What to Pack
Traveling to Iran: What to Pack?
Have you decided to visit Iran? Great! Then you should think about the dress code before packing. Packing for Iran is a little different than other countries because Iran is an Islamic country with a specific dress code for both men and women. This article will help you decide what to take and what to leave behind.
Women Dress Code
Women are required to wear a hijab, which is a head covering that covers the head, hair, and neck, when in public. However, it is not necessary to cover every strand of hair. Remember to have a headscarf in your carry-on because you are expected to cover your hair soon after leaving the plane. The hijab also includes a manteau, a long, loose coat or overshirt that covers your bottom, has long sleeves, and is not too low-cut in the chest area. As for pants, wear ones that cover your ankles and are not torn. Contrary to many tourists’ assumptions, you do not have to wear baggy pants. Many young women in Iran even wear leggings these days. Good news! When it comes to shoes, there are no restrictions. So you are free to wear sandals or flip-flops, but you should check the time of year as it can get quite cold in some parts of Iran
in winter. (See “What to Pack for Iran in Different Seasons?” in this article).
Unlike what some guides might say, there are no written rules about the color of your clothes. So you are free to choose the colors of your scarf, manteau, pants, and shoes. During your stay in Iran, you will surely notice that young people wear colorful and stylish clothes despite the restrictions imposed by the hijab.
Makeup and Painted Nails
Most Persian women love to put on makeup and take care of their appearance. So applying makeup is not only not forbidden, but it has also become a feminine culture. Painted nails are also perfectly fine, as most Persian women also get their nails painted at professional nail salons.
You may have seen photos of tourists or locals wearing a long piece of cloth over their heads and around their bodies. Although wearing a chador is not obligatory in everyday life. But you will be asked to wear one when you are in a religious place, such as at the shrine of a holy person or in certain mosques. However, you are not required to bring a chador with you, as you will be given one upon entry.
Where Can I Take Off My Hijab?
The above rules are required by law and must be observed in public. This means that you can wear what you want in the privacy of your home, such as your hotel room. You can also wear whatever clothes you want if you are invited to a local’s house, but be careful not to offend their religious beliefs by doing so. It’s always safer to ask if they are okay with it beforehand.
Dress Code for Men
Packing for Iran is easier for men and not much different from what you pack for other countries. Men must wear long pants and are not allowed to wear shorts or sleeveless tops. These rules are especially true for more religious cities like Mashhad, Qom, Kashan, and Yazd.
What to Pack for Iran in Different Seasons?
Iran is a magnificent country that enjoys four seasons. Also, the country is about 1.6 million square kilometers, so the climate varies greatly depending on your location. We will try to give you a general idea of your trip to Iran in the different seasons and what you need to take with you to be prepared.
The weather in spring is a mixture of winter and summer. In early spring, i.e., from mid-March to mid-April, it can sometimes get very cold, especially if you decide to travel to Iran’s northern cities or more mountainous locations. In more centrally located cities such as Isfahan, Kashan, Yazd, and Kerman, the weather becomes warm during the day and much colder at night. However, in late spring and early May, the weather gets more summery and hotter, especially in the central cities.
We recommend packing closed-toe shoes, like sneakers, if you plan to visit Iran in early spring, and more open-toe and breathable shoes if you plan to visit in late spring. If you are staying in more than one city, it is advisable to pack both.
Make sure to pack light jackets and cardigans for this time of year, as it can sometimes get chilly in the early morning hours, warmer as the sun rises, and cooler again in the evening. Be sure to bring a rain jacket if you want to extend your trip north.
Summers can be brutally hot in Iran, so packing the right stuff to be prepared is essential. The most important thing to pack is a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Make sure to renew your sunscreen every two hours, or you might get a bad sunburn.
Since there are no restrictions on footwear, we recommend wearing open-toed shoes like sandals and flip-flops to avoid sweating and keep your body cooler.
Nothing is worse than tight, sweaty clothes on a summer day. So pack loose, light-colored pants and cotton shirts to stay cooler. If you are not sure what to buy and take with you, let us say what exactly to buy. In this case, you can store your clothes in Iran, as you will find more seasonally appropriate and stylish clothes there.
One piece of advice, pack a light jacket in your suitcase as well because, in desert-like areas, it can get a bit chilly at night.
Just as in spring, the weather in autumn alternates between pleasant and cold. From mid-September to mid-October, the weather is usually quite nice and sometimes rainy and windy, but from late October, the weather becomes quite cold and rainy in some cities.
Closed-toed shoes and half-boots are suggested to both keep you warm and protect you from occasional rain.
In addition to warm pants and shirts, pack warm scarves and hats to protect your head and ears from the cold. Same as spring, a light rain jacket can be helpful for your stay in the fall.
Of course, winters in many countries around the world are known for being cold, but what makes winter apart from others is the fact that there is often little to no precipitation in the central cities. Due to its geography and the existence of two wide mountain ranges, the central part of Iran receives not many downfalls, resulting in very cold and dry winters.
The best shoes for this time of year are undoubtedly boots and half-boots. Do not forget to pack some warm socks as well.
Warm winter shirts, sweaters, and cardigans with a winter jacket over them are the perfect choice for your stay in Iran. You can wear woolly hats and headscarves as a hijab to keep warm and cover your hair.
What Not to Pack
Now that we have clarified what you need in Iran let us talk about prohibited things in this magical land. Remember that you agree to abide by its rules during your stay by agreeing to travel to a country. Even if you find or are offered any of the items listed below, you should not take, use, or consume them.
Alcohol or Drugs
The production or consumption of alcohol was restricted shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Since then, alcoholic drinks and anything containing alcohol has been banned in Iran. This means that you can not bring anything that contains alcohol and that you can not find it in Iran. But do not worry. You can try Persian beer and a lot of new food and drinks there. Moreover, drug use and trafficking are prohibited and lead to heavy fines.
Pig meat of any kind is not allowed in Iran. So make sure you do not bring any kinds of pork or pig-based products into Iran.
Despite how it may sound, traveling to Iran is going to be an unforgettable experience. So do not let different dress codes and some rules stop you from visiting this mesmerizing land. Even if you are unsure what to buy and what to bring, you can always find something suitable in Iran. Enjoy your memorable stay in Iran! Our travel consultants at PTS will also be happy to help you.