Iran is fast becoming one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world. Tourism in Iran is on the rise and with good reason.
Quite possibly, Iranians are the most hospitable people in the world. It is truly an honor for them to host you in their home. And, if you’re lucky enough to be invited to share a meal with a local family, accept the invitation. You will eat better than you can imagine. The food is delicious and you will push back from the table with a belly full of happy.
Just like in any other country in the world, Iran has it’s issues, of course. But whether you visit the metropolis of Tehran, or the small historic village of Abyaneh in the desert cliffs, you will be welcome. Be smart, do your homework and respect the culture. Make sound travel plans within the country and book your accommodations through a reputable source to ensure a comfortable and successful stay.
For those of you that like to book ahead, Pintapin is the only Iranian hotel booking website that lets you pay with a foreign credit card. It’s a young business and there’s still room for improvement, but the interface is clear, and paying ahead saves you from having to bring an uncomfortable amount of cash to Iran.
Visiting Tehran is a feast for your senses, at times overwhelming, at times absolutely beautiful. It is massive in size and if you consider the outlying neighborhoods, the city of Tehran has a population of approximately 14 million. Traffic in the city can only be described as organized chaos and best left to the locals. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a taxi driven by a woman.
Although there are societal rules that you may not find in other countries, the people of Tehran live the same daily life as people do anywhere else. Restaurants abound and with a variety of food cultures represented, including pizza and fried chicken. The subways are super clean, comfortable and efficient. And yes, there are separate cars for women and men, but women can ride in the men’s car if they choose, but men cannot ride in a woman’s car.
The Grand Bazaar is not to be missed when visiting Tehran. Everything you could possibly imagine is available for purchase at the bazaar. And, don’t forget to haggle the prices, it’s part of the fun! Museums, parks, shopping, dining, accommodations, it’s all available in the grand city of Tehran. And, remember, western credit cards are not accepted, the visitor must pay with cash.
The Cradle of Civilization
While visiting Iran, be sure to allow time to visit other cities. Take a road trip with a guide, take a bus tour, or catch a flight to another city. Cities such as Isfahan, Kashan and Shiraz offer visitors wonderful cultural experiences. The world renowned Iman Mosque in Isfahan is an awesome square where locals gather to enjoy a summer evening with a picnic basket. Children run and play and eat ice cream. Kiosks line the main square where tourists shop for the perfect handcrafted gifts, such as a beautiful backgammon set with mother of pearl inlay, or colorful mosaic tiles.
There are 21 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran, a staggering number! From Persepolis to the Golestan Palace, Iran offers incredible opportunities to literally visit the very cradle of civilization.
Tourism in Iran is on the rise and with good reason.