People ask us if Iran is a safe place for tourists as they are concerned about the images created in the media; some may think Iran is just as it is described there: that people speak Arabic, they hate Americans, it is all deserts, people ride on camels… And while some may know that this is not true, they still ask the question, “ what type of country is it exactly then?” You would like to visit the country yourself but you simply do not know whether it would be safe to do so.
However, since I am an Iranian and not in a position to discuss it as a traveler, I decided to research the views of tourists who had recently visited. As a result, I have written an article based on 50 reviews on Iran tourism safety and 90% of these state that Iran is safe for a visit, but they also point out that you need to consider strict rules.
” I was feeling safe in Iran but before and at the start of my trip I was a little bit “afraid” because the rules are very strict. First when my hidjab was falling and I didn’t see it… and also because I am a Photographer and I know that some buildings is forbidden to take pictures but I can not read Persian.
In Qom I didn’t really feel safe because it’s very religious and the people look at me very strange. (I was wearing all in black, but I think it was no much enough ).
In the rest of the country I feeling me safe. The people are so kind and the country is so beautiful.”– Mixage Mixage from Belgium
Are there any concerns when you go to Iran with your partner?
People ask us whether it is safe to travel to Iran if they are gay or transgender or in similar situations. The answer is that no one would notice it if you do not mention it.
If you are not a married couple, no agency or hotel will ask you for a marriage certificate. Iranians respect foreigners regardless of what they do. Ironically, they believe that foreigners live as Muslims should live, but that foreigners just do not carry the label.
” Actually, Iran is very safe. We are traveling as a non-married young couple and we didn’t had any problems anywhere.
It’s been 3 amazing weeks so far and the only negative thing that we encountered was the sadness of some Iranians regarding their government
Good work, Feel free to ask me other questions, glad to answer you (if i have wifi because this Iranian wifi is really bad “– Alex from Belgium
Moreover, if you are gay, it is better not to reveal it in public and the fact is that people, by default, think you are just friends and it is hard to change their mind. So just keep going with this default mindset.
For transgenders, I would say Iran has a high rate of transition in genders. Take it easy and no one would notice.
Is Tehran safe? Tehran is polluted and people display crazy driving round every corner…
Tehran has a population of 8 million. It is big and very crowded. Public transportation is fine, but during certain hours there are huge traffic jams. Some compare it to San Jose in Costa Rica. You may lose time navigating if you are in a taxi.
” I don’t understand why everybody is so concerned about safety. Yvonne or I should say you are onions are like any other people around the world. The only things about safety I’m telling my tourists when I take them to your country is the road safety. Like the police diplomat killed in Terrebonne few days ago on the road. What other safety do you mean?”
Saba: So you mean the roads are not safe in Iran. But people are the same as any other place in the world. Right?
Robert Maciąg: Sure
Road are safe. Just negotiating crossing them needs to be learned. “– Robert Maciąg from Poland
The best option is to take the metro instead. When you want to cross the streets, do it carefully and the best course of action is to ask an Iranian to take you to the other side. When you are in a private car, fasten your seat-belt and enjoy the ride!
How about the safety of transport in Iran?
In view of sanctions and concerns about up-dated planes, lately, Iran has purchased a lot of planes to improve transportation in and out-country. You can book a flight to and from international airports in other cities like Isfahan, and Shiraz as well as Tehran.
There are trains from Tehran to cities like Zanjan, Isfahan, Yazd, Mashad and… and it is safe but it takes time. Iran has very clean and safe buses commuting between cities, so you can easily enjoy the ride and road views of day and night.
Hitchhiking is a bit unknown to Iranian drivers. But there are plenty of backpackers hitchhiking every year. Basically, you then need to pay attention to hitchhiking rules as you do in any other country. Keep in mind that camion riders are known for their funny and very generous personality! They have red napkins around their neck. So if you found one, feel free to join them.
” Hi Saba! We are fine,we arrived in Vietnam by hitchhiking now. Iran was very easy to hitchhike, one of the easiest country. But people don’t know the concept so we had to use a note in Farsi to explain what we want. We had 1 issue once a man did some sexual touching to me, but nothing bad he was small old and fat not aggressive just strange. We escaped easily this car, all other cars and people we met was perfect. “Julien from France
Is there war in Iran? Do different tribes have war with themselves? Iran has Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in border, so is it safe in Iran?
The answer is YES! No tribe in Iran has problems with other tribes or provinces that need to solved through conflict. They communicate and solve their problems through negotiation and governmental interference.
Iran has one the most powerful border guards in the world. No one can enter the country from the border unless he is checked out completely. Even in the border provinces like Sistan and Balouchestan, you can enjoy safety as if you are in, say, Isfahan or other big cities. But it is better to be with a well reviewed guide going to the borders.
And you should visit these border provinces because they are very intact and off the beaten track in terms of culture and nature.
” it’s my fifth time here in Iran… I’ve been to balouchestan 4 times… safety wise, it was safe for me, though human trafficking was an issue last time i was there, people from Afghanistan was kept hidden in the underside of the bus, my heart goes out for them just to escape poverty to find greener pastures in your country”Being Wayne from Philippine
In fact, an accomplishment of the Iranian regime after the revolution is that they have kept the country safe in spite of all the wars in the Middle East. I assure you that terrorism attack is much less probable in Iran in comparison to other places in the Middle East and even in European cities, say, Paris.
Is Iran safe for women?
Since women need to wear hijab in Iran, this is a highly subjective issue. Actually there are women tourists which perceive the head scarf as a classy accessory and they wanted to use it back home as well. On the other hand, some think it is not a good idea to wear something on your head all the time you are outside of a hotel in public.
” Hi Saba I am back from Iran today , I love Iran
I love Iran people and your country very safety much better than Amsterdam, I am a bite busy with my home now , I can tel you more about my feelings about Iran next time .”Peggy Sin from the Netherlands
Sexual harassment is another topic which is not specific to any one country. Iran is the same as anywhere else. Men may look at you a lot, but that does not mean they are going to take advantage of you; they are just curious about tourists. It is mainly because there are not many tourists in Iran. Normally, girls travel together around the world, but it is also safe if you are a solo woman traveler in Iran.
” what do you mean by safety? as far as personal safety (crime etc) Iran is as good as any country I have visited and a lot more than many.”
Mary Machen from Australlia
Saba: like more than what countries? You as a woman, did you feel safe going around?
Mary Machen: As I am old and don’t walk all that well, access can be a problem – you have to watch where you are walking – many things to trip over and the Iranian gutters (jubes?) are quite unusual and dangerous for us. Access in some historic sites is difficult for people like my (EG Ali Qapu)
I felt safer in Iran than i did in countries like Thailand Turkey Vietnam.
Saba: I see, jubes are hard to walk
Mary Machen: Saba I’m 75 years old so Nothing much worries me. Iranians are VERY kind to old ladies so i didn’t mind walking around. i carried a LOT of USD with me and didn’t feel worried at all.
Thank you very much, I hope you had wonderful time in Iran. wish you the bests
Mary Machen: Saba i had decided that this was my last trip but I have changed my mind. I will be back in Autumn 2019.
Saba: Happy to hear that!
What is the crime rate in Iran? What is considered to be a crime in Iran?
The crime rate in Iran is far lower than any other country in the Middle East. No kidnappings, no pick-pocketing. However, there are some Islamic laws, which you need to consider as a tourist.
- First, drinking alcohol is not legal in Iran so just be sure you are not carrying a bottle of wine or something in your bag.
- Second, women need to wear a head scarf, dress appropriately in a way that their body does not attract attention.
- Third, men should not wear shorts, or very short sleeved shirts.
” Iran belongs is THE most safest country i ever traveled in. I could go to any part of any city i went to during any time at day and night.”– Hermann Worle from Germany
What do Iranians think about the world? About their borders?! Of Americans?
The fact is that Iranians are afraid to go to Pakistan or Afghanistan. This is kind of shocking because people normally see Iran as similar to Afghanistan when it comes to safety. While, since Iran is so safe for them to live, also people hear news on media about Taliban or … they tend to consider Iran a great deal safer than its border countries.
“Mean World Syndrome” is one of the main conclusions of cultivation theory. The term “Mean World Syndrome” was coined by George Gerbner, a pioneer researcher on the effects of television on society, when he noted that people who watched a lot of TV tended to think of the world as an unforgiving and scary place. Source
Do Iranians hate Americans / Israelis? NO!
Is it safe to travel to Iran if you are an American? YES!
Actually since there have always been restrictions between these countries, people in Iran are curious about Americans. So if they meet one, they welcome him to get to know them better.
Can I never go to Iran if I have visited Palestine or Israel or the U.S before? Will they accept my visa request?
It is better to make sure your Israel visa stamp is not in your current passport. (just like you changed your passport for a new one or you had a paper visa to Israel) Whilst I was working in a guesthouse for a couple of weeks, I saw three tourists in the same situation but they were in Iran.
Does it cause any problems from the police or security while I am in Iran? Not at all.
Notice that it is better to visit U.S before you want to go to Iran, because it may become an issue to enter U.S.
What to do to be safer in Iran?
- Dress appropriately
- Do not drink alcohol even if you are invited to do so in the desert.
- You will get a lot of invitations for dinner or lunch, so go ahead – it is safe to eat with local people throughout Iran
- Do not give a “thumbs up” as it is considered rude.
- You are free to take pictures anywhere, except for governmental sites or outside of embassies in Tehran
” I will answer briefly to you question: Iran was wonderful, the best architecture I have ever seen and iranian people are very kind and welcoming. I never felt unsafe in your country, exactly how I pictured it before coming. “Jonathan pimpim from France
Is Iran safe to visit?
Yes it is, just like any other country. Keep in mind that you may need to obey 4-5 rules and you would never get into trouble. And most importantly listen to your guide. I cannot say there never has been kidnapping in Iran, but it is super rare!
So the next time you turned on the TV and had a news from the Middle East, whisper to yourself: “Yup, Iran is safe. I’ll go for it …”