Due to international political concerns and defamatory media coverage of Iran, there are many unfavorable perceptions of this nation across the world, and many tourists fail to remember that all of these disagreements are between governments, not between the people (Iran safety).
Iranian friendliness is one of the key elements that has always drawn tourists. A lot of western tourists are uninformed of Iranian attitudes regarding guests and have inaccurate perceptions of Islam as a result of misinformation about the religion.
Although lately there has been political and civil unrest that is still continuing. In light of this, there are a few considerations you should make if you intend to travel to Iran. We will guide you thoroughly and provide critical information so that you could have a safe and amazing experience in this beautiful country.
Currently, is Iran a safe destination to travel to?
Generally; yes, but please stay in registered accommodations.
Perhaps the first thing that makes travelers in doubt is the announcement of a red status from some European countries for traveling to Iran and this is after the collapse of the diplomatic and political relations of the countries, which is partly tied to the JCPOA issue, and these relations have become darker as several citizens of European countries were arrested in Iran. But the reality of these arrests sometimes comes back to the performance of those people for not complying with the laws of Iran and their own carelessness due to the fact that they were given warnings in advance (You can write to the notification of several countries, including France, Germany, and the Netherlands, to warn their own citizens).
For example; one of the Italian nationals who was recently arrested in Iran attended and reacted to the protests on her social network and said political words that when someone travels to a country as a tourist, she should not go beyond her limits. Other countries are sensitive and the traveler who plans to travel should remain neutral and respect the laws while in Iran.
He should not support the protests in any way, take and publish photos or videos, participate in the protests, and even stay in the houses of Iranians in this sensitive situation. As long as these principles are observed, there will be no problem for any foreigner without reason.
Regarding this question, it should be explained from what date and for what reason the protests started (the text should not be written in a political way and only tell the facts in a way that does not create a bad and insecure feeling in the audience), that the protests in the sections A special event, which is mostly in residential areas and universities, is held with specific programs and is not seen publicly in the city.
Most of these protests were in Tehran, Sanandaj and Zahedan, so our suggestion is to avoid traveling to Zahedan and Sanandaj for now and if you come to Tehran, it is better to stay at a hotel after 7 o’clock, otherwise, during the day and especially historical cultural places, there will be no problem for foreign visitors.
In other tourist cities, such as Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Qom, Mashhad, Tabriz and Kerman, protests have been much, much less, to the extent that even the people of these cities sometimes do not see any demonstrations and daily life goes on normally. It cannot be seen in a special way except by prior invitation and mostly in universities, otherwise the historical places are completely safe and many travelers are visiting the city without any problems.
Islands like Qeshm, Hormuz and Kish have no demonstrations and are completely safe for travel.
Owing to the current political climate in Iran, do all travelers need a guide for their trip to Iran at all times?
No, only Americans, British and Canadians need to travel with a certified guide and book a tour from authorized travel agencies with a fixed plan.
Apart from these three special nationalities, the Ministry of Heritage has suggested that for the safety of travelers and to travel to Iran without stress, if travelers are traveling to Iran in groups of 2 people or more, it is better to have tour and guide services. It does not mean that travelers (other than the above 3 nationalities) are required to travel with a tour and can obtain their visas individually (Apply Iran Visa), they just need to announce their travel plan.
In the current situation in Iran, is it possible and safe to only cross Iran to get to another country? Do we need to apply for a transit Visa?
Yes, but in order to cross the county you need to apply for a tourist visa.
It is recommended to stay in registered accommodations and not explore the border cities like Ahvaz and Zahedan or if they plan to travel to these cities, it must be with prior arrangement and preferably with a guide.
The villages and small towns of Iran are completely safe and no demonstrations are seen in public. Currently, many families from Switzerland, France and Belgium are traveling in Iran with camper vans and intend to leave Iran for other countries, as well as a large number of cyclists and motorcyclists visiting Iranian cities individually and by land. They do plan to go to other countries such as Pakistan, Dubai, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey.
Is it still possible to apply for an Iranian Visa?
Yes, anyone can apply for an Iranian tourist visa in the current situation and there are no restrictions. (Apply Iran Visa)
What are the chances of getting an Iranian tourist visa these days? I want to be sure whether it is granted to get my visa grant and then spend money on it.
The only unclearness is that you may experience a bit of delay in the process of visa approval.
In the first weeks of protests, the Internet may be disrupted internally and access to internal sites will be somewhat difficult, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will review the visa process in 3-5 working days according to the routine of 10 days, and if the traveler’s documents are complete and the program is complete, he/she can expect to gain a response during the 3-5 working days. If he/she registered his/her trip in the shortest time, he/she can expect to receive an answer in 3-5 working days. It should be noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do not work on Thursdays, Fridays and official holidays, so these days are not counted as working days. So, you can safely apply for a visa from the link on the visa page.
Is it safer to apply for an Iranian visa through agencies?
Yes, as you need to send your itinerary with details to the agency that is applying for your visa; so, in case any sort of problems occurs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be able to help you along your journey.
Based on the experience of many travelers who came to TripAdvisor (this link), those who applied individually on the MFA Evisa site, their application was rejected or was pending for a long time and finally had to apply through a travel agency shortly before the flight. Our advice is that in order not to lose time and to increase your chances of getting a visa, apply for a visa through a travel agency in Iran such as TAP Persia so that you don’t lose time and maybe you don’t get into trouble when you are close to the flight because you may miss your flight.
Can I apply for an Iranian Visa just to visit my family members in Iran?
Yes, it is possible, if you have a friend, fiancé, family, etc. in Iran, you must inform the agency that you have a host, and with the required documents from the host and his/her letter, you can travel and stay in their house or accompany them during your travel in Iran.
Do we need to guarantee that we are not going to be involved in Iran’s protests?
No, but you should keep in mind some recommendations for your very own safety:
- Avoid gatherings of any kind for your safety.
- Do not use a big camera or video recording or photography in gatherings.
- Do not use a drone during the trip.
- During the time of attendance, do not post anything about gatherings and protests on your social networks.
- Do not stay in the locals’ house without prior notice, unless you already have a host and have received an invitation letter.
- If possible and if you have the budget, it is better to use a guide for city and intercity visits.
Generally speaking if you follow the laws of this nation, there won’t be any issues.
Is it safe to travel to Iran as a tourist?
Yes, if you stay in hotels, hostels and traditional houses; there will be no problem, but it is recommended to stay away from Couchsurfing and stay in Iranian homes without prior notice and request from the host.
Due to the current situation, is it possible to get a Visa but still be stopped by the Iran government from entering the country?
No. If you have your visa grant letter in your hands, it means the Ministry already has approved you to enter the country. So if the visa is approved, there is no problem for visitors and they can travel to Iran.
What should you do when there is a protest going on?
You should keep in mind to stay away from protests and not try to take pictures of them.
As the government of Iran disrupted the internet, how can we be in touch with our family outside of Iran and keep them updated?
You can buy a SIM card at the airport to easily call, text and use e-mail through mobile data and communicate with your family in this way. WhatsApp, Instagram and other social networks are not available, but if you have installed a VPN before entering Iran, you can definitely access them.
You can also use the hotel’s Wi-Fi network. In fact, there are ways of communication, but they are more limited so that the situation of the protests is still. Also, if you travel through a travel agency such as TAP Persia, the support team is on the phone throughout the entire trip, 24 hours a day to answer your needs.
When is it going to be safe to travel to Iran?
It is definitely not possible to announce a time for the full completion of the protests that started in Iran, and this should not make you cancel or postpone your trip, these protests are similar to any protest, such as the events in France and America. This does not mean that there is no security for travel and by traveling, you will see the realities and even support the affected local communities.
During this time, many small businesses were damaged due to the internet outage, especially those involved in tourism. In other words, you are actually helping them by traveling to Iran so they can have their own income stream during this difficult time.
Are morality policies going to arrest tourists for not wearing proper hijab?
Not specifically, but tourists should obey the rules of this country, and since Iran is a Muslim country, tourists are advised to wear their hijab properly.
In case of getting involved in protest movements, can we contact our own country’s embassy in Iran to help us?
Just leave the place, there is no need to call in the beginning, but if the police ask you, just explain that you are traveling and where you are staying.
Is it true that Iran is arresting tourists visiting there?
No. Avoid the protest movements, avoid taking pictures in certain areas and behave normally, you’ll be out of trouble.
Several people have been arrested for disobeying customary laws, but in general, they have nothing to do with any foreign traveler and to confirm this, they can ask their own embassies for the reason for the arrest.
Is it safer to spend less time in Tehran and go to Kashan instead?
Kashan is a must-see city if you ask us, but as for safety, you can also stay in Tehran avoiding certain streets and being safe.
There is no problem during the day, it is suggested to avoid going out after 7 o’clock in Tehran for the time being unless it is with a guide and a vehicle. You can definitely go to a restaurant.
But if the traveler is concerned about their safety, they can go directly to Kashan from Tehran or even take their own flight directly to other cities such as Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz and Bandar Abbas.
Is the bus station area safe?
Of course. You can safely travel by bus to any destination without facing trouble.
All airports, bus terminals, trains, etc. are safe and have no problems. Traveling by intercity taxis and guides is also considered safe.
Which cities are safe?
Most cities are fine visiting, still, we suggest avoiding certain border cities. All the cities except Zahedan and Sanandaj are quite safe. We will inform you through this article if these cities become safe.
Do you think it is safe to cycle in Iran?
Yes, just at the moment for the matter of your safety and security; please be a little more cautious about the roads you choose to cycle on. Even many families travel with camper vans.
One of the primary reasons why Iranians have taken to the streets in the past two weeks to demand change is the long-term economic downfall of the nation. One thing that links those who oppose and support the administration is economic distress. So basically people are dealing with economic hardship and stressful life. If you are thinking about not visiting Iran or are wondering whether to cancel your ticket or not, keep in mind that by doing so you will make the economic situation of the Iranian people much harder because there will be no money injected into the people’s budget. Actually, the government of Iran will see no kind of pressure because it will not affect their wealth but only the people, unfortunately. Therefore, by visiting Iran you will actually help the people of this country.
Here are some of the opinions in See You in Iran & Voyager en Iran Groups on Facebook from the tourists’ experiences of their trips during the last month (October 2022):
2022 Travel Risk Map
According to the 2022Travel Risk Map, launched by global risk experts International SOS in collaboration with Control Risks, Iran is listed in the Medium Risk category, the same as popular destinations such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia & even some of Egypt.
It is worth mentioning that Iran has been on the list of “Low Risk” countries in 2019.
According to their website, this report uses several factors like political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest, and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal, and ethnic violence) as well as a violent and petty crime to determine the risk of traveling to every country in the world.
If you decided to travel to Iran, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind:
Iran travel advisory:
Can I trust locals:
Besides the picture that Media shows about Iran, Iranians never let terrible noises and events affect their daily lives. Thankfully, Iran’s local charms and cultural heritage have attracted millions from the world to visit end enjoy the best form of unique and intimate friendship.
Moreover, regarding Iran travel safety, Iranians always have been known for their hospitably and the way they treat foreigners.
When you enter the country the first thing that stands out is the tendency of locals to try to communicate with you and help you in some way.
Surprisingly, you should be ready to take off your shoes and sit down for a picnic in the park or have tea with a local in their home. Iranians are genuinely warm and there is high possibility that they will insist on your joining them for the night.
While the vast majority of cases are harmless locals trying to connect, not just in case of Iran travel safety but anywhere else; use your best judgment when accepting offers from strangers.
Is Iran safe to fly in?
At first, Here is the best indicator of whether you should get on a flight: The safety and security of your destination and the airline that you’ve chosen.
Flying, even to Iran, is still one of the safest transportation options available. The global average of plane crashes is far less than 1 in a million.
And when it comes to Iran travel safety in case of travel with airplanes, it is worth mentioning, most of the well-known and credible airlines for instance Turkish Airlines is operating daily routes to Tehran. Qatar Airways, Emirates & Pegasus Airlines, have several flights a week. Other Operators such as China Southern also have several flights to Iran.
Traveling as a solo female in Iran
As you may have heard, Iranians are known for their unlimited amiability. Everyone them wants to make sure that you are happy and safe. So, traveling as a solo female in Iran is not just worrisome but exciting.
While it is true that the Middle East is known for being a man-dominated region, in Iran, things are a bit different. Women’s presence in society, especially in bigger cities, is much more noticeable compared to the other middle eastern countries. We have a comprehensive article regarding the safety of Iran for solo female travelers. Iranian police are also quick to handle any harassment issues.
You are going to be amazed by the way Iranians respect women and you will see many people during the day who are keen to help you out with different things.
However, you shouldn’t trust any kind person not In Iran or anywhere else.
Iran nightlife safety?
While Iran may not have bars or clubs, Iranians in bigger cities do enjoy hanging out in public or private until well past midnight. If you are looking for a place to hang out, you can easily find activity in parks, city centers, and major attractions.
Be ready to take off your shoes and sit down for a picnic in the park or have tea with a local in their home. Iranians are genuinely warm and will insist on your joining them for the night.
While as much as it sounds fun and adventurous but you should always watch out.
Emergency numbers you should know
Here are some emergency phone numbers you should save on your phone while traveling throughout Iran
- Local Police: 110
- Emergency Hospital Services: 115
- Fire and Rescue Team: 125
- Iranian Red Crescent Society: 112 (Especially used for hikers and trekkers)
Do you need a tour guide to be safe in Iran?
Iran travel advise on visiting Iran on your own
It is completely secure to visit Iran on your own, you can find English signs and people who are very warm and helpful. However, when an experienced tour guide accompanies you, this experience won’t be forgotten.
Not only you form a genuine human connection, but you also get to experience each location like a true, everyday local.
Furthermore, you make the most of your time based on the defined plan. It is best to check out our Iran-tours and book one of them right now. So, you can sit back, relax and immerse yourself in a whole new world.
Iran travel warnings
Actions to avoid
You may wonder as a traveler what you must have in mind before traveling to Iran in 2022. Apart from a political point of view, some hints should be considered that if you stick to all the mentioned points below, you can be sure that there won’t be a problem and you are completely safe.
- Using a drone in Iran needs specific permissions (Are drones permitted in Iran?).
- Don’t take photos of police, military bases, and protests
- Have a copy of your documents everywhere you go in case you were asked to present them
- Only trust authorities and ask for ID confirmation
- Journalists, press photographers, and government/public sector employees need a special Iran-visa.
- Do not bring any alcohol or drugs with you to prevent any problems while traveling to Iran
Parts of Iran you should avoid or travel to with caution
Concerning Iran travel safety, visiting the Western regions like Kurdistan or Sistan-va-Baluchestan region in the East has been always questioned by travelers wanting to visit more non-touristy areas of the country. While some countries ask their passport holders not to travel to parts of these regions, there are still adventurers who choose to explore their beauty. Visiting these areas is an extraordinary experience.
In Western regions, you meet Iranian Lurs ethnic and Kurds who are famous for their hospitality and fascinating culture which for a good reason, they’re all proud of it. Many tourists choose to travel to the Western regions like Kurdistan, but if you are concerned about Iran travel advisory in this matter, some sources mention not to travel within the 50 kilometers range of the Iran-Iraq border.
For a long time, Sistan-va-Baluchestan region has not been a popular destination among Iranians and foreigners. Although, this is changing quickly as some cities like Chabahar have attracted many Iranian tourists in recent years. Speaking of Chabahar, this part of the region is generally considered as safe as other parts of the country as the government has been investing in creating a tax-free trade zone.
However, if you’re planning to travel to the little-known parts of the region, I recommend traveling with a local guide. Being close to Pakistan and Afghanistan borders and the police struggle with smugglers has kept many travelers from visiting the region. As a result, many stunning parts of the region are yet to be discovered.
Iran is all about people, people, people
Iran is one of the most misunderstood countries in the world.
For the same reason, many travelers are surprised to see how the country and its people are completely different from their expectations. Almost every solo female traveler we have talked to has confirmed that they feel more comfortable walking alone at night in the cities of Iran compared to some European countries.
When you first visit Iran, one of the first things you might notice is the number of attention locals give to you as a tourist. Most Iranians tend to show a lot of respect towards foreigners. It is very common to be invited for a cup of tea or even for a dinner at their home. Making friends in Iran is definitely what will make your experience unique and unforgettable.
Are you ready to dive into a memorable journey? If so Iran Travel Guide can help you take the very next step.