Is Payment in Iran Easy for Tourists?

Author : Daricer , July 13, 2019

Is Payment in Iran Easy for Tourists?

It is unusual for most Iran visitors that this much notes and articles are needed for using money in Iran since almost all foreign tourists used to pay everywhere in the world with their credit or debit cards. But in Iran Credit or Debit cards do not work, So Iran visitors need to learn about money in Iran.

Indeed, Iran’s banking system is not connected to the international banking system because of sanctions; thus VISA and other Mastercards are useless. Likewise, traveler’s cheque is unusable

Without any connection with international banking system, how can you spend money in Iran? Most tourists bring all the money, they need for their travel, in cash.

As long as getting familiar with the currency and bills in Iran that is not a bad idea to bring cash, exchange and spend it for your trip. But if you have no idea about money in Iran we recommend you to read the article which can help you a lot to have a safe and easy trip.

How to exchange money in rials

You can not exchange your money to Rials (IRR) outside of Iran, So it seems you have to bring your whole budget in cash in Euros and Dollars, which are easier to exchange, or other currencies. 

Money Exchanging in Iran
Exchange money in Iran

Once in Iran, you can easily change your money in any exchange office. Always pay attention to change in an official moneychanger, which displays the rates to the public, and do not do it in the street, which is illegal. Don’t worry there are lots of exchange offices in Tehran and also other cities in Iran, and the most reachable is the one in Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA).

There are plenty of moneychangers inside the city center, often offering a better rate: Go to Ferdowsi Street, the main exchange street right in the city center, or near Tajrish Square, on Valiasr Street. You won’t have any difficulties to find exchange offices in all big and medium cities of Iran. Just remember that they are closed during the weekends, on Thursdays and Fridays.

Exchange rate in Iran

Exchange rate changes daily or sometimes every hour in Iran, you can check the rate on DaricPay application or some other websites online, but the google rate is not the one you can get from the free market.

The next challenge of exchanging is distinguishing between rials and tomans.

It’s important to know that in everyday life, Iranian tell the prices not in rials but in tomans. Don’t worry you just need to know every 10 rials is 1 toman

Exchange rate in Iran
Exchange rate in Iran

Remember that it is more common to say prices in Toman than Rials, and also Iranian most of the time don’t say the zeros. For example when you want to buy something that is 5000 tomans the seller will ask you for 5 tomans which means 5000 tomans. 

Let’s summarize with another example: you’re in the taxi, and the driver asks for “20” tomans: he means 20.000 tomans, to which you add one zero more to get the price in rials, 200.000 rials.

Even though, you’ll probably be often confused, already busy to convert the amount in your own currency in your mind! There is no need to worry though. Testimonies from travelers to Iran show that most Iranians are really honest and won’t see in that confusion an opportunity to swindle you.

We’ve just talked about cash, Is it safe to carry cash in Iran?

As mentioned earlier, credit cards do not work in Iran and you have to carry your whole budget with you in cash. Although Iran is among the safest country to travel losing money is very common, especially when you have to carry bundles of cash. 

carrying cash in Iran

We recommend you to buy a local travel card, like DaricPay, to reduce the risk of carrying cash and also get rid of learning about bills.

How do people pay in Iran?

Although international debit and credit cards are useless in Iran, ATMs, and Poses are available for local travel cards. Iran Travel Card is a payment solution for Iran visitors to pay like local in Iran. Paying in cash is out of date and all around the country, you can use your cards for shopping, paying for transportation and accommodation.

Prepaid travel cards are available and you can register for them before arriving, so there’s no need to worry about carrying cash anymore.