Iran is a safe place to travel, so much so that many travelers describe it as the ‘safest country I’ve ever been to’, or ‘much safer than travelling in Europe’. Violent crime against foreigners is extremely rare and, indeed, if you do your best to fit in with local customs, you are unlikely to be treated with anything but courtesy and friendliness. that applies to Americans, too.
How long will it take to get an Iranian visa?
The whole process will normally take a minimum of one month and a half. Please note, however, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the sole decision making authority as to whether or not to issue your visa or when. If they have any concerns about your application, this could hold up the application process. It is advisable, therefore, to apply at least 8 weeks before you intend to travel.
Life Styles Questions
How are the variety and quality of foodstuff in Iran?
Those who have been to Iran have felt spoiled by the variety of high quality stews and kebabs among many other dishes. There are restaurants of various kinds. You will find a lot of herbs and spices, but Iranian dishes are not as hot and spicy as the Indian ones. A moderate amount of them is added to food just to give them different tastes. As there are not genetically manipulated vegetables and fruits in Iran, they taste the same old natural tastes everybody appreciates them. The meat usually served in the restaurants is chicken, veal, fish and lamb. Of course, you may find turkey, quail and shrimp too, but no pork, snake, frog, dog or other kinds. They are prohibited to be taken in Islam and this is observed everywhere. The vegetarians can order raw or cooked vegetables in the hotels as well as restaurants.
What kinds of drinks are possible to buy in Iran?
You can buy any kinds of soft non-alcoholic drinks. There are Iranian made drinks as well as international brands served everywhere. People drink tap water. It is filtrated and refined before supplied to them, but for the newcomers traveling to Iran, I do not recommend it. Instead, you’d better take Iranian bottled water prepared according to the international standards for both domestic and export uses.
What is the usual clothing in Iran?
Women wear non-transparent, loose garments covering all their bodies except for the hands and face. Color is a free choice, but red, orange, pink or similar colors are not put on during national or private sad occasions. Black is not a must. Chador is not a must either, but when it comes to visit a holy mausoleum and you have the opportunity to experience wearing a chador for a few minutes, do not skip the opportunity to feel the atmosphere. Men put on non-transparent garments too. They may wear short-sleeve shirts or T-shirts (unlike women), but not shorts in the public. The choice of color is the same for men as well. Due to the heat of the Sun and in order to protect your skin, I would not recommend wearing short sleeve shirts. If you do, do not forget to put on some Sun block cream on your skin. But, it is your choice!
What goods are regarded as forbidden postal items?
1) Narcotics and laxatives, 2) Explosives, radioactive and inflammable materials or other dangerous materials, 3) Items against Islamic moralities, 4) Live animals except for honey bees, leeches, silkworms, parasites and bug-busting animals recognized by the institutes, 5) Goods forbidden to enter the destination country, 6) Items that might cause a danger for post company’s personnel or might hurt the other postal items or equipment, and 7) Private documents corresponded between parties other than the sender or the receiver or any of their family members.
What are the working days and off days in Iran?
Iranian working days are from Saturday to Thursday and Fridays are the National off days. On Thursdays, some companies are totally off and some are working only half day.
What is the time difference with the rest of the world?
The formula to set your time is very simple: GMT +3.5 (GMT +4.5 from March 20th to September 21st).
Is it possible to bring alcoholic beverage to Iran?
Entering Iran; bringing alcohol is forbidden. It is possible to get non-alcoholic beverages almost all over the country.
What is the Iranian currency?
The Iranian official currency is Rial. Rials are available in coins and bills. Coins are only marked in Persian script and numerals, but one side of the bills is printed in English.
Are credit cards accepted in Iran?
Not exactly. There are not any official services for the internationally known credit cards in Iran. Some Iranian private banks are trying to arrange services for the international credit cards these days. Also, some smart businessmen can accept credit cards. In some particular shops you can purchase some items like carpets, handicrafts, jewels, etc by credit cards like in some major hotels or some other shops outside hotels.
Generally, Bring cash in US dollars or euro.
Are the prices high or low in Iran?
Fortunately, the price for the majority of the items that tourists are looking for are relatively low. Items like high quality books, souvenirs, meals, foodstuff and transportation are very tempting because of their relatively high quality yet low prices.
Where can I exchange money?
It is possible to exchange money already at the airport, no matter at what time; but only special banks do exchange money. Also there are exchange shops available in most big cities. The following currencies can be easily exchanged at any Exchange Shop: US Dollars, Euro, British Pounds, Japanese Yen and so on.