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Practical information about Iran

Your trip

When is the best time to plan your visit to Iran?

The best time to travel to Iran is in the fall (September to November) and in the spring (March to May). Then you have the most pleasant temperature and the landscape is lush and green. Most part of Iran has a desert climate with mild winters and extremely hot summers. In the mountains of Iran, the climate is cold and rainy (or snowy) in winter and warm and sunny in summer. You can travel to Iran most of the year, except in the summer, when it is generally above 40 degrees, and quite impossible to do anything.

Do I need insurance for my trip to Iran?

Everyone must take out travel and health insurance before leaving for Iran. Whether Iran is covered by your policy differs per insurance policy. In some cases this will not be a problem.  At CultureRoad we recommend: IATI Travel Insurance, a reliable company that has different insurance options that fits your personal needs. Book now to get a 5% discount!

Do I need a visa for Iran?

Unless they come from one of the countries exempt from visa requirements or those that qualify for a visa on arrival, visitors visiting Iran must get a visa from one of the Iranian diplomatic missions. Every tourist is required to have a passport that is at least six months old. 
Most nationalities have to get an eVisa (Visa on arrival) through the Iranian eVisa website. After acquiring the visa, you’ll need to visit the embassy get the physical visa or you can get it upon arrival in Iran. Typically, they won’t stamp your passport in Iran. 
Visitors from the United States, U.K. and Canada are required to get a visa with a tour operator. The visa takes several weeks to acquire so we strongly advise to start the process as early as possible.

What is the time zone in Iran?

Iran uses the time zone UCT +3.5.
Iran has a difference of +3.5 in the winter months and +4.5 in the summer time.

How can I pay and how much will I spend in Iran?

Iranians pay across the country with the Iranian Rial (IRR). Always make sure to bring enough cash with you on the trip, as ATMs are not working due to the sanctions.     
It is best to change money with the guide. He knows where the good, reliable exchange offices are and helps you with a good exchange rate. It is wise to bring Euros or American Dollars. These are accepted everywhere and can easily be changed. For the most recent exchange rate, visit www.xchange.com.
Of course, it mainly depends on yourself how much you actually spend in Iran but as a guideline we advise around  € 40 to € 50 per day. You should be able to make it with that amount. If you like to buy souvenirs, you better bring something extra. Soft drinks are usually around € 1 and a meal between € 5 and € 10. Tipping local guides is always encouraged. They don’t earn much in this part of the world and it often makes a big difference to them. Of course this is according to your own preference.

Do I have to arrange my international flight to Iran myself?

We are always available to advise you when booking a flight. However, most customers prefer to book the flight themselves. Often this is cheaper in terms of price and you can pick your own preferences. 

Practical information

What is the voltage and which plug should I use in Iran?

The complete electricity supply of Iran is 220 Volt / 50 Hz. Iran therefore uses the same plugs and sockets as in most of Western Europe. However, you may occasionally need adapter plugs, so we recommend to bring a universal plug. There is also regular power outages, so make sure to charge everything as soon as there is power in your hotel.

Is there internet access and can I make calls in Iran?

Internet is available at most accommodations (if it works). However, don’t expect a fast and steady connection. You would also need a VPN to visit social media pages or to use Google. In general everywhere in Iran is mobile coverage. You can also choose to purchase a local SIM card. Your local guide will be happy to help you with this.

Local culture

What are the local customs in Iran?

Iran is a strict Islamic country. Islamic dress and behavior rules are carefully followed. 
We have to respect a number of local rules and customs towards the local population.
– Women are required to cover their heads with a headscarf, wear pants (or a floor-length skirt), and a long-sleeved tunic or coat that falls to their mid-thigh or knees whenever they are in public. Men should wear long trousers and long-sleeve shirts.
– Always take off your shoes when entering a mosque or house. Never show your shoe sole when you sit down.
– Don’t pass by someone who is praying.
– It is forbidden to bring or drink alcohol to Iran.

Is it safe in Iran?

Saudi Arabia is known as a quiet and safe country. Should the situation change during your trip then we will change the itinerary accordingly. The local guide always has the final say.
A few things to keep in mind;
– If we have a long day to go, we start on time. If we have a car breakdown, we don’t want to get stranded after dark.
– If you want, you can register at your local embassy. If you have problems on the spot, it is much easier to get in touch with the embassy on site.

Can I take pictures in Iran?

In general, you can freely take pictures in Iran. However, there are a few points to keep in mind. 
– Do you want to take a picture of someone? Always ask permission from the person in question. Don’t just take pictures of women or praying people.
– Do not take photos of military personnel, military installations, police officers and government buildings. Are you in doubt? Ask your guide.

Food and drinks in Iran

One of the best cuisines in the world is Iranian, a amazing blend of sweet and sour that has nothing in common with Chinese cuisine. Main dishes include lamb with apricots or morello cherries, chicken with zereshk (barberries), lamb or beef with prunes and spinach or stewed dishes of meat and fruit. 
Persian food is not spicily hot or spicy. Rice (simple or infused with barberries, raisins, saffron, or herbs) and various sauces (or khoresht), cooked with vegetables, make up the majority of traditional Iranian cuisine (like eggplants, potato, lentils, beans, onions, and tomatoes). The most popular dishes are kebabs (skewered meat), which are easily found in little eateries on the side of the road. 
Food is typically produced using healthy, fresh ingredients. Vegetarians can order rice and cooked veggies, which is more and more common these days.

What should I wear in Iran?

Women are required to cover their heads with a headscarf, wear pants (or a floor-length skirt), and a long-sleeved tunic or coat that falls to their mid-thigh or knees whenever they are in public. Men should wear long trousers and long-sleeve shirts. In most hotels in the big cities you have the opportunity to do laundry.

Health and hygiene

Iran is a developing country and has been hit hard by the sanctions.  Healthcare is therefore very limited. Also in terms of hygiene, the standard is much lower than in the Western world. Make sure you have enough disinfection gel, sunscreen and insect repellent.
We advise you always to the last (health) risk programs for the region where you’re going to visit. Check with your own government for the latest info about your destination.

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