How many of you ever considered going to Iran? The main things we hear about the country is that it is completely closed off, the people live in terrible conditions and the dangers coming from Iran.
But we often forget that this is a country with amazing history, great and welcoming people and stunning landscapes. I had heard a lot about beauties of the country, but visiting it really surprised me. Just look at these photos first and let’s move to the tips:
I had wanted to go for a long time, but had a number of reservations, not the least the issue related to headscarves (which I don’t like wearing) and clothing. But after thorough research, which was rather complicated (you can find my tips for what to wear here), I found that it wasn’t that difficult, so I started planning the trip months in advance. One issue arose after another, but we managed everything wonderfully. These tips below will help you plan and easily overcome any difficulties.
Visa Policy of Iran
Unless you are a citizen of a couple dozen countries, you can get a visa on arrival. It is a simple procedure and doesn’t take too much time. One thing you should remember is that you will hardly be able to enter the country, if you have an Israeli visa or stamp in your passport.
When to Go?
Summers are too hot in most of the country, except the Northern parts, so unless you plan to visit Tabriz, Ardabil, Rasht, or around these regions, try to plan your trip either in spring or autumn. We visited during the end of September-beginning of October and it was still quite hot, which meant sweating under our scarves. A bit later would have certainly been better.
Accessing Your e-Mail or Facebook, and Other Blocked Websites
Iran has not only banned access to FB, but also Gmail (at times), Viber (also at times) and some other websites. Therefore, if you want to access any of these apps and websites, while in Iran, do what all foreigners do – download a VPN, preferably (or, well, definitely!), before you arrive. Most free VPNs are a lot of hassle and they keep turning off, but you can get some 5-10 minutes at least. If you can’t survive without your FB, then you will need to pay for a more advanced VPN service in order to get a reliable access. We found that the VPN that worked best was Express VPN, you also have Touch VPN, etc. I suggest downloading several of them and then, see which one works best for you at that particular moment.
Keep in mind that locals like to use WhatsApp most. So if you plan to communicate with them, have this app on your phone.
Getting a SIM Card
You can get a prepaid data sim card very easily in the airport or one of the tech shops in any city. They will need to see your passport. It will cost you approximately 5-10 US$ depending on how much data you need.
Would you like to see a sample itinerary for 10 days in Iran? Check out this post, and modify according to your taste and wishes.