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Iran is cheap. It’s probably the cheapest country I have been to so far. However, you need to prepare financially for the trip. That’s why I decided to list all my expenses from my visit and give you some advice on the currency in Iran.
Before I left for Iran, I had done a couple of things. I read almost every blog post and watched nearly every vlog about the country. I really needed to know how to organise my trip. I also wanted to set up a budget and stick to it, so I felt in control of the money I was spending.
I advise you to do the same – set up a budget. Calculate everything precisely and stick to the daily limits. This way you will avoid unnecessary trouble.
Money in Iran – What you need to know
Let’s start from the fact that all foreign debit and credit cards don’t work in Iran. You won’t be able to withdraw any money from an ATM, so it’s best to leave your cards at home. Take cash only.
Some hotels offer special cards for tourists. You can order them earlier, before you come. The cost is 18 Euros. You pay in all your money to that card and then you can use it everywhere, even in small shops. Before you leave, you can withdraw what’s left of your budget.
Another thing is the Iranian currency. Officially it’s Rial, but unofficially it’s Toman. Because of the weak value of Rial, the prices are calculated in millions and thousands, so to make it easier, Iranians use Tomans. Toman is not physical money, but more like a way of calculating everything.
I used 1st Quest for my visa and insurance, which were very easy to sort out. The prices were also reasonable, as you can see in the below table. If you don’t want to organise trips and hotels by yourself 1st Quest has it all. You can easily book everything through them. They have tickets for buses and flights, hotels, pick up transfers and great experiences. Have a look at what they offer here.
I stayed in hotels in Teheran and Shiraz. I dined in restaurants and bars and organised most of my trips. In Esfahan I stayed at a friend of a friend. My stay was supposed to be free, but I decided to pay for it in full. In Yazd I stayed with a Couchsurfer and she fed me and took me almost everywhere.
The most expensive was the flight. I bought the ticket in a promotional price 200 Euros from Barcelona. Then it turned out that the tickets from Lisbon to Barcelona are very expensive. My flight to Teheran was cancelled and I had to book tickets which were more expensive then the previous ones. This was the biggest expense.