is it safe to travel to iran?
Nowadays everybody is standing in front of their TVs and watching the news about Iran and The US and a famous question will come through everybody’s mind, but this time more skeptical and louder: “is Iran safe to travel?" and we are here to answer it honestly to make everything clear for people.
Recent events have raised many doubts about traveling to Iran and Iran safety. Many tourists are wondering is Iran still safe to travel. But now, Iran has been restored, and despite the temporary cancellation of foreign airlines flying to Iran, safe Iran is still welcoming travelers from all over the world.
The middle east region can be considered as the cradle of civilization. The most beautiful and fascinating historical attractions in the world are built in this area. This makes the travelers and the history enthusiasts interested in traveling to Middle East countries and drowning on these thousands of years’ history.
But on the other hand, we often hear about war and internal conflicts, attacks, and news like this in the Middle East countries, which makes the tourists doubtful for traveling to the countries of this region, and they may become worried about their safety.
Among these countries, Iran is always the only country that is the victim of these bad news and negative global propaganda, and many tourists, who at first do not have enough information about Iran safety, think that Iran, like other countries in the Middle East, is dangerous but in this article, we want to prove to you that all these propaganda and rumors are false, and Iran is a very safe country for travel and adventure. So stay with us.
A fact: Iran is safe
Iran is a unique country with unrivaled nature that can be the best tourist destination especially for Iran ecotourism lovers in all four seasons of the year, as well as its magnificent historical attractions, which represent the proud history and civilization of Iran for several thousand years ago.
Also, Iran is always a cost-effective destination and, in recent months, is one of the cheapest destinations in the world that tourists can take Iran tour and spend their days in Iran with best services, such as staying in the best Iran hotels and catering to the finest and most delicious food or buying souvenirs and original Iranian handicrafts from Iran.
despite all of these good features that Iran, as a tourism destination has, still there are many tourists especially from Europe and the US that is Iran safe to travel?
Safe Iran is welcoming you
Because of the political issues between Iran and other countries' governments, most of the news that you hear from safe Iran may be negative, but all these bad advertisements are made to make Iran appear to be bad and insecure.
If you want to travel to safe Iran and you are a little bit worried about Iran safety, you just have to take a look at the travel blogs and travelers opinions on different social media, especially TripAdvisor to find out how different is the reality of Iran with what negative rumors try to say about Iran. They all regard Iran as a safe country for all tourists from any country and any religion around the world.
Even according to Lonely planet articles, safe Iran is really considered as a safe country, even according to some travelers’ opinion, it is a safer country than Europe for travel, as well as a suitable and secure country for women tourists who travel solo.
Iranian people love tourists
Each country, apart from its tangible attractions such as historical monuments, museums, and natural attractions, has another important attraction, which is the culture of that country. Each country's culture embraces all its customs, people, languages, celebrations and ceremonies.
One of the reasons why tourists, especially American and European tourists, are concerned is the fact that, because of negative propaganda about safe Iran and Iranian people, they are convinced that the Iranian people will deal badly with them, or may even argue with them or Insult them.
We must say that the hospitality in Iranian culture is well-known among all the people of the world, and all tourists who have traveled to Iran, have admitted that the Iranians were very nice to them, especially when they realized they were from Europe or the US, they tried to chat with them friendly, and were so kind to them.
Some even invited them to their homes for lunch or dinner or some people if they did not have the opportunity to talk with the tourists, they smiled at them while they were walking alongside each other.
Among the tourists' comments about the Iranian people and their hospitality, there was a comment from an American tourist that says: "When you travel to Iran, you feel like a celebrity, because everyone wants to talk to you and take selfies with you."
Security in Iran
Contrary to the negative propaganda of some Western media, Iran is a safe country and does not pose a threat to citizens and tourists. In recent years, despite the rise of terrorist groups such as ISIS and the Taliban in the Middle East and some of their attacks in the heart of Europe, Iran has been spared such human rights abuses and has become known as the safe island of the Middle East. Despite the relative insecurity that prevails in the world, not a single case of the widespread terrorist incident has been reported in this country.
Residence in Iran
In the tourist cities of Iran, it is customary for the natives to rent their houses to travelers. This type of accommodation may cause problems with accident insurance. Therefore, stay in places that operate under the supervision of the Tourism Organization of Iran. Licensed local hotels, guesthouses, and houses are among the approved places. If you are traveling on a tour, trust your tour guide about accommodation.
Internet in Iran
Contrary to the negative publicity of some Western media, the Internet is available almost everywhere in Iran (except the depths of caves and mountains) and is very easy to access. All you have to do is get off at your mobile SIM card sales center as soon as you get off your plane and buy a SIM card for a very reasonable fee (less than $ 15). As soon as you activate the SIM card, you will have high-speed Internet access and you can communicate with your family and friends through audio and video applications. It seems necessary to have a passport to buy a tourist SIM card.
In Iran, 3 operators provide telecommunication and internet services. The first mobile operator and Irancell provide services exclusively to tourists, and you can use these services by purchasing a product called "Tourism SIM Card". Remember that these SIM cards are only valid for 30 days. If you want to stay longer in Iran, you can buy from the Raytel SIM card operator or use other types of SIM cards of the first mobile operators and Irancell.
Iranian money system
You can use Euros, Pounds or Dollars to pay for major travel expenses such as your accommodation or the taxi that will take you from the airport to the hotel. But for more detailed expenses, you need to convert your money into Iranian banknotes. There is a money exchange office at Iran's international airports. Hotels have the same possibility. Reputable exchange offices are also operating in all major cities of Iran, whose services you can use. For more information on Iranian money and travel expenses to Iran, you can read here.
Cultural taboos in Iran
Staring at people, especially Iranian women, and kissing and hugging non-homosexuals in public places is not in line with Iranian public culture. It is also against social etiquette for men to take the lead in reaching out to Iranian women. Such cases are not very desirable in Iranian regulations. When photographing cultural landscapes, especially if the subject is an Iranian citizen, it is best to ask permission. Iranians, like many people around the world, like their privacy to be respected.
Reward law in Iran
Under Iranian law, it is not mandatory to reward a restaurant waiter or someone who takes your luggage to your hotel room. These people get paid by their employers for the services they provide. Of course, you can give a reward voluntarily. This is different for people who are going to provide you with special services, such as carrying your backpack and belongings on a mountaineering route. A five or ten thousand toman banknote is a good amount for a reward.
Public beliefs in Iran
In Iranian culture, mosques, shrines, and shrines are respected, and visiting them, like all other religious sites around the world, requires respect and humility. At noon and after full sunset, due to congregational prayers, tourists can't visit some large mosques. After the congregational prayer, which does not last more than a few minutes, there is no obstacle to visiting.
Type of cover in Iran
Under Iranian law, women wear the hijab. However, the Iranian hijab is significantly different from what is used in some countries and is diverse and colorful. Any type of clothing that is not too thin and covers the arms, legs, and hair is considered an example of the Iranian hijab and there are no restrictions in terms of choosing the color and design of clothing. This level of hijab is enough for tourism in Iran. In other words, the hijab is not dealt with extremely in Iran, and you will find out by looking at the clothing of Iranian citizens.
Under Iranian law, it is not common for men to wear sleeveless blouses and trousers that are too short, although not prohibited by law, in public. It is necessary for women tourists in Iran to cover some of their hair. Women tourists should have a scarf or shawl in their handbags to respect the culture of their host community so that they do not have any problems preparing it at the airport. If you do not have a scarf with you, nothing special will happen except to spend a little time and money to buy it from the store.
Iranian law in visiting religious attractions
According to Iranian regulations, female tourists to visit some of Iran's religious attractions (Imam ShrineReza in Mashhad - the shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh in Qom - the shrine of Shahcheragh in Shiraz, etc.) must use a special cover called "tent". In these attractions, tents are provided to visitors for free. The Iranian tent consists of a large and patterned piece of cloth that is placed on the head. The use of this cover is rooted in cultural and religious beliefs and is considered a kind of respect for that attraction. Male tourists do not need to use tents. However, they should use the usual clothing of Iranian men (shirts and pants).
Laws on alcohol and drugs
Under Iranian law, the transportation and use of alcohol and drugs, including marijuana, is prohibited in public places, and no center officially serves alcohol to its customers. However, in Iran, as in many other countries, the smuggling and underground distribution of prohibited substances and beverages is a significant social harm.
Halal food in Iran
According to Iranian regulations, only halal food is served in this country. Halal food is not prepared or served with alcohol. The animal whose meat is to be used for cooking is slaughtered especially. Also, the meat of some animals such as pigs, dogs, mice, etc. is not used in Iran because they are not halal.
Paying attention to price tags in Iran
Most Iranians are conscientious and moral people and are fair in dealing with tourists. However, as everywhere in the world, there is very little chance of abuse by traders. When shopping, pay attention to the price tag of the products so that you do not have to pay unfairly. In many cases, prices are written in English numbers.
Behavioral characteristics of the Iranian people
Hospitality and expression of friendly feelings is the most prominent moral characteristic of Iranians. So if you come across Iranians who invite you to their home, give you something as a souvenir, enjoy seeing you, take a souvenir photo with you, get your email address or Facebook account to ask about your condition later, shake your hand They give and hug you, do not be surprised.
Public transportation in Iran
In Iran, intercity buses are divided into men and women. It is better to enter the part that suits your gender. Also in Iran, the normal routine of taxi service is that 4 passengers (one passenger in the front seat and three passengers in the back seat of the taxi) board. If you want to be the only taxi passenger, you have to take a "closed taxi" which includes more costs. In some large cities, in addition to the high-speed bus and subway system, there are taxi tracking applications such as SNAP. By buying an Iranian SIM card and installing these applications on your mobile phone, you can use their services.
Health services in Iran
There are toilets in hotels and many tourist places and you will not have any problems in this regard. But in most public places there is no toilet and you have to use the Iranian toilet. The Iranian toilet stone is located on the floor and unlike the toilet, it does not have a chair-like shape. To use the Iranian toilet, you have to squat on the floor. Today, almost all toilets use water hoses. Remember that paper towels are not used in most public toilets in and around cities. (Iranians use water for washing instead of handkerchiefs). If you insist on using a handkerchief, put a few leaves in your handbag or pocket. To use some sanitary services along the way, you need to pay a very small fee (500 Tomans). Of course, if you do not have small money with you and you do not pay, no one will stop you from using the health service.
Laws related to the coasts of Iran
According to Iranian regulations, swimming or sunbathing on the southern and northern coasts of Iran is for men and women on separate beaches. Of course, walking on the beach and sports and recreational activities are not subject to gender segregation. There is also the issue of using the hotel pool. Also for religious places such as the shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, the shrine of Imam Masoumeh in Qom, and also the shrine of Shahcheragh in Shiraz, you will encounter special customs. In this way, the entrance door of these attractions for women is different from the door through which men enter. After passing through the front door, tourist men and women can join each other and visit.
The best way to start a conversation in Iran
In Iran, if you want to ask someone for an address or have a request to explain something to you, or when you enter a shop/store/museum/restaurant/cafe, etc., say hello first. Saying hello at the beginning of a conversation with Iranians is a form of respect, norm, and cultural value. The proverb "Hello brings health" shows the importance of greeting in Iranian culture.
Conventional nutritional customs in Iran
Unlike European food culture, most traditional Iranian dishes do not need a knife to be served. In most cases, you can easily eat with a spoon and fork. Some foods require only a spoon to use. Others are wrapped in bread and eaten by hand. To learn more about Iranian food culture, see here.
Solo trips to Iran
Backpackers, like those traveling to Iran on tour, are in complete safety. However, it is better to stay in places licensed by the Tourism Organization of Iran and when traveling from reputable cars.
Now, it is your turn to decide by reading this article and the opinions of all tourists who have visited safe Iran in social media, travel to Iran and experience a unique trip in this country alongside the kind and hospitable people in complete safety and peace.