Is It Safe to Travel to Iran?

How Safe is Iran for Travelers?

Shadi Shahbaz Jan 26, 2019 4 min read

“Iran is one of the safest countries I have ever been to. The only time you must fear for your life is when crossing the streets [of Tehran] because they drive like maniacs,” says Insta-traveler whereisjpnow after returning to visit Iran again. Many travelers agree with him, saying that Iran is the safest country they have visited or that it is ‘much safer than traveling in Europe’. But it is not only the words of travelers and tourists. Contrary to what circulates on media, Iran is a very safe destination for traveling according to an article published by British online newspaper The Independent. The Travel Risk Map also places Iran among the countries with a low risk to travel to alongside the UK.

Iran is safe
Tourists taking photos with Iranian soldiers

Terrorist attacks, arrests and violent crimes are extremely rare, and practically nonexistent when it comes to foreigners and travelers. The best part about traveling to Iran is that the majority of the population are very warm and friendly towards foreigners and tourists. So, they will go out of their way to make sure you are safe and having a good time. Manuel, 23, who traveled to Iran from Italy in 2017 considers it as “the most dangerous country in the world for your shape, because of the delicious food and people offering so much of it.”

Iran is a safe destination for solo female travelers, but of course they must stay cautious of their surroundings and avoid being alone with strangers. Sexual harassment is also much less in downtown areas and the city center neighborhoods especially when you compare the rate with other big cities in the region.

Female Traveler in Tehran
Female Traveler visiting Azadi Tower, Tehran

What should you be cautious about?

  • Pick-pocketing and stealing of passports
  • Road accidents in cities and on the roads
  • Taking photos near military zones
  • Involvement in activities that would appear as shady or suspicious
  • Carrying and excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol
  • Dehydration in hot seasons (July and August)

Just like when you travel to any country in the world, there are some general safety principles and precautions to take. When traveling to Iran to make sure to follow these tips and you will surely enjoy a pleasant and safe trip.

What safety tips should you keep in mind?

  • Don’t carry huge amounts of cash. You might get pick-pocketed!
  • Carry copies of your passport with you and leave the original in the hotel or your safe box.
  • Keep an eye on your personal belongings and valuable possessions. Be even more careful in crowded areas like bazaars and public transport.
  • Avoid regions that are close to borders with Afghanistan and Iraq. If you plan to visit them, register with your embassy upon arrival and go with a local guide.
  • Don’t take photos near military zones or photography forbidden areas. If that happens by accident and you get stopped by the police, delete the photos from your camera or phone.
  • Don’t carry or consume drugs or alcohol.
  • If you have a road accident, don’t get involved physically or verbally. Call 110 for the police, 115 for emergencies and ambulances and 125 for fire and rescue services.
  • Keep your eyes peeled the first few times crossing the roads. (especially in bigger cities) In practice, driving in Iran is totally different from what you expect. During your first days, cross wider streets with locals or by their side.
  • Buy insurance for your entire trip. You will also need it for your visa.
  • Stay well hydrated in summer months when the temperature goes quite high (between 35 to 40 degrees Celsius).
tourists on balcony
Tourists in Tehran

Keep these tips in mind while traveling to Iran in order to make the most of your trip.

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