Is It Safe to Travel to Iran during Coronavirus Restrictions?

The world is return to the pre-pandemic normal and started recovering from COVID-19, and ordinary life is getting back in Iran. According to Reuters almost 89% of the country’s population have been vaccinated. Iran has opened its borders recently, and the good news is that the flow of tourism has started, and travelers are exploring the country. Iran is completely ready to welcome visitors, and finally, after two years of COVID restrictions, the universities and schools are fully open, and teachers and students are about to experience the vibes again.

iran travel during covid

How Is Iran Tourism in 2022?

Public Places:

  • Restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, and all the historical places and museums are open for travelers, except the jewels museum in Tehran.
  • All the public transportations and domestic flights are operating.
  • Performances open to the public are held in theatres, cinemas, concert halls, and amusement parks whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Sporting events and competitions are back to normal.
  • For travelers’ accommodation, hotels are ready to welcome guests, the travelers should check the availability in advance!
school opening in Iran covid time
restaurants opening in Iran

Start Planning Your Persia Journey

Let’s pack and travel to Iran. All you need to do is tell us about your favorites and interests and we will make you a customized itinerary. All you need is to contact us!

Newest Entry Rules for Iran in May 2022

As the newest rules of covid vaccine 2022 requirements in friendlyiran website for traveling to Iran from May 2022, all passengers regarding coronavirus entry regulations must have an English covid-19 vaccination certificate as general obligation for persons entering the country showing that passengers were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival!

Do You Know There Is Another Way to Arrive in Iran?

Yes, you understand surely! Like many other destinations, there is
also possible to travel to Iran just with a negative covid PCR test
or
RT-PCR test taken at most 72 hours before departure from the first flight
points…!

You can get more information about your
upcoming Iran tour in
friendlyiran website.

3 Other Important Rules…

  • There is no chance of applying to passengers younger than 12 years.
  • All Passengers must complete a (self-declaration form) before arrival.
  • Upon arrival covid-19 tests and quarantine, if required, is on the traveler’s own expense.

Also for more information about the covid vaccine, 2022 rules, and the covid PCR test for travel to Iran you can read the article Is It Safe to Travel to Iran during Coronavirus Restrictions? on friendly Iran website.

Iran, a pocket-friendly destination 2021-2022

In recent years, you have heard the name of Iran in the radio, TV, and newspapers more than before. It’s because of US sanctions and the rapidly dropping of the local currency. It’s why Iran has become a pocket-friendly destination

Sanctions and the dropping of the Iran currency (Rial), cause that traveling to Iran become quite cheap for tourists. It is the perfect place for traveling as a familygroup, or solo. The cost of the ticket is the only thing that is expensive for a tourist depending on where he/she come from, but food and other things related to travel are cheap, compared to European countries, America, or other countries in the Middle East. But what would that mean for tourists? 

Low-cost in food and beverage:

Like other countries, based on the quality of the product, the price is variable. You can eat lunch or dinner by spending from € 5 to € 8 per person, but you can also eat for much less! Water or fruit juices cost from 25 to 50 cents.

Low-cost in transport:

The price of taxis is negotiable and varies according to the trip (ranging from a few tens of cents for shared taxis, up to about forty euros per day). Buses are easily accessible for travel around the country and prices usually range from € 5-10 each way. Also, you can travel from Tehran to other major cities by train. A train ticket will cost you between € 15- € 20 depending on the city distance.

Low-cost accommodation:

A mid-range hotel costs around € 25 per night, which you can also find 4 and 5-star hotels for about € 30-50 € per night in a double room (except in Tehran which is generally more expensive). So you can save a little more money on souvenirs and gifts. 

Low-cost in souvenirs

It is no secret that Persian rugs, especially handmade ones, are precious and highly appreciated all over the world. This is why they are always among the first souvenirs you think of when you go to Iran. If you want to buy an important gift or have always been your desire, in Iran you will find many more models, colors, patterns, and because of the rate of the exchange dollar to Rial, you can buy a carpet at a lower price. 

You can also buy saffron, pistachio, spice,  Persian sweets, and also Iranian handicrafts as a souvenir for your family and friends.

Lower prices on tour packages:

US dollar or the European euro and suddenly worth double in Iran. Now is the chance that you can experience the beauty of Iran for half the price. The cost of our tours is now much lower, and we are guaranteed the best services.

To cut a long story short, the important reason why you should travel to Iran is that real Iran is not what you see in the media. The real Iran is made up of real people, with warm hearts and inviting smiles. Iranian hospitality is one of the tourist attractions of this land. Come and experience Iranian hospitality and then become the peace ambassador to tell stories of your experience to the rest of the world.

Pooladkaf Tourism Complex

Pooladkaf Tourism Complex

Pooladkaf tourism complex is located about 80 km north of Shiraz, around the Zagros Mountains (2830 high) in Shekarak Region.

 

Pooladkaf Hotel

Pooladkaf 4-star Hotel is located in a 5000 square meter land and consists of 52 rooms (2/3 bed), 4 suites, and 10 Mongolian Yurt (chadors or tents)

Summer Facilities in Pooladkaf

The fresh weather of the mountains can furnish this astounding experience with a delightful and pleasant, relaxing atmosphere away from the city hustle and visitors can enjoy their summer vacation with provided facilities such as Horse riding, Cycling, Paddle-boat, Zip-line, Cable-car, Theme-park, Buggy-cars, off-road cars, etc.

Yurts

A traditional “Yurt” or “Ger” is a round tent as originating in Central Asia (Genghis Khan and his horde used them) used for dwelling for at least the past few thousand years. For the first time in Iran, the Hungarian company of “Domus Living Solutions” has invested in building ten luxury accommodation units, in the form of Yurts. The Yurts can now be offered to the guests enjoying a five-star service and facilities.

Nomadic Camp

Experience a nomadic life at the largest camp in the province. you can enjoy listening to ancient Iranian folk music of the Nomad tribes belonging to the region, as well as tasting the local gourmet and the herbal drinks of the Nomads.

Winter Facilities in Pooladkaf

At winters, the resort turns into one of the major attractions of Fars Province and the south-west region of Iran. You can enjoy the ski facilities of the resort either as a professional or amateur skier using the cable-car and the ski lift. The cable car runs at a length of 2200 meters, under the license of Puma, France. You can also have the chance to rent the ski gears, snowmobiles, and Mini-Bobs and can start learning the fundamentals of skiing at our ski-school.

Coronavirus 2019 Outbreak in Iran; Travel Advice

Due to the worldwide spread of coronavirus, the past couple of weeks have been concerning for international travelers everywhere. Moreover, regarding the increased risk of human-to-human transmission of this virus in Iran, some airlines have canceled their flights to Iran.

At friendlyiran, we’re taking serious steps toward Green Tourism and we feel the social responsibility to fight against coronavirus. Therefore, to guarantee our client’s health and safety and prevent coronavirus spread, we have decided to suspend all of our tours to Iran until further notice.

Our Support Team is ready to assist any concerned foreign tourist who is now in Iran and needs help.

Contact our Agents via, 0098 917 090 6506, 0098 998 128 1125

 

Covid-19 Impacts on Iran Tourism and International Events:

Big changes have been made in flights’ schedules after spreading covid-19, some of the airlines have canceled their flights to Iran like Emirates, Pegasus, and Air Arabia although some others are operating some of their flights; such as Qatar Airways and Azerbaijan Airlines. Knowing the details about the exact situation needs day by day evaluation, Friendly Iran agents are ready to inform you about the required information in any possible case.

The cancellations have reached also to the tourism fairs such as ITB Berlin 2020, and people are trying to avoid mass gatherings to help the world fight against the virus as soon as possible. Fortunately, most of the cases with Covid-19 have been cured and these kinds of actions will help the rest of the people to stay clean and safe.
World Health Organization is issuing daily updates about the current situation all around the world and the Times is presenting a map including the number of sick people in each country.
Iranian cities haven’t been quarantined although travelers with any sign of sickness will be tested at the borders and quarantined if required.

 

A Small Thanks for All You Do, For Caring…

The healthcare system is in a sever situation these days and medical workers are struggling to save the most possible lives in the global fight against the coronavirus, they are under terrible pressure to put their own health at risk contracting this novel virus, especially in countries like Italy, Iran, China, and South Korea where there are too many patients and sometimes lack of the medicine and machines they required. Unfortunately, a significant number of health professionals have been affected while meeting the needs of patients; being in the frontline and also exhaustion are the reasons that they have high vulnerability to infection. 

There are lots of stories we hear each day about sacrifices by doctors and nurses during the fight against the novel coronavirus, too many overworks they handle, and those volunteers and unprotected forces on the front line…this is nothing but Heroism. COVID-19 may be a challenge in the following weeks, but we hope that with the help of the tireless medical forces; together we’ll beat it…

Friendlyiran would like to play a very small role in this respect and organize different specific travel packages for health care workers including various discounts and extra enjoying Persian activities in the near future.

thanks to healthcare system during coronavirus spread

Based on CDC (Center for disease control and prevention) all nonessential travels in Iran must be avoided.

Iran is generally a safe travel destination. Lately as the result of Coronavirus spread over some provinces, unnecessary traveling in Iran is strongly prohibited.

Yes, in case you decide to postpone or cancel your Iran tour with friendlyIran, you will have our support to cover the cancellation expenses as much as possible.

As a result of the cancellation of numerous flights to/ from Iran, some travelers in Iran have lost their flight back home. Follow the latest flight news from Iran with FriendlyIran team and consult with them to find the best and cheapest flights.

Direct Message to FriendlyIran Agent: 0098 917 090 6506

Direct Message to FriendlyIran Agent: 0098 998 128 1125

If you have decided to travel in Iran during the Travel Health Warning (Coronavirus 2019), we suggest you take care of a few guidelines:

  • Wash your hand with soap at least every one hour. (Note: At the moment your rarely can find hand sanitizers in public shops! But don’t worry you can find Water and soap which are twice better!)
  • Avoid going to public and populated places such as city centers, metro stations, buses and etc.
  • If anyone around you is suspected to have fiber or cold symptoms keep more than 1 m distance with them.
  • Do not touch things in the public area (ex.; Door handles, cash, park benches and…) or wash your hand with soap right after.
  • Try to use dried food and cans instead of restaurants.
  • Do not touch your face, especially the eyes, nose, and lips.

 

Tehran International Airport Guide

Iran’s main international airport, Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA), is located about 30 kilometers to the southwest of the capital, Tehran. IKA covers over 13,500 hectares and has been in operation since 2004.There is another airport in the capital, Mehrabad International Airport, which mainly operates domestic flights.

Services and Facilities Available inside the Imam Khomeini Airport:

Banks and Currency Exchange: There are several banks and exchange offices at the Imam Khomeini International Airport offering different services such as currency exchange services; Tejarat, Meli, Saman, Post and Mellat Bank and Sorena money exchange agency.

ATMs: ATM machines are available at the airport. Although due to sanctions against Iran, ATMs don’t work with international cards, So IRR (Iranian Rial) is the only cash you can receive from ATMs.

Wi-Fi: At Tehran Airport free Wi-Fi is available in the arrival and departure lounges. To be able to receive a password via text message, a mobile phone number is required. There are also internet cafes for printing, copying, scanning or other related services and also activation of sim cards. Internet Cafes are located at entrance hall.

Medical Services: The airport has a long distance from medical centers, this is why there are emergency medical services available round-the-clock for emergency situations.

Mobile Charging: Charging stations are available in the departures and arrivals areas.

Baby Care Services: There is a baby care room for families with children.

Duty Free & Shopping: There are about 40 shops at IKA and few of them are open round the clock.

Food & Drinks: There are several restaurants and cafes available in all terminals, some of them are open 24 hours for snacks and
drinks.

Services for Elders: At passenger terminal at Tehran airport, special services are available to accessible people such as disabled and elderly people.

Prayer Rooms: There are 17 prayer rooms available to all passengers in different areas.

duty-free-IKA
bank-Imam-airport-Tehran
Exchange office IKA Tehran
Irancell Hamrah aval IKIA

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From the Imam Khomeini Airport

Travelers can reach Imam Khomeini international airport through Tehran-Qom Freeway and Tehran-Saveh Freeway. It is accessible by following options:

  1. Taxi Service Companies are available outside the arrival hall. They are ready to give any group of travelers a private drive to different destinations. Based on the vehicle you choose; the price will be different. It takes 45-60 minutes to arrive in downtown.
  2. Snapp/Tap30 Online Taxi Booking Applications are another kind of private taxis which costs less than the airport ones.
  3. Tehran’s Subway System (Metro) is the cheapest and fastest way to reach the downtown Tehran. IKA is connected to this system through Line 1.
snapp-tap30-iran-transportation
Taxi Imam khomeini airport
Imam-Khomeini-Airport-Metro-Station-IKIA-Station

4. Car Rental is also possible at Imam Khomeini Airport, you can ask for a van or a sedan car from the Europcar office located inside the airport. To do so you will need to carry your international driving license, a valid credit card and your passport. Be careful while driving here 😊

Rent a vehicle at IKA
drive a car and drive in Iran

5. Private Drive, the easiest and safest way would be to book your private transfer in advance. Inform friendlyiran agents about the detail of your transfer; the exact time, the destination and the preferred kind of vehicle and a professional driver will be at the airport carrying your name.

Hotels at IKA

Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport Hotels

There are two side-by-side hotels at the Imam Khomeini International Airport, located at the main terminal: IBIS and NOVOTEL, 4- and 5-star accommodations with various amenities such as Spa center, Sauna, qualified restaurants and etc. It is also possible to book a room up to 3 hours or up to 6 hours at an affordable price. A free shuttle bus is available every 20 minutes to drive the travelers to the airport.

For short-time rests, Reclining chairs are available at the airport.

CIP Service and CIP lounge at Imam Khomeini Airport

To avoid flight problems, CIP services are available at Imam Khomeini airport offering various kinds of airport assistance. You can book CIP service in advance and shorten the waiting time at the airport with enjoying free beverage and snacks, the smoking room, newspapers and with free available WIFI.

The CIP service at IKA includes meet and greet at the airport, the check-in process, passport and visa control, luggage check or only a transfer by different vehicles such as standard car or van, VIP sedan or van, middle bus, and VIP buses. CIP lounge services also provide lifter and wheelchair for seniors or travelers with physical disabilities.

Iran Ski Holiday

Iran is one of the best and the most popular skiing destinations in the Middle East. Since Iran is endowed with many high and mountainous areas with long-enduring cold weather, snowy season, and powdery snow, its ski resorts are welcomed by both local and foreign skiers. Moreover, the entrance fees and rental expenses are so affordable in all resorts.

There are two mountain ranges with different climates in Iran. The highest one is called Alborz. This mountain range, located near Tehran, stretched from the northwest to northeast of Persia, has got many popular skiing resorts such as international Dizin ski resort (the most popular and the biggest), Shemshak, and Tochal which are the most accessible and have got the best equipment for skiers.  The other mountain range is called Zagros, located at northwest and west of the country, covers 20 percent of Iran.

The most famous ski resorts of this zone are Pooladkaf (in the south near Shiraz) and Chelgerd (near Shahrekord).

Here is a glance at the most important Iran ski resorts.

Iran Dizin Ski Resort

The international and best ski resort in Iran is Dizin, which is located at the north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountain Range. It is in the list of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world. Its base is higher than the peak of many Alpine sites. The lifts get you to the altitude of 3700 meters above the sea level. Due to its high-quality snow, Dizin is welcomed and accepted by snowboarders. It should be taken into consideration that Dizin has run for any skier from beginner to professional, but it is more suitable for the more experienced ones. Here are some pieces of information about Iran Dizin Ski Resort.  There are also facilities for grass skiing during the non-snowy seasons.

Dizin Hotels and Cottages

Dizin International Ski Resort offers affordable and convenient accommodation consisting of hotels, cottages, private apartments and villas near the resort which yearly host thousands of people.

The most famous ones are the Dizin Hotel and Gajareh Hotel.

Gachsar Hotel is another hotel near the ski resort.

Dizin Skiing Equipment

Do not bring your ski facilities; you can rent what you need. Our ski school uses internationally popular and modern methods to make your ski learning more pleasant. These are the facilities you can get there: ski wear, ski and snowboard, mono board, and accessories. Kids ski teachers are also available. Tele-cabins, ski lifts, tele- skis and Hammer tele-ski are the resort equipment.

 

 Food and Drink

In Dizin you can find two main restaurants; the first one is Chalet Resturant at the 3,000 meters above sea level and the second one is Chaman Restaurant located at the top of Chaman chair lift.  You can find many other restaurants and snack bars in the zone, such as SnackBar Restaurant, Dizin Ghole, etc.

Transportation

You can take the Chaloos Road to reach Dizin Ski Resort, and based on your group members and your car; sometimes it takes 3.5 hours in the winter.

Shemshak Ski Resort

After Dizin, Shemshak is the second largest ski zone in Iran. It is at the altitude of about 2500m to 3000m above the sea level. Shemshak is suitable for more advanced skiers.

 

Shemshak Hotels

Shemshak skiers and snowboarders have got two options for lodging. Shemshak Resort Hotel and Barin Hotel both located in Shemshak area, the first one has standard quality but situated in the heart of white-coated peaks. The second one is more luxury with modern architecture and located approximately 1 kilometer from Shemshak Ski Resort.

Shemshak Skiing Equipment

There are two main slopes with chair lifts. The piste also has lighting facilities for skiing during the night. The slopes are quite steep, and many of the runs are mogul runs.  There are also ski, snowboard, and sleigh for renting.

Food and Drinks

There are different restaurants in Shemshak and Darbandsar zone such as Paparazzi restaurant, Dejavu cafe, and Restaurant, Café Muse, etc. There are also coffee shops where you can buy snacks and drinks.

 

Transportation

The ski resort is about 65 kilometers from Tehran. To get to there, you should go toward north, take Lashgarak Rd and pass Fasham to get to Shemshak.

Tochal Ski Resort

Tochal in the nearest ski resort to Tehran and can be reached via a 20-kilometer journey from the capital. It has one of the longest cable cars in the globe. It is the fifth-highest resort in the world at an altitude of about 4000m, from where you can see a glorious view of Damavand, the highest peak of Iran.

Tochal Hotels

As Tochal is near the capital, you have many options for accommodation inside Tehran, but if you love to stay your night in the silence of the snow-covered mountains, we suggest Tochal hotel at the altitude of about 3,500 meters above the sea level. The hotel serves the skiers and snowboarders for about 7 to 8 snowy months.

Tochal Skiing Equipment

Besides the ski lifts, chairlifts, ski piste, and all available facilities related to skiing, Tochal is a sports complex containing Archer Club, ziplining, one of the best hiking pathways, paintball club, Bungee jumping and ….

Food and Drink

Since the resort is almost inside Tehran, there are several restaurants and cafes in the area and on your way to the top where you can rest, have food, and drink hot coffees.

Transportation

Tochal is about 20 kilometers from Tehran center. To get there, you should take Velenjak avenue and drive toward the north.

Pooladkaf Ski Resort

Pooladkaf located in 90 km from Shiraz at the altitude of about 3200 meters from the sea level is major ski resort of the South of Iran and the second international resort after Dizin. All facilities of the resort (except the piste) is open in all seasons. It is interesting to know that sunshine is bright and strong even in January.

There is nomad camps and local houses where you can meet Indigenous people, be familiar with there customs, and listen to folklore music.

Pooladkaf Hotels

There is a 4-star hotel in the mountain for ski lovers and also a hotel apartment in the mountain skirt.

You can also spend overnight in the local houses.

Food and Drink

There are some restaurants in the mountain skirt and near the piste such as Pooladkaf Restaurant and Gholleh restaurant. Also, there is a café at the top station of the gondola lift.

Pooladkaf Facilities

In the complex, you can find surface lifts, Tele skis, snowmobiles, and a 2100-meter length gondola lift. You can also rent skiing equipment. Besides the skiing facilities, you have got the opportunity to experience cycling, horse riding, and pedalo boat riding in the mountainous area of Zagros massif.

Transportation

After about 2-hour drive from Shiraz toward the northwest through a mountainous road you get to Pooladkaf ski resort.

Chelgerd Ski Resort

Chelgerd village is the home of Bakhtiari tribe community. The resort is located about 200 km from Isfahan and about 85 kilometers from Shahrekord in Chahar Mahale Bakhtiari province at the heart of Zagros massif. You can find summits with different altitudes in the region, some of them higher than 4000 meters. There are large slopes for professionals and small slopes for the beginners. The average slope of the piste is 20 percent and it is 800-meter-long. Chelgerd with its unique nature is also a popular destination for sightseeing including the virgin area of Koohrang, springs, natural glaciers, caves, wetlands, etc.  

Chelgerd Facilities

In Chelgerd and Koohrang area, there are some hotels such as Koohrang hotel and Keyno Hotel, and also villas, ecolodges, and restaurants where you can test local foods. There are also three lifters and skiing equipment for renting.

Transportation

From Shahrekord drive west, after about 40 kilometers you reach to the Baba Heydar village. From there drive to the north, and after 50-kilometer driving in the mountainous road, you arrive in Chelegerd ski resort.

Riding Motorcycles above 250cc in Iran is Allowed, August 2019

Travelers with Motorcycle more than 250cc are now allowed to enter, cross borders and ride in Iran, published by Iranian Tour Operators Association on 6th August 2019.

 

In Summer 2018 TACI (Touring & Automobile Club of the Islamic Republic of Iran) made an announcement: “Motorcycles over 250cc are illegal in Iran also for temporary importation”. More or less Crossing Iran borders was a matter of concern for independent travelers who wish to explore Iran with private motorcycles. Yet, according to most update news of Private Motorcycles Entry Permit the temporary ban of Crossing Motorcycles above 250cc is waived.

 

Iran Visa for Chinese, Hongkongers and Macanese has been Waived

According to the Iranian government’s official notification, China, Hong Kong and Macau passport holders’ visas for travel to Iran have been waived.  consequently, from now on the citizens of these three countries can visit Iran and stay in the country for 21 days without a visa.
Accordingly, visa cancellation will provide more convenience for Chinese, Hongkonger and Macanese travelers and will strengthen the bilateral relationship between Iran and these two countries in tourism, culture and economy areas. 

 

 

 

Membership of Iranian Impacters Club

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Friendlyiran CEO manager is a member of Iranian Impacters Club of Hamayesh Farazan Company which is the most skillful international event organizer in Iran and has designed more than 150 international events and executed educational business tours for top Iranian managers and entrepreneurs by the agreements it held with the world’s forerunner companies i.e. Toyota, Montblanc, VW, Mercedes, Airbus, Zara, Schindler, Lindt, Sennheiser, Vodafone etc.

In order to improve our team mission to conduct a knowledge-based business in tourism industry and have access to international educational resources, Dr. Mohammad Yazdanpanah, Friendlyiran manager attends in most of the related conferences and educational business tours. He has created close relationships and connections with the most well-known and successful mangers of the world.

Hamayesh Farazan company has invited international skillful speakers such as John Gray (the author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”), Brian Tracy (the author of “Eat that frog”), Allan Pease (the author of “The Definitive Book of Body Language”), Jack Canfield (the creator of “Secret”), in different conferences. 

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Iran Visa with No Trace in Passport  9/23/2018

MFA (Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has announced that since September 23, 2018, Iran E-visa issuing plan (without attaching visa sticker to the passport) is started in Iranian embassies and consulates all over the world and Iran international airports as well. This plan was accomplished in Doha, Muscat, Tehran International Airport (IKA), Shiraz International Airport (SYZ) and Isfahan International Airport (ISF).

 

 

Issuing Iran E-visa without sticker terms:

Visa should be single entry and the type must be Business, tourist, pilgrimage, family or medical.
Visa sticker is printed on a piece of A4-sized paper. Exit and entry stamps are also put in this paper.
The nationals of America, England, Canada, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Colombia, Bangladesh and Somali are exempt from this new regulation and the visa sticker should be put in their passport.

 

Apply your iran visa 

 

 

For Our Peaceful World / Friendlyiran CEO Letter about Tehran Attacks

Our world needs a Tender God not the one the Isis talks about; their god is not the Muslims’ God or even any other religion.

Unfortunately, in the recent shocking terrorist attack in the capital of Iran we’ve lost some of our innocent compatriots. The attack is an exception after 35 years of no terror attack in Tehran. After Paris, London and Manchester, Tehran becomes their target for scaring the people.

Iran is completely ready to resist against them, so measures over the years to create the security in the country has continued and even reinforced.

Iranians were always looking for peace, Love and Monotheism through their religion, culture and history. One of our greatest goals in the tourism industry is to show the real face of Iran and the Iranian people to the world.  We have chosen this industry to bring the message of love and peace to the world and because we believe race, nationality, language, skin color and religion cannot separate people from each other.

As an Iranian we have learned through our religion, culture and civilization that everything is summarized in one word, Humanity.

In the end, we ask for tranquility for all of the people from our Tender God.

Mohammad Yazdanpanah

Gardeshgaran Group CEO

 

Iran Travel Guide

Iran Travel Guide

Iran is a county that most people don’t know much about it and many websites present not trustable information about this county. Friendlyiran as a local tour operator provides you with the most important tips that you should know before starting your Iran tour.

Here are the most important tips you should know before your Iran trip.

Overview

Iran is a four seasons country with 2500 years of history, diverse nature, and unique culture. Nowadays, most of the people from all around the world know Persia or Iran through its carpets, caviar, or oil. Yet, Persia has one of the richest and oldest cultures in the world.

Here is some information about Iran.

Iran at First Sight

Capital: Tehran

Population: 81.16 million

Area: 1,648,195 km2

Language: Persian

Religion: Islam, mostly Shiaa

Currency: IRR

Time zone: (GMT+03:30)

Standard Voltage: 220 V

Standard Frequency: 50 Hz

Power Sockets: type C and F.

Dialing Code: +98

History of Iran

Recent discoveries indicate that the written history of Iran begun with the early Achaemenids in 3200 BC. Cyrus the Great, the man who established the charter of human rights, was the founder of the Achaemenid empire. In that era, Iran stretched from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor to Afghanistan, as well as south to Egypt. Greek Alexander overthrew the great Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC. In 641, Arabs invaded Iran and started a new alteration.

Consequently, Persians, who were Zoroastrian, turned to Islam. The dynasties that were born after that are Parthian, Sassanid, Samanid, Ghaznavid, Safavid, Zandiye, Afsharid, Qajar, and Pahlavi. After all, In the Safavid period, Islam (Shia) became the official religion of Iran. In 1979, after the Iran revolution, the current Islamic Republic of Iran was founded.

Throughout Iran’s long history, in spite of different devastating invasions, the country has always maintained its national identity. It has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

Iran Tour for US passport Holders

Iran religion

Shia Islam is the dominant religion in Iran, although other minorities such as Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrian has been also welcomed and formed societies that peacefully live together. So, during the long history of Iran, these societies of thave built many mosques, churches, and fire temples in different cities of Iran.

Iran Friendly People

Lovely and kind people who host travelers is the most valuable thing that you will find in Iran. There is an unbelievable pleasure in meeting local people and getting to know their lifestyle. Hospitality and Kindness have been the main goal of the Persian nation’s lives. Iranian people are open-armed to welcome guests and making friends.

Climate in Iran

Iran is a four-season country with unique climates. Generally, winters are cold with snowfall and subzero temperatures during December and January. Spring and fall have relatively mild weather conditions, while summers are dry and hot. However, Iran is a great destination to travel for the whole year. If you travel during the summer, you can enjoy the sunshine and mild mountainous areas. During winter, you can go to the islands or have a ski tour in Iran unique ski resorts. In spring, you can visit a variety of festivals as Nowrooz.

Iran’s landscape is dominated by mountain ranges. The populous western part is the most mountainous, with ranges such as Zagros and Alborz Mountains. The northern part of Iran is covered by dense rain forests called Hyrcanian forests (UNESCO site). The eastern part consists mostly of deserts such as the Dasht-e Kavir, which is Iran’s largest desert in the north-central portion of the country, and the Dasht-e Lut, in the east, as well as some salt lakes. you can enjoy desert tours during spring and fall.

Iranian Cuisine 

Persian cuisine has one of the complete ingredients. The traditional dishes consist of various types of meat like chicken, fish, lamb, turkey, and shrimp. Note that pork, and alcoholic drinks, are forbidden religiously in Iran. In this regard, all kinds of food in Iran should be halal (religiously approved). Moreover, you can find several good international restaurants which offer international foods and all kinds of fast food in this country.

Restaurants in Iran

Breakfast time: around 7 am till 11 am

Most of the hotels in Iran are B & B and include breakfast. You can also have your breakfast in a local café or restaurant. Halim, Ash, and Kall-e Pache (Sheep’s head) are a famous Iranian breakfast that usually is not served at hotels. 

Lunchtime: around 12 till 3 pm

Dinner time: around 7:30 pm till 10 pm 

Most Famous  Iranian Dishes

  1. Zereshk Polo: Barberry and rice served with chicken
  2. Kebab: Barbecued Lamb, Chicken, Lamb Liver, and Ground Meat
  3. Gormeh Sabzi: Rice and Herbs Stew, usually served with meat pieces and beans, tastes a little sour
  4. Dizi and Abgoosht: A Persian stew includes meat and beans usually made in a stone pot
  5. Baghali Polo (Rice with broad beans and chicken)
  6. Ash: A kind of soup, and depending on the ingredients are:
  • Reshteh: With Herbs, Noodles and sour yogurt
  • Sabzi: With Herbs, Beans, Chickpeas, etc. (best to taste with lemon)
  • Doogh: With Herbs, Yoghurt juice, etc.
  • Kardeh: With Herbs, meats, etc.

To get more information about Iran Food and Cuisine,  please click here.

Iranian Traditional Sweets and Desserts

  • Ranginak: National sweet, mostly made in Ramadan
  • Faloodeh Shirazi: A dessert,  which its famous one is from Shiraz
  • Bastani Sonati: Traditional icecream 
  • Shirini Yazdi: Local sweet of Yazd
  • Sohan: Local candy of Qom
  • Gaz: Local sweet of Esfahan
  • Halva: National sweet, mostly eaten as the dessert
  • Kolompeh: Local cookie of Kerman
  • Masghati: Local sweet of Shiraz 
  • Zoulbia & Bamieh: National sweet, just eaten during Ramadan

Iranian Foods for Vegetarians

With good knowledge about local Iranian dishes, vegetarians/vegans can also enjoy the variety of local Persian cuisine during their Iran tour. 

Here are some local foods that are proper for our vegetarian friends:

  • Kuku Sabzi: The mixture of vegetables and eggs
  • KuKu Sibzamini: The mixture of potato and eggs
  • Kashke Bademjan: Fried eggplant with onion and yogurt
  • Kate Gojeh: brewed rice with tomato and potato
  • Samboose: Potato and herbs wrapped in the fried bread
  • Vegetable Pizza
  • Lubia Garm: boiled Beans with mushrooms
  • Dopiazeh: Mixture fried potato and onion
  • Yatimcheh: Mixture of fried tomato, garlic, and zucchini

Iran Economy

Due to the possession of the oil and petrochemical industries and natural gas, Iran is an imperant country in the global economy. Generally, Iran’s economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil, agriculture, and private trading and service.

Iranian Currency

Rial (IRR) is the currency of Iran in global transactions. Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices in Tomans, (One Toman equals 10 Rials). It means one zero is skipped when Toman is used. So, it may be a little confusing for foreign tourists.

You can see more about Iran currency here. You can change the US dollar and Euro in the banks and exchange offices, which can be found at the airports and the main cities.

Iran Tourist Card

Consequently, you cannot use your credit, debit, visa and master cards, traveler’s cheques or ATMs in Iran. If you don’t like to carry lots of cash with you, you can get a type of debit card, which is called tourist card, and use it in all payment devices such as ATMs, POS, etc. These cards have a little service fee, but it is a safe way of carrying money.

 Iran Dress Code

Maybe the dress code in Iran is different from yours, but sometimes trying new and different clothes could be a pleasant experience. So, you have a chance to taste it. Generally, in Iran, women wear a dress called “Manto” that is the same as your spring coat. They also wear a scarf and pants. Another usual form of clothing in Iran is chador. When you want to visit holy places, you should wear Chador that is accessible at the gates of these places. Iranian dress code for men is more comfortable than women. Their dressing is the same as male dressing all around the world, but wearing walking shorts and tanks are forbidden. However, you are free to choose any colors that you like. You can get more information about Iran dress code through the link below:

Iranian dress code full guide

Iran Handicrafts 

The handicraft is the art of every country that sometimes we take it as a symbol of that country, or we get it as souvenirs. Due to Iran’s ancient civilization, rich cultures, and also geographical location, you will face a variety of choices that are even different in each region. 

The Most Famous Handicrafts

  • Persian Rug: bests are in Tabriz,  Isfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, and Tehran
  • Minakari: Engraving on metal, best is in Isfahan 
  • Khatam: Inlaid work, the best is in Shiraz and Esfahan
  • Copper work: The bests are in Shiraz and Isfahan
  • Cotton and Termeh: The best is in Yazd
  • Ceramic and Pottery works: The bests are in Yazd, Shiraz, Kashan, and Isfahan
  • Miniature: A kind of Persian paintings that the bests are in Shiraz and Isfahan and Tehran

Iran Suveniors

In addition to magnets of attractions and plaster statues of them, you can also buy handicrafts and delicious local sweets as gifts for your beloved ones back home. While purchasing any Iranian style product, make sure that they are made in Iran because there’s lots of imitation merchandise in the bazaars.

You can have a long list of choices for buying a souvenir. Apart from handicrafts, Iran’s agricultural souvenirs are known as saffron, pistachios, and caviar.

Tarof 

If you travel to Iran for the first time, you should know that Iranians have their customs. They are warm, friendly, and generous individuals with a keen interest in foreigners and other cultures. One of their unique costumes is “Tarof”, their traditional behaviors. This is a kind of behavior for showing hospitality and politeness. A host repeats an offer several times, although the guest is free to accept or not, it shows politeness to accept after 3-time asking.

WiFi Internet and Social Network in Iran

During your Iran tour, although you can use the hotel’s WiFi free Internet connection and there is WiFi Internet available in most cafe shops, restaurants, and malls, you will need a local SIM card for cheap domestic and pricey international calls and internet connections. Upon arrival, you can buy a SIM Card, at the Iran airport or from reputable mobile internet services stores. MTN Irancel and Hamrah Aval are two valid sim cards in Iran that you can buy temporary (Etebari) sim card at reasonable prices. Your mobile number will be activated as soon as the registration is complete. Through the manual of your Sim card, you can buy internet charges, mobile charges and also check your account balance.

Social Media and Websites in Iran

You can use Whatsapp, Linkedin, and Instagram in Iran easily and without filtering. But Telegram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are blocked in Iran, but you can install VPNs to bypass the filtering.

Iran Visa

Citizens of all countries except Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Georgia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, and China & Hongkong Macau, need a visa to visit Iran. All citizens can visit Kish and Qeshmislands without getting Iran visa and stay there for at most 14 days.

Iran Visa Code Appliance Process

1) Apply for your visa code through the visa code application link
2) Pay visa service fee
3) Get your visa tracking code
4) Get your visa stamped at the Iran consulate or embassy or Iran airports
 

Iran Traditional Houses

Iran is famous for its traditional residents and boutique hotels. In most of the main cities, you can find these kinds of residents, which used to be Caravanserais and royalty houses dating back to the hundreds of years ago or newly built ones that have the same characteristics. 

Therefore, Do not miss the chance of staying in a traditional hotel or even a local house in small towns and villages where you can experience the hospitality and friendly temperament of Iranians. 

If you are interested in budget tours, you can stay in hustles and homestays that usually have shared bathrooms and toilets. Some Eco lodges and homestays have a mattress instead of beds and shared baths. Even in the springs and autumns, you can stay in the Nomad tents.

Working Week

The workweek in Iran is from Saturday till Thursday 12 p.m. All Ministries are closed on Thursdays. It is interesting to know that the weekend in Iran is Friday and all the old bazaars in different cities on closed on this day. for different businesses opening and closing times can be erratic, but you can expect most businesses to be closed Thursday afternoons and Friday. Embassies and consulates in Iran are close on Friday and one other day of the week usually Saturday and also on the national holidays.

Events in Iran

During a year, there are national and religious holidays in Iran. Here we introduce the most important Iran events, which very critical in planing the Iran tour.

Here you can find lots of amazing information about Iran national holidays, festivals and celebrations: https://friendlyiran.com/iran-festivals/

Nowruz (New Year Holidays)

Nowruz is a very ancient ceremony celebrated in Iran in the loveliest way, starting on March 21st, and lasts for 13 days. During this interval, the tourist sites are more crowded. On the first day of the Persian new year, families come together around a particular table called Haft Sin, pray for a happy new year, eat sweets and special dishes and give gifts to each other.

Mourning Ceremony for Imam Hussein

the ceremony is held on three days called Tasua, Ashura (Augst 29th  and 30th, 2020), and Arbaein (October 8th, 2020). People come into the street to show their respect to Imam Hossein. Most of the attractions are closed during these days.

Ramadan (Ramazan)

The holy month of Muslims when people do fast from sunrise to sunset. Eating and serving meals in public is restricted during day time. Hotels and Takeaways serve food for lunch, and restaurants are open from sunset. The grocery stores and supermarkets are also open to buy fruits, drinks, and whatever you need during the daytimes.

Medical Tourism in Iran

From so many years ago up to now, Iran became famous for its skillful doctors! Nowadays many people from all over the world travel to Iran for medical issues. The major cities in medical tourism are Tehran, Shiraz, and Mashhad.

Shopping Centers and Bazaars in Iran

Iran’s traditional bazaars are closed on Fridays. Also, these market places are usually open until sunset.

In Tehran, modern malls are usually open full day. In other cities, shopping centers typically have a siesta between 1–4 pm. 

Drivers and Guides in Iran

Full-time Tourist Guide: The Iran tours with a Full-time guide are accompanied by an expert guide for 8-hours on each day. This guide will help you in arrival, departure, check-in, and check-out formalities as well as explaining the information of all sites.

Local Tourist Guide: This kind of guide will be with you only in the main cities for 8 hours n each day.

Driver: you can have experienced drivers who are familiar with roads and attractions locations. They may have English knowledge only to communicate routing-related matters and help you with your essential needs. Their working-hour is 8-hour per day.

Vehicle: VIP Cars, Normal Sedan, Van A36, Van A50, Middle Bus, VIP Bus, and regural Bus.

friendlyiran-transfer-private

Iran is one of the few four-season countries on the earth. Spring starts from mid-March and ends in mid-June. Then the summer starts and lasts till mid-September that is hot and dry in most parts of the county. The next three months form Fall that has mild weather. Finally, winter that starts in December and ends in February, is very cold with snowfall in most regions, except the south of the county.

The high season in Iran is from mid-February until the end of May. And, in the second half of the year is during September and October.

The answer is yes. Regarding the Islamic rules in Iran, all tourists should follow Hijab.

Woman dress code:  women should cover their hair, wear long sleeve blouses, and long pants.

Dress code for men: They should avoid wearing walking shorts and tank tops.

Here are the top 5 Persian foods:

  • Chelo Kabab (barbecued meat with rice)
  • Khoresht Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Stew)
  • Khoresht Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate Stew)
  • Dizi (Persian broth)
  • Tah Chin (Persian dish of layered meat and rice)

 

Instagram is the popular social media in Iran. Iranians also use WhatsApp while Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Telegram are banned in Iran. Please note that Google and its applications are not banned in Iran. Using Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you access those banned medias in Iran.

The must-see Iran cities are: Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kashan, Kerman, and Tabriz.

There are 24 UNESCO  Heritage sites in Iran that 22 of them are cultural and 2 of them are natural. Here is the list of Iran UNESCO sites:

  • Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran 
  • Bam and its Cultural Landscape 
  • Bisotun 
  • Cultural Landscape of Maymand 
  • Golestan Palace 
  • Gonbad-e Qābus 
  • Historic City of Yazd 
  • Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan 
  • Meidan Emam, Esfahan 
  • Pasargadae 
  • Persepolis 
  • Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region 
  • Shahr-i Sokhta 
  • Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil 
  • Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System 
  • Soltaniyeh 
  • Susa 
  • Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex 
  • Takht-e Soleyman 
  • Chogha Zanbil 
  • The Persian Garden
  • The Persian Qanat 
  • Hyrcanian Forests
  • Lut Desert