When I first travelled to Iran, I was a bit anxious. Was it even safe for a solo female traveler to travel to Iran? It turned out it was very safe and I had a great time. The sights, the food and especially the people. However, I give you 7 things I noticed during my travel to Iran that ruined my future travel experiences. So, when you plan to travel to Iran, be aware: your future travel experiences will never be the same.
Read more: Is solo female travel to Iran safe?
#1 Be welcomed to Iran everywhere you go
When I first set foot into the country, I was amazed at how many people would just welcome me into the country. And I don’t mean that big sign when you leave the airport. No, I mean literally any random man or child on the street saying: “welcome to Iran” or “Welcome to my country.”
Read more: How to get a visa on arrival at Tehran airport
#2 Get invited for drinks, lunch or diner
On my first day at the bazaar in Shiraz, a vendor offered me tea and sweets in his shop, without the need to buy anything. On the second day a random street vendor invited me to spend the whole day with him as he showed me around town. During my 2 weeks travel in Iran, people invited me for tea, lunch and dinner on so many occasions, I can’t recall all off them. How different is that basically anywhere else in the world, where tourists are regarded as walking cash machines and people only offer you things when they want money in return?
#3 See amazing sights and only pay €5 entrance fee
When I was in Prague only a month after my travel to Iran, I found everything so expensive! 18€ entree fee is nothing for a mediocre museum. In Iran, almost all the sights costed 200.000 Rials (roughly €5,50 or $6.00). Even a sight as famous, grand and important as Persepolis was ‘just’ 200.000 Rials entrance fee.
Read more: my 2 week Iran travel budget
#4 Be alone in nature
One of the most amazing things I experienced during my travels to Iran was the nature. I really enjoyed the desert in Iran. I went to as many deserts as possible and each time, I found myself completely alone. Nobody photobombing your epic sunset shot or bumping into you during a selfie like in the overcrowded Cinque Terre in Italy.
Read more: Deserts in Iran
#5 Get help everywhere you go, if you need it or not
During my travel by train from the Netherlands to Turkey, I arrived at numerous train stations. The signs were sometimes hard to read and I had a hard time figuring out where the ticket office was at the train station in Bucharest Romania. I would have loved to get some help there!
During my travels to Iran, I got all the help I ever needed. I just showed up at the bus station and there was always someone asking me where I was going, what my tickets said, if I knew which seat I was in and if I knew where to get off. Iranian people are super friendly and they all seemed very eager to help me, if I needed help or not!
Read more: My love letter to Shiraz Iran
#6 Amazing fresh cooked foods everywhere you go
Mmmhh, my mouth waters a little bit when I reminisce on all the amazing foods I ate in Iran. Especially the home cooked stew with pomegranate seeds was delicious! And the kebabs with fluffy saffron rice makes me drool instantly. Every meal was freshly cooked with pure ingredients. No GMO foods, microwaved meals or prepacked lunched like in some restaurants in the Netherlands.
Read more: Iran travel itinerary for first time visitors
#7 All the friendly people of Iran
The one thing about travel to Iran that will ruin you the most for future travels is the friendly people of Iran. Arriving in Vienna, I was shocked with how unfriendly the people seemed. I like to emphasize seemed, as they were not unfriendly, but just not as friendly as the people in Iran. Everywhere I went in Iran, people smiled at me, offered me food or drinks and helped me to travel around. And everyone just gave me a welcoming feeling to be in Iran. Unfortunately, this treatment will ruin all your future travel experiences because I haven’t been to another country where the people are THAT friendly.
Read more: 15 days travel itinerary for Iran
Travel to Iran ruins your future travel experiences
This is just a short list of things about Iran that ruined my future travel experiences. But if you ask me if I would do anything different if I could, the answer would be NO! Although my travel to Iran has ruined me for future travel experiences, I wouldn’t have want to miss it for the world!
Read more: Practical preparations for women travelling to Iran
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Are you planning to travel to Iran? Do you have any doubt if you should go or not? These warnings might help you decide.
Heel erg bedankt voor je liefde voor mijn land,
from Montreal , Canada
I really enjoyed reading your experiences and hope to see you in Iran or even Netherlands one day. If you need any help traveling to Iran, I will be there for you.
thank you very much for these useful information, I refer my european friends to your blog all the time.
Thank you Vahid. Much appreciated.
Are you still going to travel to other countries even though Iran “ruined” your future travel experiences? Maybe you should have called it “Seven ways Iran changed my future travel experiences”. I’m thinking of doing an Iran group tour in 2022. It could last from eight to ten days. If I took out €500 and converted it into Iranian rials, would that be enough for eight to ten days?
So great for you to share your experience and love your photos! Reminds me of this quote from Anthony Bourdain: “Of all of the places, of all the countries, all the years of traveling, it’s here in Iran that I am greeted most warmly by total strangers.”
Thanks Monica. I loved his episode in Iran. So familair and such warm feelings.