Dos and Don’ts about Iran while Travelling
When many travelers express their ideas about travelling to Iran, they proudly announce that the way the media across the western world has painted the picture of Iran is not the real Iran. Iran is a magnificent and mysterious country with a rich culture and history. If you visit Iran with an open heart and mind you will really have an unforgettable experience. Still there are some rules every traveler should keep in his/her mind due to the Islamic culture of the country they are travelling to.
Clothing: The first and most important fact about this country is the way the people wear clothes. At the first glance it may be hard for woman travelers to come to Iran due to the strict rule about Hijab. Don’t let this deter you form this great destination. There are opportunities travelers are allowed to discard their hijab.
Iranians are very fashion conscious. You can easily see many young ladies wearing fitting manteau (raincoat type of item) with tight pants underneath. You can see them wearing sandals, makeup, nail polish, tiny scarves, and sunglasses. But they are not allowed to wear shorter than ankle length pants. Tourists get away with wearing long and loose shirts with pants and any types of scarf. Men can wear t-shirts and pants anywhere. Shorts are not appropriate for men except on the beach or at the gym.
Tipping: Tipping is not very common in Iran. However, there are cases when travelers feel like to tip. If you are satisfied with the received service, you can feel free to pay a tip. The luggage carts at the airports are free of charge but in case you ask someone to assist you carry the cart, you will be asked for a tip. Having a delicious meal in a restaurant along with a good service makes some travelers to offer a tip to those cleaning the table.
Asking for Help: Do not hesitate to ask for help whenever you need it. Although some of the local people may not be able to speak English, they will endeavor to help you to the best way they can. If you are asking directions, make sure to ask a few people as you go along until you reach your destination.
Shaking Hands: During your trip to Iran you may find about the fact that women travelers are not allowed to shake hands with men and men travelers are not also permitted to shake hands with women. If you have traveled to some other Islamic cultures, you won’t find it difficult to get in touch with Muslim people living in Iran. .
Drinking: Although you may be in the habit of drinking alcohol or beers with your meal, it is necessary to keep in mind that you won’t be allowed to drink or carry around any alcoholic drinks while travelling to Iran. The best drinks you can get from among non-alcoholic beers will be a variety of fruity flavored ones.
Paying Attention to the Signs: In every public place you go, especially those having a historical value, you can see some signs requiring you to follow some specific directions. You are requested to read them carefully and pay great attention to them. As an example we can mention “No Photography” sign in some historical places or other landmarks.