Iran: When you arrive
Okay, you planned a travel to Iran and now you are in Iran, or about to depart and in need of some hand on information. Iran has a reasonable choice of accommodation, from tiny cells in noisy Mosaferkhunes (guesthouses) to luxury rooms in world-class hotels that are available in most towns and they are classified according to the star system. During the summer months and Norouz (Persian New Year), prices tend to be higher and hotels are busier. Often hotels quote prices in both US dollars and Rials. A Mosaferkhuneh can offer anything from a bed in a noisy, grotty, male-only dorm to a small, simple, private clean room. However they are the best option for those traveling on a tight budget.
Along the Caspian Sea coast and in rural resort-villages you can find local, renting out rooms in their homes. Such options include “suits”, which are furnished, self-contained apartments or bungalows. Villas are also popular there. Camping is relatively new and is not really a viable option.
There are very few official camping grounds and unless you can make yourself look like a nomad, camping anywhere else will draw unwanted attention from the authorities.
The two main ways of getting around in cities of Iran are taxis and buses. In Tehran subway is also a good substitute for many routs. It has got 3 lines (and 2 planning) with 28 stations. It is also one of the most punctual organizations in Iran. It operates from 6:00 – 22:00h with a detailed schedule.
One of the easiest ways of getting around in Iran especially in Tehran is by taxi. You only need to hail one. There are two kinds of taxis: shared or private. Shared taxis are mostly yellow or orange. If you wish the driver not to pick up any passenger and take you directly to your destination, specify to travel “Darbast”, otherwise he would go his route and pick up passengers. If you hire him, he will charge you more and it is better to haggle over the fare. You can also call taxi agencies or ask your hotel to arrange that for you. Lean more about Tehran tourist attractions
If you choose to get around very cheaply you can use bus. Most large town and cities have good local bus services. You should buy some tickets which are very cheap and board. In large cities like Tehran finding your right bus rout or the right station to get off will be difficult and confusing. Women and men are separated in the buses; women have to sit at the back and it will be very difficult if you are traveling as a couple and need to discuss where to get off. However, if you travel on a guided Iran tours then you will not have to be worry about any of above, seat back and enjoy the city.
To travel between cities there are 2 more options, you can go by train and air. Train routes are limited to the major cities and a train journey will take longer than traveling by the coach. But train tickets are often cheaper, they are more comfortable and their Sleeper berths at nights allow you having a good sleep while saving on time and a night’s accommodation.
Since Iran is a huge country, for people who are on a tight deadline, air services are a blessing. Airlines such as Iran air, Iran Aseman, Mahan, Kish air, and others provide an extensive network of flights to all provincial capitals and places of interest for travelers. The only problem can be availability; you need to book your ticket in advance. Using a travel agency is always easier and faster way for reservation.
Health care in the cities of Iran is good, but in rural areas is generally insufficient and Health facilities are limited. Travelers are advised to have full medical insurance and consult with their medical practitioner prior to travel. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, rabies, or typhoid. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or “childhood” diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed. Visiting your dentist before you go is also recommended.
There are numerous restaurants, fast food/pizza joints, Kababis, traditional tea-houses and hotel restaurants serving both Iranian and foreign cuisine. Persian foods as Kabab, Ghormeh Sabzi, Abgusht, Chelo Morgh and Fesenjan are available in almost all restaurants. Vegetarianism is foreign to most Iranian although there are a lot of good vegetarian dishes in Iranian dishes.
Alcoholic drinks are forbidden in Iran. Think of Iran as a cleansing experience, where your body can recover from all that overindulgence in alcohol. This way at least, you’ll feel better about not being able to get a drink. Drinks such as colas, locally produced Delster which comes in several flavors, and different fruit juices are available everywhere. You can find tea and coffee in tea-houses (chaykhuneh) and cafes all around the cities. Tap water is often drinkable and bottled water is widely available. Rad more about eating and drinking in Iran0