You should know a couple of things before traveling to this country. Here are some information about Iran, the best time to travel, drinking water, Money, Iranian culture, alcoholic drinks, getting a visa, Internet, telecommunication and accommodation system and safety in Iran.
General Information about Iran
Iran is a country with thousand years of history. It is an ancient land with diverse nature, history, art and architecture, language, literature and culture.
It is an Islamic Republic; the official religion of the country is Islam and the majority of the population is Shia.
Working week starts from Saturday to Wednesday. Friday and sometimes Thursdays are the weekend.
The official language of Iran is Farsi, but many Iranians speak Persian, Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Lori, Baluchi, Gilaki, Taleshi and Arabic. There are different dialects and accents throughout the country.
The country’s population is over 70 millions. Tehran is the capital and the largest city in this country. Tehran is the Iranian’s political, cultural, commercial and industrial center.
Safety in Iran is an issue which concerns many tourists attention. Iran is a really safe country and many travelers are surprised by the safety they experience in Iran because of the false media information they heard about Iran.
About Iran’s climate
This country is a high plateau. Annual rainfall varies in different parts of the country and in different seasons. Desert and semi-desert areas occupy more than half of the country. Iran has a high climatic diversity. From North to South, we gradually face four different climate patterns; Moderate and humid, Warm and dry, Cold and mountainous and Warm and humid.
Best time to travel to Iran
Iran is a big country, so temperature differs in different parts of the country, and in different seasons. For instance, Tabriz and Tehran are freezing cold in late March, but Isfahan is warm in late March.
Generally, the best time to visit Iran is during the spring (late February – late May), and autumn (late September to early November). There is ideal temperature across most parts of Iran from late February until May, and then again from late September to early November. Meanwhile, winter and summer are best avoided because temperature can become very cold in winter, and temperature frequently decreases into the 40’s (C) in summer. Therefore, it might not be the best time to visit.
If you want to be able to stay with many locals, New Year holiday called Nowruz won’t be a good time to travel to Iran because everyone is visiting families, most places are closed and all hotels are full.
About Iran’s culture
Iranian’s customs, traditions and culture is so beautiful.
- Hospitality: Iranians are very hospitable to foreigners. You should be fortunate enough to experience Iranian hospitality, and then they will extremely impress you by their warmth. They ensure you that you are looked after well, and well fed! In Iranians culture, people benefit any opportunity to offer the fruit bowl and tea to welcome a guest after lunch and dinner.
- family bond: In Iran, family matters are very important, as they take their responsibilities for their family very seriously.
- Great respect: They have great respect for the elderly; for example they greet the oldest people first.
- Taarof (Iranian Politeness): Taarof is a system of politeness that includes both verbal and non-verbal communication which can be quite confusing, but it shows humbleness and respectfulness.
- Greeting: The most common greeting way in the country is “salaam alaykum” or simply “salaam”. It means hello. In Iranian’s culture, men kiss other men and women kiss other women at social events. If they meet each other on the street, a handshake is much more common way of greeting. In fact, in formal situations, only handshakes with people of the same gender, whereas in informal situations Iranians kiss three times on each cheek.
- If they invite you to an Iranian house check to see if the host is wearing shoes. If not, remove yours at the door.
Drinking water in Iran
Tourists should not drink water from rivers or lakes because these may contain bacteria and virus. On the other hand, the tap water is chlorinated, so local people can drink water from the tap with no problems, but it may cause diarrhea to new visitors. Thus, Bottled water, which is widely available, is the best alternative for new visitors and tourists for the first few weeks while their body develops immunity.
We recommend you to use bottled water for drinking and tap water for washing.
Money in Iran
First, do not get confused: The common currency in Iran is Iranian Rial. In fact, the official currency in Iran is “Rial” but Iranians use the “Toman” instead of Rial in their daily life, and it sometimes may be confusing for you as a traveler. You should know that 1 toman = 10 rials.
Second, bring all the cash you need: Public places in Iran do not accept International cards because of the sanctions. The best currency to bring with you is US Dollars or Euro. If you need to exchange your money please use a bank or money exchange. We do not recommend exchanging your money at Iranian hotel, handicrafts shops and some restaurants because you will not get a fair.
Alcoholic Drinks in Iran
Do not think about Alcohol in Iran because it is illegal and banned. In Iran, If caught drinking alcohol, you could be looking at some jail time or a fine. In this country, all drinks in café and restaurants are non-alcoholic like Delster, (flavored with apple, lemon, etc) or foreign-made ones like Bavaria, Hoffenberg, etc with similar flavors. So Say goodbye to alcohol and hello to DOUGH.
About Iran’s Visa
The visa requirements for entry into Iran differ depending on the passport that you hold as any other countries. Citizens of many countries are eligible for a visa on arrival for up to 30 days. You can get Iran visa at the airport.
Internet and telecommunication in Iran
When you travel to Iran, you can get in touch with your family, friends, etc. through various means of telecommunication and internet. You can use landlines, mobile phones, fax, internet, etc, but you had better get prepared for them before you travel to the country.
In the major cities, the speed of the internet is not too bad and you can get a connection that is about the same speed as an ADSL1 connection.
You will need a VPN in order to see certain websites. Government blocks several sites in Iran such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, but Instagram and whatsapp are accessible. So download multiple VPNs.
You can stay connected by buying a prepaid SIM Card with data. Buy a SIM Card from the airport or the city center. It is affordable with very low prices and use them from both landlines and mobile phones. Iran cell SIM cards are not expensive in Iran. Buy them and make a phone call to any part of the world.
Iran is a diverse country with different ethnicities and linguistic groups all unified with one Iranian nationality which is one of the reasons of Iranian being so welcoming toward tourists.
Unlike many other countries, the selection of Iranian hotels in hotel booking websites is limited due to international sanctions, but through our website you can book your hotel online without any trouble.