Tourist Information

Tourist Visa (single or multiple entry)

A tourist visa is required by foreign nationals who wish to travel to Iran for sightseeing purposes or to visit their friends and family.
The visa allows you to stay in Iran for up to 30 days, although the duration of your visa is at the discretion of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At times they may only grant 12-day visas, even if you ask for four weeks. However, you can easily get a visa extension once you arrive in Iran, at no extra cost, by going to any police station, or the Aliens Office in Tehran.


If you have plenty of time before you intend to travel (at least 8 weeks), you can apply for a visa by contacting your nearest Iranian Embassy.

Alternatively, you can use an Iranian Visa Service to take care of all the details and get your visa for you. Iranian Visa Services can often get you a visa to travel at short notice. Click here for more details on Iranian Visa Services. 

To apply independently you need to contact the Iranian Embassy nearest to where you live and ask for/download a visa application form.

Next, you will need to obtain a Letter of Invitation from a sponsor in Iran. For tourist visas, the sponsor will normally be a tour operator or a hotel. Click on th efollowing link to contact an Iranian tour operator who can supply you with a Letter of Invitation.

Once you have your Letter of Invitation you need to send this to your nearest Embassy along with your visa application form, two photographs, and the appropriate visa application fee.

The Embassy will then send details of your application to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Tehran.

Once your visa has been authorised by the MFA, a visa authorisation number will be sent back to the Embassy. The Embassy will then contact you and tell you your visa authorisation number. Please note that this reference number means that your visa has been authorised but is not the visa itself.

To obtain the actual visa in your passport, you need to fill out a visa collection form which you obtain/download from the Embassy. On this form you enter your visa authorisation number.

You can then either post or take this form to the Consulate Section of the embassy along with your passport and the appropriate visa collection fee. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of entry into Iran, and must have at least two blank pages.

If take your passport to the consulate in person, you will normally have to return the following day to get your passport back. If you post your passport to the consulate, either there will be an extra fee to cover the costs of them sending it back to you recorded delivery, or you will have to provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. You should normally receive your passport back about one week from when the consulate first receives it.

Formal Name The Islamic Republic of Iran

Location Middle East, bordering the Sea of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan

Geographic Coordinates 32 00 N, 53 00 E

Time GMT +3:30 September 22 to March 21 , GMT +4:30 March 22 to September 21

Area 1.648 million sq km (slightly larger than Alaska)

Bordering Countries Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper 432 km, Azerbaijan Naxcivan exclave 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992 km, total 5,440 km

Coastline 2,440 km along the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf; Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)

Climate Mostly arid or semi-arid, subtropical along the Caspian Coast

Terrain Rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts

Elevation Extremes Caspian Sea -28 m, Mount Damavand 5,671 m

Natural Resources Petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur

Land Use Arable land 10%, permanent crops 1%, permanent pastures 27%, forests and woodland 7%, other 55%

Capital Tehran

Administrative Divisions 31 Provinces

Major Cities Tehran, Mashad, Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz

Population 75,000,000

Ethnic Groups Persian 51%, Azerbaijani 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baluch 2%, Turkic 1%, other 2%

Official Language Farsi or Persian

Religions Muslim 99%; Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians 1%

Economy A mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures

Industries Petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, construction materials, food processing, metal fabricating, automobile manufactoring

Agricultural Products Wheat, rice, sugar beets, fruits, pistachios, cotton, dairy products, wool; caviar

Exports Petroleum, carpets, fruits, nuts, hides, steel

Currency Rial

Exchange Rate Approximately 32,000 Rials to one US Dollar

Fiscal Year 21 March - 20 March

  • Best Time to Visit
    The best time to visit Iran is March-May or September-November. It mostly rains in the winter months and can be very cold and snowy at times. Areas along the coasts enjoy a mild climate.
  • Transportation
    Imam Khomeni international airport, is 40 km from city center. Iranians use the internal airlines as their primary means of transportation, so flights are often booked well in advance.

Taxis from the airport (and elsewhere) don't use meters, so be sure to agree on the fare before getting in the cab. There is a reliable prepaid taxi service outside the international arrivals hall. A journey across the city should cost no more than $5 US.

There's rail service, both within the country and to Europe and surrounding countries. There is excellent bus service between Istanbul and Tehran. Land borders with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan are open.

An escorted tour is the best way for most first-time visitors to see the country. Hiring a car and driver or taxis would be a second choice. Bus service is extremely popular, and many buses run each day between all cities and towns in Iran. Taxis are also available.

Dressing and Trip Notes:

Dress Code (Men and Women)

The Islamic dress code for women might have, somewhat, relaxed, but is still the same as before, i.e. women would need to wear a headscarf (of any colour or pattern) and clothes that cover their body at all times outside hotel rooms. They can wear the regular ‘Islamic manteau’, easily purchased here at the cost of around $35-40, or long sleeved knee-length tunic/dress over long loose pants or skirt.

Please note that women should wear headscarf as soon as they leave aircraft on arrival.

Men can wear T-shirts/short sleeves, but they should refrain from wearing shorts.


The currency in Iran is the Rial, and there are about 9,000 Rials to the US Dollar. Most prices that you will see in shops and that shopkeepers will discuss with you will be given in Tomas. One Toman equals 10 Rials. Therefore, an item that cost 32,000 Tomans is actually 320,000 Rials, or about 10 Dollars.

You should change money at airport bank, or hotel bank, to cover expenses not included in the tour cost and for personal expenses. You can pay Dollars/Euros for any purchases of handicrafts, carpets, etc. and for tipping drivers and guides. There are no preferences between Dollars and Euros, and both are equally accepted.

You can bring cash US Dollars/Euros and there is no restriction on the amount (although, officially, it is $6000.00), and no problem in taking out what is left!

Credit Cards

Please note that no credit cards are accepted here for any purpose. Some of the more prestigious carpet shops in Isfahan, with overseas accounts, might accept credit cards for substantial purchases, but we cannot commit to this.

Voltage and Adapters

The voltage in hotels and everywhere in Iran is 220V, but it is best to have a universal adapter. European-style sockets and plugs with two round pins are used in Iran.

Photography and Video

People should refrain from photographing government offices, airports, military depots, police stations and any place that is ‘deemed’ off limits! They should always check with their guide to make sure of what is allowed and what is not or they would get themselves, our guides and, eventually the company (Pasargad Tours) in trouble!

When photographing people, especially women, it is customary to first ask for their permission, but most Iranians are hap