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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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IRAN TRAVEL GUIDE

Known as Persia until 1935 in the western world, whereas the indigenous name has been Iran forever. Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling Shah was forced into exile.

 

An exciting history, a multi-cultural society, some of the world’s largest heritage sites and amazing works of architecture, yet Iran has never featured on top of the traveller's itinerary in recent times. The international business traveller is familiar with cities like Tehran, Persepolis and Shiraz and Esfahan. Museums, mosques, mausoleums and sublime ruins are assured to satisfy your cultural cravings. Iran is also a treasure trove of carpets and earthenware.

 

Though many countries have withdrawn travel warnings to Iran it is always wise to stay tuned to the latest information. It's best to avoid against all kinds of travel that cross borders and boundaries between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq as these are known potential trouble spots.

⬇️ REGIONAL GUIDES ⬇️

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⬇️ COUNTRY GUIDE ⬇️

Capital: Tehran

Government:Unitary presidential theocratic republic

Currency: Iranian Rial (IRR)

Population: 81,8 million (2018)

Language: Persian and dialects more than 60%, Turkish, Turkic and dialects 20%, Kurdish 10%, Luri 5%, Balochi 2%, Arabic 2%, other about 1%

Religion:Muslim 95% (Shi'a 85%, Sunni 10%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish,Christian , Bahai , Mandai and other) 5%

Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (European plug)

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SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT IRAN

The best time to visit Iran depends on your personal preferences and the specific regions you plan to visit. Iran has a diverse climate, with temperatures ranging from hot and dry in the desert regions to cold and snowy in the mountain regions.

 

If you want to experience mild weather and avoid extreme heat, the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are good times to visit. These seasons also coincide with the peak of the tourist season, so you can expect higher hotel prices and larger crowds at popular tourist destinations.

  • The summer months (June to August) can be very hot and dry, with temperatures reaching over 40°C (104°F) in some parts of the country. If you don't mind the heat and want to experience Iran's many beaches and island resorts, this might be a good time to visit.
  • The winter months (December to February) can be cold, especially in the northern and mountainous regions of the country. Skiing and other winter sports are popular in the mountains during this time.

It's a good idea to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

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IRAN TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Iran can vary depending on your individual travel style and the specific destinations you plan to visit. Here are some general estimates to help you plan your budget:

 

  • Accommodation: Prices for hotels in Iran range from budget to luxury. You can find a basic single room in a budget hotel for around $20-30 per night, while a double room in a mid-range hotel will cost around $50-80 per night. Luxury hotels and resorts can cost $100 or more per night. You can also find affordable accommodation options such as hostels, guesthouses, and Airbnb rentals.
  • Transportation: Iran has a well-developed transportation system, with domestic flights, trains, buses, and taxis available. Domestic flights within Iran start at around $40-50 one-way, while train tickets start at around $10-20 one-way. Bus tickets are generally cheaper than train tickets, with one-way fares starting at around $5-10. Taxis are widely available in cities and towns, and prices are generally negotiable.
  • Food: Food in Iran is generally very affordable, with prices ranging from $2-5 for a basic meal at a local restaurant to $10-15 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant. Street food and local markets are good options for budget-friendly meals.
  • Entrance fees: Many of Iran's top tourist attractions have entrance fees, which can add up if you plan to visit several sites. Entrance fees for museums and historic sites range from $1-5, while fees for natural attractions like parks and reserves can be higher, ranging from $5-15.

 

Overall, you can expect to spend around $50-70 per day on a budget trip to Iran, not including flights. This estimate includes the cost of accommodation, transportation, food, and some basic entrance fees. If you plan to visit luxury hotels, eat at high-end restaurants, and visit several expensive attractions, your costs will be higher.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR IRAN

Here are some travel tips to help you plan your trip to Iran:

  1. Get a visa: Most foreign visitors to Iran need a visa to enter the country. You can apply for a visa through the Iranian embassy or consulate in your home country, or you can get a visa on arrival at certain airports in Iran. It's a good idea to check the latest visa requirements and apply for your visa well in advance of your trip.
  2. Respect local customs and culture: Iran is a Muslim country with a unique culture and customs. It's important to respect local traditions and customs, especially when it comes to dress codes and behavior. For example, it's important for women to cover their heads and dress modestly, and it's important for both men and women to avoid public displays of affection.
  3. Learn some basic phrases: While many Iranians speak some English, it's always helpful to know a few basic phrases in Farsi, the official language of Iran. Some useful phrases to know include hello (salaam), thank you (merci), please (lotfan), and excuse me (bebakhshid).
  4. Be prepared for the weather: Iran has a diverse climate, with temperatures ranging from hot and dry in the desert regions to cold and snowy in the mountain regions. It's important to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.
  5. Stay safe: Iran is generally a safe country to visit, but it's always a good idea to take basic precautions to protect your safety and well-being. Avoid walking alone at night, keep your valuables safe, and be aware of your surroundings.
  6. Be aware of sanctions: Some countries, including the United States, have economic sanctions in place against Iran. It's important to be aware of these sanctions and any restrictions on travel, financial transactions, and the use of certain goods and services in Iran.

Overall, Iran is a welcoming and fascinating country to visit. With a little planning and awareness, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip.

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF IRAN

Iran is a large and diverse country with several distinct regions, each with its own unique culture and attractions. Here is a brief overview of the main regions of Iran and some of the highlights of each region:

  • Tehran: Tehran is the capital and largest city of Iran. It is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern and traditional architecture, museums, parks, shopping centers, and lively markets. Some of the top attractions in Tehran include the Golestan Palace, the National Museum of Iran, and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Central Iran: Central Iran is home to many of the country's most important historical and cultural sites. Some of the highlights of this region include the ancient city of Persepolis, the tombs of Cyrus the Great and Darius I, and the city of Isfahan, known for its beautiful mosques, palaces, and bridges.
  • Caspian Sea: The Caspian Sea region is located in the north of Iran and is known for its temperate climate, beautiful beaches, and forests. The cities of Rasht and Gorgan are popular destinations in this region, known for their lively markets and cultural festivals.
  • Persian Gulf: The Persian Gulf region is located in the south of Iran and is known for its hot and humid climate. This region is home to many of Iran's beach resorts, as well as the port city of Bandar Abbas and the island of Kish, a popular destination for snorkeling and diving.
  • Zagros Mountains: The Zagros Mountains are a range of mountains in western Iran, known for their rugged beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. The city of Shiraz, located in the foothills of the mountains, is known for its gardens, parks, and cultural attractions, including the tombs of the famous poets Hafez and Saadi.
  • Alborz Mountains: The Alborz Mountains are a range of mountains in northern Iran, known for their beautiful peaks, forests, and ski resorts. The city of Tehran is located at the foot of the Alborz Mountains and is a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN IRAN

Iran is a country with a rich history and culture, and there are many tourist highlights to discover. Here are some of the top attractions in Iran:

  • Tehran: Tehran is the capital and largest city of Iran, and it has many attractions to offer tourists. Some of the top sights in Tehran include the Golestan Palace, the National Museum of Iran, and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Isfahan: Isfahan is a city in central Iran known for its beautiful mosques, palaces, and bridges. Some of the top attractions in Isfahan include the Imam Mosque, the Shah Mosque, and the Si-o-se Pol bridge.
  • Persepolis: Persepolis is an ancient city located in central Iran, known for its well-preserved ruins of palaces, temples, and other buildings. Persepolis is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-see for history buffs.
  • Shiraz: Shiraz is a city in southern Iran known for its gardens, parks, and cultural attractions, including the tombs of the famous poets Hafez and Saadi.
  • Yazd: Yazd is a city in central Iran known for its ancient mud-brick buildings and traditional water systems. The city is also home to many Zoroastrian temples and sites.
  • Kashan: Kashan is a city in central Iran known for its beautiful traditional houses and gardens, including the Fin Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Caspian Sea: The Caspian Sea region in northern Iran is known for its beautiful beaches and forests. The city of Rasht is a popular destination in this region, known for its lively markets and cultural festivals.

These are just a few of the many tourist highlights of Iran. The country has a rich history and culture, and there are many more attractions to discover, from ancient ruins and historical sites to modern cities and natural beauty.

WHAT TO EAT IN IRAN

Iran has a diverse and delicious cuisine, with a wide range of dishes to try. Here are some popular dishes that you might want to try during your visit to Iran:

  • Kebabs: Kebabs are a popular and delicious choice in Iran. There are many different types of kebabs, including chicken, lamb, and beef kebabs, as well as vegetarian options like eggplant and tomato kebabs.
  • Rice dishes: Rice is a staple food in Iran, and there are many delicious rice dishes to try. Some popular options include chelow kabab (rice served with kebabs), polo (rice with vegetables or meat), and tahdig (crispy rice).
  • Stews: Iran is known for its hearty stews, called khoresht, which are usually served over rice. Some popular stew dishes include ghormeh sabzi (herb stew with lamb or beef), fesenjan (pomegranate and walnut stew with chicken or duck), and gheimeh (split pea and meat stew).
  • Soups: There are many delicious soups to try in Iran, including ash-e reshteh (a thick soup with beans, noodles, and herbs), ash-e jow (barley soup with vegetables and meat), and ash-e anar (pomegranate soup).
  • Sandwiches: Iran has a variety of delicious sandwiches to try, including kotlet (a deep-fried sandwich filled with minced meat and vegetables), koofteh (meatballs with herbs and spices), and shawarma (grilled meat in a pita).

These are just a few examples of the many delicious dishes you can try during your visit to Iran. It's a good idea to try a variety of foods and sample dishes from different regions of the country to get a taste of the full range of Iranian cuisine.

LGBTQ IN IRAN

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WHERE TO STAY IN IRAN

For a first-time visit to Iran, choosing the right area or region to stay in depends on your interests, whether you're fascinated by ancient history, architectural marvels, or stunning landscapes. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation options in different price ranges:


Where to stay in Tehran:

Tehran, the capital city, serves as the political, cultural, and economic center of Iran, offering a mix of modernity and tradition, as well as access to museums, galleries, and bustling bazaars. Explore attractions like the Golestan Palace, National Museum of Iran, and Grand Bazaar.

  • Budget: Tehran Heritage Hostel offers affordable accommodations with dormitory and private rooms in a central location near Ferdowsi Square.

  • Mid-range: The Wisteria Grand Hotel is a calm place in the busy city. It has beautiful rooms, a peaceful garden, and great places to relax. It's nice to come back to after a busy day.

  • Luxury: Espinas Palace Hotel provides comfortable rooms and modern amenities with a convenient location in the heart of Tehran.


Tip: Consider visiting Tehran during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) for better rates on accommodations and milder weather.


Where to stay in Isfahan:

Isfahan is known for its stunning Islamic architecture, UNESCO-listed sites, and picturesque bridges, making it a must-visit destination for culture and history enthusiasts. Explore attractions like the Imam Square, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and Khaju Bridge.

  • Budget: Ragrug Hostel offers affordable accommodations with dormitory and private rooms in a traditional Iranian house near the city center.

  • Mid-range: Abbasi Hotel provides comfortable rooms and historic ambiance with a central location near the Imam Square.



Tip: Book accommodations with views of the Imam Square or Zayandeh River for a memorable stay in Isfahan.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations and Embassy Registrations. If you're from the US, they also provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

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