A First-Timer's Guide to Iran's Tourist Attractions and Travel Regulations

Travelers to Iran should be aware of 45 crucial topics, including local cultural etiquettes, transportation methods, and regulations. From the significance of greeting customs to using public transport, accessing high-speed internet, and understanding regional attractions, this guide provides foreigners with comprehensive insights for their journey in Iran.
  1. Foreign credit cards are not functional in Iran.
  2. Foreign tourists cannot open a bank account in Iran.
  3. With an Iranian tourist visa, access to all parts of the country, even Bu Musa in the Persian Gulf, is available.
  4. To extend a 90-day Iranian tourist visa, study, or receive a job offer, contact the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 30th Tir Street, Tehran.
  5. Foreign tourists face no restrictions on buying permitted items in Iran.
  6. To export gold, antiques, artifacts, and carpets, abide by Iran’s customs and internal laws.
  7. Iranians are hospitable; many tourists unexpectedly become guests in their homes. Always consider safety and avoid unfamiliar areas.
  8. Keep the address and phone number of your embassy with you.
  9. Always carry a copy of your passport’s first page and the received visa.
  10. There’s no need to carry your passport during the day if staying in one city.
  11. Especially among the younger and educated, many Iranians understand English. However, learning basic Persian phrases can be helpful.
  12. Avoid carrying excess cash, whether Iranian or foreign currency. Tourist thefts are rare.
  13. Learning to count in Persian can be beneficial.
  14. Medical costs in Iran are lower than in many countries, especially in beauty, dental, and skincare. If you have dental issues, consider getting them fixed cost-effectively in Iran.
  15. Female tourists should bring regular clothes and a mantou (local covering).
  16. Police in Iran typically don’t speak English. Get an Iranian friend to communicate with you or contact your embassy if needed. In emergencies, dial 110.
  17. Download the English timetable for buses and the metro or install their apps.
  18. Always carry your hotel or lodging card.
  19. Ask your companions, a Persian-speaking friend, or a tour guide if you encounter questions about entering religious sites. Religious site officials usually don’t speak English.
  20. Photographing military or security areas marked “No Photography” is considered a crime.
  21. Introducing oneself is a part of Iranian culture. If you are unfamiliar with it, do not be offended. Just have a little more patience.

  22. During the months when national and religious ceremonies are prevalent in Iran, like Nowruz, Muharram, and religious holidays, food is distributed among the people by philanthropists. Iranians call this food “Nazr.” These foods are free and distributed to everyone at the location.

  23. A rechargeable bus card is required to ride a bus in Iranian cities. However, most drivers (except for BRT bus drivers in Tehran) accept cash as fare.

  24. Non-Iranian citizens can obtain a stock market code to operate in the Iranian stock market under certain conditions.

  25. Purchasing online tickets for entry into museums and palaces in Iran are priced the same as buying tickets at the ticket booth.

  26. Access to high-speed internet is available if you have a SIM card from RighTel, Hamrahe Aval, or Irancell and purchase data packages.

  27. If you’re unfamiliar with Persian and don’t speak English well, show your destination on a map to the driver.

  28. Before getting into a taxi, check your destination and fare with the driver in Tehran and other Iranian cities. This is because some city tourists have been charged more by taxi drivers than initially agreed upon.

  29. Remember to have minor changes on hand for using public restrooms.

  30. Iran is not limited to Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, and Tehran. Alongside visiting these places, don’t miss the opportunity to see Iran’s nature and other locations.

  31. Parking in Iranian cities, especially in large ones, can be challenging. If you have rented a car, know about the even-odd day restrictions and the traffic scheme.

  32. Driving in Iran is unlike going to Europe; you might observe some disorder.

  33. Buying and selling alcoholic beverages in Iran is considered a crime.

  34. There is no prohibition against women and men skiing together.

  35. There is no ban on holding mixed-gender parties or ceremonies in Iranian restaurants as long as they do not violate Islamic norms.

  36. If you’re interested in learning Persian in Iran, seek guidance from the Dehkhoda or Saadi institutes in Tehran.

  37. Visiting some Iranian cities is more enjoyable during specific seasons. For instance, visiting regions like West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Kurdistan, and Lorestan can be more challenging in the latter half of the year due to cold weather than in the first half.

  38. Northern and southern regions of Iran offer varied attractions for nature-loving tourists throughout the year.

  39. There’s no difference in experiencing the capital city in different seasons. However, in recent years, the capital’s air quality has become somewhat polluted in the second half of the year (from September to March). Still, this pollution is temporary and should not discourage you from visiting Tehran during this time.

  40. Those interested in books about Iran’s language, literature, culture, arts, and society can find many titles in English at bookstores.

  41. In many Iranian cities, 24/7 pharmacies are available. They will provide you with common medications like those for colds and fevers without a doctor’s prescription.

  42. Visiting the National Library of Iran is accessible to the general public and international tourists.

  43. By purchasing a ticket card, you can use the bus and metro at a price 20% cheaper than paying in cash.

  44. Two places in Tehran have seen extensive tourist visits. One is the Milad Tower of Tehran, and the other is the Persian Gulf Lake at the end of Hemmat Highway, the largest artificial lake in the Middle East.

  45. Please follow the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the latest travel information to Iran, a guide to the rules for obtaining tourist and business visas, and procedures for inviting Iranians or foreigners to travel to our country.