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25 Things to Know Before You Visit Iran

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  • Last Updated: February 6, 2024

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.

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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Alesha and Jarryd

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

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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

Yourwellcom

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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Borders Of Adventure

Borders Of Adventure

Leading Culture and Adventure Travel Blog by Becki Enright. Looking at the world with a different angle to change perceptions of misunderstood places, for the best in travel.

Close up of the gold and blue mosaic interior of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan.

Iran , Misunderstood Destinations

This Is How to Travel to Iran – Everything You Need to Know

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to handpicked partners, including tours, gear and booking sites. If you click through or buy something via one of them, I may receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and allows this site to keep running.

Many travel to Iran to experience the delights of the ancient Persian Empire yet are unaware of the limitations faced by the rules and regulations of what is now the strict Islamic Republic.

As travel warnings persist and diplomatic relations with other countries continue with varying degrees of existence, many are confused about how to go about entering Iran and travelling in Iran safely, efficiently, and within the boundaries set by the current regime.

However, an Iran trip doesn’t have to be difficult at all – tourism is growing as relations develop; hatred of the western world is not as rife as the media likes you to think, and travel in the country is safe. Ancient Persia is within easy grasp, most notably in the central region where key sites have been maintained and the infrastructure linking them is growing, and tourists are not subjected to as heavily enforced rules as the locals.

With enough pre-planning and prior research, you can easily avoid the limitations and stresses of travelling in what is perceived as a closed and tricky country to traverse.

Use this checklist and list of tips for when you visit Iran as a comprehensive guide to help get you started. This Iran travel guide shows you how and is constantly revised with the help of an authorised tour guide on the ground in Tehran, alongside access to regular Iran tourism updates via tourism business partners. 

Travel Warning: Due to the volatile security in the region and the recent developments in April 2024, check your government and official advisories before visiting Iran. 

Visitors walking in the garden grounds in front of The Great Mosque Masjid-e Jameh of Isfahan on an Iran trip.

Check Before you Visit Iran

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Inbound bookings for Iran usually change when something has severed particular diplomatic ties, which then reverberates to tourism apprehension and a halt to tourism altogether. Always check the news and the political landscape before travelling to Iran to see if you (and your nationality/country) are affected by visas and entry to Iran. It’s always a matter of time and patiently waiting to see how the political landscape plays out following these events. Here are some of the more recent ones.

On 3rd January 2020, it was announced that the Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike, with Iran calling for ‘severe revenge’. While the outcome is not yet known, this does ignite fears of a conflict in the Middle East , and it pays to be more aware of travel warnings at this time. American citizens, in particular, may face more restrictions. 

Following the Ukrainian Airlines plane crash near Tehran, several flights routes to Iran have been cancelled following the news that the Ukrainian jet was ‘unintentionally’ shot down . If you have any Iran travel planned, check your airline to see if the service is still running.

The arrest of the UK Ambassador to Iran in Tehran as part of government protests have further sparked an international row between the two countries. UK travellers should be on alert for developments. 

Both Iran and Persia are used interchangeably about the country and also while you are on the ground. Reference to Persia is more so in the context of the history and legacy of the ancient kingdom of the Persian Empire; Iran is about the modern-day Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East.

READ MORE: Best Places to Visit in Iran to See Ancient Persia

Two women in black conservative dress walking towards the ancient Persia ruins of Persepolis in Iran.

You’ll stumble between modern-day cities and the sights of ancient Persia, like the Persepolis, on any Iran trip.

Can Everyone Travel to Iran? Iran Visas and Authorisation Codes

Getting a visa for Iran is quite possibly the most stressful and challenging part of your entire trip. You first need to know if you are eligible and what limitations you may face.

For countries like the UK, which have strained and little to no diplomatic relations with Iran, you may find that you cannot even get an Iran visa in your country because there is no Iranian embassy. British travel to Iran means a little more legwork, where you may also have to travel elsewhere, like Dublin or Paris for example, to obtain the visa since there is no Iran embassy in the UK.

Most airlines flying to Iran will not allow you on a flight unless you show you have an Iran visa, but you can get a visa on arrival. However, sanctions have been lifted, most notably in 2016, with up to 900 Iran visas daily on average granted on arrival, according to the Office of Foreign Affairs. Tourism numbers annually have increased year on year, with 5.2 million foreign visitors entering Iran in 2015, in comparison to 4.7 million in 2013.

On the 14th February 2016, the Ministry of Iran announced that airports could issue 30-day visas for Iran, for nationals of 180 countries.

Non-eligible nationalities for Iran Visa On Arrival:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, USA, UK

A 30-day Tourist Visa Upon Arrival, for those of eligible nationality , can be obtained at the following Iran airports:

IKA:  Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport THR:  Tehran Mehrabad Airport MHD:  Mashad Airport SYZ:  Shiraz Airport TBZ:  Tabriz Airport ISF:  Isfahan Airport

Follow the signs that say ‘Visa on Arrival’ where you will be asked questions about your trip to Iran and asked to present:

  • Details about your confirmed first night’s accommodation in Iran, including the address and phone number (you may also be asked about your travel plans on-going).
  • Proof of a confirmed return flight ticket.
  • A copy of your travel insurance policy document and policy number.
  • Those people I met who were granted an Iran tourist  visa on arrival as part of the tour   were given a special letter from the company that they could present to both the airline and passport control on arrival.

You can be waiting up to 30 minutes before your visa is granted and you can proceed to immigration. You will need:

  • A passport with at least six months validity
  • Two passport photos, in which women should be wearing a headscarf
  • The completed visa form. You can also fill out the form online before arrival in Iran, from which you will receive a visa application reference number, print it off and take it with you.

Iran tourism at golden stone and blue mosaic Great Mosque (Masjid-e Jameh) of Isfahan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the many beautiful places in Iran to visit – The UNESCO World Heritage site of The Great Mosque (Masjid-e Jameh) of Isfahan.

A list of countries showing the costs for visa in Iran and visa on arrival in Iran.

The costs for a visa in Iran and visa on arrival in Iran – each country is different.

A list of countries showing the costs for visa in Iran and visa on arrival in Iran.

Iran Travel insurance is a requirement to obtain your visa for Iran. Without proof of purchase and printed documentation, you cannot pick up your visa from the embassy or secure your visa on arrival at the airport.

Aside from it being a stupid idea not to have travel insurance coverage, check that your current policy (or the one you are thinking of getting) covers Iran. Some do not provide travel insurance for Iran or only cover limited regions of the country and activities.

Getting Your Iran Authorisation Code – Non-Eligible Nationalities

For those not eligible for a visa on arrival, and those wanting to apply for a visa for peace of mind before they arrive,  you have to apply for an Authorisation Code. EVERYONE has to have one of these, which will determine if you are granted an application for a visa.

  • For those who HAVE to travel in a group (see below), this code will generally be processed by your tour company.
  • For everyone else, you can use 1stQuest which offers essential travel services for Iran travel. Otherwise, source an Iranian travel agency local to you at the time of planning or seek direction from the embassy you wish to get a visa from about where to apply for it.
  • When applying for the authorisation code, you will need to specify which embassy you will be processing your visa at – a pain for those travelling around with no solid plans. Once the code is released, you cannot change the embassy choice. It’s wise to choose an embassy in a city you are likely to fly to Iran from (see also timings below).

Authorisation codes (if not booking with tour) come with an administration cost of around 35 Euro, which is dependent on the agency you are working with. There is no set price for an Iran Tourist Visa since it is determined by nationality and where you process your visa.

I paid €180 for mine in Tbilisi, Georgia and a British guy on my tour paid a little more to process his in Paris. The Australians in my tour group paid differing amounts between €50-€100, as did the Germans. There’s no hard and fast rule – it’s more about luck.

If all that wasn’t enough, it is highly likely that

1. Your authorisation code will take WEEKS to process

2. It will most likely arrive with only a matter of DAYS to spare before your planned arrival in Iran or tour start date.

This means that before any trip to Iran, especially when travelling on a tour, you will be rushing to the embassy in the hope of getting your authorisation code for Iran processed quickly. You may have to pay extra for fast-tracking and organise your flight ticket to Iran very last minute. This doesn’t always guarantee the best price and the idea of getting a cheap ticket to Iran has to be pushed aside.

DON’T book your flights to Iran or any travel arrangements until you know your Iran visa will be processed. Many people travel to Turkey beforehand to process their visas and fly to Iran from there, using the country as a cost-effective flight or train route for entry.

A street scene in Iran showing people and traffic outside a blue and yellow mosaic covered building and dome.

Everybody needs to get an Authorisation Code before travelling in Iran.

Refusal of Entry to Iran

The main reason for Iranian visa refusal is when there is proof you have travelled to Israel and the government’s paranoia based on your career (think journalists, media workers and similar).

Iran tourism issues are not linear, and while anything can happen at any time that would affect a particular nationality entry, the majority of the problems are political-based and beyond our control. Diplomatic relations and any political actions for/against Iran based on historical or current affairs at the time of applying may affect your refusal of entry into the country, or an Iran travel ban put in place.

On 4th January 2020, it was announced that the Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike, with Iran calling for ‘severe revenge’. While the outcome is not yet known, this does ignite fears of a conflict in the Middle East , and it pays to be more aware of travel warnings at this time. 

On 6th October 2019, it was reported that the two Australians imprisoned in Iran for flying a drone were freed in a political swap. It is suggested that strained relations between the UK and Iran after Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar are inciting such political moves to detain people breaking the rules.

On 29th August 2018, France informed diplomats to postpone all but non-essential travel to Iran after a foiled bomb plot near Paris. The following day, Iran dismissed such restrictions , proving that it is best to stay aware of any sudden changes. 

Solo Travel in Iran vs Tours in Iran

One of the biggest questions I hear is: Can US citizens / Americans travel to Iran? They absolutely can, but because of the long-standing history of coups, espionage, nuclear sanctions and everything else in between (outside of the control of the average American citizen unconnected to the historical actions of their government), all US passport holders are only allowed into Iran if part of Iran tour packages (or with a tour guide).

Despite restrictions, it is safe for Americans to travel to Iran, so don’t be put off by the bureaucracy needed to get there. US travel tips to Iran focus on this red tape. For example, it still stands that Americans must also be escorted from the airport to the hotel, and cannot make their arrangements. This all has to be pre-organised pick-up (a simple addition via the tour company) so do check this before you leave.

READ MORE: Inside The Den of Espionage – Former US Embassy in Tehran Turned Museum

A woman in black clothing walks past the high green gate in front of the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

The former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran

As of February 2014, British and Canadian citizens going to Iran became subjected to the same ‘tour only’ sanction (official Iran tour operator or private Iran guide). As a result, your visa is usually only granted for the exact number of days of your tour, with a couple of days on either side if you list this as part of the arrival and departure options.

British passports holders should also pay attention to Foreign Office updates following strained relations between the two countries after the oil tanker seizure, as listed above in ‘Current Diplomatic Relations’. 

Unfortunately, Israeli citizens cannot enter Iran at all, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

A long blue mural on a brick wall in Tehran Iran.

Check on any nationality restrictions before you visit Iran. It may mean having to join a tour and hire a guide.

While those booking up Iran holidays might choose a tour package for the fact that everything is taken care of on the ground and for ease of travel, I had no choice since I had a British passport.

There’s an overwhelming amount of Iran tour packages, and it can often be hard to know where to start. At the time, I travelled with G Adventures on a Discover Persia tour which operated through the revered Iranian agency AITO. I allowed myself free time to visit Tehran on either side of my trip, so I had a taste of both worlds, albeit on a small scale. Currently this trip is not running. 

The upside to a tour, however nomadic and sporadic you usually are, is that these trips pack a real punch in getting you to many sites in 14 days. On the G Adventures Iran tour, I saw places I would not have been able to access easily on my own or with public transport. Plus, my local guide to Iran was the bundle of knowledge that a history and sociology geek like me needed for an ancient civilisation such as Persia. The downside of such holidays in Iran is a lack of free time and lazy resting for an itinerary that would normally, on my terms, take about three weeks, not two.

Being in a tour group when visiting Iran does not mean being chaperoned and watched 24-7. ven while on a small group tour, we were allowed time to ourselves in each destination. 

A female guide in Iran pointing to the ancient stone carvings at the Persepolis site in Iran.

Choosing between and small group tour and a private guide – with a local who will show you all the historical places in Iran.

Generally, under the condition that you must have two people minimum, hiring a private tour guide in Iran is also an option. This is a viable option for those with visa restrictions who do not want to travel in slightly larger groups.

Come2Persia  is a certified and reliable Iran travel agency run by a trusted Iranian friend of mine, Ali Reza Nokhostin, who I met and travelled with when in Georgia. He is both passionate about showing off his country and in changing perceptions of Iran. Specialising in incoming tours to Iran, Come2Persia also provides other travel services needed to complete the private tour package, including hotel bookings, visa application, transportation and access to various guides, not just Ali.

Note that while solo / independent travel is moderately easy in Iran (if of a free nationality), Iran is not that well-trodden on the independent travel path. There’s little to no hostels and guesthouses, and a dominance of big, expensive hotels (especially in Tehran) and even then it is rare to stumble upon a bunch of solo travellers to join.

However, solo travel in Iran is happening, and it is safe, it’s just a little more challenging than usual, which can, in itself, be pretty exhilarating. 

Note that Couchsurfing in Iran is officially illegal, but it happens anyway. Nearly all independent travellers I have spoken to have mentioned that they have travelled here via this resource with your local hosts, of course, being the best guides. However, travellers looking to Couchsurf in Iran must be aware that they can not hold the Couchsurfing host responsible if anything goes wrong because there is no official ‘filter’ in place when it comes to the hosts listed online.

In a society where women are much more restricted than their male counterparts, to travel Iran as a solo female is a little harder and viewed with surprise/suspicion depending on where you go.

Also in Iran, since public displays of affection between males and females are not allowed, any harassment or inappropriate contact by an Iranian male to a female traveller would be frowned upon and draw attention. 

Iran is one of the safest countries in the world based on tourists’ feedback. There have been many solo female travellers who have experienced Iranian hospitality and kindness.

However, it is vital to bear in mind that Iran is an Islamic country with traditional values and of course, some types of outfits would send the wrong message, especially in smaller and more conservative cities, such as Yazd, Kashan and Qom.

A woman in red walking through the desert towards the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence in Yadz, Iran.

Solo female travel in Iran is safe, but with awareness of the conservative values of this Islamic country.

Iran is a four-season country, which means in different corners of the country, you can experience various climates at the same time. So, when is the best time to go to Iran, based on the different climates in the country? As a quick guide to Iran and its geographical mix, we can divide the country into three regions:

  • From early March until late May
  • From early September until late November
  • There is one high season, from mid-April until mid-November
  • Only one high season, from late November until late March

In between the high seasons from July to September is marked by high temperatures rendering travel on the classic route potentially uncomfortable.

Tourists in Iran stand within the gold and blue mosaic interior of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan.

The stunning Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is Isfahan is one of the must-see sites.

Iranians love to shout about the abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As my local friend stated, “It gives Iranians a lot of pride to possess such ancient lineage”.

Iran has 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – 22 cultural and two natural. Each of which is the result of years of investigation and presentation of evidence as to why they should be regarded as world heritage sites. It would take more than one trip to traverse them all.

A woman standing next to a rock pit at the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence in Yazd on a trip to Iran.

The Zoroastrian Towers of Silence in Yazd – one of the 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran.

Dress Code in Iran – Headscarves and Hijabs

Iran does have a strict dress code, and this is one of the biggest concerns for female travellers to Iran. Most importantly – PACK A HEADSCARF IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE.  It’s called ‘Roosari’ in Farsi, and you MUST be wearing it the moment you exit the plane and are officially in Iran.

You must wear a headscarf the entire time you are in Iran (except when in your hotel room), as well as loose clothing that covers your body. But let’s get one thing straight – you don’t have to wear a burka or anything that completely hides you.

When you arrive, you will soon see that reality is far removed from the stereotype. Iranian women are super stylish and proud of their appearance – fashion being a means to stand out and make a statement.

A female tourist in iran dressed in long-sleeved clothing and a headscarf, standing in front of the pretty mosaic tiles of Golestan Palace in Tehran.

The dress code for women in Iran doesn’t have to be complicated.

The ‘Morality Police’ you hear of do exist in Iran but are not spending their time chasing down foreign visitors, so do not worry too much with that. If anything, you will get a polite mention. Visitors have a bit more flexibility when it comes to the rules.

  • A headscarf is the most immediate essential item, and you can buy more when you are there) . If your headscarf falls, don’t worry – quickly put it back on again. You won’t be in trouble for this, but pay attention at all times. Wearing your hair in a high bun or ponytail helps keep the scarf in place. Many Iranian women wear it a little loose and halfway back on their head, since showing a little hair is granted.
  • Tops must be loose-fitting, and three-quarter length sleeves are ok – a little more comfortable in the heat. The general rule of thumb is that the body should be covered and arms should not be bare.
  • It is said that trousers must be baggy, but some local women wear tight, brightly coloured leggings.  As long as your legs are covered down to the ankles, it is fine. For tourists, leggings worn with a long, loose-fitting top are acceptable. However, in the more conservative areas such as Isfahan, Mashad and Qum, respect the values and revert to looser fitting trousers.
  • Colour of clothing. It’s a myth that you need to dress in dark colours or black tunics. Embrace fashion the ways the locals do and bring some colour into your Iran packing list!
  • Open toes sandals are OK. Pack some sports shoes for longer day trips where you might be walking a lot (such as at the Persepolis). You’ll soon see how sports shoes are fashionable in Iran, especially in bright colours!
  • Worried you do not have enough appropriate attire? Fear not, as soon as you arrive in Tehran or even Shiraz (if you fly into the city), hit the bazaars and the local markets . There’s plenty to be sought out. Other people on my trip stuck with two outfits and alternately hand-washed them every night.
  • Strict dress codes do not apply in the same manner when travelling with children . Young boys can wear shorts and t-shirts and girls under ten are not required to wear a headscarf.

For men it’s more straightforward – you will be dressing much the same as you do in western countries, except no short shorts, no super short sleeves and no extreme tight-fitting clothing.

READ MORE: Iran Dress Code for Women (What to Wear in Iran)

Is Iran Safe? Is it Safe to Travel to Iran?

Iran’s image of being a terrorist-driven, American bashing, nuclear weapon holding, burka-clad society is something that has been highly driven mainly by western media. “Is Iran safe?” “Isn’t it dangerous in Iran?” are likely to be some of the first questions you encounter from others when you announce you are travelling here. 

In short: Iran is a safe place to visit. 

Since the election of the more moderate President, Hassan Rouhani in August 2013 and his re-election in 2017 , both international relations and internal rules have become less severe and slightly more open.  It won’t take long before Iranians give you a warm welcome, ask where you are from or even invite you to dinner or tea.

It is a part of Iranian culture to go out of their way to help you, and it’s not uncommon to be given a phone number on a piece of paper or a business card in case you need to call upon someone.

The people of Iran are just as keen to show you they are the opposite of how they are portrayed, just as you should be teaching them that the western world doesn’t hate them.

Tourists in Iran sit with a group young Iranians for a group photo.

Is it safe to travel in Iran? Absoluely. Locals are very welcoming.

There’s never a right time for those who are worried, anxious or scared. Of course, you need to keep up to date with any significant political changes and your country’s diplomatic ties, but avoid listening to the hive of scaremongering out there and those who say don’t travel in Iran.

For example, in June 2018, there were protests about the economic situation in Iran, and these took place inside and around the Grand Bazaar in Tehran. It means being aware of any internal demonstrations and staying away from those areas, as you would in any country. 

Iran remains as one of the most stable countries in the Middle East. While breaking the rules of Islamic society (including drinking alcohol, taking drugs and engaging in sexual activity with locals) can result in deportation, arrest or worse, general travel here is entirely safe.

Don’t assume you can break any rules in Iran, play the dumb tourist and get away with it. Iran is a Muslim country where Islamic law is strictly enforced.

An example of harsh punishment is with the case of the two Australians imprisoned in Iran for illegally flying a drone near a military installation, freed in October 2019, but as part of a political swap. It might seem that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, but what is justified in your country can have harsher consequences elsewhere. 

This is an Islamic State with a strict system, and if you can’t play by Iran rules, don’t go.

Given the location of Iran in the Middle East, the Muslim religion and some similarities in culture and language, the scaremongering of Iran can often revolve around the ‘it’s Arab’ misconception.

Iran is not an Arab country. Iranians are not Arabs. The language spoken is Persian (also known as Farsi) and not Arabic (although there are many languages spoken within Iran including Kurdish and forms of Turkish, Indo-European languages and Khuzi Arabic for example, due to the many ethnic groups that exist within the country).

Not only is the Arab misconception a source of contention generally, but Persians can take offence at these preconceived ideas.

Take US Dollars or Euros with you to Iran and change them up into Iranian Rial at the local exchange offices (not the dodgy guys on the street or at the hotels which have the lower government exchange rate). Before you know it, you have millions of Rials, and it all looks easy.

However, while ALL notes state ‘Rial’ there is another ‘currency’ or ‘super unit’ that is used – Toman – which is not listed on any note or coin.

Toman is used by locals and is one-tenth of the Rial total. 1 Toman = 10 Rial.

When I was first presented with a dinner bill of “37,000”, I was quietly happy that my food had cost the equivalent of $1.5, but this was, in fact, the price in Toman.

To convert to Rial, you simply add a zero – therefore my dinner was 370,000 Rial.

Lost? It takes a couple of days to get used to, but in the majority of cases, unless stated clearly, all prices are in Toman and not Rial. Hence, the basic equation anywhere in Iran is to add a zero onto printed prices (if ‘Rial’ is not listed), or ask market vendors and others which ‘currency’ they are operating in to save the confusion.

A big question is if you can use your credit or debit card in Iran. Sadly not, since there is no network in Iran for the use of international cards. It’s always been the best option to carry enough cash with you for your trip to convert to Iranian Rial on the ground.

However, there is now an Iranian prepaid debit card for tourists and temporary visitors called the Mah Card. Like most travel cards, you can instantly add funds to your card in your preferred or home currency, and it will convert it to Iranian Rial. It is more convenient than carrying cash, protects you from unauthorised purchases and is accepted country-wide.

To get 40% off the price of a Mah Card (Full price €19)  enter BECKI at the checkout.

Public Transport in Iran – Options, Usage and Cost

When traveling in Iran, you have various options for public transport:

Intercity transport:

Private car

  • Domestic flight

The Metro is available in several cities in Iran, mainly in Tehran; alongside Shiraz, Tabriz, Mashhad and Isfahan. It is the best option to get around in Tehran, and the stations are also easily accessible by taxi and buses. The ticket price for one trip is 1000 Tomans (approximately 25 cents). You can also buy a card to pay for the metro trips and even the buses in Tehran. The rush hours are mainly 7-9 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. You can download the Tehran Metro app on Google Play .

A Tehran metro map showing the red, blue and green subway lines.

Tehran metro map and the three lines that cover the city.

You can find buses in every corner of the country. There are two main types of buses in big cities: regular and BRT. BRT buses are red, and because they have designated stations and paths, they are express buses. You can pay for the buses by your Metro card, and the fares would vary between 500 to 1000 Tomans (12 to 25 cents) per trip. You can find all the bus and BRT stations on Google Maps.

There are different types of taxis inside the cities:

  • Shuttle/shared taxis (khatti): It is a way cheaper way to get around the cities. The two downsides are that they are for fixed destinations and you will have to wait for the taxi to be filled. The fares are also fixed, and you cannot negotiate.
  • Private taxis (darbast): You can easily hail a taxi and say ‘darbast’. It means the driver will not pick any other passengers up and you must negotiate the price before getting on.
  • Non-registered taxis (shakhsi): These are non-taxi drivers who you would easily spot from the yellow and green cabs. These are people who try to earn some money by giving people a ride. Again you must negotiate the price before getting on.
  • Uber-like apps: Tap30 and Snapp are the two leading apps that you can easily use on your phone. Unfortunately, they’re not available on App Store and Google Play, but you can ask a local to help you with downloading them on your phone. Tap30 is available in many cities including Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad. Snapp is available in the same cities and also in Ahwaz and Qom.
  • Bisim Taxi: You can also call the numbers 133, 1828 and 1833 in major cities in Iran to call a taxi wherever you are.

Iranian Yellow taxis in Tehran in heavy traffic in the centre of the city.

There are plenty of taxi options in Iran.

There are two types of buses between the cities in Iran: regular buses (44 people on board) and VIP buses (25 to 35 people on board). You have more legroom on VIP buses, and you can almost lie down on the seats. You can ask a receptionist at the front desk of the hotel, go to a local travel agency or go directly to the bus terminal to buy a bus ticket in Iran. The prices vary according to the type of bus and the distance. For example, the price for a VIP ticket from Tehran to Shiraz is around 70,000 Tomans ($16).

Using trains is the best and safest option to get around the cities in Iran. There are different types of trains: 4-bed, 6-bed and the so-called ‘bus’ trains. You can also ask if the train you are trying to take is an express train or a regular train. You can book trains through the hotels, local agencies or go directly to the train station. The price for a ticket from Tehran to Yazd, for example, is between 30,000 to 70,000 Tomans ($8 to $15).

You have two options to travel in Iran by a private car. You can hire a driver or a licensed driver-guide who can not only drive you from one city to another but show you the sites en route and give you all the information you need in English and other languages. You can find a driver-guide in Iran through TourHQ . You can either go to a taxi company or a local travel agency to hire a driver or a guide. Beware a killing machine in Iran named ‘Pride’ it’s a very low-quality car produced by Saipa company. It’s the worst car in Iran. Recommended cars in Iran are Peugeots and Samand by Iran Khodro Co.

Domestic flights

If you do not have much time on your hands and you want to visit the classic route (Tehran, Qom, Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz), it is recommended to take a domestic flight from Tehran to Shiraz. From there, you can continue your journey by other means of public transportation eventually back to Tehran. You can buy flight tickets from local travel agencies. The price of the flight ticket is approximately 180,000 Tomans ($40), and it takes around 80 minutes.

On the Metro: Generally, the cars are mixed gender, but if women need more privacy, they can get on the first and the last car on both sides.

On the Buses:  In some buses, the women sit in the back and the men in front. Other times it is the opposite. However, a couple can sit together in the men’s section and not vice versa.

Different countries have different specifications, rules and warnings about travel to Iran – some way more dramatic than others. If you can, register or alert your foreign office about your whereabouts for safety and as a piece of mind measure. As a British citizen, with no embassy representation in Iran, this is more so a good idea.

Not that some travellers cannot secure travel insurance until they have alerted the relevant authorities of their travel plans. Hence, it is worth checking precisely who you need to inform before you depart, to be comprehensively covered.

Internet Access in Iran

Be prepared to take a forced ‘Digital Detox’ during your time in Iran. Internet in Iran is slow, all social media (except Instagram and What’s App) is blocked, and you usually are paying per hour for the privilege of a sluggish connection. While I sporadically got decent internet, which allowed my VPN to work, it was never superb. Want to look up sites in Iran? Super quick. Want to find some decent news in the outside world? Good luck.

Tell your family and friends that they may not hear from you that often, and be prepared to do without the connection, however hard it may be.

Irancell is the best phone operator in Iran which offers temporary SIM-cards designed for tourists. They offer a pre-paid 4G internet and credit balance, and when it is used up you can put in a new credit code sold at any supermarket all around Iran to increase your credit and buy internet packages.

You can only have only one VPN app on your phone, so you will need to test which one works best. For Android users, Hi VPN, Psiphon, Hotspot Shield are recommended, and for IOS users Psiphon, Free VPN, VPNProxyMaster and X-VPN are deemed to be the best VPN in Iran that work well at the moment.

Food in Iran (and Vegetarian Difficulties)

I had built up incredible visions of Persian cuisine in my mind before I got to Iran. I thought it would be everywhere – easily accessible and in abundance. Wrong.

Traditional Persian food is available, but you have to do some digging on where to go and find it. Try delicious vegetable and pomegranate stews, traditional Dizi (a lamb based strew where the broth is separated from the solids which are then mashed together and eaten separately) or Ash (a thick and tasty soup of lentils, beans, starch noodles, vegetables, fried mint, fried onion and yoghurt).

Other than that, you will realise that Iran’s streets are paved with fast food outlets, whose neon lights advertise the norm – kebabs, burgers and pizzas. Try and seek out the falafel places, since these are usually the best choice for a cheap and tasty fix.

Vegetarians have more of an issue. I travelled with a vegetarian and whether at a big buffet or a local teahouse or restaurant, what appeared to be the vegetarian option still had meat in it. It may mean living on aubergine/eggplant-based dishes, which are your safest bet, or begging for meat to be left out of your meal if not already pre-prepared.

Tourists in Iran trying Persian food with locals.

Food in Iran is better when locals show you real Persian cuisine.

There’s no alcohol in Iran. No bars, no clubs. Nothing. The best you get is non-alcoholic beer in a variety of fruity flavours like peach, lemon and strawberry which grace most menus.

There’s no set of different rules for travellers in Iran and those visiting. A local might be being kind in offering to find you the real deal at some underground gathering, but really, don’t take the chance. They might be able to waver the punishment; you won’t.

Like any country, it is crucial to know, understand and adhere to cultural and religious customs and rules that can often be very different from those at home. Here are the main rules for etiquette in Iran and interesting Iranian culture facts:

  • One of the primary forms of social etiquette is TAROF, which is where Iranians usually insist on offering things to people and sometimes they do not mean it. However, you should not accept the first time.
  • In Muharram month (the mourning month of Imam Hossein) people DO NOT usually wear bright colours (especially red) to respect the religious values.
  • In Ramadan month , in which the majority of people keep fast during the day, it is disrespectful to eat and drink in public.
  • In restaurants in Iran , it is incredibly unpleasant to see anyone clear their nose, especially loudly. In general, restaurant or not, it is also unusual to see somebody break wind.
  • Shaking hands between men and women is a complicated topic. Generally speaking, it is not okay for men and women who are not related to shake hands. However, it is entirely relative. Usually, it is not advised for female tourists to extend their hand towards men, and it’s best to wait and see if the men do so first.
  • The thumbs-up hand signal a derogatory sign in Iran, and it is best not to use it, especially in the presence of older people.
  • When it comes to public displays of affection , you’ll see that affectionate touching, kissing, and shaking hands between men and women who are relatives are very normal. Iranian dating customs are more complex. You can kiss your significant other on the cheek, but french kissing strictly goes beyond the line. Holding hands is not something one would raise an eyebrow about at all, whereas hugging, on the other hand, would seem to be crossing the line a little. It is relative as to what extent the public display of affection is tolerated. For example, inside holy places and religious cities, it would not be easily tolerated.

People sitting on benches on a beautiful street in Iran full of narrow, rectangular buildings and shop fronts.

Wherever you are in Iran, it is important to adhere to cultural and religious customs and rules.

‘Persian Time’ is much like ‘Asian Time’ – things take much longer than you expect. When you travel Iran you’ll soon see that service is slower and the times you are given for things, like an arrival at a destination, are not always clear or roundabout correct, like this example:

Guide: “It takes four or five hours. So if we leave at 8 am, we will get there around 4 pm.”

Me: “But that’s eight hours, not four.”

Guide: “Yes, it takes about eight hours. We will stop at x, y and z on the way and arrive around 2 pm.”

In short, don’t rely on or worry about time, and pack a bit more patience than you would at home, especially when it comes to food, service and paying.

Ancient Persia isn’t an easily absorbed history lesson. While your guide (if you choose to have one or if you are a part of a tour group) will spout a level of information that will blow your mind, it is worth reading up on the history of Persia, as well as details on the lead-up to the Iranian Revolution in 1979. This will give a valuable understanding of the basic makeup of the country.

It will mean names like Zoroastrian, Cyrus the Great, the Achaemenid Empire, Reza Shah, Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei won’t be lost on you when you go to Iran.

Great books to read before you arrive include:

  • Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic  for a guide on the more recent history

Iran: What Everyone Needs to Know is by the same author, Michael Axworthy, and tries to explain how there’s more to Iran than its foreign relations, with part of the book also unravelling Iran’s economy, politics, culture and people. 

Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem Through the Islamic Revolution  is about a woman who was born in Iran, left to study in the States and returned to a country in the grip of profound change.

  • The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran  about a journalist in exile after being arrested for political activism

Best for when on the road:

  • Easy reference for most of us came from the Lonely Planet Iran guide book . While it shouldn’t be your sole source of information, this particular Lonely Planet is a quick fix Iran travel guide, especially for historical hotspots. Having this paper guide was a handy resource for the entire trip, especially since quick access to the internet in Iran both at the hotels and while on the road is very limited.

Have you been to Iran? Are there any other pre-departure tips you would add? And if planning a trip there, and what difficulties are you facing, if any?

Images showing the blue and golden tones of mosque mosaics and desert sites with the words: Travel to Iran. Everything You Need to Know.

Any plagiarism of this Iran travel blog or any of its descriptions used on other sites and blogs without attribution is not information authorised by myself for use. Know your source. 

About Becki

Becki Enright is a British Travel Press Award-winning writer whose work focuses on changing perceptions about misunderstood aspects of destinations. Her writing combines storytelling with insight into the social, historical, political and economic factors that shape the country or place in relation to tourism. Becki has appeared live on Sky News and CNN and has contributed to high profile media including National Geographic, Time.com, Guardian online, New York Times, Grazia and Buzzfeed.

Marcela says

19 April 2022 at 7:42 pm

Hi, is it possible to rent a car without a driver in Iran? Thanks, I loved your post!

28 April 2022 at 11:39 am

I think you can, yes! However, it isn’t something I know much about.

Hanieh says

28 March 2022 at 8:19 pm

Iran and Tehran are great🤩

7 August 2021 at 4:02 pm

Hello. I want to thank for this text. It is completely true about Iran and I as an Iranian approciate that describe Iran and Iranians truly. I really enjoy it. Most of Iranians think people of world consider us as a terrorist country while people of Iran differ from Republic Islamic Iran.

Miranda says

24 October 2019 at 8:53 am

I really like to travel to Iran, but I don’t know when is the best time to travel there, what is your recommendation?

24 October 2019 at 10:52 am

Hi Miranda. All the details are in the article. You can find an overview of the best time to visit Iran here: https://www.bordersofadventure.com/travel-to-iran-things-to-know/#When_is_the_Best_Time_to_Visit_Iran

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Update May 10, 2024

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Iran Travel Advisory

Travel advisory january 11, 2024, iran - level 4: do not travel.

Updated to add the Terrorism Risk Indicator and risk of surrogacy tourism.

Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest of U.S. citizens . Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions .  

Country Summary: U.S. citizens should not travel to Iran for any reason. U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Iran have been kidnapped, arrested, and detained on spurious charges.

Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. nationals, particularly dual national U.S.-Iranian nationals--including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics--on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities routinely delay consular access to detained U.S. nationals and consistently deny consular access to dual U.S.-Iranian nationals.

Violent extremist groups, including U.S. government-designated terrorist organizations, operate in Iran. ISIS and affiliated groups have claimed responsibility for bombings and other attacks in Iran. The threat of terrorist activity persists, as does the risk of death or injury to bystanders.

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The U.S. government is unable to provide routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Iran.

Companies offering surrogacy services in Iran are misrepresenting the security situation in Iran and the risks of the unregulated surrogacy tourism industry. Private companies that arrange such visits and services put U.S. citizens in danger.  

Due to the risks of operating civilian aircraft within or in the vicinity of Iran, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the  Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices .

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Iran.

If you are currently in Iran:   

  • Consider the risks involved in possessing dual  U.S. Iranian nationality .
  • Review your personal security plan and visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider.
  • Have a plan for departing Iran that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter/X .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

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Travel advice and advisories by destination

COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

The Government of Canada’s official source of travel information and advice, the Travel Advice and Advisories help you to make informed decisions and travel safely while you are outside Canada. Check the page for your destination often, because safety and security conditions may change. See Travel Advice and Advisories – FAQ for more information.

Where are you going?

Take normal security precautions

Exercise a high degree of caution

Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid all travel

Travel advice from other countries

Travel advice is also provided by the governments of Australia , New Zealand , the United Kingdom and the United States .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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Travel to Iran from Canada | Visiting Iran as a Canadian Citizens | Iran Visa Canada

No matter where you come from, iran leaves a light on.

shiraz iran courtyard pink mosque nasir al mulk no people beautiful mosque built qajar dynasty shiraz iran shiraz 211 - Travel to Iran from Canada | Visiting Iran as a Canadian Citizens | Iran Visa Canada

Many people from Canada may face this question, “ Can I travel to Iran from Canada? ”. Well, the answer is yes, indeed; but how? The process of getting an Iran visa for Canadian citizens , as well as the British and Americans, is different from other nationalities. In this blog, we have tried to answer the question you may face with. Also, we have tried to clarify the process of traveling to Iran from Canada for you.

  • 1 Travel to Iran from Canada – Iran Visa for Canadian Citizens
  • 2 Notes about Iranian Visa for Canadian Travelers

Travel to Iran from Canada – Iran Visa for Canadian Citizens

The process of getting an Iranian visa for Canadian is simple. If you are interested in visiting Iran, there are some visa application suggestions to clarify the process for you.

  • Second Nationality: First of all, if you have more than one nationality the problem is solved! Then you just need to apply for an Iranian visa with a different nationality. Unless your other nationality is American, English, or Israelian.
  • Marital Visa: If your mother or wife is from Iran, you can simply apply for an Iranian Marital Visa.
  • Relative-Entry Visa: If you have a first-grade family member (a son, a daughter, etc.) who is a citizen is Iran, your visa is there waiting for you!
  • Iranian Tours : One of the best ways to get an Iran visa for Canadian citizens is booking a tour in Iran .

111111111111 1 - Travel to Iran from Canada | Visiting Iran as a Canadian Citizens | Iran Visa Canada

Notes about Iranian Visa for Canadian Travelers

keep in mind that you need to apply for an Iran tourist visa in advance. Getting the final result from the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is a lengthy process that can take up to 90 days. After all, you can finally get an Iran visa in any country you like from Iranian embassies around the world. Also, you can read more about Iranian Tours for US, UK, and Canada Citizens , in this blog.

Keywords: travel to iran from canada, montreal tehran flight, iran visa canada, iran visa for canadian citizens, tours to iran from canada, iran tours from canada, travel to canada from iran, getting a visa for iran from canada, visiting iran as a canadian, traveling to iran from canada, travel from iran to canada, iran visa requirements for canadian citizens, iran tourism canada, flight to canada from iran, entering iran from canada.

visit iran from canada

Ali Rastegar

International commerce manager.

Enthusiasm, knowledge and a witty sense of humor is a unique combination that make Ali not only a great writer but also the life of the group! He is a linguist with a lively immagination, a love for apocalyptic literature, and a gift for writing profound peotry.

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Find out if you need a visa to travel to Canada

Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada - not both. Some people may only need their valid passport. Answer a few questions to see what's right for you.

See all entry requirements by country/territory

Sample passport information page highlighting three letter country code

You can find the country code on your passport. Be careful when you select your country. Some countries have multiple options and codes are quite similar.

Answer yes if you’re a citizen of Canada and another country.

visit iran from canada

Look on the front cover of your passport for the symbol of a rectangle with a circle in the middle. If you see this symbol, you have an electronic passport.

Answer: You need a visitor visa

For visits of up to 6 months for most purposes. Cost: CAN $100

Get details about visitor visa Opens in a new tab

Answer: You need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

For visits of up to 6 months or to transit via a Canadian airport. Cost: CAN $7

Get details about eTA Opens in a new tab

Answer: You need a valid Canadian passport

You need a  valid Canadian passport  to travel to Canada by air (board your flight).

Exception: If you’re an American-Canadian dual citizen with a valid U.S. passport, you don’t need a Canadian passport to fly to Canada. However, you still need to  carry proper identification Opens in a new tab  and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada Opens in a new tab .

Get details about travelling as a dual Canadian citizen Opens in a new tab

Answer: You need a valid passport or travel document to travel to Canada by car, train, bus or boat

If you decide to fly to a Canadian airport instead, you'll need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Learn about documents you may need Opens in a new tab

Answer: You need official proof of status in the U.S.

Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. must present these documents for all methods of travel to Canada:

  • a valid passport from their country of nationality (or an equivalent acceptable travel document ) and
  • a valid green card (or equivalent valid proof of status in the United States)

Answer: You need a transit visa 

To connect between 2 international flights, in less than 48 hours. Cost: Free

Note: If you have more than 48 hours between international flights OR if you decide to visit Canada, you need to apply for a visitor visa.

Get details about transit visa Opens in a new tab

Answer: You can apply for a parent and grandparent super visa to visit for more than 6 months

  • The super visa is for visits of 5 years at a time .
  • a letter from your child or grandchild with a promise to financially support you for the duration of your visit in Canada.
  • More information on approved insurance providers outside of Canada will be available in the coming months.
  • be valid for at least 1 year from the date of entry to Canada
  • provide at least $100,000 in emergency coverage.
  • You must apply for a super visa from outside Canada.
  • Cost: CAN $100

Note : If you don't meet the criteria for a super visa, you need to apply for a visitor visa.

Get details about super visa Opens in a new tab

Note : If you don’t meet the criteria for a super visa, you need to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). An eTA allows for visits of up to 6 months.

Note : If you don’t meet the criteria for a super visa, you can visit Canada for up to 6 months with a valid identity document. Bring identification such as a valid passport. Or, if a member of an official program such as Nexus, you may present your valid membership card.

If you don’t meet the criteria for a super visa, you can visit Canada for up to 6 months with

  • a valid passport from your country of nationality (or an equivalent acceptable travel document Opens in a new tab ) and
  • official proof of lawful permanent resident status in the U.S., such as a green card

Answer: You need a valid identity document

Bring identification such as a valid passport. Or, if a member of an official program such as Nexus, you may present your valid membership card.

Learn about the documents you may need Opens in a new tab

Answer: If we approve your study permit application, we’ll issue a visitor visa

  • You don’t need to submit a separate application for a visitor visa.

When you travel to Canada, bring your

  • letter of introduction that says your study permit application is approved, if you received one
  • valid passport that has your visitor visa stuck to one of its pages

Learn about studying in Canada Opens in a new tab

Answer: You should already have a valid visitor visa

We automatically issued a  visitor visa to you when we approved your first study or work permit.

If you leave and return to Canada,  you must travel with:

  • your valid study or work permit
  • If you don’t have a valid visa when you check-in for a flight, it may result in travel delays (or a missed flight).
  • your valid passport

Exception : If you return directly from a visit only to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you don’t need a valid visitor visa if your study or work permit is still valid.

If your visa has expired or was only valid for a single entry to Canada

You need to  apply for a new visa Opens in a new tab .

  • A visa costs CAN$100.
  • It’s valid for up to 10 years.

If your study or work permit will expire soon, you must extend it before you can apply for a new visitor visa.

You need a visitor visa to leave and return to Canada.  Apply for your visa before you leave.

You can apply for a visitor visa from inside Canada if you meet all the conditions below:

  • you’re already in Canada
  • you hold a valid study or work permit
  • you want to  leave and return to Canada  in the near future
  • your existing  visitor visa Opens in a new tab  is expired or was valid for only one entry

Exception : If you return  directly  from a visit only to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you don’t need a valid visitor visa if your study or work permit is still valid.

Processing times vary by country.  You may need to  give fingerprints and photo (biometrics) Opens in a new tab  with your application. Processing times  don’t include  the time you need to give biometrics.

Apply for a visitor visa Opens in a new tab

You need a  visitor visa  to travel to Canada.

A visitor visa:

  • is a sticker we put in your passport
  • costs CAN$100

Processing times vary by country.  You may need to  give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) Opens in a new tab  with your application. Processing time  doesn’t include  the time you need to give biometrics.

Answer: Before you continue, find out if you need a study permit

You’ll need to answer some questions on another page to find out.

If you’re eligible to study without a study permit, you’ll need to come back to this page to find out what you need to travel to Canada.

Find out if you need a study permit Opens in a new tab

Answer: If we approve your work permit application, we’ll issue a visitor visa for you

  • letter of introduction that says your work permit application is approved, if you received one

Learn about working in Canada Opens in a new tab

We automatically issued a  visitor visa to you when we approved your first work permit.

Processing times vary by country.  You may need to  give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)  with your application. Processing time  doesn’t include  the time you need to give biometrics.

Apply for a visitor visa

Answer: Before you continue, find out if you need a work permit

If you’re eligible to work without a work permit, you’ll need to come back to this page to find out what you need to travel to Canada.

Find out if you need a work permit Opens in a new tab

Answer: If we approve your study permit application, we’ll issue an electronic travel authorization (eTA)

  • You don’t need to submit a separate application for an eTA.

If you get a new passport before you come to Canada, you’ll need to apply for a new eTA if you plan to fly to a Canadian airport.

Answer: You need an eTA to leave and return to Canada

Your study permit lets you study in Canada. If you plan to leave and return to Canada, you need to make sure you have what you need to re-enter the country.

What you need depends on your travel plans.

visit iran from canada

If you re-enter by a Canadian airport (fly back to Canada)

You must have:

  • the passport that’s linked to a valid eTA and
  • your valid study permit
  • costs CAN $7
  • is electronically linked to your passport

If you received your current study permit on or after August 1, 2015, you may have a valid eTA.

If you don’t have an eTA or yours has expired, you’ll need to apply for a new eTA.

Apply for an eTA Opens in a new tab

visit iran from canada

If you re-enter Canada by car, boat, bus or train

  • a valid passport and

Answer: If you fly to a Canadian airport, you need an eTA

  • costs CAN$7

Most applicants get their eTA approval (via an email) within minutes. However, some requests  can take several days  to process if you’re asked to submit supporting documents.

If you drive or arrive by train, bus or boat

You just need a  valid passport or travel document Opens in a new tab  to get to Canada by car, train, bus or boat.

Answer: If we approve your work permit application, we’ll issue an electronic travel authorization (eTA) for you

  • valid passport that you used to apply for your work permit

If you get a new passport before you come to Canada, you’ll need to apply for a new eTA if you plan to fly to a Canadian airport.

Your work permit lets you work in Canada. If you plan to leave and return to Canada, you need to make sure you have what you need to re-enter the country.

  • your valid work permit

If you received your current work permit on or after August 1, 2015, you may have a valid eTA.

  • your valid work or study permit

Answer: You don’t need to apply for a visitor visa or eTA

  • valid passport or travel document that you used to apply for your work or study permit

When you travel to Canada, you must bring your:

  • letter of introduction that says your study permit application is approved

Answer: You don’t need an eTA or a visitor visa

If you’re driving or arriving by train, bus, or boat.

You just need to  bring the right travel documents Opens in a new tab .

If you fly to or transit through a Canadian airport

You just need to travel with your valid U.S. passport if you fly or transit through a Canadian airport.

  • valid passport or travel document that you used to apply for your work permit
  • valid work or study permit

Answer: Your permit is not an eTA or a visa

When you extend your study permit, you’ll also be issued an eTA if you don’t already have one. When you fly to a Canadian, you must have:

  • the passport that’s linked to your valid eTA  and
  • a valid visitor and

Apply for visitor visa Opens in a new tab

When you extend your work permit, you’ll also be issued an eTA if you don’t already have one. When you fly to a Canadian, you must have:

  • a valid visitor visa and

Answer: You’re eligible to apply for an eTA

You can apply for an  eTA  if you travel to Canada  by air only .

  • is only valid when flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport

Most applicants get their eTA approval within minutes (via email). However, some requests  can take several days  to process if you’re asked to submit supporting documents.

If you already have a  valid Canadian visitor visa  you don’t need to apply for an eTA. You can travel with your visa until it expires.

If your travel plans change

You need a  visitor visa  (not an eTA) if you decide to  get to Canada by car, train, bus or boat  instead.

Answer: You don’t need to apply for a visitor visa or eTA

  • valid passport or travel document that you used to apply for your study permit and
  • official proof of U.S. lawful permanent resident status

Answer: You need valid proof of lawful permanent resident status of the U.S. to leave and return to Canada

  • valid study permit,
  • valid passport or travel document that you used to apply for your study permit, and

Answer: You don’t need an eTA or a visitor visa

  • valid passport or travel document and

You’ll need to answer some questions on another page to find out.

If you’re eligible to study without a study permit, you’ll need to come back to this page to find out what you need to travel to Canada.

  • valid passport or travel document that you used to apply for your work permit and
  • valid work permit
  • valid work permit,

If you’re eligible to work without a work permit, you’ll need to come back to this page to find out what you need to travel to Canada.

Answer: You’re eligible to apply for an eTA

If you already have a  valid Canadian visitor visa , you don’t need to apply for an eTA. You can travel with your visa until it expires.

If you transit through Canada to or from the United States

You  may  be able to  transit through Canada without a visa or eTA if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

You need an official proof of status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., such as one of the following:

  • valid permanent resident card (Form I-551)
  • foreign passport with an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp (also known as an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication [ADIT] stamp)
  • foreign passport with a temporary I-551 printed notation (“Upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year”) on a machine-readable immigrant visa upon endorsement with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection admission stamp
  • expired permanent resident card (Form I-551) with Form I-797 (Notice of Action) for pending Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence) or Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status)
  • expired permanent resident card (Form I-551) with Form I-797 (Notice of Action) for pending Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card [Green Card])
  • valid re-entry permit (Form I-327)
  • Form I-94 with an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp (ADIT stamp) and a passport-style photo

Important note:

This tool provides information only. It was created to assist you as you decide what travel document you may need to travel to Canada. This tool may not provide information on all travel documents or your particular situation. If you choose to apply, we will assess your application in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its related Regulations. Read our complete terms and conditions (opens in a new tab) .

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Intrepid Travel Blog

Why you should travel to Iran as an American (and what to expect)

American travel to Iran

Packed with over 5,000 years of history, Iran is a destination everyone must experience at least once in their lifetime. From the ancient Persian Empire to the Zoroastrians temples, the countless mosques, and even the modern cities like Tehran, there is so much to see that one visit will not be enough.

After traveling to Iran on Intrepid Travel’s 14-day Iran Adventure trip, I shared my experience with many of my friends. Most of them replied with a similar response, “I’d love to go to Iran!”

This is a common response among travelers, yet not many actually plan a trip to the country due to misinformation, lack of information, or fear.

American travel to Iran

Sunrise at Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Esfahan

To encourage you to plan a trip to this wonderful destination, I’ll share with you a few reasons why you should travel to Iran as an American, debunk a few myths, and tell you what to expect there.

No, they don’t hate Americans

Contrary to what you see in the media, Iran is one of the friendliest and culturally-rich countries you’ll ever visit. And no, they do not hate Americans or any other Western nation. That’s just fear-mongering and it is far from reality.

READ MORE: 6 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TRAVEL IN IRAN

When I arrived, I debated how open I wanted to be about my nationality. But as soon as I met Nadia, our Intrepid Travel guide, she put to rest any mild concerns I had about sharing openly that I’m American. No one has an issue with it.

American travel to Iran

Intrepid leader, Nadia

MEET NADIA, THE INTREPID LEADER WHO WILL CHALLENGE YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS ABOUT IRAN

As we traveled the country, countless locals approached me and my other tour companions to chat with us. They were all curious to know about us, our life in our respective countries, and how we were enjoying Iran. On our part, we were just as curious to learn about them, so we fed each other’s curiosities over tea and casual chatting.

One of my favorite random encounters happened just before leaving Iran. I spent my last few hours in the country visiting the Azadi Tower, where I met a few early 20-something local guys. As soon as one of them learned I was American, he expressed with joy how much he’d love to visit the US and shared his vast knowledge of the country. In fact, he was wearing an American flag bandana.

Everywhere you go, you always feel that warm welcome Iranians are known for.

American travel to Iran

Azadi Tower in Tehran

The visa process is extensive, but worth it in the end

Yes, the visa process is more complicated than in many other countries, but it should not be a deterrent to visiting Iran. Due to the current political environment, Americans are having a tougher time to get their tourist visas approved, but still, it is possible to get them. Thankfully, Intrepid Travel helps you get your visa by guiding you every step of the way with their visa application form.

HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VISA SITUATION

Once you get the visa, set foot in the country, and experience everything it has to offer, you’ll see that that the extra process was all worth it.

There’s so much history to be learned and experienced

As the host to one of the oldest civilizations in history, Iran has no lack of ancient ruins and historical sites. Everywhere you go, you’ll be surrounded in hundreds, if not thousands of years of history.

American travel to Iran

Gate of All Nations in Persepolis

From the Elamite Kingdoms, to the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great’s conquest, the Arab invasion, and even the 1979 revolution, each city you visit will show you a piece of the historical puzzle and how they played a part in the development of Iran as we know it, its neighboring countries, and even the rest of the world.

One of my favorite experiences on this trip was spending a night at the Zein-o-din Caravanserai. A caravanserai is an ancient fortress-like facility used by merchants traveling along the silk road around 450 years ago. They would spend the night there to rest, feed their camels, and trade goods before continuing their journey. Today, this one caravanserai is open for us to spend the night right where merchants used to sleep.

BROWSE INTREPID TRAVEL’S RANGE OF TRIPS TO IRAN

You’ll experience a positive culture shock

I think some of the best travel destinations are the ones that teach you something new through experiences, and Iran has no shortage of that. The level of culture shock in the country is significant, but in a positive way. You’ll see how, despite their current economic and political status, Iranians still welcome you with a smile and the warmest hospitality you could hope for.

American travel to Iran

You’ll be welcomed with an abundance of food, too!

You’ll see how women are proud of their trendy fashion, how their carpet artistry is among the finest in the world, how the nomadic culture is still alive, how their local markets are the center of activity, and how families gather at parks and squares to picnic at night until well past midnight (it can get too hot to picnic during the day).

You’ll also see how religion is deeply tied to their society and the many intricate details that make their culture unique. You’ll see all kinds of people, from the most conservative to the most liberal, and the beauty of all of them coexisting in one place.

SUBSCRIBE TO INTREPID’S NEWSLETTER FOR TRAVEL TIPS, STORIES, GIVEAWAYS & MORE

It’s good to be ambassadors of our country

As I mentioned previously, locals will talk to you and ask you about life in the US or your country. This is our opportunity to show them who we really are not only as a Western nation but also as humans. There is no better way to learn about a country than by talking firsthand with locals, the people who live and breathe their country every day. They will share with you their proudest moments, their struggles, and their desires.

American travel to Iran

Locals in the vegetable market in Shiraz

Another fear-mongering myth is that Iran is not safe. But again, it is the opposite. Locals aren’t looking to harm, kidnap, or threaten Americans. I never felt in danger, not even when I walked on my own in the city of Esfahan past midnight.

Traveling solo is safe, but as Americans, you will be traveling on a tour (since it is required), so that’s even another safety layer.

TRAVEL STORY: “I’VE CYCLED THROUGH OVER 40 COUNTRIES; HERE’S WHY IRAN STANDS OUT”

There’s no alcohol, pork, and no American/Western chains

For good or for bad, alcohol has been banned in the country since the revolution in 1979. Pork isn’t found either, but this is more because of Islamic customs. American and Western chains are not found in the country due to economic sanctions and the complicated political relationship Iran has had with the Western world for decades now.

American travel to Iran

Esfahan – one of Iran’s many unique and compelling destinations

What you will find, though, are knock-off versions of popular fast foods like McFood, a different KFC, Burger Queen, and so on. It’s fun to see how they reinterpret and adopt the Western culture not only on their food but also on their fashion and entertainment too.

There is so much more to be discovered and experienced in Iran and no post will compare to the beauty of seeing it all firsthand. If you are as intrigued by the country as I was before I went there, I’ll tell you, it will impress you and possibly even surpass your expectations. At least, it surpassed mine.

Ready to visit this incredible destination for yourself? Check out Intrepid’s small group tours in Iran.

Further reading

  • Travel to Iran: a 2019 visa update for US, UK and Canadian citizens
  • Everything you need to know before visiting Iran
  • Why you should visit Iran now, more than ever
  • 5 unique experiences you shouldn’t miss in Iran
  • What to wear in Iran: a packing guide

(All images courtesy of the writer, Norbert, and taken on Intrepid Travel’s Iran Adventure trip.)

Feeling inspired?

visit iran from canada

Norbert Figueroa

Norbert Figueroa is an architect from Puerto Rico who hit pause on his career in 2011 to travel the world long-term. So far he’s traveled to over 125 countries in hopes of achieving his goal of visiting all 195 UN-recognized countries. You can follow his adventures at globotreks.com and on Facebook and Instagram @globotreks.

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Iran

Having to get a visa to Iran takes all the fun out of traveling. We are here to get it back. Just apply online below and let us do the rest

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Iran Visa Types

The Iranian electronic visa is available on VisaHQ, and we have all the resources you need to apply for it successfully. Feel free to read our review of the different types of visas to give you a better idea of the appropriate visa to apply for.

  • r Tourist visa required
  • r Business visa required

Currently VisaHQ can not assist with Iran visa services, applicants must apply in person.

Visa application form. For online orders, please download, print and sign Iran visa application, prepared by our system under your account.

Original passport. The passport must be valid at least 6 months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the destination country and has at least 2 blank visa pages.

Passport-type photograph. Include a passport style photo, with a white background, taken within the last 6 months. You may also choose to upload a photo to your order for us to print. There is a charge associated with this service.

Business Support Letter. A business letter from the sending company in the US. The letter should be printed on the company letterhead stationery, addressed to "The Consulate of Iran, Visa Section", and signed by a senior manager. The business letter must adhere to the following guidelines: • Briefly introduce the applicant (please specify employment status/position held in the company by applicant). • State the nature of the business to be conducted (ie. business meetings, contract negotiations, etc.) and the names and addresses of companies to be contacted in Iran. • Specify the Type and desired Validity of the visa (ie. a one year multiple entry business visa). • Guarantee of sufficient funds for travel. • In the event the applicant is self-employed, please mention the nature of business conducted in Iran in the application under "Other" in paragraph 1.15" Use the sample format for this letter.

Approval Letter. Approval letter that was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran. Here is the information on obtaining an approval .

Passport copy. A clear scan of the information page of your valid, signed passport.

Unfortunately, at this time VisaHQ does not provide service for

A visa is not required for this destination.

Unfortunately, at this time VisaHQ does not provide service for Tourist visa

  • Check the current validity of your passport and the availability of blank visa pages
  • Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Iran Take advantage of our extensive embassy and consular database to find the nearest one. Upon contacting the embassy confirm the required documents, the time it takes to process the visa and whether the consulate accepts applications by mail.
  • Passport must not contain any evidence of prior or intended travel to Israel.
  • Photographs for female travelers MUST adhere to the Islamic dress code.
  • Additional info for minors under 16 with Afghani, Pakistani or Iranian mothers
  • Approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not required with the following documents: Proof of Kinship. Mother's Passport. A copy of the mother's Afghani, Pakistani, or Iranian passport..
  • Additional Information for Minors Under 16 Children (under 16) of Iranian mothers do not require an approval.

Iran Tourist visa fees for citizens of United States of America

Iran visa policy.

According to the visa policy of Iran, visitors to Iran may or may not need visas to enter the country. 

Visitors from visa-exempt countries don’t need visas, while those from non-visa-exempt countries need visas. Visitors who need visas can acquire visas from a diplomatic mission abroad, on arrival, or online. Without visas, such visitors will not be allowed into the country. Visa-exempt and nonvisa-exempt visitors must hold valid passports with at least six months of validity.

Persons from countries that appear in Iran’s visa waiver program may stay in Iran for varying durations depending on their nationality. There are 14,25,21,30,45, and 90 days visa-free periods depending on their passport, and during this time, they are free to visit passport-free zones inside Iran. However, they are not allowed to work.

If they are eligible for visa exemptions, Tourists visiting Iran can visit and stay in Iranian free trade zones for 14 days without holding visas. These zones are Qeshm Island, Kish Island, Aras, Arvand, Maku, Anzali, Chabhar, and other free zones in the country. There are also special conditions for Canadians, Americans, and Britons who can have a certified guide wait for them at the point of entry. Kindly note that tourists must secure hotel reservations in advance.

Visa On Arrival

There is a separate arrangement for visitors who may not have visas but are willing to enter Iran. They can get visas on arrival if they are eligible. To get a visa at the point of entry, you ought to have applied online via an e-visa website at least two days before your arrival. A submission notification will be generated for you, which you must print out and bring for the trip. At the airport arrival desk, the notification will be exchanged for a visa. Visa on arrival only allows you to stay for one month, but there are plans to extend the duration to three months.

All visa applications on arrival come with an application fee paid at the entry point. Kindly check for the current few at least a day before your trip and ensure that your nationality qualifies you for this type of visa; if not, apply for an e-visa or a consular visa.

Another thing to bear in mind is that this visa is only issued at designated airports which include Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Mashhad, Kish, Qeshm, Shiraz, Imam Khomeini, Tabriz, Kerman, Mehrabad, Urmia, and Larestan airports. Sea travelers entering through Shahid Rajaee Port in South Hormozgan Province can get a visa on arrival as well.

Iran e Visa

Iran also has an e-visa program which has been active since 2018. This visa is strictly online and saves travelers the time and effort of going to the embassy or waiting in line at designated airports to get arrival visas. E visas are valid for 90 days, and the receiver can visit Iran and stay for up to 30 days with the option to extend it by 30 days twice. Applicants must fill out a visa application form online and attach their documents before submitting for processing. There is also an application fee which must be paid before submission.

The e-visa is easy to get and can use for business, tourism, or transit. Once it is issued, it becomes active, so you must make the trip before it expires.

Key Information About Iran e Visa

So you don’t run into problems when you arrive in Iran, here are vital details to remember.

Be Sure Of Your Eligibility : Before applying for an e-visa or traveling to Iran with one, ensure you are from an eligible country. This is because some nationals are eligible for a visa on arrival, not an e-visa, and vice versa. The last thing you want is to arrive in Iran only to discover that you need the right document. Always do your due diligence to know which visa you qualify for before you submit your application.

Use Approved Entry Routes:  Iran has many airports, sea routes, and border crossings, but not all are open for entry. The last thing you want is to attempt to enter the country through an unauthorized route only to be denied entry. Plan your itinerary properly and choose your route in advance.

Only Extend Your Visa Twice:  Remember that you can only extend your visa once. The normal duration of stay is 30 days, but the Iranian authorities allow visitors to extend it by 30 days twice, which is 60 extendable days plus the initial 30 days duration. If your engagement in Iran will take more than 90 days, you might want to apply for a long-stay visa instead of an e-visa.

Don’t Apply Late:  Avoid applying a day before your trip so you don’t ruin your travel plans. While getting your e-visa in under 24 hours is possible, this is not the case for all applicants. Some applications take up to 3 days before they are approved, so to be safe, we advise you to apply for it 3-4 days before your trip.

Passport:  Your passport imagine valid for at least 6 months from your arrival date in Iran, and you must also travel with the same passport you used for the application. Your application will be denied if your passport expires in less than six months. Also, you will not be allowed into the country if you travel with a different passport.

Application Fee:  All applicants must pay the application fee before submitting their forms for processing. This fee is not refundable and does not guarantee you will get the visa if you don’t meet the requirements.

Iran Visa Online – Get your Iran e-Visa with VisaHQ

If you want to visit Iran on a short trip, you will need a visa if you are not eligible for a visa waiver. The online visa program offers visitors the fastest way to get a visa without visiting an Iranian foreign mission office.

How To Apply For A Visa With VisaHQ

Many have used VisaHQ to submit their e-visa applications, and you can do the same in a few steps, as explained below.

Complete The Application Form:  You will need to fill out the application form on the VisaHQ application page. Provide your personal, travel, and passport information and ensure there are no errors.

Upload Documents:  The next step is to upload your documents. Kindly note that your documents will depend on the requirements for the visa you are applying for. Only valid documents will be accepted.

Pay The Application Fee:  You must pay the application fee before submitting your application. The fee is payable with a credit or debit card. After executing the payment, submit the form for processing.

Get Your Visa:  In 1-3 days, you will receive feedback from the authorities, and if your application is approved, the visa will be forwarded to your email.

Why Use VisaHQ?

You should use VisaHQ for your application because of the following reasons

  • Over two decades of experience
  • Wide network across two continents
  • Safe and secure platform
  • Speedy application completion
  • Online application status tracking
  • Multiple visa application
  • Data storage

With VisaHQ, you can apply for your visa from the comfort of your home. Please navigate to our application page now to get started.

Iran COVID-19 travel restrictions

  • Entry is open Entry is permitted for anyone holding an Iranian passport or a valid visa. Arrivals who are exempt from any entry bans must have a valid health certificate. Non-nationals without a certificate will be denied entry. Passengers arriving from or who have transited through Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter. Prior to arrival requirements Valid passport. Valid national passport with at least 6 month remaining validity after the date of departure. Valid visa. Please see the instructions above if visa is needed and apply. Negative COVID-19 test . Arrivals who are exempt from any entry bans must have a valid health certificate containing a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 96 hours of entry. 📝 Health form : All passengers arriving into Iran by air are required to hold a valid health certificate, issued by the health authorities of the country of departure. This must contain a COVID-19 molecular test performed by an approved center of the departure country, carried out within 96 hours of entry into Iran. Upon arrival restrictions 🏠 Quarantine for 14 days required for all countries. 😷 Masks are required in public spaces and transport.

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MPs vote unanimously in support of designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group

Vote came in response to a house committee report, doesn't create binding obligation on government.

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The House of Commons has voted unanimously in support of a motion to add Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps to an official list of terrorist organizations.

The motion came from a House justice committee report that, among other things, called on the government to designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity in Canada. MPs voted 327 to 0 to accept the report on Wednesday.

The government has been facing mounting pressure to declare the IRGC a terrorist group under the Criminal Code.

Last month, opposition parties amplified their demands to add the IRGC to the terrorist entity list after Iran launched an airstrike on Israel.

  • Opposition parties want IRGC named as terrorist group after attack on Israel
  • Israel calls on Canada to list Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorist group

Families of the victims of Flight PS752 have been calling on the government to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization for years. PS752 was shot down by the IRGC shortly after taking off from Tehran on Jan. 8, 2020, killing all 176 people onboard, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

The report does not impose any binding obligation on the government.

During a PS752 commemoration ceremony, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is looking "for ways to responsibly list the IRGC as a terrorist organization."

The Liberals also voted in favour of a similar motion in 2018.

The Conservatives accused the governing Liberals of delaying a decision to add the IRGC to the terrorist entity list.

"Trudeau must finally take action and stand with Iranians in Canada and around the world," a statement from the party said.

In the past, the government has argued that such a listing would be a blunt-force approach that could affect low-level people who were forced to serve in the paramilitary force.

The CIA says conscripts make up more than 50 per cent of the IRGC.

How is a group designated a terrorist entity?

A group may be named as a terrorist entity if there are "reasonable grounds" to believe it has "knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity," according to  Section 83.05 of the Criminal Code .

A group may also be listed if there are grounds to believe it has "knowingly acted on behalf of, at the direction of or in association with, an entity involved in a terrorist activity," says the Code.

The process of designating a terrorist group begins with an internal government consultation that identifies potential groups for addition to the list, according to the Public Safety Department.

  • The U.S. did it. The EU might. Why Canada won't put Iran's revolutionary guard on its terrorist list
  • Canada considers adding Houthis to the terrorist list following missile attacks in the Red Sea

A criminal or security intelligence report is then completed, followed by an assessment by the Department of Justice to determine whether the threshold has been met to add the group to the list.

The minister of public safety then reviews the criminal or security intelligence report. If they have reasonable grounds to believe that the group in question meets the threshold, they make a recommendation to cabinet to place the group on the list.

Once a group is placed on Canada's terrorist list — which was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — police can charge anyone who financially or materially supports the group and banks can freeze its assets.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

visit iran from canada

CBC Journalist

Darren Major is a senior writer for CBC's Parliamentary Bureau. He can be reached via email at [email protected].

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Israel announces it's open for tourism, while US and Canada advise caution: What should tourists know?

Deepa Soman

Amid the ongoing conflict in the region, Israel has announced that it's open for business and safe for tourism.  Many airlines have announced the resumption of direct flights to the country in the Middle East that were suspended due to the escalation of tension.

Air India has announced that it would resume its non-stop flights (five times a week) from Delhi to Tel Aviv from May 16. The flights were initially suspended after the attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. Though services were resumed on March 3, they were suspended again due to the Iran-Israel conflict.

Israel has announced that the Ben Gurion airport, the busiest in the country, is fully operational and cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Galilee region and places like Dead Sea are fully active day and night. However, in view of the escalation of the bombardments in Gaza and the possibility of another regional conflict, the Canadian government has advised its citizens against non-essential travel to the country due to the 'unpredictable security situation' in the region. The US State Department too has asked its citizens to exercise caution, especially near checkpoints and areas with a large security presence.

Oman – Abu Dhabi railway: Hafeet rail to boost tourism in the area

Oman – Abu Dhabi railway: Hafeet rail to boost tourism in the area

Kakkayam eco-tourism centres reopen after 3-months closure

Kakkayam eco-tourism centres reopen after 3-months closure

India has not issued any such advisory and many visitors are travelling to the country to see historical sites. Tibin Thomas of Oasis Tours India Pvt Ltd, who often takes tourists to Israel on Holyland trips, tells Onmanorama that he has not faced any security issues in visiting places that have been mentioned in the holy scriptures. 

'Tourist spots are safe' According to Tibin, many Indian tour operators restarted their Israel tours in January. "We began in April and have taken five groups so far. We haven't faced any security issues at any point." He is currently touring the region with a 95-member group and says more tourists from India are travelling to the region of late.

"Last month, when the Iran-Israel conflict broke out, we had a team touring the region. They came to know about the international skirmish only when they got calls from their relatives in India. In our experience, tourist spots here haven't been affected so far. We toured many spots like Jericho, Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, which fall in the West Bank controlled by the Palestine Authority," he says.

Churches close early, no crowds While the tourist spots here were often packed in the past, the conflict in the region has brought down the number of tourists considerably, says Tibin. "Now, it's even easier to travel as there aren't too many people. The security point formalities are completed faster. There aren't any special checks either, compared to the past." However, the churches in the region close early these days as there are fewer visitors, he adds.

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visit iran from canada

Iran Condemns Canada’s Move against IRGC

  • May, 11, 2024 - 11:56
  • Politics news

Iran Condemns Canada’s Move against IRGC

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned a motion passed by Canada’s House of Commons to add the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to an official list of “terrorist organizations”.

In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said the proposal by the House of Commons of Canada’s parliament to declare Iran’s official military force as a terrorist group is an unwise and hostile move.

Kanaani strongly condemned the move, which he said violates the accepted standards and principles of international law, including sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of states, saying it is an example of aggression against Iran's sovereignty and national security.

“The irresponsible move is in continuation of the wrong path that the Canadian parliamentarians have taken over the past decade under the influence of the Zionist regime and in unison with some rejected groups that have no status or value,” the spokesman added.

He also advised the Canadian parliamentarians to study the position of the IRGC in Iran in order to get to know about the necessary facts, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported.

“The IRGC is a sovereign institution that has emerged from the context of the great and powerful nation of Iran and has an official and legal identity derived from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution,” Kanaani added.

“The IRGC, along with other elements of the armed forces, is responsible for guarding the national security and borders of the country and is also responsible to help protect the lasting security and stability in the region by confronting the ominous phenomenon of terrorism,” he stated.

“The move by the Canadian parliament out of its ignorance and imprudence has no effect on the might and authority of the proud force that has arisen from the context of the Iranian nation,” the spokesperson added.

“At the same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to appropriate response and countermeasures against such moves that violate international law and are against the Iranian nation and government,” Kanaani concluded.

Iran Condemns US, UK, Canada’s Sanctions, EP’s Resolution

Iran Condemns US, UK, Canada’s Sanctions, EP’s Resolution

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Here Are The Safest Destinations For LGBTQIA+ Travelers 2024

Posted: May 10, 2024 | Last updated: May 10, 2024

In this day and age for LGBTQIA+ ravelers, safety is an essential part of planning a vacation and feeling at ease while enjoying yourself. Gay Travel Index found the safest destinations for the LGBTQIA+ community by examining things like anti-discrimination laws and transgender rights. As well as this, they also took into account factors such as oppressive religious influence, prosecution, and the death penalty. Canada, Malta, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain all placed in a five-way tie as the safest countries for queer travelers in 2024. These destinations were followed closely by Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Norway and Uruguay. The US ranked 41st on the LGBTQIA+ safeness rank, and countries that remain unsafe for queer travelers include Saudi Arabia, Iran and Chechnya. Interestingly, Norway rose from 17th to 8th place this year, understood to be largely due to its reversal of conversion therapies. Estonia also leaped 15 spots to 32nd, ultimately due to the nation legalizing same-sex marriage.

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  • May 13, 2024   •   27:46 How Biden Adopted Trump’s Trade War With China
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Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand

The porn star testified for eight hours at donald trump’s hush-money trial. this is how it went..

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This episode contains descriptions of an alleged sexual liaison.

What happened when Stormy Daniels took the stand for eight hours in the first criminal trial of former President Donald J. Trump?

Jonah Bromwich, one of the lead reporters covering the trial for The Times, was in the room.

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Jonah E. Bromwich , who covers criminal justice in New York for The New York Times.

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In a second day of cross-examination, Stormy Daniels resisted the implication she had tried to shake down Donald J. Trump by selling her story of a sexual liaison.

Here are six takeaways from Ms. Daniels’s earlier testimony.

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Canada imposes additional sanctions in response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel

From: Global Affairs Canada

News release

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Hamas Terrorist Attacks) Regulations.

May 10, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Hamas Terrorist Attacks) Regulations .

Today’s sanctions apply to four individuals who are also part of Iran’s so-called “Axis of Resistance.” These individuals have provided support through military training and resources to help bolster Hamas’ terrorist capabilities. These individuals are:

  • Khaled Qaddoumi (Hamas)
  • Ali Morshed Shirazi (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] Al-Quds Force)
  • Mostafa Mohammad Khani (IRGC Al-Quds Force)
  • Ali Ahmad Faizullahi (IRGC Al-Quds Force)

Canada unequivocally condemns the brutal terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and its affiliates on October 7, 2023. These horrific attacks included the killing, maiming and abduction of innocent civilians, including children. Hamas and its affiliates are holding more than 130 hostages captive and continue to launch rocket attacks. These actions pose significant risks to regional stability and security.

Iran intentionally spreads instability across the Middle East through its support for its so-called “Axis of Resistance,” including support for Hamas , a listed terrorist entity under the Criminal Code . These sanctions measures contribute to addressing Iran’s malign conduct and destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

Canada remains deeply concerned by the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict and its impact on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Canada maintains its unwavering commitment to promoting peace and security in the Middle East.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to responding to Hamas’ horrific terrorist attack on October 7, 2023. For Canada, the protection of innocent civilians is paramount. The atrocities perpetrated by Hamas should have never happened – and we will continue to work with our partners and allies to ensure that these kinds of atrocities do not happen again.” - Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

Canada has listed Hamas as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code since November 2002. It is a criminal offence to knowingly participate in or contribute to any activity of Hamas. Canada has also listed the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and other groups as terrorist organizations under Canadian legislation, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). The Government of Canada has no contact with these groups.

Members of a listed terrorist entity are inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act . In addition, property owned by listed terrorist entities in Canada may be subject to seizure, restraint or forfeiture.

Israel has a right under international law to take the necessary measures, in accordance with human rights and international humanitarian law, to protect the security of its citizens from attacks by terrorist groups.

Related products

  • Backgrounder: Canada imposes additional sanctions in response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel

Associated links

  • Canadian policy on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Media Relations Office Global Affairs Canada [email protected] Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaFP Like us on Facebook: Canada’s foreign policy - Global Affairs Canada

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  1. Iran tours from Canada, basic information

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  2. How to Visit Iran as a Canadian in 2018

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  3. Iranian Travel Visa For Canadians and Americans

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  4. Travel to Iran as an American, British or Canadian

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  5. Iran Tours From Canada

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  6. 25 Things to Know Before You Visit Iran (2023 Guide)

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VIDEO

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  3. This is not Canada, this is Iran #fishing #nature #fish #irantourism #carpfishing

  4. IRAN MASHHAD To LAHORE TRAVEL

  5. What is IRAN Like Today! 🇮🇷 What You Don't See In The Media!! Incredible Tehran ایران

  6. Travelling First Time to Iran 🇮🇷

COMMENTS

  1. Travel advice and advisories for Iran

    Iran is under international and Canadian sanctions. While these sanctions don't prohibit travel to Iran, they could be relevant to your travel. Legal system. The Iranian legal system differs from the one in Canada. You may be held for lengthy periods without access to legal counsel or consular officials if you are suspected of or witness to ...

  2. IR-IRAN Electronic Visa (Iran eVisa) Application

    Individual and Travellers. Tourists who wish to visit Iran can apply for a visa through the following link by entering all the required information and receive a visa application reference number. Since the visa application process is online, your email address will be required and authenticated throughout the process. APPLY NOW.

  3. Situation in Iran: Temporary immigration, passport and citizenship

    Due to the situation in Iran, we've introduced special measures to support Iranian temporary residents in Canada as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Iran. Iranian temporary residents in Canada . You don't have to pay application or biometric fees when you apply. to extend your current temporary resident status

  4. How Canadian Citizens Can Visit Iran

    How to Visit Iran: Schedule in Advance. Once you book your tour package, the tour company submits your information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). This is the longest part of the process. If you're lucky, you'll receive your authorization code and approved visa within a couple of weeks. But the process can take several months.

  5. Iran International Travel Information

    Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday ...

  6. 25 Things to Know Before You Visit Iran

    There's a lot of Customs to Follow. You Need a Visa for Iran. You Need to Dress Appropriately. Females. Males. 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.

  7. The Ultimate Guide to Obtaining an Iran Visa for Canadian Citizens

    How to apply for Iran online e-visa from Canada. If all the paperwork and information are submitted precisely, applying for an Iran visa for Canadian citizens online is a quick and simple process for Canadian nationals. Canadian nationals may guarantee a quick and easy procedure when applying for an Iran travel visa by following these 7 steps.

  8. This Is How to Travel to Iran

    You can book trains through the hotels, local agencies or go directly to the train station. The price for a ticket from Tehran to Yazd, for example, is between 30,000 to 70,000 Tomans ($8 to $15). Private car. You have two options to travel in Iran by a private car.

  9. Canada and Iran

    Canada and Iran. Services for Canadians if you're visiting, studying, working or doing business in Iran. ... Travel advice and advisories - Iran. Avoid all travel. Travel advice, passport and entry requirements, health and safety information, and more. Services and information. Coming to Canada. Apply to immigrate. Get a visa to study, work or ...

  10. Visa

    Notice: All visitors to Iran must hold a passport or travel document valid for six months at the time of departure. You can find here the last news and information regarding the latest changes in the visa rules and regulations, and excluded citizenship by tracking the below link. https://evisa.mfa.ir/en/.

  11. Canada announces support for Iranian temporary residents

    In addition, the Government of Canada is waiving certain processing fees for Iranians who wish to extend their stay in Canada, and will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Iran who wish to leave. Canada continues to explore changes to other programs, like the Human ...

  12. Iran Travel Advisory

    Travel Advisory. January 11, 2024. Iran - Level 4: Do Not Travel. O D K U T. Updated to add the Terrorism Risk Indicator and risk of surrogacy tourism. Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest of U.S. citizens. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.

  13. Iran Tours From Canada

    HOW TO TRAVEL TO IRAN AS A CANADIAN. Yes, It's possible, Canadian can visit Iran—so long as they travel with a tour guide the entire time. If you're a Canadian citizen who's interested in visiting Iran, in fact, the first trip planning step you should take is choosing a tour company, since only the tour company can request an Iran visa ...

  14. Extension of special measures for Iranian nationals in Canada as

    Ottawa, February 29, 2024— Due to Iran's crackdown on protestors following the killing of Mahsa Amini, the Government of Canada introduced special measures to support Iranian temporary residents in Canada as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Iran. These special measures are now being extended until February 28, 2025. Under these special measures, Iranian nationals ...

  15. Travel advice and advisories

    The Government of Canada's official source of travel information and advice, the Travel Advice and Advisories help you to make informed decisions and travel safely while you are outside Canada. ... Iran: Avoid all travel. 2024-05-06 10:24:04: iraq Iraq: Avoid all travel. 2024-05-06 10:24:04: ireland Ireland: Take normal security precautions ...

  16. Travel to Iran from Canada

    Iran Tours from Canada - Tourists in Iran photo Notes about Iranian Visa for Canadian Travelers. keep in mind that you need to apply for an Iran tourist visa in advance. Getting the final result from the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is a lengthy process that can take up to 90 days.

  17. Iran visa requirements for Canadian citizens

    Canadian citizens must obtain a visa before entry into Iran. Reach Iran embassy or consulate for the instructions how to apply the visa. Updated: 05/07/2024. Entry requirements. visa required.

  18. Find out if you need a visa to travel to Canada

    If you don't meet the criteria for a super visa, you can visit Canada for up to 6 months with. a valid passport from your country of nationality (or an equivalent acceptable travel document Opens in a new tab) and; official proof of lawful permanent resident status in the U.S., such as a green card

  19. Can Americans Travel to Iran? Yes, Here's How and What to Expect

    Travel to Iran: a 2019 visa update for US, UK and Canadian citizens; Everything you need to know before visiting Iran; Why you should visit Iran now, more than ever; 5 unique experiences you shouldn't miss in Iran; What to wear in Iran: a packing guide — (All images courtesy of the writer, Norbert, and taken on Intrepid Travel's Iran ...

  20. Iran Visa

    Persons from countries that appear in Iran's visa waiver program may stay in Iran for varying durations depending on their nationality. There are 14,25,21,30,45, and 90 days visa-free periods depending on their passport, and during this time, they are free to visit passport-free zones inside Iran. However, they are not allowed to work. Tourism

  21. MPs vote unanimously in support of designating Iran's Revolutionary

    Israel calls on Canada to list Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorist group Families of the victims of Flight PS752 have been calling on the government to list the IRGC as a terrorist ...

  22. Application for a Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa

    5. You travel to Canada (if you're approved) Make sure you travel with the documents we gave you. This includes travel documents like a visitor visa, study or work permits or an eTA (electronically linked to your passport). Airline staff and border service officers at ports of entry will ask to see your travel documents.

  23. Temporary public policy for nationals of Iran in Canada as temporary

    While protests have subsided, the situation in Iran continues to be unstable. Many Iranians have chosen to come to Canada to visit or spend time with family, study, or work temporarily. It is understood that some of these temporary residents continue to feel uncomfortable returning to Iran, and may wish to prolong their stay.

  24. Israel announces it's open for tourism, while US and Canada advise

    Air India has announced that it would resume its non-stop flights (five times a week) from Delhi to Tel Aviv from May 16. The flights were initially suspended after the attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. Though services were resumed on March 3, they were suspended again due to the Iran-Israel conflict.

  25. Iran Condemns Canada's Move against IRGC

    May, 11, 2024 - 11:56. Politics news. TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned a motion passed by Canada's House of Commons to add the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps ...

  26. Here Are The Safest Destinations For LGBTQIA+ Travelers 2024

    Canada, Malta, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain all placed in a five-way tie as the safest countries for queer travelers in 2024. These destinations were followed closely by Australia, Switzerland ...

  27. Steps to apply for a visitor visa

    1. Create an account. 2. Upload your documents. 3. Pay your fees. How to apply for a visitor visa.

  28. Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand

    On today's episode. Jonah E. Bromwich, who covers criminal justice in New York for The New York Times. Stormy Daniels leaving court on Thursday, after a second day of cross-examination in the ...

  29. Canada imposes additional sanctions in response to Hamas' terrorist

    May 10, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada. The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Hamas Terrorist Attacks) Regulations.. Today's sanctions apply to four individuals who are also part of Iran's so-called "Axis of Resistance."