Is traveling alone possible in Iran? Of course! Is it safe? Sure! You can organize your trip to Iran very easily without needing any help. In this post, you will find useful tips that you can use planning your travel.
I dreamt of going to Iran for a very long time. I was aware that traveling there is possible and safe. That is why right after booking the flight I started planning. As it turned out later it was the easiest trip I have ever organized. Surprised? I promise you will share this experience.
It doesn’t matter if you are going to Iran alone or with someone. Either way, you can organize the whole trip yourself. All you need to do is read a little, get to know more about Iran and use the Internet where you can find a lot of advice concerning traveling in this beautiful country.
How long should the trip be?
My trip to Iran lasted 13 days. It is very little. The country is surprisingly big and traveling around it takes a lot of time. You should go there for two weeks minimum. Here is a plan for a two-week trip to Iran I made especially for you.
Let’s begin with formalities
To prepare for visiting Iran you have to, first of all, handle the formalities which is not as difficult as it seems.
Let’s assume you booked your flights and this step is behind you. The next one is buying insurance. Here is a feature article I wrote on the subject. Remember you cannot buy it from a Polish insurance company and you are somewhat made to use Iran tour operators. I bought mine from 1st Quest. It cost me 20 euro and covered everything necessary.
Book your first night in Iran
To get a visa you have to book a hostel for the first night in Iran. Here, again, I recommend 1st Quest where you can find a wide range of hostels and hotels at good prices. You can pay for the night online which is not possible on other websites of the sort.
The Iranian government is slowly introducing an online visa system so you can apply for one via the Internet. Still, you have to visit the embassy. If you don’t have time for it you can get a visa at the airport in Iran. Here’s more on Iranian visas.
Time for pleasure!
I love planning trips. I think choosing accommodation and transportation is the best part. It may seem a little complicated at first but if you know where to check everything it will be really easy.
What to see in Iran?
As I have mentioned before you can find the whole two-week Iran trip plan here. Going there for longer you will have more time to spend in the most important places and to go beyond the beaten track. Focus on what interests you the most and don’t waste your time on what you think you won’t like. If you need more information about other places in Iran I can recommend a Lonely Planet guide which contains almost everything for every time slot.
There is no Booking.com in Iran or Airbnb. To book a place to sleep you need to use an agent. Here is the next point where 1st Quest saves you with hostels and hotels with every price range.
Another way of finding a suitable place is TripAdvisor and contacting the hotels directly. In this case, you will have to pay when you get there.
Many people don’t book their accommodation earlier because the prices are much lower when in Iran. You just have to book your first night in a hostel and then ask the receptionist to book your hotel in your next destination. The prices in such a case can be lower by even a half.
In Iran, you cannot book your tickets beforehand. Your only option is to book them through an agent. 1st Quest offers a possibility to book train, bus, and plane tickets. All those options are available about a month before the departure date.
Just like in the case of accommodation you can organize your transport via your hostel. It is risky, though. If you are going in the high season everything might be booked.
What is your budget? Iran is surprisingly cheap. My whole budget was 500 euros (without flights). In 2 weeks I spent around 350 euros. You will find more about the budget here.
Remember that ATMs do not work in Iran so you have to carry cash. That is why it is good to have an extra 50% of your budget on you. I recommend buying a money belt that you can hide under your clothes. I had this one from Amazon. It turned out that I did not need it after all but it is worth taking just in case.
If carrying cash worries you, you can order an Iranian card which will be valid through your whole stay. Ordering such a card for a small fee you can deposit your whole budget on a temporary Iranian account. That way you don’t have to carry cash and you can pay with your card nearly everywhere, even in the smallest grocery stores.
Before you leave to Iran download VPN on your phone. Otherwise, you will not be able to use Facebook and other websites blocked by the Iranian government. I used NordVPN which worked very well through the whole stay.
Your SIM card will not work in Iran. You can easily buy a working one. It costs around 800,000 rial, that is 5 euro. You can buy it in every hostel. Remember that it takes around 24 hours before the card activates so during that time you will not have access to the Internet.
Agencies in Iran can help you book a bus, train, accommodation, and trips. They are really cheap and extremely helpful. If you are going to Iran for the first time, using their services will definitely save you a lot of stress.
Use Facebook groups
One of the best groups on Facebook is See You In Iran. It is run by the owners of the hostel by the same name. You can ask questions there and read many useful tips on traveling through Iran. Everyone is extremely kind and helpful there. You will find independent guides there who sometimes might be worth hiring. This group made many things easier for me and really helped. I recommend it with all my heart.
Are you ready to organize your trip to Iran? I promise you it is a lot easier than it seems. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will try and answer and help you if possible.
Do you have any questions? Would you like to share your experiences or your point of view? Don’t be shy! Leave a comment!
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