A large and fascinating Middle Eastern country, Iran is located between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. Many travellers dream of visiting the country, but staying safe in Iran is often a major concern.
Home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, Iran also boasts thirteen wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning landscapes, and an interesting culture.
With dense rainforests, snowcapped mountains, arid desert basins, lively cities, and traditional villages, there is certainly something for everyone.
Handy tips for staying safe in Iran include:
Standards of Dress
Trying to blend in as much as possible and observing local standards of dress is common sense in any destination. Although many people expect a very strict dress code in Iran, visitors are often surprised by the casual nature in the larger cities. Women should cover their heads in public with a head-scarf, and tight-fitting clothing should be avoided. Arms and legs should be covered by both men and women.
Alcoholic drinks are prohibited in the strict Islamic nation, although you may come across places that have home-brew or illegal supplies. Avoid drinking in Iran unless you want to risk getting into serious trouble. This is also something to be aware of when carrying items into the country.
The traffic in Iran is chaotic and, at times, dangerous. There are few rules of the road that are actively followed, and diving is often a mixture of aggression and incompetence. Driving a vehicle yourself is highly discouraged. Taking taxis, especially at night time, can also be a bit hairy. Even walking across the roads can be difficult, and be aware that drivers may often mount the pavements in order to overtake. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times when near any roads!
Romantic / Sexual Relations
Close contact between unmarried men and women is prohibited and public displays of affection, including for married couples, should be avoided. Living together outside of marriage is illegal.
Homosexuality is illegal in Iran for both men and women. There are very harsh penalties, including the death penalty and corporal punishment, including caning and stoning. The law applies equally to foreigners as it does to locals.
Check your bags thoroughly before entering Iran and make sure that you are not carrying any prohibited items into the country. Such items include pornographic materials, products containing pork, short wave radios and printed and recorded materials from Western countries.
Travelling as part of a tour is one of the safest ways to enjoy the many delights of Iran. Not only will all your accommodation bookings and transportation be taken care of for you, but you will also be fully escorted by a registered representative. The guide will keep you away from unsafe areas, liase with locals on your behalf, keep abreast of changes in society, advise you as to how to minimize risks to your person and property, and similar.
It is also strongly recognized that visitors to Iran register with their local embassy. This is especially important for people who choose to travel independently.
Staying safe in Iran allows you to enjoy this exciting country without putting yourself in undue danger.