Iran Dos and Don'ts

Traveling abroad can be one of the best times of your life, depending on what you do abroad. As a tourist, you should use common sense to watch where you go and how you behave. Following the rules that exist in almost all countries will ensure that your trip goes smoothly. So, learn more about the regulations in Iran.

In other words,
when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

First of all

Dress Code

Do respect the dress code. Women are expected to wear a headscarf at all times. Many Iranian women wear it a little loose and half on their head, as it is allowed to show a little hair. Tops must be loose-fitting, reach at least mid-thigh, and have three-quarter length sleeves. For men, the dress code is very similar to Western countries, but they are not allowed to wear shorts or extremely tight-fitting clothes and very short sleeves. However, Iranians do not lag behind the world of fashion and trends of the time. It is also possible that many Iranian wear European clothing in private parties and forgo the hijab.

Greeting, Relationship, and Cultural Codes

Do greet only members of the same sex, either by shaking hands or with a kiss. Iranian men and women are quite conservative and do not date. However, this is not always the case in modern cities like Tehran, especially among the younger generation.

Do
take off your shoes when entering a house or mosque.

Do prepare yourself for the culture of Taroof. This polite exchange takes place in all areas of Iran, from the streets and shops to private homes. Taroof consists of one person making an offer out of respect and the other refusing it. It may be repeated several times until the people finally realize whether the offer and rejection are real or simply due to politeness. Body language can often be a good indicator of whether.

Do
learn a few words of the language by using PTS daily Persian conversations.
Do prepare tourist sim cards.

Do not
show affection in public. Iran being a Muslim country, is not only frowned upon but forbidden. In the big cities, you may occasionally see a couple holding hands, but that’s all.

Do not
take photos of power plants, factories, transportation hubs, or anything related to the military or police; you do not want to look like a spy.

Do not
insult the Supreme Leader when talking about politics. Making statements against the government is punishable by law, so be careful who you talk. It is best to pretend to be neutral and not have an opinion. Many Iranians are very open about their discontent.

Do not forget that men and women sit separately on public transport, both busses, and subways. In busses, half of the bus is explicitly reserved for women and the other half for men. In the subway, on the other hand, there are special compartments just for women. However, this is not the only option. Women can also be accommodated in mixed compartments with men on the metro.

Do not
give a thumbs up. This is considered rude. As a backpacker, do not stand on the street with your thumb up. To catch the passing car, just hold up your hand.

Do not
blow your nose in public. If you need to, you can do it at WC.

Do not forget that Friday is a non-working day. Some bazaars and historic buildings are closed on Friday.

Do not be surprised if the WC on the way does not have toilet paper.
*Iran, like other countries, has citizens who sometimes break the rules, which should not surprise you.

Currency and Shopping

Do take all the money you need in Iran in cash. Foreign bank cards do not work here.

Do inform yourself about Iranian currency. The official currency, which is on banknotes, is the Rial. However, on the street, another currency is used to quote prices, the Toman. The difference is that the Toman omits a zero at the end of the Rial to make it easier for locals to talk about costs. Most of the time, prices are almost always quoted and discussed in Toman. For example, 100,000 Rial (Official Currency) = 10,000 Toman, which the locals then refer to as 10 thousand Toman. Put simply, the registered currency of Iran is the Rial, but people subtract a zero from it and call it Toman. The difference between Toman and Rial is only one zero. To pay, just try Toman.

Do inform yourself maybe get gum or band-aid in the rest of your money.

You can take the help of PTS’s shopping consultants
for buying different Iranian products.

 

Internet Connections

Do download a VPN when you are in Iran. This is the only way you can access certain websites or social media apps that are blocked, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Prohibited Items

Do not bring alcohol, drugs, narcotics, guns, and ammunition into Iran. Both are illegal, and the penalties for breaking the respective laws are harsh.