Iran essential travel tips 14 Sep 2019 BY The Authors Group

Things to know before Travel to Iran

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Do you have a number of questions in your mind about Iranian culture, customs, and social rules and need some Iran travel tip?? 

It is not a surprise that travel to a new destination brings a number of questions in mind. Therefore, we are going to answer all of the questions that you may ask yourself before travel to Iran.

We try to update the post and add more information to it one in a while. However, we invite you to comment and ask you unanswered questions at the end so we reply to you at the soonest.


Dress Code in Iran - Women Must Wear a Headscarf (Hijab)

Dress Code in Iran - Women Must Wear a Headscarf (Hijab)

If you are traveling to Iran and wondering what is the dress code in Iran? The answer is “Hijab”. It is an Islamic dress-code which should be obeyed by both men and women in Iran. 

Women have to cover their hair and head according to that. They are also expected to wear loose clothing and cover all their body except for their hands, face, and feet. 

Wearing shorts by Men is not acceptable in the public. All tourists are subject to these customs.

Read more: What is the dress code in Iran?


Religious Etiquette in Iran

Religious Etiquette in Iran

In order to visit a mosque or any other holy shrine in Iran, women should wear a chador before entering the place. There is usually a kiosk at the entrance gate where you can rent one. 

Men are expected to wear long-sleeved shirts when visiting a mosque or holy shrine. Please note that you have to take off your shoes before entering a prayer area of a mosque.

Read more: 10 Things Tourists Should Never Do in Iran

Forbidden items to bring with you to Iran

Entering every type of narcotics, alcoholic drinks, weapon & munitions, every type of Aerial photography camera (identification camera), every type of sender & receiver sets, and also every type of book, periodical, multimedia that are a promoter of moral & belief wantonness, is forbidden.

 Read more: Traveling to Iran Visa-Free in 2020

Alcohol is illegal in Iran

If drinking and partying is your thing, we have a piece of bad news for you; drinking alcohol is illegal in Iran. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, drinking alcohol has become forbidden. You are also not allowed to bring alcohol with you to the country. 

Instead, try Iranian traditional drinks, such as Sharbat, dough, and different types of herbal tea which are so refreshing.


Local Time

October – March: Greenwich Mean Time plus 2:30 hours (G.M.T. + 2.5). 

April – September: Greenwich Mean Time plus 3:30 hours (G.M.T. + 3.5).


Iranian Calendar

Iran's official calendar is a solar calendar. Its origin can be traced back to the 11th century when a group of astronomers (including the well-known poet Omar Khayyam) created what is known as the Jalali calendar. 

However, a number of changes have been made to the calendar since then. The current calendar has been used in Iran since 1925. 

The Persian year starts at the vernal equinox. If the astronomical vernal equinox falls before noon (Tehran true time) on a particular day, then that day is the first day of the year. 

If the astronomical vernal equinox falls afternoon, the following day will be the first day of the year. Note that there is a leap year once every 4 years. The month of Esfand has 29 days in an ordinary year but 30 days in a leap year.

Read more: Best Time to Visit Iran: A Season-by-Season Guide


The weekend is Friday

A week in Iran starts on Saturday and last by Friday. Therefore, all the banks, government offices and most businesses are closed on Fridays. Some also are closed on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open.


Business Hours

Here are business hours on banks, exchange offices, private sector, government sector and shops in Iran.

Business Type

Business Hours

(From Saturday till Wednesday)

Business Hours




08:00 - 13:00

Exchange Offices

10:30 – 17:00

10:30 - 13:00

Private Sector 


08:30 - 13:00

Government Sector


08:00 - 12:00


Flexible but typically 8:00 till 23:00

Flexible but typically 8:00 till 23:00


International Credit Cards - no Visa or Mastercard

International Credit Cards - no Visa or Mastercard

International Credit Cards like Visa and MasterCard are not accepted in Iran, therefore to make any exchange in the country, you have to bring cash with you.

However, the National Bank of Iran has taken a helpful step to resolve this problem by providing a Tourist Card to help tourists enjoy a safer and easier journey in Iran.

Note that, all types of cash such as US dollars; Euro; GBP and …, are acceptable in Iran, and can be exchanged for Rial.

Read more: All about Prepaid Iranian Debit Cards for International Travelers



Iran currency

The official currency in Iran is called Rial (code IRR). However, when talking about prices in Iran you may hear “Toman” which is equal to ten Rials.

Despite this usage, amounts of money and prices of goods are virtually always written in Rials. For example, the sign on the bottle of milk states the price in rials, e.g., "20,000 Rials," even though the clerk, if asked, would say that the milk costs "2000 tomans."

Read more: All about Iranian Currency and Money Exchange in Iran


Language - Farsi is the official language of Iran

Language - Farsi is the official language of Iran

The majority of the population speaks the Persian (Farsi) language, which is also the official language of the country. There are also some other dialects spoken by people around Iran.

Turkic, Luri, Lari, Kurdish, and Arabic are the languages people speak in a different part of the country. Armenian, Georgian, and Neo-Aramaic are also minority languages spoken by people.

Read more: What language is spoken in Iran


Electrical current

220 AC voltage and 50 Hz, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs. Visitors may need a transformer, which most hotels can provide.




Telephone services within Iran are efficient and reliable. International calls can be made from public and private phones and fax services are available at most hotels. 

Internet access is widespread via Internet cafes and hotels.

National Dialing Code in Iran is 0098. 

Mobile (cell phone) services are provided by three different companies in Iran. 

You can check their websites to understand their services and tariffs:


Internet and mobile data in Iran

Nowadays, you can access the Internet almost everywhere in Iran with some limitations. Basically, there are three ways to access the internet in Iran.

First of all, you can buy a local Sim Card, so you can have 24 hours access to the Internet. You can also use free Wi-Fi at Hotels, Café’s, and public centers. 

In addition, you can buy a pocket Wi-Fi internet, a portable Wi-Fi hot-spot that gives you access to the internet.


You need a VPN to access some Social Media Platforms (Facebook and Tweeter)

Having access to a number of websites is blocked by the Iranian government. At the time of writing, these included Facebook and Twitter as two major social media platforms. However, Skype and Instagram are accessible at the time of writing.

In addition to these social media platforms, BBC and most Western news services are also banned in Iran. 

To get around blocked websites, you need a VPN service to freely search on the web. Although it can slow things down considerably, which can be particularly frustrating where the Wi-Fi is already slow.


Health in Iran 

Health in Iran 

Generally, Iran considers as a healthy country to travel in and you don’t need any vaccinations before entering Iran. 

However, it would be a good idea to bring some necessary medicine with you. Note that you can find the highest level of professionalism, safety and care to patients with International standards in Iran. 

Many doctors have educated in Western Countries and speak English fluently. One thing you should be concerned about is that treatment is never free, so it is wise to have travel insurance with health coverage.

Read more: How to get Iran Travel Insurance


No handshake between sexes

No handshake between sexes

While traveling around Iran, always remember that Iran is an Islamic country and you have to respect Islamic rules. For instance, handshaking is only between men or between women, especially in public or public offices.

However, some people may return a lukewarm handshake so as not to offend you. But others won’t be so considerate, which can result in some major embarrassment.


Don’t travel with your dog

Don’t travel with your dog

In many countries around the world, dogs are one of the most popular pets. However, according to Islamic rules, having a dog is illegal. 

Therefore, the Iranian government made keeping dogs illegal in the country. Therefore, bringing dogs with you to Iran and walking the dogs in public places is forbidden.


Iranian Don’t Hate Americans

If you are an American and wondering how people in Iran will welcome you when they heard that, the answer is: don’t worry, they LOVE Americans.

While in many international news and media you see that local authorities keep saying “Down with the USA”, people are not like that, and they don’t hate Americans at all. 

This is absolutely a conflicting message that travelers are continually confronted with when visiting Iran.


American and UK citizens need tour

Iranian People are Friendly anIranian Don’t Hate Americansd Hospitable 

Iranian government and authorities have many doubts about American and UK citizens traveling to Iran. It is not easy for these citizens to visit Iran. It starts with a lengthy visa process and a required guide to accompany you during your visit. 

American and UK citizens need tour and full-time tour guide to accompany them from their arrival in Iran till their departure. If you need a visa, hotel reservation, or any other travel services in Iran, please contact us at your convenience. 

We will check your request and reply to you as soon as possible.

Read more: 6 Reasons for Traveling to Iran with a Tour guide or an Iranian tour operator


Iranians Aren’t Arabs

Due to its location in the Middle East, and citizens who are Muslims, many people think of Ian as an Arabian Country. However, Iran means “land of the Aryans” and is excluded from the list of Arab League Nations in the Middle East and North Africa Region. 

Iranians are Persian, the only minority ethnic group in Iran which is Arab, is the people who are living in the southern parts of the county. 

The official language in Iran is also Farsi or Persian which is far from the Arabic language.


Iran is safe

Iran is safe

When it comes to safety, Iran is one of the safest places in the world, and people are very friendly and helpful wherever you travel to according to two recent international reports. 

According to the 2019 Travel Risk Map, launched by global risk experts International SOS in collaboration with Control Risks, Iran has been deemed as safe as a majority of European countries when it comes to travel security.

In another report, SafeAround has compiled and analyzed data from several public sources to make a safety index that allows ranking the world’s countries by safety. 

In this ranking list, Iran stands at the 95th row, which means that the country is a relatively low-crime one.

Read more: Is it safe to travel to Iran?


Different Types of Toilets in Iran

Most of the toilets in Iran at public places and Iranian homes are squat toilets, however, these days there’s usually a stall with a western one. While some public toilets are regularly cleaned, others are very definitely not. 

You can always find a toilet at mosques, petrol stations, bus and train stations, and airport terminals. There are no restrooms on the buses, but they do make stops at rest areas.

It’s good to know that in Iran the toilets are separated due to Islamic culture and you can easily recognize because it has the sign for each sex on the door.


If you’re a Vegetarian

If you’re a Vegetarian

Iranian are well-known for being great cooks, and Persian dishes have a great variety in every corner of the country. While different types of Kebabs and stews are very popular in Iran, you should know that fresh herbs and vegetables are one of the most important ingredients in Iranian food.

 Some of the most delicious and popular vegetarian dishes in Iran are Mirza Ghasemi, Kashk-e Badenjan, Ash Reshteh, Kookoo Sabzi, and Kookoo Sibzamini.

In addition, there are different types of Polo with mixed vegetables that you can easily find in every restaurant.

Read more: Best dishes in Iran for vegetarians


Unmarried foreign couples can stay in the same hotel room

You may have heard that unmarried Iranian are not allowed to stay in the same room in the hotel in Iran according to the Islamic rules. 

However, this rule is not implied for foreign people and unmarried foreign couples can stay in the same hotel room.



One of the best things about Iran is its proud people. Depending on where you travel to Iran, there will be more or less educated people and more or fewer city folks which change their understanding, beliefs, and behavior as in any part of the world.

Iranians of all parts are kind, warm, friendly, helpful, proud, generous, and close. There is one thing that ties them all together and that’s Iran.



Iran has many different cultural groups such as Azeri, Kurdish, Persian, etc, each proud of their own culture and of being Iranian.

Due in major part to the long history of Iran and its invasion by other countries over centuries, Iranians are very sensitive about certain things.

Do not call Iranians “Arabs” or “Muslims”. They are not Arab and they are mostly Shia Muslims. Do not use the expressions “the Gulf” and “the Arabian Gulf”. It is the Persian Gulf.



Iran has destinations to offer any type of interest. From mountains for skiing and hiking to beaches for swimming to cities for sightseeing, to history for uncovering.



This is a polite exchange that takes place in all aspects of life in Iran, in shops, in streets, in businesses, at homes.

Simply stated, it is a form of one person making an offering and the other, refusing it. This ritual may repeat itself several times before the individuals finally determine whether the offer and refusal are real or simply polite.

Be very careful how and with whom you taarof so that it does not interfere with your stay. Use common sense as to when to do it and when not to.



It is not common to tip in Iran except for certain things such as bellboys in a hotel. At the airport, the luggage carts are free for anyone to use but if you get assistance from someone with the cart, you should tip him.

People generally leave a 10% tip in fancy restaurants.



Do not be afraid to ask any Iranian anything. If they speak English, they will endeavor to help you to the best way they can. They will not stray you or makeup stories.

If asking for directions, as in any other country make sure to ask a few people as you go along until you reach your destination.

If you have any questions that are not answered in this article, feel free to ask in the comments, we will answer as soon as possible.

If you have any questions that are not answered in this article, feel free to ask in the comments, we will answer as soon as possible.


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