Frequently Asked Questions about Travelling to Iran
1- Do women have to follow the Islamic dress code?
Yes, women should wear non-transparent, loose garments covering all their bodies except for the hands and face. They should also wear a head scarf covering their hair. Any colour is fine, black is not a must. It’s OK to wear flip-flops and sandals.
2- Do men have to follow the Islamic dress code?
Usually it’s expected that men do not wear short trousers and sleeveless tops.
3- Is it allowed to take drugs or alcoholic beverages?
Both carrying and drinking alcohol as well taking drugs is prohibited on the territory of Iran.
4- Is it safe to travel in Iran?
The crime rate is very low in Iran, making it a safe place for tourists to travel. One of the biggest dangers here is from vehicles, with traffic accidents poising a significant threat. Exercise caution when crossing roads and make sure that you familiarise yourself with Iranian driving etiquette before getting behind the wheel.
Avoid flashing cash or valuables about in view of others, especially at night. If you have far to go, taking a taxi is a safer option than walking alone. For a safe and troublesome visit to Iran, it is essential that you respect the Islamic laws in force.
5- Is tap water safe?
Yes, it’s safe to drink. Mineral water is also available and it’s relatively cheap.
6- Is any vegetarian food available?
Yes, usually you can find a vegetarian meal on the menu, especially in the north of Iran.
7- Is Iranian food spicy?
No, Iranian food is delicately flavoured with organic herbs and mild spices such as dill, tarragon, saffron and turmeric.
8- What is the Iranian Currency?
The Iranian official currency is Rial. You may come across the word Toman in Iran. 10 IR = 1 Toman. Everyone is using this word instead of Rials except for some special cases.
9- Where can one exchange money?
Do not change money on the street, as this practice is illegal in Iran. Money can be exchanged at the airport on arrival or at banks and exchange offices (“sarrafi”) throughout the country. Banks are open from Sunday to Wednesday, 07:30 to 16:00; Thursdays, 07:30 to 12:00; and closed on Fridays. U.S. dollars, Euro, British Pounds, Japanese Yen and many more can be easily exchanged, but the exchange rates are not fixed and must be checked with banks.
10- Is it possible to pay by credit card?
No, it’s not. Visa and Mastercard are not accepted in Iran, so make sure to have enough cash for the whole duration of your stay.
11- What is the Internet access like in Iran?
You’ll be able to access the Internet in Iran’s cities, with many major hotels and cafes having Internet access. Expect little to no access in rural and remote areas.
12- Is mail service reliable?
Yes, it is. International mail normally takes about 2 weeks.
13- Is international driving license accepted & are women allowed to drive?
Yes, international driving license is accepted, so one can rent a car for the period of his/her stay in Iran. Women can drive in Iran.
14- Are roads in good condition, do all cities have airport?
Yes, roads are good and most cities have a domestic airport.
15- What is the electricity voltage in Iran?
220 volts AC, 50Hz.
16- Can one have a camera in Iran?
Yes, one can take photos and video almost everywhere in Iran. It’s not allowed to take photos of military areas, some religious places and museums. There is always a “No photo” sign stating that.
17- Are there any taxis or local transportation available?
Yes, taxis, buses, trains & domestic flights are easily available.
18- Do Iranians speak English?
Yes, especially young people can speak English and they love to practise their skills.
19- How many carpets can one carry as souvenirs?
Each person is allowed to take 2 pieces of rugs each 6 sq. m. with him/her or can send it via mail.
20- Are men and women allowed to mix in public?
Yes, men and women can mix socially within limitations. Groups men and women or individuals can eat out or travel together but social protocol should be observed.
21- What vaccinations should I have before travelling?
Other than being up to date on your tetanus shot, there are no specific requirements for Iran. But we strongly recommend you consult your personal doctor and other specialized authorities in your country to make sure you are fully covered.
22- What are the working days and days-off in Iran?
Iranian working days are from Saturday to Thursday and Fridays are off. On Thursdays, some companies are totally off and some are working only half day.
23- Is it customary to tip in Iran?
In upmarket restaurants (mainly in Tehran) a 10% gratuity might be expected – on top of the 10% service charge that’s often built into the bill. But everywhere else any money you leave will be a pleasant surprise. It’s normal to offer a small tip to anyone who guides you or opens a building that is normally closed. If your offer is initially refused, you should persist in making it three times before giving up.