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Travel Around Persia |  Plan Your Budget Trip to Iran

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Popular Destinations in Iran

Isfahan Naqshe Jahan Square

Iran Hotel Booking

Iran has a wide selection of accommodations ranging from ecolodges and charming hostels to luxurious traditional or contemporary hotels. You can browse over 200 different places to spend your vacation and find the right one that fits your exact taste, budget and style. Make your Iran hotel booking experience as seamless as possible. You might even discover lodging options that take your breath away.

Top Rated Hotels in Iran

Isfahan Traditional Hotel – Isfahan

Isfahan Traditional Hotel – Isfahan

Panj Dari Traditional Hotel - Shiraz

Panj Dari Traditional Hotel – Shiraz

Howeyzeh Hotel Tehran

Howeyzeh Hotel Tehran

Ghasr Monshi Hotel Isfahan

Ghasr Monshi Hotel Isfahan

Sunny Land Guest House Yazd

Sunny Land Guest House Yazd

Moshir al-Mamalek Garden Hotel Yazd

Moshir al-Mamalek Garden Hotel Yazd

Adib House Hotel Kashan

Adib House Hotel Kashan

Morshedi House Hotel Kashan

Morshedi House Hotel Kashan

Read our reviews on tripadvisor.

Ali Azad

Ali A (Zurich, Switzerland)

Helped with Visa, car rentals, hotels corona restrictions and set up an amazing trip to the desert This was my second trip with TAP Persia. Again it was flawless. They helped me out with every question I had. And I had a lot. They helped me rent a car, gave me information about entering cities during Corona and also knew the best hotels and had good prices. We went on a trip to the desert and saw a lot of shooting stars. All in all, it was perfect. I would recommend it to everyone. 10/10! Reviewed September 2, 2021 Tripadvisor

Sara M

Sara M (Verona, Italy)

5-Stars Corporate Travel | Memorable journey I had the pleasure to visit Iran in March and April 2021 for business. My travel itinerary was complex, covering different cities, Tehran, Esfahan, and Yazd. While I initially tried to arrange bookings and transportation on my own, it is only when I turned to TAP Persia that things started to go definitely right. The hotel selections offered by Tap Persia have been simply superb. I truly enjoyed my staying in magnificent boutique hotels that made this trip an absolutely memorable journey. I'd like to express my warm thanks to the Tap Persia team, Rasool and Hadi in particular, for their unparalleled support, patience, and extraordinary humanity. Whatever wish I had, they made it come true: I really wanted to try the art of Persian calligraphy. Guess what? The following day I was sitting with a master of ancient calligraphy, and I was even entertained by a live performance with a traditional Persian Setar! I would genuinely recommend Tap Persia as the best travel agency in Iran. Reviewed May 8, 2021 Tripadvisor


Paulo C (Porto Alegre, Brazil)

All around reliable and trustable Over the years and despite preferring to do things by myself, I’ve relied and many tour companies on some locations. In Iran I’ve chosen TAP PERSIA. And I was not proven wrong. 🙂 paying a lot of money in advance is something I dread, but did. My trust was never misplaced. They helped me with my visa application (that I did in Istanbul), all of my in between cities transportation, hotels and a few guides. The hotels were amazing, the drivers drove good and safe, always kind; the guides super knowledgeable. The few changes I asked for on the ground (a guide where I hadn’t booked one, changes in itinerary, extra space in last train) were done with care and great effort. Never had to beg or insist. I would totally recommend using their services. You are always in contact with them by multiple ways and their representatives are all really nice! Iran is a wonderful destination and TAP PERSIA does it justice. Reviewed November 10, 2019 Tripadvisor


Lea H (Berlin, Germany)

100% recommendation We booked a pick up tour from Isfahan to Yazd and communication was perfect, quick and very easy via what’s app. Meysam picked us up at 9.00 am at the hotel and showed us some amazing things on the way to Yazd, for example chak chak, lunch in the dessert and some wonderful places in meybod. We never expected this trip to be so wonderful as it turned out. Meysam has fundamental knowledge about the sights and was very kind and comforting. I totally recommend doing any tour with him, if you get the chance! Reviewed November 1, 2019 Tripadvisor

Alex K (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Alex K (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Best tour operator in Iran I found out about TAP Persia from YouTube and decided to contact them to help me set up a solo trip across Iran. I prefer more independent travel, so I used their help mainly for transportation arrangement and also asking them for tips about travelling in Iran. Let me begin by saying that everyone is super friendly and helpful! The communication was very smooth, my emails and messages were answered quickly. You can also pay online for all tickets, hotel bookings and trips, which is a huge time saviour. Special thanks to the lovely Maryam, who was the main person I talked with!! She did a great job!!! 🙂 September 2019 Tripadvisor


Vincent K (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Very satisfied I travelled to Iran as solo traveler. On quite short notice. Tap Persia provided great support and had fast reaction to prepare my plan. I got a support with visa and travel insurance as well. Arrival to Iran was very smooth and all administration on the airport took less than 20 minutes. Tap Persia make reservation of all hotels (I wanted traditional ones) and arrange travel guides in each city where I required them. I do not have any objections or negative comments to hotels (perhaps only in Tehran, I will choose a hotel with bigger bath room next time :)). I do have only positive comments to all travel guides I met and they did company to me. As Mojtaba in Tehran, Mojtaba in Shiraz, Amir in Yazd, Elaheh in Esfahan, Fatima in Kashan and Mostafa in Alamut walley. When I return to Iran, I might insist to have the same guides again :). Everyone of them had something special in. My trip was easy, smooth and I really enjoy it. No disturbances at all. Tap Persia did a good job and I am happy that I had a luck to choose this agency for my travel arrangements. Thank you Rasool, Hadi and Maryam. Reviewed August 18, 2019 Tripadvisor


Elisenda F (London, UK)

The best tailor made travel experience / know the country through its wonderful people Any way you like to travel: solo, guided, fully planned, in group or with your own driver ... all that and more you can get with the TAP Persia team. I have travelled to Iran so far with my husband and two kids and solo. Organizing a trip to Iran from abroad is not easy. Both times TAP Persia sorted out the bits and pieces, I needed .... visa, hotels, bus, drivers etc. They catered for all our needs; and patiently dealt with last minute changes . Their expertise and advise is very very welcome. The trip organising side 100% brilliant. But you will not only get that, but also a warm and human contact with Iranian locals and culture insight. You would miss out a lot if you don't have contact with the people. I dare you to challenge TAP Persia .... there is very little room for disappointment. Reviewed June 5, 2019 Tripadvisor

Iran Traditional Hotel

Iran’s expansive history has produced an interesting combination of ancient, traditional, and modern facilities. No matter where you visit, you will always find a unique and interesting place to stay. Booking hotels in Iran has never been easier. Traditional hotels offer some of the most uniquely Iranian experiences in this part of the world. Most of the hotels in this category are renovated structures, sometimes dating back over 400 years. They include delicate and elaborate stucco’s, hand-painted murals, brilliant mirror-work, and lavish tile work, along with soulful, local architecture. Lavish and tranquil courtyards offer an escape from modernity. Almost all accommodations in Iran offer free Wifi, so you’ll always be connected with your friends and family back home.

Finding the right Iran hotel is simple and straightforward. Modern Iranian hotels include all the amenities international travelers have come to expect. From round-the-clock room service and comfortable sleeping arrangements to fully-stocked rooms and accommodating staff members, modern Iranian hotels offer an effortless experience.

Boutique Hotels in Iran

iran hotel Darbe shazdeh Hotel Shiraz

Darbe shazdeh Hotel Shiraz

iran hotel Keryas Hotel Isfahan

Keryas Hotel Isfahan


Keshish House Hotel Isfahan

iran hotel Manouchehri Traditional Hotel Kashan

Manouchehri Traditional Hotel Kashan

Each boutique hotel is unique.

Each boutique Iran hotel has a unique history. These opulent mansions offer exciting atmospheres and a deep look into traditional Iranian life. The energy within freshens the soul and prepares for your adventures out into the city. Hostels, guesthouses, and ecolodges are fantastic options for their lively, engaging, and authentic character.

5 things you should know before booking your Iran hotel online

When looking for the right hotel in Iran, remember that service quality, amenity choices, and your overall experience might be different from your other travel destinations.

If you’re interested in discovering the best hotels in Iran based on traveler reviews, don’t miss this informative article.

Here are 5 things you should consider when booking a hotel in Iran:

  • Ask about offers & deals . At any time throughout the year, get special offers and discounts when you contact TAP Persia. We will tell you if each accommodation is actually as good as its pictures and reviews and provide the best possible experience.
  • Check the location . You want to be where the action is. If you want a special hotel but don’t know which one to choose, we’ll help you decide. Get the hotel closest to the city center, historical attractions. The most exciting option might not always be the most convenient.
  • Check the cancellation policy . Service standards and cancellation policies differ based on the hotel. TAP Persia can ensure you get the exact hotel you want.
  • Hotels have high variances . While clean rooms, room service, and English-speaking staff are the standard. However, services such as towels, slippers, TVs in rooms, minibars, and others may be limited.
  • 5 stars aren’t always 5 stars . Iranian hotels don’t always follow the star rating system when it comes to categorizing their amenities. Be sure to ask for specific amenities before you book.

10 things you should know about Iran hotels

  • Boutique hotels are the way to go – What makes the Iran hotel experience unique are the boutique hotels and renovated mansions that have been repurposed into hotels.
  • Start your day with a Persian breakfast – Almost all accommodations offer a traditional Iranian breakfast in the morning. As a minimum, you can expect a buffet of several types of bread, cheeses, fresh vegetables, jams, and tea. Persian omelets are eggs and paste served with onions and flatbread
  • Wifi is often available – Iran is a well-connected country so hotel wifi is usually pretty decent. If you want steady and fast internet while you are out or in the hotel, consider an Iran SIM card .
  • TAP Persia hand selects each hotel – The TAP Persia team picks each hotel we put on the site based on price, service quality, and most importantly, our travelers’ feedback.
  • English is very common – Almost all hotel receptions are not only friendly and helpful but speak what our travelers consider decent English. In the event of any barriers in communication, TAP Persia 24/7 Live Assistance can help resolve any issues with your hotel.
  • Check-in and check-out – most hotels have check-in at 2 pm and checkouts at 12 noon. If you’ve got a flight later in the day, most places will hold your bags or offer a late check out for a small fee.
  • Passport, please – Invariably, your hotel will want to take your passport and sight your visa before letting you stay the night. If you feel weird without your passport, I advise you to offer a photocopy and keep the original yourself. However, some hotels ask you to keep your passport until your checkout.
  • 300-year-old renovated buildings – One of the best things about hotels and hostels in Iran is the building itself. Converted traditional houses offer stained glass windows, central courtyards, 100s of years of history, and architectural beauty. Immerse yourself in the full Persian experience at one of these traditional hotels.
  • Bathroom amenities & etiquette – Iranians generally use squat toilets. The “Iranian toilet” is basically a squat toilet and the “European toilet” is a regular sitting down the loo. Most hotels will specify what type of toilet they have in the room. As a general rule, the more touristy places and the fancy hotels will have the European version.
  • You can’t use credit cards or debit cards – You must bring cash in Euros or Dollars, conduct frequent exchanges and waste your time a lot. Get a tourist card and avoid any headaches.

Before traveling to any country, the best is to have a full plan of everything you need. Book a hotel or accommodation place beforehand is a very important step and relieve you from most travel worries. Procedures for booking a hotel in Iran is different to other countries. We will explain it here and you can also follow this article( Iran travel guide ) about all the steps you need to do before coming to Iran.

Majority Iranian hotels are not registered on International platforms. Even if there are some, they’re mostly don’t accept credit card payment for reservation as debit cards are totally different in Iran. Some hotels don’t have a website at all or if they do, it’s not user friendly or translated in English. So, you will have limited options for booking online.

How to Book Iran’s Hotels Efficiently?

The best solution is you do it via a local agency and travel with peace of mind. In TAP Persia, we book any hotel you require conveniently and accompany you till the last step of your travel. Take a look at our I ran hotel page to be familiar with our suggested hotels.

Pay Attention to the Season

Please note that booking a hotel in high season is a really difficult job and you may face lots of problems, so make sure to do your reservation in advance. The general high season in Iran is autumn and spring, but for some special areas, high seasons are different. For example, the best season for traveling to south of Iran are autumn and winter, but the best season for visiting Kurdistan and Azerbaijan is spring and summer.

Iran hotel book

Experience Living in Iranian Traditional Houses

As the tourism isn’t widely developed in Iran, there are many boutique hotels which are really popular among travelers. The old Iranian houses are also renovated and turned into traditional guest-houses with fascinating architecture and vibrant gardens. They present you great facilities and you may even savor their authentic atmosphere more than a modern, luxurious hotel.

What Documents Are Required for Hotel Reservation in Iran

Booking a hotel room is a process may be different among countries. It may need various documents, but for a hotel reservation in Iran, you just need a passport and money. In case, you’re Iranian and traveling with your partner whom you aren’t married, you need a marriage certificate for having a hotel double room as well. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on foreigners in this case. For more information, follow our article about traveling as an unmarried couple in Iran .

The Problem with Paying for Hotel Reservation in Iran

There are different ways of reserving a hotel in Iran, but not all of them are efficient. The international platforms don’t work due to sanctions. In addition, Iran has a different bank system, so paying Iran organizations by credit cards is not possible in most cases. Contacting the hotels is another way, however, there’s no online payment availability and the hotel may cancel your reservation later.

How to Book a Hotel Efficiently in Iran

With these conditions, applying through an Iranian agency seems a wise decision. The hotels are bound to keep the rooms for agencies to maintain their credit. In TAP Persia, we do your hotel reservation in the most convenient and trustworthy way. Furthermore, you can pay for any of our services by your credit card. Just feel free to contact us .

Most Iranian hotels are not that large, so there are not so many rooms. The rooms’ quality varies too. For example, in some guesthouses or hostels, the services like bathroom may be outside the room. It doesn’t seem very comfortable, but don’t worry. You can consult with us and we will reserve the ideal room exactly based on your taste. You can also take a look at our Hotel Page to get familiar with our suggested hotels and book them directly online.

hotel reservation in Iran

In  TAP Persia, we introduce you to modern or traditional hotels and plan you a budget trip based on your preferences. Feel free to ask any question about traveling to Iran.

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Frequently asked questions about hotels in iran, booking questions, travel questions, safety questions, hotel questions, can i book iran hotels online.

You can book any Iran hotel online through TAP Persia. Some big chain hotels offer online booking solutions, but the soulful locations, boutique hotels, and guesthouses often ask for cash. TAP Persia helps you book your dream hotel, and if the accommodation you’re looking for is not available, we will help you find an even better alternative.

How do I book an Iran hotel online?

Click on the city you’d like to visit to see the hotels that we have vetted in order to ensure quality service. Each hotel on our website is handpicked because of their reputation and our experience of working with them.

Why does TAP Persia test each hotel before listing them on the website?

  • Regular feedback from customers
  • Service quality checks. We work on a commission basis with each hotel

How can I pay for Iran hotels?

You can book any Iran hotel through TAP Persia with a bank transfer or cash payment upon your arrival. To confirm your booking you need to pay the deposit.

Why is booking Iran hotels with TAP Persia better than the competition?

We deal with the hotel so you won’t have to, We will fight to get you the service you expect and deserve or find you a similar replacement if you are not satisfied. Moreover, we can reschedule your booking upon your request.

Can I book Iran hotels with my credit card?

No, you have to make your reservation through us via a bank transfer. We will reserve your hotel on your behalf to ensure there is no communication barrier.

Why can’t I just book directly with hotels?

TAP Persia helps you by boiling down the best and most unique Iran hotels based on our travelers’ feedback, past experience, and one-of-a-kind offerings.

Why can’t I just find a hotel through Tripadvisor and book them myself?

Tripadvisor is a fantastic choice for finding highly reviewed and popular options. What makes booking your Iran hotel through TAP Persia unique is that not only do we make sure that the service you received is up to your service, but we offer a chance to experience a much more immersive experience. Imagine dining with a local family, staying at a historic guesthouse, or living through a desert caravan and really feeling Iranian life.

Is it cheaper to book last minute?

Last-minute discounts are uncommon. Booking your hotel in advance can sometimes lower prices. One of the benefits is the affordable prices and memorable atmosphere of unique Iran hotels .

When is the best time for booking an Iran Hotel?

The best time to visit is during the spring between March till June and in autumn between September to November. These times are also the busiest times to travel, so if you plan to travel in or around these months, book at least 1-2 months in advance. If you plan on coming during the winter or summer months, we recommend 3-4 weeks of advance notice.

When is the best time to travel to Iran?

The best time to travel is in the spring. If you come from March to May, you will witness the festive new years celebrations, Nowruz, along with witnessing the most gorgeous natural attractions the country has to offer. The second best time to visit is during the fall, in September or October. The fall colors mingle beautifully with the earthy colors you’ll find throughout various landscapes. During the winter months, Kish and Qeshm island offer a luxurious escape from the cold.

What are the best destinations in Iran?

The best cities to visit are Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Kashan, Mashhad, Kish & Shiraz. These cities offer not only ancient historical and natural attractions but also boast the country’s most colorful cultures, each with its own unique traditions. Each city is architecturally and historically rich. And feature one of the oldest continuing civilizations.

Can I use my credit card in Iran?

No, you can not use your international credit or debit cards to make reservations or purchases while traveling. You must bring cash and exchange it for Iranian Rials upon your arrival. If you don’t want to carry large amounts of bills and conduct frequent exchanges, you can sign up for the Iran tourist card , a personalized prepaid debit card that is accepted all throughout the country.

What is the Iran currency?

The official currency is the Iranian Rial. In order to get the most recent competitive exchange rates, chat with one of our travel advisors. The unofficial but common informal currency is called Toman and it basically has one less zero than the Rial (100 Rial = 10 Toman)

Where can I exchange money in Iran?

You can find reputable exchange offices throughout the city. Ask your reception or any local for directions. However, instead of carrying loads of cash, conducting frequent exchanges, and counting out exact change, sign up for an Iran tourist card , a personalized prepaid debit card you can charge with Euros or Dollars at any time, anywhere in the country.

How can I get my visa to Iran?

TAP Persia can process your Iran visa in 3-5 business days.

How much is the daily average cost to travel to Iran?

  • 5 star places around 70-100 EUR,
  • 4 star places around 40-70 EUR
  • 3 star places around 20-40 EUR.
  • Meals in good restaurants around 5-10 EUR,
  • TAXI service in cities around 1-3 EUR.
  • Average prices are based on 2021 prices and are subject to change.

Do I have to buy an Iran SIM card?

Your normal cell phone and internet coverage will not work while traveling. This means you have to purchase an Iran SIM card. You get a free SIM card with the purchase of a pick-up tour .

Is alcohol illegal throughout the country?

Alcohol is illegal throughout Iran and cannot be found at official establishments.

Can Americans visit?

Americans are able to travel by purchasing an Iran package tour . The itinerary comes with a full-time guide, travel insurance , and an Iran visa . Processing may take up to 3 months. Iranians are quite fond of Americans and American culture.

What should I wear?

  • Women: Wear long sleeves, loose-fitting clothing, and a light scarf covering your hair
  • Men: Wear short-sleeved shirts and pants.

Which are the best cities to visit?

The best cities to visit include Tehran , Isfahan , Yazd , and Shiraz .

Can I buy souvenirs like Persian rugs?

Yes. One of the most treasured physical gifts you can take back from your journey is an authentic, hand-woven Persian carpet. Watch our video on How to buy a Persian carpet and start a chat with our support team to help you pick your dream carpet or rug.

How is the climate in Iran?

The country has a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. January is the coldest month and August is the hottest. The best times to travel are during the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate. Average temperatures range between the low 50s°F (10s°C) at night to the upper 80s°F (25s°C) during the day.

Can I use my cell phone in Iran?

Your cellphone provider will most likely not cover Iran. If you want to have a cell phone or internet coverage while in Iran, you’re gonna have to buy an Iran SIM card . You can buy them at the airport when you land, but international flights almost always arrive after midnight, meaning buying your SIM card at the airport is not available at that time. TAP Persia will complete your application and bring you your SIM card no matter what time you land. All you have to do is pay the SIM card fee and airport pick-up fee

Is there Internet access in Iran?

Yes, internet access is available in almost all hotels and most shops and restaurants. Almost all locals have the internet on their phones, so you can always ask and people are happy to help you with online tasks. To ensure that you have cell and internet coverage while you travel, purchase an Iran SIM card .

How can I get travel insurance coverage to?

You are actually required to purchase Iran travel insurance before you can enter the country. TAP Persia Iran travel insurance , covers medical emergencies, dental emergencies, and lost belongings. It also comes with our 24/7 live assistance, which you can use all across the country.

Is it safe for solo women travelers?

You can read our Solo Female Travel Tips . Generally speaking, it is very safe to travel as a solo woman. Women are required to follow the dress codes including wearing a headscarf and covering their arms and legs. Public transport also includes different sections for me and women. Iranians are renowned for their hospitality and as a visitor, you will be invited to many people’s houses for dinner or lunch. This isn’t as forward as it may seem in other countries and is generally a sign of respect to the guest. There is, however, no obligation to accept such offers.

Is it safe for Americans?

US citizens will have to have their itinerary and tour guide approved beforehand. Sticking to the itinerary is part of the conditions of visa approval, so sticking to the itinerary and the instructions of the tour guide will ensure that there are no problems. Iranians are keen to demonstrate their hospitality to US citizens and will offer to host them for lunch or dinner. Hostility towards particular actions of the US government doesn’t stop the people of Iran from having nothing but the warmest feelings for Americans themselves.

Can I travel independently?

Most people are able to travel independently within Iran, without any guide or official guidance whatsoever. US, UK, and Canadian citizens need to have their itinerary and tour group approved beforehand, which will require an officially sanctioned guide. However, as part of the itinerary, it is possible to include free days, which if approved, will allow for free travel. Many travelers prefer to go on guided tours, as much of the population, including those who work in tourism, do not have proficiency in English, making some experiences more difficult.

Do I need a guide to travel to Iran?

No. You can explore the country on your own if you bring enough cash with you to exchange on the go. TAP Persia connects you with locals guides in each city, so no matter where you go, you’re always going out with a local. All our Iran tours are conducted by passionate, knowledgeable, and authentic natives.

Is it permitted to take photos of historical sites and people in Iran?

Rules on photography depend on location. Many mosques allow photography inside and outside. Some museums will not allow photography inside but will for the outside. Generally, if it is not permitted, a sign will tell you so. For the most part, do not photograph government and military buildings. For people, it is always better to ask for permission. But since Iranians are usually super friendly, they’ll not only pose for your photo but you might also make some new friends.

Is it safe to travel to Iran in 2021?

Iran has been a stable and one of the safest destinations for many decades. Given a rapid step-up in vaccination rates, investments in tourism infrastructure and thousands of years of history and tradition Iran offers a unique package of experiences to travelers and cultural explorers.

What do I do in case of emergencies?

TAP Persia offers our highly-rated 24/7 Live Assistance to all our travelers. We also offer our in-house TAP Persia Iran travel insurance , where we are the closest link between you and the closest nearby provider, no matter where you are in the country. We ensure you, your belongings, and your experience.

Do I have a cell phone and internet coverage everywhere I go?

Get the TAP Persia support bundle and you will.

Is Airbnb available?

Unfortunately, Airbnb is not available. If you are looking for unique accommodations that allow you to have more interactions with locals, check out our Iran boutique hotels .

Is Couchsurfing available?

Unfortunately, Couchsurfing is not available. If you are planning your trips around local interactions or are traveling on a budget, check out our guesthouses and best economy Iran hotel .

What are the most luxury Iran hotels?

  • Tehran  Espinas Palace
  • Isfahan Abbasi 
  • Yazd Parsian Safaiyeh
  • Kashan Ameriha
  • Mashhad Darvishi
  • Kish Shayan
  • Shiraz Shiraz Grand

Tabriz Tabriz shahgoli

What is the most unique Iran hotel in each city?

  • Tehran Hanna 
  • Isfahan Ghasr Monshi 
  • Yazd Moshir al-Mamalek 
  • Kashan Morshedi
  • Mashhad Ghasr International
  • Kish Dariush Grand
  • Shiraz Shirazi House
  • Tabriz Kandovan Laleh

What is the best economy Iran hotel in each city?

  • Tehran Shahryar
  • Isfahan Isfahan Traditional
  • Yazd Sunny Land
  • Kashan Adib House
  • Mashhad Seebarg
  • Kish Flamingo
  • Shiraz Panj Dari 

How are Iran boutique hotels different than standard hotels?

  • Great luxury hotels 
  • Five stars to boutique hotels
  • Traditional and modern design
  • Budget travelers
  • Sorted them by style, location, service to simplify your search and only show you the most reputable hotels in Iran
  • A most popular place to stay
  • contemporary cafes, traditional teahouses, and on the walking in the heart of the Persian empire,
  • To help you get started on your holiday in one of the world’s oldest continuous countries, see our best hotels in Iran.

How does TAP Persia choose its hotels?

Can i stay at hotels with my iranian boyfriend/girlfriend.

No, you can’t. The Hotel will ask for marriage documents in this case.

Can you travel to Iran as an unmarried couple?

Yes, people assume you can’t but it’s only if one of you is an Iranian. If you are both non-Iranian then it is ok.

What are the signs of an authentic Irani hotel?

  • Intimate, private
  • Historical architecture, the house is designed for a large family
  • Designed for inclusivity and
  • Come with warm staff and Iranian hospitality
  • Renovated old houses
  • Reviews off of TripAdvisor
  • Or recommendations straight from TAP

How do I find cheap hotels in Iran?

Iran offers a variety of accommodation options. Cheap hotels and hostels are easy to find and book online. Most hostels start around 5 EUR per night for a dorm room bed and you can find a decent hotel with a private bathroom for 20 EUR per night.

Can hotels serve alcohol to a person with a foreign passport?

Unfortunately no, hotels do not serve alcoholic beverages.

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Local Leaders TAPPersia

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  • A Complete Guide to Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Iran
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  • April 5, 2022 12:00 am

Leaving home, you want to spend the night in the nature and far from any kind of urban noise. However, some other times your intention is to stay in a luxurious and flawless hotel. Here, we introduce to you top ten Luxury hotels in Iran, expensive and especial hotels attracting any visitor from any country.

Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Iran 

Luxurious espinas hotel in tehran.

Espinas Hotel is one of the most Luxurious hotels in Iran and indeed the first five-star hotel constructed after the Islamic Revolution. With an area about 24000m 2 , this 18-storey hotel located in Keshavarz Blvd. provides unique facilities which are mentioned in in the following.

Hotel Facilities

For your stay, many options are available to choose among the hotel rooms. There are some facilities available commonly in all of the hotel rooms, including:

  • 45 inches television;
  • Minibar (extra charge);
  • Safety box;
  • Tea and coffee service (free of charge).

Other rooms among which you may select are:

  • Junior suite;
  • Luxurious suite;
  • Presidential suite;
  • Espinas suite.

Each of the above has its own types of facilities.

espinas luxury hotel in Iran

Luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel in Tehran

The luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel began its activity in 2001. The hotel has been built with Indian architectural style. In 2015, the hotel was renovated to improve its facilities. Taj Mahal Apartment Hotel in 8 stories has 80 residential units.

Hotel facilities include: television, telephone, refrigerator, wireless internet, Western style toilets (in some of the rooms), air conditioner, safety box, room service, conference room, gym, billiard room, swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi, coffee shop, restaurant, parking, and other welfare equipment and facilities.

It goes without saying that being near to Vanak Sqr., the hotel provides guest with easy access to Vanak shopping centers, Millad Tower, and Aab-o-Atash Park.

Taj Mahal Luxury hotel in Iran

Luxurious Zandiyeh Hotel in Shiraz

Zandaiyeh Hotel as one of the Luxury hotels in Iran (Shiraz) was established in 2015, in Hejrat Str., located at the heart of the city. The location of the hotel is considered as one of its advantages, as it is located close to many sightseeing places in Shiraz.

The hotel has been constructed, inspired by very beautiful traditional architecture of Shiraz.

The followings are among the facilities provided in Zandiyeh hotel:

  • Coffee shop, restaurant;
  • Traditional Iranian bathhouses;
  • Coffee net;
  • Room service;
  • Swimming pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi;
  • Conference room.

Most of the travelers are satisfied with the hotel and the facilities provided by it. Also, the hotel provides brides and grooms with special rooms as honey moon rooms, decorated with balloons, fruits, and pastries.

Zandiye luxury hotel in Iran

Saraye Ameriha Boutique Hotel in Kashan

This is not just a hotel, but also a historical place to reside in. This building with old and historical architecture is decorated with colorful windows and historical decorations. Ameriha Boutique Hotel in 2 stories has 16 rooms.

This five-star hotel includes such places of sightseeing as Haft Dari, Hasht Dari, sardab (cellar), and mirror room. Facilities provided in the hotel include: restaurant, coffee shop, spring house, shopping booths, etc.

Saraye Ameriha luxury hotel in Iran

Luxurious Abbassi Hotel in Isfahan

Abbasi Hotel is located at Chaharbagh Str. With a history of more than 320 years (the world oldest hotel), this is one of the Luxurious hotels in Iran which is full of artistic paintings and a very large and lush garden. The Abbasi Hotel is of such beauty that, not surprisingly, many people travel to Isfahan only to see it.

The hotel has 25 rooms, suites and apartments, each of which having its own facilities. In some of the suites, the architecture related to Safavid and Gajar era is observed which cannot be seen in any other part of the world.

Other hotel facilities are:

  • Restaurant and coffee shop;
  • Traditional restaurant;
  • Eleven multi-purpose halls;
  • Swimming pool, sauna, and Jaccuzzi;
  • Gym and massage services.

Abbsi hotel isfahan

Toranj Marine Hotel in Kish

Toranj Hotel is the first marine hotel in Iran (the Persian Gulf). In all 100 suites of the hotel, glass floors facilitate looking at the sea from your own room. These suites are connected to each other with wooden wharfs. From above, the whole complex is seen like a curved cypress tree carved in the Persian Gulf. Among advantages of the hotel is its eye-catching view of the sea, sunset, waves, corals, etc., provided for the guests during their visit.

Some of the hotel facilities are: photo shoot studio; spa; game room; laundry and dry cleaning services; car rental; gym; etc.

Hotel Toranj Kish

Maryam Sorinet Hotel in Kish

As one of the Luxury hotels in Iran, Maryam Sorinet Hotel is located at the eastern side of Amir Kabir Sqr., one of the main squares in Kish.

One of the most important characteristics of the hotel is being equipped with intelligent control technology, that is, the guest entering the room would be resulted in automatic activation of all electronic appliances including the lights, air conditioner, heating and cooling systems, etc.

The hotel with 56 rooms provides such facilities as: room service, breakfast buffet, launch buffet, wireless internet, safety box, meeting room, minibar, etc. Also, a 24 hours coffee lunch service is provided for the guests.

Maryam Sorient luxury hotel

Luxurious Darvishi Hotel in Mashhad

Darvishi five-star Hotel is located in Imam Reza Str. leading up to the Holy Shrine. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the hotel to the Holy Shrine. This 25-storey hotel provides the guests with different types of rooms such as queen room, imperial room, four-bed room, three-bed room, presidential duplex, two-bed room of the season.

Other room types include china duplex, room of the future, Arabic duplex, Indian duplex, ancient Iranian room, Roman penthouse, Islamic Iranian duplex, Egyptian duplex, and spa penthouse with amazing facilities and beauties of their own.

The hotel has several restaurants, billiard room, photo shooting studio, swimming pool, sauna, traditional bath house, amphitheater, etc. Berkeh traditional tea house with very beautiful environment as well as high quality and delicious snacks is very popular in the hotel. Arghavan breakfast room with very stylish environment causes the guest to begin a very pleasing morning.

All of these beauties and facilities have turned Darvishi Hotel into one of the Luxury hotels in Iran.

Darvishi Hotel Mashahad

Kaya Laleh Park Hotel in Tabriz

Established in 2016, the hotel is in fact 10 th hotel among Kaya Hotels & Resorts Chain in Turkey.

Five-star Kaya Laleh Park Hotel in 17 stories has 220 rooms. All of the rooms are facilitated with what the guests need. The hotel is close to Tabriz Airport and El Goli recreational Park. At the ground floor, lobby, modern coffee shop, and library are located. Among other facilities provided by the hotel are the room where wedding table is set and marriage contracts are concluded, wedding hall, traditional bath house, massage room, disabled room, etc.

With a very large shopping center, Kaya Laleh Park Hotel is appropriate also for spending recreation times. The center includes hypermarket, food court, and amusement park.

Kaya Lale park hotel Tabriz

Ghasr-e Talaie Hotel in Mashhad

This is one of the Luxurious hotels in Iran which is very popular and well-known in Mashahd. The hotel with short distance from the Holy Shrine has been opened in 2010 in 16 stories and 610 residential units.

Ghasr-e Talaie provides guests with such rooms and suites as imperial suite, royal apartment, double atrium, junior suite, presidential suite, double luxury, single room etc.

There are several restaurants such as Tarannom, Termeh traditional, Ziafat, and Bargah summer restaurants, etc. available in the hotel. You can rent a Mercedes Benz s500 or any other type of car in the hotel.

Swimming pool, conference rooms, free internet, parking, sports club, etc. are among other facilities provided by this luxurious hotel.

Qasre talaee hotel Mashhad

These hotels are of such beauty and have such facilities that no one can pass by, not being attracted to them. Everybody observing these very splendid hotels will be tempted to reside in them. Most of people staying in these hotels have been highly satisfied. It goes without saying that staying in these luxury hotels in Iran is expensive. However, the important point is the welfare experienced which could not be found anywhere else. Willing to reside in one of aforementioned hotels, you can simply book your room through internet. We Hope that you will spend very pleasant times in these hotels. 

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Rexan International Hotel and Tourism Holding

Rexan your destination for travel, rexan hospitality and tourism group.

Rexan International Hospitality and Tourism Group, stands as the sole international chain in Iran dedicated to travel and tourism. From the very inception of an idea, to providing facilities as per latest industry standards and effective operation of tourism establishments, we stand alongside enthusiasts interested in investing in the tourism and hotel industry. Our aim – fostering sustainable development and economic prosperity for stakeholders in Iran's vibrant hospitality industry.



Our consultants leverage their experiences and utilize multiple resources to provide optimal solutions tailored to your needs.



With a team of construction specialists and a track record in hotel construction, we undertake every project with conscientiousness and dedication.

بازاریابی و فروش

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Strategic targeting, precise market selection, a robust database, and designing a market-oriented advertising strategy will aid your market development.

تامین و تجهیز


Our hallmark lies in contracts with reputable domestic and international brands, ensuring precise selection based on standardized equipment needs in tourism facilities.

بهره برداری

Proper launch and operation processes, focused on a process-oriented approach, is proof of Rexan Group’s security for your investment.


Our policy is centered on investing in tourism infrastructure based on sustainable development, with a focus on the revival and preservation of Iran’s cultural heritage.

خدمات مسافرتی رکسان

Travel Services

From the moment you start planning a trip until you return home, we remain dedicated to addressing your individual preferences, offering various services curated to your needs.

Our Services

Rexan Hospitality and Tourism Group, a subsidiary of Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Investment Group – SEMEGA, operates with three registered global brands: Rexan, Remis, and Karvanica. Accompanied by a group of hospitality and tourism industry experts, our activities revolve around consulting, construction, procurement, furnishing, and efficient operation of accommodation, tourism, and recreational facilities.

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Operational hotels and projects currently under-construction

رستوران‌‌ها و کافه‌‌ها

Restaurants and Cafes

Active restaurants and hotels

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Number of hotel rooms in service

Rexan Hotel Tehran, Iran

Qasr al-ziyafah quds hotel mashhad, iran, vakil caravanserai kerman, iran, rexan hotel karbala iraq.

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Rexan Sirjan Hotel

Rexan Karbala Hotel

Rexan Hotels in the Middle East

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Located near the Imam Khomeini International Airport and connected by a pedestrian bridge, this 4-star hotel offers seamless access to the airport. With 7 floors, it boasts 196 modern and luxurious accommodation spaces, each equipped with all the amenities and comforts you need for a delightful stay. Remis Tehran Hotel is especially suitable for travelers seeking to relax and unwind before and after their flights.

tourism hotel iran

This 5-star gem, especially tailored for both business and family travelers, is a mere 5-minute walk from the airport terminal. Situated on the Tehran-Qeshm highway, the heart of Tehran is just a 45-minute drive away.

Vakil Caravanserai, Kerman, Iran

tourism hotel iran

Vakil Caravanserai Hotel in Kerman is the largest two-story caravanserai in urban Iran, dating back to the rule of Ismail Khan Nouri Vakil al-Molk. Its construction began in 1865 and was completed and put into operation in 1870 by his son, Morteza Khan Vakil al-Molk II.

Qasr al-Ziyafah Quds Hotel, Mashhad, Iran

tourism hotel iran

Qasr al-Ziafeh Quds Hotel, a masterpiece of design, architecture, and construction, stands as one of Iran's premier hotels. Put into operation by SEMEGA’s Rexan International Hospitality and Tourism Group since June 2022, it boasts the finest building materials, top-notch amenities, and comfort facilities. Located adjacent to the Holy Shrine of Ali ibn Musa al-Reza, the 8th Shia Imam, it overlooks the Sheikh Tousi Courtyard of the Shrine, making it an exquisite destination for a divine stay.

Rexan Hotel, Karbala, Iraq

tourism hotel iran

Located near Bab al-Baghdad, in the vicinity of the Shrines of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam, (peace be upon him), and the valiant commander of Islam, Al-Abbas, Rexan Hotel Karbala is the largest hotel in Iraq. Spread over a sprawling 92,000 square meters, with 850 rooms and suites, and multiple hospitality centers, the ideal location of this under construction project plays a significant role in the Iraq’s tourism industry.

Central Office: No.16, 4th Floor, Corner of 14th Alley, Seyyed Jamal al-Din Asadabadi Street – Tehran.

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Rexan International Hospitality and Tourism Group, stands as the sole international chain in Iran dedicated to travel and tourism. From the very inception of an idea, to providing facilities as per latest industry standards and purposeful operation of tourism establishments, we stand alongside enthusiasts interested in investing in the tourism and hotel industry. At Rexan, fostering sustainable development, stakeholders’ economic prosperity and investors’ assurance is of paramount importance. Rexan is the future of travel, ushering in a renewed definition of Iranian hospitality.

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The Best Hotels, Hotels In Iran

If you are planning to take a trip to Iran to discover a new culture and historical places and its city ​​to visit whether alone or in a group, traveling safely, we recommend that you visit this page to know the best hotels and hotels with good quality, low price and affordable costs for an unforgettable stay in Iran. 

everything you need before departure and during your journey.

The Best Hotels In TEHRAN

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Recommended by our team

List of all hotels of tehran, alborz hotel   , amir hotel , arman hotel  , atlas hotel  , dizin hotel  , eram hotel , escan hotel , espinas palace hotel , espinas hotel  , ferdowsi hotel , golestan hotel  , grand hotel , hafez hotel , homa hotel , howeyzeh hotel ,   iranshahr hotel ,   khayam hotel , laleh hotel , markazi hotel , marlik hotel  , melal hotel , nilo hotel , omid hotel , pamchal hotel , parastoo hotel , parsian azadi hotel , parsian enghelab hotel       , parsian esteghlal international hotel , parsian  evin hotel  , parsian kosar hotel , persia hotel , ramtin hotel , roudaki hotel , saadi hotel , saina hotel , shahr hotel , shiraz hotel , simorgh hotel , taj mahal hotel , tochal hotel , the best hotels in esfahan, abbasi hotel  , ali qapu hotel , amir kabir hostel  , aseman hotel , atigh hotel  , ghaeli hotel  , hasht behesht hotel , ibne sina hotel  , julfa hotel , pardis hotel , parsian kowsar hotel , piroozy hotel , safavi hotel , safir hotel , setareh hotel ,   , seven hostel, sheikh bahai hotel , sonnati hotel , sunrise hotel   , tourist hotel  , venus hotel , the best hotels in shiraz, anahita hotel , arian apartment hotel , chamran grand hotel , golshan hostel , niayesh hostel , persepolis international hotel , raz hostel , seven hostel , shams apartment hotel , shiraz grand hotel , shiraz pars international hotel , sirah guesthouse , zandiyeh hotel , the best hotels in mashhad, almas hotel , atrak hotel  , ayan hotel , azadi hotel , darvish hotel , ghasralziafe international hotel  , ghasre talaee , helia hotel , homa hotel 1 , homa hotel 2 , iran hotel , jam hotel , mashhad hotel , misagh hotel , palace international hotel  , pardisan hotel , pars hotel , razavieh hotel , tara hotel , taranom apt. hotel , the best hotels in yazd, arg hotel , atlas hotel , badgir hostel in yazd  , dad hotel , dalane behesht hotel  , fahadan museum hotel , farhang hotel , jungle hotel in yazd  , khatam hotel , kohan hotel ,  laleh hotel , malek -ol-tojar hotel  , mehr hotel , moshir al-mamalek garden hotel , moshir caravanserai hotel , mozafar hotel , nartitee hostel in taft  , orient hostel in yazd , parsian yazd hotel , parsian safaieh hotel ,  silk road hotel , silver guesthouse in yazd , tehrani hotel , tourist inn hotel , traditional rose hotel in yazd , yazd hostel , zanbagh hotel , zein-o-din hotel , farvardin hotel , the best hotels in kashan.

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SarayeAmeriha Boutique Hotel *****

Address: Alavi St. Kashan, Iran, 87139-43645

Tel: 98 31 55240220

Email: [email protected]

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HOTEL? *****

Address: xxx

Tel: +98 0000000000

Ehsan Hostel 

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25 Things to Know Before You Visit Iran

We’ve been all around the world, spent a lot of time in a lot of different countries, and if there’s one thing we can honestly tell you it’s that we’ve never felt as welcomed, fascinated and humbled as we did when we visited Iran.

Iran is such an incredible country to travel. The architecture will amaze you, the friendliness of the people will leave you speechless, the culture is fascinating and the landscapes are out of this world.

Iran is also very misunderstood, with many people believing whatever propaganda they hear on the media about how dangerous or difficult it is to travel there.

Imamzadeh Saleh Shrine Visit Iran

Table of Contents

Iran is Safe!

There’s a lot of customs to follow, you need a visa for iran, have a head scarf in your carry-on luggage before arrival, bring a phrase book or have google translate on your phone, bring a lot of cash, the currency has two names, bring comfortable footwear, research the food and don’t just eat kebabs, bring a backpack rather than a suitcase, draw up an itinerary, but keep it flexible, let your guard down and talk to locals, always ask the price before buying, book domestic flights with your accommodation or travel agent, team up with other travellers and share tours, be on time for your appointments, the traffic is horrible, you need a vpn to access some social media platforms, there is wifi, but be patient with it, pick up a local sim card, iran has its own uber called snapp, you can drink the tap water, good coffee is hard to find, there’s a female-only carriage on the metros, what to know before you visit iran.

The truth is travelling in Iran definitely has its quirks, and being an Islamic country means there’s a few things you need to know about the religion and culture before you go so you can show absolute respect.

Luckily these are easy enough to know before you go if you do a bit of research. We spent one month travelling around Iran and learnt so much during our time there.

To help put your mind at ease about travelling in this incredible country, here’s our list of the most important things to know before you visit Iran.

Women Mosque Yazd Visit Iran

All of the mainstream media outlets portray Iran as an unsafe country, somewhere that you’ll be at risk if you visit.

The mainstream media is wrong.

We did not feel unsafe once through the whole 4 weeks of us backpacking independently in Iran.

We weren’t with a tour group, had no tour guides, don’t speak the local language, took public transport and taxis, wandered the streets on our own – basically everything you shouldn’t do if you’re in a dangerous country.

And guess what? Nothing bad happened to us at all!

The Iranian people are so friendly and helpful. They want you to have a great time and tell your friends so more people will come and visit.

We were walking around one morning on a quiet street when a car passed us and turned around. A group of young people stopped the car, came up to us, and asked if we were ok or if we needed help.

Once we told them we were just looking for a coffee they pulled out their phones and started showing us where the cafes were on a map.

They even offered us a ride, and said if the cafes were closed they had coffee at their home and would love to make us some.

This is just one example of dozens of interactions that happened to us when we were in Iran. Iranians love that tourists are coming to their country and travelling around.

The locals know what the media says about them and what a lot of the world thinks of their country, and the people just want to show that they are nice, generous people.

Theft against tourists is very rare and even the Religion Police (secret police) tend to leave tourists alone.

Just be careful around the bazaars and crowed places for pickpocketing. We didn’t have any issue and didn’t hear of any other travellers having problems, but this is common sense in any busy place in the world.

With all that being said, there is a large military and police presence in Iran. Do not photograph any military areas or government buildings, and stay away from any protests if you see them.

Obviously there are some areas of Iran that are no-go zones, such as the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, so do your research and talk to locals if you’re thinking about going anywhere near them.

When you travel somewhere you want to take in everything about the country and its people, and that includes the culture and customs.

Iran has quite a few local customs that may take some getting used to, so it’s important to learn about them before you go so you don’t accidentally offend or disrespect anyone.

Some of the most common ones that throw tourists off are:

  • Women must wear hijabs (headscarves) at all times in public. They must also wear loose-fitting clothes that don’t show their figure.
  • Giving a thumbs-up sign is considered rude, similar to giving the middle finger in Western society.
  • Men can wear short-sleeved shirts, but long pants must be worn at all times.
  • Men and women who aren’t related shouldn’t touch either. That means no shaking hands or hugging someone of the opposite sex.
  • If you are travelling with your significant other, avoid any public displays of affection.
  • Always bring a gift if you are invited to someone’s house. Candy, pastries or flowers are fine.

Now we want to give a special mention to ta’arof – This is a hospitality trait where it’s customary for someone to refuse payment for a service, and is probably the most confusing thing for any tourist to get their head around.

Basically what happens is if you make a purchase (a souvenir, taxi ride, etc), the person may refuse your payment out of politeness. It is then up to you to insist despite their refusals that you want to pay. After two or three times they’ll then accept your money.

If they still keep refusing then perhaps you have just experienced some amazing Iranian hospitality! But chances are they’ll accept the payment once the process has been completed. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.

The locals are so lovely, that if you do something wrong someone will approach you and nicely let you know. For example, if you are a lady and your headscarf falls off without you knowing, a local will kindly let you know.

Don’t stress about getting your outfits beforehand as shopping in Iran is cheap. Just bring one headscarf and set of loose-fitting clothes, and buy more once you get there.

The culture is the best thing about visiting Iran, and after a few days, you’ll start to understand and fall in love with it just like we did.

Shah Mosque In Isfahan

In order to visit Iran, you’re going to need to get a tourist visa. This used to be a very difficult process, but luckily things have gotten easier with the introduction of visa on arrivals in 2016

On the 14th February 2016, the Ministry of Iran announced that citizens of 180 countries can now apply for VOA of 30-days at most international airports, including Tehran, Shiraz, Mashad, Tabriz and Isfahan.

There’s an exception to this rule though, and if you are from Canada, the UK or the USA, we have some bad news for you…You can only visit Iran if you join a guided tour, so no chance of getting a VOA and travelling independently.

Your tour company will help organise your visa for you.

Check out our article on how to apply for a  Visa On Arrival in Iran.

Iran Visa On Arrival

You Need to Dress Appropriately

This follows on from the customs section above, but in a bit more detail.

Iran is an Islamic country, and as such you need to follow the Islamic dress code. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Women need to cover their arms, legs and head. This including a Hijab, loose long length shirt with long sleeves and pants.

Leggings or tight jeans are ok as long as your top is long and covers your bottom. When wearing pants, you need to be covered down to your ankles.

The most common way to cover your head is with a scarf. The local women wear bright colours and are very stylish with their clothing, so don’t think you need to wear all black.

Black is still worn a lot but not so much among the younger generation.

You can wear sandals. Some guesthouses and hostels will allow you to take your headscarf off on their premises but do check first.

Men aren’t allowed to wear shorts in public, so bring long, lightweight pants as the best option. T-shirts are fine to wear in public. Men can wear sandals too.

If you do wear inappropriate clothing it’s not the end of the world, and besides some angry looks from some of the older generation, you’ll probably just end up having a friendly local let you know what’s best to wear.

In Tehran, the locals push the limits in terms of what they wear in public. At the end of 2017, an uprising occurred and supposedly women were no longer required to wear the Hijab in public in Tehran, but wait until you are in the country to find out for certain.

When you land at the airport, it is respectful to put a scarf straight on your head ladies. This will cause no trouble for you by locals or the officials at the airport.

Once you’re in the air on an international flight you’ll see most young ladies take their hijab as soon as the plane leaves the ground. Just follow what the locals do.

Girls At Mosque

We were quite surprised to discover that a lot of Iranians could speak a little bit of English, but that wasn’t always the case, so do yourself a favour and bring along something that can help translate English to Persian.

We always travel with Google Translate and offline languages saved on our phones, but at times having a phrasebook is the best (and most social) way to interact with people who don’t speak any English.

Remember, you are in a country that doesn’t have English as an official language, so don’t be that rude tourist that gets upset if people aren’t understanding you.

Persian (Farsi) is difficult, and no locals expect you to learn much beyond hello and thank you while you are there, but do your best anyway as a few extra words will go a long way in showing respect.

Also don’t be surprised if you are constantly invited out for tea with people so they can practice their English. If the opportunity comes up, make time for it, as it’s an amazing experience for both the local and yourself.

Don’t forget your cash when visiting Iran, as none of the ATMs in the country accepts foreign credit or debit cards thanks to the embargo. So if you forget to bring all of your cash for your entire trip, you’re out of luck.

Figure out what your usual budget is for a trip ($50 a day, $100 a day, etc), then bring a bit extra just in case. USD is best for all around the country but Euros and British Pounds are also accepted in Tehran.

There’s two exchange rates in the country – official rate and black market rate – and the black market rate is of course much better.

We actually found an exchange booth at Tehran airport that gave pretty close to the black market rate, so we traded some cash there.

As a tip don’t exchange all of your foreign cash into Rials at once, because you’ll either get ripped off on the exchange rate back if you have any left over, or you’ll be unable to trade it outside of the country.

Also don’t be too concerned about travelling around with thousands of dollars in your backpacks. As we mentioned earlier theft is rare. Do keep your money stashed in different spots though just in case.

UPDATE: If you’d prefer not to carry all your cash with you, can actually pre-order a local Iranian debit card from the company, Mah Card . It works just like a normal debit card in your home country.

You order it on their website and they’ll deliver it to your hotel in Tehran when you arrive. They have an online system too where you can top up the funds if you’re running low.

Use the code ‘ NOMADASAURUS ‘ at check-out to get a 40% discount on the card when ordering. Instead of a 19 Euro issue fee, our code brings it down to 11 Euro.

“Toman or Rial?” Get used to asking that question, because if you don’t it could end up being a costly mistake.

The currency in Iran is officially known as the Rial, and is valued at roughly 30’000 IRL to USD$1. That’s a lot of zeros, so what the locals have started doing is dropping a zero and calling the new value a Toman.

1 Toman = 10 Rial

When you hear prices quoted in Tomans you need to add a zero on the end and pay the amount in Rials. It sounds confusing, but you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

That’s why it’s important to always ask Toman or Rial, so you don’t accidentally pay too much on an item. Most vendors quote in Tomans anyway, so chances are if the price seems too good to be true, you need to multiply it by 10.

Rumour has it that Iran will officially introduce Toman as a currency in the coming years, but that hasn’t come into effect yet.

Iranian Money

You are going to do a lot of walking in Iran, so bring comfortable footwear. The towns here are so amazing that you’ll probably end up walking at least 10km every day, so look after your feet.

These don’t necessarily have to be hiking boots (unless you’re planning on doing some treks). Just make sure you have some flat shoes that you can wear all day without a problem.

Don’t bring heels. You don’t need them, and you won’t wear them. We had a pair of hiking shoes each and a pair of sandals. That was perfect.

Persian food is varied and delicious, and there’s plenty of different styles to try, so be adventurous!

Most people travelling on a budget will end up eating falafel sandwiches when they’re in Iran because they are cheap ($1 !), filling and delicious, but there’s plenty more to Iranian cuisine then just kebabs.

We don’t consider ourselves to be foodies, but luckily we were travelling with our good friends Dan and John and they are all about culinary travel, so they had a huge list of food they wanted to try. And boy were we thankful they did!

They had looked up the different types of food they wanted to try, so we basically followed their advice and tried it all. Of course, it was super delicious too.

One particular dish we all loved was dizi. It’s quite confusing how to eat the first time, so we had the restaurant owner show us how to mix and grind all the ingredients. If she didn’t show us, we wouldn’t have a clue how to eat it.

If you are a vegetarian, there are food options but they can be limited. There is a lot of eggplant, lentil and chickpea dishes. There are simple salads and rice also.

Try to get away from the popular tourist areas as well, as the prices are going to be a lot higher than the average place.

Move away and you will be surprised how much the price drops, and the portions are larger. If you are passing a local restaurant and it is packed with locals, that is going to be a winner.

Iranian Food

We always recommend people travel with a backpack rather than a suitcase, but this is especially useful when you visit Iran.

The road and paths are uneven, and wheeling a suitcase would be a nightmare. A lot of hotels don’t have lifts, so unless you’re feeling strong it’s going to be hard to carry your suitcase up a lot of flights of stairs.

Always choose a lightweight backpack that fits you perfectly for the best support.

There are also hybrid backpacks, that have harnesses and wheels on the bottom for the times where you just don’t want to carry it.

Unless you are on a whirlwind 7-day trip of the country we recommend you design an itinerary of what you want to see and do, but don’t book anything until you are in the country.

Iran is one of those countries that is best to research beforehand so you can make the most of your time and you don’t miss anything, but don’t be surprised if some places you end up liking more than others.

Be willing to change your plans if you get somewhere that you want to stay an extra day, or if you meet a backpacker that raves about one town you hadn’t considered before.

Don’t stress about booking buses, flights or trains before you arrive. Everything can be booked in-country, for a much cheaper price than you’ll find online.

By not locking in your travel plans, you can change and swap your itinerary easy enough.

Disclaimer:  The one time that you may need to book everything ahead of time is during Nowruz, which is the Persian New Year. If you’re planning on travelling to Iran during this time (it happens around the spring equinox in March) you’ll find things are extremely busy with millions of locals travelling around the country to spend time with their families too.

Looking for somewhere else to check out when you visit Iran? Don’t miss our article on the best  things to do in Shiraz!

Hydraulic Dam In Shushtar

One of the best experiences you will have in Iran is spending time with all the friendly locals. And trust us, you’ll get plenty of opportunities if you are open to it.

The city squares are usually where locals will approach you to welcome you to their country, have a chat and practice their English.

Don’t shy away from this, even if you are a solo traveller. We found out so much information about Iran and how the locals live simply by chatting away.

Most people asked us questions about where we are from and were very happy to answer our questions. It was a true insight to Iran and we made some beautiful friends from it (many of whom we still keep in contact with).

Don’t be surprised if you get a lot of invitations to people’s homes as well, and this may be one of the few countries where we’d say hanging out with strangers is highly encouraged. The Couchsurfing scene is huge here too if you’re into that.

Do be wary of some people who will take you to an expensive tea house though. They are nice people, you will have great conversations, but they can be a little cheeky.

Also always look at the menu before you start ordering to make sure they haven’t taken you somewhere that has crazy prices.

Some will invite you out and try to sell carpets to you. If you are not interested just be firm and move on with the conversation.

We only had this happen to us once out of more than a dozen great experiences, and once we made it clear we weren’t buying a carpet we still had a great chat with him.

There is only one thing with all this – Expect to be stopped every few minutes by people wanting to chat! Make sure you’re mentally prepared when you go out around town to have a million friendly conversations.

You shouldn’t just do this in Iran, you should do this everywhere you travel, but it’s important to keep in mind.

In some countries, there are tourist prices and local prices. To be honest, we almost never felt ripped off here, but it did happen occasionally.

Before you buy anything, whether it’s a souvenir, a meal, a pot of tea, a tour, a taxi ride or whatever, ask to see the menu or how much it will cost to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Get out of the tourist squares too. Chances are if you walk a couple of blocks outside of those popular areas, the prices will drop dramatically.

When buying survivors, ask the price at a few places, get the vibe from the person/place and then buy. Try your bartering skills, but don’t be offensive.

We always try to settle in the middle so both parties are happy. This is their business and they need the money more than you do.

Man Going Through His Carpets At The Market

If you are flying domestic, book through an agent or your local guesthouse in the country. All the local airline pages are in Persian, and these are where the best deals are.

Online booking agencies like Skyscanner and Momondo will not bring up these flights. We were in the west near the Iraqi border and wanted to fly to Tehran. Our local guesthouse helped us out and we booked it for $50 USD including snack and bags.

They were charging $200 USD on one of those online booking agencies above. We never were questioned at the airport about the local price and everything went smoothly.

If you’re not travelling in a group of four, ask at your guesthouse or talk to other travellers to see if you can share the cost of a driver with them.

Sometimes hiring a driver between towns as private transport would work out to be the same price as 4 bus tickets. You get there faster and can stop when you like along the way.

This will save you money and you might even make some awesome friends out of it.

Iranians are very punctual. If you plan to leave for a tour at 8am be in reception at 7:45am, and the driver will most likely already be there.

Buses and trains also won’t wait for you if you aren’t there. The last thing you want to do is miss your tour because you slept in or hadn’t packed yet.

If you’re heading to the airport, bus or train station make sure you leave plenty of time in case of bad traffic.

Varzaneh Desert Dunes

When we say horrible, we’re being polite. The traffic in Iran is actually insane.

If you’re exploring Tehran don’t be surprised if you have plenty of “Holy s**t!” moments as you go to cross the street or you get around in taxi.

It’s not that Iranians are bad drivers…they just don’t have a concept of space when driving around. In one way it’s almost as entertaining as it is scary.

No one is actively trying to run pedestrians down, but if you do try to run the gauntlet of crossing a busy road it’s best to wait for a local to join them on their hell-bent journey to the other side.

Youtube Player

Some social media platforms are banned in Iran and you cannot access them without a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

You cannot access Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest. You can access Instagram , but the rest only with a VPN.

We used ExpressVPN and had no issues. Here is a link to get your first 30 days for free .

Make sure you download your VPN before you arrive in Iran, because a lot of the VPN sites are blocked by the government.

If you can, we also recommend having access to a few different VPNs, because every now and then one might be blocked in Iran.

ExpressVPN worked for us during our trip, but some people have reported that it didn’t work during their own trip. Last we heard it’s back up and running properly now though.

Most of the guesthouses we stayed at had free wifi, but don’t expect it to be fast.

Some hotels had wifi available in the rooms, while others were only in the reception area or dining rooms. It all depends on how upmarket your place is. In popular cities, tea and coffee houses had wifi also.

One thing to keep in mind though is that just because there is wifi at your hotel, be respectful on how much you use it.

There are no unlimited data plans in Iran, so the hotels have to pre-purchase data in small packets.

Please don’t be that person that streams Netflix or tries to download the new season of Game of Thrones, because all that will happen is you’ll end up using all the net for everybody else in the hotel, and cost the owner more money.

Yep, we met a guy that did just that in Varzaneh, and because it was a weekend it meant nobody in the hostel could get internet until Monday. Thanks, mate.

Ladies Mosque At Night

Despite what you may have been told, you can buy a local sim card in Iran as a foreigner, and it’s a great idea to do so.

This way you can call hotels to make bookings use WhatsApp and Snap (more on that below) on the go, and keep in touch with friends and family back home.

We bought up a sim card with the telecommunications company IranCel through our hostel in Tehran, however, they marked the price up by double.

We found out later that you can buy sim cards at the airport or at any store, so our suggestion is to do this yourself.

When going into the phone store bring your phrasebook or a local friend. You will not need to show any ID, just pay in cash, but it helps to have your passport with you just in case.

You can top up at little general stores that display the IranCel sign. They will do it all on your phone and charge a small fee for their time. Please don’t argue with that, it’s maybe 25c USD.

We were getting 5GB of data for about $10 USD.

There is an app in Iran called Snapp, and it is similar to Uber. It’s a rideshare app where drivers register and customers can order cars to get around town.

This was a lifesaver for us!

What makes Snapp so great is that a price is determined by the app and you pay in cash once you get to your destination. There’s no metre, so the driver will take the most direct way possible.

When you book it you’ll get the driver’s name, their car model and their registration number, so you know you’re getting in the right vehicle.

Yo drop a pin on a map for where you want to go, so there’s no need to try and explain it to the driver in case he doesn’t speak English (or your pronunciation is crap).

The other added benefit is you can rate the drivers afterwards, so they are more likely to be honest rather than a taxi driver.

The only thing is you cannot easily download it onto an iPhone, as Apple is an American company and does not support Iran. It doesn’t show up in the App Store.

If you go to the Snapp website  you can download it to your Apple phone through a special link there. Downloading it on an Android phone is easy with no issues.

Driver Iran

This one was a big surprise to us, but you can drink the tap water just about everywhere in Iran.

It’s totally safe to drink, even if you’re new to the country, so don’t worry about buying plastic water bottles everywhere you go.

Bring a reusable water bottle instead and simply fill up as you go.

Don’t drink river water tough if you are out hiking.

Iran is a nation of tea drinkers, so it’s no surprise that you’ll get delicious fresh tea for cheap (or free) just about everywhere.

But what about us coffee drinkers??

The bad news is that getting good coffee is very hard in Iran. Despite their close proximity to places like Turkey, the coffee culture phased out years ago and so now the best you’ll find is usually those horrible instant packets.

There is a silver lining though, and some entrepreneurial locals have discovered that coffee is basically the second greatest thing on earth (after a delicious IPA, which you also can’t get in Iran), and some Western-style coffee shops are popping up in major towns.

They’re not cheap, but when you need that caffeine hit in the morning it’s totally worth it.

When you catch the metro around Tehran or Esfahan, there are carriages designated just for women, which is great if you’re a solo female traveller.

These are basically sections that males aren’t allowed in to stop accidental touching of non-related mixed genders, but it also adds a sense of security for women taking public transport.

Occasionally if the mixed carriages are full you’ll see one or two men in the female ones, but they tend to stand next to the door away from everyone.

Friday Mosque Yazd

[box] Those were just some of the things you need to know before you visit Iran. Has the article helped you? Do you have anything else to add? Leave a comment below and let us know![/box]

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About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook , YouTube and Instagram .

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105 thoughts on “25 Things to Know Before You Visit Iran”

Hello friends, I read your comments and I wish I could say that I am happy that you think so naively about the Iranian regime, but the truth of Iran and its people is not what these friends say, and unfortunately the bitter truth is that all those media that They present this regime and the leaders of the Islamic Republic as terrorists and a bunch of dishonorable and inhuman people, they are telling the truth and only the oppressed people of Iran understand this! you can ask them. But for you tourist friends, yes, this country can be a paradise because your money is worth many times more than ours, and not you tourist friends, but the unfortunate people of this cursed country feel the pressure. Our only wish was to have normal rights and a normal life like you, but this regime stole that life from the people of Iran and blackened the lives of the people of this country. Hoping for a day when this terrorist regime, which has made the Middle East and the whole world insecure, will be destroyed and we Iranian people have good and sincere relations with the people of other countries of the world . That day we will have at least a normal life and the world will not recognize this country as a criminal terrorist country. Written by a 27 young Iranian.

hi I want to just say now ( 2023-15-11 ) that the US dollar is 510000 Rials and here is heaven for people of countries where the currency is the dollar and Iran just is Hell for local people thanks to the Iran government for this situation!!!!!!

Hi dear Alisha and Jerry My name is Raziyeh. As an Iranian, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for your kind words and appreciation of our beautiful country. Contrary to media propaganda, Iran is safe, and Contrary to media statements, we are hospitable and genial people who do everything to ensure you have a fun time in Iran. Please do not believe the lies that social media tells about our country. We’ll be happy to see tourists and give information to them. I hope you revisit our country. Best regards, Raziyeh.

Hi everyone I’m from Iran. I’m happy that you liked your trip to Iran. Iran has a lot of museums and attractive places if you’ll come you should visit them. And we’ll be happy to see tourists and give informations to them.

Iran is an extremely lovely place to travel. Thank you for the trip advice. I adore your article.

For foreigners especially Westerners Iran is a very dangerous country. There is a high risk of being arrested on fake charges. Atleast 50 foreigners have been arrested recently and sentenced without a fair trail. The “friendly” citizens of Iran will not help you out unless you pay them witg Euro or Dollars…..

Well! I accidentally found this while surfing the net, and it’s a bit sad that each dollar is 450000 Rials… People are still friendly to tourists though, no matter how hard our lives are. I hope you visit our country again, after all these sad events, of course.

22 days later and its 510000. when will these evil leaders leave us alone

We are glad that you were satisfied with your trip.You pointed out great points like someone who has lived inside for years… Our people believed, but the government has crushed the people so much under the economic pressure that they have become a little unfair to each other. Be sure to use SNAP inside Iran.. Be sure to check the price before buying.. Our common currency is Toman and Rial is nominal. For example, now every 1 dollar is equivalent to 33000 Tomans.. To eat a pizza, you need 6 or 7 dollars.3 cents are required for 1.5 liter of taqriya water.. If you have an acquaintance in Iran, you can be much easier.. Don’t pay too much attention to the capital because it has very beautiful cities with a very old history. Thank you for choosing which country for your trip. Good luck

Thank you for the excellent information and for taking an interest in the lovely country. really nice tips for visiting Iran.

I’m glad you liked Iran. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty in managing economic affairs, the Iranian people suffer from the high cost of goods. Now each dollar is equivalent to 277,000 rials, which is really terrible, of course for our people! Of course, Iran is still full of beautiful places and amazing places! I hope you have good trips …❤

Hi guys I am Ava. I am from Iran/ Isfahan. If you want to come to Iran I would be happy to help you. I have a beautiful Iranian old house.

Can you please write about traveling in Iran at the moment. I would be traveling on a New Zealand passport. Thank you. Evan.

Iran holds many surprises for visitors; like the climate which can fluctuate greatly, depending on the area and time of year, dispelling the long-held myth that Iran is nothing more than a vast, sweltering desert. But Iran is a historical place and i like to visit this type of places that is why few days ago i read this type of article on another site it contain huge information. While some surprises are nice when travelling, it’s important to be as well prepared as possible.

Is $1000 for 7 days visiting 5 cities everything included except airline tickets a reasonable price? Please let me know what you think! Cities included are Tehran, Yazd, Esfahan, Shiraz, and the desert side with Caspian sea. Thanks,

Definitely if you stay at budget accommodation, take public buses as transport and not eat at fancy restaurants. Have a good trip

it’s very good

Indeed it is 🙂

I am Iranian. You described Iran very well. I am glad that you visited Iran

Thank you for your comment Masoud. We really enjoyed travelling around Iran. 🙂

Hi Thank you for your essay about Iran. As an Iranian I do hope you have good memories generally from Iran. No country is perfectly free of any trouble but please do not believe propaganda against Iran unless you travel to Iran and live with Iranian for a couple of weeks (at least) and then judge.

Hi there! I’m an Iranian, and i’m REALLY happy that you loved our country! I hope other tourists enjoy their travel to Iran, and I wanted to say, that Pinterest doesn’t need VPN! 🙂 And also about hijab, if you’re thinking that it’s gonna make you struggle, well, it definitely isn’t. I mean, it’s not such a big deal, and you’ll get used to it and continue enjoying! Anyways, hope you like our country

Reasons for a Group Visit to Iran Experienced travelers may want to look away. Guided tours can really be the best option for some travelers going abroad. Of course, they limit you a little and lose a little freedom. You will not have enough time to fall in love with a place and you will not have enough time to stay there, and other companions may not be with you. But no matter what the veterans might say, there are good reasons to tour for those who want to.

Salaam All, I’ve travelled extensively in the Middle East (Egypt, Palestine, Lybia, Qatar, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Iran and India. My wife, daughter and myself went on holiday to Iran in 2012 and 2015 (for my 60th birthday). An Iranian couple came to sing happy bithday to me in farsi. It was an inexplicable experience, no crime on the street, no fighting, very, very safe, people very friendly and warm, food and confectionary very good, not expensive to shop but hotel accommodation could be expensive, public transport (bus and metro rail) very good and effecient, metro stations very clean and very easy for foreigners to use. Although we were based in Northern Tehran (Eliheyah), we once drove by luxury coach to Ishfahan to spend one week there (2012), the other trip we flew to Shiraz to spend one week there (2015). I fell in love with this country, it’s absolutely beautiful. In Tehran, we even went in the cable cars on the Azborg mountains. O, I just cannot stop raving about IRAN. I’ll visit there anytime. Please don’t believe the media with their negative reports, go see for yourself and discover this amazing country. Salaam from Riedwaan Salie (Cape Town, South Africa.

That is so nice. What a great birthday trip. We are so glad you had a wonderful time with you family. We found the country very welcoming and friendly also. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

Your itinerary was perfect! I hope you come back again very soon! I heard now you should ask for visa only from agencies. Also now for your money matters you can use a local debit card like Daricpay to charge and transfer money online

We hope to visit again one day. Take care

Hi Im am an iranian person and your information was totally correct about iran I am very glad to see you were anjoyed traveling to iran If you come to iran again you can visit other cities like shiraz,Tabriz,Isfahan,Hamedan they are as beautiful as Tehran

Thank you so much for your comment. 🙂

Hi all, I have been 2 weeks in Iran the last month, my friends and I were travelling the west part of this huge country touring the famous cities and recommended places over the countryside. I could never thought how beautiful were every little point that we stopped by: landscapes, restaurants, seacoast, food… persian landmarks will remind forever in my mind. As we were travelling by car we trusted (company removed, you can message below if interested), a notorious iranian company which offers a wide variety of car for rent. The service was excelent and they provided us whatever we need in order to make our trip easer. I would definetely recommend this company If you are thinking about renting a car to shuttle from a place to another, they are serious and reliable. Thanks persian people and the company for making our dreamt trip happen!!

We love Iran!!!!

Sounds like you had a great trip. We are so glad so had a great time.

Hi Alesha and Jarryd, Thank you for the useful info and your interest in my beautiful country. I’m Zahra Mazaheri an English – Farsi translator. I would be more than happy to help the tourist to Iran in having a pleasant journey.

Glad you liked our article. All the best

Iran is a wonderful country for all nations to visit. Whether you’re interested in going to cultural and historical places, try local food, shopping, or visiting new people, the country is one of the best places for all of these.

Thank you for your comment. It is a magnificent country

thanks so much for your tips, and i want to add this there is something that we call it “Taarof” 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 ritual 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.

Thank you so much for this. After travelling the country for 3 weeks, we only experienced this once in Tehran on the outskirts of the city, We ate locally, bought locally, stayed locally, bought a lot of items on the street but only experienced it once. We were shocked. We had read about it and was waiting every time but it never came. Maybe if you are a foreigner they don’t do it as much. Thank you the explanation.

I really appreciate for your thoughts on this topic. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

Hi Alesha and Jarryd, this was so helpful. We’re off to Iran in a couple of weeks and great to get some tips re luggage, local currency cards and communication options. thanks david

Hi David, We are so happy the article was helpful. You will have a great time in Iran. Do not over pack. Woman have to be covered. Loose clothing is a must and a long top/dress is best as it covers the figure. Her arms and legs have to be covered. Sandels can be wore. A hijab is a must so bring scarfs. For the men, your arms do not have to be covered. Do bring pants as you need it for mosques. Our advice is to bring zip off pants. They are great. We did not use local currency cards. We bought all our cash in euros and exchanged it in Tehran on day 1. We did it with our guesthouse. They gave us a great rate. As for communication, do download Farsi offline before you go so communication can be easier. Surprisingly a lot of people do speak broken English. have a great trip.

Hi guys. Im so glad you had a good time over here. I believe Iran is the most misunderstood nation (thanks to media!) and articles like this may help people see Iran for what it is. One thing i need to point out is the currency exchange rate. the rate of 30,000 to 1 USD is no longer valid. 1 USD would be exchanged to about 110,000 rials now (11,000 Toman). Hope to see you back here soon! cheers

i promise to passengers ( our guess ❤) that we can make nice memory for you , and hope you enjoy that

Hi guys, great article! Just wanted to suggest that you include information about the Pocket WiFi and Travel Debit card services offered by MahCard (www.mahcard.com) as well… We travelled from Amsterdam to Iran during January this year and we used both services from MahCard and they really made our trip much easier…

Thank you for your tip Lotte. We have never heard of these guy. Definitely would be helpful. We strongly encourage travellers to do their on research on companies and make their own judgements. All the best

Hello! Very useful info about Iran. I am preparing a trip with car from UAE to ROMANI so it will be Bandar Abbas to Turkey Border. Any info and advices are welcomme! Thx

Hi Als, not too sure about that border. We flew in to Tehran. All the best.

Hello Dear Guys, I’m really glad to find your blog. It’s really interesting to me. I should say thank you to you for giving this good information about my country to people. It would be our honor to be host in your next travels to Iran.

I have been to a lot countries. I have been to super cold areas like Norway and have lived in the snowy Switzerland, and have also been to warm countries such as Bali, Sri Lanka, etc… What I love about Iran is that whenever and in whatever season you go, there are always 4 seasons. The southern part (Persian Gulf) is known for its golden beaches and hot climates, other areas such as Shemshak, Darbandsar, etc… are known for their snow and mountains. I recommend going to ski resorts in winter, and as a person who has lived in Switzerland I can tell that they are better. At the same time where you find snow in Iran, you can also travel to the other side where there are hot deserts. I recommend you go to these desert areas with a local tour called RONATURE, which is an ecofriendly tour and provides vegan and vegetarian food, furthermore supports locals and the environment. The Persian Gulf is unimaginably beautiful. Qeshm island in the south is probably the most beautiful place in the world, unfortunately there are not many photos of this island online because not many people know about it yet, but I do recommend taking diving courses there. The water park in Kish island is the best I’ve ever seen, much better than the ones in Dubai. I could go on for forever but you go to Iran once and experience all the four seasons. You get snowy mountains and sunny beaches. You go skiing and after a short flight you are tanning on the beach. This is a miracle and not something other countries dont have to offer. I can say nothing more but to recommend this marvellous country. Do not listen to the media, Iran is safer than Europe and Im not even slightly exaggerating.

Thank you for helping people to travel to Iran, I believe everyone should visit Iran beyond the media portrayal.

We totally agree with you Vahid. Never listen to the media about a destination, we don’t. We really enjoyed our time in Iran and encourage people to experience this country for themselves. 🙂

Sorry, I won’t support Iran. The government is evil. They imprison and torture their own citizens and they execute gay people. How can you support a government like that? Oh, and if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport, they won’t let you in. That’s ok with you?

We don’t support the government, we support the people of the country, who are among the friendliest, most genuine and hospitable people we have ever encountered. If we were to boycott countries with corrupt and evil governments, we’d start with the US.

I recently moved to Iran, as I am Iranian-American (well, now mainly just Iranian). I really appreciate all of the sweet and insightful comments and your wonderful website. Since the last time I lived here I was a child and have only visited every few years, when I arrived I was definitely feeling like a Persian that came back from a lost time warp of sorts, and had to learn the deeper levels of what you all already thoughtfully mentioned like tarof and the culture. Iran is a BEAUTIFUL & AMAZING country and I am lucky to be here. Just to let people know, everything I read here is true and helpful. 🙂 Even riding a bus from Iran into Armenia (to access my american bank for my final paycheck), I started out feeling slightly awkward as the 99% Persian only passenger peers around me were playing cute little games with each other laughing, with LOTS of incredible Persian music… I started getting many happy flashbacks of American-Iranian dance parties… but this was the REAL thing! Within minutes I joined in after being invited to clap my hands and a few girls were doing little hand dances in their seats… within about 10 minutes half the people on the bus were all SINGING together, it was precious. I felt like I was home, with my (native) Iranian people, and I got little happy tears in my eyes. YOU CANNOT FIND THESE MOMENTS IN AMERICA or EUROPE where nearly everyone around you surrounds you with welcoming bright eyes all at the same time. It’s like they are making you part of their family. I recommend visiting Iran for ANYONE… You will see that Iranians are good hearted and loving, even with all the sanctions. Give them a genuine smile, and you will get 100 smiles back, with tea and poetry. 😀

What a beautiful moment. That is great you are going back to your roots. We hear you. Iranians are good hearted and so generous. It is a beautiful country. Have a great time and hope you settle in quickly. All the best

Thanks for visiting my country. Hope tourism breaks all the wall of this global village.

We hope so too. It is a beautiful country with many beautiful people. We loved our time there

Thank you so much for this amazing article! I am going to visit Iran, but just for one week, so I need to take everything that I can from this short trip. I didn’t know that I need a VPN, that is a surprise! I have Surfshark subscription. Maybe you know how it works in Iran?

Not too sure if it will work or not. We used VPN Express and had no issues. There are free VPNs if you get suck and find yours does not work. Have a great trip.

So disappointing to learn that Canada is not one of the countries included on the Visa on Arrival program…I really want to spend a week in Tehran but it looks as though that won’t be possible. That’s really too bad 🙁

I know. It is a little more of a hassle but worth it. I know Canadians, UK and USA citizens have to go on a tour but there are many great tours within the country. If you want a tour that is not a tour, check out Yomadic. He’s tours are informative but relaxed and have great reviews. All the best.

I was 10 days in Iran (Teerah, Esfahan, Yazd and Siraz) and … is a great country, good food, culture and fantastic people. Thank you Iran!

Glad you had a wonderful time Vitor. 🙂

hi im ghazal from kermanshah iran! a offer all to come here and feel how friendly people are


I’m sorry for this government rule.

Your welcome. I hope you back soon in my country.

hello,im shahzad from iran. thank you so much for your excelent content about Iran. all of the sentences are true about my country and u knew it very well.im so happy that you had good times here. As the other iranian people said,now 1 USD is equal with 141,000 Rials :).so Iran is a very cheap country for tourists,too:). come to my country and enjoy,it would be your best trip with no debt:)

Hi Shahzad, We had a wonderful time there. Thank you for the update with the exchange rate. We recommend all travellers to visit Iran. 🙂

Thanks for this guys! I am super excited leaving for Tehran on Monday I booked a small tour as I felt anxious about travelling independently first time ever in Iran. If I like it -and I am sure I will – I shall go back. I was advised to take a day travel backpack and a medium sized wheely which I hope to fill up with things bought locally. Of course I shall take essentials. Is a long skirt allowed? It might be cooler than trousers. What do you think?

Hi Alex, I hope you are having a wonderful trip, That great you booked a small tour. Sometimes it is the best way to see the country and learn about the people and culture. There is so many great souvenirs to buy. Unfortunately my bag wasn’t big enough. 🙂 Absolutely a long shirt is allowed but not a tight body fitting one. Long sleeve and maxi dresses are perfect. Trousers are great just make sure you top is loose and long past your bottom. Have a great trip.

Wow, Thanks for this. I’am glad, that I found your page. I’ll travel in october alone to isfahan. I’m already so excited

That’s amazing. You will have a great time. The Iranians are so friendly and welcoming. There is so much to do there. Here is a video we made about Isfahan if you want to check it out. https://youtu.be/XDYJ44CutT4

Great points!

Regarding bringing a load of cash though, I found a solution. In my last trip to Iran, I got a DaricPay card. It made everything easier!

Thank you for your suggestion and information. Glad that worked for you. We still recommend visitors to take cash as not everywhere will accept cards.

Hello everyone. This is Ali, an Iranian. This page is a good guidance; LIKE ! Iran is a country of different climates and has very beautiful historical monuments and natural areas. Contrary to propaganda, Iran is safe and a good choice for travel. Come to Iran and have nice time here.

Thank you Ali. 🙂

This is great ! Thank you! I’m preparing to go there in June and your article answered a lot of questions! I will come back to it just to remember everything. Thanks again.

Glad the article could help. Have a wonderful trip Joanna.

Great i read your experiences you had great fun in Iran. Everyone should need to aware about your guidelines before visit.

Hi Eric, thank you. We had a great time in Iran. Definitely everyone should read up on the guidelines, not just what we have written but from other also. It is important to do your research before travelling to a country. 🙂

Hey, great article on Iran tourism. What should I plan in terms of budget, if I want to plan a 7-day trip to Iran and cover major tourist/historical destination.

How would you rate food for just vegetarians. Thanks!

We budgeted $80 USD a day for a couple. We came home with a little bit of money but we rather have more than less as there is no ATMs that work for foreigners. As for vegetarian food, there are many options.

This is awesome article, I’ve read a ton of articles online these past couple of months as I’m traveling to Iran in May. I’ve already bought a NordVPN subscription regarding the social media access, I hope it will work fine too, saw some recommendations for it too. Other than that I really cannot wait for the trip, so I keep reading about it. Thanks 🙂

Awesome Steve. Have a great time. The people there are so friendly. It is an amazing country.

hi steve, i recommend, first travel to iran then try free vpn then buy subscription.because some vpn in iran dose not work. instagram and what up don’t need vpn.have a nice trip!

Hi I am very pleased to be pleased with your trip to Iran I hope that one day we will be able to travel to other countries as well These days, people in my country are very sad.

Hi Mostafa, thank you for your message. We did enjoy visiting your country but did hear this from many locals. We hope that one day it all changes and travel will be a lot easier for Iranians. We saw nothing but friendly and welcoming people. The most friendliest country we have visited. We hope happiness comes soon.

Glad to hear that you had good trip in Iran guys. However things get worse and now 110,000 rials = 1 USD which is good for tourists. Lol.

Thanks for that Mohammad. Not good for the locals. We thought it was cheap when we visited last year. Sorry to hear that

I glad to read this site My country has very beautiful natural scenery and tourism, as well as very caring and kind people… I hope to see you in my city, Isfahan, the city of culture and art, and we can spend good times together^_^ I hope that there will always be in all countries, including my country

Hello I am Iranian I am very pleased that you have been satisfied with traveling to Iran I wish you success

Thank you for stopping by. We loved travelling Iran. The people were so welcoming and we had a lot of great chats with many. We are looking forward to returning one day.

You were ok travelling without a guide? Is it easy to travel around without one? And is it possible to hire guides to specific places, such as Persefone of some mosque? My wife and I are planning to visit Iran on April or October? What’d say? Thanks a lot.

Absolutely. We met so many local people and had so much fun. It is an easy country to get around in. Their transport system within the cities were easy and great. Their bus system across the country was comfortable and faster than the train. You can hire guides at main attractions as you go. The hotels can help with that also. Have a great trip.

If you are from the USA, Canada or UK you need to go on a tour.

Hi We are older Australians and are wanting to go to Iran. We usually plan our holiday booking accommodation and transport before we go so are a little hesitate going without anything booked. We have not been on a tour before and they don’t appeal to us.

Thank you so much for this valuable information. My mother and I are trying to book an organized trip with Intrepid Travel. They told us that we were not allowed to be out and about without the accompaniment of a male. Which they say we would have to stay in our hotel during our free time unless we go with a male. Have you heard of this before?

I am Mehdi and I am from, Shiraz Iran. I welcome your arrival to Iran in advance. Staying you in your hotel during your free time in Iran is not right. You can go out without a male. I can help you if you have any question. please don’t hesitate to ask me. you can contact me at [email protected] . I hope you have a nice trip in Iran. Regards; Mehdi

Hi Cathy, that is so strange they would tell you this. That is wrong on Intrepid Travel to tell you this and if they are concerned about this for their guests they should provide tours for you free of charge as staying in the hotel room is not a very good experience at all. I hope you wrote to them to express your disappointment with this.

As Mehdi said above, that is not right. When we were travelling throughout Iran there were many woman travelling on their own that out and about by them selves. We did not hear of any issues. Obviously have your wits about yourself. The people of Iran are so friendly. The friendliest we have come across in our travels. I hope you got to experience this and see a lot of the beautiful country.

Hi Cathy, I’m an Iranian person, this is not right, you can go out without a male. Iran is full of friendly people and I’m sure you will enjoy your time and this would be one of the most unforgettable trips.

Hello kathy I’m very surprised by your talk I am from Iran and I assure you that it is not

Hey guys! This is one of the *very* few articles about Iran that I completely agree with. Oh, apart from one sentence: “Iranians are very punctual”… I actually laughed out loud. You must have got lucky. In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed your time, and hope we cross paths one day.

(also, feel free to edit this out: the photo of Alesha at Friday mosque in Yazd is actually Friday mosque in Esfahan)

Thanks so much Nate! Glad the piece got the seal of approval from the Iran expert himself! And I guess we did get super lucky with the locals being punctual. For the whole month we were there we were never left waiting. Will count our lucky stars, and make a note that perhaps it’s not always the case.

And thanks for the correction on the Friday mosque! Have amended it now. Happy travels mate.

Hi dears! I’m an iranian girl & I love my country… Actually my father is a tour guide & I’ve heared such lovely words from so many tourists… they mostly say they had heard many bad things about iran and they have experienced the bests when they came here… I’m so glad to here such nice words by many travelers and i really appreciate you cause you ‘re telling the truth about my amazing country!!!! I love you all dears!!

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Tourism Teacher

Tourism in Iran

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Tourism in Iran has a lot of potential. But why is the tourism industry so important here and why does it matter? Read on to find out…

Sprawled across the crossroads of Central Asia and the Middle East, Iran is a destination that melds ancient grandeur with diverse geography . Revered as one of the cradles of civilisation, its vast landscapes range from the snowy peaks of the Alborz Mountains to the sun-kissed shores of the Persian Gulf. Steeped in millennia of history, Iran boasts architectural marvels, bustling bazaars, and remnants of empires that once reshaped world dynamics.

As the allure of its heritage sites beckons travellers from around the globe, Iran’s emerging tourism sectors offer various avenues for exploration. This article delves into the country’s geographical expanse, its unmissable destinations, the myriad forms of tourism it supports, and the multi-dimensional impacts—both positive and cautionary—of tourism on its socio-cultural and environmental fabric.

Geography in Iran

Iran is located in the Middle East and is the 18th largest country in the world by land area. It is bordered by seven countries, including Turkey to the northwest, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the north, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Iraq to the west. Additionally, Iran has a coastline along the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to the south. These various borders and waterways have been an important factor in shaping the country’s history and culture.

Iran is one of the most mountainous countries in the world, with the Zagros and Alborz mountain ranges running through its territory. The highest peak in Iran is Damavand, which stands at 5,610 metres (18,406 feet) and is located in the Alborz Range. The mountainous terrain has played a significant role in shaping Iran’s culture and history, as it has made it difficult for outside powers to conquer and control the region. The mountains also provide a natural defence against potential aggressors.

tourism hotel iran

In addition to its mountain ranges, Iran is also home to several large deserts, including the Dasht-e Kavir and the Dasht-e Lut. These arid regions account for a significant portion of the country’s land area and have been important for trade routes throughout history. The deserts also contain several important mineral resources, such as salt and copper.

Iran’s water resources are also critical for its economy and way of life. The country’s largest river is the Karun, which flows from the Zagros Mountains to the Persian Gulf. Additionally, Iran has several large lakes, including Lake Urmia in the northwest and Lake Hamun in the southeast. The Caspian Sea, located to the north of Iran, is shared with several other countries and is an important source of fish and caviar.

Overall, Iran’s geography has played a significant role in shaping its culture, history, and economy. Its large mountain ranges, expensive desserts, and important water resources have all contributed to the country’s development and made it a unique and important part of the Middle East.

tourism hotel iran

Tourism Industry in Iran

One of the most popular destinations in Iran for tourists is the city of Isfahan, which is known for its stunning Islamic architecture, including the Jameh Mosque and the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Additionally, the city of Shiraz is a major draw for visitors interested in Persian poetry and art, while the ancient city of Persepolis provides a glimpse into Iran’s rich history.

Although international sanctions have previously slowed the growth of Iran’s tourism industry, the lifting of these sanctions in recent years has led to a surge in new investment and development. For example, the government has been working to expand the country’s airport infrastructure and increase both the number and quality of hotels and other tourist accommodations.

Iran’s natural beauty is also a major draw for visitors. The country is home to several important natural reserves and parks, such as the Golestan National Park and the Alamut Valley. The Caspian Sea represents a major attraction for those interested in beaches and greenery, while the Zagros Mountains and the Dasht-e Lut desert offer opportunities for adventure tourism.

Overall, Iran’s tourism industry provides significant opportunities for economic growth and cultural exchange. As the country continues to open up to the world, it is expected that tourism will become an increasingly important part of the country’s future.

tourism hotel iran

Statistics of Tourism in Iran

Here are some notable statistics about tourism in Iran:

1 – In 2019, Iran welcomed approximately 9.2 million international tourists, an increase of 52.5% from the previous year.

2 – Tourism revenue in 2019 was estimated to be around $11.8 billion USD, accounting for approximately 2.8% of Iran’s GDP.

3 – The largest number of tourists to Iran came from Iraq, followed by India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan.

4 – The most popular destinations in Iran for foreign tourists were Isfahan, Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, and Mashhad.

5 – Iran has a total of 23 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which makes it the 9th country in the world in terms of the number of its World Heritage listings.

6 – In 2019, the number of hotels and other tourist accommodations in Iran totaled over 11,000, with a total capacity of approximately 550,000 rooms.

7 – The largest airport in Iran is Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, which handled approximately 11.7 million passengers in 2019.

8 – The Iranian government has identified tourism as a key area for economic growth and has set a target of attracting 20 million tourists by 2025.

9 – Iran’s tourist attractions and services have won several international awards in recent years, including the Golden City Gate award in the ITB Berlin tourism fair.

10 – In 2019, Iran was awarded the “Best Tourist Destination for Adventure Tourism” by the International Association of Sports and Adventure Tourism.

Popular Tourist Attractions in Iran

Iran is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and there are many popular tourist attractions to visit. From ancient ruins and Islamic architecture to stunning natural scenery and cultural events, Iran has something to offer every type of traveler.

One of the most popular destinations in Iran is the ancient city of Persepolis. Built over 2,500 years ago, Persepolis was the capital of the Persian Empire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the ruins of the city’s palaces, gates, and other structures, and gain insight into what life was like during the height of the Persian Empire.

Another popular destination is the city of Isfahan, which is known for its stunning Islamic architecture. The Naqsh-e Jahan Square is one of the largest public squares in the world and is surrounded by fascinating landmarks, like the Imam Mosque, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and the Ali Qapu Palace. The city’s historic bridges, including the Khaju Bridge and the Si-o-se Pol Bridge, are also popular attractions.

tourism hotel iran

Located in central Iran, Yazd is a city with a rich history and cultural heritage. It is known for its wind towers, which are traditional Persian structures designed to cool buildings during the hot summer months, as well as its stunning mosques, like the Jameh Mosque and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple.

For those interested in Iranian poetry and literature, the city of Shiraz is a must-visit destination. It is the birthplace of famous Persian poets like Hafez and Saadi, and visitors can explore their mausoleums and other cultural landmarks, such as the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque and the Arg-e Karim Khan citadel.

Iran is also home to a number of stunning natural attractions, including the Caspian Sea and the Zagros Mountains. The Masuleh village, located in the northern province of Gilan, is particularly unique due to its architecture, which resembles a stepped-hill, and its location on the hillsides of green forests.

Finally, Iran is well-known for its rich and vibrant cultural events, such as the Nowruz (Iranian New Year) and the annual Fajr International Film Festival. These events offer visitors the chance to experience Iranian culture firsthand and interact with locals.

Overall, Iran offers an incredible array of attractions for tourists, from ancient ruins and Islamic architecture to stunning natural scenery and cultural events.

tourism hotel iran

Popular Types of Tourism in Iran

There are several types of tourism in Iran, and the country offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Below are some of the popular types of tourism in Iran:

Cultural Tourism: Being an ancient country, Iran has a rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient ruins, including Persepolis and Pasargadae. Iran’s Islamic architecture is also a major draw, with landmarks such as the Imam Mosque in Isfahan, and the Jameh Mosque in Yazd.

Adventure Tourism: Iran’s diverse landscapes, including mountains and deserts, make it a popular destination for adventure tourism. The Zagros Mountains offer opportunities for hiking and skiing, while the Dasht-e Kavir desert provides opportunities for camel trekking and camping.

Religious Tourism: Iran is one of the most important centres of Islamic religion, and it attracts Muslim pilgrims from around the world. Cities like Mashhad and Qom are particularly popular destinations for those seeking religious experiences.

Eco-tourism: Iran is home to several natural reserves and parks, such as Golestan National Park and the Arasbaran Biosphere Reserve, which provide opportunities for eco-tourism. Visitors can explore the country’s diverse flora and fauna, and participate in activities like birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and nature walks.

Health and Wellness Tourism: Iran is a renowned destination for its health and wellness facilities, including thermal springs and mud spas. Many spas and health centres in Iran offer a variety of treatments like hydrotherapy, massage, and reflexology.

Overall, Iran offers a wide variety of tourism opportunities for travellers, showcasing its culture, history, natural beauty, and traditions.

Economic Impacts of Tourism in Iran

Tourism has become an important part of Iran’s economy, with the industry contributing significantly to job creation and economic growth in recent years. The sector has grown rapidly, supported by the Iranian government’s efforts to promote the country as a major tourist destination. In addition to creating jobs, tourism has also contributed to the development of infrastructure and the revitalization of many cities.

One of the main economic impacts of tourism in Iran is job creation. The sector employs a large number of people in various areas, including hotels, restaurants, transportation, tour guide services, and handicrafts. In 2019, the tourism industry accounted for around 1.5 million jobs in Iran. With the continued growth of the industry, this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

Tourism has also had a positive impact on the development of infrastructure in Iran. In recent years, the government has invested in expanding the country’s airport capacities, developing new hotels and tourist attractions, and improving transportation infrastructure. This has not only made it easier for tourists to visit Iran but also helped to spur economic activity in many areas.

In addition, tourism has contributed to the revitalization of many cities and towns across the country. The influx of visitors has led to the restoration of many historic areas, the development of new tourist facilities, and the growth of local businesses. This has led to increased economic activity and a better quality of life for many residents.

Finally, tourism has had a positive impact on Iran’s balance of payments. The industry brings in a significant amount of foreign currency, which helps to support the country’s economy. In 2019, the estimated total revenue from tourism was around $11.8 billion USD, reflecting the growing importance of the sector for Iran’s economy.

Overall, with its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural scenery, and diverse tourism offerings, Iran has the potential to continue growing its tourism industry and reaping the economic benefits that come with it.

tourism hotel iran

Social Impacts of Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran has had a number of social impacts, both positive and negative. Below are some of the major social impacts of tourism in Iran:

Preservation of cultural heritage: Tourism in Iran has contributed to the preservation of Iran’s cultural heritage, as visitors show interest in the country’s historic sites and traditions. This has led to greater awareness and appreciation of Iran’s cultural assets among both locals and tourists.

Increased cultural exchange: Tourism in Iran has increased opportunities for cultural exchange and interaction between locals and visitors. This has helped to promote understanding and tolerance between different cultures and has created a greater sense of openness and appreciation for diversity.

Job creation: Tourism has generated many jobs in various sectors, including hotels, restaurants, transportation, and handicrafts. This has created employment opportunities for local communities and has helped to improve living standards for many residents.

Environmental impact: The increase in tourism in Iran can lead to environmental degradation through overuse of natural resources, litter, and other pollution. The increase in infrastructure development and human activity can also harm natural habitats and ecosystems in some protected areas.

Social and Economic inequality: Tourism development has a potential for increasing social and economic disparities between tourists and locals. This can occur through exploitative practices, such as setting high prices for souvenirs and other merchandise.

Overall, tourism in Iran has created both positive and negative social impacts. While it has contributed to the creation of jobs, cultural exchange, and preservation of cultural heritage, there is a need for a balance between tourism expansion and preserving the environmental and cultural factors that make Iran such an attractive destination.

Environmental Impacts of Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran has had a number of environmental impacts, both positive and negative. Below are some of the major environmental impacts of tourism in Iran:

Funding for conservation: The revenue generated from tourism in Iran can provide funds for the conservation and preservation of natural areas and wildlife.

Awareness of environmental issues: Tourism in Iran can help to raise awareness of environmental issues and the importance of preserving natural resources.

Promotion of sustainable practices: The development of sustainable tourism practices can promote the conservation of natural areas and limit negative environmental impacts.

Natural resource depletion: Overuse of natural resources, such as water and energy, can lead to depletion of these resources in local communities.

Pollution: The influx of tourists in Iran can generate pollution through litter, waste disposal, transportation, and the use of non-renewable resources. The increase in infrastructure and the wear and tear on natural habitats can also lead to pollution and environmental degradation of protected areas.

Overall, tourism in Iran has created both positive and negative environmental impacts. While tourism can provide funds for conservation, promote sustainable practices, and raise awareness of environmental issues, there is a need for the industry.

tourism hotel iran

Crime and safety in Iran

Iran has a low crime rate compared to many other countries in the world. The country has a strong security apparatus and strict legal system, which helps to maintain a stable and relatively safe environment for visitors. However, like any country, Iran has its own unique set of safety concerns and travellers should take precautions to ensure their safety.

One of the primary safety concerns in Iran is the risk of terrorism. While the risk of a terrorist attack in Iran is relatively low, there have been several incidents in the past, including attacks targeting foreign diplomats and key infrastructure. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings and avoid large gatherings or prominent state-run facilities.

Another safety concern in Iran is petty crime. Tourists should take precautions to safeguard their valuables and belongings, especially in crowded areas, such as bazaars and public transportation. It is also important to be cautious when exchanging money, as there have been reports of scams involving currency exchange.

In terms of safety for women, Iran has some unique cultural practices and expectations. While dress codes are strictly enforced and women are expected to cover their hair and wear loose clothing, sexual harassment and assault are relatively uncommon compared to many Western countries. However, women are advised to take precautions when going out alone and to avoid walking in isolated areas at night.

In addition to crime and safety concerns, visitors to Iran should also be aware of the country’s strict laws and regulations. This includes restrictions on dress, behaviour, and the use of technology. For example, women are prohibited from attending some sporting events and there are restrictions on the use of social media and other online platforms. It is important to research local laws and customs before visiting Iran to avoid inadvertently violating any regulations.

Overall, while Iran has its own unique safety concerns, it is generally considered a relatively safe destination for tourists. Visitors are advised to exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings, and obey local laws and regulations to ensure safety.

Interesting Facts About Tourism in Iran

Now that we know a bit more about tourism in Iran, I would like to share with you my favourite facts about this fascinating nation:

1 – Iran has 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it the 9th country in the world in terms of the number of its World Heritage listings.

2 – Iran has a significant presence in the international film festival circuit, with the Fajr International Film Festival attracting guests and entries from around the world.

3 – Tehran’s Grand Bazaar is one of the largest markets in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year.

4 – Iran is home to the world’s largest covered market, the Tabriz Bazaar.

5 – Iran is one of the few countries in the world where carpet weaving is a national industry, and Persian rugs are famous for their intricate designs and high quality.

6 – Iran is rich in natural beauty, and visitors can explore everything from beaches on the Caspian Sea to the Zagros Mountains and deserts like Dasht-e Kavir and Band-e Amir.

7 – Iran has a rich culinary heritage, with regional dishes like chelo kebab, ghormeh sabzi, and fesenjan attracting visitors from around the world.

8 – Iranian hospitality is legendary, and visitors can expect to be welcomed warmly in shops, restaurants, and hotels.

9 – Iran has a rich literary tradition and is the birthplace of famous poets such as Rumi, Omar Khayyam, and Saadi.

10 – The city of Yazd, known for its wind towers, is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique desert architecture.

FAQs About Tourism in Iran

Lastly, lets finish up this article about tourism in Iran by answering some of the most common questions on this topic:

What are the top tourist attractions in Iran?

Iran has many popular tourist attractions, including historic sites like Persepolis, Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, and the ancient city of Yazd. Other popular destinations include the Caspian Sea coast, mountain ranges like Alborz and Zagros, and the beautiful deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and Lut.

What is the best time to visit Iran for tourism?

The best time to visit Iran for tourism is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot, especially in the southern regions, and winters can be cold in the north and mountainous areas.

Do I need a visa to visit Iran?

Yes, most foreign visitors need a visa to enter Iran, with some exceptions for certain countries. Visitors can apply for a tourist visa through the Iranian embassy or consulate in their home country before travelling.

What is the official language spoken in Iran?

The official language of Iran is Persian (Farsi), which is spoken by the majority of the population. Some minority languages like Azeri, Kurdish, and Arabic are also spoken in certain regions.

Is Iran a safe country for tourists?

Despite some negative stereotypes and misconceptions, Iran is generally a safe country for tourists. The crime rate is low, and incidents of violent crime against tourists are rare. However, visitors should still be cautious and aware of their surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

What is the currency of Iran?

The currency of Iran is the Iranian Rial (IRR), although many transactions are also done in US dollars or euros. Visitors can exchange currency at banks, exchange offices, or hotels in major cities.

Can I use credit cards in Iran?

No, most international credit cards are not accepted in Iran due to international sanctions. Visitors are recommended to bring cash or use local debit cards for transactions.

What is the dress code for visitors in Iran?

Female visitors should wear a headscarf and loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs, while men should wear long trousers and avoid shorts. The dress code is more relaxed in private spaces like hotel rooms and women-only spaces like women’s mosques.

Is alcohol allowed in Iran?

No, alcohol is illegal in Iran due to religious restrictions. Visitors should not attempt to bring or consume alcohol in Iran.

Can I use social media in Iran?

Yes, most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are accessible in Iran, although some content may be filtered or restricted due to government censorship. Visitors are recommended to use a virtual private network (VPN) for greater internet freedom and privacy.

Tourism in Iran- To conclude

Iran, a nexus of ancient civilisations and diverse landscapes, offers an immersive journey into a rich tapestry of history and culture. As visitors explore its architectural wonders and geographical spectacles, they connect with narratives that span millennia.

However, as tourism in the nation grows, it’s essential to adopt a sustainable approach, preserving both its tangible and intangible heritage. Through conscious and responsible tourism, Iran has the potential to showcase its multifaceted beauty, all the while ensuring that its cultural and natural treasures remain intact for future generations to appreciate.

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Artistic productions including handmade crafts are very potent cultural representatives, particularly for countries with ancient civilizations. Iran owns an enormous wealth of traditional masterpieces remained from old, middle, and modern arenas. The geographical location of Iran, bridging west to the east, along with the country’s long history of trade with other countries such as China and India, has contributed to the huge diversity of arts and crafts displayed in the country’s museums.

Abadeh Wood Carving (the Monabba Capital of the World)

Abadeh Wood Carving (the Monabba Capital of the World)

Abadeh is one of the cities of Fars province which had always been reputed for its skillful and experienced wood carvers and wood carving masterpieces

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Kalash or Giveh (espadrille) of Kurdistan

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Gereh Chini or Trelliswork of Tehran

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Batik Printing of Eastern Azerbaijan

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The Independent

Iran goes on tourism charm offensive amid unfolding crisis in Middle East

I ran has extended visa-free access to 33 countries in a bid to boost the country’s tourism sector, strengthen diplomatic relations and tackle “fear-mongering” about the country. 

The move comes at a time when attacks by Iran-affiliated rebel groups and militias across the Middle East have seen relations with Western nations rapidly deteriorate, with US president Joe Biden saying he “holds [Iran] responsible” for supplying the weapons that killed three American soldiers in Jordan last month.

No Western nations were present on the list of countries Iran is seeking to expand visa access for; rather it appears to be reaching out to countries across Latin America and Asia. The list includes countries such as Japan, Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, Singapore, Cuba, Tunisia and Russia.

Visa requirements were also dropped for visitors from Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, with which Tehran has had frosty relations for years until a recent rapprochement.

These countries add to a list of visa-exempt nations that already included Turkey, Azerbaijan, Oman, China, Armenia, Lebanon and Syria.

“The Ministry of Tourism’s proposal to cancel visas for some countries has been approved by the government,” Ezzatollah Zarghami announced earlier in December. “The Islamic Republic has shown its readiness to open doors to people worldwide and provide more facilities for them so that they can easily visit our country and benefit from its advantages.

“The decision helps foil negative advertisements, rumors and fear-mongering about Iran,” he said.

The visa-free travel for Indians, which came into action from 4 February, is for tourists arriving in the country by air and for not for more than 15 days.

Underlining the purpose of the visa waiver extended to select nations, Zarghami says: “Despite the concerted efforts of some countries to dissuade their citizens from visiting Iran and to create a negative perception, the personal experience of tourists visiting the historical and cultural sites of Iran has effectively dispelled these apprehensions.

“The attempts made by enemies to create Iranophobia among various nations cannot overshadow the eagerness of some foreign nationals to explore Iran’s attraction,” he says in what experts see as a veiled attack on the US and other Western nations.

The move is aimed at supporting the Iranian economy that has suffered greatly due to economic sanctions and isolation, especially after the US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and world powers, Dr Muddassir Quamar, associate professor at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, tells The Independent .

Donald Trum scrapped the Obama-era nuclear deal in May 2018, and reimposed severe sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Subsequent efforts to restore the deal collapsed with Tehran increasingly expanding its nuclear programme in violation of the limits of the deal. This has prompted other American allies, including the UK, Germany and France to maintain similar constraints on Iran’s missile programme through their own national sanctions.

Iran has also been supplying Russia with large quantities of drones to use in its war against Ukraine, a conflict which has become increasingly defined by the use of such unmanned aerial and sea-borne vehicles.

“By allowing visa-free travel, Iran intends to tap its tourism potential, especially from emerging economies,” says Quamar. “Besides, this can be viewed as a move to attract industries and businesses from various countries. This is part of the Iranian regime’s efforts to overcome the isolation it has faced, especially from the Western and European countries.”

According to Ali-Asghar Shalbafian, Zarghami’s deputy, the tourist footfall is expected to reach six million in the current financial year that ends on 21 March. Foreign arrivals in December reached 4.4 million, about 48.5 per cent more compared to the corresponding period in 2022.

However, the move is unlikely to increase Iran’s regional influence or provide a significant boost to Iran’s economy, says Kabir Taneja, a researcher with the Observer Reseach Foundation, an Indian think-tank. “I personally wouldn’t subscribe too much to the idea that it’s any kind of big boost to Iranian soft power because the idea for Iran, I presume, is to get as many dollars as possible through tourism.

“Now Iran doesn’t really figure in anyone’s top tourist destinations. And considering what is happening in the Middle East right now, I’d be slightly sceptical that there’s going to be a huge outflow of tourists going into Iran,” he tells The Independent, while referring to the Israel-Hamas war, in which nearly 26,500 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed.

With Tehran’s militia network launching attacks in Syria and Iraq, there is a fear that the war could spill over to involve other regional players.  The Iran-backed Houthi group in Yemen has been targeting commercial and military ships linked to Israel in the Red Sea in what it calls a pushback to Israel’s war on Gaza, with Houthis demanding Israel to stop the war and allow humanitarian aid to enter Palestinian enclave.

Iranian nationalists have for long felt that they have been a victim of Western propaganda while linking it to “Islamophobia” and “Orientalism” in the West, Quamar says. But the policy choices towards Iran are based on realpolitik assessment and geopolitical considerations, he adds.

“Within the broader understanding of the Middle East politics, the Iranian regime is viewed as promoting armed proxy groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and so on, that to an extent has put the domestic security in many countries and regional stability in the Middle East at risk, thus the view prevalent of Iran being a destabilising force,” he explains.

He believes, therefore, that “the regime’s effort to put the measure as a counter to ‘Iranophobia’ is for domestic consumption”.

“In reality, the tourism/trade industry in Iran have suffered greatly due to the geopolitical problems and the sanctions on Iran due to the nuclear issue. Without addressing these issues, I do not foresee any significant change in the international attitude towards Iran including among countries that have been included in visa-free list.”

The Independent is the world’s most free-thinking news brand, providing global news, commentary and analysis for the independently-minded. We have grown a huge, global readership of independently minded individuals, who value our trusted voice and commitment to positive change. Our mission, making change happen, has never been as important as it is today.



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