It’s no wonder so many travelers are putting Iran at the top of their list of places to visit, the country offers many ways to get around and see the beautiful sites, the food is delicious, it’s safe, and locals are incredibly hospitable. No matter how you prefer to experience Iran, you can do it in your own style. Read on for tips to ensure your trip is hassle-free and full of great experiences. Here are the essential travel tips for Iran.
How to get to Iran?
Don’t forget to find out if you need a visa to enter Iran. In our post: How to apply for a visitor visa to Iran we describe all the steps required to obtain your visa. With your visa in hand, the next question is: Can I enter Iran by way of land or do I have to fly?
You can enter by land. So if you fancy driving, cycling, or walking into Iran, take note that the northern land borders are much safer than the other sides. The borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan are all possible entry points.
How can I travel between cities in Iran?
Hitchhiking is becoming more popular among Iranians, but don’t do it if you are just trying to save money. Public transportation, even between cities, is relatively inexpensive. For example, a trip from Tehran to Shiraz (almost 1000Km) with a public bus will cost you only $6. If your budget is more flexible, you can also fly between major cities with domestic airlines such as IranAir or Taban.
Is it possible to cycle around Iran?
In this age of eco-friendly travel coupled with a desire to go off the beaten path, cycling is a great option while in Iran, but that said, do your homework! Iran is a very mountainous country, the cities are heavy with traffic (although some big cities have bike paths), suburban roads are notoriously bad, and it can get very hot (don’t forget women are required by law to wear the Islamic hijab in public). For an inspiring story, read about our client, Naresh Kumar, who cycled a very long road from the south to the north of the country.
How much money should I bring to Iran?
This, of course, is entirely personal and depends on how long you want to stay, and which cities you want to visit. Your visa application fee may vary if you are planning a longer trip. Check out our post, Iran travel budget where we explain more about travel costs in Iran for a 14-day stay.
What is Iran’s currency?
The rial is Iran’s official currency. For every USD you’ll receive 119000Rial (on November 24th, 2019). You can exchange your money at the exchange office (Sarrafis), at your hotel, as well as some jewelry shops, or the easiest way, with your Iran Debit Card.
Can I transfer money to Iran?
Don’t forget that international credit cards are not accepted in Iran, so bringing cash with you is necessary, albeit somewhat stressful. Keep it in mind that transferring money to Iran is impossible because there is no international banking system in Iran. Exchanging money is possible everywhere in the country, but it is not smart to carry cash around. So what to do? DaricPay offers the Iran Debit Travel Card, a service that ensures payments in Iran are made easy for tourists. No cash required, just one little card and an app on your phone.
Is it safe to travel in Iran alone?
Most tourists, especially solo female travelers, ask about safety in Iran. If you are into solo traveling, Iran is a great destination for you. We are incredibly hospitable and based on the world crime rate Iran is considered safe for tourists.
Do I have to travel to Iran on a tour?
For some parts of the country such as the Sistan and Baluchestan province, you will have to coordinate with a local guide for visits. Although it is okay to travel to Sistan and Baluchestan alone, having a local guide will guarantee your safety there.
Public access is forbidden in some special areas where rare animal and plant species live. So it is mandatory to book a tour if you want to visit them.
How can I book accommodation in Iran?
There are websites in which you can find your preferred style of accommodation. Couchsurfing is also popular among Iranians. If you want to reduce your expenses, finding a Couchsurfing host would be an option, but since Iran is already a low-cost destination for tourists from all around the world, consider staying at a “local house.”
*Local houses are official tourist residences that were built by the local people of that region. You can experience Iran like a local and enjoy traditional food.
As a solo female traveler can I stay at any hotel I want?
There are no restrictions for women to book a hotel in Iran, but if you want to share a room you are not allowed to share it with a man. However, hostels and local houses in small towns and villages are less strict about this law.
What to wear in Iran?
When you enter Iran wear long pants, and if you are a woman cover your hair and wear long sleeves. This is the same, whether you are entering by land or air border.
Do I need to bring food to Iran?
The variety of food types and dishes in Iran may be very different from what you are used to. Some vegetarians may feel limited to Iranian dishes because the main ingredient in Iranian food is meat. But don’t worry, there are also lots of vegetarian Iranian dishes, especially in the north part of the country. There are many supermarkets where you can find anything from bread, dairy, fruit and vegetables, and snacks. Iran is a big country but one that caters to different tastes.
All in all, Iran is not only a big country but also covers different tastes. You can choose your own favorite way to travel to Iran.