You may have been to many countries  around the world,  spent a lot  of time to learn  about them before your trip started, in order to get to know the destination. But Iran is relatively misunderstood and many people believe propaganda they hear on the media about how dangerous or difficult is to travel there. But in reality,  Iran is such an incredible country to travel. The architecture, and the landscape will fascinate you. The friendliness of the people will leave you speechless and the culture is amazing! Here is things you need to know before you travel to Iran such as Iran Dos and Don’ts.


dressing in Iran


Safety in Iran

Contrary to the negative propaganda of some Western media, Iran is a safe country and does not pose any threat to citizens and tourists. In recent years, despite the rise of terrorist groups such as ISIS  and the Taliban in the Middle East and some of their attacks in the heart of Europe,  Iran has been immune from such anti-human rights practices and is renowned as the safe island of the Middle East. Despite the relatively insecure situation that there is in the world today, not one single serious terrorist incident has been reported in the country.

Also Read – Is Iran Safe to Travel ?


Accommodation in Iran

In Iranian touristy cities,  it is common for natives to rent their homes to travelers. This type of residence may cause problems with accident insurance.  So stay in  places that operate under the Iranian  Tourism Organization.  Certified  hotels, guesthouses, and local houses are among the approved venues. If you are traveling on a tour, trust your travel agent or tour guide about accommodation.


Internet in Iran

There is  internet in almost everywhere  in  Iran  (except for the depths of mountains  and remote villages)  and it is very easy to access.  As soon as you get off your plane,  buy a SIM card at a very reasonable  price (less than $2.00).  Once you have activated your SIM card,  you will be provided with high-speed Internet access and will be able to stay in touch with your family and friends with audio and video applications. Carrying a passport to buy a tourist SIM is necessary.

In  Iran,  three operators  are providing  telecommunication and internet services.  “Hamrah Aval” and “lrancell”  offer exclusive  services to tourists  and you can use this service by purchasing  a product called “Tourist SIM”.  Remember that these SIM cards are only valid for 30 days.  If you want to spend more time in Iran,  ask the seller to provide different types of SIM.


Iran Currency System

You can use Euro,  Pound or Dollar to pay for some travel  expenses,  such as your Hostel  accommodation  fare or a taxi that will take you from the airport to  the  hotel  or souvenirs.  But for  most  costs,  you  need  to  exchange  your  money  into  Iranian  Rial  (IRR).  There  are  currency  exchanges  at  Iran’s international airports.  Hotels also have this facility. Authentic  currency  exchanges  are also available  in all major  Iranian cities where  you can use their services. You can read more about Iranian money and travel expenses to Iran.

Iranian  Toman:  When  talking  money  in  Iran  you may hear the term  “Toman”  instead  of “Rial”. The Toman  is  an old term  but is  no longer  an official currency. Although the “Toman”  is no longer an official unit of Iranian currency,  Iranians commonly  express  amounts  of money and prices of goods  in “Tomans.”  For this purpose,  one “Toman” equals  10  Rials.  Despite this usage,  amounts of money and prices of goods are virtually always written  in  rials. For example,  the price sign in a store would state the price in  Rials,  e.g.,  “20000  Rials,” even though  the salesman,  if asked,  would  say the cost “2000 Tomans” or simply 2000.

Please note:  international credit Debit cards  do not function in Iran due to sanctions, Only some  souvenir shops in Tehran,  Shiraz  and Isfahan which have connections to Emirate banks accept them.  So it’s highly recommended to take cash money with you

Read more – Iranian Currency


Tipping in Iran

In  Iran, it is not mandatory but is  becoming common to tip people who provide service,  such as waiters at restaurants,  hotel bellboys,  guides or tour drivers. 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 10% Tip in fancy restaurants.


Toilets in Iran

There are western type of toilets in many hotels and tourist destinations and you will not have any problems.  But in most public places there are no sitting toilets and you have to use a squat toilet.  squat toilet (also known as a squatting toilet)  is  a toilet used by squatting,  rather than toilets at public restrooms on the roads and restaurants.  The toilet is  set on the floor and has no seat. Today,  all toilets have a water hose.  Keep in mind that in  most public toilets in the city and between roads,  paper towels do not exist


how girls are covered in Iran


Covering in Iran

According to Iran  clothing law, women must wear hijabs.  However, the Iranian  veil differs greatly from what is  used in  some other Islamic countries and is more variable and colorful. Any type of dress that is  not too thin and covers the arms,  legs  and hair of the head is  considered to be an Iranian  veil  and there  are no restrictions on the color and design of the dress.  This  hijab  is  enough for a trip to  Iran.  In  other words,  in  Iran,  the veil  is  not treated excessively and you will find out by watching the coverage of Iranian citizens.

Under Iranian law for men, wearing shorts is not legal and trousers that are too short, though not legally prohibited, is not accepted in public places. It is necessary to cover some of the hair for tourist women in  Iran.  It is  advisable for female visitors to have a head scarf in  their handbag to be used as soon as they arrive  in  Iran.


Iran Dress Code

Women:  All females over the age of nine must wear a hijab,  the Islamic  dress.  There is  no uniformity,  however,  regarding its  type and the amount of coverage it provides. The black chador (the loose head-to-toe covering) isn’t compulsory. the most common wear is manteau a full-length, usually long• sleeved overcoat,  an overwhelming array of which is  readily available in the shops.  If you don’t want to buy any,  bring a knee-length,  loose tunic that can be worn with a long  skirt or trousers (jeans are acceptable).  Hair must be covered with a scarf.  The colors of the clothes do not really matter.  If you travel in summer,  light fabrics and sandals are strongly recommended.

Men: There are few restrictions about men’s dress.  Only shorts,  even knee-length,  are unacceptable.  Shirts with short sleeves are fine.


Solo woman traveler in Iran photo from


Alcohol and  Drug  Law in Iran

Under Iranian  law,  the transportation  and use of alcohol  and drugs,  including  Marie  Joanna,  is  prohibited in  public places,  and there is  no official  service center for its customers.  However,  in  Iran, as in  many countries, the trafficking  and distribution of banned items is a significant social disadvantage.


Halal food in Iran

According to Iranian and Islamic regulations, only halal food is offered in Iran. Halal food is not served with alcoholic beverages. The meat and chicken that is to be used for cooking meat is slaughtered in a special Islamic way. Also meat of some animals such as pork, dogs, mice, etc. are not eaten in Iran because of being not Halal.

Also Read: Persian Cuisine


Iranian people

Iranians  are proud of their country,  nationality,  history and their traditions.   Kind,  warm,  friendly,  helpful,  proud,  and generous people that only one thing ties them all  together,  and that’s Iran.  Although  they have not had  a great number of visitors in  most parts of Iran  since 1979, they remain  respectful and curious towards tourists. They would welcome you, thank you for visiting and ask you questions.

Hospitality and the expression of friendly feelings is the most prominent moral  characteristic of Iranians.  So if you come across Iranians who invite you to their home,  give you something as a  reminder,  get excited about seeing you, take a picture with you, shake your hand And give you a  hug, don’t be surprised.


Family travel to Iran


'Iran is Great' Family
Being aware of the fact that Iran  has a relatively negative image abroad which does not correspond  at all with the reality,  a Romanian-  French family started a project from April  2014 which is still ongoing.  They introduce  Iran’s rich culture and civilization  by promoting the cultural,  historical,  natural and tourism potentials through their talks,  presentations  or only by displaying their banner depicted on their vehicle,  in  countries they travel. As they have always claimed, Their project does not have anything to do with any political or religious issues.


Iran DOs and DON’Ts

Before you travel to Iran, it’s necessary to know Iran Dos and Don’ts:

Staring at people,  especially  Iranian  women,  kissing,  and hugging  in  public places is incompatible with  Iranian  public culture. Also,  shaking  hands with opposite sex is not very popular  in conservative cities of Iran. When photographing people, especially  if the subject is an Iranian citizen, it is best to get permission. Like many people in the world, Iranians like to respect their privacy.


Iran dos and don'ts

Here is a list of some cultural dos and don’ts in Iran:


Alcohol in Iran

Alcohol is banned in Iran, and don’t try to bring alcohol into the country.



No Handshake Always!

Don’t get misunderstood! Again because of being an Islamic state, conservative and religious Iranians do not shake hand with their opposite gender. Handshaking is  between two men or two women especially in  public.  So if you are meeting elder people,  an Imam,  or religious friends let them to decide to handshake or not. So don’t judge,  it’s their culture and doesn’t mean the person you are meeting is impolite or rude.



Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf?

Historically,  due to long  lasted  vast Persian Empire,  the most important and strategic Gulf of the Middle East has been called “Persian Gulf‘” in  all documented geographic evidences.  Since 1970s some Arab nations located  on the opposite side of the Hormuz strait started to call it the Arabian Gulf.  But do not try to do so in  Iran,  since people are sensitive about it.  As Iranians say,  it’s the “forever” Persian Gulf!

In  the Iranian  culture,  mosques,  shrines and cemeteries  are respected and their visit,  like  all other religious sites around the world,  requires respectful behavior and humility.  Prayer halls of mosques are usually covered with carpets where wearing shoes is  not allowed.



Laws on Iranian shores

According to the Iranian  law,  swimming or sunbathing on beaches of Iran  is  allowed for men and women in  special  separate sections on beaches. Walking on the beach,  of course,  is  not subject to gender segregation.  There’s also the issue of using the hotel  pool,  they have different time tables for men and women.




Public display of affection

While in Iran, you’d better not to display affections in public such as kiss, hug, or putting your arm around your loved one in public in some small towns which are usually more conservative. Holding hands is OK.




Do not throw toilet paper in the toilet

A self-explanatory one, but the toilet paper is pretty thick and will quickly get stuck in the pipes. Unless you want to risk an overflowing toilet, you must throw the toilet paper in the wastebasket.



Wearing shoes indoors

If someone invites you to their home, make sure you take your shoes off before entering. Iranians wear house slippers indoors and are sure to offer you a pair too. You’re welcome to take them or decline and walk around barefoot or in socks.



Be careful with Ta’arof!

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 custom 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.



Iran FAQ

What should I wear in Iran?

Please refer to the main text above:  IRAN  DRESS CODE.

Can Americans apply for Iranian visa?

The short answer is yes. Visa procedures  have been considerably  simplified during recent years. All nationalities except Israelis are allowed to apply. US residents have to refer to the Iranian Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington  DC. As you may know, Americans, British and Canadian nationals  require to book a tour from arrival  to departure;  essentially  this means you need a certificated  guide while you are in  Iran.  Citizens  of these countries  need to have a confirmed  itinerary,  which  should  be requested  from  a valid tour  company.  For this, they  should  send  a passport  copy,  ID photos,  and a profession & educational  CV  to the Iranian tour operator. Typically,  getting the Visa authorization code for these applicants take around 30 working days.

Can I drive my own car in  Iran?

To bring your own vehicle into Iran, you must be more than 18 years old and have a valid international driver’s license. For the vehicle, you will need car registration papers,  a nationality badge,  a red warning triangle,  and a carnet de passage ) temporary importation  document) which can be obtained from the relevant international  automobile organization  in your country.  Third-party insurance  is  compulsory for all- make sure that your policy is  valid for Iran and accredited with  Iranian  insurance  companies.  Otherwise you will have to buy insurance  at the border.  The only tax the driver pays is  the fuel  tax.  At the border, the officials will probably note the details of your vehicle in your passport to make sure you don’t leave the country without your vehicle. Three months is the current time limit for driving  a foreign car in  Iran.  For a period of more than ten days,  you should obtain a temporary license  plate for your car.

Which season is the best to visit Iran?

Spring and autumn are the best times to travel  around central,  western  and northern  Iran  and to see the most interesting  cultural attractions  of this wonderful country.  Only visits to the coast of Persian Gulf are best made in winter when humidity and heat levels are at their lowest.

Can I drink alcohol  in Iran?

According to the Iranian  Islamic  rules,  all alcohol  is  banned and if you take any alcoholic drink with you,  it would be confiscated  at the border or in  the airport.

Is Iran safe?

Any crime  carries  severe  penalties  in  the  Islamic  Republic of Iran.  On the  other  hand  Because of great  influence of  Islamic  beliefs and off course importance  of decency in  Iranian  culture,  this country is  one the safest.  It  is  likely that the greatest danger you face (other  than crossing the road!!) is having your purse or camera snatched,  especially in Isfahan.

How can I visit Iran as a solo female traveler?

Traveling to Iran  as a solo female traveler is  pretty safe,  but does require some preparation.  First of all, you need to know about the conventional covering in  Iran  and the dress code. Also, you’d better learn  some essential  Farsi words and phrase in order to be better understood.

While in  Iran,  You would get surprised  but will feel  comfortable with Women Sections in public buses or Metro.  The metro has its  own women carriages! There are separated checkpoint entrances at airports and railway stations for women.

Most men in Iran will treat you with respect and sexual  harassment is rare in Iran but keep some considerations that you actually follow when you travel alone as a woman: Avoid walking alone at night,  Dress modestly,  and preferably don’t accept invitations from people you don’t know.

What are cultural  DOS and  DON’TS in Iran?

Eating,  drinking or smoking in  public during daylight hours of the 28 days of Ramadan is  not acceptable.  Entry into a “working”  religious building or into a private home entails removing shoes at the edge of the carpet, rug or floor covering to prevent street filth being brought in.  In a public city bus, usually passengers sit according to gender and there is a man section and women section. As in  some other Islamic countries homosexuality does not occur and such behavior is forbidden and illegal.  Note that men in  Iran  often hold hands and embrace each other,  but this has no sexual connotations.

Is any international credit card acceptable in Iran?

No,  international  credit cards don’t function in Iran  due to sanctions.  Only some souvenir shops in Shiraz and Isfahan which have connections to Emirate banks accept them.  So it’s better to take cash money with you.

Can I rent Ski gears in  Iran?

Yes.  Regular ski  gear  and  boots are available  to  rent in  Iranian  ski  resorts,  however this  is just  for  regular ski  equipment  only.  Specialized  ski  or mountaineering gear are not available. You have to bring your own gear.

How is Iranian cuisine?

Iranian cuisine offers some of the best dishes in the world. The Persian cuisine consists of a delicious array of stews and different rice among many other dishes.  And of course Persian bread; These used to be all made inside  brick ovens (Tanoors)  by hand but machines have taken the place of many.  Still, Persian breads are a part of any good meal  and they are simply delicious.  Persian sweets and pastries are absolutely wonderful  and you can find pastry shops in  every corner of main streets.  If you get lucky  enough to be invited  to someone’s  house for lunch  or dinner,  be sure to pick up a box of fresh pastries at a local  shop.  Fast food stores abound serving all sorts of creative sandwiches.  Don’t be shy to try different things and most certainly don’t stay away from eating  real  Iranian  food.  The majority  of people in  Iran  are conscious of properly  cleaning fruits and vegetables and general  cooking hygiene. Tap water is safe to drink in any part of the country although you might not like the taste in some parts.  Bottled water is  readily available.

Is tipping common in Iran?

It  is  common to tip in  Iran  for certain things such as bellboys,  waiters,  tour guides or tour drivers.  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  10% Tip in fancy restaurants.

What are national  holidays in Iran?

What currency Iran  has?

Iranian  currency is called Rial – IRR;  But when talking money in  Iran you may hear the term “Toman”.  The toman is an old term but is  no longer an official currency. Although the “Toman” is no longer an official unit of Iranian currency,  Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices of goods in “Tomans.”  For this purpose,  one “Toman” equals 10 rials.  Despite this usage,  amounts of money and prices  of goods are virtually always written  in  rials. For example,  the price  sign  in a store would state the price  in  rials,  e.g., “20000 Rials,” even though the salesman,  if asked,  would say the cost “2000 tomans” or simply 2000.

Please  note:  international  credit —  Debit  cards do not function  in  Iran  due to sanctions.  Only some souvenir shops in  Shiraz and Isfahan  which have connections to Emirate banks accept them.  So it’s highly recommended to take cash money with you.

Is Iran Visa  Process complicated?

To be honest,  despite  all the negative press,  travel  to Iran  has become very easy over the past few years,  and the Iranian  government has made some changes to the regulations in the tourism industry  in the hope of attracting more visitors.

How long does it take to get Iranian tourist and business visas?

For most nationals  It takes Max.  10 days for a tourist visa and 2 weeks for a business visa.

Can Israeli Citizens Get Iranian Visa?

No – Israeli  nationals cannot get an Iranian visa at all.

What is the difference between the Entry validity and the Duration of stay?

The entry validity is  calculated from  the time of visa issuance  and the validity of the stay is calculated from the time of entry,  which can be extended but the validity of the entry cannot be extended.

Can I get a regular  Iranian visa for countries that are eligible for airport visas?

Yes, All  eligible  nationals for Iran airport can apply for regular visa at Iranian consulates.

Is it possible to extend  my Iranian visa?                                             

Yes,  Iranian visas can be extended,  depending on the nationality of the guests. Will the refund  be paid if the visa  is rejected? Yes we guarantee 100%  refund  of visa service if visa is  refused.

Is Iran a safe country to travel?

Yes – Iran  is definitely one of the safest countries in the world,  you can safely travel  in Iran.  Read more – Is  Iran  Safe to Travel?  (/articles/item/136-is-iran-safe-2019)

Why apply for a visa through Iransafar Tours?

Those who intend  to obtain an Iranian  visa need to have a sponsor (who  invites  you) in  Iran,  lransafar Tours can be your sponsor and will guarantee your visa work in the shortest possible time.  Read more – How to get Iran Visa?

Do I need  a hotel  reservation to get a visa?

If your visa application process is done through lransafar Tours, there is no need to book a hotel,  but you need to provide some information on where you stay in  Iran to be written on your application form.  (Note:  US,  British  and Canadian nationals need to book all hotels in advance)

Do nationals of different countries need  a visa to enter the Free Zones of Iran?

No – Citizens of all countries (Except Israel) do not need a visa to enter the Free Zones of Iran.

Where is the nearest Iranian Consulate to Canadian and American Citizens?

The closest embassy is  the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC (Office for the Protection of Iranian  Interests)  in  Washington DC.  The visa service can be done via express courier service.