Booking a trip to Iran: things you need to know and try

Booking a trip to Iran: things you need to know and try

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 22

By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

Well, it seems like Iran finally has another thing going for it, except for the clinched nuclear deal. And that something is tourism.

"A high number of American and European tourists are currently making visits to Iran" a representative of a group of hotels told Trend agency's office in Tehran, adding they currently have no single free room in the capital city.

Meanwhile, Western and local media outlets suggest that following the removal of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic and despite a US State Department warning laying out the risks of taking trips there, the American and European tourists are planning to beat a path to the long-isolated country's door to explore whatever is beyond it.

Iran is considered to be a country with stable security amid the war-torn and never-stable Middle East, along with its fascinating sights. To a lot of potential tourists, this is a killer combination, which is not to be missed.

In the wake of the nuclear deal and as part of its ambitious plans to hit an economic growth of eight percent, official Tehran aims to lure 20 million sightseers per year by 2025.

If you are among those planning to visit Iran and enjoy Iran's wide range of tourist attractions, including 19 UNESCO-registered sites, as well as deserts and ski resorts, there are few important things you need to know before packing your bags.

Rule of the veil: the Islamic dress code

First of all, foreign visitors arriving in the Islamic Republic, have to understand the necessity for observing the Islamic dress code. There is no way around it. However, there is a question of comfort. Let's say a Washington DC teenage girl is a tourist in Iran, and she's booked for a desert hiking tour in Central Iran's Yazd Province - the rule of the veil still applies. The northern coast of the Persian Gulf is another issue - a sun bath is okay, as long as you're wearing a veil.

Alcohol, anyone?

Yes! A strict ban on alcoholic beverages is still in place in the Shia-dominated country which is the second issue that all tourists need to consider before booking their trip to the Islamic Republic. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, alcohol consumption has been strictly forbidden in the country and the offenders may face harsh punishments in Iran.

However, if risk is your middle name, the good news is that drinking among Iranians is quite widespread. It all takes place behind closed doors as there are no nightclubs and bars in the Islamic Republic.

Despite the mentioned obstacles, as always, there's a way around every problem. You will have a chance to enjoy your trip to Iran if you manage to find a good local fixer. Over the past three decades Iranian youth enjoyed their life as much as Americans and Europeans through underground activities and coming up with ideas to circumvent official bans.

For instance just a couple of weeks ago, brainy Iranian tech geeks came up
with a fresh idea developing a mobile app to help fashionable girls and
women, avoid running into trouble with the Islamic Republic's morality

Hooked on hookah

If you are in search of an exotic environment to smoke a hookah or Shisha (qalyan in Persian), you should visit a typical Persian tea house, home of the hookah. Despite the government's anti-smoking drive and plans to remove the hookah from the Persian tradition, its rich aromas and ornate design has been an integrated part of Iran's culture for centuries. So do not get upset if someone tells you a hookah is not served in any public premises anymore. A good informant will easily arrange it in a garden of one of those hundreds of restaurants or tea-houses. In Iran it is also possible to try out different flavors of hookah, which feels especially good after a tasty meal. Speaking of meals...

Must try national dishes

Make sure that you have at least Chelo-Kabab and Dizi during your Iran trip alongside with a bunch of traditional meals such as Ghormeh sabzi, Fesenjan, Koofteh Tabrizi and so on. Chelo-Kabab is a simple but delicious meal cooked of saffroned Persian rice and kabab that you can easily find it across the country but those located in downtown Tehran , particularly at the Grand Bazaar, are the most advised ones to test. And if it is a cold and rainy day, Dizi, a lamb and chickpea stew, is something you would definitely enjoy.

Finally before leaving for Iran, make sure to check your status, as Iran doesn't offer visa on arrival, to the UK, US citizens, in particular.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Azerbaijani Prosecutor's Office opens criminal case on civilian's mine accident in Aghdam
Azerbaijani Prosecutor's Office opens criminal case on civilian's mine accident in Aghdam
Russia calls for prompt launch of delimitation process of Armenian-Azerbaijani border - MFA
Russia calls for prompt launch of delimitation process of Armenian-Azerbaijani border - MFA
Loading Bars
Iran's East Azerbaijan province continues investments in construction projects
Iran invites investors to develop energy sector
First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva shares photos from visit to Gubadli district with President Ilham Aliyev (PHOTO)
Iran seeks to curb inflation by aid of private sector
Kyrgyzstan plans to receive USD 80 mln from ADB for budget support
Kazakhstan’s National Bank changes base rate
Weekly review of trading at Turkmenistan's commodity exchange
Azerbaijan sees increase in turnover of payment cards
Kazakhstan’s National Bank reveals inflation rate for September 2021
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva meet with general public of Gubadli district
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurate 'Gubadli' substation
Turkey notes decrease in number of used vehicles
Prices on some food items soar in Iran
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend opening of new complex of SBS military unit in Gubadli distict
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend groundbreaking ceremony for Khanlig-Gubadli road
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Gubadli district
5th edition of DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival to be held in Baku
Iran shares data on electricity generation of Esfahan TPP
Activity of certain enterprises in Iran's industrial parks resumed
Iran announces amount of loans issued to manufacturing enterprises
Turkey's value for steel export to Turkmenistan growing
Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan look to sign agreements in transport sector (Exclusive)
Iran, Germany to hold Joint Energy Committee meeting
Iran seeks to increase export of technical services to neighboring countries
Overall index of the Tehran Stock Exchange drops hard
Azerbaijan's trade turnover with US down in 9M2021
Georgia's sheep exports up
Many countries confirm efficacy of Sputnik V vaccine after a year use
Turkmen enterprise shares plans on processing sugar beet
Cargo movements in Iranian ports soar
Turkey shares data on ships received at Bartin port in 9M2021
Iran and Venezuela consider trading via gold and cryptocurrency transactions
ABB sees decrease in net working capital
ABB anticipates comparable revenue growth of 6-8% for full-year 2021
AT&T opens new Tel Aviv R&D center
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva posts photo from Gubadli district on her Instagram page (PHOTO)
Volume of Azerbaijani gas exports to Turkey disclosed
Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy pipes
Kazakhstan decreases cargo transport via internal waters
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy welding equipment
Turkmenistan to introduce telematics systems into agriculture
Kazakhstan's Samruk-Kazyna places five-year debut Eurobonds
Weekly review of Azerbaijani oil market
Georgia releases data on COVID-19 cases for October 25
OPEC under strong pressure to do something in order to lower oil prices
Azerbaijan records surge in tourist inflow
US senator signs Declaration on Azerbaijan's Restoration of Independence Day (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan reveals data on exports to Turkey for 9M2021
TAP consortium reveals time of starting hydrogen supplies
PayPal says it is not pursuing acquisition of Pinterest
Volume of TAP’s gas transportation by end-2021 announced
Prices for gasoline to start 2022 at higher levels
Iranian currency rates for October 25
Azerbaijani servicemen in reserve conducting drills
Number of ships received at Turkish Botas port for 9M2021 revealed
Value of Turkey's leather goods export to Azerbaijan up in September 2021
Azerbaijan establishes radio and television broadcasting in Gubadli (PHOTO)
Zangazur corridor - new reality created by Azerbaijan in region
BHOS student: ‘The liberation of Gubadli made me a Presidential Scholar’
Turkey records surge in number of registered Azerbaijani companies for 9M2021
HSBC surprises with 74% rise in Q3 profit and $2 bln buyback
President of Azerbaijan to pay visit to Turkey
Iran discloses data on annual mining extraction in South Khorasan Province
Iran shares trade data with African countries
Iran’s PEDEC to accelerate work on oil fields
Volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in Iran’s Dayyer port grows
National Iranian South Oil Company repairs equipment, spare parts
Oil prices extend gains to multi-year highs on tight supply
Iran boosts caviar exports
Monthly sales of goods at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Iran's extraction from South Pars gas field to decrease
Iran shares data on tax revenues
Iran could become gas importer – NIOC
Iran extraction data on its from South Pars gas field
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Chinese President Xi calls for global cooperation on terrorism, climate change
Sudan PM Hamdok is under house arrest: Report
New private sector led growth model can help Azerbaijan diversify its economy – IFC regional manager (Exclusive)
Kazakhstan logs 1,573 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hr
IS claims responsibility for bomb attack in Uganda
Tesla pulls its new Full Self-Driving beta due to software 'issues'
Turkey reports 24,792 daily COVID-19 cases
At least 4 dead in avalanche on Ecuador's volcano
Zika virus case reported in northern India
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister says OPEC will not change its strategy
Hurricane Rick edges closer to Mexican coast north of Acapulco
Israeli-led research reveals plant mechanism for dealing with water shortage
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev announces that Gubadli city is freed from occupation on October 25, 2020
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev gave interview to US Fox News TV channel on October 25, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 25, 2020
116 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast
Azerbaijani Navy officers successfully completes internship in Turkey (PHOTO)
Military training session to be held in military unit of Azerbaijani MoD
At least 25, including minors, died in illegal refinery blast in Nigeria
Iran’s RCS receives 30th batch of COVID-19 vaccine
Mandatory vaccination issue to be solved in November, NCDC Head says
Some 16.03 million voters cast their votes in the presidential elections in Uzbekistan
Tug fights container fire on cargo ship off British Columbia
Tokayev arrives in Ashgabat for state visit
All news