Solo Travelers To Iran
Solo Travelers : Setting foot in a new country is a thrilling moment, but it can also be intimidating. A new country means new culture. A new set of unspoken rules that you’re expected to follow, yet can only learn by trial and error. Iran is no exception. Because of its seemingly strict Islamic nature, it can be particularly intimidating.
Traveling to Iran or anywhere in the Middle East independently, especially as a woman, isn’t perceived well these days. It’s great that you’ve decided to travel to Iran, despite it being a country with one of the worst reputations in the media. Iran is safe and is also one of the most rewarding travel destinations.
Iran is accessible and totally easy to navigate as a solo female traveler. Other countries specially the U.S. government currently warns against travel to Iran for obvious reasons, these two countries don’t get along. It says that US citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling in the country.
This statement is very exaggerated. Especially after Argo – the film exaggerating the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
My Advice is don’t believe what you hear on the news. Explore the place, talk to locals and come to your own conclusions. Come to Iran with an open mind and I guarantee you’ll make many great friends in Iran.
Solo female travelers to Iran should take certain precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some tips:
- Dress conservatively: Iran is an Islamic country, and women are required to dress modestly in public. It’s best to wear a headscarf, long-sleeved shirt, and pants or a long skirt.
- Always wear a headscarf in public, don’t even try to enter the country without a headscarf.
young Iranian ladies wear skinny jeans with a manteau of mid-thigh length. Mid-thigh is very important. If the shirt only covers your bottom, it is not enough. The shirt must have long sleeves or end just a little bit above the wrist.
Additionally, your shoes can be open, and you can wear sandals. But there is no rule about the color of the dress and scarf. Many Iranian ladies wear pink, red, blue, and yellow outfits and want to look pretty. As a female foreign traveler, you can easily feel underdressed next to them.
- Wear Make-up in public: If you hesitate to wear make-up in a rigorous Islamic country, then you may be surprised that Iranian women hardly leave their homes without it. Since they must cover most of their body, for many women this is the way to express their femininity.
- Stay in reputable accommodations: When traveling alone, it’s important to stay in safe and secure accommodations. Look for hotels that cater to solo female travelers, or consider staying in a homestay with a family.
- Research the culture: Before you go, research the customs and culture of Iran. This will help you better understand the social norms and avoid any misunderstandings.
- Use common sense: As with any travel destination, it’s important to use common sense and take precautions. Avoid walking alone at night, and be cautious when accepting invitations from strangers.
- Learn some basic Persian: While many Iranians speak English, learning some basic Persian phrases can help you communicate more effectively and make local connections.
- Use a reputable tour operator: Consider using a reputable tour operator that specializes in solo female travel to Iran. They can provide a safe and structured itinerary, as well as local guides who can offer insight into the culture and customs.
- Be respectful of local customs: Iran is a conservative society, so it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. For example, it’s not appropriate to touch or shake hands with members of the opposite sex in public.
- Carry a headscarf with you at all times: Even if you’re not required to wear a headscarf in all places, it’s a good idea to carry one with you in case you need to cover your hair in a mosque or other religious site.
- Avoid political discussions: Iran has a complex political situation, and it’s best to avoid discussing politics with locals unless you’re sure it’s safe to do so.
- Be aware of the current situation: Keep up-to-date on the current situation in Iran, including any safety or security concerns. Check with your embassy or consulate for the latest information.
- Use transportation with caution: Be cautious when using public transportation in Iran, especially at night. Taxis and buses are generally safe, but it’s best to avoid hitchhiking or accepting rides from strangers.
- Make copies of your passport and other important documents: Make copies of your passport, visa, and other important documents and keep them in a separate place from the originals
- Asking Strangers: If asking for help, approach a woman first, But, of course, if there aren’t any women around, just ask a man. The world won’t end.
- Tea houses: If a tea house is filled with only men, don’t go inside.
- Separated Entrance in Religious Places: Keep an eye out when entering mosques and shrines—there’s often a separate women’s entrance.
- Invited by strangers: If you’re invited by a stranger, only go if there are other women present, or if you have a male travel companion.
- Taking Metro in Iran: If taking the metro in Tehran, feel free to sit anywhere you want: The fact that there’s a women-only section doesn’t mean you have to sit there! It can be convenient during rush hour, though, when the men’s section is fit to burst.
- Shake hands with local people: Don’t instigate handshakes with men, Instead, place your right hand over your heart, and nod your head in greeting. If the guy is a bit more liberal, he may offer his hand for you to shake anyway.
- Respect the rules even if you don’t like: Remember you’re a visitor in someone else’s country so if you see many practices and mindsets in Iran that, as a woman, you might find frustrating or offensive.
As a foreigner, it’s not your place to try and change them–change must come from within the country, not from a bunch of outraged female travelers burning hijabs in the central squares.
- Do not photograph government buildings or sensitive areas: Taking photos of popular tourist attractions in Iran like the Milad Tower or the Golestan Palace both located in Tehran is not a problem; however, it is strictly forbidden to take photos of local government buildings.
Also, do not take pictures near border areas or nuclear stations. The problem is that many times you cannot be aware that it is a sensitive area. Especially around the borders, it is better not to take any photos.
- DO NOT DRIVE A CAR IN IRAN: BUT INSTEAD USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT, Women have long been allowed to drive a car, and there is nothing unusual about that but even if in other countries it works well, I would not recommend it due to the crazy traffic in Iran. Iranians are lovely and friendly, but turn crazy when they get behind the wheel.
- BRING ENOUGH CASH AND CHANGE MONEY: Unfortunately, you have to walk around with a lot of cash in Iran as international credit cards do not work here due to the international sanctions. Only a few shops accept credit cards from people who have dual citizenship.
- DO NOT GIVE A THUMBS UP IN IRAN: You should avoid giving a thumbs up in Iran, as it has another meaning here. You may automatically want to express that something was great by giving a thumbs up, but in Iran, it means the same as giving the middle finger in the West.
How to use the social media in Iran?
You need to buy a VPN TO GET ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITES because You cannot use Viber, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Tinder, Whats App, Instagram and Telegram in Iran.
If you travel with Iran Tourism Center, our company will make easy everything for you and you will have the VPN as well to use your apps.
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