Iran is one of the oldest civilizations throughout history and currently one of the biggest countries in the world. Therefore, there is so much to see in Iran, even if you travel to Iran for more than a month. Whether you enjoy walking through old bazaars or watching historical monuments, love to go to museums, or even passionate about spending a few days with nomads, Iran offers all. Here, we are going to briefly let you know what to expect when traveling to Iran.
Expect to be safe in Iran
All you may hear in international media is: Iran is not safe. However, according to two recent international reports on the level of safety in Iran, the country is one of the safest countries in the world.
According to the 2019 Travel Risk Map which was launched by global risk experts at International SOS in collaboration with Control Risks, Iran has been deemed as safe as a majority of European countries. In this research factors such as political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence), violent and petty crime, the robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters are taken into consideration.
Another report in this area is Danger Ranking which was held by Safe Around. In this report, Iran ranks 95, which means that the country is a relatively low-crime one. According to this report, there are only three areas that it is advised against all travel:
• The areas east of the line running from Bam to Jusk
• Sistan-Baluchistan Province
• The area within 20km of the entire border of Iraq
Expect to meet Friendly People in Iran
Iranian people are well known for being the friendliest people specially toward foreign tourists traveling to Iran. They may ask you to take a picture with them, or even invite you to have a coffee with them or ask you to their home. They are also very helpful, fill free to ask for help or any questions you may have. Iranian may ask you some personal questions, where you live, why you decided to travel to Iran, what you think of the country, and so on.
Expect good public transportation in Iran
When traveling to Iran you will have various options for public transport including metro lines, buses, and taxis for inner-city transports, and buses, trains, private cars, and domestic flights for intercity transports.
Let’s start with inner-city public transportation options. The Metro is available in several cities in Iran including Tehran, Shiraz, Tabriz, Mashhad, and Isfahan. It is the fastest option to get around in Tehran. The stations are easily accessible and different lines of metro cover almost all the city. If you like to take a bus, it is good to know that there are two different bus systems in Iran, especially in big cities. Regular buses and BRT which are red ones and act as express buses.
When it comes to taxis in Iran, the story is a little bit complicated. There are 5 different taxis in Iran: shuttle/shared taxis (khatti), private taxis (darbast), non-registered taxis (shakhsi), Uber-like apps: Tap30 and Snapp, and remote taxis (Bisim).
Shuttle or shared taxis are for fixed routes from a specific origin to a planned destination. These types of taxis have a fixed rate, which is not negotiable.
If you are in a hurry, or you prefer to have a private ride, you can hail a taxi and simply say ‘darbast’. It means that the driver will not pick any other passengers. It is advisable to negotiate the price before getting on.
Non-registered taxis are people who try to earn some money by giving people a ride. The same as darbast taxis, you must negotiate the price before getting on.
Tap30 and Snapp are Uber-like apps in Iran which covers almost all parts of the country. Both applications have both Farsi and English version. To use them you need to by a local Sim Card (a local mobile number).
To use Bisim Taxis, you can call 133, 1828 and 1833 in major cities in Iran to call a taxi wherever you are.
Intercity transport busses are two types, regular buses with 44 seats and VIP buses with 25 to 35 seats. Needless to say, you have more leg room on VIP buses. The prices vary according to the type of bus and the distance. Using the train is the safest option in Iran. There are 4-bed, 6-bed and the so-called ‘bus’ trains in Iran. Renting a private car is another option. You can hire a car with or without driver (if you have an international driving license). Domestic flights are the fastest and the most expensive option to travel between cities in Iran.
Expect to see a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran
22 cultural and 2 natural properties of Iran have been inscribed on the World Heritage List by 2019. It means that, in every four corners of the country you travel to, you will be able to enjoy watching one of these invaluable monuments.
Each of these items become a world heritage site as a result of years of investigation and presentation of evidence as to why they should be regarded as one. It may probably take you more than a single trip to Iran to be able to visit all of them.
Read More: 15 Days Ancient Capitals of Iran Tour
Expect to taste delicious foods when traveling to Iran
Iranian are famous for being great cooks and you can find a variety of dishes in every corner of the country. In addition, to serving some of the most common dishes in all over the country, many cities have their own local food. For example, in Shiraz, you should not miss Kalam Polo (Cubage with rice), or Gheimeh Nesar in Qazvin. The same is true for beverage and drinks. If you travel to Iran during the hot summer or cold winter, you will definitely find a suitable drink that helps you bear the heat or cold weather. Moreover, Iranian love confectionery, so in almost every city in Iran, you can find a local type of sweet. For example, Gaz in Isfahan, Baqlava in Yazd and Qazvin, and Kolompe in Kerman.
Expect to follow a different Dress Code while traveling to Iran
Iran has a strict dress code and this is one of the biggest concerns, especially for female travelers. Women have to wear a headscarf, long sleeves blouses, and long trousers. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to worry about it. When you arrive at the airport, you will see how stylish Iranian women are. Men also must wear long trousers.
Expect magnificent nature while traveling to Iran
Iran is well known for its great weather condition; it is actually called four-season country since you can experience all different weather condition at once in Iran. Moreover, you will definitely enjoy the magnificent nature of Iran. While some people think of Iran as a desert country, only one-third of Iran is desert and you can find jungles and mountains in the rest part of its area. It is a perfect place for going skiing in winter, hiking, mountain climbing, and cycling in the rest of the year. You can also enjoy scuba diving in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the southern part of the country.
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