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Mahsa Mahdavi

Mahsa Mahdavi

My name is Mahsa, I'm a travel enthusiast and also content manager of Seven Seas Travelers

Travel to Iran Advice

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Is it your first time traveling to Iran? are you looking for some useful tips? Well, my name is Mahsa and I’m content manager of Seven Seas Travelers company I’m here to help you out with some useful pieces of information about travel to Iran advice that you might not find them anywhere else.Â

Safety

Most probably it’s the first question comes to your mind when you are planning to travel to new places. Against mainstream media propaganda that shows Iran as threat to world, our country is extremely safe specially for travelers. These days you can even see lots of young Iranian as well as other nationalities hitchhiking in Iran. And you know you cannot hitchhike as woman in a country which is not safe!

One of the reasons that Iran is very safe for travelers is respecting the guest is a part of our culture, whether a guest as relative or a guest as a traveler, so you’ll notice as soon as an Iranian realize that you are a traveler from for example Europe and you are interested to visit Iran they will get excited to help you for anything you might probably need. By the way, if you would like to know more about your safety you might probably search YouTube or travel blogs to get more information from other travelers recently visited Iran.Â

Currency

Using Iranian currency might be a little confusing for other nationalities, especially when you want to purchase something from the local market. Believe it or not even me as Iranian get confused by zeros!
First of all, you should know there are two main types for Iranian currency expression: first one is official expression of Iranian currency, which is called Iranian Rial (or simply Rial). The second expression is Tuman (or Toman) which is informal way of expressing our currency. Toman is actually a Mongolian word back to the invasion of Iran by Mongolian dynasty (1219) and it means a group of ten, widely used for a group of ten soldiers. During Qajar dynasty (1789-1925), by introducing banknotes, Toman became the official currency of Iran. During Pahlavi dynasty (1925-1979) Reza Shah started huge reforms on Iranian society and currency was one of the main things that he wanted to change. Rial (originally from Spanish Real) became Iran’s official currency (1929) but local businesses didn’t like it and they continued to express currency as Toman. Therefore, unofficially, every 10 Rials is called 1 Toman since then. Although today Toman is not our official currency but still every 10 Rials is considered as 1 Toman. Nowadays, 10 Rials is too small and you will not find anything worth that 10 Rials. In official transcripts, online purchases and price tags on any product you will see the amount in Rials. But if you are going to take a taxi, the taxi driver will tell you the rate in Toman. Confused?! Ok let me give you the easiest way to convert Rial to Toman, every time you see a banknote or a price tag in Rls (Rial) you should divide that number to 10. And of course if you want to convert Toman to Rial multiply that number to 10. That’s it!
But remember! Whenever you are buying something by your own, always ask: Is the price in Toman or in Rial?

Cash & Credit Cards

Well, we are under heavy unfair sanctions from United States, so our banking system is disconnected from Visa and MasterCard platforms. Therefore, you cannot use any sort of international credit card within borders of Iran. you need to bring money in cash with you, you can exchange your money in an exchange office in the airport or one of official exchange offices inside the city. Exchanging foreign currency is becoming illegal in the past few months in Iran, but don’t worry about it, this rules applies only to black market. Still there are plenty of official exchange offices that can exchange your currency for Iranian Rial. Because of recent sanctions on Iran, we had some sudden fluctuation in Iranian Rial in the past few months but currently (November 2018) the market seems to be calm and there no sign of sudden fluctuation in exchange rate. I need to remind you we have currently two different exchange rates in Iran, one rate applies to official governmental transactions and the other one is exchange office rate. In reality you have nothing to do with official exchange rate, you just need to know about exchange office rates and I have to tell you exchange office rates are way better than official rates for you. The best travel to Iran advice for your cash is to bring Euros instead of USD because you’ll find it much easier to exchange.Â

Greetings

There are different types of greetings in our culture, formal and friendly. But all of them starts with the word “salam” means (Hi or Hello) follows by shaking hands. Ladies with strong religious beliefs do not shake men’s hands and vice versa. But don’t get confused! you can wait to see if your opposite gender is completely OK with shaking hands. The other greeting type is of course friendly greetings, which starts with hugging and sometimes kisses on the chicks. However, the other person must be your friend or a close friend to approach you in such types of greetings. These types of greetings between two different genders is fine for most parts of Tehran and some other big cities, but it is absolutely not OK for religious or small cities. So, even if you are traveling with your close friends in religious cities please keep in your mind that their culture is against any kind of relationship outside marriage between male and female

Taarof !

In every culture you’ll find some words that you can’t translate them. Well, in Farsi we have a lot! taarof is a part of Iranian culture. When you are about to enter to a room you’ll see your Iranian fried insists that you must go first, sometimes you see a long friendly discussion between two Iranians which they insist that the other guy must enter the room first and it becomes sometimes funny sometimes exhausting. Guys one of you please enter the room! The other occasions you might see this Taarof thing is when you are about to buy something or a pay a taxi driver. They insist that they don’t want any money, you just want to pay them but they insist that no need for money! This way Iranians wants to show they respect their gusts because they are guests and they are not providing that service because of money. But in fact that person wants you to insists to pay him.  I know it might be annoying sometimes, but please keep insisting and pay the guy!!! Â

Fridays are Closed Here!

Our weekend starts from Thursday noon. Banks, Government sectors and most of private sector are closed after Thursday 13:00 until Saturday morning. But don’t worry, shops and tourism sites and many tourism companies are working the weekend. Most of the exchange offices are also closed during the weekend except especial exchange offices which close to touristic sites. For example, you always find some exchange offices in Kashan Bazaar or in Isfahan Bazaar or in Shiraz Vakil Bazaar. best travel to Iran advice for weekend is If you want to exchange money, it is better to exchange money before weekend so you won’t need to look for exchange offices during the weekend.Â

Iran Travel Visa

First off, since August 2018 you can receive your entry stamp in a piece of paper outside of your passport. So if you are planning to travel to United States you don’t need to be worry at all.  about Iran travel visa please read our visa page from here

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