Iran travel guide: all you need to know about traveling to Iran |

Iran travel guide: all you need to know about traveling to Iran |

Iran travel guide

If you are one of those people who have recently interested in Iran with a rising fever of traveling to this unique country, you are reading the right Iran travel guide article. Actually traveling to another country always seems a little bit scary, especially if you are going to a country tourism article, we will provide you with a comprehensive Iran travel guide to help you find the answers you need for Iran travel and start your journey to this amazing country with ease.

Why you must travel to Iran?

Why travel to Iran? If this is your question too, let me change this question in this Iran travel guide and ask you why not travel to Iran?! Here is a country with more than 4000 years' history of civilization and all the tourists who travel to Iran, they named Iranian people the most welcoming and kindest people in the world. But that's not all, Iran is where you can experience walking in the 40 degrees’ hot weather and at the same time in another city, people are skiing on the snowy mountains!

You can relax on the sea sands and take a sunbath, and only by less than one-hour driving, walk between the trees of lush forests. That’s why this country is called the 4-season country. Besides all its 24 attractions that are recorded as UNESCO world heritage sites and other historical and cultural monuments that will spike you in your place.

In this Iran travel guide, I can also talk about the Iranian food that is called the most delicious traditional food in the region or Iranian handicrafts and souvenirs that are famous between all the travelers and tourists.

Believe it or not, but I can talk about Iran and give you 3000 reasons why you should visit the golden crown of the Islamic world but the limit to the number of characters in this Iran travel guide article doesn’t permit me but I’m pretty sure now you have at least one reason for traveling to Iran. So, here is a complete Iran travel guide for your trip.

Essential information

Official language

  • Persian/ Farsi

Currency

  • Rial (IRR)

Urban Electricity type

  • 230 V / 50 Hz (Plug Type C, F)

Country code

  • +98

Emergency number

  • Police 110
  • Firefighting 125
  • Ambulance 115

Do I need an Iran visa?

We can claim that the most important part of any Iran travel guide, is about the Iran visa. Getting a visa is one of the most important concerns of every traveler before starting their journey. Getting an Iran visa is the first step of traveling to Iran. Almost all of the people, except the people of Israel, can get a visa for Iran and travel to this country.

People of 9 countries don’t need an Iran visa for traveling to Iran that we bring them in this chart in our Iran travel guide for you.

 

Country

Days

Syria

90

Georgia

40

Turkey

30

Armenia

30

Bolivia

30

Egypt

20

Lebanon

15

Azerbaijan

15

China

15

 

If you aren’t from these countries, you can get a visa on arrival at the airport, unless you are from these countries:

  • The United States
  • The United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Iraq
  • Colombia
  • Jordan
  • Somalia
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh

What is the official language in Iran?

The official language of the Iranian people is Farsi. In different parts of Iran, the local people speak their local language that each region is different. Rashti, Gilaki and Mazani in the north of Iran, Azari in the northwest of Iran and many other parts of Iran, Kurdi and Lori, Arabic are the other dialects that are common in Iran. But all of the people can speak Farsi.

In this chart of our Iran travel guide, you can read the most useful words and sentences that will help you while you travel to Iran.

 

English

Persian

How to say

Hi

سلام

Salaam

Good bye

خداحافظ

Khoda hafez

Pardon – Excuse me

ببخشید

Be bakh shid

Thank you

ممنون

Mam noon

Yes

بله

Baleh

No

نه

Na

How much does it cost?

چقدر میشه؟

Che ghadr mi she?

Please

لطفا

Lotfan

Good morning

صبح بخیر

Sob beh kheir

Good night

شب بخیر

Shab be kheir

Your welcome

خواهش می کنم

Khaahesh mi ko nam

Food

غذا

Ghazaa

Breakfast

صبحونه

Sobhoone

Lunch

ناهار

Nahar

Dinner

شام

Shaam

Water

آب

Aab

How are you?

چطوری؟

Cheh to ri?

Here you are

بفرمایید

Befarmaeid

 Could you give a discount?

میشه تخفیف بدید؟

Mishe takhfif bedid?

Where?

کجا؟

Koja?

Me too

منم همینطور

Manam hamin tor

I am John

من جان هستم

Man john hastam

Where is the restroom?

سرویس بهداشتی کجاست؟

Servis behdashti kojast?

Where is the currency exchange?

صرافی کجاست؟

Saraafi kojast?

Where can I find a taxi?

کجا میتونم تاکسی بگیرم؟

Koja mi tunam taxi be giram?

Do you know where this hotel is?

میدونید این هتل کجاست؟

Midunid in hotel kojast?

Help!

کمک!

Komak!

1

یک

Yek

2

دو

Do

3

سه

Se

4

چهار

Chahar

5

پنج

Panj

6

شش

Shish

7

هفت

Haft

8

هشت

Hasht

9

نه

Noh

10

ده

Dah

 

What is the currency in Iran?

Iranian official currency is Rial, however, in this Iran travel guide, we also talk about another currency which is only being used by people and it is called Toman. 

Toman is the same as Rial with one less zero, actually 1 Toman is 10 Rial 

Most of the times in Iran people use Toman instead of Rial and you can know either by asking if the price is in Rial or Toman or looking for the signs.

What currency to take with in Iran?

As an Iran travel guide, Although the currency of Iran is Rial it doesn’t mean that you can’t bring other currencies with yourself. EURO and USD are the best currencies that you can bring with yourself and exchange them in Iran.

What is the exchange rate in Iran??

There are 2 exchange rates in Iran. Governmental rate and free market rate. Both are correct but the government rate is always lower than the market rate. There are numerous websites giving information about exchange rates but we recommend you to use the most reliable sites which are given to you in this Iran travel guide below:

http://www.tgju.org/currency

Where can I exchange money?

  • Banks: You can exchange your money in banks with the Governmental Exchange rate.
  • Exchange office: the best place to exchange your money in exchange offices. Almost every city in Iran has an exchange office.
  • Black Market: you can find most of the exchange offices and also many of these black-market middlemen in Ferdowsi Avenue, in Tehran. Both Exchange offices and middlemen, offer the same rate but as an Iran travel guide, DO NOT exchange your money in the black market with brokers.

You may also think that what should we do with our additional Rial at the end of the trip. Well, as another Iran travel guide for you, here is your answer: You can exchange your Rial to Euro or Dollar in the IKA exchange office. They will exchange your money only 3,000 – 2,000 IRR cheaper than exchange offices in Ferdowsi Avenue.

Credit cards and Debit cards

As you may know, credit cards are not being supported in Iran, so, as an Iran travel guide, we suggest you to don’t lean on them. The best choice is to bring enough cash and exchange it with Rial. If you run out of cash, you can use the “Mah Card”. Mah Card is a service for foreign tourists which provides them a debit card with a 10% commission.

Sim card in Iran

You can buy your sim card from Hamrah-e Aval or Irancell carrier. These prepaid SIM cards work for 50 days and after that, you should charge the credit.

How to charge our sim card credit?

you can buy credit in form of codes in numbers from markets, it is in form of a small paper that you scratch and the code will appear or you can charge it online using your debit card. In ths Iran travel guide, we also bring the code you need to dial for charge your sim card:

  • Irancell SIM card: *141*password# Dial
  • Hamrah-e Aval SIM card: *140*#password# dial

How is the weather in Iran?

Iran is generally a hot and dry land. apart from the Alborz slopes that are overlooking the Caspian Sea, the western slopes of the Zagros Mountains, which have relatively significant rainfall, the rest of the country is more or less deprived of this natural benefit and is often considered the driest region of the planet.

When is the best time to travel to Iran?

According to the foreign tourists’ opinion, Iran has the best conditions for traveling in the four seasons of the year with the most diverse weather. The desert, the warmth of the southern cities, the temperate air in the northern parts of the country, the snowy mountains, the beautiful Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf provide the possibility of diverse entertainment for all types of tastes in the four seasons of the year for tourists in their Iran tour. So, as Iran travel guide, you can travel to Iran any time you want.

Center of Iran East of Iran West of Iran South of Iran North Western of Iran North of Iran

Autumn

Winter

Spring

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Summer 4 season

 

How much does it cost to travel to Iran?

Cheap Travel

  •  Accommodation costs in the hostel: 1,500,000 IRR
  •  Inter-city bus tickets and subway tickets: 100,000 IRR
  •  Meals: 500,000 IRR – 1,000,000 IRR 
  •  A snack in Cafes: 300,000 IRR – 500,000 IRR

Deposited Travel

  • The cost of staying in an average hotel: 2,000,000 IRR – 5,000,000 IRR 
  •  Inter-city taxi and daily car rental Iran: 500,000 IRR – 1,000,000 IRR
  •  Meals: 800,000 IRR – 1,200,000 IRR
  •  Entrance tickets to museums and other attractions: 500,000 IRR – 1,000,000 IRR

Luxury Travel

  • The cost of staying in a 5-star hotel: 7,000,000 IRR – 1,200,000 IRR 
  •  Domestic flights: 4,000,000 IRR – 10,000,000 IRR
  •  A full day in Dizin ski resort or Safari in deserts: 10,000,000 IRR – 20,000,000 IRR

Where to stay in Iran?

There are many options to stay in Iran. As an Iran travel guide, we can suggest you to stay in 5-star luxury hotels, in ordinary hotels, and sometimes cheap. Of course, about the exchange rate of Iran, even in the most luxurious hotels in Iran, you will have reasonable accommodation at reasonable prices. So welcome to Iran. A country with an incredible price you can have a royal residence.

Accommodation in historic houses

To stay in Iran, along with hotels, you have other attractive options. As an Iran travel guide, you should try this option for your accommodation. In many historic villages and towns of Iran, traditional residences can be found some of the old Iranian architectural styles. But what distinguishes some of these resorts is that some of them are houses belongs to more than 100 years, belonging to the Safavid and Qajar periods, and have been renovated in the form of hotels and residences.

The present is that you stayed in them as if you had traveled a century ago and would have a great experience. These resorts have a very warm atmosphere, and your trip to Iran's historic city is filled with nostalgia.

How to stay in Iran with the budget?

In addition to historic residences, if you are looking for a budget trip, as a Iran travel tips, Hostels with incredible prices in different cities of Iran, including Tehran, are ready to welcome you.

What to eat in Iran?

Food can be so important that it is the sole purpose of travel. So, if you travel to Iran, forget about fast food and international food, because there is a long list of Iranian local food that you have to try and if you don’t, you really going to miss it.

It is not possible that you hear the name from Iran, and after the Persepolis and Pasargadae, you did not hear the name of Iranian kebab and Qormeh Sabzi (vegetarian gourmet). As an Iran travel tips, we suggest you to try Kebab, Qormeh Sabzi, Qeymeh and Dizi are the food you must try in Tehran. Beryooni in Isfahan, Joojeh torsh and Kabab torsh in Gilan and Kalam Polo in Shiraz.

How to travel to Iran?

Airplane

well, airplanes seem to be the best way to travel to Iran and in some cases, it is the only way too! 

There are many direct and indirect flights to Iran that you can book to the Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) and other international airports in Iran. here, in this Iran travel guide, we bring the list of International airports in Iran.

The list of Iran international airport

  • Tehran: Imam Khomeini International airport
  •  Isfahan: Shahid Beheshti international airport
  •  Bandar Abbas: Bandar Abbas international airport
  •  Qeshm Island: Qeshm International Airport (Deirestan airport)
  •  Kish Island: Kish international airport
  •  Larestan: Larestan international airport
  •  Mashhad: Mashhad International airport 9 Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport)
  •  Karaj: Payam international airport
  •  Ardabil: Ardabil international airport
  •  Tabriz: Shahid Madani International airport
  •  Pars Abad: Parsabad-e Moghan International Airport
  •  Zahedan: Zahedan International Airport
  •  Shiraz: Shiraz International Airport (Shahid Dastgheyb Shiraz International Airport)

My transportation inside the cities of Iran

Subway

You can use the subway to go all over the city. the ticket of one-way subway is 12,000 IRR. Tehran, Isfahan, Ahwaz, Tabriz, Shiraz, Mashhad, and Karaj have subway line coverage.

Bus

you can use buses to commute in a city or between cities in Iran. You can go to terminals to purchase tickets. in this Iran travel blog, we should mention that the buses are a good and also cheap way for transportation in the city and you can find the price charts on the boards in the terminals.

If you want to use buses for traveling between the cities of Iran, here is our suggestion in this Iran travel blog: You can get to the western cities of Iran from the west bus terminal and you can go to the eastern cities from the east terminal but you can go almost to any city from the Beyhaghi terminal. You can purchase tickets from 200,000 to 1,000,000 IRR.

Taxi

The price of Taxis in Iran usually is an agreement between the passenger and the driver. They usually have a certain route that they go back and forward. Their price is variable from 50,000 to 100,000 IRR.

Some taxi drivers offer to take you exactly to the destination outside their route called “DARBAST” which as an Iran travel guide, we don't recommend it, because it is unfairly, very expensive.

Snapp and Tap30, the Iranian Uber

Snapp is an Iranian Uber. So, you can choose where you are and where your destination in this app and it announced the price in IRR before you ask for the service, therefore, you can decide if you want to use it or not. You can use Snapp in Most of the cities in Iran. We should mention in our Iran travel guide that Snapp is usually more expensive than a taxi. Taxi cost is from 100,000 IRR to 500,000 IRR, but Snapp is safer and more comfortable.

Train

this is a great option especially for short distances between cities. Train ticket prices can change daily depending on season and destination of your trip.

Airplane

If you are in Iran for a short time and want to visit many places and want to spend more days in the destinations instead of being in the roads for a long time. The plane ticket for short trips, less than 500 km is about 2.500.000 to 3.000.000 IRR and for longer trips, it costs between 4.000.000 to 7.000.000 IRR.

Car Rental

If you want to drive by yourself in Iran, you can use the car rental in Iran services as soon as you get to the airport,  We should mention that you can drive for 6 months with your driving license in Iran or even other countries but you need to have it with yourself so you can rent a car.

Driving in Tehran and other cities in Iran can be tricky. Crazy maybe the word that you hear most of the time about driving in Iran but you only need extra attention in your driving because Iranian drivers don’t Keep the traffic laws in mind.

With all of that, many reasons prove that car rental services are a good deal for exploring Iran:

 1- There will be a car for you until the last day of your trip.

 2. You will save your time and no longer need to wait for a taxi or other public transportation.

 3. Your expenses will be reduced, notably.

 4. If you love road trips just like me, car rental in the best option for you because there are many attractions, cities, and villages with extraordinary landscapes that you can see while driving between n cities of Iran.

Medical Tips

Medicines and pharmacies

In Iran, you can buy some kinds of medicines without a doctor’s prescription you just need to ask the pharmacy. There are also night drug stores where you can buy medicines 24 hours a day.

Medicine costs

Here we make a list of important medicines that you may need in your trip with the average price.

  • cold medicine: 30.000 - 50.000 IRR
  • stomachache medicine: 30.000 - 50.000 IRR
  • headache medicine: 10.000 - 50.000 IRR
  • Poisoning medicine: 50.000 – 70.000 IRR
  • Pain killer: 10.000 - 50,000 IRR

Medical costs

If you need to visit a doctor for any reasons, these are the prices you might be charged:

  • The cost of a general doctor’s visit is 245.000 IRR
  • The cost of a specialist’s visit is 384.000 IRR
  • Ampoule injection cost is 50.000 IRR
  • Serum injection cost is 150.000 IRR

Local Tips in Iran

When you travel to Iran, there are some tips and suggestions that only you can find in this Iran travel guide. So, here is some of them:

Water

Drinking water has high quality in big cities but in some smaller and less crowded cities, it is better to have mineral water for drinking. A small bottle of mineral water bottle costs 10.000 IRR and big one’s costs 20.000 IRR

Safety

Iran is a safe place for tourists and you can be sure about that and it’s for extra precaution to avoid late-night joyrides and walks between midnight and 05:00 AM.  Another thing you need to know is that you may need to rest your eyes for a short time in your car, in this kind of situation, make sure to park your car near a police station or restrooms which have markets and gas stations. Avoid sleeping in your car for a long time or in the intercity roads. You will have a safe trip around Iran but due to some disorders near some of the borders, it is recommended to avoid these places in the southeast.

As you may know, drinking or having alcoholic drinks is illegal and this is a restrict rule and you must never accept an alcoholic beverage from strangers and never carry them on you or in your vehicle. In case of emergency, send us a live location and we will handle the situation by calling the police and your embassy at the same time.

Calendar of events in Iran

 

Special months in Iran

Ramadan

Iranian Muslims fast during Ramadan. If you travel to Iran this month, all restaurants and cafes will be closed all day long and start serving at sunset after Adan and  will be serving until sunrise.

Muharram

In the first two weeks of this month, Iranians are mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. The ninth and tenth day of Muharram, Tasua and Ashura, the entire city,

includes malls, museums and restaurants are closed. And you can visit the ceremonies of these special days in different cities.

Iranian hospitality

Iranian warm hospitality is well known worldwide especially among tourists who have traveled to Iran. There is an expression that says “Hospitality is made in Iran” many locals-insights, hotels or restaurants like to talk to you and even take a selfie with you. They may even invite you to their houses for lunch or a cup of tea. This may happen more often in cities in which tourists visit less often. It might look weird to you but inviting someone in your house even when you barely know them is a part of Iranian culture. We can’t say if it is a bad thing or good thing, but be more cautious.

How will technology help me on my trip to Iran?

There are many apps that you can use on your trip to Iran. The speed of the Internet is acceptable in Ira especially inside the cities and most of the villages of Iran but on the road, you may lose the internet connection.

  • VPN is the first thing you need to have on your phone or laptop. There are some websites and applications that are block in Iran and you need a VPN to use them. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and telegram are some of them.
  • Messenger apps: WhatsApp and telegram are two applications that use the most between the messenger apps in Iran.
  • Navigation apps: Waze in the best application that can help you for going everywhere in Iran. You can choose your origin and destination and it will calculate the time it takes to arrive there in the way with less traffic. 
  • Snapp/ Tap30 are other applications that you will need them. They work like UBER and are one of the easiest ways to go anywhere in the city. Tehran and some other cities of Iran give services.
  • Tehran Metro: If you are going to use public transportation the application will help you a lot. It shows all the subway lines and stations in Tehran and their time table. It also shows and the taxis and buses that are available in each station in Tehran.
  • Language apps: Well any apps are available but I still suggest google translate.
  • Calendar apps: As you may know, Iranian people use a solar calendar that is called Shamsi. The beginning of spring is the Shamsi new year and that may a little bit confide you. So, having a calendar app that converts dates from Georgian to Shamsi can be helpful.

UNESCO heritage sites in Iran

Iran is located on the Top 10 countries that have the greatest number of registered UNESCO world heritage sites. In the continue we are going to talk about the list of tangible UNESCO heritage sites in Iran:

Cultural

  • Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region
  • Historic City of Yazd
  • The Persian Qanat
  • Susa
  • Cultural Landscape of Maymand
  • Shahr-i Sokhta
  • Golestan Palace
  • Gonbad-e Qābus
  • Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan
  • The Persian Garden
  • Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex
  • Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil
  • Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
  • Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran
  • Bisotun
  • Soltaniyeh
  • Pasargadae
  • Bam and its Cultural Landscape
  • Pasargadae
  • Takht-e Soleyman
  • Persepolis
  • Chogha Zanbil
  • Naqsh-e Jahan square

Natural

  • Lut desert
  • Hyrcanian forests 

Iranian Intangible Cultural Heritage in UNESCO List

  • Art of crafting and playing with Kamancheh/Kamancha
  • Chogān, a horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling
  • Flatbread making and sharing culture: Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufka
  • Nowrouz
  • Qālišuyān rituals of Mašhad-e Ardehāl in Kāšān
  • Naqqāli, Iranian dramatic story-telling
  • Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf
  • Music of the Bakhshis of Khorasan
  • Pahlevani and Zoorkhanei rituals
  • Ritual dramatic art of Ta‘zīye
  • Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Fars
  • Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Kashan
  • Radif of Iranian music

Festivals and Ceremonies in Iran

Iranian people held many ceremonies and festivals in different situations in Iran. Some of them are related to the old culture of Iran from the Achaemenid century and some of them are for the Islamic period.

In the continue, we are going to read about the most important ceremonies of Iran.

Nowruz

Between all the festivals and ceremonies that people celebrate in Iran nowadays, Nowruz the oldest one that Iranian people still celebrate. As we mentioned before, the Iranian calendar is based on Jalali (Solar) year. So, the first day of Spring is considered as the New Year’s Eve for Iranian people that is called Nowruz.

Not just in Iran, also many other countries in Iran’s plateau celebrate Nowruz. There are many traditions and customs that people still held after 4000 years. They prepare the Haft Sin table. Seven symbolic items that their name starts with S in Persian language are put in this table. 

On the first day of Spring (1st of Farvardin) people with their families sit around this table and with what they want in the new year and read Quran till the new year moment. After that, the relatives go to each other’s houses in the holidays and make memorable moments.

Sizdeh be Dar

Well, the last day of Nowruz holidays is called Sizdah be Dar (13th of Farvardin) and is called the day of Nature. On this day families pack their stuff for a lovely picnic in nature till the evening. You may think of why? There is a myth about this tradition. Like many cultures, in ancient Iran, the number of 13 considered a false number. Iranian people believe if you stay at home on the 13th of Farvardin, the anesthesia and illness will take you on this day, so everybody goes on a picnic in parks and nature to stay away from it. It is also the last day of new year holidays and everyone should get ready for going back to school and work.

Ashura and Tassoa 

Ashura and Tassoa are the official holidays in the Iran calendar. Well, these two days are the days that Iranian Shia Muslims mourn for one of the most tragic events of the Islam history. In these days Imam Hussein, the third Imam of Shia Muslims, with 72 of his followers fights for the righteous and were martyred In Karbala while they were thirsty and hungry for days. Iranian people hold many traditions in these days that some of them are so famous in the world. Public mourning groups, Tazieh, and Turning palms in Yazd is the most popular one between them.

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