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FAQ

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Plan your trip in advance

Plan for your trip at least two months in advance. While most nationalities can receive a visa on arrival to Iran, there are rare occasions that visas are not granted on arrival. Starting the visa process early will ensure that you can enjoy the vacation you have planned for, without any obstacles.

Bring cash

Bring cash! We know it’s a hassle! But financial sanctions on Iran mean that your Visa and Master cards will not work in the country and you will not be able to cash Travelers Cheques. 

Book your hotel in advance

Book your hotel in advance and remember to have reasonable expectations. While we have great hotels, Iran’s tourism industry is young and still growing. We promise, you will be comfortable in the hotels we offer but bear in mind that this is a learning experience for our hospitality industry and us. We are all working to improve our services by the day. 

Flights to Iran

For your flight to Iran, you can choose direct flights with Iranian carriers such as IranAir or Mahan or international ones with Lufthansa, and Alitalia. Airlines such as Turkish, Emirates or Etihad Airways have small layovers and fly to Iran several times a day. 

Dress according to weather

Dress according to weather. If you are traveling with us, you will receive an email prior to your trip, informing you of the weather at your destination so you are not over- or underdressed.  If you are not traveling with toiran.com, refer to the Destination section of website and check the weather forecast available in the overview description of each city. Please also refer to the Dress Code section of our website for tips on how to dress in Iran.

SIM cards

If you are using a SIM-locked phone, chances are your carrier will not be supported in Iran. For your own convenience bring an unlocked phone and buy a local SIM card to use here. For information about Iranian cell phone carriers please refer to the telecommunications section under the Tourist Info menu. 

Transportation costs

If you have booked your trip with us, you will not need to worry about airport pickup and drop off. We will welcome you and take you to your hotel. But if you are not traveling with toiran.com, there are a few things you need to know. The cab fare from Imam Khomeini International Airport to the city is around 600,000 Rials (60,000 Toman) roughly 20 dollars. To find out the difference between Rial and Toman please refer to the currency section of our website. Airport drivers may have limited or no knowledge of English. We have a list of helpful phrases in the Language Section of our website, memorize or print them out and you will be able to get around easily. If you receive help carrying your luggage at the airport, do tip! The appropriate amount to tip is 3 dollars.

Internet access

Yes, there is Internet access everywhere! In hotels, coffee shops and most restaurants you will have no problem accessing Wi-Fi and some carriers offer decent 3G Internet. It may be spotty sometimes but it will work! If all else fails, never fear! Internet cafes are an inexpensive alternative way to connect with the world. 

Getting on social media

It is difficult to access certain social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter in Iran. But a picture is worth a thousand words! So when in Iran, Instagaram! Remember to use #mysteriousIran and share your spectacular photos with us. 

TV

Some news channels are not available in Iran but many others are. Your hotel will have a number of satellite channels available so you can follow the news. 

Water issues

Stick with mineral water! Iranians are used to it but you may not be comfortable with our tap water so drinking mineral water is a better choice. All hotels, restaurants, minimarts and super markets have mineral water; you will experience no difficulty finding it. 

Skiing in Tehran

Ski holidays don’t always have to be just about the snow! If you opt for a ski holiday in Tehran, you can ski in at least four different slopes. Set aside a day or two to explore our capital. It’s a populated metropolis, it’s more modern than you think and it is the heartbeat of our country. Iranians love their green spaces and Tehran is truly a city of parks so enjoy a stroll through the park and meet the Iranians. They are lovely! There is no shortage of garden and palace museums in Tehran. If you want suggestions regarding where to go, what to see and where to eat when feel free to get ideas from our 1001 Things to do in Tehran page on Facebook. 

Historical expedition

If you are all about seeing historical sites than put Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd and Kashan on your agenda. Shiraz will show you the Achaemenid capital, Isfahan will offer you Safavid architectural marvels, Yazd lets you see Zoroastrian and Islamic coexistence as well as the desert lifestyle and Kashan will take you back to the Qajar era.  

Desert Safari

Don’t miss out on a desert adventure. Have you ever wondered what the sound of silence is? Well here is your chance! Go on a desert (Kavir) expedition, rid yourself of modern technology and hear the silence. In the kavir you can go on a journey of self-discovery, follow the Silk Road or do both. It will be a magical experience.

Bring your camera to Iran!

Don’t forget to bring your camera to Iran! You will not forgive yourself if you don’t take pictures to remember Iran by!

Tailored trips

Don’t forget, if you want a trip tailored to your taste or if you have more questions we are only one email away.

Persian Calendar

Iran is a four season country and different seasons are sometimes experienced at the same time in different regions of the country. Bahar (spring), Tabestan (summer), Pa-yeez (fall) and Zemestan (winter) are the names of the four seasons in the Persian language.  

The official calendar of Iran is the Shamsi (Solar) Hijri calendar abbreviated SH. Iranian astronomers created the solar calendar used in Iran today in the 11th century and named it Taqvim-e Jalali (Jalali Calendar).

Just like the lunar calendar, the starting point of the solar calendar is the March equinox of the year (622 AD) in which Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) immigrated to Medina from Mecca.

Each of the 12 months corresponds with a zodiac sign. The first six months have 31 days, the next five have 30 days, and the last month has 29 days in ordinary years and 30 days in leap years. The New Year's Day always falls on the March equinox.

Persian months are named after 12 Zoroastrian deities Amshaspandan, Yazdans and Forouhars.  Persian calendar months are:

Farvardin (Far-Var-Deen): Begins March 19 or 22, and ends on April 18 or 21

Ordibehesht (Or-Dee-Behesht): Begins April 19 or 22, and ends on May 18 or 21

Khordad (Khor-Dad): Begins May 19 or 22, and ends on June 18 or 21

Tir (Teer): Begins June19 or 22, and ends on July 18 or 21

Mordad (More-Dad): Begins July 22 or 23, and ends on August 21 or 22

Shahrivar (Shah-Ree-Var): Begins August 22 or 24, and ends on September 21 or 22

Mehr (Mih-r): Begins September 22 or 23, and ends on October 21 or 22

Aban (Aa-Baan): Begins October 22 or 23, and ends on November 21 or 22

Azar (Aa-Zaar):  : Begins November 22 or 23, and ends on December 21 or 22

Dey  (Day): Begins December 22 or 23, and ends on January 20 or 21

Bahman (Bah-Man): Begins January 21 or 22 and ends on February 19 or 20

Esfand (Es-Fand):  Begins February 20 or 21 and ends in March 20 or 21

 

In Iran, the lunar calendar is only used to determine religious occasions and holidays.

Persian Events

The Persian New Year or Nowruz falls on the 20th or 21st of March each year. Iranians start Nowruz rituals with spring cleaning, New Year shopping and setting the Haft Seen Table, which includes seven items starting with the letter ‘seen’ in the Persian alphabet. These items include coins (Sekkeh), sumac (somagh), hyacinth (Sonbol), vinegar (Serkeh), apples (Seeb), dried jujube (Senjed) and sweet wheat germ pudding (Samanou) as well as wheat or lentil sprouts (Sabzeh). A goldfish in a clear bowl of water is included in the Haft Seen to represent life.

In the days leading to Nowruz a number of festivals are held such as Chahar-shanbeh Soori or Festival of Fire. On this ancient festival, which falls on the last Tuesday night of the solar calendar year, bonfires are lit everywhere and people jump over the fire while chanting 'Sorkhi-ye to az man; Zardi-ye man az to,’ symbolically asking the fire to take away their sickness and problems, to leave behind bad luck and illnesses from the previous year and be cleansed by the purity of the fire.

The New Year holidays in Iran are two weeks long and end on the 13th of Farvardin with the annual Sizdeh Bedar Festival. On this day, which is believed to be the origin of April Fools’ Day, families spend the day picnicking in nature. At the end of the day, the Sabzeh from the Haft Seen, which has symbolically collected sadness, sickness and bad luck hiding on the path of the family in the year ahead, is thrown into running water.

Another Important festival for Iranians is the Persian winter solstice celebration or Yalda Night, which falls on the 20th or21st of December. This night is considered the longest night of the year when families gather to eat a meal of rice and fish, have a special sweet ajeel (mixed nuts and berries) and fruits like pomegranate and watermelon, and recite poetry.   

The Rose and Rosewater Festival is held from May 15 to 31 in Kashan, Qamsar and Niasar every year. During this festival, rosewater, which is a key ingredient in some Persian desserts and dishes, is extracted from the petals of the ‘damask rose.'

Religious Events

Religious occasions in Iran are based on the Islamic lunar calendar and therefore they tend to fall on different days and in different months of the solar calendar.

Ashura Mournings: One of the most important religious holidays in Iran, Ashura mourning ceremonies are held nationwide for two days to mark the martyrdom of the second Shia Imam, Hussein (PBUH), during the battle of Karbala along with some of his family members and companions.

Although the actual holiday is two days long, preparations begin one week prior to Ashura.

If you visit Iran during this time, you will be able to see mourning processions on the street and Persian passion plays reenacting the Karbala tragedy.  On the eve of Ashura, people light candles for those slain in Karbala and in remembrance of the fear experienced by the survivors of the massacre who were chased by the hostile army after the battle. 

During this time most shops and restaurants are closed, however, free food is distributed on the streets. Hotel restaurants cater to the needs of travelers.

 

Ramadan: The fasting month of Ramadan is an important annual occurrence. As a Muslim country, the Ramadan fast is observed in Iran. While Travelers are exempt from the fast, it is not acceptable to drink or eat on the street from dawn until dusk when the fast is observed.

The majority of restaurants will be closed during this month and most eateries will only open after the end of the fast when the evening call of prayers is announced. However, certain restaurants including those located in hotels will serve food to travelers. These restaurants have signs in front of them.

While it is not required for people of other faiths to observe the Ramadan fast, visitors to Iran should refrain from eating and drinking in public before the evening call of prayers out of respect for the religious beliefs of Iranians and the law of the country.

 

Other Occasions: Mourning ceremonies are also held throughout the country on the anniversary of the martyrdom and/or passing of other Shia Imams most notably the martyrdom of the first Shia Imam Ali (PBUH).

There birth anniversary of the Shia Imams are celebrated in Iran and on these occasions pastries, Sherbet and sweet nuts are distributed and cities are decorated with lights and banners. The most important of these celebrations is ‘Mid-Sha’aban,’ which is the birth anniversary of the 12th Shia Imam, Mahdi.

How does a visa to Iran work?

All visitors to Iran must hold a passport valid for 6 months. The visa stamp fee is roughly 55.00 EUR for the passport.

You will need to obtain a reference number, which is similar to a letter of invitation, in order to apply for a visa to Iran.  To get a reference number you will need to contact a travel agency in Iran and fill out an application form which includes questions about the purpose and duration of your planned stay, where you will to visit while in Iran, date of previous visit to Iran (if any), your occupation, and which embassy or consulate you plan to pick up your visa from. It will take the agency you have applied for a visa through approximately 7 to 10 days to get you a reference number. This number must be presented to the Iranian Embassy or consulate to receive the visa to Iran.

 Please note that women must have their hair covered in their application photo.

The nationals of the following countries can receive a Visa on Arrival – although we advise you to obtain a visa before arrival for your own convenience, as sometimes VOAs may not be granted.

 

Albania

Cyprus

Kyrgyzstan

Portugal

Turkmenistan

Armenia

Czech Republic

 Qatar

Ukraine

Vietnam

Australia

Denmark

Luxembourg

Romania

UAE

Austria

Finland

Mexico

Russian Federation

Uzbekistan

Bahrain

France

Mongolia

Saudi Arabia

Venezuela

Belarus

Germany

Netherlands

Singapore

 

Belgium

Greece

New Zealand

Slovak (Rep.)

 

Bosnia Herzegovina

Hungary

North Korea

Slovenia

 

Brazil  

Indonesia

Norway

South Korea

 

Brunei

Ireland

Oman

Spain

 

Bulgaria

Italy

Palestine

Sweden

 

China

Japan

Peru

Switzerland

 

Croatia

Kazakhstan

Philippines

 Tajikistan

 

Cuba 

Kuwait

Poland

Thailand

 

 

 

Please note that processing a VOA will take around 30 to 45 minutes. You will need the number of a tour guide, the hotel you are staying at or person you are staying with handy because immigration will need to call and confirm your address before issuing your visa.

VOAs are not suitable for anyone who wishes to stay in Iran longer than two weeks.

 

Warning: Visitors not holding return/onward ticket could be denied entry.

Visa on arrival will not be granted to the nationals of the following countries:

 

Afghanistan

Jordan

Bangladesh

Morocco

Canada

Pakistan

Colombia

Somalia

Egypt

UK

India

USA

Iraq

 
   

Please note that American, British and Canadian passport holders need to be accompanied by a guide while in Iran. These nationalities must discuss and devise an itinerary with a tour operator.

 

The nationals of the following countries do not need a visa as they have a visa-free regime with Iran.

 

Azerbaijan

Nicaragua

Bolivia

Syria

Ecuador

Turkey

Georgia

Lebanon

Malaysia

Venezuela

 

In the event of overstaying your visa, you will be required to pay a roughly 7 USD penalty and a 10 USD fine for each day you have overstayed. This penalty must be paid at the Immigration and Visa Affairs Office; however, on holidays you can pay this fine at the airport.

Money matters in Iran

What is Iran's currency?

The official currency of Iran is the Rial (pronounced ree-yaal).

Please note that depending on market trends, the exchange rate could differ on a daily basis.

Iranian coins (sekkeh) are issued in values of 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1,000 rials and are only marked in Persian numerals.

Banknotes in Iran are issued in 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 rial notes. These notes are easy to read as they are printed in Persian and English.

Iran has domestic ‘Travel’ checks worth 500,000 IRR and 1,000, 000 IRR

While amounts of money and prices of goods are always written in rials, Iranians usually express amounts of money and prices of goods in "tomans." For example, 5,000 rials is 500 tomans and 100,000 rilas is 10,000 tomans (3 USD).

 

Can I use my credit cards in Iran?

International credit cards are not accepted in Iran and most visitors opt for bringing cash and exchanging their currencies into rials once in Iran.

If you run out of cash while using these cards, you can contact us to choose from a variety of solutions we have prepared for you.

Please contact us via email for further inquiries.

 

Where can I exchange my money?

Once you finish with passport check and retrieve your luggage there are several exchange booths before and after custom’s check, where you can change money and get the Iranian Rial. However, we advise that you only exchange a small amount to avoid the transaction rate which could be as high as 15 to 20 %. You will get a much better rate at exchange offices in the city.

Please note that depending on market trends and currency fluctuations, the exchange rate may not be fixed and could differ on a daily basis.

Travelers, who wish to exchange money instead of using toiran.com solutions, can also contact us directly to receive information regarding exchange offices.

What is the religion of Iran?

Iran is a predominantly Muslim country with thriving Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian communities. Shia and Sunni Muslims make up 98% of Iran’s population and the remaining two percent of the population are Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian.

The recognized religions of the country (Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism) are allowed the freedom to openly practice their respective faiths.

Zoroastrianism is the oldest and first religion of Iran. There are around 30,000 Zoroastrians living in the country today. The Zoroastrian community worships in fire temples the most notable of which are the Adrian Temple in Tehran and the Atash Behram Fire Temple of Yazd. Zoroastrians have one representative in Iran’s Majlis (parliament).

The Christians are mainly Armenians and Assyrians. The Armenian population of Iran is estimated at 200,000. Armenians have their own schools where children are educated according to their religion. Armenians have two seats in Iran’s Majlis (parliament).

The Assyrian Christian population of Iran is estimated to be 10,000. Assyrians have one representative in Iran’s Majlis (parliament).

Iran is also home to a small group of Catholics and Protestants.

There are some 600 churches in Iran. One of the most prominent UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Iran is the Armenian Monastic Ensemble in the western part of the country. The ensemble consist of St. Stepanos Monastery, Dzordzor Chapel and the Saint Thaddeus Monastery also known as the Black Church which Armenians believe this is the world’s oldest church and was built by St. Jude the  apostle in 68 CE.

The Jewish community in Iran has around 10,000 members. There are about 10 Synagogues in Tehran most notably Abrishami Synagogue where Jewish Iranians are free to worship every day. The Jewish community also has schools where children are educated according to the teachings of their faith. There are also Jewish hospitals where any Iranian is free to receive treatment. Jewish Iranians have one seat in Iran’s Majlis (parliament).

As the main religion of Iran, Islam has, since its advent, deeply impacted the culture, arts, architecture and scholarly endeavors of the Iranian plateau and the world. There are approximately 70, 000 mosques in the country some of which have garnered worldwide fame for their unique history and exceptional architectural features such as the Jame Mosque of Isfahan, which has influenced mosque design throughout Asia, the Pink Mosque of Shiraz and the Jame Mosque of Yazd, which has the tallest minarets in the country. 

What is the language of Iran?

The official language of Iran is Persian which is the language taught in schools and used in official communications. Although the official language of Iran is Persian, a number of other dialects and languages including Arabic and Azeri and Kurdish are spoken in different parts of the country.  

Due to the historical relations between Iran and France, a great number of French words have become part of the Persian language most notably merci, the French word for thank you. Many words from the Arabic language have also found their way into Persian and become an inseparable part of the language.

In turn, the Persian language has lent almost 800 words to the English language including father, mother, daughter, brother, magic, name, saffron, candy, spinach, pistachio, star and paradise.

Here are some useful Persian phrases to remember before your trip.

 

English

Persian

Welcome

Khosh amadid

Hello

Salam

How are you?


Fine thanks, and you?

Hale shoma chetor ast?
 


Merci  khubam mamnun, shoma chetorid?

What's your name?



My name is ...

Esm e shoma chist?
 

Esm-e man ... ast
 

Where are you from?

I'm from ...

Shoma ahleh koja hastid?
 

Man az ... hastam

Pleased to meet you


Az molaghat-e shomâ khosh vaghtam

khosh-bakh-tam

Good morning

Sobh be-kheir

Good night

Shab be-kheir

Goodbye

Khoda hafez

Good luck

Mo'afagh bashed

Bon appétit

Nosh-e jan

I don't understand

I don't speak/understand Persian 

Nemifahmam

Farsi balad nistam/ Farsi nemi-fah-mam

I don't know

Nemidanam

Excuse me

Bebakhshid

How much is this?

Gheymatesh chande?
 

Can I have a discount?

 Takh-fif mi-dahid?

Sorry

Bebakhshid

Thank you

Merci

Mamnoon

moteshakeram

No thank you

Nemikha-ham merci

Na merci

You're welcome

Khahesh mikonam

Zendeh Basheen

Please

Lotfan

Khahesh mikonam

Where's the toilet?

Dashtshuee kojast?

Help!

Stop!

Komak!
Vay-sa

I lost my bag.

I lost my wallet.

Sakam ra gom kardam

Kifam ra gom kardam

Taxi

Tak-si

Can you get me a taxi please?

Tak-si mi-girid baraye man lotfan?

Please go to this address

Lotfan be een ad-res beravid

I will get off here

Hamin-ja Lotfan

Hamin-ja piyade mishavam

Where is the ….?

 …. Kojast?

Restaurant

Res-to-ran

Hospital

Bimarestan

Pharmacy

Daroo-khaneh

Hotel

 Hotel

Park

Park

Coffee

Starbucks 

Ghah-ve

Coffee shop

Tea

Teahouse

Chai

Chai-khaneh

Come here

Bia enja

Go / Go away

Boro

Hurry / quick /run

Bodo

A little

Yek kam

A lot

Ziyad

Big

Bozorg

Small

Koochak

Mr.

Ms./Mrs./ Miss.

Agha

Khanoom

I

Man

You (singular)

You (plural)

To (informal)/ Shoma (formal)

 Shoma

He/ She

 Oo

We

 Ma

They

ee-shan

1

yek

2

doe

3

se

4

chahar

5

panj

6

shesh

7

haft

8

hasht

9

noh

10

dah

 

What are Iranians like?

Iranians are very generous, hospitable, warm and friendly. If you happen to need to ask for directions, you can be sure that just by smiling and saying hello (salam) to someone on the street they will go out of their way to help and even might invite you to their home for dinner.

Iranians love to broaden their knowledge of other lands and understand other cultures so be ready for their curiosity and questions. In turn they will always be open to answering your questions!

If you happen to make friends in Iran and are invited to their home please remember that it is not expected of you to bring any gifts but if you buy some flowers, sweets or pastries on the way it will be considered an indication of your politeness and appreciated by your host. Please remember to remove your shoes before entering an Iranian home unless your host instructs you otherwise.

Iranians will use formal Persian to address others whom they have just met, so instead of using the informal ‘to’ to say you they will use ‘Shoma.’ When addressing those who are not immediate family or close friends, Iranians will use the titles Agha (Mr.) or Khanoom (Ms./Mrs./ Miss) before or after a person’s name.

Another cultural trait you must know about Iranians is tarof, which is a form of Persian etiquette. For example when you go to a shop, the shopkeeper may refuse to quote a price for a few times or at the end of a cab ride, the driver may initially refuse to quote the fare. Just remember that most people offer three times / refuse three times before taking what they want. Don’t worry you will get the hang of it!

Common tarof expressions:

Ghabeli nadare (It has no worth) = It's not a big deal.

Naghabele (It is unworthy) = It’s not a big deal. (This is used when Iranians want to give a gift.)

Ghorbanet beram (I will sacrifice myself for you) = Thank you very much.

Khahesh mikonam (I plead with you) = You are welcome.

Mehman ma /man bashid (Be my guest)= Be my guest. (This is what you will hear when someone refuses to take your money for a service they have rendered.)

Daste shoma dard nakoneh (I hope your hand doesn't hurt) = Polite thank you. (This is used when you are accepting something you are offered.)

Gol poshto ru nadare, (A flower has no front or back) = Its ok! (This is the response when someone apologizes for having their back to you.)

What should I know about Persian food?

Although Iran is known as the country of Kebab and chicken kebab, Persian cuisine has much more to offer than the national favorite kebab. Persian food consists of a variety of rice dishes and stews..

 Iranians have different breads such as Sangak, Taftoon, Barbari and Lavash. So be sure to try the bread!

While in Iran, do not restrict yourself to fast food and Kebab. We recommend you try Fesenjan (a stew of duck, chicken or beef made with ground walnuts and pomegranate paste), Ghorme Sabzi (a stew with lamb or veal with parsley and other herbs, beans and  dried lemons), Shirin Polo (rice and chicken with orange peel, almond and pistachio slivers and saffron), Baghali Polo (rice mixed with broad beans and dill with either veal, lamb or chicken), and Dizi/ Abgoosht (a thick soup with lamb, legumes, potatoes and tomatoes served in a special container.  The soup is poured out into a bowl and the meat and vegetables are pounded.  This meal is eaten with bread).

Iranian desserts and pastries come in different shapes and sizes. Persian Cuisine are categorized as dry  (without cream) and wet (with cream). Noon Khamei (cream puffs) is one of the most popular wet pastries and Nan Nokhodchi (chickpea cookies) is one of the most popular dry pastries.

 Beside the wet and dry pastries, there are several sweet desserts in Persian cuisine, such as Halva (a paste made from wheat flour, butter and rosewater), Shole Zard (saffron rice pudding), Zulbia and Bamieh (sweets made of yogurt and starch, which is fried before being dipped in syrup), Louz (a diamond-shaped pastry made from honey, almond, and coconut flavors), Gaz or the Persian nougat (a chewy mix of Pistachio, Almonds, cardamom and rosewater shaped into square or round little bites) and Sohan (brittle toffee made from flour, butter, saffron, cardamom, and rosewater and decorated with pistachio and almond slivers).

Dough is a yogurt drink sprinkled with dried mint and served with Persian meals especially kebab.

Tea is a common drink even on hot summer days. Iranians usually drink their tea without milk and with rock sugar, cubic sugar or dates.

Tap water is safe to drink in any part of the country but if you do not like the taste, bottled water is always readily available.

One of the most important things to know about Iran is that fruits and vegetables are all organic.

How do I dress?

Women:  Following the Islamic dress code and wearing hijab is necessary in Iran. This means your hair, arms and legs must be covered while in Iran but your outfit can be any color of your choosing.

There are two of types of outer covering used by Iranian women, the manteau which is similar to a light overcoat and is worn over pants along with a headscarf, and the chador which is a long black or colorful covering that envelopes the body and is worn over the clothes or in combination with the manteau and headscarf.

Remember that Iranian women are very stylish so feel free to dress to impress while in Iran. You can also look at Iranian women on the street for inspiration.

 

1-Light colors are recommended for the summer.

2-Wearing jeans is completely acceptable.

3-Wearing sandals is acceptable.

4-You can wear a long sleeved dress over jeans instead of the manteau worn by Iranian women. Although it will be fun to follow Iranian fashion, once you arrive.

5-Remember to bring a coat or something with long sleeves and a scarf to cover your hair once your flight ends.

6-Wearing boots in winter is acceptable.

7- When entering holy places such as mosques and some mausoleums you will be asked to cover yourself with a chador which will be given to you on loan at the entrance.

 

Men:

1-Wearing shorts in public is not acceptable in Iran.

2-Wearing T-shirts is acceptable.

3-Ties and bow ties are acceptable depending on the nature of your visit.

 

Note: Be mindful that on certain religious occasions namely the Ashura mourning ceremonies you should avoid wearing bright colors out of respect for the culture and customs of the country. Although you will not be faulted for doing otherwise, as you are a valued guest, your respectful approach to Iranian culture and understanding of Iranian customs will be appreciated by your hosts.

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.

How do I get around in Iran?

The Tehran metro transports millions of passengers every day. Ticket prices are about 0.50 USD and the elderly, regardless of the distance and destination, can travel for free.  The first and last carriages on all Tehran metro trains are reserved for women, although women are free to ride other cars based on their preference. The metro will also help you to avoid traffic jams and make better use of your time while exploring the city.

All Iranian cities have a network of ordinary buses which are easy and inexpensive methods of inner city transportation. Tehran and a few other major cities have a Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT). Inner city bus tickets are no more than 0.30 USD.

Shared taxis are very common in Iran. A share taxi is called “taxi” and a non-share taxi is called “taxi service or ajans.” Share taxis can be found at taxi stops or the street side and usually carry four passengers. The share taxi fare is between 0.50 USD to 1 USD depending on the distance. Non-share taxis cost between 3 USD to 20 USD and sometimes more depending on the distance. Saying “Darbast” to a non-share taxi means you are not interested in sharing a cab and you will negotiate the fare with the driver.

Traveling around Iran is simple and can be a great experience. You have the option of traveling by plane, train, bus or car.

Iran’s domestic carriers include IranAir, Mahan Air, Qeshm Air and Kish Air. Please note that plane tickets must be purchased at least three weeks prior to travel.

Train travel is extremely convenient in Iran. There are several types of trains including express and regular, which help passengers arrive at their destination as comfortable as possible.  Ticket prices start from 15 USD and increase depending on the day and time of travel, category of the train and distance.

Iran has a number of different buses ranging from VIP to ordinary ones. Bus tickets on average start from 20 USD. The price of tickets can vary depending on the day and time of travel, carrier, and distance.

Car rentals are another easy form of transportation. Please note that a request must be submitted one week prior to travel date to ensure arrangements are made as smoothly as possible.

toiran.com can assist you in finding the best means of transportation to suit your travel itinerary and needs while in Iran. We can help you purchase domestic plane, train and bus tickets as well as with car rentals.

What happens if I fall sick in Iran?

While you are advised to receive a complete medical check-up before any trip and to find out whether your existing insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures and to obtain travel insurance before embarking on any journey, there is no need to worry about large medical bills in the event of a sudden medical emergency in Iran. Premium medical care is available in Iran at a surprisingly affordable price.

If sudden illness or acute injury strikes, your trip to Iran will not be spoiled!

Iran is a country with some of the best healthcare professionals in the world and international-standard hospitals, so rest assured that you can easily turn to a hospital emergency room for immediate medical assistance. You can even have access to round the clock dental care services should the need arise.

Some hotels also have an English speaking doctor on staff, who can assist guests.

For your convenience, toiran.com offers a complete directory of hospitals along with their phone numbers and addresses in the ‘City Info’ section. To access this list please go to the Explore menu of the website and select the relevant city.

Finding medication in Iran is also simple as there are numerous 24/7 pharmacies available throughout the country. Most hospitals also have pharmacies that operate on a round the clock basis.

Keep in mind that like most other countries, personal hygiene and sanitary products can be found in most supermarkets and pharmacies in Iran.

Cold medicine and many pain relief medications are available as over-the-counter remedies. To avoid drug interaction complications please consult a physician or pharmacists beforehand.

Although tap water is safe to drink in Iran, there are those who find themselves suffering from an upset stomach when doing so. If you happen to suffer from diarrhea, pharmacies can give you over-the-counter medication to treat your condition.

Please note that travelers coming from areas with risk of Yellow Fever or Hepatitis B transmission will be required to provide vaccination certificates.

Travelers coming from areas with high HIV and TB infection rates will be required to offer proof of recent tests.