Things to know before travelling to Iran

Things to know to travel to Iran


A trip to Iran can be improvised, yes, but not before getting to. Indeed, there are a few importats things to know to visit the country. Find the essential informations in this travel guide.


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Social networks are censored

You can’t surf some sites or apps in Iran.

For example : Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – YouTube – Dating sites – Netflix – Pornographic sites – Sites going against cultural or religious codes – TikTok – Snapchat (…)

This ban is circumventable by using a VPN that will provide you with the IP address of a foreign country without restrictions. Iran is a strict country on this. I remember that during my stay, the government made a meteoric increase in fuel prices and disabled the internet in the wake throughout the country to avoid demonstrations. It lasted almost two weeks.

Foreign cards are not accepted

Foreign cards cannot be used in the country. You will need to bring your cash and exchange it directly on site throughout your trip. Another valid option is to buy a local credit card if you plan to stay in Iran for a long time.

Iran is not an Arab country

Iranians are Persian, contrary to popular belief: which is completely different. Similarly, the official language is Persian (Farsi) and not Arabic. However, they use the same alphabet.

Muslims are Shia

At least, overwhelmingly! So, to break another misconception, there is no terrorism linked to the Islamic State in Iran.

The taarof

It is difficult to know this trait of culture in the country if you have never heard of it. However, you may have to deal with taarof more than you would think. This cultural code is unique to Iran, it may seem strange but it is something quite common here.

It is customary to offer an invitation, such as to eat or to have tea (for example). Your interlocutor asks you out of politeness. You must answer in the negative. If he insists more than 3 times, it is that it offers you a real invitation.

For the invitation, it was as an example, but it is not absolute. You may have to deal with the taarof for example at the end of a meal if your friend offers to pay the bill. The same rule applies. This courtesy originated in Shiism.

Rials & tomans

In Iran, you will be lugging around big 5-figure bills even to buy small things that cost only a few dollars!

To reduce the numbers, the Iranians use the Toman, which was once the ancient Iranian currency but today its name is used to divide by 10 the value in Rials : The current currency.

8 things to know before going to Iran

How to calculate money in Iran?

For example : 500,000 Rials make 50,000 tomans but the value remains equal. It’s a bit complicated at first but you get used to it quickly. If we are wrong with the zeros, we could give ten times the initial price without realizing it! I think in other countries some merchants would play it. But in Iran, The scam is rare. Several times I was given surplus after being wrong in my calculations.

You need special insurance

You must have one to enter the territory and it must cover you in Iran. You will have to ask your insurer to send you your mentioned insurance valid for the country. If you don’t have one, you can buy one directly at the airport, but it seems to me that they only partially cover you and I have no idea about the prices. I advise you to come already insured.

Must of the companies don’t cover you for travel in Iran but Chapka does :



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You must not have an Israeli stamp on your passport

You are unlikely to be accepted into Iran if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport. You will need to reapply for a blank passport to enter Iran. The reverse, on the other hand, is not a problem.

In addition, any suspicion of a subsequent traveler to Israel will result in a denial of entry into Iran. Even if there is something minimal in your personal belongings, such as a flyer or a suspicious souvenir.

Things not to do in Iran

You can read more about cultural codes and laws in this guide:

🔎 Forbidden and banned things in Iran

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About the author

Picture of Tom Spirit
Tom Spirit
Hey, it's Tom! Welcolme to Spirit Travelers. I'm a nomad traveler for several years and I share my experiences by publishing content and travel guides on this blog. Find some of the most popular countries to visit but also off the beaten track destinations.

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