What are the dos and do nots in Iran?

The Dos

Throw away any preconceptions you might have of Iran and enter the country with an open mind.

Do say salaam (hello) when you enter shops.

Do say merci (thank you) when you receive help.

Tipping is a big part of the Iranian culture. For instance, when you receive any sort of assistance from someone from the luggage cart handler at the airport to a cab driver in the city, you should tip them.

Do try seasonal snacks sold on the side of streets.

 Do try and learn a few Persian expressions and use them when you interact with people.

Do make friends! It will let you experience the Persian culture in a much better way.

 

The Don’ts

Don’t be afraid to ask Iranians for help they will always help you in the best way they can.

Don’t use the expressions "the Gulf" or "the Arabian Gulf". It is the Persian Gulf.

Don’t give the thumbs up it is considered offensive in Iran. Although if someone gives you the thumbs up with a smile, it means they acknowledge your culture.

Don’t try to shake hands with Iranian women if you are a man.

Don’t try to shake hands with Iranian men if you are a woman.

Don’t be uncomfortable when you are treated to a meal by Iranians. Hospitality is part of the Persian culture and it is NOT an imposition.

Don’t engage in public displays of affection.

Don’t ask for Sheesha, which means crystal meth in Iran, when ordering a water pipe. Ask for a Qalyoun instead!

Don’t drive if you do not have an international driver’s license.

Don’t snap photos of sites where you see a ‘No Photography Allowed’ sign.

Don’t blow your nose in company it is considered impolite.

Don’t bring alcohol or drugs with you.

Don't bring satellite phones with you.