Iran Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Tehran tourist information, Iran food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Tehran Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Iran Travel Guide

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Full country name: Islamic Republic of Iran
Area: 1,648,195 sq km
Population: 74,196,000
Capital City: Tehran
Language: Persian
Religion: 90% Muslim (Shi'a), 8% Muslim (Sunni) 2% other (non-Muslim)
Government: Islamic republic
Time Zone: IRST (UTC+3:30) summer - (DST) Iran Daylight Time (IRDT)(UTC+4:30)
Dialing Code: 98
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Rial (IRR)

Money & Costs:
Average Yearly Salary:

Budget: $5-10
Mid-range: $11-20
High: $20+
Budget: $20
Mid-range: $70
High: $150

Geography: Iran, located in Central Eurasia and Western Asia, is the eighteenth largest country in the world. Its area roughly equals to that of France, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany combined. Iran shares its borders with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Iraq. It has access to the waters of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Caspian Sea. Iran is one of the world's most mountainous countries, with such mountains as the Caucasus, Zagros and Alborz in the west. Whereas, the northern part of Iran is covered by dense rain forests called Shomal or 'the Jungles of Iran'. There are mostly desert basins and salt lakes in the eastern part.

Climate: Iran's climate is subtropical along the Caspian Sea coast and the northern rain forests, and ranges from arid to semiarid elsewhere in the country. Temperatures rarely fall below 0 in the northern part of the country and the area is always humid. The western art of the country experience lower temperatures with severe winters. The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight cotton clothes are advised in summer season, with a light sweater for cooler evenings outdoors. You should also pack waterproof clothing for the winter season, and warmer clothes for the mountain areas of northern Iran.

Food: The cuisine of Iran (or Persian cuisine) includes a variety of dishes with distinct styles and traditions in each province and region. The most prominent dishes of Iran are: chelo kabab, khoresht (a stew served with Basmati or rice), aash (a thick soup), kookoo (vegetable Soufflé), pollo (rice with meat and/or vegetables), etc. Herbs and fruits (plums, prunes, apricots, raisins and pomegranates) are frequently used in Iranian cooking. Combinations of rice with meat, chicken, lamb or fish, and some onions, vegetables, nuts and herbs are very popular. The characteristic Persian flavorings (saffron, dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley) help in achieving the perfect taste.

Drink: The traditional Iranian drink accompanying the local dishes is Doogh, a combination of yogurt, water or soda and dried mint. However, the national drink of alcohol-free Iran is black tea. The tea is always served strong and with crystallized or cubed sugar, which should be held between your teeth while tea is sipped. Since consuming alcohol is illegal, you won't find openly sold alcohol anywhere in the country. Tap water is mostly safe to drink, however, you may find it repellent and different than at home in some areas. Bottled mineral water is widely available and public water fridges are installed on many streets.

Health: Apart from being up to date with the usual travel vaccinations (tetanus, polio, etc.), no special preparations are needed. In case of a serious illness or accident, ask your hotel staff to be taken to a hospital with an English-speaking doctor. Since free medical services are not available, make sure your health insurance covers illnesses and accidents when on holiday.

Public Holidays:
19 Jan Tassoua
8 Feb Victory of Islamic Revolution
10 Mar Arbaeen
18 Mar Demise of Prophet Mohammad
20 Mar Martyrdom of Imam Reza
21 Mar Navruz
8 Aug Birthday Imam Ali
9 Jul Prophet Mohammad receives his calling
9 Sep Birthday Imam Mahdi
11 Sep Eid-e Fitr (Ramadan Ends)
15 Oct Martyrdom Imam Ali
17 Nov Eid-e Ghorban
18 Nov Martyrdom Imam Jafar Sadegh
7 Dec Islamic New Year
16 Dec Ashura

Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid-e Ghorban may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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