Iran Travel Advice
Iran Travel Advice
Welcome to Iran: Travel is most rewarding when it surprises,
then Iran might just be the most rewarding destination on Earth.
Before you take a trip to Iran, you need to obtain some important travel advices to get more prepared to make a trip to Iran. Destination Iran Travel tips are always helpful advices before you get prepared to Travel to Iran. No matter you travel on your own or you take a tour to Iran you will find the following advice tips helpful to add to your trip quality.
Travel Tips & Advice for Tourists Visiting in Iran
Tourists have asked me several vital questions about certain things during my career as a tour guide. They are some of the most important issues helping you travel more comfortably and peacefully to Iran. Here is a list of such questions that will be updated as you add your feedback and comments to enrich them.
Iran Travel Tips Questions:
01 When to come to Iran ?
02) How are the health and hygiene observed in Iran?
03) How are the variety and quality of foodstuff in Iran?
04) What kinds of drinks are possible to buy in Iran?
05) How is the quality of roads in Iran?
06) How far are the distances between the destinations?
07) What is the usual clothing in Iran?
08) When are the high and low seasons of tourism in Iran?
09) What is the time difference with the rest of the world?
10) What is the electricity voltage in Iran?
11) What is the communications service?
12) What is the mobile service( Cell phones)used in Iran?
13) Are there any fax facilities in hotels?
14) Are there any Internet facilities in Iran?
15) How fast are mailing services done in Iran?
16) What goods are regarded as forbidden postal items?
17) Is it possible to mail post cards without envelopes?
18) Are there any local English newspapers available in Iran?
19) What is Iranian Currency?
20) Are credit cards accepted in Iran?
21) Is it safe to have cash while traveling in Iran?
22) Are the prices high or low in Iran?
23) What are the prohibited items while traveling to Iran?
24) What are the restricted items while going out of Iran?
25) What are the working days and off days in Iran?
26) Is it customary to do tipping in Iran? Where and when?
27) Presents and souvenirs
29) What to pack
Answers to Iran Travel Questions:
1.When to come to Iran ?
Iran basically has four seasons, The spring and autumn pass by so quickly that it is best to explain mainly just of these two.
Summer generally lasts from late July until the end of September. September can also be nice but by October prepare yourself for rainy climate and Snow in January and February.
The weather is usually balmy in spring. Mountains covered with flowers and green plants , the unique flower on the zagros mountain is Inverted tulips, Anemone Flower, lilium ledebourii that are fresh and flourish in spring sometimes between April to May.
Summer is a good time to travel but be prepared for warm weather in the major cities because some warm degrees caused from Urban heat island.
Museums are very quiet and lonely but it is not so bad. Iranians love to get out at night in malls and stroll there finally they have dinner in one of the Restaurants or popular fast foods specially in Shiraz city and Tehran city despite other cities that everybody back to home around 19:30 and streets became empty soon, it is not because of security reasons, civil prefer to stay at home with their own family and it is an important point for them .
we are sure that you will enjoy it.
Familiar parties, ceremonies, Wedding parties are celebrated in spring and summer , if you have a bit of chance may be invited to one of them ! ( we can arrange it )
The winter is also a good time to visit. Iran turns into a wonderland of snow and sparkling ice. If you dress warmly, the cold should not bother you. There are hardly any tourists in the cities and this is truly the best time to visit museums or let us to suggest you few days for ski or snow boarding .Dizzin ski resort at north of Iran and Pooladkaf ski resort at south of Iran near shiraz city.
2. How are the health and hygiene observed in Iran?
In fact, cleanliness is part of the Iranians? belief and it is evidently observed everywhere both in the public and in the private. There have been overwhelming campaigns, like vaccinations and trainings, to eliminate many diseases used to exist in remote settlements. It has been a success and today you see clean streets, restaurants, hotels, shops,supermarkets, parks, etc.
3. How are the variety and quality of foodstuff in Iran?
Those who have been to Iran have felt spoiled by the variety of high quality stews and kebabs among many other dishes. There are restaurants of various kinds. You will find a lot of herbs and spices, but Iranian dishes are not as hot and spicy as the Indian ones. A moderate amount of
them is added to food just to give them different tastes. As there are not genetically manipulated vegetables and fruits in Iran, they taste the same old natural tastes everybody appreciates them.
The meat usually served in the restaurants is chicken, veal, fish and lamb. Of course, you may find turkey, quail and shrimp too, but no pork, snake, frog, dog or other kinds. They are prohibited to be taken in Islam and this is observed everywhere. The vegetarians can order raw or cooked vegetables in the hotels as well as restaurants. It is also recommended to let your tour guide know about it beforehand so that he/she can arrange it for you, because in some restaurants people need
to be already informed. That is because it is not so popular in Iran to be a vegetarian. Just feel free to tell your guides about it.
4. What kinds of drinks are possible to buy in Iran?
You can buy Any kinds of soft non-alcoholic drinks. There are Iranian made drinks as well as international brands served everywhere. People drink tap water. It is filtrated and refined before supplied to them, but for the newcomers traveling to Iran, I do not recommend it. Instead,
you?d better take Iranian bottled water prepared according to the international standards for both domestic and export uses.
5. How is the quality of roads in Iran?
The roads are asphalted and the maintenance is regularly done. There are highways in many routes and separate lanes to and from cities to safeguard transportation. As a matter of fact, contrary to many tourists’ expectations, roads are of very good quality.
6. How far are the distances between the destinations?
Usually there are not short distances between the major destinations compared to most of the distances between the European cities or towns.
Instead, you can see a lot of landscape, meet the people in the intact rural areas and experience the real life situations in addition to many other opportunities you will not find inside cities. For instance, Iranian guides can take possible opportunities to arrange picnic meals for you. Iranians are picnic lovers and take every opportunity to arrange for it.
7. What is the usual clothing in Iran?
Women wear non-transparent, loose garments covering all their bodies except for the hands and face. Color is a free choice, but red, orange, pink or similar colors are not put on during national or private sad occasions. Black is not a must. Chador is not a must either, but when it comes to visit a holy mausoleum and you have the opportunity to experience wearing a chador for a few minutes, do not skip the opportunity to feel the atmosphere.
Men put on non-transparent garments too. They may wear short-sleeve shirts or T-shirts (unlike women), but not shorts in the public. Thechoice of color is the same for men as well. Due to the heat of the Sun and in order to protect your skin, I would not recommend wearing short sleeve shirts. If you do, do not forget to put on some Sun block cream on your skin. But, it is your choice!
8. When are the high and low seasons of tourism in Iran?
Usually the majority of tourists visit Iran during two periods of time:
1) from the beginning of March to the end of May, and 2) from the beginning of September to the end of November. A couple of weeks before or after each New Year, there is another wonderful choice to visit Iran.
Also, the very best time to visit the south of Iran (like Persian Gulf islands and shorelines) is during January and February. The story is different for the lovers of nature who like trekking or skiing. They
find an extraordinary variety in Iran four seasons a year.
9. What is the time difference with the rest of the world?
The formula to set your time is very simple: GMT + 3.5 (GMT + 4.5 from
March 20 to September 21).
10. What is the electricity voltage in Iran?
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the round two-pin type. If you have 110 volts appliance to use on your trip, like shaving machine, hair drier,etc, it is recommended to take a 110-to-220 plug with you while traveling. Of course, you can find it in Iran too, but it can be a waste of time in some situations.
11. What is the communications service?
IDD service is available. Country code is 98. Outgoing international code is 00. In case you need to make a short distance call in the street, the telephone booths are yellow and marked in English. There are also phone cards for domestic as well as international calls available.
12. What is the mobile service(Cell phones) used in Iran?
It is GSM 900 network. In other words, if you have a mobile phone from any part of the world, it will not work in Iran unless your phone company has made a contract with Iranian Telecommunication Company (ITC). It is a service to be used inside Iran to make short as well as long distance calls.
Iran uses the GSM network so it is compatible for all of Europe. However, it is quite easy to purchase a cell phone at a reasonable price from one of the many mobile phone stores and payment centers that you see everywhere in the centers of any Iran city. Currently, you can buy a decent cell phone for the equivalent of $30 USD including a SIM card and connection to a national network. Many people in Iran use prepaid cellular services, in other words, they purchase prepaid phone cards. Iran has 2 main cellular telephone networks – IR-MCI and Irancell .
IR-MCI or " hamrahe aval " is an expensive SIM CARD so it is recommended for travelers to buy Irancell SIM card very cheap ( approx. 5 USD ). while you buy it should be activated .
Travelers on our tours don't have any worry about buying or activation and charges because as soon as they arrive in Iran , the tour guide presents activated SIM cards to travelers at airport
13. Are there any fax facilities in hotels?
Yes, you can find fax facilities in most of the hotels as well as at main post offices in Iran.
14. Are there any Internet facilities in Iran?
Yes, there are a growing number of Internet users in Iran. So, almost all the major hotels provide their guests with Internet facilities and the others are being equipped for the same purpose. Also, many Internet cafes are already opened to the public and many other ones are going to
be opened due to the increasing need of the people.
15. How fast are mailing services done in Iran?
Airmail to Europe as well as Canada and the United States can take around two weeks.
16. What goods are regarded as forbidden postal items?
1) Narcotics and laxatives, 2) Explosives, radioactive and inflammable materials or other dangerous materials, 3) Items against Islamic moralities, 4) Live animals except for honey bees, leeches, silkworms, parasites and bug-busting animals recognized by the institutes, 5) Goods
forbidden to enter the destination country, 6) Items that might cause a danger for post company?s personnel or might hurt the other postal items or equipment, and 7) Private documents corresponded between parties other than the sender or the receiver or any of their family members.
17. Is it possible to mail post cards without envelopes?
Yes. If post cards are made up of hard paper or cardboard without any raised parts and both sender and receiver?s names and addresses are written on the back of the cards, it will be possible.
18. Are there any local English newspapers available in Iran?
Yes, there are several dailies in English. Most of the times, you can find one in the lobby of the major hotels.
19. What is Iranian Currency?
It is called Iranian Rial (IR). Notes are in denominations of IR 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of IR 500, 250, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. You may come across the word Toman there. 10 IR = 1 Toman. Everyone is using this word instead of Rials except for some special cases.
20. Are credit cards accepted in Iran?
Not exactly. There are not any official services for the internationally known credit cards in Iran. Some Iranian private banks are trying to arrange services for the international credit cards these days. Also, some smart businessmen can accept credit cards. In some particular shops
you can purchase some items like carpets, handicrafts, jewels, etc by credit cards like in some major hotels or some other shops outside hotels. Generally, it is recommended to take some cash with you while traveling in Iran.
21. Is it safe to have cash while traveling in Iran?
Of course, it is. This doesn’t mean that you don?t have to be careful with the cash you have on you.
22. Are the prices high or low in Iran?
Fortunately, the price for the majority of the items that tourists are looking for are relatively low. Items like high quality books, souvenirs, meals, foodstuff and transportation are very tempting because of their relatively high quality yet low prices.
23. What are the prohibited items while traveling to Iran?
Alcoholic beverages, narcotics, guns and ammunition, all horticultural and agricultural goods including seeds and soil; aerial photo cameras, transmitter receiver apparatus, pornography, most films, cassettes, CDs and videos and any kind of fashion magazine. Of course, hunters who are
visiting Iran on hunting tours can get necessary permits for carrying their guns and ammunition via their travel agents beforehand.
24. What are the restricted items while going out of Iran?
Antiques and large amount of gold, silver and jewelry. By definition,antiques are the objects older than 100 years.
25. What are the working days and off days in Iran?
Iranian working days are from Saturday to Thursday and Fridays are the National off days. On Thursdays, some companies are totally off and some are working only half day.
26. Is it customary to do tipping in Iran? Where and when?
Yes. It is customary to tip porters, servants and janitors in hotels, porters in the airports, waiters or waitresses in restaurants, drivers giving services during tours as well as guides.
27.Presents and souvenirs
Typically, you can buy things in Iran for friends that you may meet .
You will have many opportunities to buy Iran souvenirs while in major Iran cities. There are a lot of handicrafts that can be purchased that are intimately related to Iran: Persian Carpet, Silk & cotton Scarfs, Patte , Gelim or jajim ( a kind of carpet ), Shiraz Inlaid working is famous, traditional Iran outfits – Inlaid Boxes – Tradition Hats - Shisha and many other nice souvenirs.
The climate really depends on the region because Iran is large and one place may be completely different from another. Summers can actually be quite hot because much of Iran is landlocked . In the areas where you will most likely be visiting, the typical summer temperature is in the upper 20s and low 40s Celsius. In the winter, it is typically -2 to 13 Celsius. Frankly in each season you can find out very different and unbelievable environment and nature in Iran .
29.What to pack
It all depends on when you are coming to Iran. If you come during the late spring and summer, you should take comfortable shoes, Slippers ,Sandals, underwear, jeans, cotton, tee shirts and a light spring jacket. See Iran Dress Code
Perhaps having a cap and sunglasses were not so bad because most of the Ancient places and historical sites are located at outdoor with no enough shade.
We know that " what to wear in Iran for ladies " is the main question but feel free about it just let us know your traveling time !we make it easy for you...Winter in Iran can be beautiful. Take all of the above summer items plus warm sweaters and sweatshirts, long underwear and warm, woolen socks, a sturdy pair of warm, waterproof boots, a warm, winter jacket, warm gloves, a warm wool, and earmuffs if your hat does not cover your ears.In Iran, especially in the big cities, you can buy everything you need for personal care. However, if you are used to some specific brands, you may want to bring these products with you. Please make sure you bring a supply of any prescription medicines that you may be taking. Many are available in Iran but all are not. It is always a good idea to be safe rather than sorry.