Getting into a foreign country is a big challenge when you stay in there just for some days or weeks. Especially when you don’t have enough time to get compatible with the culture, differences, habits and rules of a country. Here are some little guides for those who would like to take calm, unsurprising trip to Iran!
Toilettes in Iran are unique and different from what you use in your country. Of course there are the western toilettes in some places but Iranian types are different in general as you see in the pictures. people know these types as “Iranian toilettes”, while the other form’s name is “Farangi” which means western in Persian. Therefore if you don’t feel free to use Iranian ones, ask in hotels if they have rooms in which there is a western toilet. Otherwise it’s a good idea to know how to use it.
In Iranian toilets there is always water and you have to squat and wash yourself with water instead of using toilet papers to get clean. In fact, although since water is everywhere in toilets, you can hardly find toilet papers. As a result, remember to carry a roll of toilet paper with you. You also should be very careful about toilette papers and napkins you use because they are not Water-soluble. So it could end up with a big trouble! traveling to Iran
Money, credit cards
Since Iran is under strict sanctions, there is no banking relation between this country and others. As a consequence, credit or visa cards don’t work in anywhere. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you have more cash money than you usually take with yourself in other trips. Perversely, no matter where you are coming from and what currency you carry, in all exchange offices, you can sell your own money and buy Iranian ones. However it had much better to exchange your currency in your country into US Dollar or Euro. These currencies are more frequent and usual throughout Iran.traveling to Iran
Dress codes in Iran
Iran is an Islamic and religious country, and women are supposed to wear scarf and men are recommended to wear long-sleeve shirts and not to wear short pants. You also as a tourist have to respect the law however, the situation for tourists is not severe and there is a comprehensive atmosphere throughout Iran for foreigners who are there to visit the country. Everybody in Iran knows well that covering body is not a part of westerns culture and believes, therefore don’t get panic. These rules are just important to follow by Iranians. Consequently, wearing a simple scarf, a long skirt or pants would be enough and would be considered as a sign of high level of your respect, understanding and comprehension by government and Iranians.
Despite all of that, as Iranians are hospitable and friendly, it is very common to invite you to their party, that’s why we recommend you to take a casual dress just in case. If you forget, it’s not important. You can find all over this country, a lot of shops in which you can find whatever you need in a reasonable and right price.
Iran is absolutely famous and adorable for its substantial meals. Therefore you need to be careful about what you order. Since food is an important part of culture, traditions and hospitality in this country, with no doubt you will find Iranian foods significantly different from what you have eaten during your entire life. Honestly we, as Iranians have never heard tourist’s disinterest about our food but we recommend you to express your food habits first to your travel guide and then order your meal. Tour leaders in Iran are trustworthy to ask since they know travelers’ appetite well.traveling to Iran
Furthermore, if you have allergic to some special ingredients or spices like pepper or turmeric, tell it for sure to the waiters or your tour leader. Iranian meals are normally made by different kind of spices; however, it is totally normal for Iranian chefs to cook without spices if you ask them.
In general, Iranian cuisine is attached to meat but there are some meat-free foods among Iranian dishes. So if you are vegetarian, you don’t need to worry about what you are going to eat in Iran.traveling to Iran
Wherever you are coming from, we strongly recommend you bring all your medicine with you even if they are simple and omnipresent like painkillers or sedatives. It is very important because medicines are made in Iran according to Iranian lifestyle, food habits, Iran’s climate conditions and other factors which are not the same with other countries. As a result, by taking Iranian versions, there is the possibility of your body’s reaction. Plus, there are limitations and lack of vital medicines for specific illness in Iran. So if you have such disease, our recommendation is reinforced.
Forbidden stuff for travelling to Iran
As Islamic rules and regulations are applied in Iran, there are some restrictions toward some productions. For instance all kind of addictive drugs including Marijuana, alcohol drinks or pork products is strictly forbidden. So using them across the country or importing them into Iran could impose severe penalties, even if you are tourists.
You can’t take Photos near military and some government. Mostly visitors can find warning signs near these places. Although you are free to take photos in touristic monuments and other historical buildings or UNESCO sites throughout Iran, in the case you would like to take photo of people –especially in cities you meet citizens in local clothing- ask them before if they like or not. Some Iranians are not comfortable with that.
Internet in Iran
There is no public free internet in Iran. Normally you have an unlimited and free access to the internet in hotels, coffee shops and some restaurants. However, free internet in Iran is not accessible in stations, airports, buses, metro etc. Instead, you can easily buy a prepaid Sim card which helps you to get connected to the internet everywhere. What is very essential to know is that you are not able to visit some web sites while you stay in Iran since they are filtered to use. Don’t panic, everyone in Iran checks them up all the time and there are no fines for that. However, you need to install a VPN to browse these websites. Here is a list of filtered websites you maybe are used to check out every day:
Facebook, pintrest, bbcworldnews.com, cnn.com, youtube.