This post was written in 2017, based on my and other travelers’ opinions after visiting Iran. Currently, the situation got more complex and unfortunately I would think twice before going for a trip to Iran. It is still a wonderful country with amazing and hospitable people and one of the best monuments you will ever see. But political situation in the region got a bit out of hand.
Each week I get numerous questions from you about Iran. And I really understand that, it’s this kind of destinations that we hear conflicted opinions about and what’s better than asking someone who has really been there. But one issue worries you the most: is Iran safe? With the recent world events this issue concerns you more and more often so I’ve thought I’d share with you my thoughts about Iran safety.
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My trip to Iran
I went to Iran in May 2015 when it was still a fairly unknown destination. It was my second attempt to visit Iran – couple of months earlier I was supposed to go with a group of friends but due to the various circumstances I had to cancel the trip. Still, Iran has been on the top of my bucket list and after spending some time in Armenia for the centennial of the genocide I’ve headed to Iran, solo.
To be honest I didn’t worry about safety in Iran at all. Even my stressful visa situation when the consul in Warsaw didn’t want to give it to me (apparently for the safety reasons as he thought a women traveling solo in Iran is just unacceptable) didn’t make me worried. I was more concerned about clothes and language.
I genuinely believe that people are good, regardless of origin, race of religion and I felt there is nothing to worry about when traveling to Iran. In my mind it was (and still is) a normal country just like any other.
Iran – one of the safest countries I’ve been to
I’ve spent 10 days traveling around Iran and I can say it was one of the safest places I’ve ever been to!
There was only one tiny unpleasant situation when a random guy on the street in Isfahan approached me to ask for sex but a firm no was enough to get rid of him. Besides it was in the middle of the day, on the busy street so what could have really happened? A similar situation might take place literally everywhere and it was actually more annoying than scary.
Other than that there were no suspicious situations at all however I was “bothered” by people constantly. Iranians are some of the most hospitable and welcoming people who want to make your stay at their country as pleasant as possible. They are also very curious of other nations as tourists still don’t visit Iran massively.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve answered the question where I am from and what I think of Iran, if I like it there. I was asked by just about everyone: young and old, men and women and everyone had really good intentions.
I was traveling on my own either between cities, with public transport in Tehran or by cabs in the cities, I was eating or sightseeing on my own, I stayed in the hotels both for Iranians and foreign tourists. I even dared to use CouchSurfing. And everywhere I was more than fine, I felt really taken care of everywhere as everyone was looking after me and helping me however they could. That’s how hospitable Iranians are!
Is Iran safe? Travelers’ opinions
Of course, even if Iran is safe, you need to be careful like in every other place. Use your common sense, follow the rules (and there are pretty many of them in Iran but still nothing too overwhelming), respect local culture and people and you shouldn’t have any problems!
Even if it’s been a while since my trip there I believe it is still as safe as back then. And to prove my words I’ve asked fellow travel bloggers is Iran safe. Below you can see what they think of Iran safety!
As all of my friend told me, that Iran is safe, I didn’t have any objections to go there. We were traveling in a group of three girls and the only thing I can say, is that people were so friendly to us and always ready to help!
Natalia from Zapiski ze świata
I’ll admit I was a bit nervous when I first arrived in Iran – as I am when traveling solo to any new country – but the warmth and hospitality of the locals quickly put me at ease. I especially felt like all the women around me in Iran were looking out for me, as sisters do.
Silvia from Heart My Backpack
I felt perfectly fine in Iran. Even walking through a city like Shiraz or Esfahan in the evenings you don’t feel uncomfortable. You just should remember about Iranian hijab, which means covered head and at least long blouse and pants.
Ewa from Rusz w Podróż
I’ve spent 110 days in Iran in total. Did I feel safe? For 99% of time – absolutely yes. Local people, both in small villages and big towns really took care of a foreign visitor like me. And the remaining 1%? Well, these were meeting with Iranian police and couple of shady guys, in places where a smart tourist would never go to. I trust Iranians as much as I trust my own nation. Sometimes even more.
I find Iran very safe, for sure the safest country of the region. I have traveled to Iran by myself and around the country with a friend of mine, an Iranian woman, and I’ve never had problems, been harassed, nor felt uncomfortable. I haven’t experienced any street crime incidents either. I did follow my friends’ tips when going back to my hotel alone after dinner, but even though the streets were quiet I was never worried.
Also in regards to terrorism threats, Iran is safe as their intelligence does a very good job protecting their borders. We shouldn’t forget that Iran borders with unsafe countries such as Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, so when traveling to provinces such as Khuzestan and Sistan Baluchistan, I strongly recommend a local guide who knows where to take you and what places to avoid.
Angela from Chasing the Unexpected
Before I went to Iran, many people told me that it might be difficult for women to travel there. It turned out it was difficult only when I was in the company of a man – then people wouldn’t talk to me, and they addressed the man only. However, when I was alone or in the company of my fellow female traveler the situation was totally different – both men and women were eager to talk to us and help us any way they could. And that’s why I think of Iran now as a friendly, hospitable and safe country.
Monika from Amused Observer
I travelled around Iran independently with my husband for two weeks, and I can honestly say that the country is one of the safest places we’ve been to in our years of travelling! The only annoyance is Tehran traffic, it’s crazy! And the fact that you can’t possibly accept all the dinner invitations you’ll no doubt receive – Iranians are the most hospitable folks we’ve ever met!
Margherita from The Crowded Planet
I went to the night party at the desert, I climbed the minaret, I drove around with a stranger, I tried hitchhiking and wander around empty bazaars. No matter what I did, for all the time and in ever place I was surrounded by open and helpful people and I felt super safe
Paulina from Mucha w sieci
I felt safe in Iran, not only because I was travelling with 2 male friends, but mainly because of the locals. The smaller a town, the more we would encounter curious locals who were beyond happy just to greet foreigners. They care so deeply about the image Iran has abroad. Each and every local we chatted with (and we chatted with many!) asked us to spread the positive message about Iran.
People are not dangerous in Iran. The people are curious and always interested in foreign travelers. So many are well educated and were easily able to challenge our knowledge. They are open and not shying away from discussing sensitive issues like politics.
Veronika from Travel Geekery
– In our experience, Iran was incredibly safe. At one point, we left a car parked on the side of the road with all the doors open and the keys in the ignition for half an hour… without any problems!
– In many countries, money hanging out of your pocket in a tourist area will be quick to disappear into a pickpocket’s hands. In Iran I had the opposite—men would run up to me to warn me my money was sticking out of my pockets!
Sebastiaan from Lost with Purpose
We loved Iran and felt safer there than in most other countries we’ve travelled to. You very quickly realise almost all Iranians are just genuinely interested in talking to you and don’t have any dodgy ulterior motives. They’re truly a warm and welcoming people.
Mariana from Rucksack Ramblings
It makes me feel so sad when I see unfavorable news about Iran. I might disagree with their politics but once you separate it from the culture, history and most of all people you will have a spectacular and unforgettable destination, the one that can be the highlight of all your travels. Just don’t listen to the news, don’t let the prejudice take over, visit Iran with an open mind and you will be more that fine! Iran is really safe!
If you think of visiting Iran or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:
- Visit Iran – practical information
- Visa to Iran (when you plan to travel solo there)
- Solo female travel in Iran
- Top 5 things to do in Tehran (and my impressions of the city)
- I really don’t know why I’ve decided to visit Shiraz
- Persepolis images – a gallery from the most known ancient city in Iran
- Yazd, Iran – the most beautiful desert town I’ve seen
- Isfahan, Iran – kind of disappointing highlight of Persia
- Fairy-tale-alike Kashan – my last stop in Iran
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