Iran

Visit Iran – practical information

(Last Updated On: 03/12/2018)

Every since I got to visit Iran in May 2015 I received numerous emails each week from you, asking about many aspects of traveling to this unknown yet fascinating country. I’m really surprised how many people plan to go there but at the same time I totally understand you! This is one of the most misunderstood countries in the world, with the most hospitable people ever and world greatest monuments. At the same time it’s full of secretiveness and so many misconceptions no one really knows what to expect from the place known also as the ancient Persia. If you plan to visit Iran now is the time to go as the country is changing really fast and you don’t want to miss the best that it has to offer! I really hope those Iran practical information will help you plan your trip there!


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visit Iran - Shiraz

When to visit Iran?

Iran is a huge country and the climate varies from north to south. You might be wearing winter clothes in Tehran and on the next day a short sleeves t-shirt at the desert. The best time to visit Iran would be in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October) when the weather is the most pleasant. In other months it’s either too hot or too cold. I visited Iran at the beginning of May and it was just fine, even if there were days (especially in Yazd) when it was a little bit uncomfortable with all the clothes I had to wear. The downside of travelling in spring was that in some places there were pretty many people but Iran is still far from being the top tourist destination and it’s not difficult to escape tourists anyway!

visit Iran - Kashan

Visa to Iran

That’s always the biggest issue for anyone travelling to Iran as there’re so many myths about visa situation there. First of all – citizens of the US, United Kingdom, Canada and 8 more countries can’t travel around Iran independently, they always need to be accompanied by the government approved guide or be part of the tour group. As for the rest – you’re free to travel around the country easily and independently, in many cases you can even get the visa on arrival (apparently now it’s issued for 30 days). Your government most likely doesn’t recommend this way of entering Iran but I’ve only heard of few cases when someone wasn’t let it when applying at the airport. When you apply at the embassy first you need to get an authorization code – it’s recommended for the visa on arrival too – (you can get one here) and then everything depends on the consul’s mood. I was refused the visa in the Iranian embassy in Warsaw but got one at the airport in less than 2 minutes! The fee for Polish citizen was 50€. When applying in the embassy I needed to have the code, filled questionnaire, passport, picture and insurance; at the airport they only asked me for the code (didn’t want to see it), my plans in Iran and a hotel reservation (again didn’t want to see it), I was also asked to buy the local insurance but it turned out the one I have from Poland is just fine. Really, it’s not as difficult to get a visa to Iran as everyone says!

By the way, you need to have the Iranian insurance to go with your visa. You can get one online, click here to check the options and buy one!

You can read my whole story with visa as well as more practical information about it in my post “Visa to Iran (when you plan to travel solo there)

visa-to-Iran

How to get to Iran

Of course the easiest way is to fly there, it also the bonus of visa on arrival issued at 6 Iranian airports. I flew with Qatar Airways as it offered me the best deal on my Tbilisi-Tehran-Berlin route but there’re numerous airlines from Europe and Middle East serving Iran. The cheapest one always seems to be Pegasus Airlines (with layover in Istanbul) or Germania but best would be to look at some website comparing flights to find your best option. The majority of flights arrive / depart in the middle of the night and that’s when the airport is crazy busy! When I arrived at noon it felt kind of abandoned! Anyway, I paid for my flight 300€ when booking 3 weeks before the departure but you can get return flights from Lviv or Berlin to Tehran even for half of that price!

Once a week there’s a train going from Ankara, Turkey to Tehran. The journey should take around 59 hours (including the ferry ride through Lake Van) but the delays are very common. There’s also a daily bus from Yerevan, Armenia to Tabriz and further on to Tehran – that’s how I planned to get to Iran!

visit-iran

What to see in Iran?

Iran is a huge country with so much to offer! Spectacular mountains or the seaside, desert and volcanoes – you can find all wonders of nature there. But most of all there’re some of the oldest cities in the world with one of the most breathtaking architecture you will ever see! Ancient Persia was one of the greatest countries and you can see its remnants just about everywhere. Every single person who visited Iran fall for the place and you will be the same, trust me!

Iran in 10 days – my itinerary

I spent 10 days backpacking Iran. Not too much but I managed to see the most important places without rushing too much. I started in Tehran where I spent 2 days. From the capital I headed all the way south to Shiraz for another 2 days (including half-day trip to Persepolis). Then it was time for another 2 days in Yazd from where I headed to Esfahan also for 2 days. My last stop in Iran was Kashan where I stayed for 2 days as well. I could have seen some more places during this trip but I just wanted to take things easy and actually spent much more time than I expected just relaxing in wonderful yards of historical houses I’ve stayed in. Next time I’m around I’m definitely going off the beaten track in Iran!

You might want to read the following posts I wrote:
-> 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

visit iran-esfahan

Accommodation in Iran

It’s not so easy to find a cheap accommodation in Iran. There’re no hostels but in some places they have a dorm room that can be a good value. There are few Iranian websites that offer accommodation booking online, like 1stQuest – I used one for my first night as I needed to have a hotel reservation to get the visa on arrival in Tehran. As for the rest of my time in Iran I just showed up in the hotels, asking if they have a free room and in all but one cases they had but it was really stressful and I would have gladly booked everything beforehand. The prices and quality varied but overall I didn’t have a bad accommodation. In Tehran and Shiraz I was probably the only foreigner in the hostels while in Yazd and Kashan there were no Iranians staying there, only tourists (but those were the hotels recommended by Lonely Planet). The difference between those two were huge, Iranian hotels were simple yet functional and tourist oriented were fancy and charming. Both were equally interesting to stay at. While I usually stay away from places recommended by Lonely Planet in Iran I’d suggest you staying at them, it’s part of the Iranian experience, even if obviously made for tourists!

I stayed in following places: Tehran – Mina Hotel (1.000.000 IRR for a single room), Shiraz – Anahita Hotel (1.030.000 IRR for a single room, it was the worst of all actually), Yazd – Silk Road Hotel (200.000 IRR for a bed in 8 bed dorm), Kashan – Eshan House (1.500.000 IRR for a single room). In the last one they also offered dorm rooms but since I was left with so much money and it was my last night in Iran I’ve decided to splurge a little bit – best decision ever before the long way back home. It was the high season when I visited Iran so prices might have been a little bit more expensive. Also if I booked my accommodation in advance I could have got better prices.

Click here to see accommodation options in Iran and book a place to stay!

accommodation in iran

Couchsurfing in Iran

Oficially it’s illegal but the Couchsurfing website isn’t blocked by the government and the local community is pretty active and very helpful. Even if people won’t be able to host you they will still do their best to help you, give you their phone number to contact in case of any questions, ask their friends or family to welcome you and so on. Iranians are called one of the most hospitable nations for a reason! I used CouchSurfing once, in Esfahan, where I stayed with the amazing couple. It was probably the best lesson of life in Iran I could ask for! Many of my friends who visited Iran also used Couchsurfing and everyone had nothing but good experiences! If you decide to go for it you will easily find a host, I’m sure of that. Just remember not to disclose your CS plans when applying for the visa and to other officials!

IS_DSC_9361

Food in Iran

Everyone was raving about food in Iran! Well, I can’t confirm that as I don’t eat meat and this was the main ingredient of the Persian cuisine. But it definitely looked and smelled good! Also, remember that alcohol is forbidden in Iran but this didn’t stop me from drinking wine one day, local people find their ways!

Vegetarian in Iran

I must admit it was a small challenge to be a vegetarian in Iran. There were basically only two options available – kashk-e bademjan and mirza ghassemi – both were really delicious and were made of eggplant (which I just adore). In bigger cities there were fast food joints with pizza or small falafel shops. But since Iran is all about bazaars I also ate a lot of fruits and nuts and they were just the best!

iran eating out

How to travel around Iran?

I only used buses when moving between cities and I can definitely recommend you those. They’re really comfortable, very affordable and just seem like the best way to travel around Iran. The best ones are VIP buses (first class) with air-condition, wide, reclining seats (1+2 in a row) and snacks while the second class buses are just regular ones, similar to what we see in Europe. The price difference between those two is very small so wherever you can just go for the VIP option. And in long distances or night journeys it’s a must! I don’t think I’d have survived my 15 hours long trip from Tehran to Shiraz in second class bus but in the first class I slept like a baby, I couldn’t have asked for a better trip!

Good news! Now you can book online the bus connections in Iran! Click here to check the deals and book the tickets!

Bus prices in Iran:
Tehran – Shiraz, VIP, 15 hours, 570.000 IRR
Shiraz – Yazd, VIP, 6 hours, 220.000 IRR
Yazd – Shiraz, second class, 4 hours, 170.000 IRR
Kashan – Tehran airport, second class, 3 hours 150.000 IRR

On longer distances it’s worth considering domestic flights as those aren’t that expensive (I’ve heard of 60$ for Tehran-Shiraz) and saves so much time! There’re also trains in Iran but the network is really limited. I haven’t used trains (it’s so not like me!) but I met some people who did and they were satisfied too!

Just like buses, now you can book online domestic flights in Iran! Click here to check the offers and book your flights!

esfahan iran

Money in Iran

First and most important thing – you have to take all the money in cash with you to Iran! There’re numerous ATMs around but they don’t serve Western banks hence our Visas and Mastercards are of no use there. I had 550$ with me for 10 days and at first I was really nervous if this will be enough but at the end I still had 200$ and I went for the fancy accommodation on my last night, I had to spend those money somehow. That’s another thing in Iran – it’s easy to exchange money to rials but much more difficult the other way around.

Iranian currency

The currency is probably the most confusing thing when you visit Iran. Officially it’s rial (IRR) but in everyday life people use tomans. The money itself is the same one but the value varies. To make it even more complicated even toman can have different value. Sometimes 1 toman is 10 rials and sometimes it’s 10.000 – it all depends on the person you’re talking to. For example 200.000 IRR can be either 20.000 tomans or 20 tomans. Go figure! I double or triple checked every single time I had to pay for something!

Where to exchange money in Iran?

Since you can’t use your card in Iran you need to get the local currency somehow. There’re banks but I’ve heard there’s so much paper work involved it’s not worth the hassle plus the rate is not the best one. There’re also exchange points that are your best option! There’re not too many of them but your hotel or Lonely Planet will definitely direct you to the nearest one. I had US dollars with me (apparently they’re much better to exchange than Euro) and exchanged them twice – at the airport in Tehran and in Yazd. In both cases I got around 33.000 IRR for 1$, while the official bank rate was 28.000 IRR at that time. Oh, and while everywhere you’re advised to avoid exchanging money at the airport in Tehran you’re actually very welcome to do it, the rate was the best of all there (and many people confirmed that). When you arrive you need to go to the upper floor and the exchange booth is next to the escalator.

Prices in Iran

At first I thought that Iran is expensive. But it was just my misunderstanding of the confusing prices and too many zeros. At the end it was a really affordable destination and the most expensive part was accommodation and entrance fees. Everything else felt like a bargain sometimes!

Here are some of the prices in Iran (from May 2015) – 1$ = 33.000 IRR
big bottle of water – 10.000-20.000 IRR
can of coke – 10.000-20.000 IRR
ticket for Tehran metro – 10.000 IRR for 2 rides
falafel sandwich and cola in a local shop in Shiraz – 35.000 IRR
famous ice cream in Shiraz – 20.000 IRR
lunch in the restaurants – 100.000-200.000 IRR
fresh, still warm bread – 2.000 IRR
pot of tea – 50.000 IRR
entrance fee to monuments between 50.000 and 150.000 IRR. Some places are worth it, others not really – you have to judge it yourself. I limited myself to two monuments per day. Example prices: Golestan Palace in Tehran – 150.000 IRR for the park and 50.000 IRR for every palace; Pink Mosque and Hafez Tomb in Shiraz – 150.000 IRR each; Persepolis – 150.000 IRR; Khan-e Lari house in Yazd – 50.000 IRR.

money in iran

Internet in Iran

Another issue with so many myths about. Internet in Iran is slow but easily available in the hotels. A lot of websites are blocked, including Facebook and all news pages (even Polish ones). But it’s not difficult to access them anyway! You need to have a VPN app installed on your devices – it connects you with network abroad (for me it was usually Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands) and let you surf online and visit banned websites. For my phone (Android) I used Hideninja and for my computer (Windows) – Cyberghost. Both were free.

Safety in Iran

Before I went to Iran I’ve heard from 90% of people around me that I will be murdered, kidnapped etc, basically that I will not return in one piece. Well guess what – Iran was probably the safest country I’ve ever been to! In this whole time I only had one situation that was just unpleasant. Other than that it was all fine, people were incredibly hospitable, willing to help and for all the time I felt really taken care of. If safety is a big concern for you and stops you from traveling to Iran forget about it and just go, it really is a normal country with normal people!

You can read more about safety in Iran here!

visit iran yazd

Solo female travel in Iran

So I did this crazy thing and went solo to Iran. And it was just fine! During my time in Iran I didn’t meet any other solo female traveler but I’ve heard of two. And I know couple of people who did it (Silvia for example) so really, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

I wrote a long post about solo female travel in Iran, you should find all the answers there!

iran solo female travel

Would you like to visit Iran? Do you have any more questions about the country? Leave a comment and I will gladly help!


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88 Comments

  • Reply
    Izabela Idzikowska
    07/01/2016 at 19:23

    Przyda się:)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      07/01/2016 at 19:24

      cieszę się :) kiedy dokładnie lecicie?

    • Reply
      Izabela Idzikowska
      07/01/2016 at 19:39

      26.01, już za chwile normalnie:)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      07/01/2016 at 19:39

      zleci raz dwa! :D

  • Reply
    Tim Roosen
    07/01/2016 at 19:36

    Thank you for this post. It is very informative.

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      07/01/2016 at 19:37

      my pleasure! :)

  • Reply
    Jo Olearczyk Gasieniec
    07/01/2016 at 20:20

    No wreszcie! ;)

  • Reply
    odkrywacswiat.pl
    07/01/2016 at 21:09

    Łaaaa… dzięki! :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      07/01/2016 at 21:10

      nie ma za co :)

  • Reply
    Monika Skoczylas
    08/01/2016 at 07:11

    Wszystkiego w jednym miejscu! Idealne przed wyjazdem informacje :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      11/01/2016 at 12:37

      taki był własnie zamysł :)

  • Reply
    balkanyrudej
    08/01/2016 at 09:22

    As I was writting on facebook, it’s still interesting for me, that Iran is so popular now. On many polish and foreigne blogs I saw posts about this country. But for me Iran is not my travel destination, mostly because of the fact that I mostly enjoy some more green and water places (the exception is the Cappadocia).
    But if some of my friends will be planning to visit Iran, I will show them Your article! :)

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 10:41

      Thank you. Maybe you should give Iran a chance, it might surprise you in a positive way!

    • Reply
      Isie
      17/01/2016 at 23:24

      If you are interested in green places, you can always go for a tour on Northern parts of Iran near Caspian sea (Golestan, Mazandaran and Gilan provinces), I bet you will be surprised by the amount of green places, forests, rivers and waterfalls you see there …

      Here is an example picture from Shirkoon, in Gilan province: http://akbarnouri.aminus3.com/image/2011-11-02.html

      But I would suggest going to the Iran’s north nature as a group tour with an experienced guide, since you might get lost in forest or encounter with natural dangers like wild animals and etc …

  • Reply
    KasiaN
    08/01/2016 at 09:45

    Kraj jak z Tysiąca i jednej nocy, poczytałabym więcej o samej kuchni, bo smacznie mi się kojarzy, ale tak naprawdę nie wiem prawie nic:)

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 10:42

      ja tylko wegetariańskie opcje testowałam i były ok, ale nie powaliły mnie. Chociaż wszyscy mięsożerni byli zachwyceni, więc chyba i kuchennie Iran daje radę ;)

  • Reply
    Agata
    08/01/2016 at 09:53

    I was talking today with my colleague who’s boyfriend is Iranian, about hospitality in this country. It’s sad that most of the people in Poland think and assume that it’s not a safe country and people for sure are terrorists… I would love to go there one day and I also think about Kazakhstan – I heard that it’s a beautiful country!
    And do you know why Couchsurfing is forbidden there?

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 11:00

      It’s similar situation to when all Polish people are assumed to be thieves. Stereotypes are very unfair but sadly they do happen way too often. I really hope you will have a chance to visit Iran, it’s an amazing country! I enjoyed Kazakhstan too, people were so nice and friendly there!
      I’m not so sure about Couchsurfing but I guess it’s because the government want to limit the contact with the outside world. That’s also why FB and all news websites are blocked

  • Reply
    Zygmunt Kuba
    08/01/2016 at 08:54

    Czy da się tam porozumieć po rosyjsku? :P

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      11/01/2016 at 12:37

      nie próbowałam :P

    • Reply
      Mark Wachsberger
      06/04/2016 at 07:30

      W Mashad mozna spotkac rosyjskojezyczne szyldy, chociaz jest ich niewiele. Natomiast nie spotkalem Iranczyka, ktory by po rosyjsku mowil.

  • Reply
    Anna Nadia Bandura
    08/01/2016 at 10:15

    Ja też chcę!

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      11/01/2016 at 12:37

      trzymam kciuki, zeby się udało!

  • Reply
    Piotr Goroh
    08/01/2016 at 11:40

    marzy mi sie Iran, ale w drodze lądem do Indii, a póki co w Pakistanie tylko zmiany na gorsze:/

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      11/01/2016 at 12:38

      też własnie mi się od dawna bardzo marzy taka podróż, ale teraz to szczyt głupoty by był chyba

  • Reply
    Szymon Podróżnik
    08/01/2016 at 14:04

    Muszę się od Ciebie uczyć jak przekazywać esencję praktycznych informacji na blogu, bo u mnie to tylko zadumy i rozkminy ;)
    A Iran, szczerze powiedziawszy, przestał mnie kręcić kiedy zobaczyłem wzmożony ruch turystyczny w tamtym kierunku ;)
    No i jestem ciekaw temperatur – czy jest tam szansa na przyjemny chłodek? :)

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 11:14

      zadumy i rozkminy są fajne, ale czasem można i praktycznie coś popisać, może komuś się przyda :)
      no ja już od dawna miałam Iran w planach, zanim wielki boom wybuchł. nawet już raz bilety miałam, ale musiałam wyjazd odwołać. mimo wszystko na miejscu jeszcze dzikich tłumów nie ma, więc powinieneś jechać! wczesna wiosna albo późna jesień pogodowo powinna być ok!

  • Reply
    Monika Pawłowska-Radzimierska
    08/01/2016 at 23:03

    Woow, mamy dużo podobnych zdjęć :) Ale to nic… najlepsze, że w Kashan nocowaliśmy w tym samym miejscu – rzeczywiście rewelacyjne!

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      11/01/2016 at 12:39

      chyba większość turystów tam nocuje :) ale miejsce rewelacyjne! :)

  • Reply
    Giulia Blocal
    09/01/2016 at 10:40

    Kami your trips are always so inspiring! Iran is in my bucket list, maybe 2016 will be the lucky year :) thank you for all this practical info, some countries are ‘discouraging’ me because all the paper work to do in advance looks so complicated!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 11:42

      Thanks! actually the paper work for Iran wasn’t that difficult so this shouldn’t stop you from going there! And it’s pretty amazing so I hope you will get to visit it this year!

  • Reply
    anna
    09/01/2016 at 11:07

    What an amazing experience. I have always heard that Iran is gorgeous and would love the chance to visit. Photos look stunning.

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 11:43

      Thanks! Hopefully you will go there one day too!

  • Reply
    Ania @ Hitch-Hikers Handbook
    09/01/2016 at 12:20

    Great guide, Kami! Iran is one of my favourite countries and we had a great 30 days exploring its culture, food, sights and enjoying Iranian hospitality. Although you are right saying that British, American and Canadian citizens need a guide, this law is not respected and we found a way around it. My boyfriend is British and we managed to get in the country and hitchhike all the way across it without being accompanied by anyone. Take care! Ania

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 11:44

      Thanks for the info! I’m keeping the link, maybe someone will find it interesting and helpful :)

  • Reply
    Dana
    09/01/2016 at 17:30

    It looks like you had an amazing visit and your pictures are beautiful! I love how you’ve given a breakdown for prices. It’s always super helpful for planning ahead.

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 12:10

      Thank you! Yes, I really did enjoy Iran. I also always look for prices online so wanted to give it for future travelers to Iran too!

  • Reply
    Kathrin
    09/01/2016 at 17:44

    I just started to read a book about traveling to Iran. This is one of the countries I’d love to visit one day but am a bit afraid of (I’d also love to travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan). I think those countries kind of have a bad image. Thanks for sharing your experiences though! I’m a bit surprised that it isn’t that complicated to get a visa. Will keep your article(s) in mind.

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 12:12

      I’d love to visit Afghanistan and Pakistan as well but those two are really off-limits now :( But Iran was super safe and it’s just an unfair publicity that it gets that stop people from traveling there! What book do you read?

  • Reply
    anto
    09/01/2016 at 20:59

    Thank you for all the information! In Holland, more and more people seem to be traveling to Iran and it’s great you went there before it’s getting too touristic. Happy New Year to you btw!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 12:13

      It’s the same in Poland! Iran seems to be one of the top destinations now and I still went a little too late than planned but at least it wasn’t that crowded yet! Thank you! Happy New Year to you too! :)

  • Reply
    Karolina Bednarz
    10/01/2016 at 07:37

    Zapisałam sobie na później :) Wielkie dzięki!

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      11/01/2016 at 12:37

      jakbyś miała jakieś pytania to śmiało!

  • Reply
    Mar
    10/01/2016 at 09:09

    Iran is the country I feel sorry not to have visited while I was living in Dubai. The time was never right, the visa situation kept chnging, one friend even got deported when he arrived because they changed the visa status overnight. And the safety situation was not good (my boyfriend’s father then was the ambassador for a european country Iran and used to tell us th situation was unstable). So there you go, one for the bucketlist, maybe this year!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 12:29

      ah, that’s so bad! you were so close after all!! Fingers crossed you will be able to visit Iran soon! It’s really worth it!

  • Reply
    Mansoureh
    10/01/2016 at 11:57

    Iran is my home country and before I left Iran I travelled around the country. I really miss my home.

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 13:23

      I bet, Iran is really amazing! Where exactly are you from?

  • Reply
    LeAnna
    10/01/2016 at 12:16

    Absolutely fascinating! I think a lot of Westeners are very afraid to travel to the middle east, so it is really refreshing to hear stories like this. Do you know why only certain countries require a guide w/ you at all times (and others don’t?)

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 13:25

      I’m not sure but I guess it’s something to do with the political relations between countries. Middle East is such a fascinating place!

  • Reply
    PatTravel
    10/01/2016 at 18:55

    Irańskie jedzenie tak mnie kręci, że regularnie planuje tam wyjazd … a potem z taką samą częstotliwością decyduje się wyjechać w inne miejsca. Wszystko wskazuje na to, że i tym roku nie zobaczę Iranu i nie spróbuje irańskiej kuchni. Na wszelki wypadek tekst zapisuje :)

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 13:25

      ale prędzej czy później na pewno sie uda! A przynajmniej tego Ci życzę! :)

  • Reply
    Andrea Leblang
    11/01/2016 at 00:18

    Such a fascinating post! I love all of the practical info – so helpful. I have a few dear friends who live in Tehran and we want to visit them soon… I didn’t even realize that we would need to be accompanied by a guide!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 13:27

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Maybe it’s different when you know someone there, for regular tourists the guide is needed…

  • Reply
    Anna Brusewicz
    11/01/2016 at 12:59

    Wiele dobrego słyszałam o tym kraju, jesteś kolejną osobą, która potwierdza, że warto się wybrać, że to normalny kraj przyjaznych ludzi. Dobrze, że radzę sobie z “nudą pokarmową” bo też jestem wegetarianką ;)

  • Reply
    Dee Dorota Lukasik
    11/01/2016 at 13:43

    Ten Iran mi się marzy, ale mam dużo wątpliwości, dlatego, że podrózujemy z dwójką niedorośniętych nastolatków. Czytam masę sprzecznych informacji i nie wiem, co mysleć

  • Reply
    Dorota
    11/01/2016 at 23:39

    Thanks for this article… I would love to go to Iran. Unfortunately, my husband is Canadian so we can’t travel independently there – I can use my Polish passport). Are you free to take pictures anywhere and of anything?

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 14:24

      Hopefully it will change soon, their international policy has been softening recently. I didn’t have problems with taking pictures so I think it’s all fine there, unless you take pics of military objects etc I guess

  • Reply
    Kasia & Victor Sanchez
    12/01/2016 at 07:55

    Kami, thanks a lot for such a practical and updated info. We’re currently in Turkey, but we’ll get to Iran quite soon (we already have visas in our passports, fairly easy to obtain Istanbul, by the way) so your info is very useful!!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 14:26

      I’m glad you found it helpful! Enjoy Iran, it’s amazing! Do you know what you’re going to visit there?

  • Reply
    Jenna
    13/01/2016 at 09:08

    Thanks for sharing such great info! Iran is an intriguing destination–I would love to visit someday. Thanks for the money tips–I never knew that the currency could be so confusing there! Nice to have a heads up before visiting. And, it’s great to hear that you can work around the internet blocking and that wifi is available!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 14:27

      I’m glad you found it useful and interesting :) Fingers crossed you will have a chance to visit Iran one day!

  • Reply
    Ron
    13/01/2016 at 21:08

    Great post Kami! I’ve been wanting to visit Iran for some time now and often wondered about the legalities of Couchsurfing since it is technically illegal. I’m glad to see the local community is willing to look over those ‘rules’. lol I can’t wait to go out and see the sights as well as eat the local cuisine. I hear the kabobs are pretty stellar! :D

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 14:32

      Thanks! I really hope you will have a chance to visit Iran, sooner than later! It’s really great and nothing that media tells us! And with couchsurfing it’s always so much fun :)

  • Reply
    Lauren
    13/01/2016 at 22:03

    What a fantastic travel guide to help dispel some of the myths about traveling to Iran. Thanks for writing about the vegetarian food – I’m glad you were able to make it work. It looks like such an amazing country and I hope to get there someday.

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 14:34

      It is an amazing country, hopefully you will get to see it one day! It’s not easy being a vegetarian there but definitely doable :)

  • Reply
    Joe Ankenbauer
    14/01/2016 at 01:53

    Love the post! I’ve been planning a trip to Iran, but haven’t found a guide that I’ve liked. I unfortunately fall under the guide or tour group restriction. I’ll find one soon!

    • Reply
      kami
      15/01/2016 at 14:40

      Good luck, it’s really worth all the searching!

  • Reply
    Reni
    25/01/2016 at 05:40

    Hi, Kami. I just want to say thank you for writing so much useful and wonderful stuff about Iran. I’ve always wanted to visit the country, but I never dared to contemplate of going there alone as a female solo traveler. But after looking up for more information about Iran and coming across your blog, I’ve made up my mind to visit the country–hopefully sooner rather than later! So, again, thank you so much!

    • Reply
      kami
      28/01/2016 at 22:54

      Thank you for your comment Reni! You definitely shouldn’t listen to what others say and go to Iran! It’s a perfectly normal and safe country that just gets a bad publicity! Fingers crossed you will go there soon!

  • Reply
    Interesting travel stuff around the web - January 2016 - P.S. I'm On My Way
    11/02/2016 at 12:41

    […] Visit Iran: Practical Information – Kamila Anna Napora […]

  • Reply
    Kris & Margarita
    03/03/2016 at 05:57

    Hi Kami. Dzieki za cały twój piękny blog. Byłem ( grupa trampingowa ) w 2015, jesienia, 16 dni, w Iranie i zgadzam z toba w 100%, ze wszystkimi twoimi wnioskami i refleksjami z tego kraju. Wizę irańska mieliśmy z Warszawy. Teraz planuję pojechać idywidualnie w północny rejonu Iranu, korzystajac z możliwości uzyskania visa on arrival na lotnisku. Twój opis procedury lotniskowej zachęcił mnie jeszcze bardziej do tej opcji wizowej. Nie rozumiem jednak dlaczego urzędnik na lotnisku nadal pytał o CODE. Wcześniej piszesz, że można zaoszczedzić troche ponieważ starajac sie o wizę w ambasadzie trzeba zapłacić i załatwić AUTHORIZATION CODE. Nigdzie jeszcze nie znalazłem 100% jasnej odpowiedzi – czy ten authorization code muszę posiadać już zanim pojawię sie na lotnisku w Iranie, czy też dobrze jest mieć CODE ale bez tego kodu też mam szansę na lotniskowa wizę. Jeżeli masz jakieś wskazówki lub informacje od innych osób które wyjaśnia ten problem to bardzo dziekuję za odpowiedź. Jeżeli przekracza to ramy komentarza na blogu to daj mi znać na email. Trzymaj sie .

    • Reply
      kami
      05/03/2016 at 19:52

      Hej! Dzięki za komentarz i miłe słowa. Z tym kodem to jest tak: aplikując o wizę w ambasadzie, gdziekolwiek na świecie, kod jest obowiazkowy. Jest to potwierdzenie z irańskiego MSZ, że Cię sprawdzili i wszystko jest ok, możesz wjechać. Agencje, które pośredniczą w wydawaniu kodów mają też opcję zrobienia go dla lotniska – mając ten kwitek wizę wtedy dostajesz od ręki (tak jak ja, mimo że kod miałam dla Warszawy). Jednak bez kodu też wizę można uzyskać, tylko cała procedura trwa dłużej, bo sprawdzają Cię jeszcze w tym MSZ i w teorii istnieje szansa, że Cię nie wpuszczą, chociaż nigdy nie słyszałam o takim przypadku (a Iranem się od dłuższego czasu interesowałam). Mam nadzieję, że chociaż troche udało mi się temat rozjaśnić! Pzdr!

      • Reply
        Kris & Margarita
        09/03/2016 at 03:24

        Dzieki, za informację. Temat sie trochę rozjaśnił. Czy dodatkowe sprawdzanie w MSZ, ( gdy przylatujesz bez KODU ), to jakieś indywidualne interview czy tylko wypełnienie dodatkowych pytań na formularzu ? Czy to jest sprawa kilku ekstra minut z urzędnikiem czy kilku ekstra godzin w oczekiwaniu na potwierdzenie z MSZ ? Pytam dlatego, ponieważ jak sama wspominałaś to wiekszość połaczen lotniczych to przylot w godzinach późno nocnych do Iranu. Czy to wtedy nie komplikuje to całe sprawdzanie w MSZ, turystów bez KODU ? Rozumiem, że jeżeli to jest jakieś komputerowe sprawdzenie czy kogoś nazwisko nie wyskoczy z ” czerwona flaga ” to urzednik wydaje wizę i zadaje kilka ekstra pytań zwiazanych np. z zawodem lub trasa podróży, co jest praktykowane w wielu krajach gdy wizę dostaje sie na lotnisku. Czy masz jakieś ciekawe tips w tym temacie, bo temat zainteresuje napewno wiele czytelników twojego bloga.

        • Reply
          kami
          18/03/2016 at 22:51

          szczerze mówiąc nie do końca wiem, bo tak jak pisałam ja ten kod miałam. Ale z opowieści znajomych wynikało, że przeważnie było to około godziny, wypełniało się formularz i czekało, nawet jeśli przylot był w środku nocy (wtedy najwięcej samolotów ląduje w Teheranie). Chyba, że akurat jakaś promocja była i kolejka do wizy na lotnisku jest długa, jak to ostatnio było. O moich przygodach z wizą mam cały post napisany, a raczej nie piszę rzeczy których sama nie sprawdziłam na sobie, więc ciężko mi się odnieść do większości Waszych pytań, przykro mi.

  • Reply
    * * N i c o * *
    10/04/2016 at 13:35

    Another great page Kami. Well done!!

    Can you tell me which problem you had ? “In this whole time I only had one situation that was just unpleasant”.
    Thanks again for sharing your experience

    • Reply
      kami
      13/04/2016 at 09:24

      Thank you. When I was walking on the streets of Isfahan a random guy came way too close to me and asked for sex but I asked him to go away in a very angry voice and he left. Nothing too major but still unpleasant

  • Reply
    forough
    15/05/2016 at 07:31

    Dear Kami.
    I am so glad that you have nice and unforgateble memory of my country.I am so thankful for sharing your experiences to the world that unfortunately have negative sight of Iran.
    hope visiting you in Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran,again.
    With Respect
    Forough

    • Reply
      kami
      03/06/2016 at 21:38

      Thank you for your nice words. I think everyone who visits Iran sees how amazing country it is and then spreads the word! I’ve already visited Shiraz and really enjoyed it, such a beautiful place it is!

  • Reply
    Mahshid
    02/07/2016 at 14:56

    Hi nice Kami.I live in north of Iran in Mazandaran which is full of jungle & sea.I hope I’ll see U visiting here.TnQ for Ur nice article!:-)

    • Reply
      kami
      04/07/2016 at 22:25

      Thank you! Who knows, hopefully one day I will make it also to northern Iran!

  • Reply
    Alejandra
    16/07/2016 at 08:05

    Hi Kami, great post, very usefull and interesting!
    I am plan integral on flying to Iran next week and I was wondering if for the Visa on arrival I need to do something before getting there? Some short of pre approval as you do for other countries. Thanks for your help!

    • Reply
      kami
      21/07/2016 at 21:39

      Hi Alejandra! You may need an authorisation code (but it takes a while to get one) but don’t worry if you don’t have it, they will check you at the border and the whole process will just take longer that with the code. Other than that you should be fine. Enjoy Iran!

  • Reply
    Anna
    06/08/2016 at 11:49

    Super! Mam chrapkę na Iran, ale też mam obawy (pewnie potegowane przez gadanie rodziny), ze nie wróce w jednym kawałku, ale kraj wydaje sie ciekawy! wielkie dzięki :)

    • Reply
      kami
      23/08/2016 at 23:05

      obawy są zupełnie bezpodstawne!! Iran to obecnie chyba jeden z bezpieczniejszych krajów, tylko niestety cierpią przez stereotypy. Ale naprawdę warto tam jechać!

  • Reply
    Alexander
    18/09/2016 at 18:20

    Hello Kami! I’m Alex from Sweden and I am planning to go to Iran in the end of November. One thing I am wondering about is how to book the tickets for the VIP buses. How did you do it? I plan to go to Isfahan from Tehran. Then take a train to Mashhad and finally back to Tehran again. Do you know how to book the train tickets? I have been looking at iranrail dot net. And when you are supposed to fill your information there are two squares that I am uncertain on. The first one is “1st name” and the second one is “2nd name”. I guess in the “2nd name” they want me to fill my surname. But in the “1st name” do they just want my name or all my names. Do you know the answer to it?

    By the way, I am vegan so i guess I have to eat a lot of those eggplant dishes :P

    Thank you :)

    • Reply
      kami
      21/09/2016 at 20:26

      Hello Alexander! Great that you’re going to Iran, you will enjoy it there for sure! I always bought tickets for VIP buses and the bus station, it was super easy! Even when people didn’t really speak English they did their best to communicate with me and had no problems at all. You can ask them for VIP buses but most likely they will tell you about them anyway! These were very comfortable and taking so long journey wasn’t that tiring! Unfortunately I can’t help you with trains as I didn’t take any in Iran, only buses. But I’m sure you will figure it out and won’t have any problems there! And I hope eggplants won’t get boring for you after a while ;)

  • Reply
    Amir
    28/11/2017 at 09:49

    Hi I’m Iranian and I’m very happy for your traveling to Iran.
    Iranian are very kind people but the media show a bad images from our country , so thanks for your good images KAMI☺

    • Reply
      kami
      22/12/2017 at 22:12

      You’re very welcome, I was happy to share my impressions from Iran! :)

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