Travelling Iran during Ramadan is nothing to worry about, well provided you prepare a little. Here are 5 Tips for Travelling Iran during Ramadan, including advice to help you feel more relaxed and less "hangry" on your next Iran trip.
It lasts for around 28 days depending on the moon, so let's get started.
But FIRST, let's delve into some insights about Ramadan:
Finding public restaurants open during Ramadan is often difficult, this is because Ramadan affects business during daylight hours when locals observe Ramadan in Iran. Sorry to say it but this also includes public restaurants and fast food, however there are exceptions:
Just keep in mind, eating while traveling Iran during Ramadan is perfectly okay under Iranian regulations. Because if you're away from home for more than 10 days, or a certain amount of kilometres, then you're allowed to eat. Pretty much anytime you think fasting may affect your health while performing an activity, you can eat, and we know how tiring traveling can be.
Avoid eating in front of Iranians while fasting over Ramadan, at least where possible, as I’m sure you would agree this can be painful to watch and smell when you're hungry, and even offensive in some regions of Iran.
Ramadan Tip: You're allowed to eat, just eat somewhere quiet, or at least in obvious tourist areas.
During Ramadan, you can eat your heart out from sunset to sunrise. Pretty much every restaurant, food stand and household will have food ready after dark. But does this defeats the purpose of fasting?
Regardless the Persian tradition is to eat breakfast (break the fast) shortly after sunset, especially with haleem (halim), which is a sort of sweet porridge with wheat and meat. Then have a proper dinner later on.
To simplify the timing, Iranian tradition celebrates Ramadan with two major meals:
A very nice Iranian tradition during Ramadan is Nazri (votive/offering), where locals prepare food to feed the poor and homeless. This tradition was derived from Muslim’s vow to God to support the poor: so often it’s the community mosque that will arrange haleem to be distributed to the public.
The majority of Iranians can't wait to get home and eat.
Tip for Ramadan: Eat like a bat - wait till the sun goes down, and enjoy the night life treats.
Try to plan your travel days around the season. It's often hot and humid during Ramadan so try to see the sites in the morning, and rest in the afternoons.
Travel Tip: Enjoy the season and rotate your day:
Or mix it up depending on the local weather and site opening times.
Did You Know: If you want to try a more exotic meal during the early hours of the morning, ask around for kala boche. This is a sheeps head soaked in a stew, including cheeks, tongue and all - it's popular for friends and family to share after early morning prayers.
So what is the Ramadan calendar this year? The dates vary slightly between Islamic countries, but for general up-to-date information about Ramadan in Iran, here's a useful link:
So what are you worried about? Traveling Iran during Ramadan isn't so bad, well, provided you plan a little. Now you're in the spirit, here's 6 heavenly must-eats of an Iranian Ramadan feast by Travestyle.