Backpacking Iran: All you need to know

Backpacking Iran? Who is not dreaming of a trip to Iran, the booming destination that attracts more and more visitors with natural wonders, blue-tiled mosques and wild bazars? In this guide you find everything you need to know for backpacking Iran and participants of a round trip alike.

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Backpacking Iran

Salam! Iran is experiencing a boom in travel these days. Although there are so many false prejudices, the country surprises visitors with a huge variety of stunning nature, culture and architecture. After two trips to various regions of the country, from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, I’ve now compiled this handy guide to Backpacking Iran.

Table of Contents:

  1. Arrival
  2. Public Transport
  3. Entry requirements
  4. Hotels & accommodations
  5. Food
  6. Backpacking in Iran
  7. Currency
  8. Dress Code
  9. Security
  10. Travel costs
  11. Persian hospitality
  12. Best time to travel to Iran
  13. Internet
  14. Language
  15. Travel Guide & Travel Literature

1. Arrival

You can enter the country overland via Turkey, either on the old Orient Express route by train or even by motorcycle or bicycle. But from Europe, the easiest way to get to Iran is still by plane, for example with Turkish Airlines (via IST), Austrian Airlines (via VIE), Emirates (vie DXB), Alitalia (via FCO), Pegasus Airlines, Iran Air or Germania. Most flights go to Tehran (IKA), but now there are also direct flights to other parts of the country.

Backpacking Iran arrival
Backpacking Iran: Most tourists arrive in Tehran at Imam Khomeini Airport.

Imam Khomeini International Airport:
The Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) is located 30 kilometres southwest of Tehran and is the largest airport in the capital. As a subway line to the city centre is planned but not built yet, it is advisable to take a taxi. The new fixed rate is IRR 500,000, which is about 17 euros, 12 GBP or 18 USD. Payment is possible only in Rial or US dollars.

Mehrabad International Airport:
The Mehrabad International Airport (THR) is closer to the city. Here, however, hardly any international flights are handled. A taxi costs about 8 euros depending on the destination.

2. Public Transport in Iran

The infrastructure in Iran is good. In addition to a good rail network, there are some excellent connections in partially comfortable buses and also cheap domestic flights.

Backpacking Iran by bus
Backpacking Iran: The old  buses are still in use.

Backpacking Iran Transport
Backpacking Iran: By bus from Tehran to Kashan.

By bus: There are many domestic bus routes. Some of the buses are even better than those of most European bus operators. The so-called VIP buses have about as wide and comfortable seats, like in a good airlines business class. On long haul they are therefore a real alternative to the domestic airlines, which are not necessarily the safest ones (e.g. Iran Air, Mahan Air, Caspian Airlines).

By train: Between the larger cities such as Shiraz, Tehran or Isfahan there are also rail links that I have never tried. Nevertheless they are considered as a good alternative to the long-distance buses.

Backpacking Iran by Bus
Backpacking Iran: Bus or donkey? I’m not sure.

By domestic flight: There is a well-developed flight route network in Iran. Flights are cheap (e.g. Shiraz to Tehran costs about 40 euros one way) and prices are regulated by the government, so there are no significant price fluctuations between airlines. The best part is that you get refunded the full fare up to 24 hours before flight departure, if you decide not to use the ticket. However, often only in the travel agency where you originally booked the flight.

By car: Please just forget the idea of driving a car in Iran. The traffic is fatal. If you are not en route to India with your own car and have to pass Iran anyway, just don’t do it.

By metro: In Tehran, there are several lines of a quite modern subway, which is a great alternative to a taxi, especially in the endless rush hour. The metro has separate compartments for women.

3. Entry requirements

Backpacking Iran Visa
For tours or backpacking Iran: the Iran visa is issued for a specific length of stay.

Getting a visa for Iran can take you two to three weeks. As rules change from time to time, please check with a consulate in your country (if it has one).

Who needs an Iranian visa?
There is visa on arrival for passport-holders from half-a-dozen countries. If you are not a resident of one of these, the best thing to do is to arrange a visa in advance or take the risk of applying for a 15-day visa on arrival at the airport in Iran.

Visa for US citizens:
It’s possible for US Americans to get an Iran Visa. But you are not allowed to do backpacking in Iran. On the contrary, you need to pre-arrange a private guide or a tour operator, or be sponsored by a friend or relative in Iran who will take legal responsibility for you.

Visa for Israeli citizens:
Israeli passport holders as well as anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport will not get a visa. Although I know one German traveler who got the Iran visa with an Israeli stamp in her passport.

Which Iranian visa type do I need? Iran has three visa types for travellers:

The tourist visa is the best option. It is issued for up to 30 days, but extendable (valid for 90 days.) You have to get this visa before traveling to Iran.

Tourist visa on arrival (VOA) is issued to people from 65 countries for a max. of 15 days on arrival at any Iranian international airport but only with an onward air ticket.

This still seems to be risky, although I haven’t heard of someone lately who was denied entry. The VOA is available for example for most European, ASEAN, countries in the Persian Gulf Region, Central Asian countries, some South American countries, China, Australia, Japan, India, New Zealand or South Korea.

Transit visa is another option. If you are en route to another country, you can get an Iranian transit visa for a max. of 7 days. This option is only available for non-US passport holders.

After deciding for a visa type you can get the visa yourself or pay an agency.

4. Hotels & accommodations

In every major city you can find at least two hotels, which are well prepared for backpackers and independent travellers. Staying in these often traditional houses is mostly affordable. Reservations can be made either through the hotel’s website or via phone.
A good and reliable range of hotels is provided by the Lonely Planet Iran.

Backpacking Iran: Hotels
Backpacking Iran: This is what a traditional guesthouse looks like.

5. Food: Persian cuisine

Besides the fact that one can find lots of cheap fast food like pizza and burgers in bigger cities, the Iranian cuisine offers some real highlights. For example, Dizi, a traditional lamb based stew with beans, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, turmeric and dried limes.

Backpacking im Iran
No backpacking Iran without the national dish: Kabab with steamed rice.

Backpacking Iran market
When backpacking Iran you will enjoy delicious dates, figs and nuts on the bazaar in Tehran.

But the Iranian national dish is Tschelo Kabab – steamed rice with grilled lamb or beef on a skewer that is usually enjoyed with a Dugh, the Persian version of the Turkish drink Ayran. I also found Ash (or asch) very yummy, a thick soup of noodles, lentils, beans, vegetables, mint, onions and yogurt.

Tip: Good restaurants are often located on the 1st floor or in the basement. So it is always worth keeping your eyes open. The best restaurants are mostly small, inconspicuous, where the boys serve the guests while mom prepares the meal for decades.

Backpacking Iran eating Ash soup
A delicious experiences when backpacking Ian: Ash, a thick soup of noodles, lentils & beans.

Vegetarians in Iran: Don’t worry, because many young Persians are vegetarians, too. There are usually a few dishes to choose from. If not, it is common to ask before ordering it, if they could just leave out the meat.

Drinks: Tap water is drinkable in many places, but often with very high mineral content. In summer there are free water dispensers. The best alternative everywhere in Iran, of course, is always a tea – coffee is rather unusual.

Alcohol in Iran: Alcohol is strictly forbidden and will be punished for possession of up to 72 lashes. Well, you cannot say that there is no alcohol in Iran… For my part, I had some surprises during my planned Detox trip. Nevertheless, as a tourist, it is better to stay away from weird procurement methods. It is also forbidden to bring alcohol to Iran.

Going out in Iran: Are you kidding? There are no bars, no clubs, nothing. Party will take place only in your own home.

6. Backpacking in Iran

Solo travel vs. group travel
For Germans and some other passport holders, it’s easy to travel individually and on your own in Iran. Travel in Iran for Americans is only allowed in the form of a well-organized group tour and not in the form of backpacking Iran. Individual tours are completely denied. Since February 2014 British and Canadian citizens must also be a part of a tour or travel with a privately hired guide.

Backpacking Iran in Rayen
Backpacking Iran feels like being the Prince of Persia.

Solo travel in Iran
As a man that’s no problem. As a woman… Well, everyone needs to decide for herself. Indeed, also foreign women in Iran must adopt specific rules like wearing a headscarf the entire time and covering the body with loose clothing.

Maybe you will be able to meet other solo travellers in hotels with whom you could travel on together at some point. I personally believe that Iran, as compared to some countries of the Arab world for example, is relatively harmless in terms of sexual assault. Eventually every individual must decide for herself, how to behave in certain situations, whether it is necessary to walk into this dark street all alone, or whether it might be too late to take a walk around the block. Simply try to listen to your instinct.

You can find a detailed report about how it is to go backpacking Iran as a woman right here: As a Western woman in Iran – Leave emancipation at home.

Hotels & CouchSurfing in Iran
Although CouchSurfing in Iran is very popular, it is officially prohibited. If you might have a try anyway when backpacking Iran, it’s an affordable alternative to hotels.

Group tours in Iran
There are several tour operator that offer compact tours through the country, such as G Adventures. I have met some participants and figured out that they actually do the exact same routes that most backpackers in Iran also do. If you don’t need a proper tour guide and want more freedom of decision instead, traveling individually should be the better option. However, in my opinion both backpacking Iran and group tours have their raison d’être.

7. Currency: One currency, two names

In Iran, no international credit cards, debit cards and travellers checks are accepted. Visa and MasterCard do not work because these are American companies that are subjected to the penalties. Bring money in cash – euros or US dollars – for any expenditure on round trips or while backpacking Iran. Then you can change cash to Rial on arrival at the airport, at exchange offices or in major hotels on the daily rate.

Backpacking Iran
You will have millions of Rial when backpacking Iran.

And there is something else that you have get used to: the Rial itself. The currency in Iran has not only tens of zeros (300,000 Rials are about 10 euros/7 GBP/11 USD), so that you can quickly become a millionaire, there is also a fake currency that is called Tuman or Toman. You won’t find it on any coin or bill, but in the people’s language.

How it works: The Tuman is just a tenth of the Rial price. So don’t be surprised if the lunch occurs cheaper than it might be. The trick is adding an imaginary zero to get the right amount in Rial.
Most prices are in Tuman, because that is the market price, both in stores and on the bazaar.

Here it should be mentioned that there no Persian has ever cheated me these zero, although he had the chance to do so. It would be so easy to rip off tourists with this. Many hotels also accept US dollars and euros. But you mostly get away cheaper with local currency.

8. Dress Code: As a woman in Iran (and as a man)

All tourists must adhere to the Islamic dress code. To make it short: women may show no hair and legs, and generally do not wear form-fitting clothing. The feet must be hidden with opaque stockings.

Backpacking Iran as a woman
No one has to completely disguise himself in Iran, also when backpacking Iran.

In fact, many young women in Iran know how to dress individually and stylish and always find a little escape from the rules, like a bright pink headscarf instead of the staid black or by wearing it kind of loose on the bun. Fashion is a statement. And for some, rebellion begins with a little step, especially in Iran.

Backpacking Iran as a woman
When backpacking Iran one will see many well dressed ladies.

There is a “Morality Police” in bigger Iranian cities, but they concentrate more on young Iranians than tourists. The only thing that could happen to you is that someone gives you a subtle hint on the street. You can always play the tourist card.

Backpacking Iran as a man
Backpacking Iran: The Scheich Lotfollah Moschee in Isfahan.

In fact, men also have to adhere to the dress code when backpacking Iran: no shorts, tank tops or short T-shirts. Please also check Anekdotique’s detailed article on the clothing and appropriate behaviour in Iran especially for women.

9. Security

Almost everything we think we know about Iran is the work of overzealous Western journalists. In Iran, no woman has to wear a burka, Iranians are no terrorists, not everyone has nuclear weapons in the basement and the Islamic Republic does not mean Islamic State. Iranians do not hate America; on the contrary, many secretly even cherish the American Dream.

While backpacking Iran you will soon notice that the issue of security in the country is overstated from many sides. I felt safer in Iran than in so many dark corners of European cities. And I know more stories of travellers who were victim of theft in Italy or brutally robbed in Argentina. But not in Iran. On the contrary, according to an annually updated Risk Map, the Iran ranks higher in the internal security for tourists than some usual tourist destinations. However, you should try to avoid the unstable border regions to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

Since the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 international connections are also better and national rules have even been improved a bit. However, it does not hurt to report your own arrival in advance at your embassy, if they offer that possibility. The German Embassy for example has a form on its site.

Photography and filming: This is also critical. In and round many public buildings photography is strictly prohibited and may result in having to delete the photo in front of a policeman. If you want to take photos of the locals, please be ask.

10. Travel costs in Iran:

Iran is a medium-priced travel destination, depending of course on your own way to travel. In my opinion one can do backpacking Iran at 25 euros a day. The most expensive part is the hotels depending on your choice.

Double room in a traditional Guest House (mostly with breakfast) pp: 10-15 euros
Food in a traditional restaurant: 4-9 euros
Food in a Fast Food restaurant: 2-5 euros
Bus Tehran-Isfahan (about 350 km): 8 euros one way
Flight ShirazTehran: 40 euros one way
Entrance fees: € 2-3. UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Arc-e Bam, Persepolis or the Golestan Palace in Tehran cost btw. 6 and 10 euros.

11. Persian hospitality

Despite all the media reports, travellers to Old Persia will recognize one thing very fast: the open, courteous and hospitable people of Iran. I have never met so many nice people in any other country. I was never more often invited to tea or a meal, was taken to a private city tour or a tour of the bazaar so many times.

Backpacking Iran: Persians
Backpacking Iran: You will make best friends on the road. 

The Iranians know about the bad reputation of their country and do everything they can to oppose their kindness. The phrase “Welcome to Iran” still echoes in my ears whenever someone said it to me on the road with an incredibly honest euphoria. This kindness is anything else but fake. Persians are also very polite and respectful to each other.

12. Best time to travel to Iran

As a good Persian friend once said: Iran is a country of four seasons. In fact, in January I first survived a snowball fight at the Caspian Sea and two days later stood in the Dasht-e Kavir desert at 30 degrees feeding some camels. True story!

Backpacking Iran: desert
Backpacking Iran: Only 2 days between desert and snow.

The best time to visit Iran depends on what you want to do. Skiing in the Elburz Mountains is only possible in winter, while in the central Iranian deserts it can get incredibly hot with over 70 degrees in summer. If there is something like a best time to travel to Iran, then that would be from March to May and September to November.

13. Internet in Iran – Facebook, Google and Co.

Yes, there is Internet in Iran and almost every hotel has Wi-Fi, although often very slow. Some sites like Facebook and Twitter are completely blocked (Instagram & WhatsApp are not.) The same is true for the apps that just show an error message in Iran.

Backpacking Iran with internet
Backpacking information Iran: For websites like Facebook & Twitter you need VPN or the Open Door App.

For everyone who does not want to give up certain news portals and social media sites, I can recommend the browser Open Door for smartphones & tablet. It allows access to all Internet sites. For laptops using a VPN server is recommended, but I honestly had no good experiences.

Also as a European, you don’t need an adapter, as the European plug (Euro plug) fits into the sockets. For others you will, of course, need an adapter.

14. Language: Farsi for beginners

Iranians are generally well educated. So many young Persians also speak relatively good English and the really love to talk to tourists.
If languages are not your forté all you need to start in Farsi is this: Salam (Hi), Baleh (Yes), Kheyr (No) Lotfan (Please) and Beh salomaty (Cheers). These couple of words are a pretty good start. The Persians will be so happy for every single word in Farsi that you try to use.

If you want to prepared to make Persian guys smile with your knowledge, check out the Lonely Planet Farsi Phrasebook – it’s a really good investment.

It is also useful to remember the spelling of the numbers from 0-10, so you can read the price on your receipt or ticket.

۰ 0    ۱  1     ۲  2     ۳  3     ۴  4     ۵ 5     ۶ 6     ۷ 7      ۸ 8     ۹ 9    ۱۰ 10

Backpacking Iran
Backpacking Iran: lost in translation in in Isfahan.

15. Travel Guide & Travel Literature

I had good experiences especially with the Lonely Planet Iran (English), although the fact that some sight descriptions are pretty short, some prices overhauled and distances specified incorrectly. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the Lonely Planet is still the best travellers bible for backpacking Iran.

Besides another very useful Iran travel guide by Bradt, there are two interesting books called Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic and Iran Empire of the Mind: A History from Zoroaster to the Present Day that gives you a good overall understanding of Iran and Old Persia.

If you want an authentic reading, I recommend the book Couchsurfing in Iran by Stephan Orth who writes about the unknown sides of the country including prohibited alcohol and wild bikini parties. It gives a good impression of how young Iranian people really live. The book is in German, but there will (hopefully!) be an English translation soon.

Planning a trip? Check out my favorite Iran travel guides:

More Articles on Iran Travel:

Travel as a Western woman in Iran

Best Sights and Cities in Iran: Hightlights of 1001 nights 

Golestan palace in Tehran, Iran: a tiled beauty

Should anyone travel to countries that violate human rights?

• Anekdotique of the Day: Shiraz in Iran

This post is also available in Deutsch.

  1. Great photos! My ex-boyfriend was Persian and I got really interested in the culture back then. I guess one should really get to know some locals to find the best places, underground parties etc. I’m glad to see that changes are slowly taking place in this country, with regards to women’s clothing, freedom of speech and other things that Westerners take as granted 🙂

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Right Saana, the country is getting more and more open to people. And backpacking Iran is a great way to get to know the place and its people. Have you been there yourself?

      Reply
      • man1981 says:

        people of iran are nice, kind and they have nice hospitality for tourists. iran have ancient and modern architecture place and delicious food.

      • mohsen says:

        wellcome to iran 🙂

    • Carlos Dantas Alves says:

      Yes Saana, you’re right. Iran is an astonishing Land and I really want to visited it…cheers from Brazil…

      Reply
  2. Dave Briggs says:

    Thanks for that article – I hope it encourages more people to visit this fascinating country, especially as you’ve given them all the information they could ever need 🙂

    Reply
  3. Stephanie says:

    A really informative article about a country that’s rarely blogged about. I’d love to travel to Iran in the future, shame I would only be able to go as part of a group tour. I find Islamic countries fascinating.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      It’s a shame that you cant do backpacking in Iran, Stephanie. But I guess its still a great experience in a group.

      Reply
    • Salman says:

      As a persian i am really surprised about comprehensive information that you provided here. i am living in tehran .if anybody is going to travel to my country i am so eager to help he or she.live long and prosper Clemens.

      Reply
      • Salman says:

        and also i wish that you have visited western parts of my country such as Yasuj or Hamedan which are located in Zagros Mountains .

    • Kaveh says:

      Hi, I am a Persian who is living abroad. I am glad you like to visit Iran but just wanted to mention that the best sights are related to Persian civilization from 5500 years ago and please don’t consider the country as Islamic country .

      Reply
    • Pegah says:

      You can travel as a backpack woman in Iran , I am hosting a 26 German backpack girl just now . It’s her forth day today . You can use couchsurfing.com for finding host and see some beautiful photos of Iran in my website ! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Your pictures of Iran are just beautiful. The kebab and the thick soup looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for a fantastic and comprehensive guide to travel to Iran.

    Reply
  5. Dana says:

    This was such an informative post and truly touches on everything you need to know when visiting Iran. I also appreciate the language basics. I always try to learn at least a few words to get by when traveling.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Exactly what I think Dana. It’s always good to be able to talk to people. Although Farsi is not easy, you will get used to it a bit when backpacking Iran.

      Reply
  6. Aileen says:

    Wow. It sounds like you had an amazing adventure! Iran is one of the many places that I want to explore and it’s great to have this post of yours as a future guide. Definitely bookmarking this, Clemens!

    Reply
  7. Brianna says:

    This answers a lot of questions for anyone looking to travel to Iran-well done!

    Reply
  8. Andrea says:

    I recently watched a CNN travel documentary on Iran, and since, have been saving furiously to (hopefully) go soon. As a woman I would definitely take a guide (better to be safe than sorry). Reading this inspires my wanderlust, proving that even the most “dangerous” countries by society’s standards can be done. Great guide!

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Andrea, Iran is really perfect for both, backpacking and group tours. And it’s always nice to have a guide by your side as well.

      Reply
  9. Cory Lee says:

    wow, what a fantastic guide you’ve created! I’m curious though, how wheelchair accessible would you say that Iran is? I’m guessing that it’s not, but hopefully I’m wrong. Looks gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Well I would say that it’s ok for traveling with a wheelchair. Iran is not especially prepared for that, but I think it’s just like in Turkey for example.

      Reply
  10. Iran looks beautiful, and it’s people look wonderful, the government however not so appealing. I do wish to visit someday, thanks for the helpful information!

    Reply
  11. kami says:

    please keep your fingers crossed so I might use all your info very soon (currently trying to get a visa but have some issues with the consulate in Warsaw…)

    Reply
  12. alfi kozawa says:

    Wow… So detail of backpacking travelguide… I do wanna go to Iran..
    Come to Indonesia
    Salam

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Thanks Alfi! Iran is wonderful and yes, I will go back to Indonesia for sure. Have been traveling to Indonesia five times already, but still hungry for more.

      Reply
  13. Hi Clemens, that’s a fantastic post! About the Visa on Arrival: that was my choice of visa, since my application via an agency was compromised by the closure of all public buildings in Tehran due to pollution. I decided to just jump on a plane and get the visa on arrival. There were a lot of Europeans (French, German, Spanish) on my flight, doing the same. As far as I saw, we all got our visas with absolutely no issue. We just had to pay the fee.

    The VoA is generally non extendable, but I know someone who got it extended in Shiraz. One thing, British, Canadians and Americans cannot get the Visa on Arrival – I hope this info is helpful. 🙂

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Thanks buddy! I will try Visa on arrival next time I will be backpacking Iran. Seems to be a good choice these days.

      Reply
  14. Bordin says:

    I’ve just found your website today. I’m backpacking (solo) to Iran this coming Sunday for 8 days (Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan) from Thailand. So excited now! I’m determined to buy some Persian rugs on the way home!!! Your blog is very informative. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Great to hear about your plans to go to backpacking Iran, Bordin! Btw, I’m currently working on a big Iran ebook for even more infos.

      Reply
  15. Maja says:

    Thanks for all information! I was thinking of visiting Iran…

    Reply
  16. Fay says:

    Hi Clemens
    The currency you called false: Tuman, was the Old name not a false name for currency. Rials was the equivalent to cent and tumans were the equivalent to euro. Now, it looks like, for whatever the reason, Iran has dropped using the Tuman.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Oh right, that is a good fact Fay. Thanks you! Tuman and Rial are so difficult for travelers in Iran, you can’t imagine…

      Reply
    • Vahid says:

      I’m afraid your information is somehow incorrect. Rial is not and has never been an equivalent to cent. In fact Iran does have an official cent currency which is called “Dinar” although there has not been a Dinar coin for more than a century.
      Toman on the other hand, as old as it is, has always been a “fake” currency as described in the article.
      The term itself is a Mongolian term meaning “One Thousand”. It was intended to address to “One Thousand Dinars”. Dinar, as you might expect from a cent currency, is 1/100 of a Rial.

      Reply
  17. farsad says:

    hi Clemens ,I m Iranian and from Yazd . happy about good experience that u had in Iran.But there was something that i wanted to tell you.its Persian gulf ,NOT Arab gulf countries!! hope to have you again in Iran. .with best wishes….

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Hi Fasad, I know, you guys in Iran call it Persian gulf, of course!

      Reply
      • Mani says:

        Hi Clemens,
        I guess you passed a geography course in school.. Might be good to take a look back on those books 😉 Wikipedia is also a handy resource these days.
        By the way, you are doing a great job!
        Cheers,
        Mani

      • Kaveh says:

        In all the historical documentation it is refereed to as Persian gulf. I love your article but regarding to this part I should say you have made a mistake.
        It is not US saying that. go and search in all the Latin documents and maps. they were ITALIAN and GREEKS not Persian which refer to it as Persian gulf .
        Cheers

      • Shima says:

        not only we call it Persian gulf ,it was always Persian gulf in history and many students from differents countries (including europian countries learn it in school by this name)

      • samaan says:

        hi Clemens , tx for your report about my country,Iran . I had to tell you we didn’t named this gulf Persian , It was named Persian gulf more than 2000 years ago ,but now politic make effect on everything , even ancient names 😉
        by the way , im living in Isfahan and if you need any help there, just email me .

      • sam says:

        Hi body
        Arabic or Persian is not a big deal, all are human and humanity is the most important!
        but I hope you as a traveler take a look at Google map (not Persian map ;))
        Hope to visit you in Iran, be our guest

  18. Amad says:

    As an Iranian I would say you’ve been quite fair in your article and you have shown some significant points really well however the best choice to go Iran as same as some less unknown tourist destination is finding a Iranian help before going there ( it’s easy to find as iranian are mostly welcome to give you information as a friend or even in Internet as a random one).
    By this way you can find cheaper prices, better places to eat and to stay and also trying some prohibited fun in their fribdly parties).
    Hope everyone goes there gave a great time and don’t forget JADE CHALOOS( A really beauty road that connects Tehran to Caspian Sea).

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      That’s right Amad. I had the luck to make some very good friends when backpacking Iran the first time. So good that I was even invited to a wedding a couple of moths later. Iranians are so hospitable!

      I think I drove along the Jade Chaloos! It was so nice and snowy back in January.

      Reply
  19. Judit says:

    It is not forbidden to take alcohol to Iran 🙂 If you are not a muslim / Iranian, you can take it. I did take to my family (my husband is from Iran, I am European citizen). Also you can consume alcohol in your home, you can carry alcohol in your backpack but of course it is not allowed to drink it in public. Even for Iranian men is forbid to wear shorts and t-shirts are ok if the sleeves are not too short :)) With the rest I fully agree, we are going to visit to Iran soon.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Really Judit, I thought you are not allowed to take alcohol into Iran as a foreigner. Are you sure?

      Reply
      • Sanam says:

        yes, Judit is right! As a foreigner you can have alcoholic drinks for your personal use only. I actually heard from a christian Iranian friend that they are also allowed alcohol, well, they won´t be punished if caught drunk or carrying alcohol!

      • Sanam says:

        Oh nice article by the way! 🙂
        I also would like to point out that Iran is not an “Arab world” country! but a “Muslim country”, just like Turkey and Afghanistan, Islamic but not Arabic! but don´t worry! this is a common mistake 😉

  20. Ardavan says:

    I would appreciate it if you use the proper word ” Persian Gulf” in your texts. You can say Arabian countries in the Persian Gulf Region.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Hi Ardavan, you are right, it’s Persian Gulf. Only Arab countries call it Arabian Gulf, right?

      Reply
      • ARIAN says:

        Yes, and actually the official international name is Persian Gulf and it’s very controversial between arabs and Iranians. Iranians are very sensitive to this name.

      • Cindy says:

        Hi Clemens,
        could I encourage you to please consider internationally and legally correct name for the ‘Persian Gulf’?
        By using gulf, one can ask which gulf? where? what’s the name of the gulf? there is no such thing untitled gulf….Then, if the answer involves misinformation, it won’t look good and lacks credibility.

        Best,

      • Clemens says:

        Yes, already noticed that Cindy, thanks!

    • Peyvand says:

      Yes also I would suggest editing as Iran is not part of the Arab world. One way to insult a Persian is to call them an Arab.

      Otherwise a great write up !

      Reply
  21. Caroline says:

    lovely article! I’ve been travelling to Iran since 1995 ( with and without my children) and I completely agree about the hospitality and friendliness of all the friends ive met. I have never felt in any danger, and in fact being a foreigner is an advantage in Iran, as everybody try’s to help or invite you to their house.
    As a woman, you do need to wear a headscarf, but that’s no hardship as everybody is in the same boat. One thing I would say is I’ve never worn tights, and usually wear open toe sandles or flip flops, never had a problem!

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      I would love to know how it was back in 95 in Iran. I guess this amazing hospitality has always been very Persian. Good to hear that sandles has been ok for you in Iran.

      Reply
  22. Ronja says:

    Thanks for the information. I have never been to Iran but I wish to visit in the future. I think tourists should be especially cautious in regard to photographing in public places. In the news of 2007 and 2010, a total of 3 Swedish citizens were jailed for 12 and 14 months for suspected espionage (without any evidence) by taking photographs by the Persian Gulf and in Tehran.

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      That’s a good point Ronja. In Iran you’re not allowed to take photos of official buildings like court, police and so on. If you do, they want you to delete them. Prison is hard tough. What did they take photos of?…

      Reply
      • Ronja says:

        I don’t know what they photographed, the news articles didn’t say any specific details besides their locations. My Iranian friends tell me that those places have “No photographing” signs, but it seems wise to even avoid standing too close to them, just in case.

    • ARIAN says:

      It’s always good to ask before taking photos in Iran, as it’s the same here in Canada.
      Regarding the swedish citizens: Swedes jailed in Iran for photos. An Iranian court has sentenced two Swedish men to three years in prison for photographing military facilities. According to Swedish media, the men took pictures of military buildings on Qeshm, an Iranian island.

      Reply
      • Ronja says:

        Hi Arian! It sounds reasonable. If you have the link to that newsarticle I’d appreciate to read it myself because I haven’t found any with such details

    • Alireza says:

      Hi,
      Don’t worry. You can capture picture in public places, except photographing from the sights which has the a sign that shows photographing is forbidden. This case is also really rare, especially for tourists. Do you think it is logic to arrest someone due to capturing photos from a sea by itself? I don’t think so and I have captured a lot myself.
      Regards

      Reply
    • Sarah/ Iranian says:

      Dont believe what they say in media!
      who can accept that someone has been jailed for 12 months just because of photographing a building or nature …. even if you make a mistake and take a photo of a police station or …. they just ask you to remove it.
      I am sure the case for those people was different. Media manipulation !

      Reply
  23. MASOUD says:

    We invite you to iran

    Reply
  24. Majid says:

    thank you for the compliments,Did you try HALIM in Iran?
    and also ,does not matter what Arabs call to Persian Gulf,It is named Persian Gulf since afew thousend years ago.
    Good Luck buddy.

    Reply
  25. Sana says:

    Salaam! Do you think it is a bad idea to go backpacking Iran alone as a woman?

    Reply
    • Peyvand says:

      From my experience it is safe for women in Iran. I get more hassle walking the streets of london.

      Reply
    • Farhad says:

      Sana
      It’s not a bad idea actually it’s fun, i saw lots of tourists in my last visit but not a single woman alone! I would suggest to do your first visit alongside with some friend(s) to get a bit of taste. Having said that if you just planning to visit major cities, going alone is as safe as going to Disney land.

      Reply
    • Amir says:

      I would recommend you not to do backpacking Iran alone… Travel there with companion of a group or at least some male friends.

      Reply
    • samaan says:

      im an Iranian woman and i could tell you its safe in most of the places , but its better to be with friends or a group in your first visit .

      Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Hi Sana, it depends. Look at this post for more: http://www.anekdotique.com/western-woman-in-iran/

      Reply
  26. Majid says:

    As an Iranian I want to appreciate your realistic report about Iran. It has been always heartbreaking for me to hear that people of other countries are afraid of us. Essays like yours, will definitely help to change this imaginary sights.
    Contact me if you ever come back to Iran. I will help you as much as I can.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  27. Farshid says:

    Dear Clement,

    I really enjoyed your review. I’m Iranian backpacker and traveller. although i live in Turkey I’m interested to help any backpacker or traveller who decided to visit my country.

    Reply
  28. Magda says:

    Hi!
    I think it’s great you’re showing the friendly face of Iran, that’s probably the most hospitable country I’ve been to!
    I might want to add some points to that. First of all, entry – Trabzon is THE place for a quick visa if you’re entering from Turkey. Also a friend of mine was able to get an extension of VOA.
    Couchsurfing – yes, it is illegal, as well as satellite tv, alcohol, women singers etc, but it definitely does not mean that it does not work! Actually, it works perfectly well
    Internet – I had installed Tor browser before I went to Iran, and I could access everything (they don’t block Tor itself). Also, may internet cafes say it’s prohibited to use VPN, but I’d say it rather means ‘ask us and we’ll show you how to make it work’.
    And probably the most confusing thing with tomans: you’re right it means 1/10 of a rial price, but not only. Sometimes, when referring to more expensive things, Iranians just cut all the zeros, so in fact instead of 1’000’000 rials they can say ‘1 toman’, just because they know the proper price range. And it happened to me many times that they were using tomans while giving a price in USD/EUR, which was kinda scary (adding one zero) 😀

    Reply
  29. moeed says:

    nice article!
    I know that you didn’t travel to Iran’s other cities but it can be better if you write about other Iran’s city like: Mashhad,Tabriz or Kish

    Reply
  30. Mahdieh says:

    Hi,

    I am from Iran, living in New Zealand. Thanks for the information about my country. It motivates people to travel to Iran and know Iran better than some wrong news in media. This webpage is being shared more and more in facebook and some other websites.

    Thanks very much 🙂

    Reply
  31. Really great post, made me want to go to Iran! And wonderful photos! I hate that western media has successfully stained these wonderful countries with a bad reputation, and that it scares many people away from visiting.

    Reply
  32. Hossein says:

    Hi Clemens,

    Great review. As an Iranian, I am glad that you had a good experience and am sure that your travel to Iran has left many sweet memories for you.

    You have prepared a valuable information pack for others who may wish to travel to Iran.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  33. Mansour says:

    Hi,
    I am happy you enjoyed traveling to Iran. I have some German friends who traveled to my country and had the same feeling about the country.I like the way you explained everything and it’s pretty simple to follow your hints for others who wish to travel to Iran. Thanks for your realistic feedback about Iran.
    Good luck buddy!
    Mansour

    Reply
  34. Farzaneh says:

    Hi Clemens,
    Great and valuable information you provided here Clemens! As an Iranian ,am really happy to see you have enjoyed your trip here in Iran! I live in Kerman , if any body is traveling to Iran , I’d love to help her or him! Good luck with your trips Clemen

    Reply
  35. Shadi says:

    Thanks for introducing Iran. I just have a question. How you found couchsurfing is officially prohibited? Because as I know it’s not! Its website is not filtered like many other websites and the government ofcourse know about the activity of many CS members around Iran

    Reply
  36. Babak says:

    Hey,

    Aren’t you those guys who wanted to go to Naghsh’e Rostam. You had trouble with a taxi driver in Bonab in a gas station, which you had asked for a car pool, but he was asking for money? I remember you guys! I hope you enjoyed your trip.

    Best

    Reply
    • Annette says:

      Hey Babak,

      no, I dont remember this situation. We hadn’t been at a gas station in Bonab. Sorry 🙂

      Reply
  37. Fenella says:

    I saw that you think driving yourselves in Iran is impossible, Well its not! Not all of us want to share a car with a driver, or be stuck on a bus. We hired a car from Europcar in Tehran and drove ourselves to Kashan, Esfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Shush, Ardebil and back to Tehran. Yes they are crazy and dangerous drivers, but my partner managed to drive us without any accidents. WE could do what we wanted and when. I dont think I would be confident enough to drive but he did a great job. It wasnt cheap, but the car was in reasonable condition and we didnt have any trouble with it. If you can take an English/Farsi speaking friend with you when you rent it, it helps a lot. Make sure you have an international drivers licence, you will need it. When backpacking Iran WE got stopped many times by the police who didnt speak English and they all wanted to see our passports and Int drivers Licence. WE had trouble with accommodation too because we didnt speak Farsi and they would just hang up if we spoke in English, or out of a guide book. We are really glad that we drove ourselves because we had so much more freedom. We met one other couple driving themselves but everyone else was either on a tour, or being driven by a Farsi speaking driver. The Iranians are lovely people and we felt safe the whole time (again apart from on the roads!) Fenella

    Reply
    • Annette says:

      Hey Fenella,

      of course it is possible to rent a car. We just saw the traffic in Tehran and the fact, that the main death reason in Iran is to die in an accident (!!) our decision, not to rent a own car, was clear. We are not used to drive in that hell of traffic like that. This seemed to be too much for us. 🙂 I think the puplic transportation system in Iran is so good & developed, that we could plan everything we wanted without feeling stressed. And a busride or taking the aircraft was always fun, because you get very easy intouch with the locals.

      Reply
  38. Neda says:

    As someone who have traveled to Iran and spend time with them, you should know that using Arab Gulf really disappoint Iranians. It is same as saying “to the other countries in Arab world”. These terms are insulting to their culture, their history, and their land.

    Reply
  39. kianoosh says:

    im iranin. Thank you

    Reply
  40. Armita says:

    Should have gone skiing in Shemshak or Dizin 🙂

    Reply
  41. Yalda says:

    As an Iranian, who have had the experience of having couch surfers at my place, I recommend that as a backpacker you really start making friends, off the street even! People are really friendly and you will get to experience really cool underground lifestyle you might have never seen anywhere else. I’m not just talking about parties, but for instance, there are underground music bands (rock and electronic music), underground vintage bazars that sell what was left before the revolution (really cool posters and record players) etc. Happy traveling!

    Reply
  42. Omid says:

    Wanna visit Iran and need a local assist? sent me an email

    Reply
  43. maryam says:

    Wow ,Arab Gulf country?It s wrong word its Persian Gulf .Iranian are sensative about this word

    Reply
  44. fahimr says:

    Salaaam! 🙂 Thanks for visiting my country,you really explained iran in detail,yes this is” untold iran”.
    Wish you back soon and visit more and more of it! Hidden nature and beauty of iran is amazing:)

    Reply
  45. Majid says:

    vielen vielen Dank für deinen schönen und ehrlichen Bericht. Ich hab mich sehr gefreut dass du einen positiven Eindruck von deiner Reise hattest. Ich wünsche dir alles Gute und hoffentlich eine andere Reise in den Iran!
    Falls die über Frankfurter Flughafen geht, würde ich mich für eine ette Unterhaltung freuen!
    Khodafez 🙂

    Reply
  46. Mahdi says:

    Hello
    i hope travel to iran made good memories for you, and i hope travel again and travel to my city :).
    and i hope one day travel to Germany !

    Reply
  47. Shima says:

    I guess you didn’t look enough otherwise you could find out everything there (bar , casino ,club…….!) yes all of them are illegal in Iran like alcohol but you can find all of them underground 😉 cool party (specially pool party) which Iranians do you can’t see in anywhere else.we know very well how to do party even if police and goverment doesn’t like it….. believe me ….next time inshalah

    Reply
  48. vahid says:

    WOW WOW WOW! I’m an Iranian and I just fell in love with Iran by reading your backpacking iran article! I’m so happy that in spite of all the negative pictures of Iran that you are being shown, you tried to visit Iran in person and wrote this article! please visit my facebook page and let me know if you or your friends come to Iran sometime.

    Reply
  49. sajad says:

    Salam ! Clemens
    I Hope to see you again in iran

    Reply
  50. Hebe says:

    To be honest, we are still mistaking rial’s extra zero ourselves.. well it’s kinda hard to handle all these zeros, that’s why most of us use Toman instead. This blog is one of most accurate info about my country. Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  51. Ghazal says:

    Well, as an Iranian girl, I’m really happy that you enjoyed being here. Iran is a beautiful country and I suppose it actually worth to be visited.
    Clemens, next time that you wanted to come here, just inform me. It’s my pleasure to accompany with you to visit parts of country that you didn’t see.
    Again, I confess that It’s my honor to see that foreign people like my country and just for the sake of God, believe that we all like to connect with different people from different countries. As you know, nothing is what it seems!

    Reply
  52. ashkan says:

    hi, it seems u missed most beautiful city of Iran, Tabriz. If u planing to come backpacking Iran again, do not miss Tabriz, your mind will be changed after visit Tabriz…

    Reply
  53. Waseem Malik says:

    Found this link to Backpacking Iran while reading a different story about Iran. I am glad I read your guide, it’s very comprehensive & encouraging. After reading I have made up my mind to travel and see this great country and meet these lovely people.
    Thank you. Regards, Waseem. London.

    Reply
  54. Alireza says:

    I have to gratefully appreciate your article about my country, Iran. I am currently living in Isfahan and I would like to say that I am ready to help anyone who needs some detailed information about Iran. In this regard, you can contact me by email and this is the address: alireza32 [at] gmail [dot] com
    Please don’t hesitate to contact me, especially if you are planning to travel to Isfahan; I am ready to help you on your arrival.

    Reply
  55. Veronika says:

    Thank you Clemens, this is such a useful article! I bought my flights to Iran only last night 🙂 I’m going with 4 guys, we’re all Czech and Slovak, so hopefully we’ll be perfectly fine. I head a lot about Iran and can’t wait to explore it!

    Reply
  56. elham says:

    Dear Clemens, I am Iranian and I work in tourism field. Your article about backpacking in iran is really fascinating, i enjoyed it. thank you. it is my pleasure to see you and other foreigners in Iran.

    Reply
  57. Alj says:

    i’m glad you had a nice time here. people translated this page and put into farsi websites. i wanted to see its original to see how the translation did go and gladly it went brilliant and translated honestly when i compared them.

    Reply
  58. How times have changed. When i passed through Iran in 1977 no visa was needed, The Shah was still in power although only for another 2 years. The people were just as friendly as i have heard they are today. I would like to go backpacking Iran to visit again but as i am a British Passport holder there are a whole load of regulations in place. I never travel with a group and i object to being forced to hire a guide and book hotels ahead. That defeats the object of travel.

    Reply
  59. Kirsty says:

    I so badly want to go backpacking Iran but unfortunately until us Brits are allowed to travel there independently it’s probably not going to happen! ;-(

    Reply
  60. Hi Clemens, I saw this link on the Under 1000 Club Facebook page. I really like this post because it’s so well considered and shows such a different side to Iran than is normally portrayed in the media. It has got such a rich history and cultural heritage that it is slightly saddening that it doesn’t come recommended more often. I’m really interested in the Middle East and this is making me want to go visit Iran so badly.

    I’m just starting with travel blogging. Thanks a lot and keep up the brilliant work.
    Conor

    Reply
  61. Stephen says:

    SO jealous! This is one of the countries I’d most like to backpack but, as an American passport holder, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do.

    Reply
  62. Mohsen says:

    Hi, great backpacking iran trip
    به ایران خوش آمدید
    if you are going to write on an ebook about Iran I may help you.

    Reply
  63. Massively useful post!

    Reply
  64. Vahid says:

    As an Iranian, I wanted to personally thank you about the article.
    به عنوان يك ايراني از شما ممنونم !

    Reply
  65. AleRoss says:

    This is an interesting article about backpacking Iran, a too often misanderstood country. My husband and I visited it in 2013 and we had one of the best travel experiences of our life.
    We made a video (in italian) to show people how amazing Iran is and how welcoming and friendly the people are.
    So, if you want to go to Iran, don’t be afraid and start planning the trip: it will be an amazing travel ☺

    Reply
  66. Icha says:

    I plan to backpack to Iran in April next year, and I will depart from Turkey. In your blog, you said it is possible to take train from Turkey to Iran, which I wanna try. So, my question, is that possible to book the ticket online? If yes, could you give me the info about the credible website to book it? thank you.

    Reply
  67. Dana says:

    Hi Clemens,
    Interesting ! I do agree with most of your diary. I was visiting Iran a few years back ( not as a backpacker though) and was surprised to see Iranians are very different from what we hear in the west !
    people I met were very diverse in terms of so-called living-classes ; to be honest with you , I did prefer the educated middle class the most ( the very westernized ones were not very Iranian ; not as hospital or pally as the middle or lower classes , it goes for the very wealthy ones too like super rich people all around the world)

    Reply
  68. Dana says:

    I did LOVE the food but could not eat as much as Iranians do! loads of saffron rice ! the nature was so attractively diversified for a person coming from north Europe.
    Among all the good things in my trip, If I want to choose the best aspect ; it is the fact that I went there and saw many untold aspects of real Iranian life which I have never heard or seen before ,
    Still I keep doubting the media on everything ! they are either hide a part of the truth or lie!
    stay happy Clemens !

    Reply
  69. Dana says:

    By the way , I just received a link from an Iranian friend, I thought you may like it too, I can not read the text but apparently it is a part of a photography project somebody did in Iran and the subject is ” Iranian girls with their dads” cheers

    Reply
  70. farzin naderi says:

    welcome . You can visit the city of Ramsar and the beautiful green countryside.Iran is a country of four seasons. The cost of travel to Iran cheap.

    Reply
  71. Mehran says:

    Thank you for the article. Last summer my Australian friend, during his long ride from Sweden to Australia, came to visit me in Iran. I think he enjoyed so much.

    Reply
  72. sahar says:

    Hi, i am from Iran, nice to see that you visit our country but I have send lots of pictures for you from different historical places in Iran if you want to show more places from here.
    Best Regards

    Reply
  73. Hamideh says:

    Welcome to Iran. hehe 🙂

    Reply
  74. Neda says:

    Hey Clemens

    What you wrote was amazing, I’m Persian and have moved to the US when i was 18 , unfortunately i never travelled any where in Iran, and never really done anything either while i was there…. It’s very nice to . Hear others who go there are having fun and that they can find things to do and places to visit….i hope one day i get to do the same:)

    Reply
  75. mariel says:

    hi, thank u for the infos. nowadays, i have been reading a lot about iran cultures, proper dress code etc. as i will be travelling alone this 4th of August, i have an Iranian boyfriend that i will soon meet up. although this is my first time to travel alone, im overcoming my fear because i have read a lot of articles about Iran and yours is very informative and helpful. I think i will enjoy my 9 day visit to Iran.Thanks and Godbless

    Reply
  76. Nous his says:

    as an Iranian, I’m really glad that you found my country interesting and worthy. Actually my boyfriend has a hostel in qeshm island and as a result we met many foreign travelers from all over the world.and I’m so happy that all of them were amazed by their journey to Iran. You can find his house on trip adviser , if you search qeshm then haftrangoo b&b .I’ll appreciate your kindness about Iran and I wish u the best
    Regards
    Noushin

    Reply
  77. Kasra says:

    This is a great article, and fills me with many sweet memories of home. I should say though, that “kheyr” is only used in formal writing. In common speech we simply say “nah”.

    Reply
  78. Nuno Caeiro says:

    Hi there Clemens! This is by far the best guide to Iran i have found on the web! Thanks a lot for this very useful info dude! 🙂
    Recently i’ve been following the bloggers Yomadic, From Ice to Spice and this incredible Anekdotique in order to collect enough info about Iran. I plan to travell to this beautiful country October this year as a solo traveller, and let me tell you i’m more then convinced to do it on my own like i did last year through India (what an amazing trip!). I’m so looking forward to get in touch with the locals and testify their kindness and sympathy as everyone have been writing about.
    Could you please clarify me regarding money issues? I mean, i know it’s probably the most risky thing while there and i’m still curious about how one can carry around all the money during day and night trips? How did you managed to do so? Have you exchange all your Euros after you arrived? I think after i exchanged all the Euros to Reals there will be no room for so many Iranian notes. lol!

    Cheers!
    NC

    Reply
  79. Mahtab says:

    I like your article on Backpacking in Iran. It’s well-organised and you’ve mentioned every little thing, the part about Rial & Toman! It’s a good source of information for whom they want to travel to Iran. It seems to me that you know my country very well. Be successful on your job!

    Reply
  80. motahare says:

    That’s great!
    I’m very excited for your good experience in my lovely home, Iran!
    I’m a tourism activist in Iran.
    I hope to see you in next backpacking and help you if you need.

    Reply
    • motahare says:

      I should add, I’m writer too. I’m writing documentary content for TV documentary, they are about historical places in Kashan, like Sialk, Fin garden, Bazar and ….. . do you visit Kashan?

      Reply
    • Clara C Der says:

      Hi Motahare,
      Are you a guide? We are Canadians and looking for a guide for our family of 6 when we travel to Iran end of April/May in 2017. Do you have recommendations?
      Thank you.

      Reply
      • Clemens says:

        Hi Clara, thanks for asking, but I have never been a tour guide before. Maybe I should think about starting a tour company in Iran 🙂

  81. مجتبی says:

    Hello. My name is mojtaba and I am from the historic city of Qazvin. If you like me, I invite you to visit Iran And I advise you travel. Of course, my English is not good, but I sincerely welcome you.

    Reply
  82. Roya says:

    Hi
    Welcome To Iran
    my name is Roya. I’m an Iranian citizen. and I live in Tabriz. did you travel to Tabriz too?
    Iran is a historical country .I’m glad that you visited Iran.
    Your information about Iran are mostly correct and wonderful.
    you think Ash is a delicious food? I don’t think so 🙂 . I don’t like Ash (thick soup).. I suggest that you test Ghormeh Sabzi . Ghormeh Sabzi is very delicious. I’m sure you will like it
    I like Italy very much . but unfortunately I never go there until now.
    I welcome you again
    Have fun 🙂
    از اینکه از ایران خوشتان آمد بسیار خوشحالم امیدوارم همیشه موفق باشید

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Hello Roya, I did not make it to Tabriz, but definitely plan to go on my next trip to Iran. Hope you will make it to Italy!

      Reply
  83. Simon Bennett says:

    Thanks for this great article. I am off to Iran in two weeks and cannot wait. You have given so much useful and practical advice – really helpful 🙂

    Reply
  84. Boracay Rooms says:

    I’m planning to visit Iran next month. Thanks for sharing this.Now i know what to do, what to bring, and what where to visit upon arriving.

    Reply
  85. John M says:

    This was a great article. I’m hoping to go once in March with a close friend, gather some info and experiences, and then go again in October/November with my girlfriend. This is the kind of place I could visit over and over, I think.
    If you have any specific advice about places to eat/stay/see or anything at all, I’d love to hear it. Tschuss-

    John

    Reply
  86. Marcel says:

    Hi Clemens, tolle Zusammenfassung!
    Liebe Grüße
    Marce

    Reply
  87. Mina says:

    Hey Clemens,
    Great guide. Seems you had a good time traveling in Iran. We’re writing an Iran travel guide in our website, it’s not complete yet but i’ll really be happy to hear your opinion about it.

    Reply
  88. David says:

    Hey Clemens,

    I really appreciate your Guide full of usefull information for my travel planning.
    May I ask you for your travel route when you travelled to Iran in Jan 2015 for 2 weeks? And did you take any domestic flights?
    I have 2 weeks as well in January 16 and I’m really wondering which could be good places to visit in Winter (apart from skiing in the mountains and the typical tehran-isfahan-shiraz-yazd)

    Cheers, David

    Reply
    • Clemens says:

      Hi David! Great idea to travel to Iran. I think I will come up with a Iran travel routes guide soon. I would recommend for first time visitors: Tehran – Kachan – Isfahan – Yazd – Shiraz & Persepolis. That would make a great trip! Safe travels!

      Reply
  89. Jessica Brown says:

    Hey,
    Its a great article. There are many people like me who knew very few things about this beautiful country. It was a great experience to read your article.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  90. Amar Patel says:

    Wonderful details and info..

    Reply
  91. Nina says:

    Thanks for your nice overview, just noticed however that you located Kachan (or Kashan) as being North of Tehran, when in fact it is South on the way to Isfahan!! You may want to correct this..

    Enjoy your travels,

    Nina

    Reply
  92. mostafa says:

    hello my friend. I’m MOSTAFA. I’m from Iran. I like be friend with you.

    Reply
  93. Zahra says:

    Iran is no doubt very beautiful place to spend holidays and this is attractive country on the whole. Good for shopping.

    Reply
  94. Fabiola says:

    Hi Clemens,

    We are about to go to Iran next week, what is the most common scams in Iran ? Or you didnt have any experience of that ?
    I hope all of the VOA processing in the airport is run smoothly and without hustle, TFS this article !

    Reply
    • Fabiola says:

      and one more question, do we need an exact reservation of hotels? Is the immigration asking that question to you ?

      Reply
      • Clemens says:

        Normally not, but if you have the chance make a booking for the first nights in Teheran e.g. You never really now if the officer wants to see a reservation or not.

    • Clemens says:

      I can’t of any scam that I experienced in Iran. People of Iran are actually just way too nice to rip you off.

      Reply
  95. Mahshid says:

    Nice article about my home country!TnQ for talking clearly about Iran & helping tourists visit my country. 🙂

    Reply
  96. Adam says:

    Hello!
    Thanks for a great site.
    Where is the picture where it says “Backpacking Iran feels like being the Prince of Persia.” below.?
    Looks amazing.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  97. zoha says:

    u have a wonderful site i enjoy to visit it i have a lot of picture and vidieo of iran if u want i can share them

    Reply
  98. Reza says:

    Hello
    Welcome to Iran
    I am Iranian and I am happy that you please attend again

    Reply
  99. Hugh Walden says:

    Help, I want to go to Iran (I am British) and think that I should be able to backpack around now. However with no Farsi I am concerned that getting around will be a nightmare and ruin the holiday please advise

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