Iran (Persian: ايران) is a large country within the Greater Middle East and is part of the South-Central Asian Union, between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. It is bordered by Iraq to the west, Turkey, Azerbaijan’s Naxcivan enclave, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to the northwest, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the southeast.
1. The people
Iranians have a centuries old reputation for being a very hospitable people, especially when it comes to foreign guests. This dates back to a time when nomadic people roamed the Middle East and Central Asia.
The hospitality tradition has only intensified in recent years, and with so few Western travelers coming to Iran these days, many who do go are overwhelmed by the warm welcome.
For citizens of the United States who are wary of our government’s relationship with Iran, I can say that Iranians have a more favorable view of Americans than ANY of the other twenty nations I’ve visited since 9/11.
2. Amazing history
The Persian civilization is one of the oldest civilizations on earth and there are reminders of that great history scattered all over the country.
Whether it’s archaic and abandoned ruins dotting the sides of highways, or the ubiquitous call to prayer, visitors will experience a very ancient land with a vibrant and vital society.
UNESCO has granted World Heritage status to several locales in Iran, including the city of Esfhan, which many refer to as a “Middle Eastern Florence,” and the ruins of Persepolis, where Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 BC.
Iran is a very large country and is home to some of the most varied landscapes in the world. For adventure travelers, all that separates you from skiing and scuba diving on the same weekend is an hour-long flight.
Iran boasts vast desert and forest areas. Several endangered animals roam Iran, including the Asiatic cheetah, and the country is one of the biggest fruit growers in the region.
4. Getting around is easy
With an airport in every decent sized city in Iran, and government subsidized airfare, getting around Iran is easy. Extensive railroad and bus routes are also available, making all parts of Iran truly accessible to travelers.
5. Iran is affordable
Inflation in Iran is soaring, but your dollar will still get you much further there than in most other top destinations. For the trip of a lifetime, it’s a bargain.
There are so few tourists traveling to Iran that it could feel like a lonely place if not for the Iranians’ warmth and their inviting nature. This characteristic makes it possible to truly connect with the people of Iran and their history.
7. Breaking stereotypes
By visiting Iran, you are making two statements: “I am my own person,” and “I will inform myself about the world.”
Iran has been demonized for decades, but nearly all people who travel there come home with their stereotypes shattered, replaced by fond memories of gracious hosts and unforgettable landscapes.
Quoted from Robert Byron (lonely planet) : “Iran Isfahan is among those rarer places , Like Athens or Rome , Which are the common refreshment of humanity” and the ” Friday mosque” (Masjed-e Jame of Isafahan) is one of the city’s two World Heritage sites.
Know It is a good time ask many question about Iran and answer to them A visit to Iran? Why would you go to Iran? Isn’t Iran Dangerous? These are just some of the questions I am asked about my trip to Iran back in 2012. I figured it was time to write a post about that trip, and why you should put Iran high on your list of countries to visit. Now is especially a great time to go there. Lets answer one question first;
Is Iran safe to visit?
This is a common question, and if you want the quick answer, then yes Iran is safe to visit, in parts. I say in parts as there are some areas, especially around the Afghanistan and Pakistan border areas, that can be dangerous.
However the vast majority of Iran is perfectly safe, and I have felt very welcomed wherever I went. Considering that my government (U.K.) are one of the leading countries putting sanctions on Iran, I was somewhat cautious when being asked where I was from. I always got the same response: U.K. great country! Welcome to my country!
Iranians are very hospitable people.
Never judge a book by its cover. Never could that be more true than with Iran. When you hear the word Iran you could automatically think of nuclear weapons and axis of evil etc, but the opposite is true. Of course Iran has its assholes, like every country, and I am certainly not very fond of their government, but my experience, as well as friends who have been there, is that the people you will meet are overwhelmingly friendly.
Upon arrival at Tehran airport a man offered to help get me get into Tehran, after seeing me look rather lost! He came on the bus for twenty minutes or so, before transferring to the subway. After another twenty minutes he walked with me too find the hotel I was staying at. He then said goodbye and please enjoy my country. On top of all that he payed for my transport, and it turned out he was going in the opposite direction. Welcome to Iran indeed.
I met military officers in Esfahan who hanged out and had a laugh. Off all the people who would be pissed off about where I was from, I figured it would be them, but they were very friendly, and was the same almost everywhere.
The cities and scenery are beautiful.
Iran has an amazing ancient history. The persian empire was once vast, leaving behind archaeological wonders. The cities are full of old buildings, especially eye catching mosques and old residences. The scenery goes from big city to desert, then mountainous terrain in a heartbeat. Inside the cities are huge bazaars selling everything you could envision, the most impressive of which I found in Esfahan, the cultural capital. Wandering around the huge complex, getting lost in the maze of lanes and shops, is a great way to spend a few hours.
Taking a taxi into the desert and hiking through the dunes is very peaceful. Going into the mountains and visiting old towns filled with smiling locals, while shopping for traditional crafts. Exploring the old residences of exquisitely designed buildings, filled with grandeur in Kashan. Visiting the grand old ruins of Persepolis and other ancient sites. There are many, many other such good things to see and do.
If you never visit Iran, then at least try to find a local Persian restaurant near you too sample the delicious cuisine. Aside from the usual tasting kebabs found throughout the region, there are many other delights to discover. Sitting on the floor in an old restaurant, you can savour the taste of a camel steak with rice spiced in all kinds of flavours.
Staying at a home-stay in a desert oasis as an old grandmother cooks up eggplant in an old earthen oven, covered in fermented cheese and spices, was the best eggplant I have ever eaten. Tasty soups and stews, sweetly spiced pilaf rice, traditional Iranian ice cream. Your taste buds will not be upset!
Iran is cheap to travel.
As a budget traveller (backpacking specifically), Iran is excellent value for money. When I visited two years ago the official bank rate was one euro to 12500 Iranian rial. But on the black market, where almost everyone changes, the rate was $1 to 19000 Iranian rial. Great! A few months after my visit, some friends got a black market rate of around $1 to 30000 rial.
You can get in cheap overland from Turkey easily, or through more hassle countries bordering Iran. I got a cheap flight to Amsterdam from Tehran on Pegasus airlines, and a cheap flight into Tehran on Tajikistan airlines from Dushanbe.
Picking up a Persian carpet while there could be a good thing, as they are very cheap to buy at the moment.
Know more about Iran
Iran is generally a very safe place to travel, so much so that many travellers 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. We have hitchhiked across deserts, stayed in the homes of strangers and left bags in restaurants and cafes without any problem.
Western embassies advise their nationals to register on arrival, especially if you will be in Iran for 10 or more days, or plan to visit remote places.
For women travellers, like anywhere, it pays to be cautious and avoid situations where you are alone with a man you don’t know. Foreign women will attract unwanted suggestions and, in crowded bazaars and Metro carriages, the odd grope.
Some official paranoia does exist, and there have been instances of travellers being arrested and held until it became apparent they weren’t spies. The biggest dangers are actually driving and crossing the street. For an idea of how fellow travellers found Iran, see the Thorn Tree (www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree).
While there are few stories of assaults and thefts in Iran, it pays to take the usual precautions. It makes sense, too, that if the economic situation worsens crime will rise. Basic things to be aware of:
- On transport keep valuables, including your passport, money and camera, with you at all times.
- Hotels are quite safe but locking your bags prevents hotel staff going through them and, perhaps, ‘sampling’ your toiletries.
- There is a black market in stolen foreign passports so, unless it’s with your hotel reception, keep yours strapped to your body.
- If you are to encounter a pickpocket, it will be in a crowded bazaar.
Kidnapping & Terror
Kidnapping and terror-related crime is extremely rare in most of Iran. That said, at the time of writing, most government travel advisory services were advising against travelling to:
- within 100km of the Iran–Afghanistan border
- within 10km of the Iran–Iraq border
- the province of Sistan va Baluchestan
- the area east of the line running from Bam to Jask, including Bam and Zahedan
Police & Security Forces
Uniformed police and military are ubiquitous but have no interest in hassling foreigners. In cities such as Esfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad you’ll find helpful Tourist Police – usually including an English-speaker – in conveniently located booths.
Photographing the wrong thing is the action most likely to spark police interest. If you have unwittingly aroused the attention of police for photographing the wrong thing (eg at the border, Tehran train station etc), emphasise you are a tourist and delete the pictures. Do not argue in these situations.
Foreigners are expected to carry their passport at all times, but this can be tricky as hotels are also supposed to keep guests’ passports for police inspection. Always carry several photocopies of both your passport’s face page and your Iranian visa, and if you go out of town leave a photocopy at reception and take the passport. If you are stopped, show your photocopies unless you are sure the police are genuine.
On roads near borders your transport is likely to be stopped by police searching for drugs and other smuggled goods.
Iranian driving is unpredictable and it’s on the road – or crossing it – that you’re most likely to be in danger. There’s little you can do to control this beyond asking your driver to slow down (‘yavash tar boro!’) or take a train.
Iranians will tell you with a perverse mix of horror and glee that Iran competes for the highest per-capita number of road deaths on earth – in 2014 that was more than 17,000 people, with another 300,000-plus injured.
No one pays any notice of road rules and the willingness of a car to stop at a busy intersection is directly proportional to the size of the vehicles in its path. Playing on this, some cunning motorists have fitted deafening air horns, usually found on trucks and buses, to their Paykans and Prides. A quick blast sees other traffic screech to a halt, fearing they’ve been outsized. Meanwhile, the modest little Paykan/Pride sails through the intersection. Size (or at least the perception that you’re big) matters.
Be aware of contraflow bus lanes (along which buses hurtle in the opposite direction to the rest of the traffic), and motorbikes speeding through red lights, along footpaths and through crowded bazaars.
Vehicles never stop at pedestrian crossings so don’t underestimate the possibility of dying a horrible death while crossing the road. It may be little consolation, but the law says that if a pedestrian is hit the driver is always at fault and is liable to pay blood money to the family of the victim. Until you’ve got your head around the traffic, perhaps the best advice comes from one pragmatic reader: ‘Cross a busy street with an Iranian person, but make sure the Iranian is closest to the approaching traffic.’
Earthquakes happen every day in Iran, but most travellers will never feel one. If you get unlucky, the following precautions might help.
It’s most important to protect yourself from falling debris. If you’re indoors, stay inside and take cover under a sturdy desk or table. Hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the shaking stops and you can move outside. Stay clear of windows, appliances and freestanding furniture (such as wardrobes) that might fall over. Use a pillow to protect your head.
In a mud-brick building it’s vital to create space (under a bed, perhaps) that won’t be filled with dirt and dust, which could lead to suffocation.
If you’re outside, stay away from buildings and power lines.
The tourist’s Comment who has visited Iran
Data Collection by Mehdi Karparvar
Iran Hotel , Iran Shiraz Hotel , Shiraz Hotel , Shiraz Hotel Shiraz , Shiraz Clean Hotel , Shiraz Cheap Hotel , Hotel In Shiraz Iran , Sasan Hotel , Hotels in Shiraz , Shiraz Hotel Booking , best Hotel in Shiraz , Shiraz Hotel in Shiraz , Shiraz Hotels ,Shiraz Iran Hotels , Hotels in Shiraz Iran , Cheap hotels in Shiraz Iran , Chamran grand hotel , Sheraz Hotel , Royal hotel Shiraz Iran , Park Saadi Hotel Shiraz Iran , Park Hotel Shiraz Iran , Tehran Hotel , Golshan hotel Shiraz , Chamran grand hotel Shiraz Fars Iran , best Hotel In Shiraz , atlas hotel Shiraz , Aryobarzan Hotel , Apadana Hotel Persepolis , Niayesh hotel