Each country has its own unique atmosphere and social norms and etiquette, travelers need to be aware of, and Iran is no exception. There are some Iran-specific regulations and restrictions you may encounter while traveling to Iran, some of which are brought here for you by Iranviva team:
No International Credit Card Acceptance in Iran
Actually, thanks to the sanctions, Iranian banks don’t support international credit card, i.e. foreign tourists cannot pay with their Iran Visa, Mastercard, or any other international credit cards in Iran. Some tourists travelling to Iran worry about it and they think they have to carry a large amount of cash with them, but Iranviva will help you with this problem.
You may not be able to use your usual credit card in Iran, but, to solve this problem, Iran National Bank (Bank-e Melli Iran), has taken a helpful step by providing tourists, travelling to Iran, with a Tourist Credit Card, to help them exchange their cash into a credit card and facilitate their trip to Iran.
To get more information about money in Iran and Iran’s credit card (tourist card), read the Iranviva article “Money and Currency in Iran“.
Internet Filtering in Iran
Many people use online social networks to interact. Tourists to Iran also need Internet access to communicate with their family and friends and share their pictures of their first visit to Iran. However, there are internet restrictions and Internet filtering in Iran, i.e. you may face problem accessing certain websites and their applications, like Facebook, Telegram, etc. If you come across an internet block, don’t panic! You can use VPN to bypass blocked sites and restrictions.
Compulsory Hijab Law in Iran
The garment, in various countries, has different legal and cultural status. Females, planning a trip to Iran, should consider that all women in Iran must wear hijab in public. In other words, females in Iran are required by law to wear loose-fitting clothes and also cover their hair. It is not that strict, though. It means that, the dress code is more relaxed in reality. For example, it is not uncommon to see young females wearing figure-hugging manteaus or loose headscarves in big cities. They can also wear all colors and all types of fabrics. Generally speaking, all the people in Iran, male or female, are expected to wear decent clothing.
For more details about clothing in Iran, read our article “Everything about Hijab & Clothing in Iran”
Alcohol Ban in Iran
Alcohol is prohibited in Iran and drinking it is illegal for tourists just as it is for anyone else. So don’t expect to see it is sold or served in public places like cafes, restaurants, and hotels, etc. However, the ban has created a high demand for non-alcoholic beverages. Iranviva group recommends you not to miss different beverages on your trip to Iran.
No Public Display of Affection in Iran
Display of affection in public is any form of physical intimate contact between couples in a public setting. How much PDA (Public Display of Affection) is acceptable varies from culture to culture and from context to context. What is known as an ‘inappropriate behavior of couples in public’, including kissing, hugging, etc., is severely restricted in Iran. In fact, holding hands and giving hugs are a less restricted in public than kissing.
Moreover, greeting people can be different in different cultures. In Iran, it’s common to hug each other or kiss on cheeks to say hello. Shaking hands is also common especially, when meeting someone for the first time. Greeting between men and women has its own etiquette, too. If you are planning a visit to Iran, it’s best not to initiate the greeting.