alibabatrek 20 Tips for Climbing Damavand Mount Damavand iran blog -Iran trekking Tour

20 Tips for Climbing Damavand Mount Part 2

11) Are you familiar with Damavand area and routes?

If you are climbing Damavand for the first time, it is best to climb with guides. Although there are footprints along the way, the presence of unstable stones and sudden changes in the weather may cause problems. According to the existence of facilities in Rineh and Plour, the southern route is the easiest way to climb Damavand.

12) Can you stay in a tent or shelter in Damavand?

In Bargah-e sevom, except the two existing shelters, there are also flat and suitable spaces for the construction of tents. There might be a lack of space on the weekend that’s why we recommend you to take a tour.

13) Are there any transportation options?

It’s better not to take extra, and cumbersome gear. You can use livestock to carry your packs so you can save energy for the summit day. Some people use the mule to move the equipment up from Goosfand Sara to Bargah-e Sevom. At the final stage of climbing, climb to the summit by taking necessary stuff with a smaller backpack.

14) Is drinking water available in Damavand?

The water at the higher altitudes of this area is freezing throughout the night. You should be able to use it during the day. Due to the small number of impurities and tasting water, you can use water tablets. Access to drinking water on the northern route is more difficult than other ways. You might need to melt snow to provide drinking water. But on the southern route, mineral water can be bought from the shelter.

15) Is there a problem of air temperature or height matching in Damavand?

Some people quickly adapt to altitude, while others have acute mountain eardrums and require a longer time to fit the height.

The most important symptoms that occur until they get matched with the altitude are headaches, nausea, and dizziness. To overcome these problems, climbers can climb to a height of 4500 meters and descend back to the shelter. In case of further issues and more severe symptoms, the person can go back to a lower altitude. Alibabatrek company has made this situation easy for the hikers with proficiency in Iran trekking tour. Also, in some cases, you can fix this by deploying more days in height.

16) How to navigate the route to Damavand peak?

One of the first points in climbing activity is to move slowly and steadily. The division of energy into the entire path is possible with slow and steady steps, especially on long distance with a higher slope. Also, the joy and fun of mountains and hiking are not just in reaching the peak. You must enjoy watching nature and the attractions of the routes.

Try to move slowly, breath correctly, drink sweet liquids, and have short rest can make climbing easier for you. It is better that at least one of the members of the group has already climbed to the summit of Damavand. It is better for those who are not ready to reach the peak to stand back from the last climb.

17) What diet plan is suitable for climbing Damavand?

The best foods for mountaineering are low-volume and energy-saving foods. Also, meals should be used to not corrupt, especially in warmer seasons. But in general, we suggest you solve this problem by taking a tour. So you can leave this responsibility to your guide.

18) Suggestions for a better ascent!

If you are into reading, we suggest you bring a small book so you can read it in your free time.

We suggest you bring a camera so you can capture the fancy landscapes and climbing moments.

You can enjoy your time by listening to music, so bring a music player.

If you write down your journal, you can bring a notepad with yourself so you can write down your memories.

19) Can I join another Damavand group or do I have to go solo?

We often have a group leaving for Damavand. You can join them if we have one on your requested day. If you want to go solo, it is also possible to take a private tour.

20) Can I have a cultural tour alongside my Damavand tour?

Since many hikers would like, to have an Iran cultural tour, our company has added some Iran tour packages to Damavand trip. Visit Iran’s Mountains & Monuments packages. You can also customize your own trip and mix Damavand climbing with any other activities you want.

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A Guide for Solo Females Traveling To Iran

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Maranjab Desert

We all know the stereotypes about women who travel alone. The first thing that comes to mind is about the safety of such travels. Of course, the destination is a vital factor. Which country is it and is that country trustable for welcoming a solo female traveler? Or in this case, is Iran safe for solo female travelers? If you are planning for a solo female traveling to Iran, you can be sure that you are not the first one. Many female travelers have traveled to Iran alone and have shared their experiences with others. The conditions in Iran gives them the opportunity of having an enjoyable trip to this country. You can learn more about these conditions and also find some tips for your future solo female travel to Iran.

Dress Codes for Female Travelers

As a woman traveling Iran the most important thing you need to be aware of is the dress code. Wearing hijab in Iran is mandatory, but it’s probably very different from what foreigners usually think of it. Many think everyone should wear black “chador” in Iran. That’s not a true belief. Women do not have to wear chador unless they are going to a mosque or any other holy Islamic places. All you need to wear is a manteau and a headscarf. You don’t have to cover up all your hair. It’s entirely ok to leave the front of your hair out of your scarf.

You don’t have to choose black as the color of your clothes. You can look at wearing hijab as an opportunity for having more colors in your clothes! Also, you can choose a loose manteau to cover your body. We recommend you to wear thin fabric if you want to travel to Iran in the summer. It’s better to wear a manteau that comprises your body above your knees. There is no need to cover your feet so feel free to wear sandals. In addition, you can wear nail polish and makeup as well.

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Yazd

How Safe Is Public Transportation for Solo Females?

The public transportation in Iran is safe for women because they have separate zones of women and men. This way, women can have a safer trip in the cities using public transportations such as subway and buses. The only public vehicles inside the cities that do not have separate zones for women are taxis. Still, you can ask the driver to sit in front or arrange to sit next to a woman. Considering the condition of separate zones for women, you won’t have to worry about harassment.

When using the subway, follow the signs that show the carriages for women. Also, the women-only zones are generally at the front of BRT buses in the city.

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Tehran’s Subway

Which Iran Tour Packages Are More Suitable for You?

There is no doubt that some of the Iran tours are more appropriate for solo female travelers. We think some of the Iran tour packages of Alibabatrek are more suitable for women:

Exclusive culture of Persia:

This tour takes 11 days to show you the rich culture of Iran. This Iran tour includes visiting the cultural cities of Iran such as Isfahan, Tehran, Kashan, Shiraz, and Yazd. So, by choosing this tour, you will see amazing places and learn more about Iran.

Comprehensive culture tour in Iran:

Choose this Iran tour for visiting Kerman as well as Shiraz, Tehran, Kashan, Isfahan and, Yazd. You will find so much information about Iranian civilization by joining this comprehensive tour. So, don’t miss 14 days of seeing these fantastic cities in Iran.

Classic Damavand Trip:

It’s a 4-day adventure tour for climbing Mount Damavand. This tour is for those who want to have convenient hiking on the highest summit in the Middle East. Also, this tour includes acclimatization with expert mountaineers. Hiking on the roof of Iran will be an unforgettable adventure experience for you.

Qeshm and Hormuz:

Qeshm and Hormuz are two islands in the Persian Gulf located in the south of Iran. Qeshm is the biggest island in Iran and Hormuz is famous as the rainbow island of Iran due to its colorful soil. These unique islands keep surprising you with their extraordinary natural features. Also, the specific culture of people living on them and their hospitality is another reason for not missing this tour.

Count On Iranian Hospitality

One thing you can count on during your trip is Iranian hospitality. Iranians love guests and tourists. Also, they are very protective of them and love to help their guests in every way they can. Therefore, you can count on them in case you are dealing with any trouble. You will receive many invitations and suggestions for help from them. Their hospitality makes them an excellent choice for making friends as well. You can find Iranian friends who will help you to make better choices during your trip. After all, meeting new people is an exciting part of solo travels. We assure you, Iranian friends are even more interesting!

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Kashan

Additional Tips for Solo Female Travelers

  • It’s better to have a sim card in your phone for emergencies or for contacting your friends. The sim cards are very cheap in Iran, so it worths it!
  • Don’t forget to have enough cash with you. Remember that you cannot use your debit card in Iran. Also, be aware of the pickpockets and make sure to hide your money somewhere safe.
  • Don’t accept the invitation to a man’s house if you are alone. Iranians are very hospitable but being cautious about the suggestions is essential.
  • Avoid teahouses because the chances of harassment are high in them.alibabatrek-A Guide for Solo Females Traveling To Iran-Iran blog-travel Iran-Iran tour

The Reviews of Previous Female solo travelers

Many of the women who traveled on their own have chosen Alibabatrek’s Iran tours packages. Also, they have put positive comments about their experience on TripAdvisor’s website. Reading these Iran tour reviews can be very helpful for those who want to learn more about this trip.
Sayeda Fatmi from Bangladesh said: “… sudden and very fortunate I found Alibabatrek, whose founder chairman and the entire team not only supported me to have my visa but to write my whole and sweet memories in the lap to shoulder of the mountain. From the morning till the night at the city, from day one to the 8th of my tour”.

Suzanne from the United Kingdom said: “As a single female traveler my safety and compliance with the law of the country were my highest priority given to what is portrayed in the media. I must say I had a very different experience, but I was hoping I would as I have traveled to other countries with poor media image and found them to be hugely different from what was portrayed. My guides were all exceptional.”

Elena from Russia said: “After contacting several agencies in Iran, we chose Alibabatrek because of the professional advice and responsiveness.” She adds: “From the trip organization to the final departure, the team made us feel very welcome, safe and having fun all the time.”

Sera Giz from Turkey who traveled Iran with her mother said: Thanks to Alibabatrek they offered us different plans and customized our trips according to our preferences. Within four days they were always near us and tried to show us the real life of Iran besides all historical places.”

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Iran’s Nomad

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The Pros and Cons of Traveling Iran in Summer

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Isfahan, Imam Square

 

Many people would doubt traveling in summer because they fear too hot and humid weathers. They believe they cannot tolerate visiting another country in the summer. But, should we travel to another country in the summer? Well, it’s not an easy decision to make without having enough information. Going to other countries during summer has its pros and cons. Each state can be different as well. We will explain some of the pros and cons of going to Iran during the summer in this passage. We will also show you which Iran tour packages are the best to book in summer and why. This way, you can gather more information and finally make a better decision. Who knows, maybe summer is even better for booking an Iran tour!

Worry About the Crowded Places No More!

Traveling during the spring can be tempting for many of the tourists because of the fantastic weather. But, the problem is Iran can be very crowded during the spring due to Nowruz celebration and the Persian new year. Typically, traveling during the crowded times of the year is not appealing for many of the tourists. Finding rooms in the hotels is difficult, and the traffic in the streets can be annoying. On the other hand, winter is low season and is less crowded. But, only some of the places in Iran are appropriate for traveling in winter.

Summer can be the best time for tourists that want to enjoy less crowded streets and warm weather. You can easily book the rooms of the best hotels and visit most of the regions in Iran. So, you won’t have to deal with the troubles in high season. Also, in contradiction with what people usually think, Iran is not too hot. Many of the tourists from middle east travel Iran in the summer to enjoy the cooler weather.

Same Iran Tours Cheaper

Many of the tourists might be interested in Iran cultural tours but look for more affordable prices than normal. Summer will be the right time for them to book their cultural tour packages. The Iran culture tours in Alibabatrek have discounts up to 300 euros during summer. The reason for the lower prices of the cultural tours is that the hotels are cheaper in this season. You can find better hotels with lower prices in summer in comparison with the high season. For example, the 21 day Iran journey tour is 200 euros cheaper during June, July, and August. In conclusion, although the hot weather can bother some tourists but spending less money on accommodation can worth it.

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Kashan

Best Places to Go During Summer

Due to its location, many think Iran has too hot summers which makes it impossible to travel Iran during summer. The truth is Iran is a vast country with diverse climates in it. You can find deserts, lush jungles and high mountains in Iran. The best time for visiting some of these places and doing specific activities is during summer. Therefore, the belief that Iran is too limited for touristic activities during summer is not true. Usually, western and northeastern regions of Iran have more pleasant weather during summer. Regions such as Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Zanjan, and Kermanshah are cooler than the central and southern areas. Therefore, we recommend “Explore Iran’s western culture” as the best choice for Iran cultural tour in summer. Visiting Qom, Shush, and Isfahan in pleasant weather can be a gracious experience for tourists interested in Iranian culture.

Also, some of the natural attractions of Iran are at their best during summer. Jungle tours in the north such as Alimestan and visiting the Caspian Sea are lovely at this time of the year. They are the most popular natural tourist destination during summer. The cool weather in magnificent jungles of the northern regions attracts many tourists to this place.

 

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Iran Northern Jungle

 Also, summer is very appropriate for mount climbing activities. It is the best time for conquering peaks such as Damavand mount, Alamkuh, and Sabalan. You can enjoy visiting the cultural attractions near these mountains after climbing them as well. For example, the Sabalan trekking tour is an excellent choice in summer for tourists interested in mountaineering and culture tours.

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Mt.Damavand

Hot Weather in Main Cities

Although summer has many great options for touristic activities, the warm weather can be bothersome in some places. Main touristic cities of Iran such as Tehran, Kashan, and Shiraz might have very high temperatures. But keep in mind that the hot weather in these cities is not too hot. Of course, the lack of humidity in these cities makes dealing with the warm weather much easier. Also, the tourists from countries that generally have cold, cloudy weather might even find this sunny and hot weather appealing. In that case, traveling to these cities might not have any problem at all. But, you should keep in mind that the deserts in Iran can be too hot during the summer. So, if you have any interest in desert tours, we think summer is not the appropriate time for that.

Southern regions and its islands can also be too hot for visiting during the summer. So, if you are planning to attend the islands in the Persian Gulf, we recommend you to avoid it in summer. Iran has pleasant weather during the end of winter and in the spring. Therefore, March and April are a fantastic time for traveling Iran.

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Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf

Conclusion

Finally, Iran has so much to offer to the tourists in summer. But, it mostly depends on the taste of tourists and what they prefer the most. If you want to enjoy having a more comfortable and cheaper trip, then summer is an excellent choice for you. But, some of the specific activities such as skiing and going to the deserts are not available in summer. If you are interested in doing them, then maybe you should wait for the appropriate time.

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Is Iran safe to travel?

Is Iran safe to travel?

Before traveling to Iran, most tourists have asked this question. Is Iran a safe country to visit? In short, yes of course! Iran is so safe to travel. However, in detail, follow this article.

Unfortunately, western media has made a dark image of Iran. But it’s totally false. It’s either objective lies or misunderstanding. Consequently, tourists are always worried about Iran visit safety. Legal reports claim that Iran is so safe to travel. So as tourists experiencing trips to Iran. They say they felt safe for the excursion, transportation, and accommodation. They even narrate their safe off the beaten treks in Iran. Surprised at first, they enjoyed Iran visit safety.

Iran is so safe to travel, different from the rest of the Middle East

You may have heard news about the Middle East repetitively. Although always stressful, it is a blessed region. Most of the countries in the Middle East are Arabic. But, Iran is the county of Persia people. It is an Islamic country with a great history. As homeland of Persia people, Iran has a rich culture. People are warm and welcoming. There is no racism in Iran. So, travelers of any countries are well treated.

Recently, some of Iran neighbors are evacuee countries. They have shaky governments. Therefore, they are not suitable for tourism. But, Iran has been away from any struggle with these countries. It has made its borderlines security as strong as possible. Therefore, it is a secure, peaceful country.

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Stable government guarantees Iran safety

Iran has a powerful and stable government. This is the main reason for Iran Safety. It has an Islamic ruling pattern. There are democratic elections to choose the rulers. As a result, People in Iran have a great unity. They feel devoted and faithful to the government.

There are strong national security services in Iran. They keep the country as safe as possible. There is no invasion of the borders of Iran. Neither neighbors nor terrorist group can reach Iran soil. There are different political parties in Iran. Besides different ideologies, they are united. Altogether, Iran is so safe to travel in the Middle East. Recently, there is an increasing demand for Persia travel. Fortunately, various Iran tour packages are available. One of the commonest is Damavand tour.

International agreements influenced social safety

Iran nuclear program has been the news highlight for a while. In 2015, The JCPoA agreement was signed by Iranian Politicians. This improved Iran government relationship with foreign nations. Hence, Iran gained a better image worldwide. The question ‘is Iran safe to travel’ was answered better. Also, the number of foreign travelers to Iran raised since then.

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Sanctions influenced tourism safety

Obviously, the relationship between the Iran government and the US government is dark. Hence, there have been sanctions against Iran government for years. But, the dark relationship and sanctions are just among the governments. Iranians welcome tourists of US and UK with open arms. So you wonder if Iran is safe for US citizens to visit, yes it is. And if they stay away from trouble, they are safe and well respected in Iran.

Iran is so safe to travel, with the lowest crime rate

Iran is generally a safe country. However, there is a low crime rate. As a result, it’s advisable to be conscious. For example, travelers should be careful about pickpocketing. It happens at bazaars and crowded places. Also, it’s suggested not to carry valuable things in public places.

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Police and social Security in Iran

Fortunately, on Iran tour you see polices on every corner. They are even armed for safety assurance. In some big, popular cities, there is the Tourist Police. They are to assure Iran visit safety. On the other hand, pay attention to the ‘no photography’ signs. Otherwise, you’ll get into trouble with the police.

Remember to have your passport and Iranian visa with you all the time on your Iran tours. The police might want to check it occasionally. Since the hotel asks for your passport, make sure to have photocopies of it. Also, you may get checked by the police and security forces for drug carrying.

Transportation on your trip to Iran

You can enjoy a safe public transportation system in Iran. Bus and subway network are available in big cities. There is also legitimate ride-sharing companies. The public transportation system does guarantee Iran tourism safety.

Surprisingly, the road trip is rather dangerous in Iran. So as an Iran tour advice, be careful with the cars! Iranians are not many good drivers. They don’t notice road rules. There is a fairly high rate of crashes in Iran. But the good point is Iran is so safe to travel that you can hitchhike easily.

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Accommodation safety in Persia traveling

Iran is a safe country to travel which provides a safe atmosphere for tourists. Rather than safe public places, there is safe accommodation for travelers. From 5-star luxurious hotels to a cheap hostel, they are safe. Another thing you can enjoy in Iran is guesthouses. Many people are interested in renting their house to travelers. Iran is a safe place, so it’s not bad advice to trust them. They are not only cheap but also a true sample of Iranian lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of these houses in rural areas. They are safer than the city and the most amazing for sure!

Is Iran Safe to travel for women?

Iran is not only so safe to travel for women, but the safest. As an Islamic country, society respects women particularly. There is gender segregation in public place. There is a different section for women in subway or busses even. Physical contact between men and women in public is not allowed. So, a solo woman traveler will feel safer in Iran.

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Iran is so safe to travel, but some parts of the country are suggested not to

It is claimed that Iran is so safe to travel. The numerous travelers who visited Iran confirm Iran safety. Moreover, Iran has a high safety ranking in International websites and magazines. According to a recent article in Independent, Iran as safe as the UK. But the countries sharing borders with Iran are not as much. As a result, some borderlines of Iran are not suitable tourist sites. Some governments have emphasized it on their Iran travel Advice. These areas are near the border of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

Iran is so safe to travel

Finally, We hope there would be a time no one even asks ‘Is Iran safe to travel’. The hospitable, warm Iranians like to have more guests. They really care about their international image. And sadly Iran is still the most misunderstood nation in the world. To see videos on this subject we recommend:

 

 

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10 tips for Iran travel and things to know before taking Iran tour

Iran is one of the most attractive tourist sites for travelers around the world. Recently, Iran travel is being suggested by many travelers. Iran has been wrongly assumed to be a country of terrorism and nuclear weapons. Actually, it is a safe, beautiful four-season country in the heart of the middle-east. Iran is the remaining region of the Great Persian Empire with an old and rich history. It is now an Islamic republic respecting people of all religions.

Iran has the most breathtaking natural landscapes. That includes the most desolate deserts with the highest temperature on earth to the humid, dense, north jungles. Magnificent historical castles and monuments are part of the glory of this magical country. All the above has made Iran travel and Iran tours an increasing trend among worldwide travelers. As a result, Iran tourism is a strongly developing Industry.

Rather than being a great excursion, Iran travel costs a very moderate amount. There are many Iran tours through which you can enjoy Persian group traveling. But, before making the trip you have to know your destination well. So here are some Iran traveling tips for travelers never been to Iran before.

1-Iran travel is safe!

Iran travel and tourism have been affected by the wrong image of western media of Iran. Actually, the crime and terrorism rates in Iran are very low and the people are helpful and friendly. Iran is among the safest countries according to international reports. Also, according to travelers experiencing Iran tours and trips.

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2-You can get a VISA and insurance easily for Iran tours!

You can get a VISA on arrival (VOA) at the airport. Citizens of the US, the UK, Canada, and a few other countries don’t have this option. However, if you’re traveling overland you should take your VISA in advance. The price for the process ranges according to your nationality. Remember you can’t get a VISA without travel insurance. Sadly most travel insurance companies don’t cover trips to Iran. So make sure your insurance covers Iran. Otherwise, get one at the airport as well.

3-Iran travel is favorably economical!

Trips to Iran are among the most low-budget trips you can have. The official currency in Iran is Rial. It has a very low value compared to other currencies. Hence, however much you spend in Iran would not cost much in your currency. You can easily exchange your money for Rials at exchange offices. Remember Toman is 10 Rials. It is confusing for many foreigners who visit Iran. Since you may commonly hear people giving the prices in Toman during Iran travel. The total daily expense of an individual differs. I depend on how generously he/she wants to travel around.

Remember to assign enough money for buying gifts and souvenirs. Traditional clothes, Persian rug, handicrafts, and local sweets are suggested souvenirs of Persia trip.

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4-Took an Iran Tour, you’ve got to take an Iranian SIM card!

You can get an Iranian SIM card with 4G internet coverage from offices available. You’ll need that for better communication with your local friends. Also, you’ll need it for map availability during Iran travel. Famous SIM card operators are ‘Hamrah Aval’ and ‘Irancell’. Also, make sure to have a proper VPN on your cell phone. Unfortunately, some websites like Facebook are not accessible in Iran.

5-Take Iran Tour to learn the definition of hospitality!

Iranians are generally well educated, civilized, modern and hospitable people. Make most of your Iran travel by enjoying these great features. For instance, an Iranian family meets you on the bus or subway. They immediately ask you to stay with them. Just say yes. Persians are so warm that they welcome foreigners taking Iran tour from any country.

Iran is a vast country with different ethnicities including Turkish, Kurdish, Arabs and so on. Therefore, there are different cultures and customs there. Majority of the population of Iran are Muslims. They have Muslim Calendar. Weekend in Iran is Thursday and Friday when the whole family usually gets together. They also have a lot of religious holidays during the year.

 

6-Experience the best middle-eastern non-alcoholic foods in Iran!

Iranian foods and meals are extraordinarily delicious. Each part of the country has its local meals. The common foods served everywhere in Iran are Kebab, Ghormeh Sabzi, and Gheimeh.

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Gheimeh

 

These foods are traditionally cooked on Iranian holidays and occasions. It is so rare that you don’t like Iranian original food’s taste. If so, there are international restaurants on every corner. The only thing you may miss in your Iran tour is alcohol. As an Islamic country, using alcohol in beverages and foods is illegal. All the drinks you find in Iran are non-alcoholic.

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Ghormeh Sabzi

 

7-Don’t miss the historical places during Persia traveling!

Iran has a civilization that goes back to about 3000 years ago. As a result, there are a great number of ancient tourist sites in Iran. It contains castles of former kings to the mosques and temples. Therefore, it is strongly suggested to book Iran tours visiting such places whilst Iran traveling. Examples of these places are Takht-e-Jamshid or Persepolis, Arg-e-Bam, Dome of Soltaniyeh, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Zoroastrian Fire Temple, and many other honorable places.

8-You’ll regret if you don’t see architectural marvels of Iran!

There have always been so many great mathematicians and scientists in Persia. This has led to great architectural pieces located all over the country. The city of Isfahan is surely full of these places. Others are Azadi and Milad Towers in Tehran, Borujerdi House in Kashan and Tabriz Grand Bazaar to name a few. So take time to explore these masterpieces coupled with your Iran tour.

9-Women should wear Hijab in Iran!

In an Islamic country like Iran, women should wear Hijab. That means to cover their body and to wear a headscarf for covering their hair in public. It may, at first, seem tough for western women. However, Former female travelers taking Iran tours claimed they got used to it easily. Besides, colorful Iranian “Roosari” is the loveliest. It is the commonest scarf in Iran. It can be a good souvenir from your trip to Iran, too.
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10-Consider “time’’ for taking an Iran tour to enjoy the best weather!

As a four-season country, during Iran travel you may experience different climates. You may encounter hot summers with a high temperature of 50 centigrade. Also, you may freeze at the low temperature of -20 centigrade in winter. So plan your excursion according to the destination weather. If you are heading to the magical south shores, travel in late winter or spring. The sky of deserts is mind-blowing in fall. The high lands of Azerbaijan are perfect for summer trips. The green north is always fresh and leafy but spring is the best for sure.

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For more information and detail for a memorable trip to the sunshine of middle-east, Iran, Contact us.

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Easing Iran tourists passport, Iran Visa

Passports of tourists visiting Iran will not have to be stamped anymore,

Source: http://irantourismnews.com/ Iran tourists passport, Iran Visa, Iran Tours

Iranian authorities will introduce protectionist measures to support the nation’s tourism industry in the wake of unilateral US sanctions on Iran, Mehr News Agency reported.
Iranian media outlet cited Ali Asghar Mounesan, the Iranian vice president and head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), who announced that Iran tourists passport will not have to be stamped. Proposed legislation for the move has been drafted and approved by the head of ICHTO and main the country’s Ministries.

“While the statistics provided by immigration police of Iran show that the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran has increased by 38 percent in the first four months, the number of European visitors show a slight decline which has affected the functionality of our 4- and 5-star hotels,” Ali Asghar Mounesan was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.

Mounesan stressed that the move will allow an easing of “tourists’ concerns about visiting Iran because of US sanctions.” the cause of stop stamping Iran tourists passport.

Last year, Russia and Iran signed an agreement on visa-free travel for tourist groups from five to 50 people which means they can come to Iran just by taking their passports. Moscow and Tehran have simplified visa rules in place for their nationals – business people, scientists, educators and several other categories of travelers – that has been in force since February 2016.

Source: http://irantourismnews.com/

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APPLYING for ONLINE IRAN VISA
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Iran negotiating tips / the art of bargaining in Iran

In Iran people call some sellers “Kam Ensaf”, it means they have lacked in fairness, and its why you should know how to bargain for a fairer price especially in touristy areas, but it’s not as much as India or China, you should even bargain with taxi drivers too.
Clearly, there are some things you don’t need to bargain over, such as bus, plane, hotels and metro tickets, or even restaurants bills, because the government set the price and supervise it.
In this post, we tell you some Farsi expressions which can help you to deal with money-related stuff on your Iran tours.

Some general phrases you can use to bargain in Farsi

-How to ask the price.

Qaimat in Chand ast?
قیمت این چند است؟

SELLER: The price is 10000 tomans.
Qaimat in Dah hezar toman ast.
قیمت این ده هزار تومان است.

It is too expensive, give me a discount.
Kheily geraan ast, be man takhfif bede?
خیلی گران است, به من تخفیف بده.

SELLER: Okay for you it is 9000 tomans.
Bashe, baraye shoma Noh hezar toman.
باشه, برای شما نه هزار تومان.

It’s still too much, is it possible for 5000 toman?
Na kheily geran ast, Panj hezar toman chetor ast?
نه خیلی گران است, پنج هزار تومان چطور است؟

-Some more phrases that will come in handy:
Is that your last price?
Qaimate akharesh hamin ast?
قیمت آخرش همین است؟

Can you lower the price?
Kamtar raah daarad?
کمتر راه دارد؟

Is there any discount?
Takhfif daarad?
تخفیف دارد؟

-In addition to talking, you can use other strategies such as walking away to see if they call you.
Usually, they call and they will give you the last price because they know if the next shop is cheaper you will buy it there.

-It’s essential to know the Persian numbers for understanding the prices
Here is how to say and write the numbers:
1 _ Yek – ۱
2 _ Dow – ۲
3 _ Seh – ۳
4 _ Chahar – ۴
5 _ Panj – ۵
6 _ Shish _ ۶
7 _ Haft _ ۷
8 _ Hasht _ ۸
9 _ Noh _ ۹
10 _ Dah _ ۱۰
11 _ Yaazdah _ ۱۱
12 _ Davazdah _ ۱۲
13 _ Sizdah _ ۱۳
14 _ Chaharda _ ۱۴
15 _ Ponzdah _ ۱۵
16 _ Shanzdah _ ۱۶
17 _ Hifda _ ۱۷
18 _ Hizhdah _ ۱۸
19 _ Noozdah _ ۱۹
20 _ Bist _ ۲۰

-If you know from one to twenty, the rest of the Persian numbers are easier to learn.
30 _ Si _ ۳۰
40 _ Chehel _ ۴۰
50 _ Panjah _ ۵۰
60 _ Shast _ ۶۰
70 _ Haftad _ ۷۰
80 _ Hashtad _ ۸۰
90 _ Nawad _ ۹۰
100 _ Sad _ ۱۰۰

-Now you know the Farsi numbers from one to one hundred, to connect the numbers you use the word O. For example, to say 75, you say “Haftad O Panj”, 44 is “Chehel O Chahar”, 89 is “Hashtad O Noh”, and so on.
In the Farsi language, one thousand is “hezar”. Here are a few examples:

Yek Hezar = One thousand (۱۰۰۰)
Dow Hezar = Two thousand (۲۰۰۰)
Dah Hezar = Ten thousand (۱۰۰۰۰)
Beest Hezar = Twenty thousand (۲۰۰۰۰)
Seeh Hezar = Thirty thousand (۳۰۰۰۰)

Now let’s use O to connect the numbers

Seeh O Yek Hezar = Thirty-one thousand (۳۱۰۰۰)
Seeh O Panj Hezar = Thirty-five thousand (۳۵۰۰۰)


-Let’s move to one hundred thousand and above. It is very simple, just like how you say it in English.

Yek Sad Hezar = One hundred thousand (۱۰۰۰۰۰)
Dow Sad Hezar = Two hundred thousand (۲۰۰۰۰۰)

You also need to learn the Persian numbers from a million up. You might be modest and feel it won’t be necessary, but don’t be fooled by the flattering figures, as in Iran one million Rials are just around 15 USD.

Yek Million=One million (۱۰۰۰۰۰۰)
Dow Million=Two million (۲۰۰۰۰۰۰)
Seh Million=Three million (۳۰۰۰۰۰۰)

-Now you are ready to bargain in Farsi, and while you might not be qualified enough to respond to some taarof, by knowing the numbers in Persian, you will still be able to understand and set your own prices.

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10 reasons why you should visit Iran now

Should I or should I not visit Iran? (All about Iran tours)

You’ve been pondering, mulling over, thinking about it, even planning, yet you still haven’t booked your trip to Iran. You don’t even know why, maybe holidays for you are synonymous with a beach so you head to Thailand, maybe you think spices are only available in India, or maybe you think ancient history can only be experienced in Rome.
Whatever has been keeping you from booking that flight, here are ten reasons why you should visit Iran as soon as possible and overcome all of your doubts.

1. Traveling to Iran is safe

Is Iran a safe country to visit? Whether you travel alone or in a group, whether you are a woman or a man, or whether you arrive day or night time, Iran is very safe. The Iranian government devotes plenty of resources to keep their border safe so terrorists and drug dealers from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq don’t threaten Iran’s security. It’s without hesitation that I can say that Iran is the safest country in the tormented region.

2. it’s hitting the headlines all over the world

Let’s face it, now it’s totally Iran moment. Listed by many publications as one of the most popular travel destinations for 2014, after soaking in tourist crowds for two weeks we can only say that this year is the beginning of what will finally be an era of never-ending tourism flow for this west Asian country.
Among the reasons people are flocking in Iran, curiosity is definitely a big draw. If you add the pride of saying you have traveled to the Islamic Republic, saw that things are not as mainstream media say, that you challenged all prejudices and warnings from family and friends, we say, book your ticket now.
If you ask us, one of the reasons why you should travel to Iran soon is to go before the crowd gets too big!

3. Hospitality

Iran is also the country of warm hospitality. According to the experience of one our tourists:
the kind I’ve only seen in Sardinia so far, and not just because “welcome” is possibly the most popular English word there, but because it’s an essential feature of their culture. From Tehran to Tabriz we took the night train, and one of our cabin mates was a woman from Tabriz who, within the first two minutes of the conversation, has managed not only to invite us to her house but also to insist. And if you think this degree of hospitality is reserved for foreigners only, you clearly haven’t come across any taarof moment, which is understandable as this is a very “between-Iranians” prerogative.
I had the chance to come to grips with taarof because I was traveling with an Iranian, and this is really the only reason why after each and every single ride the taxi drivers suggested we didn’t need to pay. I really doubt with foreigners they would try such a stunt, they probably know we would simply thank and leave, albeit pretty startled.
Whatever city or province you go, friendly locals will be a great part of your Iranian journey.

During a picnic in Iran, the best occasion for sharing each other’s food

4. A long history

Hardly in need of any introduction, Persepolis is one of Iran’s most famous ancient sites. From ancient Persia to modern Iran, from the Achaemenid Empire to the Sassanian era, from the Safavid period to the Qajar dynasty, to finally the Pahlavi family and the Islamic Revolution, Iranian history is as stormy as it gets.
With so many historical places to visit in Iran, traveling all around the country you can soak in every period and delve into the nation’s tangled past. After you enjoyed your Persepolis tour, don’t forget to add to the list also other Iran points of interest such as the Golestan Palace in Tehran, Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan and the Fire Temple in Yazd, just to mention some.

5. Architecture

Be it a mosque, a palace or a bazaar, Iranian buildings are finely decorated and glow with ornamental elegance. Pastel colors gracefully interact with bright hues, tapering minarets and seemingly ubiquitous domes outline the landscape, symbols and traditional calligraphy coexist in a charming interplay.
Whether inside or outside a building, the sophisticated Persian architecture is always something tourists marvel at every time they visit Iran.
Also, the architectural styles and features evoke the dynasty they belong to. For example, Nasir al Mulk mosque in Shiraz is clearly Qajar dynasty with all its pink roses and small images of French churches, while the stunning Yazd Grand Mosque is all about overlapping styles, symbols and eras.
Getting enchanted by mesmerizing decorations, fine carvings, and elaborate paintings is one of the best reasons why you should visit Iran.

6. Handicraft

Each province, each city, each village has their own handicraft. In Yazd, you will certainly buy the beautiful Termeh, handwoven silk and wool fabric (and baklava sweets), in Isfahan tiles and blue chalices and plates to decorate your home or use to offer sweets to your guests with a Persian touch.
Different cities different handicraft. Visit Tabriz (and everywhere else) for their particular carpets of all sizes, colors, and patterns, or their nuts, get to Hamedan for their colorful pottery or spend a day or two in Nishapur for their turquoise stone jewelry.
Wherever you travel in Iran, rest assured that you’ll get back home with the loveliest of gifts and Iranian souvenirs.

7. Food

From pistachio to black tea, from saffron to kebab, from Mirza Ghasemi to Ghormeh Sabzi, the heavy presence of aromatic herbs makes Iranian cuisine appetizing and addictive
While there are national dishes that you can find everywhere, like herb stew Ghormeh Sabzi, there are others that are exclusive, or at least typical of a particular region. Among these are the aforementioned eggplant-based Mirza Ghasemi, typical from Gilan province, or Dizi, too meaty and heavy for me but still a national treat, typical from Ardabil.
If for food you consider also the single ingredients, Iran is famous for its saffron, much cheaper than in Europe in case you are thinking about some Persian gift shopping or their delicious pistachio.

8. Visit Iran because it’s still cheap

Be it for the sanctions or for the dropping of their currency, traveling to Iran right now will turn very cheap. With the cost of public transport ranging from the 8 euro (roughly 10$) of the night train from Tehran to Tabriz to less than 3 euro (4$) of the bus from Ardabil to Lahijan, and the accommodation, usually 4-star hotels, around the price of 30 euro (40$) per night per double room, you can spoil yourself with a royal treat without spending too much, saving enough for your inevitable shopping spree.
It mostly depends on the exchange rate, by since now euros, dollars and pounds are still strong compared to the rail, try to visit Iran as soon as possible before things change too much.

9. You will have a truly authentic experience

Probably due to sanctions that allow little commercial exchange with other countries, especially in the West, Iran can boast its own products on a variety of manufacturing areas, from food to textiles to ceramics. Apart from goods on sale, Iranians are very proud of their culture and traditions. This is why they will never miss the opportunity to illustrate what you might be seeing, eating, drinking, listening to, and so on and so forth.
This will give anyone who decides to visit Iran a great chance for a genuine local experience. This is also what allows you to better delve into the society and understand an ancient culture preserved with pride.
Iran tourism is living its boom season, and all Iranians are taking part in showing off their country that for too long has remained isolated from the travel industry.
Now that travel agencies are literally being created every day, you have a lot of Iran tours and packages to choose from. However, if these are too expensive or you are more into independent travel, locals will make you feel welcome and for sure will add to the value of your trip.

10. You will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere

Contrary to common belief, anyone who decided to visit Iran has talked about the laid-back atmosphere. Contrary to many places at least in Italy, you can take pictures pretty much everywhere. Obviously, when it comes to people it’s always better to ask for their permission, but often they will agree, sometimes they will also show up in front of your camera with a “V” pose even before you have the chance to ask.
Vital to complete the breezy and somehow devil-may-care scene is obviously the Iranian friendly attitude. People will always be up for a chat, seldom if ever worried about timetables, surprisingly happy to be the subject of your next photo, and always willing to have you as guests in their house.

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9 tips on how to plan a perfect trip to Iran

Even though ranking as one of the top travel destinations every year since 2014, many travelers are still unsure on how to plan a perfect trip to Iran. As this is a relatively new vacation spot, holidaymakers still feel unprepared, and a million questions arise even in the minds of more experienced travelers. This is mainly why many prefer to book an organized tour, even though more tourists are already starting to venture independently.

If you want to travel independently, planning a trip to Iran has finally become easy.
Through 1stQuest, the first Iranian agency to accept online payments, you can apply for your visa, book local buses (so handy for traveling around the country) and soon also domestic flights and hotels with your Visa or Mastercard.

At the moment, the best website to check for hotel deals in Iran is still Hotels Combined.
With more and more readers and travelers requiring tips and pieces of advice before traveling to Iran, We thought it was a good idea to gather the main questions in a single post so it can be a useful reference for future travelers to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This article covers the “before-you-go” planning process, while next post will be devoted to our tips on how to enjoy your trip once you’re actually here.

So, if you are ready to start, here are best tips on how to plan a perfect trip to Iran. 

1. Nowruz might be a good time to visit Iran

As you know Nowruz is the beginning of the New Year in Iran. In many cities, you can see festivals and some people dressing like (Amoo Nowruz) and putting on some show for the people (especially in Shiraz). Although it might be too crowded you can feel the passion of this anniversary.

2. Plan ahead

The prices of flight tickets vary quite a lot, so planning ahead and checking often the flights through the many comparison websites and travel search engines will definitely help you save good cash. There are many airlines flying into Iran international airports.
There are also Iran airlines, such as Iran Air and Mahan Air. The agreements after the Iran deal are still being discussed and signed, so keep an eye on the news as both of them are resuming their direct flights to Tehran and other Iran airports from the main European capitals right in these days.
Iran is no easy destination, if you don’t feel confident enough to organize your trip by yourself you can rely on our experienced guide or book our 11-day Exclusive Culture of Persia tour to visit all the must-see places if you are traveling to Iran for the first time such as TehranShirazIsfahan, and Yazd. Highly recommended.

3. Check the visa requirements

In October 2015, Iran has granted visa upon arrival to 58 nations, and it’s recent news that they are starting to issue 30-day visas to 180 nationalities, so you are likely to be fine, but just to make sure you don’t have unpleasant surprises, get in touch with the Iranian embassy in your country to check their visa requirements. We have devoted a post to the process of getting Iran visa, the different requirements depending on your nationality and what papers you need should you apply at the embassy in your country or at the airport upon arrival.
If you want to travel with the visa already glued on your passport even if you are not joining an organized tour, there is the travel agency 1st Quest that offers the visa service. You will need to fill in an online form and they will send you the authorization code that you need to take to the embassy or consulate alongside the other documents mentioned above.
To apply for an Iran visa, you must submit also travel insurance. With World Nomads, you can buy, extend and claim your travel insurance online also after you left home and are already traveling.

4. Get a tour guide for your Iran tours

This needs a bit of an explanation. You can travel independently around Iran, especially in the most popular cities as they are increasingly tourist-friendly, and it’s very safe, also for solo female travelers. This being said, we think a tour guide would be useful if you want to travel to less popular provinces such as Khuzestan, and of course if you don’t speak a word of Persian.
We would add that, with Iran being a very diverse and complicated country, traveling with a local will be more insightful if you want to delve a little deeper into its society instead of just visiting the historical buildings and main attractions. Obviously, if you have a friend there, that would work even better than booking a guide.

5. To book a room, call hotels directly

Especially due to the sanctions that are not entirely lifted yet, it’s still hard to book hotels online. It’s only recent news, in fact, that Booking.com has included two Tehran hotels on their website, but as for now the easiest way to book (if you are not on a tour package) is to call directly the hotel. Also, if you are going to apply for the visa on arrival, you will need confirmation of hotel booking, while if you are with an organized tour, the tour leader will have made the invitation letter for you so you will travel with your visa already glued to your passport.
To plan a perfect trip to Iran, you can find hotels in Tehran and other cities quite easily online or just checking your favorite guidebooks. The same Lonely Planet has compiled a list of accommodations in Iran from where you can just call them up and make your reservation.
Hopefully, Iranian banks will soon be reconnected to the international banking system and it will be easy to book hotels via the most popular travel sites like you do for most countries. For now, Hotels Combined can be your go-to resource to check deals and reviews of hotels in Iran.
Whatever place you visit, we would recommend you choose a hotel in the City Centre, or at least close to a metro station if in Tehran so that it’s easy to move around.

6. What to pack for a trip to Iran

A list of the main tips on how to plan a perfect trip to Iran couldn’t elude some packing guidance. In Iran, you can find pretty much everything, so in case you forget to pack something, there’s nothing to be worried about. The main news can be for clothing, especially with regards to the female dress code in Iran, as women need to pack some longer tunic or dress to wear with a pair of trousers, jeans, leggings or whatever you are used to. Most of all, don’t forget to carry a scarf in your hand luggage as you will need to wear it when you are getting off the plane. If you are going in winter, do pack some pretty warm clothes, especially if you are going to provinces such as Hamedan and Lorestan, or even Tehran.
If you take medicines, you should bring them with you. In Iran you find pretty much everything and by law, you need to have insurance in order to get a visa, but in case what you are looking for is not available, you are better off arriving well equipped.

7. Money

Iran’s local currency is the Rial. To plan a perfect trip to Iran, what we suggest (and what people usually do) is to try to roughly guess how much money you will need considering the unavoidable travel expenses such as hotels, food, transport and entrance fees for the main Iran tourist attractions, and then add some more in case of some emergency or personal shopping you might want to do such as souvenir and traditional handicraft.

8. If you are married, some proof of your marriage won’t harm

Granted, this is a general rule and it mainly applies to Iranians only (even if you are an Iranian-born and living abroad, you are still an Iranian and subject to controls). For foreigners, it’s pretty loose and they are hardly asked about marriage proof when renting a flat or booking the same hotel room. However, this is still the Islamic Republic of Iran.

9. Join the Facebook page Alibabatrek

The Facebook page Alibabatrek and Tripadvisor is a great resource if you need any tip from locals on how to plan a perfect trip to Iran. As a matter of fact, this post has been concocted also keeping in mind the questions and issues raised by the members of the group as they asked locals for information about tourism in Iran and how to get by in their country. In the group, you can ask both Iranians and foreigners who have already traveled to the Islamic Republic for help on different issues such as visa inquiries, best restaurants, hotels and whatever you can think of.
As you might know, Facebook in Iran is blocked by government filters, so to access it you need a VPN.

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The points you should know before traveling to Iran

After providing you with useful tips to plan perfect Iran tours, since we assume you are getting ready to travel, we think there are also a couple of things you should know to have a perfect stay in the Islamic Republic. From respecting the local culture to haggling in the right places to the tipping etiquette and how to use social media, there are many things to know before you travel to Iran.

 

Among the things to know before you travel to Iran, when taking photos of people you might want to ask first.
Truth be told, Iran is a quiet country to visit, locals are friendly and very hospitable, plus, in tourist areas, you will now find more people speaking English than before, so you will hardly have problems. However, traveling prepared on what to expect and knowing what to do in different situations is always a good habit.
So, to avoid surprises and make the most of your trip, here are the things to know before you travel to Iran.

1. When in Rome do as the Romans do the same in Iran

One of the most important things when traveling is to respect your hosting culture, so this aspect could not be left out of the things to know before you travel to Iran.
For example, it’s important to respect Iranian dress code, meaning wearing jeans or leggings under a dress, tunic or manteau, and a headscarf, or a chador when requested, such as entering the shrines or some mosques like Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, the only mosque where you are asked to wear it.
If you want to be extra thoughtful towards the religious sentiment, when you hear Azan (call for prayer), in more conservative and religious cities it will show respect if turn off your music, unless it’s already on headphone and you are the only one who can hear it.

2. Get ready for some taarof

Taarof is something you will understand better while there, and truthfully, it’s more common “between Iranians”, but it’s still good that you go with the right mindset, just in case you find yourself in a situation that you find hard to understand.
When you are buying something or paying the taxi, there is a chance the seller/driver won’t accept your money immediately but will start telling you that it’s not important, that you can pay him next year. While I understand your impulse to thank and leave, it might not be the case, so keep insisting and take part in the overmannered etiquette until when, eventually, you manage to pay.
Sometimes, mainly when buying bigger things such as carpets, especially in tourist places, right after taarof is finished and you are friendly enough that you can’t really negotiate the price anymore, there is a chance you hear a crazy price.
Taarof is a nice tradition and very much appreciated in Iran, but for sure it doesn’t mean you can just leave and don’t pay nor pay whatever price they ask after it.

When shopping, get ready for some ta’arof, definitely one of the things to know before you travel to Iran!

3. No handshake between sexes

One of the things to know before you travel to Iran and avoid misunderstandings while there if you are a man you shouldn’t shake hands with women and vice versa. Handshaking is only between men or between women, especially in public or public offices. If you are with friends, it all depends on how your friends are, usually, if you know they are religious, you can assume they are not likely to shake hands unless it’s between men or between women.
Obviously, if you meet clerics, don’t expect to shake hands if you are a woman, although, with the austere aura their turbans convey, I doubt you will even be inspired to try.

4. Alcoholic drinks are illegal

This is an absolute must among the things to know before you travel to Iran. If partying and heavy drinking is your idea of traveling, then Iran is not for you. Here, you can’t get drunk, even though it’s possible to find alcohol in Iran, it’s illegal and if you get caught you will face legal troubles, so I will totally recommend you wait until you are back home to get your booze.

5. be careful when taking photos of people

While taking pictures in Iran is pretty easy and welcome everywhere when you want to take photos of people you might want to ask first as sometimes it’s not appreciated. You might find a family or someone who likes to protect their privacy, it can happen that people don’t want to be photographed and maybe end up in social media. It has also happened that women got upset and demanded to delete the pictures where she appeared.
This is not much of a news to us as in Italy people usually don’t like to be photographed, but since in Iran this is rarely an issue, you might start feeling overconfident and forget that also here not everyone wants to be the subject of your artistic expression.

6. Every province is different

This is definitely one of the things to know before you travel to Iran and keep in mind when traveling to different cities and provinces. For example, you might want to adjust your dress code depending on where you are. In Tehran, you can see women wearing dresses with stockings underneath, albeit thick, while in more conservative places such as Qom or Kashan, this might not be the case. Apart from this aspect, be prepared to see many different faces of Iran, a plethora of cultures, traditions, landscapes and ethnic groups.

7. The weekend is Friday

As the Islamic Republic following Islamic rules and calendar, the weekend in Iran is Friday, meaning that some offices are open until Thursday evening or even until noon, like some government departments. Tehran Grand Bazaar is open until Thursday evening, on Friday some of the shops will open but not all, which can be better if you are into relaxed shopping and photography since during the week it’s just so crowded.
Exchange agencies in Ferdowsi Square are closed on Friday, keep that in mind if you are running out of local currency.

8. Exchange your cash at exchange agencies instead of banks

Iran’s local currency is the Rial (IRR) and since bank sanctions are not lifted yet, you need to carry enough cash for your stay. In most countries you won’t be able to buy IRR, so you will have to exchange your money in Iran. At the airport, you will find a bank for this and we suggest you exchange the necessary amount for the first day, including the first taxi from the airport, the fare of which ranges from 650.000 to 800.000 IRR.
Try to exchange the remaining that you need at exchange agencies, they have far better rates than banks. In Tehran, you can find exchange agencies in Ferdowsi Square, in Esfahan around Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam Square), and most cities will have agencies near the tourist attractions.
Tourists can also get a “tourist card” where you can put your money and use it like an ATM card, that will avoid carrying a lot of cash all the time.

9. Buy a local SIM Card

Way cheaper than using your own country’s SIM card, I suggest you buy an Iranian one. Usually, you need to be a resident, but phone stores have numbers already registered that can be used for tourists. The most famous ones are MCI, Irancell and Rightell.
10. Social media in Iran
In Iran Facebook and Twitter are filtered so if you can’t stay without, you need to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in your smartphone (or laptop, tablet, or whatever device you are using). In Iran Psiphon is quite popular, which is a free software.
You can find many VPN services, a simple Google search is enough to find them, from free to cheap to more expensive. Often the paid versions start from one month, so if you are only staying a week a free version might be a better option for you.
Click here for more information on the different ExpressVPN packages and latest prices.
To chat with your Iranian friends download Telegram, it’s more common than Whatsapp and Viber.

Using the public transport you will also enjoy the beautiful decoration of Tehran metro

11. Use public transport

When visiting Iran, you might find public transport, both extra- and intra-urban, really great. While for some off-the-beaten-path provinces and areas you might prefer hiring a taxi, traveling around the most popular tourist cities can be easily done by public transport, either bus or train, that you can book from a local travel agency or buy the ticket directly at the stations. If you take the bus, do book a VIP one, the difference in price is small and you will get very comfortable seats and even a meal. If you are traveling as a woman in Iran, you can take night buses and trains and ne sure that they are completely safe with frequent police checks.

On a related note, when you are in Tehran, we strongly advise using public transport, too. The first and last cabins of Tehran metro’s trains are for women only, while the cabins in the middle are mixed. I suggest you buy a metro card to swipe
when you enter and exit so that you don’t need to queue for a ticket every time, and to get yourself a map of the lines to find your way easily.
There are some apps for the smartphone to help you get by in the metro: one is Tehran Metro and informs you also about landmarks, services, restaurants and buses around each metro station, and Tehran Metro Map for a complete map of all the lines.

12. Renting a car in Iran

Traffic in Tehran is pretty mental, and Iranians’ driving style can be quite… adventurous, so rent a car only if you feel confident and brave enough. Depending on the provinces, highways and country roads are pretty quiet, even though you will find many trucks, so you should inquire what the best times to get on the road between cities and provinces are.
Apart from traffic, safety is an issue too, as Iran has one of the world’s highest rates of deaths by car accidents, so we would suggest relying either on public transport or local drivers.

13. Tips are welcome

While it’s not as mandatory as in India, where even who tells you where the toilet is wants a tip, also in Iran tipping is appreciated. Usually, tips are for hotels’ employees who help you carry your luggage to your room (especially when you are on the third floor and there is no elevator!), where you can leave around 50,000 IRR, and, when in a tour, for your guide and the driver. It will be up to you and depending on how long the tour was, usually, if you ask the tour guide, he will be able to help.

14. Haggling in Iran

Especially in tourist areas, haggling is fine. In tourist bazaars, especially the one around Imam Square in Isfahan, haggling is highly recommended. Like everywhere, the more you buy, the more they are inclined to give you a better price, so if there is a shop you like, you might gather there all your gift shopping.
You can bargain the price with taxi drivers too, even though it’s very likely they will overcharge you anyway. Fares range from 20.000 IRR (less than 1€/$/£) to 200.000 IRR (roughly 6€/7$/5£) depending on the city and obviously the distance. In Tehran, you can find also shared taxis that will pick up also other people during the journey and usually cover a street or a specific distance. With these, the fare ranges from 10.000 to 20.000 Rials and there is no haggling, also because you can hardly go lower than this.

15. Taking a taxi in Iran

Since the written Persian uses Arabic letters, when you take a taxi it won’t harm to have the destination written in Persian characters. Especially in non-tourist areas, English is seldom spoken among taxi drivers and they might not understand your pronunciation, so instead of wandering aimlessly looking for the right spot you can just show them your destination or ask the hotel reception to tell them directly.
16. Bring hand soap or sanitizer and wet wipes
In public toilets hand soap is not always present, be it in bus stations or tourist attractions, so among the things to know before you travel to Iran, we suggest you carry a liquid soap or sanitizer with you just in case. Ladies should better always carry tissue with them.
In most places toilets are Turkish/Asian style, meaning squat toilets.

17. Don’t travel with your dog

We know you love your pet, but one of the things to know before you travel to Iran is that it might not be a good idea to bring your dog. First of all, cats, dogs, and other pets are listed among the prohibited items to carry, unless permission has been previously granted after providing all required vet health certificates and a rabies certificate issued in the country of origin, and second, there are religious/cultural/social issues.
There have been proposals for laws to ban pets in Iran, either because dogs are not considered clean in Islam or because seen, mostly by the most conservative wing of the Parliament, in terms of “Western cultural invasion”. However, many Iranians do keep cats and dogs, and do walk them every day, but they know where to go and this is why they don’t have problems. As a tourist, you won’t, so better not to take your beloved pet with you.
Moreover, you might face other problems when traveling around Iran, for example when taking domestic flights, public transport, or entering hotels and restaurants. Since they are almost never allowed inside, especially in more conservative and religious cities, you will hardly enjoy your trip to Iran or visit places, and if the alternative option is to keep it in shelters, they are probably better off at home.

18. Before going do your homework, essential among the things to know before you travel to Iran!

While this can sound pretty obvious but we suggest you to do some research ahead! You should know in front of what you are standing and what the significance and importance of that particular place are. Not only religious places but also shrines, historical sights such as Persepolis or Bisotun and general Iran tourist attractions. It’s also a matter of respect: if you go to a country to have a good time you should invest a bit of your time studying the culture. What would be the difference between dusk on a random wall or Persepolis then? It is completely senseless visiting Saadi’s tomb if you don’t know who he was and what role he plays for Iranians and Persians.”

19. One thing for the ladies when using the bathrooms

1- ALWAYS have tissues with you and 2 most (99%) of places have Turkish toilets meaning you have to squat, keep your pockets empty as you may drop your stuff in the dark hole.