Iran is slowly but surely becoming a new “it” destination for adventurous travelers who are looking to get a little off-the-beaten-path. The country is nothing but stunning, and as more and more people catch glimpses of other’s holiday photos, they are going to be booking a flight and making arrangements for accommodation in Iran in no time.
If you are considering a trip, here are five things you need to know about traveling to Iran.
1. Iran has a rich History to offer Visitors.
There is no denying that Iran has one of the richest histories in the world. Visitors have an abundance of choice when it comes to planning their itinerary; from Tchogha Zanbil, the rich archeological remains of a holy city, to the Persian Gardens, and the beautiful mausoleum of Oljaytu, you will never run out of things to inspire and amaze you.
2. Iran is an affordable Travel Destination.
Last year, Iran topped the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that lists the “most affordable foreign tourists’ destinations.” The report takes into account all parts of travel (ticket prices, accommodation and food prices, etc.) which means that Iran is a fantastic destination for those who are wandering on a budget.
When planning a trip to Iran, it is important to note that a foreign card won’t work in any ATM and you will not be able to pay by card. This is a cash country! It is best to bring euros (not dollars) to Iran and make sure you stay on budget throughout your trip, so you don’t find yourself running out of cash too early.
However, an Iranian bank card is not a requirement for making travel arrangements to Iran online. You can seamlessly make your Iran hotel booking with your visa card or MasterCard online with Snapptrip — no problem!
In Iran, the official currency is Rial, but all prices are in Toman, and that is what Iranians use when speaking, which can be slightly confusing at first. You have to remember that one toman = 10 rials.
3. Iranian cuisine is full of surprises.
If you aren’t entirely familiar with Iranian cuisine, then you can be assured that you will be pleasantly surprised upon touching down in the country. Each region of Iran has different culinary specialities due to the mixed climates which subsist across the country. From classic stew dishes to mouth-watering kebabs and filling soups, there is a lot for foodies to get excited about.
During your time in Iran, you must make sure to eat Dizi (a lamb and chickpea stew), Khoresht Gheimeh (a beef and split pea stew), Zereshk Polo Morgh (a rice dish with a chicken and tomato stew and garnished with saffron and barberries), and Ghormeh Sabzi (a favorite rice dish with lamb, herbs, and kidney beans).
4. You have to (or should) bring a Persian Carpet Home.
As Iran’s most well-known cultural export, the Persian Carpet is admired all over the world. The people of Iran have been mastering the art of carpet making for over 2,500 years which is why the quality of these masterpieces is second to none.
Most travelers to Iran opt to bring back home a Persian carpet as a beautiful souvenir. In order to get the best price, try to go with (or find) an Iranian friend to accompany you. When looking at potential carpets, make sure to lay them out flat to notice if there are any bumps. If there are significant bumps in the carpet, there is less of a chance that you will be able to get them out, which should lower the cost.
5. Iranians are really Friendly.
Many travelers are surprised by how welcomed they feel when arriving in Iran. Iranians are incredibly friendly people who are enthusiastic about travelers visiting their country and (for the most part) want to be as helpful as they can be.
In fact, you should probably be prepared for almost everyone to approach you and strike up a random conversation. Go with it! That is normal in Iran.
You should certainly try to learn a few local phrases before you reach Iran to help you to show your respect for Iranians and to make some new friends potentially!
Have you ever been to Iran? Are you dreaming of a trip there? Let’s start a travel conversation about this destination in the comments below!