back or being unable to trade it outside of the country.
  • Keep your money stashed in different spots in case of theft.
  • However, you can also pre-order a local Iranian debit card if you prefer not to carry all your cash with you.
  • Rial or Toman
  • In Iran, the currency is officially known as the Rial, but locals drop a zero and call the new value a Toman.
  • One Toman equals 10 Rials.
  • When you hear prices quoted in Tomans, add a zero and pay the amount in Rials.
  • Always ask Toman or Rial to avoid paying too much on an item.
  • Most vendors quote in Tomans, so be sure to multiply the price by 10.
  • Food In Iran

Figure 6-Morasa Polo

  • Don’t just eat Kebab and try different dishes
  • When visiting Iran, don’t limit yourself to just kebabs or falafel sandwiches, as there are plenty of other local homemade dishes to try. Iranian cuisine offers a variety of flavors and styles, so be adventurous and explore the options.
  • Trying Dizi is Necessary

Figure 7-Dizi

  • One popular dish is dizi, which can be confusing to eat at first, so don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant staff for guidance.
  • Notice if you are going to save money
  • To save money and get larger portions, consider moving away from popular tourist areas and trying local restaurants that are packed with locals. Iranian dishes are usually served with a large amount of rice or bread, but you can always ask for less when ordering.
  • Stews are also good options

Figure 8Ghormeh Sabzi

  • Aside from kebabs, Iranian dishes often consist of stews or rice mixtures with beef or chicken and various vegetables and grains.
  • Most Iranians eat with a fork and spoon, but if you need a knife, don’t hesitate to ask the waiter.
  • Finally, make sure to try traditional Persian food like Ghormeh Sabzi, served with saffron juice, rice, Persian bread, herbs, and salad. With so many options, Iranian cuisine is sure to satisfy any foodie’s cravings.
  • It’s Best to Ask the Price Before Buying.
  • It’s important to remember to inquire about prices not just when traveling to Iran, but anywhere you go. Some countries may have different prices for tourists and locals. Nevertheless, it’s still wise to ask about prices before making any purchases, whether it’s for souvenirs, meals, tea, tours, or transportation.
  • Be sure to look beyond the touristy areas as prices may drop significantly just a few blocks away.
  • When shopping for souvenirs, it’s helpful to compare prices from multiple vendors and gauge the overall vibe of the place before deciding to make a purchase.
  • Bargaining skills can also come in handy, but be respectful and aim for a fair deal that satisfies both you and the seller. Ultimately, remember that this is their livelihood, and they may depend on the income more than you do.
  • Make Sure to Arrive on Time for Your Scheduled Meetings
  • In Iran, punctuality is highly valued. If you have a tour scheduled for 8am, it’s best to be in the reception area by 7:45am. Chances are, the driver will already be waiting for you.
  • It’s important to note that buses and trains won’t wait for latecomers. To avoid missing your tour, it’s crucial to ensure that you wake up on time and have everything packed beforehand.
  • When traveling to the airport, bus or train station, it’s advisable to factor in extra time for traffic delays.
  • Traffic

Figure 9- Traffic in Tehran

  • It sounds like navigating through traffic in Iran can be quite a challenge.
  • It’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings while on the road.
  • It’s also helpful to rely on locals who are more familiar with the traffic patterns and can provide guidance.
  • If you’re not comfortable driving yourself, taking a taxi or using public transportation may be a safer option.
  • Regardless of the mode of transportation, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and be patient when dealing with traffic in unfamiliar places.
  • Access to Internet
  • Most guesthouses provide complimentary Wi-Fi, but its speed may not be impressive.
  • The availability of Wi-Fi in hotels varies, some offer it in rooms, while others limit it to reception areas or dining rooms, depending on their level of luxury. Additionally, tea and coffee shops in popular cities may also have Wi-Fi.
  • It’s essential to remember that having access to Wi-Fi in your hotel room does not give you the right to overuse it. Data plans in Iran are not unlimited, and hotels purchase them in small amounts. Thus, it’s advisable not to consume too much data by streaming Netflix or downloading large files. This may not only affect other guests’ ability to use the Wi-Fi but also increase the hotel’s expenses.
  • Taxi

Figure 10- Snapp

  • Snapp is an Iranian rideshare app similar to Uber that allows drivers to register and customers to order cars for transportation. It is a lifesaver for many, as the app determines the price, and payment is made in cash once the destination is reached, eliminating the need for meters. The app also provides the driver’s name, car model, and registration number, ensuring that the right vehicle is being boarded.
  • However, downloading Snapp on an iPhone may be a bit challenging, as it is not available on the App Store, which is due to Apple being an American company that does not support Iran. Nonetheless, it can still be downloaded through a special link on the Snapp website.
  • Android phone users, on the other hand, can easily download the app without any issues.
  • Tap water is Drinkable

Figure 11- Drinking Water

  • It may come as a surprise, but you can drink the tap water almost everywhere in Iran.
  • It’s completely safe, even for newcomers to the country.
  • So, there’s no need to worry about purchasing plastic water bottles at every stop.
  • Instead, bring a reusable water bottle and refill it as you go.
  • However, if you’re out hiking, avoid drinking river water
  • Metro

Figure 12- Tehran Metro

  • In Tehran or Esfahan’s metro system, there are designated carriages solely for women. This feature offers a sense of security and comfort for female travelers, especially when traveling alone.
  • These sections prevent unintended physical contact between genders that are not related.
  • Although men are not permitted in these carriages, sometimes, due to overcrowding, a few men may enter, but they tend to stand by the door, keeping their distance from female passengers
  • Getting Around in Iran
  • Iran has an impressive public transportation infrastructure, with frequent and affordable flights connecting cities, as well as comfortable classic and VIP buses.
  • Although classic buses are cheaper, VIP buses offer more comfort with larger seats and leg rests, making them worth the slightly higher price.
  • Even classic buses in Iran are more comfortable than long-distance buses in Europe.
  • Traveling at night by either bus or train is considered safe.
  • Tours in Iran
  • There are a lot of ways to find professional English or Chinese speaking tour guides and tours in Iran. You can do it either spontaneously with your hotel or you can book in advance.
  • To arrange professional, fluent speaking and reliable tour guides please contact us.
  • Alcohol in Iran

Figure 13- No Alcohol

  • Ever since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, alcohol has been prohibited in Iran, despite its significant historical importance in ancient Persian culture, particularly wine.
  • As a result, hotels, restaurants, and cafes do not serve alcohol, and bars are illegal.
  • However, the black market offers many options, but caution is advised due to the prevalence of counterfeit alcohol containing harmful substances such as methanol and isopropanol.
  • Don’t Mistake Iranians for Arabs
  • The majority of Iranians are not Arabs, except for a small minority.
  • However, many individuals worldwide confuse Iranians for Arabs and assume that they speak Arabic.
  • This misconception may be due to the resemblance between the Persian and Arabic scripts.
  • Nonetheless, it’s crucial to note that despite using Arabic characters, Persian is a distinct language belonging to a separate language family.
  • Therefore, when visiting Iran, it’s important to avoid making this error as some Iranians may be sensitive about this matter.
  • Weekends in Iran
  • In Iran, the official weekend is on Friday, not Saturday and Sunday as it is in many other countries.
  • Additionally, some offices may also be closed on Tuesdays, while others operate until noon.
  • However, certain international companies, such as those based in Europe, follow the typical Saturday and Sunday weekend schedule.
  • Women Must Wear Chador in Certain Places

Figure 14- Chinese Female Tourists with Chador

  • Keep in mind that where you’re visiting is someone else’s worship space. So dress and behave respectfully.
  • To enter certain holy shrines and mosques, women are required to wear a Chador.
  • However, it’s not mandatory for them to purchase one as the shrines and mosques usually provide them for women who don’t have one. You can usually find a kiosk at the entrance where you can borrow one
  • Therefore, there’s no need to worry about buying a Chador unless you prefer to do so personally.
  • The Tricky Hand-Shaking Tule
  • In Iran, there are different beliefs and attitudes regarding handshakes, which can be confusing.
  • While it’s acceptable to shake hands with someone of the same sex, religious individuals and certain local communities prohibit touching or shaking hands with the opposite sex, except for specific family members.
  • To show respect for others’ beliefs, it’s important to inquire about their religious views before initiating a handshake.
  • Additionally, it may be helpful to observe the other person’s body language and signals. If they open their arms or stretch out their hand towards you, it’s safe to assume that it’s appropriate to hug them or shake their hand, even if they’re of the opposite sex.
  • The Thumbs Up

Figure 15- No Thumbs Up

  • In Iran, the thumbs up gesture carries a different meaning compared to other regions.
  • For some Iranians, it is equivalent to the offensive gesture of showing the middle finger.
  • While not all Iranians find it impolite, the majority of younger generations, urban settlers, and social media users are familiar with the fact that thumbs up signifies “OK” in Europe and America.
  • It is advisable to express approval through alternative gestures.
  • No Shoes in Houses and Mosques
  • In Iran, it is customary to remove shoes before entering houses and mosques due to the prevalence of clean rugs and carpets.
  • It is advisable to follow this practice and remove your shoes upon entering, unless the host instructs otherwise.
  • It’s a good idea to bring along socks if you prefer to keep your feet covered while inside.
  • Blowing your Nose
  • In Iran, it’s generally perceived as somewhat impolite to blow your nose in public.
  • Therefore, if you need to clear your nasal passages, it’s preferable to visit the restroom.
  • However, if you’re unable to find a private space, it’s better to excuse yourself and blow your nose at a slower pace.
  • In the case of illness and a runny nose, you don’t need to apologize every time you blow your nose slowly, as people are likely to be understanding.
  • Tea as the Common Drink

Figure 16- Tea or Coffee

  • In Iran, tea is ubiquitous and serves as a refreshing drink for tourists.
  • Persian tea is a must-try, which is typically black tea without milk, accompanied by sweets such as sugar cubes, cookies, dried berries, or crystalized sugar.
  • Additionally, the tea comes in different flavors, including cinnamon, rose, mint, ginger, and lime.
  • Traditional herbal drinks known as “Dam-Noush” are also worth trying as they help soothe the temperament and boost the immune system.
  • Although hotels, hostels, cafes, and many houses offer coffee, it may not be of good quality everywhere.
  • Thus, if you are particular about having good coffee every day, we suggest bringing instant coffee powder from your home country.
  • Alternatively, you can bring your French press along with your coffee powder.
  • Iranians Friend to All Nationalities
  • There are so many political issues between Iran and some other countries that some nationalities like Americans think that Iranians may hate them.
  • It may sound unbelievable but Iranians honestly do not hate any nationality and when it comes to tourists, they are so hospitable and friendly regardless of their nationality.
  • Some of them might be critical of different governments but we assure you that Iranians are not as critical of others’ governments as they are of their own.
  • Asking for your Passport from the Hotel Receptionist is Common
  • Don’t worry if the reception requests your passport; they’ll return it to you upon check-out.
  • However, it’s advisable to carry a copy of your passport in case you require it elsewhere.
  • Get Prepared for the Squat Toilet

Figure 17- Squat Toilet

  • If you’re planning to travel to Iran, it’s important to know that squat toilets are commonly used by Iranians.
  • While most hotels and traditional guesthouses have flush toilets, public restrooms often have squat toilets.
  • If you prefer using a flush toilet, it’s recommended to confirm with your hotel beforehand if they have one available.
  • However, it might be worth giving a squat toilet a try as it’s not difficult to use.
  • If you’re concerned about not finding toilet paper in public restrooms, keep in mind that Iranians typically use water to clean themselves and then use toilet paper to dry off if available.
  • To be safe, consider bringing your own toilet paper, which can be easily found at mini-markets in cities.
  • Don’t Throw Toilet Paper in the Toilet
  • It is recommended to dispose your toilet paper in the basket instead of the toilet in Iran.
  • This is due to the fact that the sewage system in Iran is not equipped to handle flushing toilet paper, necessitating the need to discard it in the basket.
  • Be Careful when Crossing the Road
  • Prior to crossing the road in Iran, it’s important to exercise caution.
  • Regrettably, driving in Iran is not considered particularly safe as many drivers prioritize speed and engage in multitasking while behind the wheel.
  • It is advisable to remain vigilant and not assume that everyone will adhere to traffic regulations.
  • Therefore, carefully scan the surroundings before crossing any roads.
  • Segregation in Gyms and Pools
  • Gyms and pools usually operate on separate schedules for men and women. Typically, they are available to women from early morning until 4 or 5 pm, after which they are open to men until midnight.
  • It’s important to note that even when traveling with family, men and women are not allowed to use gyms and pools together.
  • Ramadan and Muharram
  • It’s important to be aware of the date of your vacation before traveling to Iran. Checking the Persian calendar before planning your trip is highly recommended, as certain dates may significantly affect your experience.
  • Ramadan

 

  • During the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims are fasting, you may face restrictions on eating in public and struggle to find food during the day. Additionally, the atmosphere of the country may be subdued during this time.
  • Muharram

Figure 18- Muharram

  • Similarly, during Muharram, which is a period of mourning, cities will be draped in black and the general mood will be somber. Unless you’re seeking a religious experience, it’s advisable to avoid visiting Iran during Muharram.
  • No Photography Places

Figure 19- Photography is Prohibited

  • When traveling, there will be many fascinating things to see and photograph, but it’s important to note that in certain areas, photography is strictly prohibited.
  • For reasons of national security, it is unlawful to take pictures of military installations, police stations, factories, power plants, and other crucial buildings like government ministries.
  • To avoid any legal repercussions, it’s advisable to observe signs prohibiting photography and seek permission before taking any pictures in uncertain situations.
  • Any Car Can Be a Taxi

Figure 20- Private Taxi Drivers

  • The standard taxi colors across the world are typically yellow or green, but in Iran, the situation is somewhat distinct.
  • Along with the conventional yellow or green taxis, a significant number of taxis in Iran are private cars.
  • Although this kind of taxi is frequently safe, it is recommended to look for yellow taxis as they possess valid work permits.
  • Iran Is a Highly Educated Society
  • It must be must said that Iran stands out for having the largest number of highly educated individuals. What’s more surprising is that you will meet people with Ph.D. degrees from prestigious universities like Barcelona and Cambridge, even in the most remote and rural areas.
  • Do Accept House Invitations
  • If you haven’t eaten a meal or stayed at someone’s home in Iran, it’s not accurate to claim you’ve fully traveled there. However, if you venture off the usual path, you’re likely to have the opportunity to dine with locals. Just agree to it.
  • Shopping at Iranian Markets

Figure 21-Tabriz Bazar

  • In Iran, bazaars are an integral part of daily life and can be found in almost every city and small town. Tabriz is home to the largest bazaar in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Even if you’re not interested in shopping, it’s worth exploring the markets for their stunning architecture, including high ceilings and intricate mosaics. Take a leisurely stroll and appreciate the beauty of these structures.
  • Prepare for Selfies & Celebrity Treatment

Figure 22-Taking Photo with Tourists

  • Iranians have a fondness for taking selfies and may even request to take one with you. So, brace yourself for the trend even if you’re not a fan.
  • It’s worth noting that selfie sticks are in high demand in Iran, making them a profitable item to sell – a phenomenon you’ll only encountered in this country.
  • Nightlife in Iran

Figure 23- Nightlife in Tehran

  • Iran may not be the ideal destination for those who enjoy partying as dance clubs, bars, and alcohol are not readily available.
  • Thus, the concept of traditional nightlife may not exist in the country.
  • Instead, Iranians prefer spending time with their loved ones in parks or cafés during the evening hours.
  • During the summer season, these places are particularly lively, and it is not uncommon for people to stay out till past midnight.
  • Tipping in Iran
  • Tipping is customary in Iran for taxi drivers, bellboys, porters, and guides, with the amount left to one’s generosity. However, tipping at restaurants is not prevalent, although it’s a kind gesture to express gratitude for excellent service from the waiter.