As fascinating as the country is, Iran isn’t on most people’s radar as a travel destination. But if you ask me, it really should be!

Whether it’s due to the current political and economic environment, or due to lack of knowledge and misinformation, Iran seems to be a destination only the adventurous and experienced traveler should visit. But that’s far from the truth.

To help you understand what it is like traveling in Iran and how you could go there, here I’ll share with you everything you must know to visit this wonderful destination that I’m sure will become more popular in the coming years.

Night skyline in Yazd, Iran

1. Who Can Visit Iran? Are Americans Allowed?

Everyone! Well, almost everyone.

Unfortunately, Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter the country.

Additionally, admission is refused to holders of passports or travel documents containing an Israeli visa or stamp or any data showing that visitor has been to Israel or indication of any connection with the state of Israel.

Thankfully, Israel knows about this, so they no longer stamp your passport to avoid these issues with Islamic countries that restrict entry to travelers with Israeli stamps. Iran is not the only country with this restriction.

Now, let’s talk about all the other nationalities that can visit Iran. At the time of writing, 16 nationalities are allowed visa-free into Iran.

Hong KongTurkey
Iranian Visa Policies
Visa policy of Iran. Map from Wikipedia.

The remaining nationalities need a visa to enter the country. All of these other nationalities can get a Visa on Arrival or e-Visa with the exception of the following 16 nationalities:

ColombiaSri Lanka
IraqUnited Kindom
JordanUnited States

These, on the other hand, need to apply for a visa beforehand at an Iranian Embassy or Consulate.

Should dealing with the visa process be too daunting for you, services like iVisa can help you get your visa once you get your approval number from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also, when you travel with a tour company, they help you get the Ministry of Foreign Affairs approval number, which makes the process even easier.

I traveled to Iran with Intrepid Travel, and my visa process was really easy and smooth. I explain the process on tip #3.

As you noticed, I bolded three nationalities above mainly because they require a few extra details to get their visas approved. I’ll go over those details in the next tip.

Lastly, 1stQuest is another tour company that offers private tours and services that specializes in getting visas to Iran.

At the moment, they say they “aren’t servicing” the three bolded countries above when you try to apply for a visa online, but they say to message for more info and to get help with the visa.

The visa policy of Iran can change at any minute, so I always recommend double-checking this information with this Wikipedia page.

Landscape in Chak Chak, Iran

2. Can you do independent solo travel in Iran?

Yes, but it depends on your nationality. Unfortunately, Americans, British, and Canadian citizens (ABC) cannot do solo travel at the moment. Instead, they can travel the country with an authorized tour operator – either on a group or private tour.

In theory, the ABCs need to be accompanied by a tour guide at all times, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be on top of you all the time.

You have free time to do whatever you want to and walk around the city on your own in your leisure time.

They just need to travel with you in between cities and main sights. As my tour guide said at one point, she needed to report to the government every day or so the status of her ABCs on tour.

Apparently, to avoid any (additional) political situations with ABC nations, the Iranian government wants to make sure they are all fine, at all times while in their country. Or so I was told.

Having dinner with the nomads in Iran
Having dinner with a nomadic family in the village of Kahkaraan

ABCs are restricted on the amount of time they are allowed to stay in the country to roughly 15 days. This can be extended, though, if there’s a reason for the extension (like extending the tour).

During my trip, two British travelers needed to extend their visa for one day.

When they visited the foreign affairs office to extend their visas they were told that it was unnecessary to do the official process for just a day or two. Just an anecdote, but I would always advise to do things according to the rule.

Another detail about ABCs is that they are only allowed to arrive in the country up to 24 hours before their tour and leave a maximum of 24 hours after their tour ends. Their visas will reflect this.

For all other nationalities, you have the freedom to travel solo for as long as your visa allows – which is usually 30 days.

These visas can also be extended a maximum of two times (up to 90 days total) by visiting the foreign affairs office and paying the appropriate extension fee.

The Sun and Moon at the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Esfahan, Iran
A view of the Sun and Moon at the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan

3. How can you apply for a visa or an e-visa?

The process might sound complicated (as it is more complex than most visas out there), but it is not that difficult to apply for an Iranian visa/e-visa.

Iranian visas are issued in a two-step process:

Step 1: An authorization code for your visa must be issued by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is the official visa application site from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get your authorization code.

But, if you’re an ABC, you should fill out your authorization code application via your tour operator, as they will input additional information that will tell Iran you’re traveling with them.

Since I traveled with Intrepid Travel on their Iran Adventure Tour, they took care of submitting this step for me.

If, for example, you book a trip with 1stQuest, they will also handle the visa process for you (any nationality). Their Highlights of Iran and Classic Iran with the Nomads private tours are superb and affordable! You can see their other customizable private tours here.

Step 2: After you get the authorization code, a visa for your passport must then be obtained through an Iranian Embassy or you could request to get it on arrival at the airport.

This is requested during the authorization code application, where you will select at which airport you’ll pick up the e-visa or visa on arrival.

Iran e-visa sample
A sample of my authorization code/e-visa, to get my visa on arrival at Tehran airport (with my Dominican Republic passport). This is what I got after step 1.

ABCs cannot get a visa on arrival. They must pick them up beforehand at an embassy (also selected during the authorization code application).

The US doesn’t have an Iranian Embassy, but Iran uses the Embassy of Pakistan as a proxy for its operations.

This is their website and address, should you need any additional information. (It’s in Arabic. You’ll need to translate.)

Embassy of Pakistan
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran
1250 23rd ST. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
Tel: 202 965-4990

Under the bridge in Isfahan, Iran
Under the Si-o-se-pol bridge in Isfahan

Everyone can apply for an authorization code from 30 days up to 48 hours before your flight.

ABCs, though, should apply 45 to 60 days before departure as their authorization code must first go through their tour operator, who will then do the formal authorization code application for you.

Application codes are only valid for 30 days, no matter the nationality. This means that they should book their tours at least two months before departure to have enough time for the visa process.

Should this sound like too much hassle, services like 1stQuest specialize in processing the authorization code and having your visa ready to pick up in person at an embassy or at the airport.

And, what are the chances of being rejected as an ABC? According to 1stQuest records, “only less than 5% of applicants may get rejected. Chances of getting a visa for European (except for the UK), Australian, and New Zealand citizens are as high as 97%. Chances of getting a visa for the US and UK citizens is a bit less at about 90%. There are also certain occupations which are exposed to a higher risk of rejection such as journalism and the ones related to politics.”

Man praying inside mosque in Yazd, Iran

4. What are the visa requirements?

For all nationalities, the following is required:

  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae – You may be required to provide information about your current and previous education and work history.
  • Passport Photos (2) – Women, make sure to wear a hijab or scarf on your passport photo
  • Passport photocopy/scan

The ABCs though, need to provide a bit more information, including:

  • Your father’s name and his employment history (yes, not kidding).
  • Social media links or handles, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

A special note for Americans: If you’re a Trump supporter or have any anti-Islamic or anti-Iran messages posted on any of your social media, don’t even bother applying. They will deny your application.

Esfahan Naqsh-e Jahan Square Sunrise, Iran
Isfahan Naqsh-e Jahan Square during sunrise

5. If you have dual citizenship, can you apply with the non-American passport?

Definitely! In fact, this is what I did. Even though I traveled to Iran with Intrepid Travel (a tour operator I highly recommend not only for Iran but pretty much anywhere), I had the option of traveling to Iran on my own as I have dual citizenship, which allowed me to apply for my visa as a Dominican Republic national.

The reasoning behind me not using the American passport was for ease and economy.

With the Dominican passport, I could get a visa on arrival vs. having to get it beforehand at the embassy with the American passport.

My Intrepid Travel group in Iran
My Intrepid Travel group in Iran. A mix of British, Australian, and American/Dominican nationalities.

Also, I wanted to minimize the potential of them denying my visa since I’m a travel blogger/”journalist” (and they’ll notice that quickly after a quick search through my social media).

Lastly, the visa for Dominican passports is cheaper than for Americans.

6. How much does the Iranian visa costs?

Prices vary depending on your nationality. As a Dominican Republic citizen, I paid 70 euros for the visa once I picked it up at the airport in Tehran.

From what my fellow travelers told me, Americans paid $175, British paid 165 pounds, and Australians paid 145 euros.

There were no Canadians on my trip, but it’s safe to say that the fee will be around $170-$180.

The following table has the latest Iranian Visa on Arrival Prices as of 2023. (Please note some of these prices can vary at the time of reading).

NationalityFee (Euro)NationalityFee (Euro)
Brazil80New Zealand150
Dominican Republic70Qatar75
El Salvador60Russia70
Eritrea40Saudi Arabia30
Fiji55Sierra Leone120
Germany75South Africa80
Ghana75South Korea50
Kenya60United Arab Emirates100

All other nationalities who can get a visa on arrival would range from 70 to 75 euros. All visa payments have to be made in cash – USD, EUR, or GBP.

Now that you know all the visa details, let’s move on to other planning logistics.

Ready to go to Iran! Let’s go!

Shah Cheragh Mosque in Shiraz, Iran
Shah Cheragh Mosque in Shiraz

7. Flying to Iran and picking up your visa on arrival

Booking a flight to Iran is as straightforward as with any other country, unlike with Cuba, which doesn’t show up on some flight aggregators.

Due to economic sanctions, most western airlines don’t fly to Iran. Still, you can always do a layover and change airlines or fly with airlines like Alitalia, Austrian, Lufthansa, Ukraine International Airlines, and Turkish, among others, who serve both the western and Iranian markets.

Here’s a list of all the airlines that fly to Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.

I booked my flights with Skyscanner, which I always recommend as it usually shows flights cheaper than on other websites.

I also highly recommend using WayAway as they show cheap flights and offer cashback on bookings for flights, hotels, car rentals, tours, and more.

But, more importantly, their WayAway Plus membership offers premium support, where a local expert can help you navigate your questions about your visas, proper dress code in the country, restaurant recommendations, how to get from A to B, and more.

When boarding, show your visa or authorization code page if you’re picking your e-visa on arrival.

The visa on arrival usually has a duration of 30 days, though they may give it to you for 15 days, as it happened to me. Since my trip was only 14 days, I didn’t mind.

Mosque in Yazd, Iran
Towering mosque minarets in Yazd

Once you arrive, head straight to the visa on arrival office where you’ll fill up an additional form with your name, address in Iran, passport number, occupation, etc).

Have printed the following information:

  • Proof of onward or return travel
  • Your itinerary – or at least booking of your first few nights if traveling independent.
  • Proof of travel insurance – This is mandatory. I usually use HeyMondo, but they don’t cover in Iran. My second choice is always SquareMouth, where you can pick the best and most affordable coverage for any country, including Iran.
  • You may not be asked for this, but have handy any proof of funds to support your trip, especially if you’re traveling independently.

Pay the visa fee, maybe answer a few questions, and after that, you’ll head to immigration, and you’re in!

Women, as soon as you touchdown in Iran, you must put on a hijab or scarf and be appropriately dressed for the country. Men, you must be wearing long pants. More on this soon.

Flying Mahan Air, Iran
About to take a domestic flight from Tehran to Shiraz with their local airline, Mayan Air.

8. Crossing overland

It is possible to enter Iran overland, but you’ll be required to get your visa beforehand.

Apparently, only the border with Armenia offers the visa on arrival option, but some reports say that people have failed to get it there, so don’t rely on it.

9. Booking Accommodation

Unlike with flights, booking accommodation in Iran is not as available online. Even though my tour with Intrepid Travel included all my accommodation, I booked my pre and post tour hostel via HostelWorld.

It was the only website where I could find a very limited selection of hostels available to book instantly.

For hotels, I highly recommend using 1stQuest, which focuses on booking hotels in Iran, and they have a large selection available. They also offer instant booking for buses in Iran, as well as getting flights, visas, and insurance.

Persepolis - Gate of Nations - Iran
Gate of Nations in Persepolis, one of the historical sites you should not miss in the country.

Given that Iran is not a hugely popular destination, it is relatively easy to find last-minute accommodation in person as you reach each new city.

But, make sure to at least book the first few nights (if you’re traveling independent) to comply with the visa on arrival requirements.

10. Understanding their currency, real exchange, and accessibility

You must bring with you all the money you’ll use in the country, cash, in USD, EUR, or GBP. There’s no access to ATMs in the country and credit cards don’t work there.

You need to know that there are two exchange rates in Iran, there’s the official exchange rate, which you’ll see at sites like, and there’s the free market exchange, which you’ll see on this local website,

At the time of writing, the official exchange rate is $1 to approximately 42,000 Rials, while the free market exchange is $1 to 102,500 Rials.

Know that you’ll be exchanging money and paying on the free market rate, not the official one.

Currency change in Iran
Sometimes, if the business doesn’t have any small change back, they replace it with the equivalent in gum, sweets, or cookies. That was my change above.

To confuse this a bit more, Iran refers to its currency in two ways, Rials and Tomans. Basically, 1 Toman = 10 Rials. You’ll notice the Bonbast site shows Tomans for their free market rate, not Rials.

Exchanging money is not as straightforward as you’d think. The government imposes random exchange freezes as it wishes, especially on USD (as it happened when I was there).

In these cases, you can either find an exchange house that is hidden enough so they still operate the freeze (I did that) or exchange at your hotel or with locals (I did that too).

Due to Iran’s struggling economy and unstable currency, locals will always be open to exchange their Rials/Tomans to USD, EUR, and GBP. Locals will always offer the free market rate or close to it.

Familiarize yourself with the latest free market rate so you don’t get scammed by someone wanting to exchange your money at the official rate.

During my two weeks there, the free market rate went from 102,000 Rials to 130,000 Rials. That’s how unstable their currency is.

Iran Currency
These are the Iranian Rials. Notice they go to up to 1,000,000 which is roughly $10.

When buying stuff, locals usually refer to prices in Tomans. If you’re not sure, confirm with them which currency value they referred to.

Also, if you’re buying a Coca-Cola that costs 20,000 Rials (or 2,000 Tomans), they might just say it costs 2 (dropping the last four zeros in the Rials’ note). So, familiarize yourself with prices to know which value they are referring to.

11. How do you budget properly to cover your whole trip, cash, with such an unstable currency?

If you’re traveling on a tour, almost everything will be included. In my case, I only paid for food (minus breakfast, since they were included), any additional transportation (like taxis to some monuments I visited on my own), some sightseeing, a SIM card, some miscellaneous (like tips to guides and laundry), the visa, and souvenirs.

In all, I spent approximately $435, in addition to the tour cost.

At the Tower of Silence in Yazd, Iran
At the Tower of Silence in the city of Yazd.

If traveling independently, your trip could cost from roughly $25 per day on the budget side to $130 per day on the luxury side.

For example, this traveler has a detailed breakdown of her spending on her two-week independent trip. She spent roughly $75 per day on a mid-range budget trip.

It’s important to know that food is subsidized in Iran and prices are “locked.”

So, no matter where you go, a Coca-cola will cost from 15,000 to 30,000 Rials (roughly $0.15 to $0.30), food will be between 100,000 to 500,000 Rials (roughly $1.00 to $5.00), water will be roughly 20,000 Rials (about $0.20).

Museums and other sights costs between 100,000 and 500,000 Rials.

My recommendation is to budget a bit over your travel standard, and maybe take $500 extra, cash, for any drastic change in the exchange rate or any unexpected emergency – or stunning souvenir you want to buy!

You’ll see many of these souvenirs around, especially the Persian carpets and handicraft. Trust me, they are all beautiful!

Persian Food
A typical meal in Iran

12. Moving around

In general, public transportation in Iran is very cheap. Iran counts with a decent bus, train, and flight network connecting most of its major cities.

Within the City

In major cities like Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, and Tabriz you can use ‘metro’ which is usually the cheapest and fastest way to get around.

Tehran has the largest metro network in Iran and the most comprehensive public bus system in the country. These are also relatively fast and substantially cheap.

Alley in Abarkooh, Iran
An alley at the small town of Abarkooh

To get on a bus or metro you need to buy an electronic card ticket which is sold in every metro station and some BRT station in ezPay kiosks. The card itself is 2,500 Tomans and you need to charge the card for further uses.

The longest trips on buses or the metro won’t cost more than 1,000 Toman. You can also pay cash on the local bus or pay for a single ticket at the metro kiosk.

You can also use Taxis which are more expensive than public transportation, but still very reasonable.

Generally, you can get two types of taxis. Shuttle taxis which have specified stops and stations (called ‘Khatti’ in Iran).

These taxis travel in a pre-specified line (or ’khat’), their fares are specified and you share a ride with other people traveling in the same line.

The official taxis are colored yellow and green and the moment you get on them, you can see displayed the driver’s ID and license.

Yazd, Iran
The wind towers in the city of Yazd.

There are also the non-official taxis, which will honk you as you’re standing on the street to offer a ride. You need to call out your destination and they’ll stop meters away and agree to take you if they go in the same direction.

Unless you’re familiar with the going taxi rates, agree to a price before getting in the vehicle. Also, don’t forget to have cash in Rials, as most drivers won’t accept euros or dollars.

For the taxis I took in Tehran, I always paid between 150,000 to 500,000 Rials. The 45-minute taxi ride to the airport cost me 5 Euros.

I recommend having your hotel or destination’s address written in Farsi (yes, they speak Farsi, not Arabic) so you can give it to your taxi driver, as they may not speak English.

InterCity Transportation

If you want to move between cities, buses and trains are the common budget-friendly options. Domestic flights are also available for long distances, though naturally, more expensive.

Again, I recommend using the site 1stQuest to book your intercity buses and domestic flights beforehand.

Or, you can book buses last minute by heading to the bus station. Have in mind, though, that locals also use these buses, so they might fill up quite often. I recommend checking this article that goes into more detail on bus travel in Iran.

Trains are also a popular option, though usually slower than buses. While they often depart on time, they often arrive late at the destination.

Azadi Tower, Tehran
The Azadi Tower, now a symbol of freedom. Located in Tehran.

Tehran is the main hub of the Iranian train network and most services begin or end at the heart of Tehran Railway Station.

There is plenty of daily service to Mashhad, and at least one daily service to Esfahan, Yazd, Tabriz (via Qazvin and Zanjan), Bandar Abbas, and Kerman.

One advantage of trains is that you can save one night’s accommodation by sleeping on the overnight train.

There are movable sleeper couchettes with four or six bunks. Almost all trains have a small kiosk where you can buy snacks and drinks.

Overnight trains, on the other hand, have a restaurant car where you can have a proper meal. There are first-class trains (like Ghazal, Simorgh, Pardis, Sabz, etc.) which provide extra facilities like an entertainment system, and free meals.

Train tickets can be booked at the railway station up to a month in advance. It is recommended to book these ahead of time, especially for trains leaving on Thursday, Friday and public holidays.

The necropolis by Persepolis, Iran
The Necropolis next to Persepolis.

13. Dressing appropriately 

Bring enough light fabric clothing to stay cool during the day, but make sure they are styled conservatively.

Men are fine wearing t-shirts (not sleeveless) but you need to wear long pants at all times. I don’t recommend jeans as Iran gets way too hot during the day (at night they are fine as it’s cooler).

In my case, I bought some light fabric long pants once I got to Tehran. Wearing flip-flops (sandals) is fine.

Men should also bring one long sleeve t-shirt or shirt should they need to visit a government office (like for a visa extension).

Clothing mannequins in Iran

Women are a bit more restricted when it comes to clothing. While women dress conservatively, you should know that fashion is very important for Iranian women, and they don’t just wear burkas, as many people think. So as a foreigner, no, you don’t need to wear a chador or hijab.

What you need is a scarf or shawl on your head, long (and preferably loose) trousers, or a long skirt (three-quarter length is fine), and a tunic or a long sleeve shirt covering your hips (and preferably up to your knees).

Women in Iran have perfected this long sleeve outerwear covering you up to the knees in such a way it looks really fashionable.

You could buy them at the bazaar, should you wish to follow this style there. Sandals are also fine.

Women should have at least one set of dark clothing, preferably black, should they have to visit a government office.

Park in Isfahan, Iran
Picnicking in parks and squares is a popular past time among Iranians. They tend to do it from late afternoon to way past midnight to avoid the high temperatures of the early afternoon.

14. Staying connected

I highly recommend getting a SIM card for your unlocked phone as wifi in Iran was quite frustrating. Most hotels offer wi-fi, but they are either painfully slow or not working. Now, their 4G internet is another story.

There are three main mobile operators in Iran: Hamrah-e-Aval, Irancell (the one I got), and RighTel.

You can buy a SIM card at the airport or at your accommodation if they offer it. I got mine at my hostel for roughly $9 for 4GB of data on a 4G/LTE network.

Mobile signal coverage in Iran is generally good, with a strong signal along the shoreline, main cities, and highways.

Cafe in Isfahan, Iran
Enjoying an afternoon tea at one of the funkiest cafes in Isfahan.

Have in mind that Iran blocks most sites and social media in the country, so you’ll need to use a VPN there to access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many other sites. Instagram is open, though.

I used ExpressVPN, which worked like a charm there. Their app made the setup and connection a breeze.

Is very important NOT to access your online banking (especially if from the US) while in Iran, even if using the VPN.

I did this, and my bank account was frozen until after I left the country and presented a boarding pass as proof I had left Iran. The same thing happened to me in Cuba.

15. Safety in Iran

It’s pretty safe, so you don’t need to worry about terrorism and major crime. Petty thefts like pickpockets can happen, so use common sense. I wrote a bit more about Iran’s safety here.

In fact, Iranians are among the friendliest people on earth, so be open to interacting with them whenever possible. I believe these two posts I linked to previously give a good idea of what it’s really like traveling in Iran at the moment.

Cafe Kidnap sign, Iran
A “kidnap” sign at a cafe. No, this doesn’t happen. Iran is safe!

16. Alcohol and Pork in Iran

Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran and severe penalties will be incurred by anyone attempting to bring it into the country.

However, you’ll find non-alcoholic malt beverages/beer in several restaurants. There are many popular brands including Istak, Delster, JoJo, Hey Day and Shams.

There are many fruit-flavored beers that aren’t found elsewhere in the world. Give Doogh a try while in Iran; which is a traditional drink made up of sour yogurt, salt, and dried vegetables.

The same restrictions apply to pork – given it is an Islamic country. Drug laws are also extremely strict and travelers face lengthy jail terms if caught. Random baggage checks do happen upon arrival.

Ceiling at the bazaar in Eqlid, Iran
That beautiful ceiling in Eqlid!

17. Bring a camera and a smartphone with a good camera 

Sounds like a dumb tip, but hear me out. Iran is stunning, so try to take as many pictures with your good camera.

But, there are several mosques and mausoleums that do not allow cameras (DSLR or decent point-and-shoot), yet they allow taking pictures with smartphones.

Their logic is the same many airlines adopted, to reduce the potential of bombs/terrorism that could fit in a DSLR camera.

Shah Cherag Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum in Shiraz. This is one of those mausoleums that don’t allow a camera, yet a smartphone camera is fine.

18. How to travel to Iran without a visa

Yes, technically you can visit Iran without a visa, but only a small portion of the country, which is reserved to Kish Island.

This is a small 36 sq. miles resort island in the Persian Gulf often referred to as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf.

You can fly there without a visa. Even though Kish is part of Iran, it is a resort island geared towards tourists, so you’ll miss a lot of the authenticity of mainland Iran.

On arrival, you’ll need to show proof of your reservation and can stay on the island up to 14 days. The dress code is similar to mainland Iran’s.

Norbert at Qaranagh, Iran
Enjoying the ruins of the ancient city of Qaranagh

19. Enjoy every moment!

You’ll see Iran is like no other destination, so I highly recommend you to see it with fresh eyes and an open mind to make the most of the experience.

Every city is different. Some more liberal, some more conservative. Yet, they are all just as friendly and welcoming. All as interesting and full of history and culture.

Soak it all up. In no time you’ll see why Iran should be higher on everyone’s bucket list.

Everything You Need To Know Before Traveling To Iran, Especially If You're American
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  1. thanks so much for your tips, and I want to add this there is something that we call it “Taarof”
    This is a polite exchange that takes place in all aspects of life in Iran, in shops, in streets, in businesses, at homes.
    Simply stated, it is a form of one person making an offering and the other, refusing it. This ritual may repeat itself several times before the individuals finally determine whether the offer and refusal are real or simply polite.
    Be very careful how and with whom you taarof so that it does not interfere with your stay. Use common sense as to when to do it and when not to.

    1. If you have requested by yourself online, it’s normal to be rejected, but if you request by an Iranian travel agency, they usually don’t reject it. Unfortunately, it’s not clearly mentioned on the website, but in practice they do that. I called the MFA and complained about this double dealing policy, but they didn’t give me a clear response. 😊😊😊

  2. Hi Bruno,

    VPNs usually get blocked so if you want to know which VPN you should install on your phone, you can ask people around to know which one is working right now. Almost everyone in Iran uses VPNs. 😉
    Another problem you may face is online payment! Specially for booking hotels or tours. There are some websites which you can pay using your Credit/Debit card or Paypal account.

    I hope it helps somebody.

  3. Hi

    It was a really complete and thorough article about traveling to Iran anything that a tourist need was included here :D.

  4. Hi there!
    I hope to get some advice on my trip to Iran. I have dual (Ukrainian-american) citizenship. Can I enter Iran with my Ukrainian passport and get a visa at the airport and then leave back to the US with my US passport? Will it be ok not to have visa in my US passport?



    1. Yes, you can. With the Ukrainian passport, you still need to go through the two-step process to get the visa at the airport, but you can enter as a Ukrainian and depart as an American.

      Have in mind that there are no direct flights between Iran and the US. In fact, it’s possible you might fly from Ukraine to Iran and back (since UIA often offers cheap flights to Theran), so it might be convenient for you to use your Ukrainian passport for both flights.

    2. Hi there,
      I recommend you to come to Iran using your Ukrainian passport and leave with Ukrainian passport too, because firstly, there is no direct flight from Tehran to the US, and secondly, it’s better for you to not show your American passport at all, due to long lasting serious political conflicts between two countries maybe you get into a trouble.

  5. Thanks for these insights. I was thinking about getting a VPN and had my eyes set on Surfshark already, but now after reading they block websites in Iran, there’s an additional reason to get a VPN. Can’t wait to plan my next trip after the quarantine is lifted, and the whole Coronavirus situation has calmed down a little.

    1. I don’t know how that other VPN works, but I can guarantee that ExpressVPN works in Iran. Not every VPN works there, but this one worked great and it was the one my guide uses and other locals I met there also used.

  6. hi I have both us and American and Jamaican passport. My issue is that my visa was approved to be picked up in Turkey. My plan is to fly to turkey on us passport then get visa in my Jamaican passport then fly to Tehran. My issue is do I need a visa for my Jamaican passport to Turkey and will they stamp my Jamaican passport without a stamp arrival in my Jamaican passport.

  7. Hi, when you travelled, did you bring both your US and DR passports? Were there any issues? I am in the same boat with dual citizenships, but I am not sure if there will be issues when the authority sees my US passport. Thanks.

    1. Hi Ray –

      I did bring both of my passports, but I never showed my US passport (I wasn’t asked to either). Having said that, you shouldn’t have an issue as you’ll be in Iran officially as a citizen of your other nationality.

      1. If you want to travel to Iran, it’s better to not show your US passport and not mention to it at all even if you being asked, Iran take different policy against US citizens.

      2. Hi Norbert I got a really bad situation I am going through and I really am hoping you can help me. I’m in the United States. I want to travel to Iran and be able to explore Iran by myself without any tour guides ,or people following me around. I have someone in Iran i’m going to be staying with. I want to be able to quickly get a passport from another country if possible so I can go to Iran ,and not have that hassle. Can you please tell me what I can do? What country can I go get a passport fastest for traveling to Iran so I won’t have to use a tour guide? I don’t think it would be possible to get a private tour guide and tell them I want to spend my days in Iran alone. I am trying to go there to be with my boyfriend and spend time with him.

  8. I’m an Italian American citizen born in USA. Will they reject my visa when they see that I was born in USA or that I’m working in USA? Also from country did you leave to go there? I plan on leaving usa to Italy on my us passport and then to Iran from Italy on Italian passport

    1. Hi Matt, it’s hard to say why they rejected it. Did you use a service to apply for the visa? If so, they might have some information. Regarding the flight, I flew from Ukraine. I know currently it’s not advised to travel from there, but you could use any other destination with a direct flight to Iran.

      Also, I think it’s smart to travel to Iran with your Italian passport instead of an American passport. It’s easier to get the visa, with fewer restrictions, and cheaper, too!