Public transportation or rent a car in Tehran

Public transportation or rent a car in Tehran

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2017-10-03 15:19:22 Aquamarine

Public transportation or rent a car in Tehran

Van rental in Iran and car rental in Iran is better than public transportation because you don’t have to wait for bus and if you were more than 5 you can rent a van in Tehran and van rental in Tehran is very cheaper than others country

When in Rome do as the Romans do. Same in Iran

 

One of the most important things when traveling is to respect your hosting culture, so this aspect could not be left out of the things to know before you travel to Iran

For example, it’s important to respect Iranian dress code, meaning wearing jeans or leggings under a dress, tunic or manteau, and a headscarf, or a chador when requested, such as entering the shrines or some mosques like Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, the only mosque where I was asked to wear it

If you want to be extra thoughtful towards the religious sentiment, when you hear Azan (call for prayer), in more conservative and religious cities it will show respect if turn off your music, unless it’s already on headphone and you are the only one who can hear it

 

Get ready for some taarof

 

Taarof is something you will understand better while there, and truthfully, it’s more common “between Iranians”, but it’s still good that you go with the right mindset, just in case you find yourself in a situation that you find hard to understand

 

When you are buying something or paying the taxi, there is a chance the seller/driver won’t accept your money immediately but will start telling you that it’s not important, that you can pay him next year. While I understand your impulse to thank and leave, it might not be the case, so keep insisting and take part in the overmannered etiquette until when, eventually, you manage to pay

 

Sometimes, mainly when buying bigger things such as carpets, especially in tourist places, right after taarof is finished and you are friendly enough that you can’t really negotiate the price anymore, there is a chance you hear a crazy price

 

Taarof is a nice ritual and very much appreciated in Iran, but for sure it doesn’t mean you can just leave and don’t pay nor pay whatever price they ask after the ceremony is over

 

When shopping, get ready for some ta’arof, definitely one of the things to know before you travel to Iran

 

 

Alcohol is illegal

 

This is an absolute must among the things to know before you travel to Iran. If partying and heavy drinking is your idea of traveling, then Iran is not for you. Here, you can’t get drunk, even though it’s possible to find alcohol in Iran, it’s illegal and if caught you can face legal troubles, so I will totally recommend you wait until you are back home to get your booze

 

Be careful when taking photos of people

 

While taking pictures in Iran is pretty easy and welcome everywhere when you want to take photos of people you might want to ask first as sometimes it’s not appreciated. Be it a conservative family or someone who likes to protect their privacy, it can happen that people don’t want to be photographed and maybe end up in social media. It has also happened that women got upset and demanded to delete the pictures where she appeared

 

This is not much of a news to me as in Italy people usually don’t like to be photographed, but since in Iran this is rarely an issue, you might start feeling overconfident and forget that also here not everyone wants to be the subject of your artistic expression.

Every province is different

 

This is definitely one of the things to know before you travel to Iran and keep in mind when traveling to different cities and provinces. For example, you might want to adjust your dress code depending on where you are. In Tehran, you can see women wearing dresses with stockings underneath, albeit thick, while in more conservative places such as Qom or Kashan, this might not be the case. Apart from this aspect, be prepared to see many different Iran, a plethora of cultures, traditions, landscapes and ethnic groups

Iran is no easy destination, if you don’t feel confident enough to organize your trip by yourself you can rely on experienced and reliable G Adventures and book their 14-day Discover Persia tour to visit all the must-see places if you are traveling to Iran for the first time such as Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Yazd. Highly recommended

 

Be careful when taking photos of people

While taking pictures in Iran is pretty easy and welcome everywhere when you want to take photos of people you might want to ask first as sometimes it’s not appreciated. Be it a conservative family or someone who likes to protect their privacy, it can happen that people don’t want to be photographed and maybe end up in social media. It has also happened that women got upset and demanded to delete the pictures where she appeared

This is not much of a news to me as in Italy people usually don’t like to be photographed, but since in Iran this is rarely an issue, you might start feeling overconfident and forget that also here not everyone wants to be the subject of your artistic expression

Every province is different

This is definitely one of the things to know before you travel to Iran and keep in mind when traveling to different cities and provinces. For example, you might want to adjust your dress code depending on where you are. In Tehran, you can see women wearing dresses with stockings underneath, albeit thick, while in more conservative places such as Qom or Kashan, this might not be the case. Apart from this aspect, be prepared to see many different Iran, a plethora of cultures, traditions, landscapes and ethnic groups.

 

In Iran alcohol is illegal, so enjoy their great teas

The weekend is Friday

As the Islamic Republic following Islamic rules and calendar, the weekend in Iran is Friday, meaning that some offices are open until Thursday evening or even until noon, like some government departments. Tehran Grand Bazaar is open until Thursday evening, on Friday some of the shops will open but not all, which can be better if you are into relaxed shopping and photography since during the week it’s just mental.

Exchange agencies in Ferdowsi Square are closed on Friday, keep that in mind if you are running out of local currency

Exchange your cash at exchange agencies instead of banks

Iran’s local currency is the Rial (IRR) and since bank sanctions are not lifted yet, you need to carry enough cash for your stay. In most countries you won’t be able to buy IRR, so you will have to exchange your money in Iran. At the airport, you will find a bank for this and I suggest you exchange the necessary for the first day, including the first taxi from the airport, the fare of which ranges from 650.000 to 800.000 IRR

Try to exchange the remaining that you need at exchange agencies, they have far better rates than banks. In Tehran, you can find exchange agencies in Ferdowsi Square, in Esfahan around Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam Square), and most cities will have agencies near the tourist attractions

Tourists can also get a “tourist card” where you can put your money and use it like an ATM card, that will avoid carrying a lot of cash all the time. I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure about the process but I think you can open it at the airport too. If you do it, do leave a comment telling us about your experience

Buy a local SIM Card

Way cheaper than using your own country’s SIM card, I suggest you buy an Iranian one. Usually, you need to be a resident, but phone stores have numbers already registered that can be used for tourists. The first company I tried was MCI and I had problems connecting to the internet because apparently, the normal configuration wasn’t enough. Eventually, I did manage to fix it, but when I went back to Iran a couple of months later, again it wasn’t working, so instead of doing all the process again, I bought a RighTel card and it worked just fine from the minute I opened it. There is also another company, Irancell, which is cheap, but I have no experience with this one

Social media in Iran

In Iran Facebook and Twitter are filtered so if you can’t stay without, you need to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in your smartphone (or laptop, tablet, or whatever device you are using). In Iran it’s quite popular Psiphon, which is a free software, I tried it twice and my phones reported some issues (both times), so now I prefer to download a VPN

You can find many VPN services, a simple Google search is enough to find them, from free to cheap to more expensive. Often the paid versions start from one month, so if you are only staying a week you might opt for a free one. As for me, I always use ExpressVPN because after trying different ones, paid and free, this is what works best for me: I installed it both on my smartphone and my laptop and I haven’t had any issue, it was fast, always working and with a wide range of servers. Last time was 12.95$ per one-month subscription but they always have different offers especially if you subscribe for more than one month. In case you want to have a working VPN as soon as you arrive, you need to buy it before leaving as sanctions haven’t been lifted yet so you can’t use your credit card while in Iran

To chat with your Iranian friends download Telegram, it’s more common than Whatsapp and Viber.Using public transport you will also enjoy the beautiful decoration of Tehran metro

 

Tips are welcome

 

While it’s not as mandatory as in India, where even who tells you where the toilet is wants a tip, also in Iran tipping is appreciated. Usually, tips are for hotels’ employees who help you carry your luggage to your room (especially when you are on the third floor and there is no elevator!), where you can leave around 50,000 IRR, and, when in a tour, for your guide and the driver. It will be up to you and depending on how long the tour was, usually, if you ask the tour guide, he will be able to help

 

Haggling in Iran

 

Especially in tourist areas, haggling is fine. In tourist bazaars, especially the one around Imam Square in Esfahan, haggling is highly recommended. Like everywhere, the more you buy, the more they are inclined to give you a better price, so if there is a shop you like, you might gather there all your gift shopping

 

You can bargain the price with taxi drivers too, even though it’s very likely they will overcharge you anyway. Fares range from 20.000 IRR (less than 1€/$/£) to 200.000 IRR (roughly 6€/7$/5£) depending on the city and obviously the distance. In Tehran, you can find also shared taxis that will pick up also other people during the journey and usually cover a street or a specific distance. With these, the fare ranges from 10.000 to 20.000 Rials and there is no haggling, also because you can hardly go lower than this

And finally you must travel to Iran

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Resources
https://www.chasingtheunexpected.com/
3/OCT/2017