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10 reasons why you should travel to Iran
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Iran”? Terrorists? War? Camels roaming hot deserts? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, Iran’s global image is largely negative.
So why should you travel to Iran, considering all the negative news and stereotypes?
Here’s why you should travel to Iran; Almost every idea you might carry around about this beautiful country is flat-out wrong. All the bad news exists because the media has decided to misrepresent Iran in every possible way. I will give you ten reasons why you should throw away your doubts and come see Iran.
I googled the question “Is Iran safe?” And a long list of websites came up, all saying: “Don’t go to Iran!”, “Avoid Iran due to the risk of kidnapping!”, “terrorism in Iran.”, …
Smiling I thought: “Which Iran are they talking about? The real one where I have grown up peacefully or the imaginary Persian dystopia?”
So let me answer it myself.
Is Iran safe? Yes.
Is it safe for women and solo travelers? A huge yes!
Is pickpocketing common in Iran? No, it’s not but it may happen (although it has never happened to me).
Iran is a safe country not just for the locals but also for the tourists. You can wander around the cities during the day or even at night and as long as you’re careful you will avoid problems.
Its deep history, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and museums:
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, with a history going back as far as 7000 BC. It has 22 UNESCO world heritage sites which put it among the first ten countries with the most cultural heritage sites in the world. You can see Iran’s rich history through Persepolis, the ruins of the ancient capital of the Persian Empire in Fars Province. In Shahr-e Sukhteh, Iran’s mysterious burnt civilization in Sistan province, and in the historic city of Yazd.
Most Iran tours include at least ten of these UNESCO sites but if you book a twenty-day tour, you can visit them all. Also, don’t forget to visit museums as they have a lot to say about the history and the culture. Sa’ad Abad museum complex, the carpet museum, and the jewelry museum are some of Iran’s must-see museums.
Unfortunately, Iran has one of the least valuable currencies in the world. Because of the U.S sanctions and the poor governance of the Islamic regime, the prices that are linked to the U.S dollar (and almost everything else) fluctuate so much. With inflation and all the prices going up every day makes it really hard for the locals to make ends meet.
On the other hand, this troubled economic condition makes Iran the cheapest tourist destination in the world. So if you want to travel on a budget, Iran can be the best option for you. It will blow your mind to hear that most tourists find Iran’s prices ridiculously cheap!
Astonishing architecture and gorgeous gardens
Majestic mosques with colorful calligraphy tiles, cathedral walls covered with elaborate paintings and miniature, old eye-catching houses surrounded by beautiful Persian gardens, and palaces decorated with luxury mirror mosaics from top to bottom are only a small fraction of all the beauty you can find in Iran.
Iran has a unique language when it comes to architecture. A language that beautifully communicates its philosophy, history, art, and climate. Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, Golestan Palace in Tehran, and Eram Garden in Shiraz are some of the most outstanding examples of Iranian architecture. So don’t miss them!
People, people, and people one more time!
The first thing that will shock you in Iran is the overwhelming hospitality that you receive here. This alone is one of the most important reasons for most tourists to come back. Once you’re here, you will be warmly welcomed by kind eye contact, sparkling smiles, small friendly talks (Which we mostly initiate ourselves), offers of help when you’re lost, invitations for a cup of tea, or being invited over to our homes to have a meal with our family.
Do we expect anything in return?
So why do we do it?
We do it for two reasons:
A) Because honoring the guest is part of our culture. We love having guests and we believe if you are visiting our town, then you’re our special guest.
B) Our taste for the foreign: We Iranians are curious about other cultures and countries and we enjoy learning about them. That’s why we ask you questions to get to know you and your culture better.
The food is delicious
If delicious food matters to you, Iran is your place to go, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Typical Iranian food is a savory combination of rice, meat, vegetables, nuts, and herbs flavored with the most expensive spice in the world, saffron. Take my word for it, Iranian kebabs, pilafs, soups, pastries, and sour snacks are worth traveling for!
The wonderful nature
Do you enjoy skiing? What about water surfing? And sandboarding? Well, believe it or not, you can do it all on the same day in Iran!
Being a vast country, Iran has different types of climates. This four-season country is more like a world inside a country. It can satisfy any taste when it comes to nature. Here you can find deserts, forests, lakes, rivers, snowy mountains, seas, lagoons, and everything else.
Iranian handicrafts are second to none!
I wonder if you can find any country that can compete with Iran in handicrafts. Iran owns one of the most varied handicraft collections in the world. The handicrafts of Iran are sheer art. The pictures above are good examples of Iranian art:
The traditional Iranian music:
Iran’s traditional music is rich, diverse, and beautiful. It’s a reflection of the culture, the emotions, and the literature of the country. Throughout history, Iran has made instruments to bring its own unique voice to the world.
You will be amazed to see a complete collection of musical instruments you have never even heard of! The Tar, Kamanche, Tonbak, and Santour are some of the oldest Iranian instruments.
The culture is diverse
With numerous ethnic groups and languages living under the same roof, Iran is considered to be a culturally diverse country. Sometimes even locals experience cultural shock facing each region’s unique traditions and customs.
Did I miss any reasons why you should travel to Iran? List yours below.