Ways & How

How to Travel to Iran

How to Travel to Iran

Most Americans are wary of traveling to Iran, precisely because of the notion that it is dangerous to go there. However, Iran is a lot safer than what most Westerners expect. In fact, when you decide to travel to Iran, you should leave behind all your misconceptions regarding the place and come there with an open mind. You will then realize that this Middle Eastern country is worth visiting because of its rich culture and history. In ancient times, Iran was called the Persian Empire, and it controlled most of Middle East during its golden age. It is regarded as one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. Learn how to travel to Iran by reading the following guidelines.

  1. Know how to get in. For US citizens, you can apply for a visa at the Iranian Interest Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington. You also need to arrange your itinerary with a travel agency and have your travel itinerary approved first by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Citizens of Turkey, Malaysia, Georgia, Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, and Bolivia do not need a visa to visit Iran.

    You can get to Iran by plane through the Imam Khomeini International Airport near Tehran and also to other smaller regional airports in different parts of Iran. You may also travel by train if you are coming from neighboring countries like Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan.

  2. Getting around in Iran. Always remember that you must have a tour guide when traveling around Iran. This is for safety and security purposes. Separating from your guide might result in police intervention and questioning. Therefore, you should advise your travel agency regarding the places that you specifically want to visit, since you will not be allowed to go on your own. You may visit ancient cities in Iran, such as Persepolis, Na’in, and Sialk Mound. You may also drop by the tombs of well-known people in history, such as Cyrus the Great and the Prophet Daniel. There are also many palaces in Iran that you can see, such as the Forty Pillar Palace and the Royal Palace. Activities that you can do include desert trekking and excursions, skiing, and attending festivals like the Nowruz Eve or Iranian New Year on March 20 or 21.

  3. Be mindful of your conduct. In general, Iranians are hospitable and friendly to people of different nationalities. They are very interested in learning about other cultures, so there is no need to be afraid of them. However, to avoid scrutiny by locals, you should remember to take their customs in consideration. Women should not wear revealing clothing, such as tank tops and skirts above the knees. Men should also not wear shorts above the knees, as well as Western clothing like jeans and neckties. Shorts for men are only acceptable on the beach. Unmarried men and women together should also be mindful of physical contact and public displays of affection. Putting your arms around another’s shoulder or holding each other’s hands might be seen as scandalous and disrespectful by locals. When greeting people of the same gender, three kisses on each cheek or a handshake will do. Also remember that the thumb up sign is equivalent to raising the middle finger in Western countries; therefore, it should be avoided at all costs.

Knowing how to travel to Iran will help you unlock the hidden wonders that this country has. However, some countries have banned or limited travel to Iran because of political unrest. Put your safety above all else and follow your country’s advisory regarding travel to Iran.


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