What We Should Know before Traveling to Iran (Part I)
Iran, a country that is widely talked about in the media, feeds on various passions but remains largely unknown. Forget the bad things that is said in the media. Iran is one of the safest countries in the world.
Iran, a country that is widely talked about in the media, feeds on various passions but remains largely unknown.
If you decide to travel to Iran, it's very likely that the moment you start
planning you will start facing the first problems.
First thing to know before leaving: tourist or not, anyone in Iran must respect the Islamic law in force in public places.
Is it safe to visit Iran?
Forget the bad things that is said in the media. Iran is one of the safest countries in the world.
For those who have already been in Cuba, the two countries are very similar on this aspect. You can then walk around with your bag or your camera without fearing anything. Tourists will never be touched, as the consequences for a snatch can be severe. The local authorities are very serious about at that.
Tourists never fill uncomfortable or in danger with Iranians. Not only that, they also met many Iranian women traveling on their own. Buses running from one city to another stop at every police station along the way and an officer checks everything, depending on the province together with the dogs sniffing drugs. In the cities, police is everywhere and keep streets safe.
The Iranian government puts a great deal of work in security and keeping the national border as safe as possible against terrorism and drug dealers.
Sometimes it might seem extreme, but we should never forget that Iran
borders with dangerous countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, from where terrorists usually take off for their attacks.
Can we travel alone when we are a woman?
"We are never bored on the streets: no displaced looks, no harassment in the bazaars," says Josiane Durant, who traveled to Iran. A woman can very well book a hotel room alone, eat alone in a restaurant and walk alone in the streets. For women traveling alone, harassment is very very slight compared to many countries including some Europeans. Just ignore the look or the word a little out of place.
Best time to visit Iran
We don't recommend you go for Nowruz: Iranians are on holiday for some
thirteen days, it's hard to book a hotel, Tehran will be empty and shops, banks and, most importantly, exchange agencies will be closed, popular tourist destinations will be packed, lines for landmarks will be endless, prices will go up.
The best time to visit Iran is right after Nowruz. From April 2nd a pleasant weather, colorful blossoms and everything be back to normal are a guarantee for a perfect trip.
Summer is very hot, especially in central Iran, where you are likely to go if you are visiting Iran for the first time, while winter is pretty cold and you'd rather enjoy provinces like Qeshm or Kish islands in the Persian Gulf, unless you are into winter activities such as skiing.
Autumn is mild in central Iran while it can be cold in cities like Hamedan and quite pleasant in Tehran since the summer heat is gone. Prices will also be lower than in spring as it's a less busy season.
Iran’s climate is curious. Iran is 17th largest country of the world and is both wide and long, meaning it boasts a variety of climates.
Depending on location, winters in Iran vary from pleasantly cool to intensely cold.
Temperatures in southern regions are typically warm, while central provinces may register temperatures below zero from time to time, though it doesn’t necessarily guarantee snowfall. Western and northwestern areas get a decent amount of snowfall. Some intercity routes are occasionally closed due to massive snowfall or the risk of avalanche in those areas.
International cards and cash in Iran
International credit cards do not work in Iran. So you need to take cash for this trip. Euros or dollars does not change much. Currency exchange offices are available everywhere but those of the airports are contrary to the more advantageous habit.
The Iranian monetary system will make you manage huge bundles of banknotes. The Iranians commonly speak Touman instead of Rial. We remove a 0 from the Rial ticket and it becomes Touman.