Iran is the land of unknowns and misunderstandings! You ask why? Just like many ancient heritages in Iran that are hidden and uncovered, this country is still unknown for many people in the world. Iran is almost a new travel destination and travelers who are going to visit this unique country for the first time, have many question marks swirling around their head. Below are the answers to some of the questions that have been asked frequently by people before traveling to Iran.
This has been asked like a million times and the answer to that is a big yes! Although Iran may have been announced as an unsafe country in some medias, this country is completely a safe destination. It has even been described as “one of the safest countries I’ve traveled to.” or “Much safer and friendlier than European countries.”, by many people who have visited Iran in recent years. There are now many solo female travelers who are exploring Iran and also many families that are coming to Iran with their very young children.
Despite of all mentioned above, each traveler is required to take care of their documents, money and camera and be cautious in crowded bazaars or empty alleys.
Visitors from almost every country (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Iran) are allowed to receive Iran visa on arrival at major airports of Iran, holding their passport, individual photo and the visa fee. The duration of stay for Iran visa on arrival is 30 days and then it is extendable for another 15 days.
The passengers from other countries need to receive a letter of invitation and an authorization code before receiving their visa. The applicants can apply for the letter of invitation through the local Iranian tour operators or travel agencies. After receiving this letter, they can refer to the Iranian embassy and collect their actual visa.
The travel regulations for these 3 nationalities are a little bit more restricted but numerous people from these countries come to visit Iran every year. The travelers from UK, US and Canada are required to travel to Iran through a pre-arranged tour accompanied by an authorized leader throughout the time they are in the country. The arrival and departure flight information, hotels and the itinerary should be announced to the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) before such travelers arrive in Iran. By sticking to the pre-arranged itinerary, avoiding any political activities and not leaving the group or the leader, you can enjoy visiting Iran without any issue, as a UK, US and Canadian passport holder.
Note: The passengers mentioned above are not allowed to obtain their visa on arrival and should have received their visa beforehand.
Of course yes! Although many travelers believe that they are not allowed to travel to Iran as an unmarried couple, this is not going to be an issue at all. You can easily book your accommodation, and no one will question your marital status during your trip in Iran.
Most of Iranian cuisines are a combination of rice, meat and aromatic vegetables. different kinds of Iranian Kebab and different stews, served with rice are foods that you will have a lot during your trip. As a vegetarian or pescaterian you don’t have to worry. There are always some vegetarian and sea foods on the menus of the restaurants in Iran. With Normal amount of spice and salt and variety of vegetables and ingredients, Iranian cuisines are liked by most of travelers. Actually you should get ready for a gastronomy trip!
Money is the big challenge for foreign travelers in Iran. The credit cards do not work in Iran and the only way is that the travelers bring all their money in cash. There are plenty of exchange shops at the airports, around hotels and city attractions that allow you exchange your money to Iran Rial. Most of travelers prefer to bring their money in Euro and USD, as they are exchanged more easily than other currencies.
As mentioned in many travel websites the best time for visiting Iran is from March to first days of June and then from September to November, before it gets cold. During these months you can enjoy a mild and pleasant weather in most cities of Iran, like Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kerman and Kashan which are on the classic Iran trip routes. If you are planning your second trip to Iran, you can skip the crowded high seasons and come to Iran in winter to enjoy the mild weather in southern cities with their amazing atmosphere or choose summer to explore the cities of northwest like Tabriz and Ardebil.