Travel Apps to Facilitate Your Iran Trip
So you have decided to travel to Iran and spend a really good time of your life? Congratulations! You have a decision well-made. Now all you need is some smartphone apps to make your trip to Iran as hasslefree as possible.
Before we list the apps that you can install on your smartphone, we should first notify that you need a connection. Iranian mobile operators MCI, or Hamrah-e-Avval, which is state-owned, and Irancell (partially owned by MTN) offer pre-paid tourist SIM cards.
At international airports like Imam Khomeini at Tehran, you can buy a 3G and 4G once you arrive in Iran.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most essential apps that may enhance your Iran trip experience.
It might surprise you to know that Foursquare is popular in Iran—well, it is!
Iranians are very active on Foursquare, as are foreign tourists traveling to Iran. There are a decent number of reviews in English to help you choose a venue for a cup of coffee or traditional Iranian dishes.
From upscale restaurants to back-alley teahouses, Foursquare has a growing database of Iranian venues—from art galleries to cafes—that are constantly updated with user reviews and ratings.
Iranian users are active on Trip.com’s smartphone app too. the app isn’t as popular as Foursquare but it may provide you with a list of places not listed on Foursquare.
As Waze is blocked in Iran, Google Maps will help you to find the ways.
The map is very detailed and shows both bus stops and metro stations in large cities, such as Tehran. It is particularly handy when it comes to showing traffic congestion, which you absolutely need if you plan on traveling around Tehran by car.
Google Translate is the most easy-to-use translation app on the market. While its translation of complicated Persian sentences is not yet advanced, the translations are at least understandable.
Google Translate is pretty good at guessing Persian words that you draw with your fingers via the drawing function, so enjoy it!
Furthermore, when you come across a non-English speaker, you can always have the app translate what you want to say in Persian and have the person read it. It’s not the easiest mode of communication, but at least it works!
There are many apps for Tehran’s expanding subway network, but Tehran Metro app stands out for the wealth of information it provides users in an accessible way and it is available in English!
Traveling around Tehran on the subway is fast, efficient and saves you from Tehran’s merciless traffic.
Available on both iOS and Android, Tehran Metro provides accurate train schedules for Tehran’s five active subway lines.
A standout feature of the app is that it lists amenities found at each station, from newspaper stands to fast-food joints. This app also tells you which stations have ATMs, which may be of interest to you if you got yourself a prepaid tourist credit card at the airport or at one of the branches of Bank Melli, Bank Sepah or Tourism Bank.
Unfortunately, a lot of apps on Google Play aren’t available to users in Iran, which prompting some developers to provide an alternative app store to Iranians: Bazaar.
Most of the apps unavailable to Iranians due to region-restrictions can be found on Bazaar, which has a decent English version.
The app can only be downloaded from their official website.
Snapp’s reasonable prices and growing number of drivers has helped it become the most popular ridesharing app in Tehran. The app can be downloaded from Google Play, App Store or Bazaar.
Unlike its competitors, the app is available in English as well as French, in addition to Farsi.
Odds are your phone already has a weather app, but not many can rival AccuWeather’s spot-on forecasts and nifty extras.
Iran is a big country with vastly different climates. For instance, in late April when Tehran in central Iran was experiencing temperatures above 20°C, the mountainous regions of Ardabil in the northwest were being blanketed in snow!
AccuWeather has a very good coverage of Iran and can help you stay up to speed with weather changes.
As a non-Arab Muslim country, Iran uses a solar (as opposed to lunar) calendar called “Shamsi”. Naturally, this may cause confusion for foreign travelers, who will most likely encounter dates written in the local calendar.
The Android-only app Date/Calendar Converter can therefore be vert efficient when you need to quickly convert dates from Shamsi to Gregorian. What sets this app apart from the competition is that it provides a transliteration of the Farsi names for months and days, making their pronunciation easy for foreign travelers.
Iran’s travel app market is slowly but surely growing, and in time there will be more apps worthy of a mention in our future lists. The app isn’t available on iOS, but Calendar Converter is a decent alternative, though it’s not free ($1.99).
Snapfood is a new food order app in Iran. The online order of food in Iran before the launch of Snapfood was just a dream, and few were aware of its benefits. You can choose a restaurant, whether the traditional or fast food, and then you choose your favorite food. You can receive the food in your location as soon as possible. This is a very practical application with good menus.