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.
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 with the help of 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 Rytl SIM card operator or use other types of SIM cards of the first mobile operators and Irancell.
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. It is best to ask permission when photographing cultural landscapes, especially if the subject is an Iranian citizen. 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 person who takes your luggage to your hotel room. These people get paid by their employer 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. It is not possible for tourists to visit some large mosques at noon and after full sunset due to congregational prayers. After the congregational prayer, which does not last more than a few minutes, there is no obstacle to visiting.
Types of Clothing 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 kind of cover that is not so thin and covers the arms, legs and hair is considered an example of Iranian hijab and there are no restrictions in terms of choosing the color and design of the dress. This level of hijab is enough for tourism in Iran. In other words, the hijab is not dealt with in an extreme way 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. It is better for women tourists to have a scarf or shawl in their handbag 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 on Visiting Religious Attractions
According to Iranian regulations, female tourists must use a special cover called a “tent” to visit some of Iran’s religious attractions (Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Hazrat Masoumeh shrine in Qom, Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz, etc.). 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, in public places is prohibited, and there is no center that officially serves alcohol to its customers. However, in Iran, as in many 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 in a special way. Also, the meat of some animals such as pigs, dogs, mice and is not used in Iran because it is not halal.
Paying attention to price tags in Iran
Most Iranians are conscientious and ethical 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 ask them to explain something to you, or when you enter a shop / shop / museum / restaurant / cafe, etc., say hello first. Saying hello at the beginning of a conversation with Iranians is a kind 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.
Individual 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 use valid cars when traveling.