CURRENCY Time Important Numbers Exchange Rates High Season (Mar-May) Shoulder Low Season (Nov–Feb) Arriving in Iran
Iranian rial (IR), though Central Bank of Iran is considering revaluing and/or changing the currency. In this book, we use US dollars (US$).
Farsi (Persian) and ethnic languages, primarily Azari Turkish.
Bring cash in US dollars or Euro. You cannot use credit or debit cards, travelers’ cheques or ATMs. Repeat, bring all you’ll need in cash.
Valid Iranian visa required. To be safe, start the process at least two months before you plan to arrive.
You will need a local SIM card for cheap local and pricey international calls. Your home SIM will not work.
Buses are cheap, comfortable, frequent and fast. Trains are cheap and comfortable, but infrequent. Flights are useful for longer distances.
GMT/UTC +3½ hours; daylight saving observed between No Ruz (around 21 March) and 22 September
Opening and closing times can be erratic, but you can rely on most businesses closing Thursday afternoons and Friday (the Iranian weekend).
Banks & Government Offices: 8 am–2 pm Sat-Wed, 8 am-noon Thu.
Museums 9 am–6 pm summer, until 4 pm or 5 pm winter, some closed on Mon.
Restaurants noon–3pm, 6–10 pm. Shops 9 am–8 pm Sat-Thu, but likely to have a siesta between 1–3.30 pm and possibly close Thursday afternoon.
Travel Agencies 9 am-5 pm Sat- Wednesday, 7.30 am-noon Thu.
Drop the 0 when dialing an area code from abroad.
Iran country code+98
International access code 00
Local directory 118
Australia A$1 IR29,700
Canada C$1 IR30,200
Japan ¥100 IR33,400
New Zealand NZ$1 IR23,643
Turkey 1TKL IR10,450
UK UK£1 IR48,100
USA US$1 IR38,180
For official exchange rates, see Central Bank of Iran (www.cbi.ir).
Imam Khomeini International Airport Fixed price taxi into town: IR750,000, depending on vehicle type; ripoffs are unusual if you use the official taxi queue. Bus to Metro station: IR75,000, plus IR7000 for Metro ticket to the city center
Shiraz International Airport: Taxi into town: US$5
Turkish border at Bazargan: Taxi to Maku: US$10.
Onward bus to Tabriz: US$2
High Season (Mar-May)
Low Season (Nov–Feb)
Arriving in Iran