The most important points you need before traveling to Iran

You can read the most important points you need when traveling to Iran on this page. We have tried to answer your most important mental concerns and the most vital information you need.

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 become immune to 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 widespread terrorist incident has been reported in this country.

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.

The currency in Iran is officially known as the Rial, and is valued at roughly 40’000 IRL to USD$1. That’s a lot of zeros, so what the locals have started doing is dropping a zero and calling the new value a Toman.

1 Toman = 10 Rial

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 auspices of the Tourism Organization of Iran. Licensed local hotels, guesthouses and houses are among the approved places. If you are traveling with a tour, trust your tour guide about accommodation.

Golestan Palace in Tehran is one of Iran’s royal palaces, registered in the list of national monuments of Iran, and is open to the public. In all countries with a glorious history of civilization and governance, kings and their entourages have built extraordinary architectural works, and many of these palaces and palaces are still standing. Many palaces have been turned into museums, galleries, hotels, restaurants, or other cultural and recreational uses that need to be restored and protected with better supervision and financial facilities. For this reason, parts of Golestan Palace are open to visitors today as museums. Stay with us to learn more about this beautiful and fantastic palace.

Introducing the city of Astara

Astara is the northernmost city of Gilan province, located on the border of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. This city is located southwest of the Caspian Sea and north of Talesh city. It is a customs border and a commercial port for economic connections with Iran’s northern neighbors. The distance from this city to Ardabil is about 80 km, to Rasht is about 170 km and to Tehran is about 480 km. The customs facilities related to the import of Russian goods and the export of Iranian goods have been factors in the growth and development of Astara and its transformation into a city. The people of this city deal with commercial and customs work, especially in clothing, horticulture, rice cultivation, and fisheries.

Introduction of Filband village

Mazandaran province in the north of Iran is one of the essential tourist destinations on the shores of Caspian Sea. The village of Filband in the heights of Chelaw is considered one of this province’s pristine and beautiful areas. This village has an ocean of clouds under its feet due to its location in the heights of the Alborz mountain range, which acts as a barrier against the clouds from the Caspian lake. Filband’s cloudy sea is this excellent area’s main attraction, attracting many tourists every year.

Introducing the Lahijan city

The lovely city of Lahijan is one of the most attractive tourist areas in the north of Iran, with a rich history and full of incredible untouched landscapes. This city is located in Gilan province and the south of Caspian Lake (the largest lake in the world). Lahijan is located 40 km east of Rasht and 60 km west of Ramsar. Also, it’s distance from Tehran (the capital of Iran) is about 300 km. The population of this city is about 110,000 people.

Lahijan, which is known as “The bride of Iran’s cities,” “the land of fragrant tea,” and “the city of Bitter orange,” is located in a smooth and plain environment, and its proximity to the Caspian Lake causes this city beautiful and rich in terms of climate. The average height of this city is about 94 meters above sea level. It is interesting to know that Lahijan was conquered by “Uljaito” in the early 14th century in 1305 and later became the capital of the “Kiaian” government.

Presenting the city of Ferdows

Ferdows city is one of the northeastern cities of Iran and South Khorasan province. This city is located at a distance of 345 km south of Mashhad and 195 km northwest of Birjand and on the main route connecting Yazd, Kerman, Isfahan, and Fars provinces to Mashhad. The height of city is 1293 meters above sea level. The population of this city is about 30,000 people. This city was known as Toon until 1308 and is known for its history and products such as pomegranate and saffron.

History of Ferdows city

The city of Ferdows holds a rich history. Archaeological investigations and the existence of ancient areas and hills prove the prosperity of this region before Islam. Some discoveries in Ferdows city by archaeologists date back to the third millennium AD, and since then, things from the first millennium, the Sassanid era, and various Islamic periods have been found, which indicate the continuity of life in different periods in this city.

Introduction of Chabahar port

When it arrives to important tourist cities in Iran, everyone’s mind proceeds to cities like Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, Mashhad, Kish, or northern cities. This is even though the beauty of Iran is’t only limited to these cities; there are different and attractive destinations in every corner of Iran that can get you an exciting and gratifying trip. One of these destinations is the beautiful city of Chabahar in southeast Iran. Chabahar is a port city with unique natural attractions that can’t be seen anywhere else in Iran.
Chabahar port is the center of Sistan and Baluchistan province. This port is located on the coast of the Makran Sea and the Indian Ocean.
This city is significant due to its strategic location, which is the closest way for the landlocked countries of Central Asia to access open waters, and a lot of construction and investment takes place in it. This including the building of a port and increasing the loading capacity of ocean-going ships (in Chabahar Bay), the construction of a railway to Central Asia, and the construction of an international airport. Chabahar port is one of the most important crossroads of the North-South corridor of global trade.

Introducing the Nooshabad underground city

In this article, we’ll describe one of the most amazing cities in the world, the underground city of Nooshabad. We’ll share interesting and exciting information with you about this ancient place, which is a relic of the Sassanid era and holds a history of 1500 years, and the story of the discovery. The underground city of Oui or the Nooshabad underground city is an underground and ancient city under the urban texture of the new city of Nooshabad. Nooshabad is one of the cities of Aran and Bidgol county in Isfahan province. This city, which is known as one of the capitals of the Sassanids in the Anushirvan period, is located 5 km north of Kashan city (the city of ancient Sialk hill) and 3 km northwest of Aran and Bidgol city. Although the history of the creation and use of these buildings goes back to the Sassanid era and the beginning of Islam, but based on the evidence, it was utilized in later periods, until the Safavid period.

Introducing Uramanat (Hawraman Takht)

Uramanat or Oraman is an attractive small city in the west of Iran, which is located in Kurdistan province, 150 km west of Sanandaj and 63 km south of the beautiful city of Marivan. Hawraman Takht is the center of a unique rural area with special culture and customs, lingo and a natural structure named Uramanat or Hawramanat. In terms of country divisions, Uramanat is located in SarvAbad city of Kurdistan province. Hawraman Takht has attracted the attention of tourists from all over Iran and the world because of its natural and cultural features, every year numerous tourists visit Hawraman Takht and Hawramanat region.

The Persian New Year “NOWRUZ”: March 21 and the first day of spring

In the Persian language called “Farsi”, Now means “new” and Ruz “day”; the term Ruz is the result of the contraction of the name of Hormozd, in turn derives from the name of Ahura Mazdah, the “Wise Lord” the divine figure of the Zoroastrian religion. This festival coincides with the first day of spring (March 21-22), when the sun enters the sign of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. According to the mythical Iranian and Zoroastrian traditions, Nowruz is the day in which the universe was created which in turn can also mark rebirth.

For most Iranians, the most important non-religious holiday of the year is Nowruz, the euphoric and well-practiced period of celebration on the occasion of the Persian New Year. Since the Achaemenid era, the arrival of spring has been celebrated with majestic feasts in all the satrapies of the Persian Empire. In fact, even today on the walls of Persepolis you can admire the symbols of Nowruz and the Iranian New Year. They are the witnesses of the rebirth and renewal of Nature. These are two animals: the lion and the bull / unicorn. According to archaeologists, the first is the symbol of heat and the sun and the other is the symbol of cold, the moon and the night. These carvings on the walls show us the battle in which it seems the lion is about to win. The victory of the lion is the emblem of Nowruz and the arrival of the new year. The rest of the engravings show armed troops gathered around the Achaemenid king as they celebrate the end of the cold and winter.

Omar Khayyam in his work Nowruz-nameh which means “New Year’s letter”, wrote about the holiday: “the reason for the appearance of Nowruz derives from the fact that the sun has two cycles: one of these is that 365 days, a fourth after which he returns to zero degrees of the sign of Aries, on the same day and in the same minute he left it “. This is why every year lasts 365 days.

Family preparation and tablecloth decorations

The Nowruz period, before and after the event, consists of a series of traditional events and rituals. On a private level, a few days before Nowruz, the families carry out an important cleaning of the houses. From the beginning of March, the lentils or wheat are bathed to make them germinate on a plate that creates a small carpet of green grass, called sabzeh. The latter is one of the most important symbols of the festival which will then be placed among the seven objects on the table. During this period before the holidays, families buy new clothes, especially for children.

On the streets, in the last days before the New Year, it is possible to meet Hajji Firouz, a traditional character dressed in black and dressed in red, equipped with a tambourine who sings and dances, wishing his best wishes for the new year.

Nowadays, in general, he is a street musician, but he is still a symbol of the arrival of Nowruz. In the neighborhoods and between the queues, the men who disguise themselves as Hajji Firouz pass through the streets and cars in front of the red lights, dancing and singing: Hajji Firouzeh sali yek rouzeh; literally: “it’s Haiji Firouz, he only comes once a year”. People then donate their offerings to help him on New Year.

Public celebrations begin the night between the last Tuesday and the last Wednesday of the previous year, with the rite of Chahar Shanbeh Souri.

In the last days before the new year, in the intimacy of the homes of families of Iranian origin, the Nowruz table is set up, which is called “sofre-ye haft siin” (literally, “the tablecloth with the seven Ss”): the table it is decorated with a tablecloth (sofre), where we have seven objects, whose names begin with the letter of the Persian alphabet “س” (siin), which corresponds to the phoneme [s] of the Italian alphabet. Among the elements of the seven siin, we can find, in particular, the sib (apple), the serke (vinegar), the somaq (sumac), the sekke (coin), the sonbol (hyacinth), the sabzeh (the cat grass , obtained from wheat germs or lentils) and sir (garlic). These elements symbolize the wishes for the new year, such as prosperity, health, wealth, strength, etc. On the table you can also have other objects, such as candles, a mirror, a jar with red fish, colored and decorated eggs, cakes, sacred books, which also have symbolic auspicious meanings. We recall that the number seven is mentioned in the Koran, in at least seven suras and verses; the Holy Text speaks on various occasions of “seven days”, “seven nights”, “seven seas”, “seven heavens” etc.

Also according to the Zoroastrian religion to respect the angels who are around AhuraMazda (Unique God) and their names begin with “S”, for this reason seven types of food products that in our language begin with “S” were placed on the table by the ancient Persians, thus the famous Haft-sin (Seven S) was created.

In this period the Nowruz buying ceremony takes place, purchases of the products and food that will be used for the day of Nowruz. In the last moments before the transition to the following year, that is, on New Year’s Eve, the streets are very busy. The next day, Farvardin’s first day (March 21), the first day of the new year, the traditional “eid didani,” family visits “begin. According to tradition, it is always up to the little ones to visit the older members of the family. By visiting their family’s grandparents, uncles and aunts, children receive gifts or sometimes even money.

The traditional dish of the first day of Nowruz is “sabzi polo ba mahi”. This dish is then accompanied and served with fish and “koukou sabzi” which is the herb omelette – the same herbs as sabzi polo -. When the clock indicates the arrival of the new day, the first day of the new year, family members, often in new clothes, gather around the table, near the shelf where the Haft Sin has been placed. At the start of the New Year which falls at a precise moment, everyone hugs each other, wishing each other health and well-being. Even on the street when you meet the neighbors they say “Sad sal bé in sal-ha” (which is a hundred years better than this) and other wishes of this kind.

And then the Nowruz symposium which is New Year’s lunch or dinner – it depends on which time the precise time of the new year falls – a table that has its own infinite courses from appetizers to desserts and dried fruit, comparable to dinner on the eve of Christmas. The typical dish of the Nowruz is the Sabzipolo mahi which is a dish based on basmati rice mixed with chopped aromatic herbs such as parsley, dill and chives accompanied by the delicious meat of a Caspian fish, the Kutum or Caspian White Fish. in Iran as Mahi Sefid – sefid in Farsi means white due to the meat of this fish which is very tender and white.

Then the older members distribute the eidi (small gifts and presents) to the grandchildren and the youngest of the family: generally, depending on the financial resources, they offer new banknotes (a gesture of benevolence also used in the workplace, in favor of employees or subordinates).

Sizdah bedar: the thirteenth day of spring

The Nowruz celebrations last almost two weeks, the schools will remain closed, while the offices follow public holidays ranging from March 20 to 24. Sizdah in Farsi means thirteen in fact the thirteenth day, a public holiday, is called sizdah bedar; the day is spent outdoors, in short, a sort of picnic with the usual rituals. In a certain sense, this period also corresponds to what in Italy we know as the April Fool’s Day, also because on the day of sizdah bedar, there are similar attempts. On sizdah bedar day, families go out to have a picnic and enjoy the arrival of spring; it is a very serious picnic, and it prepares everything from food to desserts. Most people leave their homes to go to a park and spend the day in nature. According to the Iranians, contact with nature, starting in spring, is a reopening towards a new phase of life, which brings good luck for the rest of the year. Members of the same family eat together and chat during this picnic in nature to conclude the party. At the end of this day, the sabzehs, the cultivated shoots “, are thrown into running water, for example into a river to make the year’s evil and misfortune disappear. It is also customary for young unmarried girls to tie a knot on the grass itself before throwing it, crossing their fingers, expressing their desire to get married before the next sizdah bedar.

Sufism

Sufism, desert and poetry in Iran

The Persian mystical tradition assimilates the spiritual search to the crossing of the desert valleys. Sufism lists seven of these valleys: search, love, knowledge, detachment, unity with God, wonder, and annihilation. The road is dangerous. Asceticism in order to purify the soul; the denial of carnal passions; the renunciation of earthly desires: all these thorns await on the path of the mystic.

Gold, the possession of goods that flatter the eyes and the heart and arouse envy and desire – all the vanities in the world – appear like mirages on the path of the thirsty traveler.

All caravans need a guide to cross the desert; no one would be foolish enough to venture out onto the sandy expanses without someone to guide them. Similarly, the Iranian mystical tradition calls on the seekers of truth to seek the help of the “Pirs”, teachers who can show them the way. No disciple would venture on the path of devotion without the help of an initiator to instruct and impart the necessary knowledge. Like a caravan leader, the spiritual master is in charge of the proselyte’s chain of instruction.