DOs and DONTs of Traveling to Iran

DOs and DONTs of Traveling to Iran

First of all, do a little research about the culture, history, tribes, and traditions of Iran before traveling to this country; Iran is one of the greatest civilizations of ancient times with a rich history and has undergone a tons of different historical events. Every city of this country is a page of its history book that tells you a part of its story.

Here’s a short list of things you need to know to enjoy your experience much more:

1) Carry a copy of your passport and ID; so if you’re planning to stay in a hotel, always carry a copy of your ID with you, because the hotels will keep your passport and you need to use a copy of the original document.
2) The official currency of Iran is Rial; but people use a different currency in daily life which is called Toman. If you delete one Zero from your paper money, Rial is changed to Toman.
3) Unfortunately, you can’t use international credit cards in Iran; so you’ll always need to carry cash.
4) Change your money in official Currency Exchanges and avoid the dealers in the streets.
5) The rate of currency changes every minute in Iran; so don’t get shocked if the currency changed.

Money in Iran
Money in Iran

6) You cant drink alcohol in Iran; so if you’re an alcoholic, forget about Iran. Even trading alcoholic beverages is forbidden in Iran. There are no bars in Iran, and the beer served in restaurants is non-alcoholic. But it doesn’t mean the you cant party or have fun in Iran. Iranian know well how to party without drinks.

7) Always watch your Hijab. Iran is an Islamic country with Islamic rules. Women should cover their hair and their body but they don’t have to wear Chador. You’ll only need a scarf, a mantou or long-sleeve T-shirt with pants or long skirts. Men also have to wear at least a T-Shirt.
8) Traveling to Iran might seem a little easy, but I suggest you to reserve a hotel in crowded season.

Hijab in Iran
Hijab in Iran

9) If you wanted to take a picture from anyone, especially ladies, always ask for permission first.
10) Taking pictures is banned in some places like museums, religious places, or political departments. So before taking any pickets, ask if it’s OK.
11) Don’t talk about politics, specifically about the United States and Israel. Don’t attend political discussion.
12) Don’t insult Iran’s leader or Iran’s leaders.
13) Don’t kiss or hug your loved one in the public areas.
14) Don’t try to shake hands with opposite sex. If they’re OK with it, they try to shake first.

Rules in Iran
Rules in Iran

15) Iranians are sensitive on the word “Persian Gulf”)
16) Most restaurants are off during the day in Ramadan.
17) It’s better no to sit with the opposite sex in a bus. Ladies and gentlemen are separated. So, gentlemen be careful not to enter the lady’s section by mistake.
18) Don’t enter people’s houses with shoes, unless the host tells you to be ok.
19) Don’t worry about asking questions; Iranians are very hospitable. When talking to an Iranian, you’ll see kindness in his eyes. They try their best to help you and give you a boost.
20) If you’re planning to visit Iran in summer, you’d better choose your clothes, too and pick a light color, because it’s little heard.

21) If you’re a hitch-hiker, don’t worry. Hitch-hiking has been OK for some recent years, just be careful with the driver.

hitch-hiking in Iran
hitch-hiking in Iran

22) Weekends in Iran are on Fridays. Fridays are official holidays and shops and official departments are closed on Fridays.
23) If the lack of toilet paper annoys you, don’t worry; because for the recent years, many restaurants hire foreign workers to serve them. But it’s better to get used to Irani toilets.

24) Driving in Iran is extremely dangerous and even with an international driving license, I suggest you not to drive in Iran. Iranian people have many unwritten rules. But I suggest you to listen to our future podcast.

25) The tap water in most areas is filtered and drinkable, but that’s not the case in small towns or villages. Just to be sure, ask the local people whether the water is drinkable or not.
26) Giving tips is not mandatory in Iran, but it shows your kindness if you do.
27) And a small point for you body language: turning your head down with a little small means yes, and taking it up means no. If you wanted to thanks anyone, put your right hand on your chest and bend a little.
28) Showing “Like” with your thumb has a bad meaning in Farsi; But with the change of the generations, the young people are OK with the common use of showing “Like” with your thumb.

29) There are different types of taxis in Iran:
The safest way is to use online applications like Snapp or Tapsi. The charging fee is determined before your travel; the plate and name of the driver will be revealed and you can check the GPS when in a taxi.
The official taxis are usually green and yellow. Always make sure about the fee and ask the driver to turn on his car’s taximeter. Try avoiding unofficial taxi drivers.
30) Using the public bus would cost you a lot less than taxis in cities. And in cities like Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan, you can use the subway, too.
31) Buy the specific cards that are designed for public transportation; so you’ll spend less money on subways and public buses.

32) Supermarkets provide you with goods that have a price on their cover; so don’t worry about it.
33) The guiding signs are both in Farsi and English and finding the routes is not that difficult.
34) I suggest you to learn at least Farsi numbers to help you read the price tags.
35) Always wash the vegetables and fruit you buy. Most of these products and are not organic and need washing. Being organic or not is not mentioned on the products.
36) Iranians’s hospitality urges Iranians to invite you at least for a daily meal. It’s better and safer not to accept that invitation If the invitation has known you for only 2 minutes. It’s up to you whether to trust them or not.
37) There’e something called “Tarof” in Farsi that has made a lot of troubles. It’s only a sign of respect. It can happen anywhere when you meet a relative
38)
39) Iran, besides the great mixture of cultures, has many different clothing styles. You can ask the locals if they can borrow their old clothes.
40) Don’t listen to music with a loud voice in religious places.
41) Ladies must wear “Chador” in order to enter religious places.
42) Iran is a world in one border. Try visiting all the great cities. The difference in climates and cultures is a tourist attraction that can steal anyone’s heart. Taken from forests to warm beaches of Persian gulf, all of Iran is worth experiencing. Every city has it’s own story. Study every city before entering it.
43) If you’re looking for having an adventure tour, use official agencies.
44) Avoid camping in deserted areas.
45) If you’re travelling with small children, don’t get confused by how strangely they are looking at your son or daughter. The people just like such foreign children and it doesn’t mean anything sexual.

46) Delay in flight is something normal. So, don’t lose it if your flight was a little late.
47) Almost all restaurants serve healthy food and you can enjoy them easily.
48) When buying handcrafts and stuff, try to have discount and pay less than they told us.
49) Watch your bags and phone as I do every time I go to a crowded pal.
50) At last, here’s a list of urgency numbers:

  • 199 flight information
  • 119 is the clock
  • 125 firefighting
  • 110 Police
  • 115 hospital

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I think losing your travel documents, money, and your phone in a foreign country is on the top place in the list of top things you must be scared of when you go abroad. You can google the list of the cities famous for their pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Now, if you’re coming to Iran, hearing the financial news in Iran might worry you a little; and in fact, the tourist centres and crowded areas are no exception in this case. But statistics show that Iran is almost a lot better and safer than other countries in this case. But, only in case you want to travel with peace of mind, keep these points in mind: • You don’t have carry your passport with you to everywhere you go; only a copy of that would suffice. No one usually asks for it. • You will need cash, but you shouldn’t carry all the cash you have with you. • I suggest you to put your eggs in different baskets, I mean split your money and put it in different places so in case you get robbed, you will have some money left. • It’t better to use bags and handbags instead of backpack in crowded places like bazaars; so you can always watch the zippers. • And always keep an eye on your phone!