We’re writing this article about Iran safety exactly few days after President of U.S. Donald Trump(now, the former president!), threatened Iran to target 52 historical and cultural sites in Iran and assassinated General Soleymani the head of Quds army, and in respond, Iran shot Us. military base in Iraq and tragically shot the Ukrainian airline 572 as the result of miscalculation and what they called: Human Mistake! So, no worries! It’s right to the point. Moreover, as constant travelers we always have the pure honest information for the travelers. Without any sugar coating! To begin about if it’s safe to travel to Iran, we quickly mention that all nations are welcome in Iran unfortunately apart from Israeli citizens. That’s unfortunate, because we believe, no politics or fake media can interpret the real experience of a place and its people. Also countries that don’t have an embassy in Iran such as American, Britain and Canadian citizens need an arranged tour to visit Iran.
Iran safety image in media Vs. reality
Iran as a four season country and oldest civilization of the world through its history, is one destination a traveler or anyone should visit AT LEAST once! From ancient, historical and cultural sites in all of main cities to its culture in villages, food, trekking and skiing in the north, adventure in the central desert or relaxing beside the Persian Gulf and have a dive in the south. There are few countries where can offer such a big variety of attractions in every corner. However, addressing the question “Is it safe to travel to Iran”, in mainstream media is mostly corrupted. Risk of war or military attack or the trending revenge thing! Well, as for the moment non are applicable. The truth is they rarely are, ever! As middle east has always been presented more or less through its safety risks, it’s not a new story for us.
Regarding the risk of any military act or war, IT’S IRRELEVANT AND OUT OF THE PICTURE! Also, there is no protestations going on or planned for the near future. The COVID19 vaccination has begun in Iran & touristic travelling to Iran is possible from End of May 2021 aacording to officials. Also, Turkish, Emarates, IranAir, and Lufthansa flights to Iran, will be back on track from 1st of May.(updated on 15th April, 2021)
We will update this box weekly and change it if any of those words didn’t imply anymore.
Iran Travel Risk Map 2020
Iran safety was announced as reliable as majority of European countries for its travel security factor, according to the 2019 Travel Risk Map, launched by global risk experts International SOS. Political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence), violent and petty crime, the robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters are taken into consideration in these reports. As for 2020 Travel Risk Map which you can see here, it is still very safe to travel to Iran!
Also, even at this moment that Iran safety has collapsed 12 stages down in “Safe Around safety index”, it’s still on a safe level and stands at the 95th row.
Main considerations about Iran safety
Now, that we are done with the other sources, and if you still have certain concerns about Iran safety and ask yourself Is it safe to visit Iran in 2020 apart from political point of view, we have provided the main hypothetical sources of risk in Iran for you in general. Here is our list:
– Leave your drone behind: Never ever bring any drone – any kind of it- to Iran to make cool Youtube or documentary footage. At least not now! Since last year, drones have been one of the main reasons for the tourists to get into trouble. High-security protocols toward any suspicious act of spy filming governmental bases with flying objects, leave no space for risking it!
– No photography of marches or protestations or governmental/military bases: As we constantly alarm our travelers about not photographing or filming special occasions and sites, sometimes it happens! The main reason for this mistake is that usually tourists enter Iran with their fears and perceptions about an Islamic country setting (media influence). And again, usually, after few hours this perception vanish and get replaced by the real daily Iran which is not that Islamic and as easy going as any other country and way more friendly than expected which is true till the point you don’t get too excited! Don’t push the boundaries, when it comes to photographing political occasions/locations.
– Carry copy of your documents while around: We always encourage our guests to carry a copy of their documents around ant not the original ones. It’s a general precaution to keep the original documents in a safe place instead of risking losing them in crowded bazaars. Police usually check on the copies and if necessary, will ask you to bring them the original ones which will be very rare.
– Be aware of the fake police: Unfortunately, we had some cases that the tourists were the victim of fake police and lost some money! This issue was growing in Iran but it seems, it has been taken care of to a good level recently. Remember, if for ANY REASON, someone with or without police uniform and with any subconscious tone, don’t give your bag to them! Just call the police (110) or better, try to catch the pedestrians attention to ask them call the police for you. Usually the scam happens when the fake police with fake ID that you cannot probably read, ask you to hand over your bag for the search and they will steal your money or camera or valuables. Remember, the real police in most of cases, won’t force you for a personal search. And they should have a real police car and not just with some uniforms in an ordinary car! One thing you should know, is that as a tourist, normal police shouldn’t and can’t interfere with you more than a certain level. Also, you can always ask the police to call your embassy and tell them they have to wait for a represented from embassy that can speak Farsi!
– Don’t come to Iran now if you are a professional journalist or a well-reputed politic researcher/ professor or activist: If your studies or researches or job is somehow related to Islamic laws, Iran policy or Middle East policy in any way or you’re studying journalism, don’t fill it up in your visa request form. And if you are a professional in any of these disciplines, don’t travel to Iran in some periods. Especially now!
– Stay away from alcohol or drugs: As strange as it might sound, it’s quiet easy and affordable to find any kind of alcohol or smokes or drugs in Iran. Increasingly, with the blog contents of travelers and backpackers who have been in Iran and had the experience, we witness the demand for it as a cool experience while in Iran. To be at the safe side, please skip this part and stay sober for few weeks! This warning is mostly aim for you to not get drunk or high in unknown places or provide them from unreliable sources which is the worst case. Otherwise, nothing sever will happen to you if caught!
What part of Iran is unsafe to travel?
According to world safety indexes, there are three areas that it is unsafe to travel for tourists:
- The areas east of the line running from Bam to Jusk Port in the south east;
- Small villages of Sistan-Baluchistan Province near Pakistan border;
- The area within 20km of the entire border of Iraq (Not the Kurdistan Province)
Please note than in general, Kurdistan province in Iran is not only safe, but a true heaven when it comes to environment and culture. It’s the same story with Baluchistan province if visited on the right time from late October to late March. It will become an extraordinary Iran winter tour.
Is it safe to go around in Iran at night?
Even considering that it is safe to travel to Iran, if you’re alone, we don’t recommend to walk around alone after midnight in smaller cities. In Tehran and especially for the weekend (Thursday night), it’s fine to stay out late but of course with wise precautions just like any other country or city in the world and avoid visiting remote neighborhoods late at night.! Nightlife in Tehran and Isfahan as the main big cities, is what a tourist can pursue.
Solo Female Travel to Iran
For many of solo female travelers, it’s more important to know if is it safe to travel to Iran. Their main question is: Is it really safe for women to travel to Iran? As the content providers of Hi Tehran Hostel’s blog, and avid solo female travelers, we present a very simple short answer and skip all of influencers and bloggers positive comments: Yes! Iran is a welcoming place for solo female travelers, and has become more tourist-friendly over the past few years. It doesn’t mean there’s no general danger like everywhere else at all. Just one tip: Trust people, but not too much! Also, since as tourists you cannot read the cultural signals, avoid couch surfing as much as you can and don’t accept a personal invitation to a home (at least not without informing someone about it).
Emergency Numbers in Iran
No harm to have the in your mobile phone, here are the contact of some emergency services in Iran:
- Local Police Control Center: 110
- Emergency Clinical Services: 115
- Fire and Rescue Team: 125
- Iranian Red Crescent Society: 112 (handy for professional hikers or trekkers)
The main issue about these numbers are, you might find it hard or time consuming to have an English-speaking operator on the line!
Do you need an Iran Tour or Iran tour guide to be safe in Iran?
Not necessarily. If you are one of those travelers who prefer to explore and discover new places by themselves, treat Iran the same. Moreover, here in Iran, locals really eager to help tourists finding their way around. Yet, if you have limited time, prefer to relax and being guided once in a while in your trips and really eager to have local and in-depth experiences, take a look at Hi Tehran Tours! Otherwise, enjoy your Iran trip with no concerns!
Do you need to get Iran Visa in advance or you can apply for VOA?
We have explained this question in full detail in our IRAN VISA ON ARRIVAL GUIDE 2020 EDITION blog post. However, to have the quick information, you don’t need to apply for Iran visa in advance unless you like to, or you’re an America, Britain or Canada citizen. You don’t even have to apply for an E-Visa if you don’t feel like to! Iran arrival visa is usually the most convenient, easy and quick option. Again, as explained in its full relevant post, you even have nothing to worry about if your E-Visa get rejected, since you can get the VOA, like the majority of other Iran tourists at IKA Tehran Airport. Iran tourism section randomly reject E-Visas to encourage tourists proceed through expensive travel agencies to empower them according to their new investments! absolutely not necessary to fall for it. With this, if you prefer to apply for E-visa instead of Iran visa on arrival, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to get you Iran tourist visa in easy, safe and fast.
Writer: Golnar ZAMANI
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