Is Iran Tourist Friendly?
Iran is a developing country with a population of 84 million.
It is situated in the Middle East, between the Gulf of Oman, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf. It is part of the South-Central Asian Union. It has common borders with Turkey, Azerbaijan's Naxcivan enclave, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to the northwest, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east and Iraq to the west. The entire northern part of Iran is covered in rainforests, and the northern part of Iran is called Shomal in Persian. The north resembles forests or woods rather than rainforests, but they are still called the Jungles of Iran.
Tehran is Iran's capital and the most populous city in Iran. The official language in Iran is Persian. Iran's important tourist cities are Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman, and Tabriz. The word "Persia", based on historical texts and some educational schoolbooks, means greatness and magnificence. Iran is a shelter to one of the world's ancient civilizations, includes 24 cultural and natural historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Many tourists are surprised after visiting Iran and seeing its unique natural, historical and cultural beauties. In addition, some people decide to travel to Iran again after their first trip.
Unfortunately, Iran's picture before the entire world is not the utmost. It is due to the bad diplomatic relations with countries like the U.S.A. and the U.K. and propaganda from the Western media. The Western press has primarily driven Iran's depiction of being a terrorist-driven, American-bashing, nuclear weapon-holding and women-oppressing society, which is among the reasons people carry the most distinguish bias about this country and believe they should not travel to Iran. Some foreign Ministry websites of some countries have warned their people about traveling to Iran. For example, the U.S. government warns against traveling to Iran, claiming that Iranian authorities might harass U.S. citizens or arrest them while traveling there. However, many Americans have visited Iran and have recounted their journeys to clarify the true face of this country.
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Many American tourists who visit Iran make videos of their trip and talk closely with citizens. Before they travel to Iran, most receive hundreds of messages, all saying Iran is not a safe country and they will be in trouble. But all of them claim they cannot understand such a negative attitude towards Iran after visiting.
Moreover, many tourists from other European countries assert that Iran is safe and secure after visiting. According to numerous opinions from tourists who visited Iran from around the world, the Iranians are kind and hospitable. Their respect for tourists stems from their hospitality, generosity, and understanding of Iranians. Tourists like to visit Iran because Iranian families respect a tourist as a human being and a guest.
Secondly, they religiously believe guests are like "gifts from God". For this reason, Iranians take good care of the security and well-being of tourists who visit Iran. This message means that the security of all tourists entering Iran from other countries is fully guaranteed, and these respected guests enjoy complete safety and security. Many travelers describe Iran as one of the 'safest countries they have ever been to'. Some even say it is easier to get mugged in Europe than in Iran. Also, violent crimes opposing foreigners are exceedingly rare. Many tourists' perception of Iran has changed after traveling to Iran; many realize that what the media says about Iran is far from the truth. Iran is home to the most hospitable people who make your solo travel journey safe, rewarding, and fun. It is a crucial part of Iranian culture to make an effort to help you, and it's normal to share their phone number on a piece of paper or a business card just in case you need to call someone. Some may even open their arms to give you a warm welcome or invite you to their house for dinner or tea.
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The people of Iran are just as eager to show you they are not how they are portrayed to the world, just as you should be showing them that the Western world does not hate them. There is never a suitable time for those worried, anxious or scared. Of course, you must keep up-to-date with any significant political changes and your country's diplomatic relations, but avoid listening to the hive of fearmongering and those who say don't travel to Iran. It is crucial to know that breaking the rules of Islamic society, like consuming alcohol, taking drugs and engaging in sexual activity with locals, can result in deportation, arrest or even worse. It is normal to ask questions like "Is Iran safe to visit?" or "Isn't it dangerous to stay in Iran?" before traveling to Iran due to the misinformation about Iran. However, This article will answer all your questions and mention everyday prejudices people have about Iran and why you should turn a deaf ear to them.
| Read more: Can I Travel to Iran from USA?
Is Iran Dangerous?!
Some people think about Iran as a battleground; however, Iran is one of the safest countries you can ever visit. You can wander around at night and never have any problems at all. Also, you can use your mobile phones in public places. In most European countries, this sounds gibberish, but you can not do this in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for example. Even people commonly left their cars unlocked when parked, and so on. As for anywhere else in the world, you must be careful. Knowing your limits and where you can or can not go is essential. But anyway, in your time in Iran, you can walk anywhere and never feel threatened. And it applies to all the cities in Iran, such as Tehran, Masouleh, Ramsar, Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Karman, Abadan, Shush, Hamedan and Tabriz.
Iran Is Unsafe for Tourists Because They Are "Extreme Arab Muslims."
Iranians are not Arabs; we are Persians – which, furthermore, does not justify any prejudice against Arabs, but it would be like, in a very unfair comparison, to call Irish a British or a Brazilian an Argentinian. The Persian Empire was the biggest and oldest the world has ever seen. Its religion was Zoroastrianism (the first Manichaeism religion in the world and the one which impacted all the others, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and only from the Arab invasion around 600 AD when they became Muslims. Thanks to the rich Persian poetry and literature, Iran is one of the few that suffered the Arab invasion and were still able to keep their traditions, which is seen in our way of eating, working, hosting, writing, speaking and so on. We even have a unique way of celebrating New Year, a week of festivities and family gatherings that trace back to Zoroastrianism.
As A Tourist, You Do Not Need to Feel Any Repression.
Every country has some rules that must be obeyed. But, if you respect it, you will not have any trouble. For example, in Iran:
● Alcohol is forbidden.
● Women should wear a scarf.
● Men should not wear short trousers and so forth...
Iran Is Dangerous for Female Solo Travelers.
Many female tourists usually have two main concerns when they travel to Iran: First, what is the security situation in Iran for a woman to travel? If a woman wants to travel to Iran alone, is it possible? According to the actual individual experience of female tourists who have traveled to Iran, Iran is one of the safest countries they have ever traveled to. They confirmed that there are no worries about women's safety in Iran. The peace and security of this country surprised many women tourists and completely changed their minds about its people. Also, they said there are no harmful or tense vibes in the street. The Iranians whom they have encountered are extremely friendly and helpful. They found Iran to be safe. Despite the differences and limitations compared to European and American countries, Iran is safe, accessible, and completely easy to navigate as a solo female traveler.
Etiquettes in Iran
Like any country, it is crucial to know, understand and stick to cultural and religious customs, rules and regulations that can mostly be very different from those at home.
Here are some primary rules for etiquette in Iran and also some exciting facts on Iranian culture:
- - One of the common forms of social manners is "TAROF", where Iranians generally insist on offering things to people but sometimes do not mean it. However, it would be best if you never accept the first time.
- - In the month of Muharram (the mourning month of Imam Hossein(a.s)), people DO NOT usually wear bright or happy colours (especially red) to respect religious sentiments.
- - During Ramadan, when most people perform fast during the day, eating and drinking in public places is considered disrespectful.
- - In restaurants in Iran, it is incredibly displeasing to see anyone clear their nose in public, especially loudly.
- - Generally, it is rare to see somebody break the wind in a restaurant or public place.
- - Shaking hands between the opposite gender is also a complicated matter. Generally speaking, it is not suitable for men and women who are unrelated to each other to shake hands. However, it is entirely relative. Usually, it is not suggested for female tourists to extend their hand towards a male, and it's best to keep their distance.
- The thumbs-up signal is disrespectful in Iran, and it is advised not to use it, especially in the presence of aged people.
- - Talking about public displays of affection, you notice that tender kissing, touching, and shaking hands between men and women who are relatives are very regular.
- - However, Iranian dating customs are very complicated. You can kiss your significant other on the cheeks, but a French kiss strictly crosses the line. One would not object to holding each other's hands. It's relative to what extent the public display of affection is tolerated. For instance, places such as inside holy places and religious cities, things like this would not be permitted.