List of Contents:
1) A brief history of Iran
2) Tourism in Iran
3) Best time to travel to Iran
4) How to travel to Iran
5) What to need for traveling to Iran?
6) What to do when you arrive
7) Public transport in Iran
8) Dress code in Iran
9) Accommodation while you are traveling to Iran
10) Iran currency
11) The best destinations to visit in Iran
12) What does “Tarof” mean in Persian
13) How to learn Farsi while traveling to Iran
14) Accessing Internet and Sim Card while traveling to Iran
15) How safe Iran is

A brief history of Iran

Travel to Iran, because it really worth a visit. You should consider Iran ancient history and culture while deciding to travel to Iran. One of the oldest centers of civilization in the world, Iran or Persia had played an important global role for millennia. The First Persian Empire stretched from one corner of the known world to the other and 40% of the world’s total population lived and died under the reign of The Persians during 480 BC. Once a superpower of immense proportions, Iran has been invaded many times and suffered during the medieval ages as it was ravaged by the unstoppable Mongol hordes. Despite this, Persian culture refused to be diluted and Iran maintained a strong national psyche. Iran sided with Germany during World War II and was promptly invaded by British, American and Russian forces.

 

Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran as an emerging industry has attracted a lot of attention of many countries in the recent years,. Travel to Iran as an affordable destination, and the center of culture and history has been increased recently. The more tourists share their nice experience of traveling to Iran, the number of visitors willing to visit Iran will increase. Iran is a vast country which fulfills most of desires and expectation from hitchhiking to history, culture, anthropology, trekking, and religious trips. Travel to Iran is affordable and worthy for tourists from all around the globe.

 

Best time to travel to Iran

Iran is a huge country with amazing diverse weather pattern. It is extremely well-known for being a four-season country. The best time to visit Iran depends on what you want to do. Skiing is best in the winter, and this is also a good time to visit the deserts and Hormuz; during the summer the desert can reach temperatures of seventy degrees! The best time to travel around Iran is between March to May and September to December. Travel to Iran in these months and enjoy a really nice weather.

 

How to travel to Iran

There are two International airports in Tehran. Mehrabad (THR) and Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) which handle almost all the international flights. IKA is about 30 kilometers Southwest of Tehran, and is the largest airport in the capital of Iran. Roads in Iran are in a good status and for your long movements are good option. Railway network is another good way to move from side to side in your traveling in Iran.

What you need in your travel to Iran

Visa:

Since 2016, most of travelers from all around the world can get a visa on arrival at the airport. You can get your visa issued in advance in the Iranian embassy in your country. To do this you need an authorization code which you can ask from travel agencies or NAJA to send it back for you. Chiyakotravel group is also here to help you out by any question in this regard. We have an experienced team to ask for your code. Officially British, Canadian and American tourists cannot get a visa on arrival and they can only travel to Iran with a guide. By default, visas are valid for thirty days. You can extend it for two weeks for two times; it is relatively easy to travel to Iran for two months. Do not forget that if you want to sort your visa in advance, you will need an authorization code. The other things you need are:

submitting an information form: This form is like a Visa Application Form, including the contact details for your address and telephone number in Iran (hotel booking, friend/ family, or travel agency). You will need a hotel booking.

submitting an information form: couple of passport photos and an appropriate photo (passport sized photos).
Receive Visa Approval and visa payment details.
Receive the Visa Stamp (Full Page).
Pass through Immigration Control (Entry Stamp).
Patiently answer any questions about why you are traveling to Iran.

Insurance:

Iran Health Insurance Cover; either bring a printed copy of your health insurance or get one at the airport for around €15. The Passport and Visa Department will need it.The whole process can take between 1-4 hours depending on the airport and terminal passenger flux.

 

Public transport in Iran

In Iran there is a convenience and reliable public transport which are as follows:

Hanging around by bus while traveling to Iran:

You can see many bus stations all over large cities. It worth for those who are looking for spending less money during their travel to Iran. There is also Bus rapid transit (BRT). People call it bus way or transit way which is a public transportation system. This system has a good capacity, and supports many routs in large cities. It is so cheap, reliable and convenient in a way you can save your time and money while you are traveling to Iran. For longer distances you can use VIP buses. All of them have huge padded seats and plenty of leg-room. It will be really comfortable for a long journey between cities around Iran.

Hanging around by train while traveling to Iran:

The other alternative for your journey is train. It will be a pretty interesting experience for first-time visitors. As you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes on your way as well as dry desserts and lands. Actually, for long run such as the distance between far cities, train will be more preferable. Because it is more comfortable than buses, and there will be enough space for you to lie down and have a good rest. Train tickets are cheap too. Buying train tickets in Iran is easy. You can ask a Farsi speaking friend to check routes and fares at Ali Baba. Another way would be to attend in train stations and buy one from ticket offices there.

booking flight while traveling to Iran:

Another affordable transportation system in Iran is airplane system. If you are tired, or do not have enough time to spend on long journeys in Iran, taking a flight is the best option for you. In tight-schedule travel to Iran, you can visit four to five cities of Iran in one week by taking domestic flights between one or two destinations.

Renting a car while traveling to Iran:

To be honest, traffic in Iran will drive you crazy as people do not obey the rules regularly, and there is also a sizeable number of cars in urban areas. In large cities such as Tehran and Isfahan, even crossing the streets seems dangerous. But as far as you get used to the system it will be fun for you that you never forget about it. If you are an experienced driver, you can easily rent a car from car agencies for a limited time with a reasonable price. Even though locals do not keep the speed limited in highways, try to keep your speed reasonable and be aware that there are traffic cameras in many ports in large cities. Some of people in Iran are so hospitable that they lend their vehicles to tourist or they offer them a ride in their destinations. Enjoy talking with locals and getting along with them in your travel to Iran.

Hanging around by Underground system (Metro):

while traveling to Iran: The best way to escape from busy roads in large cities in Iran is subway. Specially during hectic rush hour you can get around by a cheap and reliable option which is Metro. Tehran Metro is a useful app to help with Metro Navigation.

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Dress code in Iran

Fashion in Iran is surprisingly update. In your travel to Iran you will visit many women who keep up with the latest fashion. Thy dye their hair in some outrageous colors such as blue, purple, pink, golden and blond. Tattoos and hand painting are common between youngsters. They pay attention to their look a lot in a way that you will see many nose jobs among young girls and boys in streets. Manicuring is another popular trend among Iranians. Legally, all women in Iran must cover their hair with a headscarf. To obey the rules, you have to wear Hijab and avoid wearing fleshy and tight clothes. Put-on long-sleeved tops or a coat, jeans or baggy pants. Men in Iran should also cover their skin. In most formal places they cannot wear T-shirts. But it is OK to wear T-shirt in streets. Do not wear shorts. If you have tattoos, keep them covered as tattoos are not a good sign in Islamic culture. Even young locals keep theirs secret. Drinking alcohol, having mixed parties between men and women are illegal. So try keeping away from any suggestion in this area.

Accommodation while you are traveling to Iran:

Based on your budget, there are many options for you to stay during your travel to Iran, from hostels to 5-stars hotels. You can ask a travel agency to check the availability and price of hotels you are looking for. Ask Chiyakotravel for the best place in your stay that fits your needs best. Our team is in touch with many hotels and other accommodations, and we will give you the best possible price based on your budgeting and schedule. So, save your time and tell us what kind of place do you like to stay. Be sure that our prices will be much better than booking directly from hotel websites.

 

Iran currency:

If it is your first time traveling to Iran, you should know the fact that debit or credit cards cannot be useful. We do not recommend you to use traveler’s cheques. So the best option for you is using cash. We suggest you to bring US dollars or Euros and change your money into Rials at exchange offices. Be careful, if you are swapping money on the street, because there are always some people who want to screw tourists by offering them fake or low-value notes. Ferdosi Square in Tehran is the place of exchange shops with the best rates. As we mentioned before, Rial is official currency in Iran, Rial is not very common between Iranians and you will hear Toman more in shops though. One Toman is one tenth of Rial. For example, if someone says something is 5000 Tomans, it means it costs 50000 Rials. When you are walking down the streets or bazaars, you can check the prices on product stickers. In restaurants, coffee shops and other places you can check with shop assistants that if the currency is Rial or Toman.

 

The best destinations to visit Iran

To answer this question that where to go while traveling to Iran, we should say that there are plenty of incredible places to go to in Iran. If you like history and culture, Nomad tours to visit and check their life style will bring you an unforgettable experience. Even after a long journey around this paradise, you feel there are a lot that you have not seen yet. If you like nature Iran North would be a perfect destination for you. There are also many islands and deserts for tourists who enjoy arid weather. Below are a few of most well-known places to check out when traveling to Iran.

Tehran city:

After your arrival in IKIA airport, you are in Tehran, the capital of Iran, and one of the best places for visitors to have fun. Tehran is unlike anywhere else in Iran. Although the city looks so smoky and polluted, there are many mysteries which makes it really interesting. The number of youngsters living by is huge with strange interest to the latest fashion, underground and hidden culture and ancient history. During your trip around Tehran, do not forgot Darband and Darake for having traditional food and enjoying fresh weather, talking to locals and joining them. Here are some spots in Tehran that we highly recommend. The Roof of Tehran is a unique place to hike with a (non alcoholic) beer in the evening. If you like skiing, outside of Tehran, there are multiple ski slopes. Dizin is the best known, which offer some of the best value skiing in the world. Below are a few of most well-known places to check out when traveling to Tehran.

Golestan palace: One of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran, and of world heritage status, the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Arg (“citadel”). It consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts and European presents from the 18th and 19th centuries. If you travel to Iran, do not miss this palace.

Grand Bazaar: The maze of bustling alleys and the bazaaris (shopkeepers) that fill the bazaar make it fascinating. Despite being popular as the Grand Bazaar, most of the architecture is less than 200 years old and pedestrian. This is the best chance to meet locals face to face and be familiar with Iranian life style during traveling t Iran.

National Museum: The National Museum of Iran is in Tehran. It is an institution formed of two complexes; the Museum of Ancient Iran and the Museum of the Islamic Era, which were opened in 1937 and 1972, respectively. The institution hosts historical monuments dating back through preserved ancient and medieval Iranian antiquities, including pottery vessels, metal objects, textile remains, and some rare books and coins. If you like history, Iran is the heart of mysteries and historical secrets, so do not miss this museum in your travel to Iran.

Nature Bridge: (The Tabi’at Bridge or Nature Bridge, is the largest pedestrian overpass in Tehran, Iran. The 270-metre bridge connects two public parks—Taleghani Park and Abo-Atash Park—by spanning Modarres Expressway, one of the main highways in Northern Tehran).

Saadabad palace: Saadabad is a cultural and historical complex that covers an area of 110 hectares and is located at the northern most part of Tehran. The complex contains 18 palaces belonged to the royal families of Qajar and Pahlavi, in a unique and beautiful garden. The complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s, and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved there in the 1970s. After the 1978 Revolution, the complex became a museum.

Isfahan city

A piece of paradise, harmonic center of architecture, tree-lined streets, green parks, and place of some of the world’s most stunning bridges. Isfahan is a popular stop and Iranians call it as “Half of The World”. In Isfahan do not miss Naghsh-e-jahan square which consists of many amazing bazars and some monuments from Safavid era. Below are a few of most well-known places to check out when traveling to Isfahan.

Chehel sotoun palace: Chehel Sotoun is a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool, in Isfahan, Iran, built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions.

Nagsh-e Jahan square: Naqsh-e Jahan Square, is a square situated at the centre of Isfahan city, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is 160 meters wide by 560 meters long. Many Tourists claim that this square impressed them in a way that they never forgot the time of their visit during their travel to Iran.

Imam Mosque: The Shah Mosque, also known as Royal Mosque or Imam Mosque after Iranian revolution, is a mosque in Isfahan, Iran, standing in south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square. Built during the Safavid Empire, ordered by Abbas I of Persia.

Aali Qapoo Palace: Built at the very end of the 16th century as a residence for Shah Abbas I, this six-storey palace also served as a monumental gateway to the royal palaces that lay in the parklands beyond (Ali Qapu means ‘Gate of Ali’). Named after Abbas ’hero, the Imam Ali, it was built to make an impression, and at six storeys and 38m tall, with its impressive elevated terrace featuring 18 slender columns, it dominates one side of Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Sq.

Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque: Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Esfahan, Iran

Khajoo Bridge: Khaju Bridge is a bridge in the province of Isfahan, Iran, which has been described as the finest in the province. It was built by the Persian Safavid king, Shah Abbas II around 1650, on the foundations of an older bridge. In the evening, people gather together singing under the bridge structures, be sure to join them in your travel to Iran.

Yazd city

If you have enough time, we highly recommend you to visit a city of history and culture. It will surprise you when you visit winding lanes, blue-tiled domes and soaring minarets. This city is like a dessert and the weather is dry and arid. Below are a few of most well-known places to check out when traveling to Yazd.

Dolatabad Garden: This garden is one of the Iranian gardens registered in UNESCO, and also Badgir (wind Catcher) inside the garden is the tallest brick one in the world.

Zoroastrian fire temple: The Local Cellar is that the Zoroastrians from late to 40 years ago, their Dead in accordance with Culture and Customs and during special ceremonies Entered the Cellar

Shiraz city

The heart of 2000 years culture, Shiraz is scholars, poets, nightingales and wine city. Some of the biggest world poets such as Hafiz, and Sadi lived in this amazing city. Shiraz is a must in Iran that will impress you for a long time. Below are a few of most well-known places to check out when traveling to Shiraz.

Shah e Cheragh Holy shrine: To Pray and Visit the shah cheragh complex (Shāh Chérāgh is a funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz, Iran, housing the tomb of the brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Mūsā al-Kādhimand brothers of ‘Alī ar-Ridhā.

Tomb of Hafiz: The Tomb of Hafiz and its associated memorial hall, the Hāfezieh, are two memorial structures erected in the northern edge of Shiraz, Iran, in memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez.

Nasir almolk mosque: The Nasir al-Molk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque, is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It is one of the most stunning buildings in the world. The mosque is full of glittering stained-glass windows. When the sun shines at the right angle the entire building is filled with multi colored rainbows that swing across the floor and walls.

Eram Garden: Eram Garden is a historic Persian garden in Shiraz, Iran. The garden, and the building within it, are located at the northern shore of the Khoshk River in the Fars province.

Karim khan Citadel: The Karim Khan Castle is a citadel located in the downtown Shiraz, southern Iran. It was built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty and is named after Karim Khan, and served as his living quarters. In shape it resembles a medieval fortress.

Vakil Mosque: The Vakil Mosque is a mosque in Shiraz, southern Iran, situated to the west of the Vakil Bazaar next to its entrance. This mosque was built between 1751 and1773, during the Zand period; however, it was restored in the 19th century during the the Qajar period.

Vakil Bazaar: Vakil Bazaar is the main bazaar of Shiraz, Iran, located in the historical enter of the city. It is thought that the market originally was established by the Buwayhids.

Quran Gate: Qur’an Gate is a historic gate in the north of Shiraz, Iran. It is located at the north-eastern entrance of the city, on the way to Marvdasht and Isfahan, between Baba Kouhi and Chehel Maqam Mountains near Allah-O-Akbar Gorge.

Persepolis: Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenes Empire. It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenes style of architecture. The ancient capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis is simply awesome. The city was sacked by Alexander the Great and burnt to a crisp but many of its huge stone statues and buildings carved into the rock still stand. The ancient city was totally lost beneath the sands for over a thousand years and only rediscovered in the 1930s. The best part of the city is the hills housing the tombs of Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III, it’s a poignant place to pause and soak in the sheer scale of the city stretching away from you. It’s easy to hitch a ride from Shiraz and takes under an hour to get to Persepolis; try to arrive before ten or eleven as it gets very hot.

Pasargad: Pasargadae was the capital of the Achaemenes Empire under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction; it was also the location of his tomb.

Ghalat: It is a small village nearby the city which still is off-the-beaten track, as most of strangers have not heard about it a lot. The city is the center of flowers and herbs that grow wildly within the hills. This may be a great place to watch the sun rising.

What does “Tarof” mean in Persian

Iranian’s hospitality and kindness are very popular among travelers from all around the world. Tarof is an Iranians custom. You should know it, because sometimes their behavior may be confusing for you. Actually when Iranian want to show their politeness and sincere, they offer something for free even though it is not for free. When they Start it, they suppose that the other parties understand it. In response, you can thank them, and in some occasions, you can accept their offer if they persist on offering their favor. Iranians do not like the idea of asking for money as the Persian culture dictates that you should be extremely hospitable to guests.

How to learn Farsi while traveling to Iran

It seems really challenging to learn Farsi as the Persian words are strange specially in pronunciation. Here are some of the most useful phrases in Farsi that will help you communicate with locals who are not good at English. We strongly recommend you to learn numbers before your arrival. Here are some pictures that will help you out.
Can you do me a favor please? – Mishe ye lotfi be man bokonid?
How much is it? Chand toman?

Accessing Internet and Sim Card while traveling to Iran

As you may know, traveling to Iran you should consider buying a temporary Sim Card which is so cheap. You can activate Internet on your Sim Card by offering customized internet packages that fits your need. The speed of the Internet in Iran is not so bad, and with the help of 4G technology it is really helpful. Most of hotels and guesthouses are equipped by a fast Internet facility. Unfortunately, due to some political issues, Facebook, The BBC, Twitter, Youtube and some other websites are blocked and you cannot access them without VPN.

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How safe Iran is

Many tourists claim that they were in doubt to choose Iran as a touristic destination or not, as there are many negative points in media about Iran. Most of parents and families do not allow their loved ones to enter to Iran because they are so pessimistic about Iran’s situation. Unexpectedly, these tourists will change their idea all of sudden, just after their arrival to Iran. They feel the warmth and welcoming sense from the first moment coming to Iran. Traveling to Iran is a totally safe experience. Iran is a very peaceful country and one of the most stable nations in The Middle East; just obey the rules and follow dress code.

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