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Travel to Iran
As you might already know, Iran (aka, Persia) is a country located in West Asia. The Caspian Sea forms most parts of northern borders of Iran when the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman form the southern borders of it. The country is ranked four in terms of size in Asia so, by visiting Iran you can travel through a quite large country and enjoy a four-season land where you can experience cold weather in a city and then travel to another one and enjoy the hot sun.
The best time to travel to Iran would be during autumn and spring since weather conditions are kind. In total, Iran has 31 provinces with big cities many of which have ancient history including Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Yazd, Tehran (which is the capital city) and etc. Speaking of Tehran, you should know that it is one of the largest cities in the country with more than 14 million citizens, making it one the greatest cities improving Iran tourism. We recommend you to visit tourist attractions in Tehran and do not forget to choose this big city as one of your destinations while on an Iran tour. As a travel agency, we give you this: rest assured that you are going to enjoy the palaces and museums in Tehran. We would like to recommend you to visit mentioned ancient cities as well, when you travel to Iran.
It is worth mentioning that in case you choose to travel to Iran, you can gather information about our Classical Cultural tours, Eco tours, Island tours, Tailor-made tours, Medical tours, MICE tours and CIP/VIP services easily by clicking on the linked pages. We have tried our best to arrange the best tours possible for the tourists making a travel to Iran the most unforgettable experience for them.
Safety and security in Iran
We are fully aware that you might have heard or read some stories regarding absence of safety in Iran, but allow us to say with confidence that generally, Iran is a safe country in case of violent crimes or terrorism and as a tourist a travel to Iran is totally safe for you. In fact, Iran is the only country in the region that has not been under terrorist attacks and people have always been safe inside the borders.
We would like you to be aware and do not pay attention to the negative propaganda against the country which we all know are political, which is something no tourist who loves exploring beautiful places in the world really cares about; right? A trip to Iran is safe alone or in groups, both for men and for women and you can be sure of that. A travel to Iran is as normal as other places and you can even spend the night out enjoying your time while visiting Iran.
Accommodation on an Iran tour
There are a variety of choices for you in case of accommodation in Iran including hotels of all rates and budgets, luxury to second or third-class hotels, expensive to cheap and modern to ancient for tourists to book in advance. Moreover, there are also eco-lodges and ecotourism residence sites for those who travel to Iran which, as you know, are mostly located in the villages, improving Iran tourism and helping tourists to explore Iran’s nature which can be a great way to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of city life and relax. For more information regarding accommodation, visit Iran hotels.
Moreover, Zhivar Tour and Travel Agency offers Eco tours for those who are fond of nature, which will indeed be a memorable journey, on the time of a travel to Iran.
Internet access in Iran
In spite of the negative propaganda spread by western media and press, accessing the Internet is quite easy in Iran and is available almost everywhere in the country (except for caves and deep in mountains) and tourists who travel to Iran can access the internet like any other country in the globe. As a tourist, all you need to do is get to a SIM card sales center upon arriving and pay a reasonable amount of money (less than 15 dollars) and buy yourself a SIM card.
As soon as you activate the SIM card, you can have access to high-speed internet connection which enables you to contact your family and friends using voice or video calls, does not matter you are travelling to Iran from UK, US or any other country around the world. Note that handing your passport to the salesperson seems necessary while buying a SIM card on an Iran tour.
It is worth mentioning that 3 operators provided mobile telecommunication services improving Iran tourism both for those who travel to Iran from abroad and for the citizens; two of which provide special services for tourists vising Iran known as MTN Irancell and MCI. In order to make use of these services, you can buy a ‘Visitor SIM card’. Remember, the Visitor SIM cards are only valid for 30 days so, if your travel to Iran will last for more than the mentioned number of days, you can buy Rightel SIM card which is the third operator in Iran. You can also use other types of MTN Irancell and MCI SIM cards, contact your loved ones, use applications such as Instagram, Google Map and etc. while enjoying your Iran tour.
Monetary system in Iran
The official currency of Iran is Rial (Rls). Dollar and Euro are the most common, exchangeable currencies all over the country to which tourists can exchange their money in order to pay for taxi so as to get to the hotel. For other shopping aims when you travel to Iran, you should change your money to official currency. No worries, you are not going to get into trouble on a travel to Iran since there are exchange centers in all Iranian international airports.
In case of exchange rates you should know that one US dollar is equal to almost 320/000 Rls in Iran. For instance, a nice cup of coffee needs 2 dollars, in exchange for almost 3.5 dollars you can enjoy having a hamburger and spending 5 dollars you can have a pizza. All in all, Iran is not an expensive country for tourists and visitors and a trip to Iran does not cost you a large amount of money which means you can travel to Iran and not spend so much.
Cultural taboos in Iran
Here are some cultural taboos that might come in handy when you travel to Iran since knowing the destination country’s general culture can be useful while travelling as a tourist. Since Iran is an Islamic country, while visiting Iran you should avoid touching or having a physical contact of any kind with the people from your opposite gender, such as a handshake or a kiss on the cheek. Taking a photo of people prior to asking for their permission is considered as a rude behavior in Iran as well. Also, Iranian people do not wear shoes indoors so keep that in mind in case you ever travel to Iran.
Rule of tipping in Iran
In regulations of Iran, tipping waiters and people who carry your luggage to your room is not mandatory since all the workers are being paid by their employers for what they do. It is not a culturally common thing to do for domestic people either. Of course, during a trip to Iran, you are free to tip them if you intend to do so, just know it is not considered rude if you do not. This is different for those who provide a particular service for you such as carrying your backpack or your stuff during mountain hiking. For instance, tipping them in the amount of a 500/000 Rls in cash can be considered as a good tip. Thus, if you travel to Iran, you are not going to see local people tipping, so do not be shocked.
Public beliefs in Iran
One other subject matter that will be useful for you as a tourist if you travel to Iran is the fact that mosques and holy shrines are respected in Iran. As well as all holy places in the world, visiting such places in Iran requires respectful behavior and modesty. Also, women must wear chador if they plan on entering the place. In the time of noon prayer call (which you can hear from the mosques) and after sunset due to the ceremony of holding a congregational prayer, tourists cannot pay a visit to some of the large mosques.
However, as soon as the congregational prayer finishes, which will not take more than a few minutes, vising the mosques is unimpeded. There are some cities such as Mashhad, Qom, Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and etc. that have holy shrines and religious attractions for tourists to pay a visit to so, if you have plans to travel to Iran and you are interested in these kinds of places, mentioned cities are suitable choices during an Iran tour.
Hijab in Iran
In Iran, women wear hijab outdoors. However, Iranian hijab is quite different from what is being applied in other countries which is something that is quite obvious and you will agree with us if you travel to Iran. In Iran, hijab is colorful and diverse. Any kind of hijab not being revealing and covering hands and legs as well as the hair is considered as Iranian hijab. Keep in mind that there are no limits in choosing the color or design of the clothing items so, if you ever travel to Iran, you are not going to have a problem regarding hijab as a woman since the mentioned amount of covering your body is enough for a trip to Iran. In other words, in Iran the necessity of wearing hijab is not extreme or radical and when you travel to Iran you can easily observe this in the streets through watching Iranian citizens’ hijab. Domestic women mostly wear shawls or scarves and long-sleeved manteaus. This rule starts from the airport so we recommend women, who intend to travel to Iran, to have a scarf and a long loose dress in their carry-on so that they do not need to go around the airport to buy acceptable clothes.
Regulations while vising religious attractions in Iran
As we already mentioned, some cities in Iran have religious attractions that are interesting to check out for some tourists and visitors who travel to Iran, namely Mashhad, Qom, Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and etc. which have always attracted tourists, improving Iran tourism. One important rule while visiting religious attractions in Iran is that women must wear chador before entering the place, which is handed to them by special workers, so if you are a woman and have plans to travel to Iran and visit religious attractions, rest assured that you do not need to buy chador for a trip to Iran in order to visit holy places. This is considered as a respect to the holy places.
There are no special rules regarding clothing for men who intend to travel to Iran and intend to visit religious attractions, however it is better to wear decent clothes, meaning pants and a shirt during a trip to Iran. In case you intend to travel to Iran and visit such places, note that entrances are separate for men and women but upon entering the place you can join each other again. Moreover, as we mentioned before, Iranian people do not wear shoes indoors so, you must take them off while entering religious attractions. It is worth mentioning that there are places for you to put your shoes in and you can put them back on while exiting.
Regulation regarding alcoholic drinks and drugs in Iran
Drinking and using or smoking drugs of any kind is banned in Iran in public places both for citizens and for tourists who travel to Iran. There are no places to serve alcoholic drinks publicly and possessing such drinks is a crime for which you might get arrested. Smoking marijuana is also forbidden in Iran so if you travel to Iran make sure you are not carrying any drinks or drugs since Iran tourism rules are not different from common rules applying for domestic citizens.
Halal food in Iran
Based on regulations, in Iran almost all food is ‘halal’, which has been translated to English as ‘permissible’. Halal food is based on Islamic laws that are indicated by Quran, the Islamic religious text, in which the opposite word is ‘haram’. The law is the Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry. Moreover, halal food is not cooked using alcohol. We have a list of halal food in case you intend to travel to Iran such as food that contain lamb or beef or chicken and etc. It might be interesting for you to know that pork is considered haram in Islam and subsequently in Iran and we believe this information can come to your aid if you travel to Iran and wonder why there are no pork in any menu. This rule implies to all the reptiles, amphibians (such as frogs) and rodents (such as rats) as well.
Behavioral characteristics of people in Iran
Iranian people are kind and warm-hearted. When you travel to Iran, you may meet people who ask you for your phone number or Instagram account to keep in touch. They even may ask you if they can help you experience a better trip on an Iran tour. If you are lucky, you may be invited to their home where they serve you Iranian food. Of course, Iran too, just like any other country in the world has different types of people since as we all know, human beings are varied, but it is most likely for you as a tourist experiencing a travel to Iran to get in touch with considerate, good-hearted people of Asia who will make your Iran tour more enjoyable.
Public transportation in Iran
While on an Iran tour, you will not face a problem in case of transportation and moving from one place to another since in Iran trips between cities are road-based, train-based or through airways. You can use the bus or a taxi to travel between cities and of course, travelling by a plane is an option as well. In order to move inside one city there are taxis, buses and in some major cities, subway is ready to transport people and tourists who travel to Iran which is cheap to use, too. Cities in which you can travel by subway are Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad. Note that in Iran intracity buses and subways are separated in two parts, one for men and the other for women. It is not a strict rule but it is better to use the section which is only for your gender. Moreover, there are some online taxi service applications that you can use to get a ride for your desired destination using an Iranian SIM card. The most popular ones are Snapp and Tap30.
Restrooms in Iran
An issue that can be considered important for tourists who travel to Iran, to know and be familiar with is that the most common toilets in Iran are squat toilets. However, you do not need to worry since western toilets are available in almost every restaurant, coffee shop, mall, airport, hotel and in most of the local houses. However, if you are someone who is open to new experiences, once you travel to Iran, learning how to use squat toilets might be interesting for you. These kinds of toilets do not have a chair and to use a squat toilet, as in the name, you have to squat. Iranian people use the water to wash themselves in restrooms so you will always see a hose and a faucet in the restrooms.
Rules and regulations regarding beach areas in Iran
As mentioned before, Iran is an Islamic country in which wearing hijab, meaning covering the hair and the body, is a rule violating which is not acceptable. If you are not from an Islamic country, you must pay attention that if, while on a trip to Iran, you decided to visit beaches you must not wear swimming suits at the beach. As you might have probably guessed already, in Iran pools are separated based on gender as well.
In case you are interested to travel to Iran and explore littoral lands or islands, note that we are here to offer you our Island tours and also Tailor-made tours which can be customized in any way that you want them to be.
Common eating habits in Iran
Unlike most of the European food, Iranian food does not need a knife to be served which is something that may come as a shock to tourists when they travel to Iran. In majority of cases, you can easily have your meal using a spoon and a fork. Also, in order to eat some of the food you only need a spoon when, some others are wrapped in bread and eaten by hand.
Iran has lots of different, delicious food which will amaze you while trying them. To get to know Iranian food better, visit food diversity in Iran.
Solo trips to Iran
Solo travelers are as safe as the ones who travel to Iran in groups or via Iran tours, does not matter if they are a man or a woman who intends to travel to Iran by themselves.
As a matter of fact, we can arrange Tailor-made tours for tourists who desire to travel to Iran solo or only with their family.
How to travel to Iran
Zhivar tour and travel agency is a private tour operator for tourists who intend to travel to Iran. As a package tour operator, we even have some special tours to offer. To get to know Zhivar group better and get familiar with our tours and our services, visit about us.