10 reasons why you should visit Iran now
Should I or should I not visit Iran?
You’ve been pondering, mulling over, thinking about it, even planning, yet you still haven’t booked your trip to Iran. You don’t even know why, maybe holidays for you are synonymous with beach so you head to Thailand, maybe you think spices are only available in India, or maybe you think ancient history can only be experienced in Rome.
Whatever has been keeping you from booking that flight, here are our ten reasons why you should visit Iran as soon as possible and overcome all of your doubts.
1. Traveling to Iran is very safe
Is Iran a safe country to visit? Whether you travel alone or in a group, whether you are a woman or a man, or whether you arrive day or night time, Iran is very safe.
2. It’s hitting the headlines all over the world
Let’s face it, now it’s totally Iran moment. Listed by many publications as one of the most popular travel destinations for 2014, We can only say that this year is the beginning of what will finally be an era of never-ending tourism flow for this west Asian country.
Among the reasons people are flocking in Iran, curiosity is definitely a big draw. If you add the pride of saying you have traveled to the Islamic Republic, saw that things are not as mainstream media say, that you challenged all prejudices and warnings from family and friends, We say, book your ticket now.
If you ask us, one of the reasons why you should travel to Iran soon is to go before the crowd gets too big!
Iran is also the country of warm hospitality, and not just because “welcome” is possibly the most popular English word there, but because it’s an essential feature of iranian culture. And if you think this degree of hospitality is reserved for foreigners only, you clearly haven’t come across any taarof moment, which is understandable as this is a very “between-Iranians” prerogative.
Whatever city or province you go, friendly locals will be a great part of your Iranian journey.
4. A long history
Hardly in need of any introduction, Persepolis is possibly Iran’s most famous ancient site, even though not the only one. From ancient Persia to modern Iran, from the Achaemenid Empire to the Sassanian era, from the Safavid period to the Qajar dynasty, to finally the Pahlavi family and the Islamic Revolution, Iranian history is as stormy as it gets.
With so many historical places to visit in Iran, traveling all around the country you can soak in every period and delve into the nation’s tangled past. After you enjoyed your Persepolis tour, don’t forget to add to the list also other Iran points of interest such as the Golestan Palace in Tehran, Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan and the Fire Temple in Yazd, just to mention some.
If this is not a reason to visit Iran, I don’t know what is.
Be it a mosque, a palace or a bazaar, Iranian buildings are finely decorated and glow with ornamental elegance. Pastel colors gracefully interact with bright hues, tapering minarets and seemingly ubiquitous domes outline the landscape, symbols and traditional calligraphy coexist in a charming interplay.
Whether inside or outside a building, the sophisticated Persian architecture is always something tourists marvel at every time they visit Iran.
Also, the architectural styles and features evoke the dynasty they belong to. For example, Nasir al Mulk mosque in Shiraz is clearly Qajar dynasty with all its pink roses and small images of French churches, while the stunning Yazd Grand Mosque is all about overlapping styles, symbols and eras.
Getting enchanted by mesmerizing decorations, fine carvings, and elaborate paintings is one of the best reasons why you should visit Iran.
Each province, each city, each village has their own handicraft. In Yazd, you will certainly buy the beautiful termeh, handwoven silk and wool fabric (and baklava sweets), in Isfahan tiles and blue chalices and plates to decorate your home or use to offer sweets to your guests with a Persian touch.
Different cities different handicraft. Visit Tabriz (and everywhere else) for their particular carpets of all sizes, colors, and patterns, or their nuts, get to Hamedan for their colorful pottery or spend a day or two in Nishapur for their turquoise stone jewelry.
Wherever you travel in Iran, rest assured that you’ll get back home with the loveliest of gifts and Iranian souvenirs.
From pistachio to black tea, from saffron to kebab, from Mirza Ghasemi to Ghormeh Sabzi, the heavy presence of aromatic herbs makes Iranian cuisine appetizing and addictive, especially when it comes to pistachio and baglava if you ask us.
While there are national dishes that you can find everywhere, like herb stew Ghormeh Sabzi, there are others that are exclusive, or at least typical of a particular region. Among these are the aforementioned eggplant-based Mirza Ghasemi, typical from Gilan province, or Dizi, too meaty and heavy for me but still a national treat, typical from Ardebil.
If for food you consider also the single ingredients, Iran is famous for its saffron, much cheaper than in Europe in case you are thinking about some Persian gift shopping or their delicious pistachio.
8. Visit Iran because it’s still cheap
Be it for the sanctions or for the dropping of Rial currency, traveling to Iran right now will turn very cheap.
It mostly depends on the exchange rate, by since now euros, dollars and pounds are still strong compared to the rial, try to visit Iran as soon as possible before things change too much.
9. You will have a truly authentic experience
Probably due to sanctions that allow little commercial exchange with other countries, especially in the West, Iran can boast its own products on a variety of manufacturing areas, from food to textiles to ceramics. Apart from goods on sale, Iranians are very proud of their culture and traditions. This is why they will never miss the opportunity to illustrate what you might be seeing, eating, drinking, listening to, and so on and so forth.
This will give anyone who decides to visit Iran a great chance for a genuine local experience. This is also what allows you to better delve into the society and understand an ancient culture preserved with pride.
Iran tourism is living its boom season, and all Iranians are taking part in showing off their country that for too long has remained isolated from the travel industry.
10. You will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere
Contrary to common belief, anyone who decided to visit Iran has talked about the laid-back atmosphere. Contrary to many places, you can take pictures pretty much everywhere. Obviously, when it comes to people it’s always better to ask for their permission, but often they will agree, sometimes they will also show up in front of your camera with a “V” pose even before you have the chance to ask.
The Iranians attitude is friendly. People will always be up for a chat, seldom if ever worried about timetables, surprisingly happy to be the subject of your next photo, and always willing to have you as guests in their house.