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Iran Tourism FAQ's

Q. What to know before you arrive?  

Q. What to know when you arrive?

Q. What should I know about the currency and exchange?  

Q. Are there any safety concerns?

Q. What is the weather like?

Q. Tell me some visa information SFI?

 

 

Q. What to know before you arrive?  

 

Q. What to know when you arrive?

 

Q. What should I know about the currency and exchange?  

The official currency is called Iranian Rials (IRR).

Denominations of currency

Coins are produced in 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 Rials. Banknotes are produced in 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000 and 500000 Rials. Bank notes are written in both Iranian and Western numeral systems, while coins are Farsi and Arabic.

Street talk

You will often hear the term ‘Tomans’ used on the street, which is simply equal to 10 Rials. Example prices might be: Can of Drink =   1,000 Tomans ( 10,000 IRR): Cheap Restaurant Meal = 10,000 Tomans (100,000 IRR): Private Hotel Room  = 100,000 Tomans (1,000,000 IRR). Don’t worry you’ll get used to it!  

As a general rule of thumb, written prices are given in Rials and in conversation, Tomans. Most street venders also drop the denominations, such that a coke is 1 Toman (30c), cheap restaurant 10 Toman ($3), and moderate hotel room 100 Toman ($30) for example.

Practicalities 

Due to U.S. led sanctions foreign banks are restricted from engaging directly in Iran; so forget Cirrus, Maesto, Visa, Marstercard, Paypal, and travellers cheques because these are almost impossible to find without local connection. So ensure you bring enough cash while travelling in Iran. That’s right; it’s time to lay down your shield because Iran is one of the safest countries in the world with a surprisingly low crime rate. But as always excercise caution in busy or dark places like anywhere in the world.

While ATM’s are generally only for Iranian customers, some banks and hotels may be able to help you transfer foreign currency electronically, but don’t be afraid to ask tourist agencies for assistance as they can be very resourceful.

US dollars and Euros are the most useful and widely-accepted currencies. Torn small notes can be difficult to exchange, if possible keep your notes pressed, dry and safe while travelling. Large and new notes in good condition are preferred and usually get a better rate – it’s all about the Benjamin's! However official exchange offices hold most top 20 currencies, such as GPB, CAD, AUD, CHF, JPY, BRL, KRW  etc. 

There are several ways to change foreign currency in Iran, the below lists from highest to lowest recommendations based on the best and secure rates:

  1. Official money exchanges in provincial cities.
  2. Private exchange offices (sarāfi) scattered around most large cities and major tourist centers.
  3. At Iranian banks.
  4. At airports or at land border crossings.
  5. Street salesmen (most busy tourist locations accept USD however will give you a lower rate for commission. When desperate locals will also help, but uncertaintly regarding current rates will likley lead you to an average deal.

Private exchange offices have similar rates to banks, they are far quicker and, unlike their black market colleagues, they can be traced later on if something goes wrong.

 

Addresses of Official Money Exchange Offices:

Tehran – Ferdowsi Sq north of the bazar. Ther are at least 4  within 200m radius.

Esfahan -

Shiraz -

Yazd - 

Tabriz - 

Mashhad -

Bandar Abbass - 

Others? 

 

Q. Are there any safety concerns?

 

Q. What is the weather like?

The climate is influenced by Iran's location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area. January is the coldest month, with temperatures from 5°C to 10°C, and August is the hottest month at 20°Cto 30°C or more.

 

In summer the north is warm and dry averaging 30°C, while the south can average over 35°C. During winter the mountains around the Alborz (Caspian) and Zagros (West) have up to 3 months of snowfall, however the city areas generally reach between 5°C to 10°C.  During winter the southern provinces are much warmer rarely dropping below 15°C.

Q. Tell me some visa information SFI?

IRAN

Common Visas: Transit Visa, Tourist Visa

Who Needs a Consular Visa?

Ordinary citizens from all countries are required to obtain visas to visit Iran, with the exception Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Ordinary passport holders can also achieve a tourist visa on arrival at major international airports for 15 days

What Documents are Needed?

Visa requirements vary from embassy to embassy.

Generally:

  1. One (1) completed application form. Download from this link.
  2. Photocopy of passport main page.
  3. At least (2) passport-sized photos.
  4. Authorization Code from MFA.
  5. Cash/or bank deposit receipt.

Visa Charge:

Varies from embassy to embassy.

How to apply?

The common process to get your Iranian visa is by applying for an Authorization Code and submitting the documents to your local Iranian Embassy. Either hand-delivered or posted along with your passport. Once successfully submitted wait the given processing time to pick-up your visa or return post.

Note: If travelling overland from Europe applying from Budapest or Trabzon, has generally been the most effective locations with 1-day turnover with an Authorization Code.

Authorisation codes can be obtained from registered Travel Agencies,. If you would like to apply with confidence, please write to our Customer Care team to point you in the right direction.

Visas on Arrival:

Provided you have no security ‘red flags’ (such as Israeli paper trail or other possibilities of  espionage), most countries can receive 15-day visas on arrival at IKIA or other major Iranian international airports.

If you bring an Authorization Code along with your other documents there will be no problem getting a full 30-day visa at airports, which can also be easily extended in major Iranian cities such as Esfahan, Shiraz, and Tehran if you don’t mind waiting in line.

Length of Stay

30 days nominal.

Multiple entries can be requested.

Extensions are simple inside Iran.

Friendly Advice

- Admission is refused to holders of passports containing an Israel visa/stamp, or indication of political connections to the State of Israel.

-Visas may be refused to female applicants where not wearing a head covering on their application photo.

 

 

TURKMENISTAN

Common Visas: Transit Visa + Tourist Visa

Who Needs a Consular Visa?

Citizens of all countries require visas to visit Turkmenistan, with the exception of certain provinces of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to visit family several days/month.

What Documents are Needed?

  1. One (1) completed application form. Download from this link.
  2. Photocopy of passport main page.
  3. Photocopy of visas to/from Turkmenistan.
  4. At least one (1) passport-sized photo.
  5. Written statement consiting with: Full name, Purpose of visit, Fixed route with dates and points of entry and exit.
  6. Visa charge (see below).

Visa Charge:

  • $55USD for most nationals.
  • $155USD for Russians.
  • USD is preferred currency.

Tourist visas generally require the same documents as the transit visa, however also requires a Letter of Invitation (LOI) from a travel agency.

Options:

DIY:

The DIY visa application process itself is generally the most difficult in the region. This is generally because the nearest embassies for the USA and several others countries are in Ashgabat (capital of Turkmenistan), so Iranian agents frantically crowd the small street window during opening hours. Staff can also be very painful to communicate with. If DIY, it’s not uncommon to visit the embassy 3 or 4 times over several weeks.

Submit the abovementioned documents at the Embassy in Tehran, or Consulate in Mashhad, it’s recommended to arrive early. Once successfully submitted, wait the given processing time and return to either diplomatic mission to pick up your visa. You will generally not have to forfeit your passport during this time.

Travel agencies often handle the visa application process and other governmental relations.

 

Where to Apply?

Turkmenistan Embassy in Tehran (Processed in 10-12 days)

Barati St off Vatanpour.

Sun (9:00-11:00) Mon –Thurs (9:00- 1:00)

Turkmenistan Consulate in Mashhad (Processed in 5-6 days)

Do Shahid St off Dah-e-Dey Sq.

Tues & Wed (8:30-12:00)

(+98)………

 

Length of Stay

3-5 Days

10 Days  neg.

 

Friendly Advice

-  Visas have fixed dates, so be careful when planning your trip.

- Overstaying visa generally means a lofty fine, deportation and banned return.

- Visa extensions are difficult without help from a travel agency.

 

UZBEKISTAN

Common Visas (Transit Visa, Tourist Visa

Who Needs a Consular Visa?

Citizens Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine can generally visit Uzbekistan without a visa for between 60-90 days. All other citizens require a visa. However for citizens of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK there is a simplified procedure whereby the Letter of Invitation (LOI) requirement is waived.

What Documents are Needed?

(Transit)

  1. Two (2) completed application forms. Download from this link.
  2. Photocopy of passport main page.
  3. At least two (2) passport-sized photos.
  4. Letter of Invitation (LOI) from Uzbek travel agency OR verbal note from your embassy in Tehran (document).
  5. Proof of travel documents from originating/designation country.
  6. Visa charge (see below).

Visa Charge (Transit):

  • 24hrs  $20-40USD
  • 48hrs $25-45USD
  • 72hrs $30-50USD
  • USD is preferred currency.

(Tourist):

  1. Two (2) completed application forms. Download from this link.
  2. Photocopy of passport main page.
  3. At least two (2) passport-sized photos.
  4. Letter of Invitation (LOI) from Uzbek travel agency OR verbal note from your embassy in Tehran (document).
  5. Visa charge (see below).

Visa Charge (Tourist):

$75USD for most nationals. +$10 for each additional entry

  • $120-$140 for US and Israeli citizens.
  • USD is preferred currency.

 

How to apply in Iran?

Options: 

DIY:

If you’re a resident from a simplified visa country, then the DIY visa application process itself is pretty straightforward, it just takes more time: from between 8-14 days.

Submit the abovementioned documents at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Tehran. Once successfully submitted wait the given processing time and return to pick up your visa.

 

 

Where to Apply?

Uzbekistan Embassy in Tehran (Processed same-day with LOI, or 8-15 days without).

No. 6 Nastaran Alley, Pesdaran St, Aqdasieh, Tehran.

Sun –Thurs (9:00-11:00)

(+98) 21 2229-9780

 

Length of Stay

24hrs, 48hrs, 72hrs

Double entry transit is available also.

Up to 30 Days.

Extendable from OVIR office in Tashkent

 

Friendly Advice

-Foreign currency is declared at point of entry; ensure you retain this document until leaving the country.

-Accommodation registration slips are required every 72 hours for accommodation; police checks are frequent in Tashkent (such as metro stations), slips less significant departing country.

 

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