The official weekend holiday in Iran is Friday although many organizations are open half-day on Thursday. Generally we can divide Persian holidays into religious and national, while both are banking and legal holidays too. There are also holidays for Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian minorities, but they are not countrywide ones.
1.Religious Holidays: Iranian religious holidays are based on lunar system while the Persian calendar is based on Solar system, both launched from the exodus of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. Hence, within one solar year some religious holidays are observed twice. Religious holidays are subject to change depending upon the official sighting of the moon. The new moon is seen in Arab countries one day earlier, thus there is a difference of one day in important religious days in Iran and the Arab states. Here are the most commonly observed religious holidays:
Eyd-e-Ghorban (happy holiday)
Eyd-e-Ghadir (happy holiday)
Tasooa (mourning holiday)
Ashoora (mourning holiday)
Demise of Prophet & Martyrdom of Emam-Hassan (mourning holiday)
Martyrdom of Emam Reza (mourning holiday)
Birthday of Prophet & Emam Ja’far (happy holiday)
Martyrdom of Hazrat-e-Fatemeh (mourning holiday)
Birthday of Hazrat-e-Ali (happy holiday)
Mission of Prophet (happy holiday)
Birthday of Hazrat-e-Ghaem (happy holiday)
Martyrdom of Hazrat-e-Ali (mourning holiday)
Eyd-e-Fetr (end of Ramadan) (happy holiday)
Martyrdom of Emam Ja’far (mourning holiday)
2.National holidays: Iranian National holidays are based on Persian solar calendar and they are always fixed. The solar year consists of the duration of one full orbit of the Earth around the Sun. Owing to this difference the days in the lunar and solar calendars do not overlap and there are 32 solar years in every 33 lunar years. A solar year consists of 365 days while there are only 354 days in every lunar year. Here are the most commonly observed national holidays:
11 February, Glorious Victory of Islamic Revolution of Iran
20 March, Oil Industry Nationalization
21 March, Iranian New Year (Norooz)
22 March, Iranian New Year
23 March, Iranian New Year
1 April, Iranian National Day
2 April, 13 of Norooz (Nature Day)
4 June, Demise of Emam Khomeini
5 June, 15th Khordad Uprising
A complete Iranian name is composed of two parts; a family name (surname) and a given name. The surname is usually passed down from father to children. Some are named after their birth place, while others are named after natural sights or virtues. The women still kept their surname after marriage. The given name is often composed of one or two characters that some are Arabic and some old Persian.
We usually address an Iranian person by his or her family name. Otherwise it can be considered impolite; unless you are longtime, good friends. Following the surname, use “Aghaye” (Mr.) for men, and “Khanume” (Mrs. , Ms.) for women. Using the same western custom, we suggest that you please add professional title after his or her family names when addressing a very important person.
Time in Tehran is three and a half hours ahead of GMT. After you have set your watch to the local time ,you should bear in mind that when you are having your breakfast in Tehran, people in western Europe are sound asleep. Consider this when making long distance phone calls. Depending from where you have come, it may be too late or too early for making a phone call or expecting one.
Weights and Measures:
Like most of the countries of the world ,Iran uses the well known metric system in which length is measured by meters and weight by kilograms. To convert metric system quantities into British or American measures you may use the conversion tables which usually appear at the end of dictionaries, calendars, etc. As far as electrical power supply is concerned, the owner supply in Iran is 220 V but in some hotels conversion to 110 V may also be available.
What may not be taken into Iran?
On the basis of rules and regulation of I.R.Iran , entrance of some goods and or its export is totally prohibited . some of those goods are as follows:
1- Alcoholic drinks
2- Gambling tools
3- Weapons, ammunition and explosive goods
4- Narcotic drugs
5- Magazines, photos, film and snaps and those goods which is against religious and national dignity of the country.
6- Any type of writings against the official region of the country and or discipline disturbance and public purity and national dignity.
The export goods is exempted of paying customs duties and taxes but paying the loading , unloading and warehousing is included .
Who will be denied the entry ?
Anyone without the valid passport, Iranian visa or other valid entry certificate
Anyone with a counterfeit or altered passport or anyone holding another person’s passport or certificate
Anyone who refuses to accept the checks
Anyone who is deported from the country by the Iranian government with an entry-deny period
Anyone who is considered to be related to any activities of terror, violence and other antisocial behavior
Anyone who is drunk while entering the country
Whether you travel outside your home country on business or pleasure, any international trip may have some unforeseen factors, which may result in an accident. We suggest that all travelers take out travel insurance or any other insurance providing cover for your international travel. This will definitely protect you against any accidental events happening on your travels, including illness, injury, theft or other losses. The category of insurance you choose is dependant on your personal financial condition and requirements of course.Rakhsh Tourist agency can insure the travelers up to ……… EURO while charging you ….. EURO per day. This may not be enough to cover any sudden problems that may arise during a tour. Therefore, some other kind of personal accidence insurance, purchased in your own country, is also necessary.
Pay attention to both your hands and mouth. They are two sources of bacterial infection. Better to wash your hands after returning from the outside, before eating anything and after sneezing or coughing. All the food you eat is suggested to be well cooked or heated. The fruits you eat should be fresh and peeled. Be careful when you eat any cold dishes and salads. Do not eat these at street food stalls. It is better to use drinkable bottled mineral water. Do not drink tap water as much as possible!
In Iran there is a variety of dishes, but eating some together may be problematic. While you don’t know about the food you want to eat, try to ask an Iranian fellow.
The Iranian official currency is the Rial. Rials are available in coins (50, 100, 250, 500 Rls.) and notes (1.000, 2.000, 5.000, 10.000 and 20.000 Rls.). Coins are marked just in Persian but papers are marked in Persian and English script and numerals.Not any kind of credit card or traveler’s cheques is accepted in Iran. Most of the tourists coming to Iran encounter this problem with their payments. So bringing cash is recommended!
The exchange rates may change quite often. Currency exchange costs are same both in Bazaars and exchange offices. One can exchange money in reputable exchange offices easier and sooner. Most of the valid exchange offices in the main cities are as follow:
Tehran: on Istanbul Ave.
Shiraz: on Zand Ave.
Isfahan: around Imam Square
In order to be updated about the currency rate, you can refer to the website of Iran Melli Bank www.bmi.ir
The following currencies can easily be exchanged at any money exchanger’s:
US Dollars, British Pounds, Japanese Yen (hard currencies) and Euros. There are also other currencies available.
What To Bring:
Money: Just cash
Files and Documents: Passport, Visa, air/train ticket, ID certificate, destination map (if you have one), travel itinerary, address list Personal Articles for Use: personal tooth brush, towels, bathing articles, contact lens solution, daily toiletries, comb, sun glasses, suntan oil, shaving items, disinfectant tissues and bandage Others: camera, films, batteries, electrical converter, alarm clock (if needed), a pen and memo pad (to write down something important during your travel), necessary cold, indigestive and anti- allergic medicines, umbrella, etc.
The simplest and most comfortable way of traveling to Iran at a reasonable price is in a group. Participants will have their itinerary, hotel accommodation and meals, and sightseeing program booked in advance. The price offered by Pars tourist agency will cover nearly all the expense occurring during the trip, so you will not have any additional costs except shopping.
As soon as you arrive in Iran, a tour guide supplied by the local travel agency will pick up you at the airport. He/she will accompany you in the future days and is in charge of taking you to the scenic spots.
All these guides are very competent, both in terms of organizing the trip and in their knowledge of the country and its sights, and their ability to communicate. They could deal with all kinds of situations and help you to avoid many difficulties, greatly enriching your trip in Iran.
Passport & Visa:
It does not matter how you intend to come to Iran, alone or in a group, we can get the Iran visa for you, only for 35 USD per person. Obtaining an Iranian visa for either an individual or a group is a three-part process:
-First, you will need to fill out our online visa request form Within 48 hours of submitting the form, we will confirm that we can secure a visa for you. -Second, we will inform you when your visa has been granted and provide a reference number for you. This process usually takes 7 business days. You may then proceed to the consulate, complete some additional paperwork listed below and collect your visa.
-Third, confirm your arrival date in Iran with Rakhsh and make payment for our service in our Shiraz office.
Necessary documents and fees required at the time you collect your Iranian visa at the Consulate:
1. You will need to fill out the standard visa application form at the consulate where you want to collect your visa.
2. You will need to bring two passport-sized photos of each applicant to the consulate (Women need to have a photo in which their hair and neck
should be covered with a headscarf) Here is a sample photo:
3. You will need to pay the standard visa application fee to the consulate where you collect your visa (this fee varies depending on your
nationality). The payment is usually made to a local bank near the consulate.
4. Your passport and visa will generally be available the afternoon of the same day you or the next day.
1. Some countries have more than one Iranian consulate while others have none. Please specify the exact consulate in which you would like to pick up your visa. You may click on the link above to find a list of consulates.
2. We will take appropriate actions in order to extend your visa if it will expire during your visit, once you are in Iran.
3. Visas for Malaysia & Singapore nationals will be issued upon entering Iranian.
4. Visas for all C.I.S countries, except for Russia & Armenia, will only be issued at the Iranian consulates in their respective C.I.S countries.
5. We will do our best to secure your visa and take care of all the necessary details; however the final decision rest with the government of Iran therefore we cannot guarantee when and if a visa will be granted.
6. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months.
Again you are required to present the valid passport and Iranian visa when exiting from the country. All travelers should leave the country within the allotted stay-period marked on their visas.
The international airports in Iran are as follow:
1.Imam Khumeini International Airport (Tehran)
2.Mehrabad International Airport (Tehran)
3.Shiraz Airport: It has flights to many Arab countries
4.Mashhad Airport: It has flights to countries north of Iran.
5.Isfahan Airport: It has flights to some Arab countries.
6.Tabriz Airport: It has flights to countries north of Iran.
For more information go to www.cao.ir.
On surface, you can go from Iran to Turkey through Bazargan and Seru, to Armenia through Julfa, to Azerbaijan through Astara, to Turkmenistan through Bajgiran, to Afghanistan through Sarakhs and to Pakistan through Mirjaveh.
When to Come:
The best travel time is determined on which part of the country you are going to visit and on which months your itinerary is falling. Generally we can divide the region into 4 categories:
Spring: All parts of the country
Summer: West and Northwest
Fall: All parts of the country
Winter: Center, East, South and South west
Perhaps the most visible mark of Iran’s Islamic leanings is the conservative dress expected of its citizens. Although normal, Western style clothing is acceptable in private homes, when in public women are required to cover everything but their face, hands and feet. The most common uniform consists of a head scarf to conceal the head and neck, a formless, knee-length coat known as a roo-poosh and a long dress or pair of pants. In and around holy sites, you will be expected to dress even more modestly in a chādor, a full-length swathe of black cloth designed to cloak everything but your face from view.
The dress code can be daunting during your preparation, but roo-saris, roo-pooshes and chādors can be bought cheaply in Iran. Watch or ask friendly Iranian women for guidance and marvel at how young women are pushing the boundaries of modesty with colorful head scarves that cover only a fraction of their hair and figure-hugging roo-pooshes that reveal every curve of their bodies.
Men have a slightly easier time of things. Short-sleeved shirts and t-shirts are acceptable for daily wear, but long sleeved shirts are still required for holy sites and formal occasions. Shorts and three-quarter length pants are only acceptable on the beach.
Customs green / red channels / green Channel
Those passengers can pass the green channel who:
A) Do not have the following goods:
1- Arms and ammunitions
2- Disks, audio / video tapes
3- Books and magazines against the Islamic and national believes of the country.
4- Wireless telephone and sender
5- Seed and cutting, flower bulb
6- Gambling tools
7- Alcoholic drinks
B) Have the first trip in the current year or do not use the passenger exemption in their previous trips.
C) Do not have business goods and the value of their new goods do not exceed 80 dollars for each person.
Those passengers pass the red channel who:
1-Have had more than one trip to other countries in the current year.
2-Have goods which aren’t considered as business goods or their goods cost more than legal level.
3-Or have one of the eight above mentioned goods ( in green channel )
The green channel dose not mean than the customs do not perform the investigation of goods. The customs officers can select some of the passengers of green channel and investigate their goods. If they do not have the requirements for passing through this channel, their declaration will be illegal and their goods will be considered as smudging.
If a passenger do not have any goods or his / her goods cost less than 80 dollars, in order to be able to use the remain of his / her exemption in his / her other trips, he/she should pass through red channel. The customs officers should pass through red channel. The customs officers will mention the case in his/her passport.
In the case of no items mentioned in the passenger’s passport, he / she can use the passenger exemption. Customs can urge the passengers to complete the declaration presented to them at the gate of entry/exit, in order to investigate the passengers’ goods according to their written declaration.
In the case of any difference between the passenger’s goods and his/her declaration, the goods not mentioned in declaration or declared illegally supposed as smuggled goods.
For those individual travelers, three ways could be chosen:
The first, also the most comfortable but, accordingly, the most expensive way is to book a full package tour through a travel agency. Everything is pre-booked, including the flights, journey, accommodation, meals and transfers. Like group travel, a qualified tour guide from Rakhsh Tourist Agency is available in each town to help with putting together and arranging a sightseeing program.
The second way is booking a mini-package tour. The travel agency is only responsible for booking flights, accommodation and transfers while the travelers have to plan the sightseeing program themselves. Normally, the traveler is met at the airport or Bus Terminal of each town. He/ she then is taken to the hotel. Traveler could discuss their plans for sightseeing there and have them arranged for a fee.
The last one is a completely independent travel, without any pre-booking. This form of traveling in Iran has increased in recent years since it seems to be more flexible and freely. The travelers of this kind have to arrange everything, the flights, accommodation, meals, transfers and sightseeing program themselves. Difficult as these things are, they provide you a good chance to contact Iranian people and practice your ability to deal with various unexpected events. In order to make the travel smooth, you are recommended to book your air tickets and accommodation as soon as you arrive.
Banks, hospitals, and post offices are usually open every day with an opening hour from 7:30 or 8:30 a.m. to 14:00 p.m. or 16:00 p.m. except public holidays. On Thursdays they close earlier.
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Police: 110, Medical emergency: 115, Fire: 125
Travel with Children:
Since Iran is a very young country, it is really safe to travel with children. Just if you decide to travel in hot season don’t choose hot areas.Hotels and Restaurants: Most hotels and restaurants in Iran do not provide childcare facilities; it is advisable to bring your own. Some objects in the hotel room such as ashtrays, shampoo and tables may injure children by accident; keep an eye on your children.
Traveling: While traveling, it might be difficult to feed infants. Take additional water and food when traveling in rural and remote areas; in addition, bring extra diapers and toilet paper.
Iran is trying to improve the facilities for disabled travelers. The following are some tips:
– Before traveling, inform your agent of the physical condition so that they can make proper arrangements.
– Consult your doctors about the trip. Make sure to bring enough medicines and your adaptive aids such as a wheelchair.
– Note the telephone number of the hospital in the place you are planning to visit.
– Make sure your health insurance provides cover for your overseas visit. Alternatively, will your travel insurance will cover it.
– Most airlines and airports in Iran can provide facilities for disabled travelers. Ask the staffs for assistance if you are in difficulty.
Post and Telecom:
Please check: http://www.post.ir
Telephone, Telegram and Fax
While traveling in Iran, you can easily find a telephone in hotels, post offices and street kiosks. If you want to make a domestic long-distance call, you have to dial the area code with a prefix 0 first. You can also make international calls in post offices and hotels. Generally, local calls are free when you make them in hotel rooms. You can also buy IP cards in post offices, which can make long-distance calls cheaper.
Cyber cafes are readily available in most cities. Most hotels and some restaurants also provide Internet services. Generally, you can surf the Internet quickly and smoothly, but the fees do vary.
Most hospitals in big cities provide a high standard of medical care in Iran. However, in some remote areas, the medical service may not be to such a standard. Ensure your physical condition is good prior traveling. Bring some medicines with you, such as aspirin, anti-histamines and so on.
– Never take photos in sensitive areas such as military base, airfield, etc. and other sensitive areas where photography is forbidden.
– Ask for permission before taking photos of other people.
– Some holy shrines do not allow photography. So you’d better look for the sign or ask for the staffs before taking photos.
– You had better buy enough films in big stores or supermarkets before you go sightseeing as that is cheaper and the film more reliable.