Getting to and around Iran

Traveling is first about reaching the destination, whether it is the country itself or around the country. In Iran, a wide range of vehicles and drivers provide taxi services to passengers. Airplanes, minibuses, and even carriages are among them. They range from planes to minibuses and even carriages. If you want to be extra smart on the road, be sure to read this article!

Getting to Iran

The main international airport in Iran was Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran. However, there are currently 13 international airports in Iran. The good news is that you can save time and money by not going back to Tehran twice. Nowadays, tourists use different airports in two cities for their arrival and departure to have a better chance of seeing the vast cities of Iran. Currently, there are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Iran due to the long distance. However, after the sanctions were lifted, several European and Iranian airlines have resumed flights to and from Europe. It is also possible to enter Iran through the various states of the Persian Gulf. There are also other options such as trains and buses to travel from certain destinations to Iran. Iranian railways are connected to Syria and Turkey, and bus lines are connected to Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

[ vehicles ]

Getting Around in Iran

  • Airplane
  • Train
  • Metro
  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Biking
  • Other
If you have limited time in Iran, getting around by plane is the least time-consuming option. It's more expensive than traveling by bus or train, but it's still cheap. The government sets maximum fares, so price competition between different airlines is possible. For example, for a one-way ticket from Tehran to Shiraz, you will have to pay about 9 million rials (about €180) and from Tehran to Yazd about 7 million rials (about €140).
Currently, IranAir and Mahan Air are the largest and most reliable operators. Iran Air, the oldest airline in the Middle East, is Iran's only flag carrier airline. It is also referred to by the Persian acronym HOMA (Havapeymayi Melli Iran), derived from a griffin found in the prosperous Persepolis. Iran Air is like a griffin that never rests, flying all its life high above the clouds and never landing on the ground. IATA recently voted the logo Iran Air, a griffin, as the world's best airline logo. It is also one of the safest, most modern, and profitable airlines in the world. This airline offers direct flights to 84 European and Asian destinations.
Iran Air was the first airline to launch long-haul flights, such as from Tehran to New York. Mahan Air was established in 1992 and is known for its excellent and professional staff. You can also find Kish Air, Qeshm Air, ATA, Atrak, Caspian Airlines, Iran Airtours, Iran Aseman, Meraj Airlines, and Taban Air. Whichever airline you choose, always pay attention to the type of aircraft, as some of the planes used on domestic flights have reached the end of their service life. However, since Iranian airlines bought planes from European and American aviation giants Airbus and Boeing in 2017, the Iranian aviation industry is evolving. It is possible to book tickets online, but it is recommended to do so through a local travel agent or Iranian contact. In advance, booking domestic flights from your home country can be pretty difficult, so booking through a travel agent is advised. Once booked, allow enough time to get to the airport and check-in. Traffic in Iran, especially in Tehran, is unpredictable and can take more time than expected.
There's nothing quite like riding a train, listening to the rhythmic rumble of the wheels on the rails, watching the world go by your window. With 1394 kilometers, a width of 1435 mm, and 90 working stations, the Trans-Iranian Railway has achieved UNESCO World Heritage status in 2021. It connects the Caspian Sea in the northeast with the Persian Gulf in the southwest, crossing four different climatic zones, rivers, forests, deserts, plains, and mountains. The primary hub is Tehran; however, there are stations in many other cities. Daily trains run from the capital to Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, and Kerman. As the trains offer comfortable travel with good service, the price is also reasonable. To book tickets in two different classes, you can apply online or in person. However, as foreign credit cards do not work in Iran, we recommend contacting specialists such as travel agencies or PTS consultants. As the combination of art, history, and industry, tourism trains in Iran are set up for the journey, not the destination. So get your camera ready and enjoy your journey with Iranian tourism trains with the best landscapes and services. Some train stations like Savad-Kuh, Gaduk, Dougol, Versak, Sorkhabad, Tirtash, and Mir Jave were included in the list of national monuments of Iran in 2015. If you are interested in natural mountains and waterfalls, you should definitely try Lorestan train route. There are several beautiful natural landscapes along the way, such as Azgan Wetland, Bishe Waterfall, and the sulfur Spring. In the Savad-Kuh tourism train, the destination is the travel route. You are lucky to have Shurab Waterfall, Simimn Plain, Kaboutar Valley, Shadab Village, Rangi Spring, Shirgah Forest, Gaduk Road, the Three Gold Lines, Versk Bridge, Orim Bridge, and Sheriff Bridge on your way.
As the longest metro in the Middle East, Tehran Metro was the first Iranian metro network to be launched in the capital. After that, the metro network was found in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz. Others are under construction in Ahvaz, Karaj, Kermanshah, and Qom. The fastest and most straightforward way to get around is by metro, especially in Tehran, which outwits traffic. A line from Tehran Metro connects to International Imam Khomeini Airport. With a pre-purchased magnetic stripe card, you can use Iran's metro, BRT, and busses. Finding the right line for the right destination could be tricky, but English Stations Announcements and the friendliness of Iranians will help you.
Besides, the opening hours and working days of metros may vary in different cities. It is better to ask for the first metro station you come across. Interestingly, women can ride in the carriages (first and last carriages) for a more accessible journey. However, women are free to travel in all other carriages. Moreover, you will come across many vendors in Tehran metro.
Suppose you have many opportunities to explore different cities in vast Iran. In this case, we suggest that you try to travel by bus. Traveling by modern bus is not expensive. You can enjoy the view of the city and the intermediate cities and be more in touch with the friendly people of Iran. Of course, except for Tehran, where it is recommended to use the metro for sightseeing due to heavy traffic. There are different types of buses in Iran, and finding them is like a piece of cake:
There are different types of buses, and you can determine their types and classes depending on your route. If you are planning to travel from a city like Tehran to Isfahan, you can book a first-class VIP bus with a reasonable price and good services. There are various cooperatives in the bus terminals where you can book your ticket in different ways: in person, by phone, online (www.payaneha.com), or through an agency or hotel. PTS recommends that you always choose a VIP bus with 25 seats for a more comfortable journey. After booking the ticket and determining the departure time, you need to go to the terminal. In smaller cities like Kashan, you may also go to a specific location: the main square. Usually, the routes and platform numbers of the buses are announced by the terminal's spokesperson or by someone in the terminal; otherwise, you can ask for help from the cooperative. Your seat number is already on your ticket.
But if you are planning a trip to the city and have traveled as a group. In that case, your agency will usually have a vehicle like a bus, van, or mid-size bus, depending on your group number. Otherwise, for a single trip or a backpack, you can use the city bus. These usually have many stops and are in the form of BRT (Bus Rapid Transition). The good news is that you can use the city buses with your metro card. You can get help from the person charging the bus cards or the installed maps to find the bus stops. You should know that there is a separate section for men and women in the city buses. And men can not ride inside the women's section.
Medium buses, local buses, minibuses (are older and used for less developed cities or rough routes), and vans are usually used for shorter distances (for example, the distance between two small and nearby towns). And because of the smaller space, you can sit wherever you want. There is no particular station to stop at when you travel in such cars. The vehicle can stop wherever your destination is. Your fare must be paid in cash.
Traveling in all buses is very safe, and you will not face any problems, even for single women. It is essential to know that the route is not always written on the windows of the buses (Shiraz to Isfahan). There can also be phrases like "God is with us," "I love you, mom," or "Shiraz to Istanbul." You should also know that drivers stop several times to have their tachograph checked by the police as a precaution against speeding.
In Iran, you can find taxis in any city at any time of the day or night. Iranian taxis are usually marked yellow or green and have a sign on the roof. Nevertheless, cars without these signs can also operate as taxis under the supervision of taxi agencies. These vehicles are licensed by a recognized authority such as the Public Carriage Office. However, it is better to use taxis with signs. It is important to know that taxis in big cities are usually more expensive than in small towns.
Do not need to be pre-booked: Public Hire Taxis
Intercity taxis are synonymous with shuttle taxis or shared taxis that cross the city's thoroughfares and squares. They can stop anywhere to pick up or drop off their passengers. If you want to travel a short distance with them, you can tell them the name of your destination. But if you want to travel privately and cover long distances, you can say "Darbast." In Persian, it means that this machine is provided exclusively. It is better to talk to the driver about the fare before you get into the car, as most drivers do not have a taximeter for the ride. You can pay in Iranian currency in cash or use the tourist card provided.
Suburban taxis are other types of taxis that go to other cities and provinces. They do not move until their number is complete unless the passengers charge the fare of the remaining people by agreement. These taxis stop at police stations along the way to check their speed.
Need to book in advance: Private Hire Taxis
Private Taxis
If you want an available taxi, you can call the taxi centers and request a taxi. These types of taxis are generally private and have an agency sign. They also have a service for women if you want to order a women's taxi.
Wireless Taxi
You can call 133, 1828, and 1833 numbers in major cities of Iran to take a taxi wherever you are by saying your starting point and destination.
Online Taxis
Tourists can use online taxi services such as Snapp or Tap30 (in Persian: "tap-see") in English and French throughout Iran. These apps offer services like Uber and Ola. Snapp Rose is for women only. To use them, just install their app.
All taxis are safe in Iran, and you will have no problems traveling. If you need to hire a personal car with a driver or driver-guide, you can get help from travel agencies or PTS consultants.
Excellent roads, friendly people, and a relatively low theft risk make Iran an ideal destination for cyclists. If you plan to cycle longer distances in Iran, you will need to bring your bike with you. But for short distances, you can rent it at bike stations. Recently, new groups have been formed to tour Iran by bike to explore Iran by bike with a knowledgeable guide. Suppose you need to get to your destination quickly. In that case, you can take a motorcycle as a taxi and get there faster, especially in Tehran. Motorcycle taxis can be found all over the city at major intersections. They are comparable in price to taxis but take half the time.
Just travel to Iran. You will not have any problems with transportation. Horses with carriages are waiting for you in Isfahan's Naghsh Jahan Square to show you the heart of Isfahan. Camels are waiting for you in the beautiful deserts of Iran to guide you through the exciting lands. Ships and boats in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman are waiting to take you across the oceans. For traveling in the desert, you can also use other means of transportation, such as a well-equipped PTS machine with an experienced guide. Most people say that hitchhiking in Iran is dangerous. But you should know that many Iranians and tourists do it and keep unforgettable memories in their hearts. Indeed, everything has its problems and dangers, but Iran is a paradise for hitchhikers. Our suggestion for better hitchhiking in Iran is to get an Iranian guide. Traveling with nomads in the plains and riding on donkeys and horses can also be very exciting. You can also travel by car, but you will need to get an international driver's license beforehand. Do not worry about anything. Trust us and leave everything to PTS.
[ vehicles ]

Getting Around in Iran

  • Airplane

    If you have limited time in Iran, getting around by plane is the least time-consuming option. It's more expensive than traveling by bus or train, but it's still cheap. The government sets maximum fares, so price competition between different airlines is possible. For example, for a one-way ticket from Tehran to Shiraz, you will have to pay about 9 million rials (about €180) and from Tehran to Yazd about 7 million rials (about €140).
    Currently, IranAir and Mahan Air are the largest and most reliable operators. Iran Air, the oldest airline in the Middle East, is Iran's only flag carrier airline. It is also referred to by the Persian acronym HOMA (Havapeymayi Melli Iran), derived from a griffin found in the prosperous Persepolis. Iran Air is like a griffin that never rests, flying all its life high above the clouds and never landing on the ground. IATA recently voted the logo Iran Air, a griffin, as the world's best airline logo. It is also one of the safest, most modern, and profitable airlines in the world. This airline offers direct flights to 84 European and Asian destinations.
    Iran Air was the first airline to launch long-haul flights, such as from Tehran to New York. Mahan Air was established in 1992 and is known for its excellent and professional staff. You can also find Kish Air, Qeshm Air, ATA, Atrak, Caspian Airlines, Iran Airtours, Iran Aseman, Meraj Airlines, and Taban Air. Whichever airline you choose, always pay attention to the type of aircraft, as some of the planes used on domestic flights have reached the end of their service life. However, since Iranian airlines bought planes from European and American aviation giants Airbus and Boeing in 2017, the Iranian aviation industry is evolving. It is possible to book tickets online, but it is recommended to do so through a local travel agent or Iranian contact. In advance, booking domestic flights from your home country can be pretty difficult, so booking through a travel agent is advised. Once booked, allow enough time to get to the airport and check-in. Traffic in Iran, especially in Tehran, is unpredictable and can take more time than expected.

  • Train

    There's nothing quite like riding a train, listening to the rhythmic rumble of the wheels on the rails, watching the world go by your window. With 1394 kilometers, a width of 1435 mm, and 90 working stations, the Trans-Iranian Railway has achieved UNESCO World Heritage status in 2021. It connects the Caspian Sea in the northeast with the Persian Gulf in the southwest, crossing four different climatic zones, rivers, forests, deserts, plains, and mountains. The primary hub is Tehran; however, there are stations in many other cities. Daily trains run from the capital to Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, and Kerman. As the trains offer comfortable travel with good service, the price is also reasonable. To book tickets in two different classes, you can apply online or in person. However, as foreign credit cards do not work in Iran, we recommend contacting specialists such as travel agencies or PTS consultants. As the combination of art, history, and industry, tourism trains in Iran are set up for the journey, not the destination. So get your camera ready and enjoy your journey with Iranian tourism trains with the best landscapes and services. Some train stations like Savad-Kuh, Gaduk, Dougol, Versak, Sorkhabad, Tirtash, and Mir Jave were included in the list of national monuments of Iran in 2015. If you are interested in natural mountains and waterfalls, you should definitely try Lorestan train route. There are several beautiful natural landscapes along the way, such as Azgan Wetland, Bishe Waterfall, and the sulfur Spring. In the Savad-Kuh tourism train, the destination is the travel route. You are lucky to have Shurab Waterfall, Simimn Plain, Kaboutar Valley, Shadab Village, Rangi Spring, Shirgah Forest, Gaduk Road, the Three Gold Lines, Versk Bridge, Orim Bridge, and Sheriff Bridge on your way.

  • Metro

    As the longest metro in the Middle East, Tehran Metro was the first Iranian metro network to be launched in the capital. After that, the metro network was found in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz. Others are under construction in Ahvaz, Karaj, Kermanshah, and Qom. The fastest and most straightforward way to get around is by metro, especially in Tehran, which outwits traffic. A line from Tehran Metro connects to International Imam Khomeini Airport. With a pre-purchased magnetic stripe card, you can use Iran's metro, BRT, and busses. Finding the right line for the right destination could be tricky, but English Stations Announcements and the friendliness of Iranians will help you.
    Besides, the opening hours and working days of metros may vary in different cities. It is better to ask for the first metro station you come across. Interestingly, women can ride in the carriages (first and last carriages) for a more accessible journey. However, women are free to travel in all other carriages. Moreover, you will come across many vendors in Tehran metro.

  • Bus

    Suppose you have many opportunities to explore different cities in vast Iran. In this case, we suggest that you try to travel by bus. Traveling by modern bus is not expensive. You can enjoy the view of the city and the intermediate cities and be more in touch with the friendly people of Iran. Of course, except for Tehran, where it is recommended to use the metro for sightseeing due to heavy traffic. There are different types of buses in Iran, and finding them is like a piece of cake:
    There are different types of buses, and you can determine their types and classes depending on your route. If you are planning to travel from a city like Tehran to Isfahan, you can book a first-class VIP bus with a reasonable price and good services. There are various cooperatives in the bus terminals where you can book your ticket in different ways: in person, by phone, online (www.payaneha.com), or through an agency or hotel. PTS recommends that you always choose a VIP bus with 25 seats for a more comfortable journey. After booking the ticket and determining the departure time, you need to go to the terminal. In smaller cities like Kashan, you may also go to a specific location: the main square. Usually, the routes and platform numbers of the buses are announced by the terminal's spokesperson or by someone in the terminal; otherwise, you can ask for help from the cooperative. Your seat number is already on your ticket.
    But if you are planning a trip to the city and have traveled as a group. In that case, your agency will usually have a vehicle like a bus, van, or mid-size bus, depending on your group number. Otherwise, for a single trip or a backpack, you can use the city bus. These usually have many stops and are in the form of BRT (Bus Rapid Transition). The good news is that you can use the city buses with your metro card. You can get help from the person charging the bus cards or the installed maps to find the bus stops. You should know that there is a separate section for men and women in the city buses. And men can not ride inside the women's section.
    Medium buses, local buses, minibuses (are older and used for less developed cities or rough routes), and vans are usually used for shorter distances (for example, the distance between two small and nearby towns). And because of the smaller space, you can sit wherever you want. There is no particular station to stop at when you travel in such cars. The vehicle can stop wherever your destination is. Your fare must be paid in cash.
    Traveling in all buses is very safe, and you will not face any problems, even for single women. It is essential to know that the route is not always written on the windows of the buses (Shiraz to Isfahan). There can also be phrases like "God is with us," "I love you, mom," or "Shiraz to Istanbul." You should also know that drivers stop several times to have their tachograph checked by the police as a precaution against speeding.

  • Taxi

    In Iran, you can find taxis in any city at any time of the day or night. Iranian taxis are usually marked yellow or green and have a sign on the roof. Nevertheless, cars without these signs can also operate as taxis under the supervision of taxi agencies. These vehicles are licensed by a recognized authority such as the Public Carriage Office. However, it is better to use taxis with signs. It is important to know that taxis in big cities are usually more expensive than in small towns.
    Do not need to be pre-booked: Public Hire Taxis
    Intercity taxis are synonymous with shuttle taxis or shared taxis that cross the city's thoroughfares and squares. They can stop anywhere to pick up or drop off their passengers. If you want to travel a short distance with them, you can tell them the name of your destination. But if you want to travel privately and cover long distances, you can say "Darbast." In Persian, it means that this machine is provided exclusively. It is better to talk to the driver about the fare before you get into the car, as most drivers do not have a taximeter for the ride. You can pay in Iranian currency in cash or use the tourist card provided.
    Suburban taxis are other types of taxis that go to other cities and provinces. They do not move until their number is complete unless the passengers charge the fare of the remaining people by agreement. These taxis stop at police stations along the way to check their speed.
    Need to book in advance: Private Hire Taxis
    Private Taxis
    If you want an available taxi, you can call the taxi centers and request a taxi. These types of taxis are generally private and have an agency sign. They also have a service for women if you want to order a women's taxi.
    Wireless Taxi
    You can call 133, 1828, and 1833 numbers in major cities of Iran to take a taxi wherever you are by saying your starting point and destination.
    Online Taxis
    Tourists can use online taxi services such as Snap or Tap30 (in Persian: "tap-see") in English and French throughout Iran. These apps offer services like Uber and Ola. Snap Rose is for women only. To use them, just install their app.
    All taxis are safe in Iran, and you will have no problems traveling. If you need to hire a personal car with a driver or driver-guide, you can get help from travel agencies or PTS consultants.

  • Biking

    Excellent roads, friendly people, and a relatively low theft risk make Iran an ideal destination for cyclists. If you plan to cycle longer distances in Iran, you will need to bring your bike with you. But for short distances, you can rent it at bike stations. Recently, new groups have been formed to tour Iran by bike to explore Iran by bike with a knowledgeable guide. Suppose you need to get to your destination quickly. In that case, you can take a motorcycle as a taxi and get there faster, especially in Tehran. Motorcycle taxis can be found all over the city at major intersections. They are comparable in price to taxis but take half the time.

  • Other

    Just travel to Iran. You will not have any problems with transportation. Horses with carriages are waiting for you in Isfahan's Naghsh Jahan Square to show you the heart of Isfahan. Camels are waiting for you in the beautiful deserts of Iran to guide you through the exciting lands. Ships and boats in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman are waiting to take you across the oceans. For traveling in the desert, you can also use other means of transportation, such as a well-equipped PTS machine with an experienced guide. Most people say that hitchhiking in Iran is dangerous. But you should know that many Iranians and tourists do it and keep unforgettable memories in their hearts. Indeed, everything has its problems and dangers, but Iran is a paradise for hitchhikers. Our suggestion for better hitchhiking in Iran is to get an Iranian guide. Traveling with nomads in the plains and riding on donkeys and horses can also be very exciting. You can also travel by car, but you will need to get an international driver's license beforehand. Do not worry about anything. Trust us and leave everything to PTS.