To make your trip memorable, and by memorable we mean in the best way possible, not because you didn’t know credit cards weren’t accepted, or that there is a women-only section on the bus. Being prepared can give you peace of mind to kick back and relax, chat with the locals, and know you have a bed to sleep in. So we’ve put together some tips that will help you have the best experience in Iran.
1.Iran’s currency rial/toman?
The official currency of Iran is the Rial. Iranian people will say it’s the Toman, which can be confusing as a tourist when you arrive in Iran thinking one thing and word on the street says something else. 10 rials equals 1 toman. The bank’s system is still in Rial but when you want to pay by POS terminals or get cash from ATMs you will see Rial as the currency. Let me give you an example: If a cup of coffee is 15 on the menu, this means 15.000 Tomans and when you would like to pay, you pay 150.000 Rials!
2. Don’t bring a lot of cash!!
As a tourist, you always have the worry of carrying cash in your suitcase, or in your backpack/purse when you go out. This can be unsafe and not advisable. Daric has solved the problem of bringing cash to Iran. We offer a debit card called the Daricpay Iran Travel Card. You can charge your card in advance or bring cash to Iran and we will charge it to your card. The card is the easiest and safest way to make purchases in Iran. And if your card is lost or stolen, we have you covered. You can deactivate your card using our app and get another card as easy as ABC.
3. Talk to locals
One amazing part of traveling is getting to know the locals. You would be missing out on so much if you traveled to Iran but never bothered to talk to the people who live there and can tell you first-hand what it’s like, where to go, and what to be careful of. Iranians are very welcoming to tourists. They won’t hesitate to help you with directions, give you some great tips, spend time showing you around, or even invite you into their home! Be open to trying something new and experience something unexpected during your trip.
4.Download a VPN
In Iran, some popular websites and social networks like Facebook, Telegram, Youtube, and Twitter are blocked but this doesn’t mean you can’t use them. Download a VPN before traveling to Iran and use it when necessary.
5.Have a loose itinerary but trust the locals
It’s great to have an itinerary before you arrive, maybe made from a guidebook like Lonely Planet, or tips from a friend, but there are always great places to see that won’t be mentioned in the books. Once you arrive try chatting with some locals and ask them for advice on the best places to visit, and where to find the best food. Eat where the locals eat!
6. Hotel wifi – you need a sim card
Although most hotels, hostels, and restaurants have free wifi, it is our experience that the connection speed is not always satisfactory. The solution? Get a SIM card. Daric can help. For a small fee (if you are already interested in our Iran Travel Card) we will get you a SIM card and activate it upon your arrival.
In Iran, almost all the hotels and hostels have the internet but sometimes the internet packages are limited or low speed to have a plan B get a sim card to cover everywhere during your trip in Iran.
7.How to get around
If you are on a tight budget, or even if you aren’t, try our public transportation. It is cheap and clean, in cities like Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad the Metro is a great way to get around. There are also some BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) buses. All you need to do is know where you want to go and get the bus map in English. and when you want to travel. Book easily
8.Women only section in metro and buses
As Iran is a Muslim country, men and women are separated into two different parts in the city buses, in the Metro the first and last wagons are for women only, but if you are a couple or a group of friends do not worry. In the Metro, you can travel in the other wagons.
9. Visit touristy cities
If you have limited time in your itinerary be sure to visit Tehran, Kashan, Esfahan, Shiraz, Yaz, and Kerman, which will take about 14 days. If you have more time, there is much more to see in Iran. Depending on the season you can go to the North in Summer and the south in winter. Because of Iran’s warmer climate, this is the perfect way to get the best weather!
10.Useful apps in Iran
There are hundreds of useful apps that will help you plan a budget-friendly trip.
10.1. Snapp and Tap30
Iranian versions of Uber in Iran.on Snapp, you can use the English version of the app in the android version just you are asked to set a mobile number and get verification code and then it is at your service, point the locations and cheaply use it. Snapp is accessible in most cities in Iran.
Ap is a useful app to buy the plane, train tickets, charge your Sim Card directly, pay bills, rent cars,…etc
to find the best places in Iran, for instance, tourist attractions, restaurants, and even local places use foursquare which is very practical during your trip in Iran, people always share their experience with other users.
you back from a hectic day, exhausted just order food from snap food from all the restaurants nearby. from traditional Iranian dishes to popular fast food and sushi. You can read users’ comments about restaurants and food. if you don’t know Persian, consider the rates given by the users.
Iran subway line connects different parts of the city together and is one of the easiest ways to excursion in the city without wasting your time in traffic. This app is for those who want to use the Tehran subway. It shows all the lines and stations, their time table and also taxis and bus routes to each station.
Before traveling to Iran or any other places we recommend to point all your destinations on the google map to have a clear view of the locations you are going to.
As a professional tourist, it helps you to make your itineraries better and save your money for using public transportation in one area.
As an example, on your trip to Iran if you already know that Golestan palace, Iran ancient museum is in the south of Tehran and Tehran Great Bazaar is there that makes a better day to visit all of them in just a day.
Street signs are in Farsi and English but in Iran, English is as a foreign language so you shouldn’t expect everyone speaks in English but some people speak English perfectly in Iran, on the other hand, some restaurants menu are not in English so google translate will help you to understand more about foods and whatever you will face in the stores.
To have a clear transaction in your card and manage your expenses after getting a DaricPay Iran travel card which helps you to have a safer and more enjoyable as the experience of paying like a local Download DaricPay app to gain its benefits. see your transactions, ask for help, see the latest balance, you can also deactivate your card in case it is lost or even stolen so easy and practical.
10.9. Telegram and Whatsapp
Social networks like Telegram and Whatsapp widely used in Iran for Telegram, Facebook, twitter you must have a VPN.
11. Try traditional houses and guesthouses
No question, 5 star hotels are great but in Iran, you are here to experience new things. In cities like Kashan, Kerman, Yazd, and in the deserts in Iran there are plenty of great traditional houses that feel like you have stepped back in time. But don’t worry, they are clean and have amazing food
12. Bring a Camera
Iran’s great landscape is well known for places such as Hirkani’s jungle (one of the oldest jungles in the world) in the north, the Damavand volcano which is also in the north, and to the south of the Caspian Sea, and of course the famous Aladaglar Rainbow Mountains. The architecture in Iran is equally as breathtaking. here are a lot of phenomenal monuments and buildings that depict the architecture that is unique to Iran, such as domes, mosaics, and stained glass. bring a great camera so you can capture all the beautiful details.
13. Be open to trying local foods
Pizza is great and you will find it everywhere in the world, but when you are in Iran make a pact to yourself to Iranian Cuisine. Eating is one of life’s great enjoyment, and in Iran the variety of foods and flavors will amaze you. Indulge yourself from the northwest to the south-east! Check the most popular foods in Iran.
14. No alcohol! Enjoy herbal drinks
You are traveling to a Muslim country which means you cannot find alcoholic drinks in the supermarket or shops. Drinking alcohol is illegal in Iran. But there are a lot of herbal drinks to cool you down, warm you up, and quench your thirst. Try some of these famous Iranian herbal drinks! They can be found in cafes. Sekanjabin with cucumber (Sekanjabin ba Khiyar), Khakshi (Sharbat-e Khaki), Tokhm-e Sharbati (Sharbat-e Tokhm-e Sharbati), which literally means “seed for sharbat” and it is called basil seed in English. Saffron Sharbat (Sharbat-e Zafran)..etc
Coffee is less popular than tea in Iran but you can find some great coffee in cafes.
15. Learn some Persian phrases
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Try to make a list of Farsi phrases to have better conversations with people. Locals are usually surprised when a foreigner speaks their language, even if it’s just a few words. Here is a list of some useful phrases you can use during your travels in Iran.
2.Khosh Amadid Welcome
3.Khoobi? Hal e Shoma chetore? Are you fine? How are you?
4.Esme Shoma Chie? What is your name?
6.Kheili Mamnoun Thank you very much.
7.Bebakhshid Excuse me
8.Sobh Bekheir Good morning
9.Shab Bekheir Good night
10.Merci Thank you
Taarof or Tarof (also transliterated as Taʿârof; Persian: تعارف) is a Persian word which refers to an Iranian form of civility or art of etiquette that emphasizes both deference and social rank.
It is aritua of politeness that levels the playing field and promotes equality in a hierarchical culture. Taarof between friends, or a host and guest, emphasizes the value of friendship as a priority over everything else in the world. Another understanding is that taarof is a way of managing social relations with decorous manners. It could be used as a basis for mutual goodwill (positively) or as a social or political weapon that confuses the recipient and puts him at a disadvantage” (negatively). Those who are intimately familiar with Iranian culture seem to agree that taarof is one of the most fundamental things to understand about Iranian culture and language.
For instance, when you are trying to buy something the salesperson first might say, “You are our guest, you do not need to pay.” You should insist and then they will accept it is a kind of politeness to the customer. So then you must pay the money. pay the money! It is simply a formality of politeness.
17. Iran is safe
Whether you travel to Iran in a group or visit solo, You will be safe!. For those who prefer traveling in a group, there are many Iranian travel agencies that welcome visitors and manage tours for them.
Furthermore, Iranian people are very hospitable and won’t let you down if you are alone and want to discover the country by yourself. For more info read our blog about Is Iran Safe?
18.Museums ticket prices
On your list of things to do in Iran, you have planned to visit some museums or sites which are costly.
The sites are graded into 3 categories: 1st grade which is about 4 euros, 2nd grade 2.5 euros, and 3rd grade1.6 euros. Iranian citizens and tourists will be charged at a different price for museum tickets. Iranian people pay less than foreigners.
19. Get a visa for Iran
Applying for an Iranian visa is different depending on your nationality. There are four categories: The first group is those who can travel to Iran without a visa for a limited period. The second group can get their visa on arrival, but the third one needs to apply for an Iranian visa in advance. The time of visa issuance is based on the country you are applying from. The fourth group is for some limited countries whose citizens are not allowed to travel to Iran. To find out more read how to apply for an Iranian visa as a visitor.
20.When to visit attractions
Iran is a 4 season country, and as a result, you have the opportunity to choose where you want to go, according to what type of weather you like. For example, if you come in the spring or summer, you should explore the north and northwest, as it will be a bit cooler. here are some adventures that you can only do in summer e.g rafting, hiking, swimming in the Khazar lake, and exploring the Hirkani jungles, which is one of the oldest jungles in the world.
Although in fall and winter, some professional climbers go to the mountains, most people travel to the south of Iran to enjoy warmer weather. Enjoy the sandy beaches in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, try camel riding in the desert. As Iran is quite a warm climate year-round, it is popular to go south in the winter to enjoy a warm-up and go north in the summer for cooler days.
21. Ask the Price
Stay informed about the latest currency exchange rate and always ask the price that you will be charged. If you have a DaricPay Iran Travel Card we charge the card with the latest possible exchange rate, which means we buy your dollar/euro or any other currencies all the time. Sometimes when the exchange rate is fluctuating a lot, exchange offices refuse to exchange your currency.
22.Dress code 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.
In Iran, there are some rules you need to follow but Iranians usually wear casual clothes.
Here are some tips about how to dress in Iran.
As a man traveling to Iran, it is fine to wear a t-Shirt( but not sleeveless ones), jeans are no problem but avoid wearing shorts in public.
As a woman, you must cover your body, your hair, and wear long sleeves.
You can wear flip flops but people usually wear them at the beach. Some religious areas, like mosques, the entrance requirements for men and women are different and they will lend you a Chador.
Do not show your arms.T-shirts are fine for men but women are not allowed to wear sleeveless tops or dresses in Iran.
23. 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.
24.Book hotels and accommodation in advance
There are plenty of accommodations in every city but sometimes in high season, it is difficult to find a place in Iran. Make a note of public holidays in Iran as these days will be busier and you might find it hard to secure a place to stay or will be charged at a more expensive rate. We recommend that you book your hotels in advance!
25.Order your DaricPay Iran Travel Card 2 days before arriving in Iran
Carrying cash might be a worrying part of your trip in Iran. Due to the fact that credit cards do not work here, you will have to exchange your money, and in return, you get a huge amount of cash! Order a DaricPay Iran Travelcard for your travels to Iran and avoid any hassles with money! If you order it online in advance it will be ready within 2 days.