Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan with many people and birds
Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan

Iran

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WHAT TO FIND IN THIS TRAVELLING TO IRAN PAGE

Snapshot | When to travel | Cost of a Trip to Iran | Films to watch | Blog Posts

iranian flag

The Islamic Republic of Iran, also known as Persia, borders Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, plus the Caspian Sea, The Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Home of the former Persian Empire, travelling to Iran provides you with a great insight into history, culture and an incredible gastronomy. We have been to Iran twice, totalling almost three months and are absolutely fascinated by the country. Iran is such a diverse country that it pleases all sorts of travellers and adventurers.

Snapshot of Iran

Capital: Tehran
Population: 83.9 million (2020) (17th)
Rank in territory: (17th)
Currency: Rial
Currency to EUR: 10.000 IRR approx 1.1 EUR
Rank in GDP: 8th (2.07 trillion)
Electric Socket: 220V (50Hz) two prong plug (types C, E and F)

Safety

Iran is one of the safest country we have ever visited. We went there for the first time in 2015 and came back end of 2019 again. It is normal to picnic in public parks even when it's dark. We never had any issues with regards to crime in Iran, neither have heard of one from other travellers (see this article about if Iran is safe for tourists for further details based on our experience). Nevertheless, they are very sensitive regarding politics. Therefore, it's not recommended to walk around with your camera in hand, particularly around sensitive areas, such as protests, embassies, consulates and government buildings.

Language

Farsi – You can get by with basic English, mainly in the major cities. But don't have your hopes high up. Also, do not make the massive mistake of taken them for Arabs. It's the equivalent of calling the Scots, Englishmen. You will see Arabic influence on them, on the language, architecture and food, but most of them do not speak Arabic.

Check it out our article about a complete Iran Itinerary.

Religion

Islam (99%), Christians (0.6%), Jews (0.3%), Zoroastrians (0.1%)

Regions and cities

  • Tehran – Alborz; Golestan; Mazandaran; Qasvin; Qom; Semnam; Tehran
  • Isfahan/Shiraz – Bushehr; Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari; Fars; Hormozgan; Isfahan; Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad
  • Tabriz – Ardabil; East Azerbaijan; Gilan; Kordestan; West Azerbaijan; Zanjan
  • Kermanshah – Hamadan; Ilam; Kermanshah; Khuzestan; Lorestan; Markazi
  • Mashhad – Kerman; North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; Sistan and Baluchestan; South Khorasan; Yazd
  • Most populated cities - Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz
  • Most visited cities - Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Mashhad
  • Top 5 Monday Feelings places - Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Hormuz Island

Visa

We can categorise the the visa process into four groups, being: countries that do not need a visa to enter Iran; countries that can either apply beforehand or get on arrival; countries that must apply beforehand to get their visa to Iran; and countries that are not allowed to enter Iran. Note that since the end of 2018, you can also apply for an electronic visa too.

Check it out our article about Iran visa for full details.

When to travel to Iran

*Best time to travel to Iran is APRIL to JUNE and SEPTEMBER to OCTOBER*

Weather in Iran

The winter in Iran is very harsh. Even though you can see a great difference in temperatures between the north and the south, because of its mountainous landscape, there is no escape of the tough winter. Therefore, avoid visiting Iran from end of November until end of February. On the other hand, summer can be quite harsh too, particularly in the most deserted areas, which is quite a lot of the country. The hottest month is July, but August is not far behind.

Approximate temperature in Tehran in °C
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Ago Sept Oct Nov Dec
4 7 13 18 23 29 31 30 26 20 12 6
Approximate temperature in Shiraz in °C
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Ago Sept Oct Nov Dec
6 8 8 16 22 26 29 28 24 18 12 7

Seasons

Because Iran is not on the radar of most tourists, you don't see price skyrocketing during the high season. However, prices do change. When planning a trip to Iran, consider the hottest month of July, the wettest month of March and the coldest months of December and January. Moreover, one of the best time to enjoy Iran is during Nowruz, which is their New Year equivalent, that celebrates also the arrival of the spring - around March 21st.

High season: March to June and September to October
Low season: November to February

best time to visit Iran graph

what to pack

If you are going for the hot season, don't forget sunscreen, hat, swimming clothes and sandals.
If you are going for the cold season, consider skiing and bring appropriate clothes because it will get really cold.

Check this post to see how to dress in Iran and adjust your luggage.

Costs of a trip to Iran

Low budget vs Luxury

Iran is a fairly cheap destination, but that doesn't mean you can get fine things in exchange.

ACCOMMODATION

accommodation logo

budget - about €10
average - about €20
luxury - about €50+

FOOD

food logo

budget (kebab) - about €2
average (meal) - about €15
luxury (nice restaurants) - about €35+

TRANSPORT

logo of train

metro - about €0.2
taxi - about €1
intercity buses - about €10

What to see in Iran

Art and history

art and history symbol

Isfahan Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Persepolis

SPORTS AND WELLNESS

sports and welness symbol

Skiing
Traditional baths

CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

culture and entertainment symbol

Mosques
Nowruz

What to eat in Iran

Kebab
Ghormeh Sabzi
All the ice-creams

Films to watch

A Dragon Arrives!

On Jan. 22, 1965, the day before the Iranian prime minister is assassinated, a car drives up to a shipwreck. Inside the wreck, a banished political prisoner has hung himself and the walls are covered in diary entries, literary quotes, and strange symbols. Fifty years later, the evidence, including intelligence tape recordings, is found in a box. The contents attest to the fact that the inspector and his colleagues were arrested, but why?

A Dragon Arrives film poster
Persepolis film poster

Persepolis

Based on Satrapi's graphic novel about her life in pre and post-revolutionary Iran and then in Europe. The film traces Satrapi's growth from child to rebellious, punk-loving teenager in Iran. In the background are the growing tensions of the political climate in Iran in the 70s and 80s, with members of her liberal-leaning family detained and then executed, and the background of the disastrous Iran/Iraq war.

The Salesman

After their flat becomes damaged, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young couple living in Tehran, Iran, must move into another apartment. Once relocated, a sudden eruption of violence linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes their lives, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife.

The Salesman film poster
A separation film poster

A Separation

Nader and Simin, a married couple, live in Iran with their daughter Termeh. Simin wants to move out of the country, but Nader is reluctant to do so as he wants to take care of his ailing father.

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