by Rea on 22 Nov 2017
This is the most comprehensive Iran travel guide that is available online at the time of writing. If you are planning an adventure or going on a business trip, then this guide is for you.
Here are the topics that we cover below:
- Before You Go to Iran
- How to Get an Iranian Visa
- Mobile Network in Iran
- Cost of Travel In Iran
- Things to See When Travelling in Iran
- Iran Dress Code
- Iranian Currency
- Transport in Iran
- Health in Iran (Insurance)
- Internet in Iran
- Food, Drink & Eating Out in Iran
Before You Go to Iran
Is it safe to travel to Iran right now?
The short answer? Yes!
Iran is a safe country to visit and is one of the safest and most stable countries in the Middle East.
If you're planning a trip to Iran, your biggest concern will be more about what to wear than your safety. While you will need to keep your wits about you like anywhere else in the world, you won't have to worry about religious extremism ruining your trip.
In fact, Iran earned a spot as one of the top 20 tourist destinations to visit in 2017 by Bloomberg. One of the reasons being the country's security, which has been a major factor in tourists returning to Iran.
So push those preconceptions of Iran aside, and get ready to explore this fascinating part of the world!
Best Time to Visit Iran
With so much to see and do each season, the best time to visit Iran depends on what you want to do.
If you're looking to experience the country's excellent skiing conditions (which are just as good as the Alps without the price tag), visit during the winter months. From November to February, the country's top resort Dizin is open to business and is only a one-hour drive from Tehran.
Winter is also a shoulder season in Iran, and you'll be able to score discounts on flights and accommodation.
For those that want to experience Persian culture, plan your trip to Iran in March.It's when the Iranians celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The celebrations are more than a one-day event, and the traditions that take place are over 3,000 years old.
Just make sure you book everything well in advance as the spring months (March to May) is high season for Iran. You'll need to budget a bit more for accommodation, and there will be crowds at Iran's top tourist destinations.
The summer months from July to September are marked by soaring temperatures. It's usually not the best time to visit if you aren't used to the hot weather, but it's a great time to escape to Iran's coastal destinations.
Is Iran Safe for British Citizens?
Yes, Iran is safe for British citizens.
Whether you're from America, Europe or anywhere else in the world, you'll be treated with respect.
The Iranians are famous for their hospitality, and it's hard to find a local that isn't interested or excited that you're visiting their country. No one will make you feel unwanted. Instead, you'll more than likely be invited for tea or dinner.
Iranians will also go out of their way to help you if you need it regardless of your nationality.
Is Iran Safe for Female Travellers?
Iran is one of the safest destinations for female travellers.
Due to the culture of gender segregation in Iran, common street harassment that solo female travellers experience doesn't really happen. Public displays of affection are not allowed, and Iranian men aren't supposed to touch women. So if a man does make inappropriate contact with you, the behaviour won't be tolerated by the locals.
Another great thing about safety for women in Iran is that the locals will always look out for you. If you're travelling alone on the bus, the driver will make sure you aren't sitting next to an unknown man.
So while these gender rules are a bit of a culture shock, it does create a safe environment for women and removes a lot of the safety issues that females experience in other countries.
Travelling to Iran With a Baby/Child/Children
Want to take your little ones with you to Iran? No problem!
Here are some top tips to make travelling to Iran with kids hassle free:
- You don't need to worry about strict dress codes for kids;
- Girls under the age of 10 years old don't need to cover their hair;
- Boys can wear shorts and sleeveless shirts;
This is great news for parents as it's one less thing to stay on top of while travelling in Iran.
Do your research before you book a hotel.
If you have young children that still require strollers, you'll need to make sure they are accessible. Most traditional style hotels won't have elevators and this can make getting your child's pram up and down the stairs a hassle.
There are public baby changing rooms. You won't be hard pressed finding a spot to change your little one's diaper. In most subway stations, restaurants and malls you'll find a baby room.
But one thing to keep in mind is that these are often located in the ladies room, which can make things challenging for fathers travelling solo.
You might need to bring your own baby food. Due to some of the sanctions imposed on Iran, you might not find the baby food you always buy. If your baby is a picky eater, this can be a headache for most parents. Plan ahead and pack some extra formula to avoid any hassles while travelling with your baby in Iran.
Travelling to Iran with a Pet
If you can't bear to leave your furry family member at home, travelling to Iran could be a bit of a problem.
At the moment, cats and dogs are on the list of prohibited items to carry unless you have permission.
If you're absolutely determined prepare yourself for a paperwork avalanche. You'll need health certificates, a rabies certificate and once in Iran, you'll have to deal with the religious and cultural issues around pets.
In Iran like in any other Islamic country, dogs are considered unclean and having pets is thought of as a "Western cultural invasion". While many of the locals do have pets, it's a touchy subject in Iran, and it's best not to take your beloved pooch with you.
How to Get an Iranian Visa
Getting Iran Visa on Arrival
Since sanctions to Iran have relaxed, the country has allowed more and more nationalities to be eligible for a visa on arrival.
Following the announcement by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that 180 countries would be eligible for visas on arrival more than 900 are issued each day. Some of the countries are listed below:
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China (People’s Republic), Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea. Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.
If you're from one of those countries, you can get a 30-day tourist visa from the following airports.
- IKA: Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport
- THR: Tehran Mehrabad Airport
- MHD: Mashad Airport
- SYZ: Shiraz Airport
- TBZ: Tabriz Airport
- ISF: Isfahan Airport
How to Get Your 30-Day Tourist Visa Once You Landed
To obtain a tourist or business visa follow the signs that say 'Visa on Arrival' when you land at your airport. They will lead you to a booth where you will fill in a form and answer a few simple questions related to your trip in Iran. The documents that need to be supplied are listed further down below in this section.
The visa stamp fees, which need to be paid in cash, are approximately $50 to $100 depending on your nationality.
The waiting time can differ depending on the number of travellers requesting a visa. Usually it takes about 15-20 mins to be called to pick up your passport and proceed to immigration.
The procedure is slightly different if you are flying into Imam Khomeini International Airport.
You will first need to fill in an online application form here at least two days prior to your visit. Once you have submitted the application and completed the email verification process you will receive your e-visa application submission notice. Print it off and take it with you on your trip. You will present this at the Visa on Arrival booth at the airport.
If you want you can do this for the country’s other international airports as well to expedite matters.
The documents required to obtain your visa are:
- Passport with at least six months validity;
- Name, address and phone number of the location of your first night’s stay;
- Confirmed return ticket;
- Worldwide travel insurance policy document;
- Two standard passport photos (Ladies with a headscarf);
If you decide you want to have your visa in your passport in advance, you can apply directly through the Iranian consulate in your country and submit your application personally with the following documents:
- Original Passport
- Completed Visa Application Form which you can find on their website
- Authorisation Number From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of I.R. Iran
- Two Passport Size Photos
- Visa Fee (Cash only - inside consulate)
The authorisation number (which is also reffered to as an approval number) is provided once the documents have been reviewed and the application request approved. Applicants can obtain their authorisation / approval number via relatives, host parties for business in Iran, or via travel agencies related to Iran in their country. If this is done through travel agencies, it takes about 10 working days to issue the number. Here is a link to a typical travel agency that can obtain one for you: Carvanistan.
Iran Visa on Arrival Tips:
- Travelers who have been rejected for Iran visa previously will not receive Iran visa on arrival.
- Journalists and reporters on mission cannot get Iran visa on arrival.
- Iranian nationals holding other nationality’s passport are not allowed to get Iran visa on arrival.
- Iran visa on arrival is issued for tourist purposes only (ordinary passport). Diplomatic passport, official passports, etc. cannot apply for this type of Iran visa.
- Iran visa on Arrival is not issued for USA, UK, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India nationalities.
It is recommended to get this authorisation / approval number through a travel agency before travelling to Iran even if you get your visa on arrival at the airport.
How to Get an Iran Visa if You Aren’t Eligible for a Visa on Arrival
If you're from the following countries, getting a visa for Iran won't be as easy:
The first step to get your visa is to do some research about your country's diplomatic relations with Iran. The second step is to contact the Iranian consulate in your country and apply through them directly.
When applying online, electronically submitting your online application is only the first step in the visa application process. Once you have electronically submitted your online visa application, you must contact the Iranian Embassy or Consulate at which you wish to apply to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer, and to schedule an interview. You can find a list of Islamic Republic of Iran embassies and consulates on Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. If the embassy or consulate at which you apply informs that you must have a visa interview, the visa application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a consular officer.
Iran Visa Costs
The administration cost for getting an authorisation code is usually around $30 when applied through travel agents.
For your visa itself, the price will depend on your nationality. It can cost as little as £8 for a single entry for Somali nationals to £167 for UK nationals.
for more information about fees relevant to your country you can refer here.
Iran Visa Requirements for Pakistani and Indian Travellers
Travellers from Pakistan and India aren't on the visa on arrival list and will need to apply in person at their nearest embassy. Luckily, the process is quite straightforward, and all you'll need is the following documentation:
- Filled out Iran visa application form which you can do through the online portal;
- A passport that is valid for at least six months;
- Three passport sized photographs with a white background;
- Photocopies of N.I.C and your passport;
- Proof of payment of your visa fee;
- Medical certificate or card from the Embassy's list of laboratories;
Americans, British and Canadian Citizens Travelling to Iran
Due to political tensions, American, British and Canadian citizens are only allowed to travel to Iran as part of a tour group. You'll also have to be escorted from the airport to your hotel, and you can't make any arrangements by yourself.
Israeli citizens aren't allowed to enter Iran at all.
NB: the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel to some areas. They are Sistan-Baluchistan province, the area to the east of Bam and Jask, including Bam, within 100 kilometres (62 miles) of the Iran/Afghanistan border, within 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) of the entire Iran/Iraq border and the towns of Mirjaveh, Zabol and Zahedan.
Mobile Network in Iran
Once you arrive in Iran you will probably want to get connected! This is easily done.
The country has a 4G network and you can access it via pay-as-you-go SIM cards which can be purchased at the airport. The most popular brand is Irancell and whatever option you go for it will include a data package. Unfortunately, none of the SIM cards from other countries work in Iran.
Cost of Travel in Iran
Accommodation in Iran
Iran offers fantastic value for money, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to eat, rest your head or move around. How much you spend really depends on your budget and what you want to do.
Finding a great place to stay in Iran will not present you with too much of a challenge. Accommodation types run the full gamut from couchsurfing and basic hostels all the way up to well-appointed private homes and luxury five-star hotels. Every budget and taste is catered for.
A good way to find the right place for you is with InnIran.com which offers a wealth of hand picked accommodation in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd and at other top locations throughout the country that lie close to major tourist attractions.
So whether you are looking for a single room in a guest house in Kerman (prices start at €20/night), a studio apartment in Isfahan (prices from €37/night) a 2-bedroom flat in uptown Shiraz (from €55/night) or a junior suite in a plush hotel in Tehran (€255/night) they've got it covered. And when you are on the site you can select the sort of features you want from your lodgings such as a swimming pool, Wi-Fi, an outdoor space and cable TV.
Tehran is the country's most visited city and it boasts accommodation options for every type of modern-day traveller no matter how much they can afford to spend.
At the lower end of the price scale are some fantastic hostels, but cheap prices don't necessarily mean poor quality. Consider the “See You in Iran” hostel, a smart and attractive low-budget accommodation in Tehran with bohemian and hipster type furnishings and a spacious garden. It is also an events venue that encourages cultural exchanges between foreign tourists and young Iranians.
Or if you want to indulge in a little luxury while you are in the capital how about the Espinas Palace? This beautiful five-star property offers guests a swimming pool, fitness centre, hot tub and sauna.
Cost of Transportation
Transport costs within the country are very low. You can travel hundreds of kilometres in comfortable air-conditioned buses for just a few dollars. For example, the 448-kilometre (278-mile trip) from Tehran to Isfahan will cost around $8-10.
If you are in the capital city and want to use the metro system, a single ticket between two stations will set you back about 20 to 40 cents.
If you are looking to hire a private tour guide to show you around the sights expect to pay between $50 and $100 per day.
Things to See When Travelling in Iran
Iran is full of all sorts of places of interest.
Here is a sample we have for you to check out:
- Top 10 Unesco Sites in Iran
- 10 Must-See Iran Tourist Attractions
- Off the Beaten Track Activities
Ready? Let’s dive into them!
Top 10 UNESCO Sites in Iran
As the birthplace of one of the world's oldest civilisations and possessing a fascinating history that spans thousands of years it's no small wonder that Iran boasts a clutch of important UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout the country.
Among the most spectacular that are waiting to be discovered by you are:
#1: Persepolis, Shiraz
Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the First Persian Empire until it was burned to the ground by Alexander the Great of Greece in the third century BC. Today, the ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provide a fascinating glimpse into the ancient past. The archaeological ensemble is located at the foot of the Mountain of Mercy (Kuh-e Rahmat) in south western Iran and encompasses the remains of palaces, monumental stairways, tombs, pillars, the Throne Hall and much more.
#2: Meidan Emam, Isfahan
Meidan Emam is one of Iran’s most tourist attractions as it presents an impressive testimony of the social and cultural life in the country during the Safavid era. At the same time, it showcases exceptional Iranian and Islamic architecture, being one of the world’s largest city squares.
#3: Takht-E-Soleyman , North Western Iran
Takht-E-Soleiman is the main site of the Zoroastrianism. It is an archaeological ensemble with symbolic and spiritual significance related to fire and water. This unique compound includes a range of structures from pre-Islam to post-Islam eras.
#4: Tchogha Zanbil, Khuzestan province
Tchogha Zanbil dates back to 1250 BC. It is where you will find the ruins of the holy city of kingdom of Elam. it was invaded by Ashurbanipal, and remained unfinished after the invasion, as manifested by thousands of bricks left unused that can be found at the site.
The first capital city of the first dynastic Persian Empire is one of the most famous sights in Iran. This ancient attraction was founded in the 6th century BC and is spread over 160 hectares (395 acres). Magnificent structures have survived to the present day and include several palaces and the limestone tomb that once held Cyrus the Great's sarcophagus.
Bam is an ancient citadel on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. Although much of it was reduced to rubble during a major earthquake in 2003, it has been restored to its former glory thanks to extensive reconstruction programmes. The historical site contains a fortified residential area, the governor’s quarters and an underground water supplement system.
#7: Shushtar Waterfalls
An engineering marvel from the 5th century BC, the Shushtar Waterfalls is an ancient hydraulic system that consists of waterfalls, dams, tunnels, bridges, basins and mills. One of the canals still supplies water to the city of Shushtar.
See compelling history carved in stone when you visit Bisotun. The principal attraction is a towering 15-metre (49-feet) high bas-relief that portrays Darius the Great and features cuneiform inscriptions in three languages. It was created on the orders of the Persian king in 521 BC.
Located in the city of Soltaniyeh in northwest Iran is a mesmerising example of Persian architecture, the mausoleum of Oljaytu who was the eighth Ilkhanid ruler. This early 14th-century masterpiece is an octagonal building surrounded by minarets and crowned by a 50-metre (164-feet) tall turquoise dome.
#10: Armenian Monastic Ensembles
The stunning Armenian Monastic Ensembles is a collection of three monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian faith.
They are the St. Thaddeus Monastery, the Saint Stepanoz Monastery, and the Chapel of Dzordzor and they were established between the 7th and 14th centuries.
These religious buildings are located in northwest Iran and enchant visitors with their Armenian architectural splendour.
10 Must-See Iran Tourist Attractions
Rich in history, culture and nature Iran has so much to see, do and experience.
In fact, there are far too many attractions to list here, but we think the following are among the best to put on your travel itinerary.
#1: Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz
This 19th-century mosque is a riot of vibrant colours with painted arches and niches, rose-coloured tiles and an assortment of stained glass windows. It is a captivating sight, particularly when the interior is pierced by shafts of early morning sunlight.
#2: Soffeh Park, Isfahan
Just outside of Isfahan is the arresting sight of Mount Soffeh. The mountain and its surrounding hills have been transformed into a park that covers more than 100 hectares (247 acres). Visitors can enjoy a range of attractions and recreational facilities in addition to the open spaces. They include a small zoo and a cable car ride.
#3. Eram Garden in Shiraz
The Eram garden (Garden of Paradise) in Shiraz city is a typical of Persia. The waterway leads towards the historic Qavam house. It is also popular for its tall cypress trees, stunning sceneries and a wide variety flowers and trees. The Shiraz University manages the Eram gardens and you can easily go to the place by taking a shuttle taxi going along Zand towards the university.
#4: Golestan Palace, Tehran
A sumptuous palace from the Qajar era located in the city's historical centre. This walled palace is one of the oldest buildings in Tehran and was once the seat of government of the powerful Qajar family. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses halls, palaces and museums.
#5: Niavaran Palace and Museum Complex, Tehran
The former home of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his family is a sprawling complex set in beautifully landscaped gardens. This historical site in the northern part of Tehran features imposing palace buildings and several museums including one dedicated to automobiles.
#6: Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran (also known as TMoCA).
Inside an impressive modern building is a collection of more than 3,000 works of art making TMoCA one of the largest art museums in the country. Its galleries are filled with paintings, prints and sculptures by 19th and 20th-century European and American greats such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Vincent van Gogh.
#7: Yazd Traditional Bazaar, Yazd
Go shopping in one of the oldest traditional bazaars in the world where some of the labyrinthine alleyways date back to the 9th century. Within the narrow walls and under dome-like arches are stores selling an eye-popping mix of textiles, gold, silks, hand-woven fabrics and much more.
#8: Kashan Grand Bazaar, Kashan
Since the 13th century, shoppers have been enticed to purchase the wares of the old bazaar in the centre of Kashan. It extends for several miles and is also noteworthy for its architectural features such as high vaults, intricate ornamentation and the grand light well of the Timche-ye Amin od-Dowleh section. Among the items on sale are carpets, copper vessels and hand-woven Zilu.
#9: Aqa Bozorg Mosque, Kashan
The Aqa Bozorg Mosque is one of the most attractive religious complexes in Kashan. It dates back to the 18th century and dazzles with its architectural beauty. Ornate minarets, a brick built dome and beautiful decorative tiling are just some of the many attractive features.
#10: Skiing in Iran
If you're a powder hound with a love of high octane thrills on adrenalin-pumping slopes then Iran should take pole position on your global vacation itinerary. Huge snowfalls and vast swathes of untouched, virgin snow make the mountainous country a powder paradise, a winter playground with an extensive back country that's ripe for adventure.
What's more, the pastime is cheap. The average price for a day pass that gives you unlimited access to the runs, slopes and pistes is around $20.
The country boasts a number of great ski resorts but three of the most popular are Dizin, Shemshak and Darbandsar.
Located in the Alborz Mountains is Iran's premier ski resort, and it's about a one-hour drive north of Tehran. There are 470 hectares (1,161 acres) of skiable terrain, the average snow depth is between 2 metres (6.5 feet) and 6 metres (20 feet) and the season extends from late November until the end of May.
Another ski resort also located in the Alborz Mountains at an altitude of between 2,550 metres (8,366 feet) and 3,050 metres (10,006 feet). There is one black run, two red runs and one green run, and the season is from December to April.
Located in the Elborz Mountains on the slopes of Mount Seechal, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Tehran. The skiing season lasts from December to April and among the activities on offer here are cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing and ski mountaineering.
So head up into the mountains, step into your skis and go, go, go!
Off the Beaten Track Activities
For those who want to get off the beaten path, there are many more intriguing places and cool attractions waiting to be discovered in Tehran and throughout the country. For example, in the capital city, there are plenty of trendy cafés that are favourites with locals and visitors alike, serving western and traditional foods. Among them are Saboos Bakery Café which is well known for its waffles and pancakes and a decor that is enriched with paintings by local artists. Then there's Chum Café’s crepes and the hearty Persian breakfasts of the Luna Lounge Café.
For culture vultures, there are the art exhibitions of the Pejman Foundation's Argo Factory. This non-profit cultural institution is housed in a 1920s building that used to be a drinks factory.
If you want to explore places beyond Tehran head to Garmeh village, on the edge of the country's Central Desert. Drive into sand dunes on a 4 x 4 safari and stay at Ateshooni guesthouse, a beautifully decorated 300-year-old home.
If it is nature you seek, Iran is a showcase of some of the most amazing sights that Mother Nature has created. Explore them on eco-friendly tours organised by the safari experts at Ro Nature. Some of the places you may want to explore are the mega-deserts of Lut, the Alborz Mountains and the Hyrcanian forest by the Caspian Sea.
Iran Dress Code
Iran does not have a strict dress code for foreigners but as a guest of the country, you are required to follow cultural expectations on dress/clothing.
It is necessary for women to wear long loose-fitting clothes that disguise their figures such as trousers or a floor length skirt and a long-sleeved coat or tunic. Legs and arms should not be bare. Provided the clothes are not skin tight and your body is covered from head to toe except hands and feet you shouldn't go wrong. Hair must always be covered in public places. Don't worry if your headscarf slips, which is quite common or if you forget it when outside of your hotel or apartment. You will not be fined or carted away to jail. Most likely someone will give you a gentle and friendly reminder.
Men should wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts. Shorts are not acceptable in public places, but t-shirts are.
What to Wear According to the Season
So what should go in your suitcase? That all depends on the time of year.
If you are coming to Iran in the summer or spring, you should pack jeans, shirts, light jackets and comfortable shoes.
If you are there during the winter which can get very cold, bring warm sweaters and cardigans, long woollen socks, a winter jacket, gloves, ear muffs and a good pair of waterproof boots.
Iranian Currency and Money
Take plenty of Euros or Dollars with you to cover all your expenses because you will not be able to use your debit or credit cards or ATMs. Change your cash into Iranian Rials at banks and the official exchange offices which you will find in all the big cities, airports and major tourist areas.
Do not exchange money in the street because that is illegal and be wary of exchanging money in your hotel because the rates are typically lower. While all your notes and coins will be in Rials there is a nonofficial unit of currency that is widely used called the Toman. You may find this scratch-your-head confusing at first but just remember that one Toman equals ten Rials.
Transport in Iran
Iran is a beautiful country with awesome scenery, historical treasures and vibrant modern towns and cities. And getting around is easy, cheap and comfortable. Bus, road and rail networks are spread across the country and domestic flights can shuttle you from location to location if time is pressing.
Health in Iran (Insurance)
As with any foreign trip, health insurance is a must have to cover the costs of any medical treatment abroad, including health and medical emergencies and emergency dental treatment. It is advisable to take out a comprehensive medical insurance policy that will cover all your overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation if that becomes necessary. It is compulsory to have health insurance to get a visa and you will not be able to obtain one without it.
We recommend World Nomads Insurance. It’s valid for Iran and it’s reliable.
There are good medical facilities in major cities but they’re poorer in remote areas. If you need an ambulance during your stay dial 115.
Internet in Iran
Iran is not a digital desert. There are internet cafés in every major city and internet access in many hotels. Wi-Fi is widely available in many places but it's not always free.
Although you will easily be able to get online, connectivity can sometimes be slow and most social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked, However instagram is accessible. You can also use What’s app if you need to chat or voice call using the internet to share your wonderful travel stories.
Food, Drink & Eating Out in Iran
To dine in Iran is to indulge your taste buds in a rich variety of exotic tastes with lots of regional variations in stews, kebabs, rice dishes and desserts. You can spend months in the country and still be introduced to new flavours. Typical dishes of stews, grilled meats, fish and vegetables are accompanied by Polo, Persian rice. Fresh herbs and fruits such as apricots, prunes and raisins are frequently used.
While a lot of Persian cuisines are meat based, vegetarians do not need to worry about going hungry. There are lots of exciting vegetarian dishes and big cities such as Tehran host a number of well-regarded vegetarian eateries.
Want to feast on local cuisines in a mid-priced restaurant? A mouthwatering three-course meal for two costs between $11 and $22.
Read more on our blog post Where to eat in Tehran.
Drinking in Iran
Iran is a dry country. There is no alcohol in bars, hotels or restaurants - nothing. The manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden under Iranian law and has been since 1979. That being said a lot of drinking goes on behind closed doors but the penalty for getting caught is severe and can include imprisonment and deportation.
Carbonated soft drinks by national and international brands are popular as are fruit juices, tea, coffee and alcohol-free beer. Tap water is drinkable in most cities but to be on the safe side opt for bottled water.
Try some of the traditional drinks as well. Doogh is a savoury yogurt-based drink available in fizzy and non-fizzy varieties and Sharbat is a sweet, refreshing drink made from fruits, herbs or flower petals.
So What Are You Waiting For?
With a treasure trove of attractions, a history that runs deep and some of the kindest people in the world Iran is a richly rewarding destination that promises a memorable journey of discovery that will forever change your perceptions of this part of the Middle East.