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The Final Information To Backpacking Iran

Backpacking Iran GlobeUndoubtedly, Iran is without doubt one of the most fascinating, pleasant and unique international locations that you’ll ever go to. On this information, we’ll let you know every little thing you have to find out about backpacking Iran and even share some secrets and techniques that you simply gained’t discover in your guide-book.

Iran is formally an Islamic Republic, so girls travelling right here should cowl up their hair with a head scarf (in addition to the remainder of their our bodies), however don’t fear girls, nowadays the pinnacle scarf legal guidelines are fairly relaxed and also you’ll get away with it being nearly round your neck.

Notepad Road Sign SMALLIMPORTANT: Since February 2014, the foundations for Individuals have been prolonged to incorporate British and Canadian passport holders. Which means that Canadians, British and Individuals have to be accompanied by a information whereas they’re in Iran. Contact a tour operator to debate an itinerary. 

Leap To: Should-see Locations | Should-Have Experiences | Off The Overwhelmed Path | Execs | Cons | Transport | Visas | Well being | Climate | MORE IRAN BLOGS

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How A lot Will Iran Value?

backpacking Iran budget


You will want to carry money (US {Dollars} Solely) with you into Iran to cowl the total price of your journey. ATM’s won’t work for international debit or bank cards. 

Finances: $71/day for two folks

Backpacking Iran is extremely cheap nowadays, with the road fee for the Iranian Rial being round 31,850 / $1 USD (Click on Right here for official / avenue change fee historical past). Iran is a rustic that provides nice worth for cash, much more so nowadays.

The official fee of change is 26,827, so moderately than exchanging your US {Dollars} at an official financial institution, you’re a lot better off heading to a authorized avenue stall and exchanging your cash there (which is completely legit).

$71/day is an efficient price range for 2 folks (round $40/day for a solo-traveller). This may afford a pleasant double room in a price range resort, good native meals, the occasional taxi and tour, and taking top notch buses in all places (1st class is barely a few {dollars} greater than decrease lessons).

Finances Lodging: (Common $36 / night time with breakfast)

The accommodations and visitor homes we stayed at price between $20 – $40 and most included breakfast, whereas some even included a scrumptious dinner. All have been lovely price range accommodations and lots of have been constructed out of outdated houses which were standing for hundreds of years. You gained’t discover too many dorms in Iran, however we have been at one resort in Yazd that supplied single charges for solo-travellers. Whereas we did keep in good double rooms, that’s the price range customary in Iran and also you gained’t discover something less expensive.

Motels We Stayed In









Lodge Meraj

Ateshoonie G.H

Koshan Lodge

Akhavan Lodge

Niyayesh resort

Stayed With Mates

Morvarind Lodge

Golestan Lodge

$33 2bedroom residence, wi-fi, kitchen

$35 per particular person w/breakfast, dinner, wi-fi, shared

$20 w/ breakfast, personal toilet & wi-fi

$36 w/ breakfast, dinner, personal toilet, wi-fi

$25 w/ breakfast, wi-fi, personal toilet


$24 w/ breakfast, wi-fi, personal toilet

$36 w/ breakfast, wi-fi, personal toilet

Consuming: ($2-$7 / meal)

There are some low-cost avenue meals available for backpackers in Iran and typically (particularly throughout Ashura), you’ll discover free meals everywhere! However consuming a pleasant meal in your resort restaurant or at a restaurant on the town will doubtless price between $5 – $10. Meals in Iran is scrumptious and properly price each penny! Don’t miss the date milkshakes!

Entrance Charges: (Free – $10/particular person)

Entrence fees For Budget Backpackers in Iran

The doorway charge to Persepolis (considered one of Iran’s premier historic websites) is round $10. Most individuals be part of a tour from Shiraz for round $20 – $25. Some mosques and mausoleums will cost round $3 – $5 for entrance, whereas parks and a few museums are free.

Alcohol: (GOOD LUCK)

No alcohalNo cause to actually put a price range for this right here as a result of alcohol is against the law for all Muslim Iranians, and also you gained’t doubtless see an excessive amount of of it, not to mention be capable to purchase it. For those who’re actually determined for a drink, you can discover wine in Shiraz. Anticipate to pay round $10 / plastic bottle, however maintain it low-key and bear in mind, it’s unlawful!


Tipping Iran backpackers

Tipping just isn’t customary in Iran however providers that cater to vacationers will count on a gratuity. For those who’ve employed a information, a porter or a driver, count on to offer a tip on the finish. A number of {dollars} needs to be nice.

Some eating places, significantly in bigger accommodations, will add a ten% service cost to the invoice. In different places, away from vacationer areas, servers will likely be pleasantly stunned by any change you allow.

For those who stick with a neighborhood household in Iran (which you almost certainly will), it’s a good suggestion to go away a small reward. One thing from your house nation could be supreme, or you should purchase a pleasant merchandise from the bazaar to thank your hosts (pottery, a vase, art work, and many others.) Stickers, pens and notepads from your house nation are nice to offer to children while you depart.


1.5 Million Iranian Rial or $50 USDPresent Alternate Price:

$1 = 31,850 Rial


You will want to carry money (US {Dollars} Solely) with you into Iran to cowl the total price of your journey. ATM’s won’t work for international debit or bank cards. 

The change fee in Iran is at all times altering shortly and has gone via some fairly unstable moments in recent times. In July 2013, after the Rial plummeted to its all-time low of round 40,000 to 1 US greenback, the Central Financial institution of Iran upgraded its official change fee from 12,284 to a extra affordable 20,750, and once more in August to 24,500 to the USD, however that is nonetheless properly beneath the road change fee (which is 31,850 Rial to 1 USD)

Mainly, when you go right into a financial institution to change your American {Dollars} into Rial, you’ll be paying much more than when you went into one of many many (authorized) avenue stalls. The most affordable time to backpack Iran was absolutely July 2013, however it’s nonetheless a really reasonably priced place to journey.

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Should-See Locations in Iran

There are far too many “must-see locations” to listing right here. We spent loads of time on this nation and we nonetheless have a lot to see. Whereas we do love seeing websites, the true great thing about Iran is in its folks (extra about them beneath).

Leap To: Should-Have Experiences | Off The Overwhelmed Path | Execs | Cons | Transport | Visas | Well being | Climate | MORE IRAN BLOGS

Mashhad & The Shrine of Imam Reza:

The town of Mashhad gives little for backpackers, however the immense labyrinth of the shrine advanced containing Imam Reza’s mausoleum, (learn extra about Imam Reza on Wiki right here), makes a visit to the town properly price whereas. It’s the largest mosque on the planet by dimension and the second largest by capability (subsequent to Mecca in Saudi Arabia).

Shrine in Mashad

Additionally contained inside the advanced are the Goharshad Mosque, a museum, a library, 4 seminaries, a cemetery, the Razavi College of Islamic Sciences, a eating corridor for pilgrims, huge prayer halls, and different buildings.

A go to right here is an immensely highly effective expertise as many individuals sob and cry out to their misplaced hero, Imam Reza. Travellers are required to have a information with them to be able to enter this huge advanced. We went two occasions, as soon as by ourselves and as soon as with a information. It actually simply depends upon how the folks on the entrance gates are feeling on that specific day. Additionally, vacationers will not be meant to enter the shrine itself, however if you’re respectful you could be invited in. Girls should put on a chador (which will likely be offered to you on the entrance) and no cameras are allowed. Entrance is free.

We suggest a late night stroll, because the shrine is open 24/7. Seeing the numerous mosaics and complicated carvings on archways and partitions, dimly lit by the late night moon, is a particular spotlight.


When you’re backpacking Iran, you’ll most likely wish to expertise the desert, and there’s no higher place to achieve this than in Garmeh. Keep on the Lonely Planet beneficial Ateshooni Visitor Home (they undoubtedly bought this one proper), and meet Maxiar, a real desert man. Discover this lush, palm shaded oasis with hikes up to lookouts, waterfalls and farmlands.

Garmeh Desert

Maxiar can arrange journeys to the close by salt flats, sand dunes and villages, however the true enchantment to Garmeh is at Ateshooni itself, the place Maxiar will play quite a few distinctive devices and deal with you want a VIP member of the family.

The Lonely Planet makes getting right here sound a bit complicated, however name Ateshooni they usually’ll clear every little thing up for you.

The telephone quantity is: +98 324 443 2156 or +98 913 223 0874 they usually have a web site:

For our expertise, Try: Pleasant Desert Days: We Love Iran!


With a inhabitants of practically a half one million folks, Yazd is an average-sized metropolis for Iran and it’s the middle of the Zoroastrian faith. This labyrinth city of mud and brick is without doubt one of the most intriguing locations within the nation. Get misplaced in slim alleyways, the place the golden partitions appear to shut in on you, simply earlier than opening up into an attractive park or mosque courtyard.

Head to the roof for an unforgettable sundown, when your entire metropolis turns into illuminated and the rooftop bagdirs (historic Iranian air-con towers) glow and alter color with the falling solar.

Ensure to do a day journey to the encompassing website of Chak-Chak, the deserted mud village of Karnaq and the town of Meybod.

Backpacking Iran city of Yazd

A few of the historic websites to see in Yazd:

  • Fort Mosque
  • Fortifications of Yazd
  • Haj Yousef Reservoir
  • Home of Arab’ha
  • Home of Larry
  • Home of Malek al Tojjar
  • Home of Mortaz
  • Home of Rasoulian
  • Iran Shahr College
  • Jame Mosque of Yazd (Grand Mosque of Yazd)
  • Khan Bazaar
  • Mausoleum of Sahl Ibn Ali
  • Mausoleum of Seyed Rokn al Din
  • Mausoleum of Seyed Shams al Din
  • Mullah Ismail Mosque
  • Masoudi Reservoir
  • Rig Mosque
  • Sheikh Ahmad Fahadan Mausoleum
  • Shah Tahmasb Mosque
  • Zargari Bazzar
  • Ziaiah college


This implausible, lesser-known metropolis really has fairly a bit to see. Try the 1,200 meter lengthy “end-to-end lined bazaar”, the place you possibly can pattern spices and store for pottery, hookah and textiles. Though Kerman is a pleasant metropolis, the primary draw for coming right here is the Kalut Desert (Dasht-e Lut) which is about 100 km northeast of Kerman (2 hour drive).

Stick with Mr. Akhavan on the Akhavan Lodge and he’ll arrange every little thing for you. At simply $36 / night time, together with breakfast and dinner, this place is unquestionably a superb deal!

Rent a taxi and information (round $30) and head out to the towering sand formations of the Kalut Desert for sundown. A few of these wind-forged sand castles are 10 tales excessive and their jagged formations tackle an alluring golden hue at sundown. You too can organize to spend the night time out within the desert.

Backpacking The Kalut Desert Iran

Don’t come right here in the summertime or through the day as that is the place the most popular temperature was ever recorded on Earth (70.7 °C)

Notepad Road Sign SMALLGoat Notice: The political state of affairs is at all times altering in japanese and southeastern Iran. Ensure to verify that it’s secure earlier than planning a visit right here.



The fifth most populous metropolis of Iran and the capital of the Fars Province, Shiraz is one other considered one of Iran’s prime cities for backpackers to go to. This place has been an essential buying and selling cease for hundreds of years and it’s thought of to be one of many oldest cities in historic Persia.

Right here you possibly can keep in what’s arguably probably the most lovely historic resort within the nation (the Niyayesh Lodge) and revel in all that this considerably liberal metropolis has to supply. Shiraz is called the town of poets, literature, wine and flowers. There are some beautiful parks, Unesco listed gardens and gorgeous mosques. Don’t miss the Ali Ibn Hamza Shrine with its inside of glistening mirrored partitions and ceilings.

Ali Ibn Hamza Shrine

Shiraz can be the place Hafez (the well-known Iranian poet) was buried, so undoubtedly try his tomb and have your future learn via considered one of his beautiful poetry books.


These spectacular ruins are positioned within an unlimited, city-like advanced and have been constructed over 2,500 years in the past. They’re discovered close to the city of Marvadasht, however most individuals take day journeys to go to them from Shiraz ($20-$25). This historic metropolis was as soon as set on hearth and looted by Alexander the Nice, and additional destroyed by subsequent Arab invaders, however regardless of its rocky previous, Persepolis stays one of the evocative websites within the nation and a logo of the Iranian nationality.

Ancient Persepolis backpacking Iran

Esfahan (Isfahan):

Esfahan is the third largest metropolis in Iran with many attention-grabbing sights to see. Take your decide between parks, squares, palaces, bridges, mausoleums, church buildings, cathedrals, tombs, mosques, museums and bazaars!

Ensure to see the Khaju Bridge, the seventeenth century Shahi Bazaar, the Shah Mosque & Shah Sq.. Visiting the Armenian Quarter (New Julfa) can be beneficial. There are some nice eating places, the stunning Vank Cathedral and attention-grabbing streets to get misplaced in. There are such a lot of websites to see in Esfahan that you simply’ll by no means be bored!

This metropolis is a spotlight of any journey to Iran.

Try our article: Esfahan, Iran: Taking Hospitality to a Complete New Stage


Positioned within the far northern reaches, close to to the border with Azerbaijan, is the town of Tabriz. This metropolis could appear too far-off to trouble visiting, but it surely ought to undoubtedly be in your Iranian itinerary.

The UNESCO Listed Bazaar of Tabriz is without doubt one of the oldest within the Center East and is the most important lined bazaar on the planet. It is a place that yow will discover something and every little thing you may want, and you could get misplaced too! Ensure to see The Blue Mosque and the Poets’ Tomb as properly. The streets in Tabriz are bustling and make the town attention-grabbing to stroll round. Plus, it’s a really secure metropolis.

As a day-trip, we suggest visiting the troglodyte village of Kandovan. Positioned within the mountains simply two hours from Tabriz, the views listed here are beautiful and the cone-shaped houses are very attention-grabbing. Ensure to put on good strolling footwear!


With gorgeous rocky mountains as a backdrop, nice snowboarding and funky markets, Tehran is unquestionably price lingering in for a few days (regardless of what your information e-book may say). The anti-American graffiti on the former US embassy and the unimaginable assortment of gold and diamonds on the Treasury of Nationwide Jewels are undoubtedly price a go to!

Should-have Experiences

Keep With Iranians:

Undoubtedly, probably the most pleasurable a part of backpacking Iran is having the chance to stick with a neighborhood household or pals and study in regards to the Iranian tradition. Fortunately for travellers, Iranians are extremely hospitable and also you’ll most likely be invited to remain a number of nights in lots of strangers’ houses. SAY YES! That is the very best expertise you possibly can have within the nation and it gives you invaluable perception into the true Iran.

Leap To: Should-see Places | Off The Overwhelmed Path | Execs | Cons | Transport | Visas | Well being | Climate | MORE IRAN BLOGS

Witness Ashura:

For those who can time your go to for the mourning ceremonies of Ashura, you’ll have an incredible, first hand have a look at Iran’s shut reference to their religion, historical past, and misplaced heroes. Apart from the open sobbing and Self-flagellation within the streets, Ashura is a time to recollect those that have made sacrifices. Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, was (and nonetheless is) a real hero to the Shia Muslim folks. Witnessing their sheer devotion and mournful cries is a exceptional expertise.

That is additionally a time for giving and through Ashura, folks will typically hand out free meals and drinks – which might actually assist the price range!

Notice: Ensure to have your transportation and accommodations booked throughout this time as it may be a busy time with locals transferring round.

Try: Ashura, A Month of Disappointment and Self-Flaggelation in Iran

Have A Deep Dialog:

It is best to take the chance to have a protracted and deep dialog with an Iranian. It’s wonderful how open and real they’re. When a neighborhood strikes up a dialog with you on a bus or in a restaurant, be open to it and you could end up really connecting with them on a really private stage.

Notepad Road Sign SMALLGoat Notice: It’s unlawful for males to talk to unattended girls in Iran, so don’t go placing up conversations with fairly Persian ladies or you could get arrested.

Witness Prayer Time:

A good time to go to mosques and mausoleums is through the time of prayer. Even when you’re not a spiritual particular person, it may be a transferring and calming expertise to take heed to the meditative chants of the muezzin, and the repetitive replies of the a whole lot of individuals within the mosque. Exterior of prayer time, the inside of all mosques and mausoleums in Iran are completely mind-blowing and undoubtedly price a go to.

Smoke Qalyan:

The Iranian water pipe is a well-liked social exercise, particularly amongst males (however more and more amongst younger females in additional fashionable cities). The substance of selection is flavoured tobacco and it may be fairly scrumptious. In fact it’s not the healthiest previous time however every little thing is okay moderately! When in Iran proper?

Goat Notice: In some international locations, tobacco water pipes are referred to as Sheesha… not in Iran. Sheesha means crystal meth in Persian, so be certain to not use this time period when ordering Qalyan!

Should Attempt Dishes

Plate Road SignMeals is a large a part of travelling to any nation and backpacking Iran is not any completely different. Though Iranian delicacies isn’t world-famous, after travelling right here you’ll marvel why. The spicy stews, fruity sauces and candy drinks in Iran are completely scrumptious.

Notice: Islam is the dominant faith in Iran, so that you gained’t discover pork in lots of, if any of the meals.



This thick, tart stew is created from pomegranate syrup and floor walnuts. It’s historically made with poultry (duck or hen); however there are additionally variants utilizing balls of floor meat, ghormeh, lower lamb or fish. Discovering  Fesenjān with out meat just isn’t uncommon both.

Iranian Food: Fesenjun

Gormeh Sabzi:

That is sometimes called Iran’s nationwide dish. A scrumptious stew that actually interprets to “stew of greens and herbs”, the primary substances are a mix of sautéed herbs (parsley, leeks or inexperienced onions, & coriander), seasoned with the important thing spice of “shambalileh” (dried fenugreek) leaves. In Garmeh you possibly can have Gormeh Sabzi with camel meat!

Ghormeh Sabzi iran


Date Milk Shake:

This appears to be extra of a vacationer delicacy than an precise Iranian beverage, however there’s little question that these frosty, thick mugs of goodness are a sizzling vendor in Iran. Don’t depart with out making an attempt a Date Milkshake! You’ll marvel why they don’t have them at each quick meals chain and milkshake store round the world.

Dizi (aka Ābgusht):

Actually that means “water meat”, this tasty dish could not sound appetizing in its English translation, but it surely is without doubt one of the most scrumptious meals in Iran, and definitely probably the most enjoyable to eat. It historically comes out in a clay or metallic pot with a lid. The savory stew is at all times served with bread and a pestle on the facet, and also you are supposed to tear up the bread into tiny chunks, put it into the stew after which mush every little thing collectively utilizing the offered pestle.

Iran Food: Dizi

This Persian / Mesopotamian stew is sometimes called “a peasants dish” however it’s really a hearty mutton soup thickened with chickpeas. Often made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric and black lime, it’s a low-cost and filling dish that backpackers can’t get sufficient of!

Something you pattern in Iran will likely be scrumptious. Ensure to pattern the road snacks as properly!

Off The Overwhelmed Path In Iran


Execs Of Journey In Iran

Thumbs Up RoadsignYou’re planning a visit to an wonderful place and there are various execs to backpacking Iran. Journey may be very private and completely different for everyone, so that you’ll most likely discover many extra execs while you’re in Iran. We’ve solely listed a couple of.

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Extremely Pleasant Individuals!

We’ve stated it earlier than and we’ll say it once more. Iran has the friendliest folks on the planet.


Regardless of your pals’ and households’ response while you informed them you have been going to Iran, you’ll most likely by no means really feel safer in your travels. The Iranians will deal with you want a fragile piece of jewellery while you go via their nation, doing every little thing of their energy to make sure you depart safely, and with a greater outlook on the nation, its motives and its folks.

Wonderful Websites:

That is historic Persia. The historic websites, cities, shrines, mosques and mausoleums listed here are a number of the most beautiful creations you’ll ever see.

Backpacking Iran Visiting The Mud Town Of Meymand

Range of Religion & Thought:

Earlier than coming right here, you could assume that everybody within the nation may be very conservative and of the strict Muslim religion. This merely simply isn’t true. You’ll meet pleasant Bahai, Zoroastrians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists and a lot extra.

Smashing Misconceptions:

Iran will blow you away. Irrespective of how a lot you assume you already know about this place, you’ll study a lot extra while you journey right here. Once you enter right into a household’s house, you’ll most likely see males consuming wine and girls carrying tank-tops and quick skirts. This will likely throw you for a loop, but it surely’s what makes Iran so particular. There are two worlds right here, outdoors and indoors, and to expertise each will provide help to to form a brand new psychological image of Iran and its folks.

Wonderful Transportation:

Given the present change fee, even price range backpackers in Iran will be capable to afford to take luxurious 1st class buses and the occasional flight. Transportation right here is straightforward to prepare, comfy and outrageously low-cost.

Backpacking Iran Comfortable Bus
Have a look at all that leg room!

Cons Of Journey In Iran

Thumbs Down RoadsignThere are a couple of cons to backpacking Iran, however in all honesty, it’s arduous to think about greater than only a few, so we’re actually reaching right here.

Leap To: Should-see Places | Off The Overwhelmed Path | Execs | Transport | Visas | Well being | ClimateMORE IRAN BLOGS

Having To Be Coated Up:

Girls will likely be particularly affected by this regulation and it may be very annoying. You could cowl your arms, legs, bum and hair always (regardless of how sizzling it’s) and it will actually restrict your wardrobe, and probably your sense of freedom. Simply know that lots of the girls round you don’t wish to gown like this both.

**Notice: Though the youthful technology of Iranian girls are pushing the boundaries of the regulation by having headscarves barely hanging off the again of their heads, pay attention to the Morality Police in Iran who drive (and stroll) round, in search of folks disobeying the regulation. You could have your head lined and put on applicable clothes always when in public.

women in iran

Typical outfits for youthful Iranian girls, look how far again on the heads these scarves are! So long as your shirt/jacket is protecting your bum, you’re okay. Lots of the outfits in Iran are literally fairly fashionable.

No Alcohol:

Nicely, there’s alcohol, if you already know the place to look, however you gained’t be going to bars and getting hammered with different backpackers in Iran. If caught consuming alcohol, you might be taking a look at some jail time, or a nice. On the similar time, it’s very attention-grabbing to see how younger Iranians entertain themselves into the wee hours of the night time, with out a drop of alcohol.


no_kissing_c.thumbnailFor those who’re a pair, you’ll must maintain your smooching and hand holding for while you’re indoors. These are primary cons of travelling in a extremely conservative nation.

The Warmth:

Iran is house to the most popular temperature ever recorded on earth (practically 71°C!). Which means that summer time within the southern deserts and Persian Gulf will be unbearably sizzling.

Web Restrictions:

You’ll want a VPN (digital personal community) to be able to go to web sites reminiscent of Fb, Twitter, Google, YouTube, BBC, and many others. By some means our web site was in a position to be related to in Iran with out utilizing a VPN, however most aren’t.

The Individuals In Iran

The folks you encounter whereas backpacking via a rustic can have a profound impression on the way in which you view a vacation spot. Not solely the native folks, however the kinds of different travellers as properly.

Sorts Of Different Travellers:

Other Backpackers In IranFor those who’re heading to Iran, you’re going for a similar cause that most individuals are going, to seek out someplace distinctive and off the overwhelmed path. Different travellers in Iran generally is a main spotlight of your journey, with so many alternative backpackers on so many alternative adventures, you’re certain to listen to many wonderful tales at each resort and restaurant dinner desk. We discovered the opposite travellers right here to be mature, adventurous, culture-minded and provoking!


The Locals:

fabulous pals – Esfahan

As we’ve stated time and time once more on this weblog and on this Information, you actually can’t beat the friendliness of the Iranian folks.

The Iranian folks comprise the current day Persians, Ossetians, Kurds, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Balochs, Zaza Individuals, Lurs, and their sub-groups of the historic Medes, Massagetaes, Sarmatians, Scythians, Parthians, Alans, Bactrians, Soghdians and different folks of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Iranian plateau.

Faith In IranReligion

Round 90% of Iranians affiliate themselves with the Shi’a department of Islam, the official state faith, and about 9% with the Sunni and Sufi branches of Islam. The remaining 0.9% affiliate themselves with non-Islamic non secular minorities, together with Bahá’ís, Mandeans, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians. Sadly, it’s unlawful for the approximate half million Bahá’ís to publicly observe Bahá’ísm in Iran.

Language In Iran

Communication Backpacking Iran

Many Iranians communicate English as a second language and so in most elements of the nation, you’ll don’t have any drawback discovering somebody to speak with (particularly in bigger cities)

About 75% of the nation speaks Persian (Farsi), Gilaki, Mazandarani and Luri, whereas 11% communicate Azerbaijani and different Turkik Dialects. 10% communicate Kurdish and a couple of% think about Balochi their mom tongue. The remaining 2% of individuals communicate different languages together with Turkmen, Georgian, Armenian, Hebrew, Assyrian, Brahui and many others.

Some Useful Persian Phrases To Know:

Howdy/Hello: HiDorud (دُرود) / ruzegâr nik (روزگار نیک)

How are you?: Hâle šomâ cegune ast? (حالِ شما چه‌گونه‌ است)

Wonderful, thanks. xubam, sepâs (خوبم، سپآس)

What’s your title? nâmetân cist? (نامتان چيست)

My title is ~ .nâmam ~ ast (نامم ~ است)

Good to fulfill you. xošbaxtam (خوشبختم)

Please. xâheš mikonam (خواهش میکنم)

Thanks. besiyâr sepâsmandam (بسیار سپاسمنم)

You’re welcome. zende bâšin (زنده باشین)

Sure. âri (آری)

No. na (نَه)

Getting Round In Iran

iran busYou’ll really feel like an actual luxurious traveller while you’re backpacking in Iran. There are some lovely and large buses with huge lounge chairs that lean again all the way in which, and repair that you simply’d anticipate finding in a Michelin starred restaurant. You’ll be able to take trains and taxis which can be extra reasonably priced than native buses in lots of different international locations, and there are sometimes low-cost inside flights as properly.

Getting In & Out

Many individuals enter Iran by land from Turkmenistan or Turkey as half as a much bigger journey via Central Asia.

Iran shares borders with Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its northern reaches stretch to the shores of the Caspian Sea whereas Iran’s southern coast is ready alongside the sun-soaked Persian Gulf. 

041736-yellow-road-sign-icon-transport-travel-transportation-school-bus2By Land

Turkmenistan: The Saraghs – Sarakhs border is the most well-liked border coming into Iran from Turkmenistan. Opening hours of the border are 8am to 5pm (some say 9 to six). However bear in mind, immigration on the Turkmen facet closes for lunch from 12 – 1. Additionally, word that this is without doubt one of the slowest border crossings we’ve ever encountered!

From Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), you’ll need to take a taxi to a passport verify station, then an overpriced minibus to the border.

See our article right here: Our (Mis)Adventures in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Turkey: A well-liked border crossing is on the city of Dogubayazit. From Ankara it’s a 19 hour bus trip (55TL).

There are additionally trains going into Iran from Ankara, however be sure you have all your paperwork prepared so that you simply aren’t left behind on the border. The prepare from Istanbul to Tehran by way of Ankara and Tabriz is known as the Trans-Asia Specific. It runs weekly in both path departing Istanbul at 10.55pm Wednesday (about €40). It takes about 70 hours and seating is in comfy 1st-class couchettes with 4 berths.

As soon as every week on Tuesday a prepare departs the town of Van (Turkey) at 8:00 pm for Tabriz, Iran, arriving on Wednesday morning at 6:25 am

Iraq: The greatest solution to enter Iran from Iraq is on the Haj Omoran to Piranshahr border crossing. In fact you possibly can’t get a visa on the border however you possibly can apply for it in Irbil. There are minibuses and taxis to take you to and from the border.

Azerbaijan: The Azeri border has two recognised crossings: between Astara (Azerbaijan) and Astara (Iran), and Culfa (Azerbaijan) and Jolfa (Iran). Visas are not issued right here, however there are some mini-buses and taxis to take you to and from the border on both facet.

ArmeniaThe border between Iran and Armenia is barely 35km lengthy, with one crossing level in Iran at Norduz.

Afghanistan: The border at Dogharon, 20km east of Taybad, is open and simple. Every day buses between Herat and Mashhad make the journey even easier nonetheless.

Plane Road SignBy Air

There are two worldwide airports in Tehran, the older and fewer used Mehrabad Worldwide Airport (THR) and the newer and up to date Khomeini Worldwide Airport (IKA) (named after Iran’s non secular chief). All worldwide flights to Tehran will arrive on the latter.

Iran additionally has worldwide airports in Shiraz, Esfahan, Bandar Abbas and Kish, with Shiraz being the simplest start line for travellers. Iran is large, so when coming into by air, be certain to plan a superb route so that you don’t backtrack or run out of time.

Iran Air is the nationwide airline and has a fairly good popularity. It’s attention-grabbing, on some worldwide airways, while you fly outdoors of Iran’s airspace, you’ll be served alcohol after it’s introduced on the P.A!

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Visa Laws For Iran

Backpacking Iran Visa
Visa Laws

IMPORTANT: As of February 2014, residents of the UK, US and Canada will have to be accompanied by a information and have a specified itinerary to go to Iran.

**Notice: Entrance to Israeli passport holders will likely be refused. As will entrance to these with proof of journey to Israel. Receive a brand new passport earlier than your journey to Iran if you have to!

UPDATE 2017: Excellent news! 180 completely different international locations can now get an Iran visa on arrival. Nonetheless, when you’re from USA, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Bangladesh, Jordan, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Somalia there’s no visa on arrival for you. For extra, try this submit.

There’s little question that visas are going to be a difficulty while you’re planning your journey to Iran. Everybody aside from nationals of Turkey, Malaysia, Syria, Georgia, Azerbaijan (15 days), Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador should acquire a visa at an Iranian consulate overseas, earlier than coming into Iran.

To use to your Iranian visa, you’ll first have to acquire a reference quantity (just like a Letter Of Invitation) earlier than you apply on the consulate. To acquire your reference quantity, contact Stan Excursions and fill out their software, which would require you to state which consulate you’ll decide up your Iran visa. After a couple of days of processing, Stan Excursions will ship a reference quantity to you, which you’ll need to current to the consulate while you apply.

We extremely suggest you contact Stan Excursions for all your reference numbers, Letters of Invitation and visa wants in Iran and Central Asia.

Goat Notice: We don’t receives a commission to advertise Stan Excursions. We simply know that they’re the very best.

30 Day vacationer visas will price:

  • UK: $230 – $340 USD
  • German: $77 USD
  • Spanish: $95 USD
  • Australian: $125 – $230 USD
  • Japanese: $75 USD
  • Korean: $50 USD
  • Finnish: $50 USD
  • Slovak: $65 USD
  • New Zealand: $128 USD

The very best locations to use for an Iran Visa:

The very best locations to acquire your Iranian visa are at consulates in Trabzon (Turkey), Almaty (Kazakhstan) or Batumi (Georgia), since you do not want a Letter Of Invitation. One other good place to select up the Iran Visa is in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), because the flip round time will be as quick as 48 hours! Bishkek is a low-cost place to get the Letter Of Invitation.

Visa rules are as follows:

Each nationality might want to acquire a visa (however first a reference quantity) earlier than coming into Iran aside from the next:


A few of the above data was discovered on Caravanistan and Wikipedia. Caravanistan additionally gives comparable visa help to Stan Excursions.

Well being In Iran

Health Road Sign

Meals, medical and well being requirements are all fairly excessive in Iran so that you shouldn’t have many points with illness or illness. There’s some threat of malaria in south-eastern Iran, however travellers needs to be cautious when taking harmful anti-malarial medicines in a rustic with such a low threat. The commonest type of illness that travellers face is meals poisoning (though that is fairly uncommon).

There isn’t a threat of yellow fever in Iran, however animals can carry rabies, so like anyplace on the planet, maintain your distance from stray animals and unkempt pets.

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Cellphone & Web In Iran

Laptop Road SignThe Iranian authorities does censor many social and abroad information websites like BBC, Twitter, Fb and many others. Additionally they throttle again the speeds to make sure that no person is downloading illicit supplies, however typically you’ll nonetheless be capable to discover first rate speeds at cafes, eating places and at your resort. Wi-fi is changing into more and more standard and also you’ll doubtless have it at nearly each resort you keep in. Obtain speeds common at about 1mbps, however you’ll doubtless get round 500kbps.

As for cell service, Iran’s telecommunications are run totally by one state-run firm: TCI. Travellers can acquire each static sim playing cards and pre-paid sim playing cards. You’ll be able to recharge Your sim card via Web, through the use of main Iranian debit playing cards, or just purchase a recharge card from any tremendous retailer, e-book retailer or cell service supplier retailers which can be found throughout Iran. Sim playing cards have SMS, MMS and GPRS.

TCI nonetheless doesn’t help 3G however this is on its means. You could possibly use your authentic sim card from house, however you’ll pay roaming fees.

Good Films & Books About Iran


Argo: This 2012 movie was directed by Ben Afflek and whereas it was criticized for poorly portraying the Iranian folks, though elements of it are fictitious it’s really fairly entertaining and informative.

A Separation: This compelling drama is a few married couple who’re confronted with a tough choice to both enhance the lifetime of their little one by transferring to a different nation, or to remain in Iran and take care of a deteriorating mother or father who has Alzheimer’s illness.


Prisoner of Tehran: The true story of a 16-year-old lady residing in Tehran through the Iranian Revolution. What she went via in her life throughout this time is unimaginable. That is one e-book you gained’t wish to put down. 

When Is The Finest Time To Go to Iran?

Weather Road Sign

Spring (March-Could) & Autumn (Sept-Nov)

Due to Iran’s dimension, topography and altitude, you’ll really discover an enormous number of climate patterns right here. Earlier than you determine when to go, it’s best to most likely determine the place you’d wish to go within the nation as regional temperatures can range wildly (when it’s -5°C in Tabriz it could be 35°C in Bandar Abbas).

Warmth generally is a restrictive power when backpacking in Iran so watch out when you’re within the south throughout summer time, when temperatures often break into the 40’s (C).

Goat Notice: Climate all through the world is altering. You’ll be able to’t even attempt to predict seasons anymore, however you possibly can assume that central and northern Iran is usually freezing after November and the south is scorching in the summertime.

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General Ideas

Iran is unquestionably considered one of our favorite international locations thus far!

Iran’s remarkably pleasant folks, the benefit of journey, attention-grabbing websites, wonderful topography and deep historical past all mix to make this one of the charming journey locations on Earth. Overlook what your loved ones and pals say about Iran and its folks. Until they’ve been there, they don’t know. Pack your luggage and prepare for a cultural expertise that can doubtless remind you of precisely why you like journey.


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The Ultimate GuideToBackpacking Iran

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