Iran is one of the most beautiful countries anyone can travel to in their whole life. Before you travel to any country in the world, you have to do some things to prepare for your trip; and you also have to find out about culture and rules of that place. Are you planning on visiting Iran? Then this article is going to be useful for you! Keep up!
Iran is a vast and beautiful country. Though it’s not as popular as countries such as France, Italy or Spain among travelers. Also being located in Middle-East and being a little unknown to Westerns (such as Americans and Europeans) have placed this question in minds: “Is it safe to have a trip to Iran?” Unlike what many tourists imagine, Iran is a very safe place; and many travelers have described it as “The safest country they’ve ever been to”.
Iranians are famous for being such good hosts. They always get excited when they see foreign people are visiting Iran! And they even invite tourists to eat at their tables without even knowing them! Also with a quick search you can see that many tourists had a good time in Iran and felt safe; and in addition to feeling safe in Iran, the country has a low crime rate and if you fit in local costumes, you aren’t threatened with anything.
Okay, now that you are assured that Iran is a safe place, lets plan your trip to Iran!
Iran is one of the most cultural places you can travel to. Every city of this country is a world of beauty, culture and experience. People are so hospitable, food is extra tasty, history is so rich and if you are not interested in historical monuments, Iran’s nature is extremely charming. Persian art and architecture is so exquisite that we can assure you that you won’t see anything as alluring as the in any other part of the world.
Though every city of Iran is so beautiful and worthy to have a trip to, we comprehend that you don’t have all the time in the world to visit all of them!
In the rest of this article we are going to tell you about the most popular cities of Iran to visit.
Isfahan is a city that is unique in the world. It is also the third large city of Iran. Famous figures such as Howard Baskerville and Phyllis Ackerman were buried in this city. Isfahan is a city full of culture, color, magnificent buildings and beautiful gardens; maybe that’s the reason people call it “HALF OF THE WORLD”.
The city is mostly famous for it’s river, “Zayandeh Roud” and “Naghsh-e Jahan”, the biggest square in the world. But it is not all about these two attractions. There are plenty of mosques and churches with exquisite Persian architecture to visit in Isfahan.
The city is one of those places that you will really enjoy wandering in it. And like all other cities of Iran, there are some special foods to taste in Isfahan. So don’t forget to experience new tastes if you ever traveled to Isfahan!
Kashan is a small city located in Isfahan province, mostly known for It’s rose-water, silk and carpet. Evidences show that Kashan was one of the first places where Aryans chose as residence; and since 7500 years ago it has been a place of residence for various tribes. So we can consider this small city as one of the oldest cities of Iran.
Old beautiful houses of Kashan city are very famous and many people know it by the name of these houses. But Kashan is not only limited to it’s old mesmerizing houses. There is the historical Fin garden of Kashan which throw us back to the Qajar era; Nooshabad underground city that dates back to Sassanid period, and the ancient Sialk hill that goes back to more that 2000 years ago and many other historical monuments.
And when it comes to Kashan we can’t just talk about houses and historical attractions. they are beautiful, but don’t forget to visit the famous Abyaneh (the red village), the beautiful Qamsar village and Niasar village.
There are two interesting festivals held in Kashan city. One is the rose water festival held in villages of Kashan such as Barzok, Niasar and Qamsar. The festival is very important and popular among Iranians and tourists and it is held from 16-26th of May. So if you had a trip to Iran during this time of year, don’t lose rose water festival.
In addition to rose water festival there is a less popular ceremony held in Kashan in late October. The ceremony is called Qali shuyan and is connected to original Iranian theater. So although it is a less popular festival, we strongly recommend you to have a trip to Iran; and travel to Kashan in this time to participate in Qali shuyan ceremony if you like Drama.
The history and the beautiful gardens in Shiraz are some of the reasons why you should not pass this city if you had a trip to Iran! There cannot be a place more beautiful than Shiraz! A full ideal package of lovely attractions to visit, pleasing atmosphere and kind people. What do you want more from a city?!
When we talk about Shiraz, people remind of Pasargadae and Persepolis, the great monument of Achaemenids that people mostly know them a the sign of their dynasty. But you all know that a city can’t just have two attractions to visit! If you ever planned to travel to Iran, don’t pass by Shiraz! We suggest you to travel to Shiraz in Spring, specially in late April or early May; because in this time the gardens are fresh and beautiful. So don’t forget to visit at least one of the thousand gardens of Shiraz, such as Eram garden, Delgosha garden, Jahan Nama garden and etc.
Shiraz is also known as the city of poets; because many important poets of Iran such as Hafez and Saadi Shirazi are from this city and are buried here. So don’t forget to go visit their tombs during the time you are in Shiraz.
After talking about gardens and poets tombs, we can’t just pass the alluring mosques of Shiraz city. We can say that the pink mosque, Vakil mosque, Atiq mosque and Shahcheraq mosque are one of a kind in the world!
Tehran is the capital of Iran and a populated area. A city full of differences, stories and colors. Tehran is full of cafes, restaurants, museums, art galleries, malls and beautiful streets where you can have a lot of fun there.
The most popular spots in Tehran are “Tajrish square”, “Vali-easr junction”, “Tabiat bridge“, “Tehran grand bazaar”, “Golestan Palace” and “Chitgar lake”.
Yazd is located in the middle of Iran’s dry plateau. The city is famous as the clay town or the city of windcatchers. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2017 due to it’s original architecture. If you love local architecture, history and kind, hospitable people put Yazd city on your must visit list!
Yazd has many villages that have interesting monuments to see. Fahraj, Meybod, Abarkuh, Mehriz and Ardakan are the most visited villages of Yazd. The city is located in a dry, deserted area; so in addition to the gardens, mosques and fire temples you can visit, it is possible to go for camping in deserts of Yazd.
There are plenty of amusing events in Persian calendar. And during some of them, such as Zoroastrian events or Yalda night, you can participate in fascinating festivals that people throw in the city.
As a found of traveling and a curious person, I don’t like to limit my time in vacation to just visiting historical and natural attractions of a country. I’d like to experience new amusing things and have a lot of fun. Now the question is that can you experience more of what you already have by visiting Iran or not? Let’s fid out!
Iranian calendar is full of events that you have never heard of. The most famous ones are Nowruz (Persian new year), Yalda night (40th day of Winter), Charshanbe Soori, Cheleh Tabestan (40th day of Summer) etc. You can see people celebrating all of these events in their own special way in all cities of Iran. But there are also some local festivals that you can be in them by traveling to that specific city in a special time. Such as rose water festival and Ghali Shuyan ceremony in Kashan that we talked about.
If you are interested in special Zoroastrian festivals and ceremonies you can visit Yazd city. For example in March October they have a festival called Mehregan, that they celebrate the first days of autumn. Or thy have a ceremony called Chak Chak, that is a traditional way of Tasoa (a religious event in Muharram) mourning.
You can also ask for Zar ceremony if you had a trip to southern local cities or islands of Iran such as Qeshm, Hurmoz or Bandar abbas.
Food is one of those things that always surprises me! So if you are food lover like me, I suggest you to try foods in Iran. Like every other things in Iran, Iranian food also has local and usual. What does this means? There are some foods that is served in all parts of Iran. Such as some soups, stews, deserts, rice and kebabs. But in each city you can find some special dishes and deserts that can only be found in that city or some special restaurants related to the culture of that specific place.
For example, you can eat okra stew or quince and plum stew in any city of Iran; but yoghurt stew can only be found in Isfahan city. Or you can have traditional Iranian ice cream every where, but dough and gusfil is only specified to Isfahan city.
If you are a fan of savory food, travel to the Northern cities of Iran and have tasty dishes such as Nardoon, Kebab torsh, pomegranate and walnut stew and etc. Although you can have pomegranate and walnut stew and Kebab torsh in other cities of Iran too but having it in the place of it’s origin is better.
Do you like spicy food? Then we recommend you to taste the food if you had trip to the Southern cities of Iran. You can have delicious falafels and a variety of Sambosas in these cities.
The perfect thing about these foods is that not only most of them they are spicy, but also the main ingredient of most of them are sea food. So if you are a fan of sea food like me, here’s a motivation!
Since the 1979 revolution women’s dress code have changed; and all woman including foreigners have to wear hijab if they are visiting Iran. This means wear loose-fitting clothes which cover their hair, arms and legs.
If you are a woman you have to experience wearing scarfs, manteau and trousers all the time. But it doesn’t sum up here. Iranian cities have their own local costume. Though nowadays you can’t see people wearing them in cities; but in some villages they still wear them and even sell them. So you can enjoy seeing people in special clothes in some places, such as Masouleh in Gilan province, Sistan and Baluchestan, Southern cities and islands of Iran, some places of Kurdistan, Abyaneh village in Kashan city and etc.
Now that you know where to visit and what to do during your trip to Iran , It’s time to pack your bags and start getting ready to travel to Iran!
As a tourist, you have to get your visa before you buy your ticket and travel to Iran. England, Canada and USA citizens have to have their itinerary and tour guide approved beforehead; and sticking to the itinerary is a part of visa approval. Having a tour guide doesn’t mean that he/she is going to be with you all time and you won’t be available to adventure the land by yourself. obtaining a visa in order to travel to Iran divides into two kinds: 1.Regular visa 2. Visa on arrival (VOA).
The process of getting an Iran visa for American, Canadian and British nationals will take a minimum of six weeks.
Pay attention you shouldn’t have Isreal stamp in your passport. This is because of political reasons, there is the supposition by Iranian government that you may be a spy or work for the media.
Visa on arrival (VOA) or airport visa will be given to you in the airport upon arrival. Fees depend on which country you are from, this visa is issued for 30 days from arrival date and it is receivable in International airports such as Tehran Imam Khomeini airport (IKA), Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, and Kish international airport. The process of getting visa on arrival is so easy and except people who are from US, UK, Canada, Colombia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India everyone can obtain this visa.
If you need to know more about obtaining visa to travel to Iran, CLICK HERE to read more.
As no international banking card works in Iran, due to the sanctions, you have to bring cash with you. It’s easier to change USD and Euros to Iranian Rial, than others.
The official unit of currency in Iran, is the Iranian Rial; but Iranians almost always talk in terms of Tomans: a unit equal to 10 rials.
Apart from some hotels, carpet shops and tour agencies, where you can pay in Dollars or Euros, all transactions in Iran are in Rial. It’s better to exchange your money before you travel, but if you couldn’t or didn’t have time to do this work, don’t worry! There are plenty of places in Iran that you can exchange your money. In addition to this, you can also rely on your hotel or travel agency that you are traveling with to exchange your money. Though some travel agencies don’t provide this service, and you have to ask them. But you don’t have to ask us! You can rely on Irpersiatour team to exchange your money in no time with no problem!
Now that you have done everything, it’s time to prepare your self for the last and most exciting part of things you should do before you start visiting Iran. If you like to travel to Iran independently, you can buy your ticket to Iran by connecting to travel agencies or from reliable websites. After getting your ticket, it’s time to book a hotel room. For booking a hotel room first you have to search for good hotels in Iran and then connect to the hotel and book a room; or if you don’t have time for that, you can connect to some travel agencies that can give you a list of hotels and book it for you. There is also a page on our website that you can see a list of good hotels in Iran. Click here!
But what is the easier way? the easier way is to find a good travel agency in Iran and book a tour. With this work, you can have an airport transfer, tour leader and transfer from city to city in addition to services such as having ticket and hotel room booked for you.
Get a travel insurance before visiting Iran. To take care of unexpected expenses that arise while traveling, having travel insurance can help you with financial support. If you are traveling to Iran, you are required to have valid travel insurance or a proper documentation for it, otherwise you cannot enter the country.
You can buy your travel insurance before you arrive to your destination in Iran from a reliable company or if you are traveling with a travel agency they would do that for you. Iran travel insurances cost depends on your age, duration of your trip and the country you are coming from.
Some of our services at Irpersaitour, is obtaining visa and travel insurance for those who choose to travel with us. There are plenty of tour packages for you on our website, so tab on the picture if you are interested.
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