Iran essential travel tips 19 Nov 2019 BY The Authors Group

All about Iranian Currency and Money Exchange in Iran

If you are planning to travel to Iran, you have probably made a decision about your destination cities, booked your flights, made a hotel reservation, and so on. Now it is time to ask yourself some questions about Iranian Currency and money exchange in Iran.

You may have some questions about: What is Iran’s currency? In what values are the banknotes and coins published? Where to exchange my money? What is the exchange rate in Iran? 

In this post, we try to answer all these questions. 

One important thing to remember is that, due to the sanctions over Iran, no credit cards are working at the current time. So, you need to bring enough cash with yourself when traveling to Iran.

Read more: Is it safe to visit Iran in 2022?


What is the currency of Iran? 

The official currency in Iran is Rial (code IRR) and all notes are printed in Iranian Rial. 

However, when talking about prices in Iran you may hear “Toman” from local people. But don’t get confused, there are no two types of currencies in Iran. 

This is only how people use to talk about the price of any goods. One Toman is equal to ten Rials. Despite this usage, amounts of money and prices of goods are virtually always written in Rial. 

For example, the sign on a bottle of milk states the price in Rial, e.g., "20,000 Rial," even though the clerk, if asked, would say that the milk costs "2000 Toman."

Read more: Things to know before Travel to Iran


In what values are the banknotes and coins? 

The Central Bank of Iran publishes the banknotes in the values of 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000, 500000, and 1000000 Rial. 

You can find both Farsi and English numbers on the banknotes. 

There are coins in the values of 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 Rial. Coins are marked only in Farsi numerals. 

Read more: Travel guide for solo women travelers in Iran

What is the best currency to take to Iran?

If you are thinking of what type of cash is acceptable in Iran or what is the best currency to take to Iran, the answer is really simple, almost all foreign currencies are acceptable in Iran. 

It is also possible to exchange all types of currencies in big cities. However, it is recommended to bring USD or EUR with you to Iran as they have better exchange rates in comparison with other currencies.


What is the Iran currency exchange rate?

The exchange rate is a bit complicated in Iran. You should be aware that, there are two different exchange rates in Iran. The first one is the official one, and the other one is the market rate. 

The official exchange rate in Iran is always much lower than the market rate. Therefore, if you want to exchange your money with the highest value you need to find an exchange office in the city, at the airport, or at the local bazaar. 

For instance, as the time of writing the official exchange rate of Iranian Rial to USD is 42,000 Rial. However, the rate of the market is about 113,000 Rial. The best way to find out the exchange rate in Iran is by surfing the internet. There are many websites that provide daily exchange rates. 

If you are walking in a bazaar or business district of the town, you can easily notice the exchange rate by checking the electronic billboards at every exchange window shop.

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


Where to exchange money in Iran? 

One thing to always remember that is the one and only place to exchange your money is a licensed exchange office. 

Almost all the licensed exchange offices in Tehran have a branch in Ferdowsi Street. There are also some in Tajrish Square or other parts of the city. In every city in Iran, you will definitely find licensed exchange offices in main streets and local markets. 

In addition, you can exchange your money at international airports in Iran, such as Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport in Mashhad, Shahid Dastgheyb International Airport in Shiraz, Tabriz International Airport, and Shahid Beheshti International Airport in Isfahan.


Can I use a credit card in Iran?

Can I use a credit card in Iran?

One of the most popular questions of every tourist traveling to Iran is about using their international credit cards. 

Does Visa card work in Iran? Is MasterCard accepted in Iran? Unfortunately, due to the sanctions over the Iranian Central Bank, all types of international credit cards are useless in Iran. 

Visa Cards, Master Cards, or other types of international credit cards are not officially acceptable in Iran. 

The only exceptions may private shops that have international bank accounts. However, even if they accept to help you (it is not guaranteed at all), they charge between 10 to 15% for the privilege. So, we highly recommend you to bring enough cash with you.

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


Iran tourist card

To solve the problem of bringing cash with you all around Iran, 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. 

Iran tourist card is issued under a certain expiry date and can be used to receive cash in Rials everywhere. The cardholder can withdraw money from ATMs of all Iranian banks, purchase tickets at museums, or go shopping, and even use it for internet shopping services.

If you are thinking of having a tourist card in Iran, you should know that there are different ways to get a tourist debit card in Iran. 

First of all, you can get one at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on your arrival. Secondly, you can go to the branches of Saman Bank and Bank Melli Iran and ask for one. 

Lastly, you can always ask our team to prepare one for you. Simply just contact us prior to your travel to Iran or while your arrival in Tehran and we do all the arrangements for you as soon as possible. 

Please feel free to ask for more information and updates on this matter at your convenient time through email or telephone.


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