//Iran FAQs
Iran FAQs 2018-07-08T22:25:55+00:00
What is the Iran visa rule for US, UK and Canadian citizens? 2018-07-08T20:11:46+00:00

The Iranian government requires that all US, UK and Canadian citizen’s travel with a private guide or group tour to Iran. Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) must approve your complete guided travel itinerary before issuing you a visa; guided travel itinerary means a travel guide must accompany you while you are in the country. It can be traveling either as part of a group tour, or on a tailor-made individual one specially planed based on your interests. You must submit your itinerary in advance and adhere to it exactly. No matter you join a group tour or travel as an independent traveler; you will have many time to explore around, walk the streets, browse the bazaars, making connection with ordinary people, eat street food and…

Where to start applying for Iran visa? 2018-07-08T22:23:44+00:00

You should start by contacting an MFA-approved Iranian travel agency like Mystery Of Iran® to either join a tour group or set up a custom itinerary. By filling in the application form and submitting needed documents online; the agency staffs will contact and guide you through the Iran visa process and in the following will plan a desired tour itinerary based on your budget, time and interests.

When to start applying for Iran visa? 2018-07-08T22:31:46+00:00

It’s highly recommended to start at least three months beforehand, as Iran visa process and adjusting detailed itinerary will takes some time.

How to apply for Iran visa? 2018-07-08T22:38:30+00:00

Obtaining an Iranian tourist visa for US, UK and Canadian passport holders has a two-step process:

 

Getting an authorization number from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which a MFA-approved travel agency in Iran should apply for that.

The actual Iran tourist visa issued by an Iranian consulate.

So, all you need to do is to fill out the application form and select an Iranian consulate where you’ll pick up your visa. Then the travel agency you work with will help with the needed paperwork’s. The time consuming part is the authorization number that usually takes 30-40 business days. Once you have that number, getting your visa from the Iranian consulate is done in 2 or 3 days.

 

Note 1: Although Iran doesn’t have an official embassy in United States of America, you can get the visa in Iranian Interest Section at the Pakistan Embassy that handles Iranian visa requests in Washington, D.C.. If you don’t live in that area you’ll need to send your passport, application form and passport photos by mail with a prepaid return envelope.

 

Note 2: If your travel starts before Iran and you plan to visit other countries; you can pick up your visa at an Iranian Consulate abroad. But you should specify the consulate in advance on your application form.

Here you can find more information about Iran visa .

How long will take to get Iran Visa? 2018-07-08T22:52:23+00:00

Obtaining an Iranian tourist visa needs two steps:

Step 1- Get visa invitation letter or visa reference code form an Iranian tourist agency.

This step normally takes 4-10 work days for all countries except for US, UK and Canadian passport holders.

For US, UK and Canadian passport holders this process may take about 30-40 days.

Also Is you are not from US, UK and Canadian you like to get your visa faster, you can apply for urgent visa and it will take 1-3 work days.

For more information about Iran visa click here!

Step 2- After receiving your Iran visa reference code you can go to Iranian embassy or consul that you mentioned in your visa request and collect your visa stamp.

It will take 1-2 work days to get the visa stamp from them.

Group tour or private guide in Iran? 2018-07-08T22:58:03+00:00

On group tour you will join other nations; it’s a unique experience for everyone, also the total coast decrease; but it may be somehow time consuming. On a private tour you have more freedom as the guide is just accompanying you and it’s your own time to be managed, on the other hand the rate is higher than joining a group tour.

Click here to see all Iran tours!

 

What is the dress code for women traveling in Iran? 2018-07-08T23:03:48+00:00

As a woman visiting Iran, you are required to wear a headscarf that covers your head when in public. In addition, you should wear a long shirt, sweater or jacket over trousers or long skirt. As a foreign woman you will get less scrutiny than local women, but it’s still best to dress modestly and respectfully. There is no limitation in choosing colors, do it as you wish and fashionable! Like most of other Iranian women do, there you will see headscarves and outfits are perfectly matched.

For more information about Iran dress code please click here!

 

What are immigration and security entering/exiting Iran? 2018-07-08T23:07:26+00:00

Usually just fingerprinted on your way into the country at airport is sufficient. Maybe some questions asked about agency name applies for your Iran visa, checking your hotels voucher or sometimes asking about your traveling reason. Anyway it’s not a worrying matter and would done for any other nation, too.

What about credit cards in Iran? 2018-07-08T23:23:54+00:00

Unfortunately up to now credit cards are not acceptable in Iran and cash is the name of the game. You’d better travel with U.S. dollars or Euros and exchange them in major cities at currency exchange outlets. So, don’t count on using your credit card! Only some of the more sophisticated Iranian souvenir and carpet shops and hotels will accept credit cards. And route transactions through a partner business in Dubai or elsewhere in the Middle East. If you want to do business in Iran and need to transfer a large amount of money you may better use Cryptocurrencies.

For more information please contact us and we can manage that for you.

Do women have to follow the Islamic dress code in Iran? 2018-07-08T23:34:02+00:00

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.

For more information about Iran dress code please click here!

Do men have to follow the Islamic dress code in Iran? 2018-07-08T23:56:24+00:00

Usually it’s expected that men do not wear short trousers and sleeveless tops. Of course if you are near sea the terms are different!

Is it safe to travel in Iran? 2018-07-09T00:06:38+00:00

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.

Is tap water safe to drink in Iran? 2018-07-09T00:09:34+00:00

Yes, it’s safe to drink. Mineral water is also available and it’s relatively cheap.

Is any vegetarian food available? 2018-07-09T00:42:57+00:00

Yes, usually you can find a vegetarian meal on the menu, especially in the north of Iran.

Is Iranian food spicy? 2018-07-09T00:47:34+00:00

No, Iranian food is delicately flavored with organic herbs and mild spices such as dill, tarragon, saffron and turmeric.

What is the Iranian Currency? 2018-07-09T00:48:08+00:00

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.

Where can one exchange money? 2018-07-09T00:50:36+00:00

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.

What is the Internet access like in Iran? 2018-07-09T00:52:48+00:00

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. There are 3G and 4G internet access in Iran.

Is mail service reliable? 2018-07-09T00:55:41+00:00

Yes, it is. International mail normally takes about 2 weeks.

Is international driving license accepted & are women allowed to drive? 2018-07-09T00:58:57+00:00

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.

Are roads in good condition, do all cities have airport? 2018-07-09T01:00:39+00:00

Yes, roads are good and most cities have a domestic airport.

What is the electricity voltage in Iran? 2018-07-09T01:01:04+00:00

220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Can one have a camera in Iran? 2018-07-09T01:03:02+00:00

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.

Are there any taxis or local transportation available? 2018-07-09T01:06:43+00:00

Yes, taxis, buses, trains & domestic flights are easily available. Also there are some mobile apps in Iran that help you get Taxi faster and cheaper.

Do Iranians speak English? 2018-07-09T01:10:05+00:00

Yes, especially young people can speak English and they love to practice their skills.

Learn more about languages in Iran …

Are men and women allowed to mix in public? 2018-07-09T01:17:34+00:00

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. Men and women can not kiss each other in public.

 

How many carpets can one carry as souvenirs? 2018-07-09T01:13:02+00:00

Each person is allowed to take 2 pieces of rugs each 6 sq. m. with him/her or can send it via mail.

Learn more about Iranian handicrafts…

What vaccinations should I have before travelling? 2018-07-09T01:24:54+00:00

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.

What are the working days and days-off in Iran? 2018-07-09T01:26:44+00:00

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.

What about Arrival and customs? 2018-07-09T01:33:31+00:00

There is no special control for foreign citizens at the customs. However, don’t forget that The export and import of alcoholic beverages, weapons, ammunition, swords and sheaths, military devices, drugs and illegal goods is forbidden and carries with it severe penalties. Ladies should remember to put on covering clothes and head scarf before exiting the plane.

Air passengers are permitted to take one carpet up to six square meters from Iran however the export of antique carpets is forbidden. Other items that you are prohibited to take home include antiques, original works of art, calligraphic pieces, different kinds of coins and precious stones.

Is it customary to tip in Iran? 2018-07-09T01:28:40+00:00

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.

What do we need to know about hotel? 2018-07-09T01:43:59+00:00

Your hotel may ask to keep your passport for the time that you remain a guest; this is normal procedure. Hotel administration needs it for daily reports to the police. Don’t worry, it will be safe there! Besides, you don’t need to carry your passport on you when you’re out, you basically need it only at the time of entering and exiting the country.

If you’re travelling with your partner but are not married, no questions will be asked. You can occupy one room. The rule of having a marriage certificate to stay in 1 room at the hotel applies only to the locals.

At an average Iranian hotel you will always find a bathroom with a toilet and a shower. However, expect that you will only find a squat toilet at cheaper hotels. Breakfast is usually included in the price of your stay, as well as room service. Regular 220V electricity sockets are used.

Here you can book a hotel room in Iran.

What do we need to know about restaurant? 2018-07-09T01:49:07+00:00

As you might have guessed, you will not find alcohol in Iranian eateries. Instead you can try tasty local drinks, such as “doogh”, a yogurt-based beverage very popular in Iran. It is sometimes carbonated and seasoned with mint. Also don’t miss Iranian non-alcoholic beer with all possible flavours.

Most restaurants, especially in the hotter regions in the south, serve lunch (12.00-16.00) and dinner (19.00-24.00) at certain hours and close for a “siesta”. In small cities knowing this can be crucial, because you will not find anywhere to eat during “resting” hours.

If you travel to Iran during Ramadan, the Muslim fast, you will see that all restaurants and cafes are closed during daylight. However, some of them work secretly to serve the travellers who can skip fasting.

It’s a good gesture to tip your waiter, however, it’s OK if you don’t.

What do we need to know about Iranian currency? 2018-07-09T01:54:22+00:00

The currency in Iran is the Iranian rial. Coins are available in denominations of: 50, 100, 250, and 500 rials, while banknotes come in: 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 rials.

Iran also has another unit of currency which is Toman (a sub unit), 1 Toman is equivalent to 10 Rials. Thanks to the rapid inflation, Iranians often use Tomans and this is how they count money but it is always better to ask before giving your money to someone which unit they are saying. Sometimes people say just “5” or “5,000” for the same 50,000 Rials. Toman is more common in oral quotes, while Rial is the official unit and used in most verbal documents. Price etiquettes may come either in Rial or Toman and usually are understood by the buyers. In case of doubt, check it with the seller. It is quite confusing and you might feel you are cheated but don’t worry, eventually you will get used to it.

Do not change money on the street, as this practice is illegal in Iran. Although many shops and hotels display a Visa logo in their window, in practice, credit cards are rarely accepted in Iran, with the exception of some of the larger hotels. This makes it essential that you have some ready cash at all times. 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.

Although Iran has a functioning network of ATMs (cash-point machines), they can only be used with locally issued bank cards, so are useless to travelers unless you open a local account.

What do we need to know about transport in Iran? 2018-07-09T07:33:20+00:00

Transport in Iran is inexpensive because of the government’s subsidization of the price of gasoline.

Travelling by train is an inexpensive way to get around Iran and meet Iranians. Iran’s first line was the trans-Iranian railway, built in the 1930s to connect the Caspian Sea at Bandar-e Torkaman with the Persian Gulf at Bandar-e Imam Khomeini. Passing through mountains and passes, it is one of the great engineering achievements of the 20th century. First among them is the track between Esfahan and Shiraz. Tehran is the main hub and most services begin or end in the capital. There is at least one daily service to Mashhad, Esfahan, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas and Kerman. Trains usually depart on time, but departure and arrival times for stops en route are often in the middle of the night. For the latest routes and prices, see here!

Domestic bus travel in Iran is very popular and long-distance buses are surprisingly comfortable. Bus connections are frequent and reliable, with various levels of comfort available. Journeys can be lengthy, so it is good to board well prepared. Urban buses are usually segregated, with women sitting at the rear and men at the front. Water is served on all buses. For the latest routes and prices, see here!

Taxis are available in all cities and usually come in the form of a private car. There are both private (“darbast”) and shared taxis, with the latter being cheaper. Drivers of shared taxis pick up as many people that they can along the way. To get on a shared taxi you need to stand beside the road and shout out your destination to the drivers who slow down for a few seconds. Private taxis can be hailed in the street or ordered through your hotel, and it is always best to agree on a price before embarking on your journey. Also there are some Taxi Mobile Apps and let you find taxi faster and cheaper!

Metros are the great hope for Iranian cities slowly being strangled by traffic. The Tehran Metro is growing fast and similar systems are being built in Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Ahvaz and Esfahan; the first two of which should be operational for some time to come. For more information about Tehran Metro Click here!

What do we need to know about Iranian people? 2018-07-09T07:43:23+00:00

Iranian people by nature are very warm, friendly, respectful and formal. Most people mainly speak Persian and it helps to learn a few basic words and phrases in Farsi to get by. In case you are lost, seeking directions or making purchases at stores this will help you get your message across. Young people and shopkeepers in big cities and tourist centers do speak English a little but those instances are few and far between.

Iranian people are friendly and helpful and will extend a helping hand to even strangers so don’t be shy to approach someone and ask for help. Iranians love having people over and a visit to Iran almost always means your friends will invite you over for a meal or high tea. If you have a meeting with an Iranian, expect people to arrive a little late as they tend to be very laid back.

The most important concept you need to learn about socializing in Iran is “taarof”. Taarof is a Persian form of civility, a range of social behaviours. In Iran, Children learn the etiquette from the very early age via their parents and relatives. It is a type of unwritten way of treating others that everybody takes it on his own from the society. As a form of polite negotiation in the discussions, both sides usually understand this socially implied rules. It also derives from the fact that Iranians care so much to the image they present to others and the world.

Taarof also governs the rules of hospitality: a host is obliged to offer anything a guest might want, and a guest is equally obliged to refuse it. This ritual may repeat itself several times (3 times) before the host and guest finally determine whether the host’s offer and the guest’s refusal are real or simply polite. It is possible to ask someone not to taarof (“taarof nakonid!”), but that raises new difficulties, since the request itself might be a devious type of taarof.

Here are a few examples of common taarof, when you must think twice (or better 3 times) before you accept:

– If a stranger invites you to share a meal even though he/she didn’t expect you

– If a taxi driver or a cashier at the grocery’s refuses to take money from you, saying “Ghabeli nadare” (It has no worth = It’s not a big deal)

– If someone invites you to their place or to stay overnight, offers you a ride, etc. but you clearly see it’s not convenient for them due to lack of time or money

– If someone insists on paying your bill at the restaurant of grocery store

– If your acquaintance/host says “It’s yours now” after hearing you admire smith that belongs to them

However, usually Iranians are sincere about inviting you to their place for a meal or cup of coffee, as they are very curious about foreign cultures and like guests.

Traditionally Iranians shake hands and kiss on cheeks 3 times on meeting. It’s called “dide boosi” and is followed by typical questions about your health and family. However, beware that normally men and women are not supposed to touch each other or kiss unless they’re relatives. That’s why it’s better to wait for the other party to offer their hand, in case they’re of opposite sex. Unlike in the west men hug, kiss and hold hands in public, but it’s only display of friendship, so don’t be surprised if they do this to you.

What do we need to know about potential problems? 2018-07-09T07:47:47+00:00

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. There is special “tourist police” responsible for all issues related to tourists.

However, if you encountered any problems, you should call your embassy and look out for police. You can try crying “Komak, komak” (Help, help!) or “Dozd” (Thief!).

What are emergency numbers and consulates? 2018-07-09T07:54:40+00:00

Iran Emergency Telephone Numbers

110 – Police

115 – Ambulance

125 – Fire Department

112 – for calls from mobile phones

For more Emergency Telephone Numbers in Iran click here!

Here you can find contact numbers of Embassies & Consulates in Tehran

What is the best time to visit Iran? 2018-07-09T08:08:06+00:00

Being a vast country; Iran has regions with different temperatures even at a specific period of time. In fact it offers all sorts of climates and conditions. Depending on the season and the areas you plan to visit, you need to pack accordingly.

Spring and autumn are quite short seasons in Iran, between the heat of summer and the more changeable and often cold weather of winter. Winter temperature often falls below freezing, while summers, can be unpleasantly hot, especially for women. In the northern coastal areas of the Caspian Sea climate is mild and humid. The southern parts and the Persian Gulf region have always a hotter climate than Central Iran. North West Iran is about 10- 15C cooler than the rest of Iran. In Iran you may have a rear experience and see 45 degrees temperature difference between 2 places with just 2-4 hours driving.

All seasons have their own attractions. Thanks to such a diverse geography, you can have all kinds of climates in any season. Weather can be humid, dry, hot or cold depending on where you are. Therefore you can enjoy from winter and summer sports at the same time within a few hours.

Generally spring and autumn are the best time to visit Iran even if the weather may, on occasions, be a little uncertain with short lapses into either the cold of winter or the heat of summer. More accurate is mid-April to early June, and late September to early November. These times avoid the long, cold northern winter, the Iranian New Year (late March) and the summer.

•  If the heat doesn’t keep you away, take note that prices along the Caspian coast can quadruple during summer.

•  If you would like to go skiing then you should plan your visit sometime between November and March.

•  The rose and rosewater festival takes place between April and June. The hunting season in Iran commences on 23 October and lasts until 19 February; however the high season of foreign hunters normally coincides with January holidays.

•  Many people prefer not to visit Iran during Ramazan, the Muslim month of fasting, when most restaurants are closed between dawn and dusk. They function only at select hours in the evening, making it difficult for travellers to arrange for regular meals

What do we need to know about Iranian visa? 2018-07-09T08:29:40+00:00

There are two ways of obtaining an Iranian visa:

If you have plenty of time before you intend to travel (at least 8 weeks), you can apply for a visa by contacting your nearest Iranian Embassy.

Alternatively, you can use our services to take care of all the details and get your Iranian visa for you.

To apply independently you need to contact the Iranian Embassy nearest to where you live and ask for/download a visa application form.

Next, you will need to obtain a Letter of Invitation from a sponsor in Iran. For tourist visas, the sponsor will normally be a tour operator.

Once you have your Letter of Invitation you need to send this to your nearest Embassy along with your visa application form, two photographs, and the appropriate visa application fee.

The Embassy will then send details of your application to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Tehran.

Once your visa has been authorised by the MFA, a visa authorisation number will be sent back to the Embassy. The Embassy will then contact you and tell you your visa authorisation number. Please note that this reference number means that your visa has been authorised but is not the visa itself.

To obtain the actual visa in your passport, you need to fill out a visa collection form which you obtain/download from the Embassy. On this form you enter your visa authorisation number.

You can then either post or take this form to the Consulate Section of the embassy along with your passport and the appropriate visa collection fee. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of entry into Iran, and must have at least two blank pages.

If take your passport to the consulate in person, you will normally have to return the following day to get your passport back. If you post your passport to the consulate, either there will be an extra fee to cover the costs of them sending it back to you recorded delivery, or you will have to provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. You should normally receive your passport back about one week from when the consulate first receives it.

Fill the visa application form here and get your Iranian visa, it’s fast and easy!

Visa on arrival

Nationals of all countries (except those listed below) holding a valid ordinary passports and wishing to visit Iran mainland, can obtain a 15-day Tourist Visa Upon Arrival at the airports of :

IKA : Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport

THR : Tehran Mehrabad Airport

MHD : Mashad Airport

SYZ : Shiraz Airport

TBZ : Tabriz Airport

ISF : Isfahan Airport

1. The applicant should have a confirmed return ticket and a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and a photo to be attached to the application form.

2. Visa stamp fee (depending on the applicant’s nationality) is payable to the visa & passport office at the airport.

3. This type of visa is only for tourist purposes and the followings are not entitled to this visa facilitation.

– Journalists and reporters on mission.

– Applicants whose applications for Iran Visa have been rejected before.

– Iranians holding foreign passports but still maintaining their Iranian nationality.

4. Applicants can secure the visa by completing the form online and receiving a pre-approval visa code.

List of non-eligible nationalities for airport visa:

Colombia

Somalia

USA

UK

Canada

Bangladesh

Jordan

Iraq

Afghanistan

Pakistan

India (since Mar. 2014)

For more information about Iran Visa please click here!

Leave A Comment

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.