Tehran-City
Tehran City photo by Arman Taherian

Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA: IKA) is the only international airport in Tehran, Iran.  IKA is located 30 km southwest of Tehran city center, that’s why you should know how to reach Tehran before your arrival. 

do you need to see Tehran Metro Map ? Here it is.

Metro in Tehran is not 24 hours so this is the schedule of IKA metro station :

Reaching  to Tehran by metro is a great decision for time and money saving. As it is 35 mins to get to Tehran and costs only 7,000 Tomans which is equal to 0.75 cents  🙂 unbelievably less than a dollar.  It is not crowded at all  you may a have a wagon for yourself to seat wherever you want and Metro is much safer and you will escape heavy traffic of Tehran entrance. 

IKA station to Shahre Aftab Station
            Saturday to Friday
                        6:50 ( First Train)
                         8:10
                         9:30
                        10:50
                        12:10
                        13:30
                        14:50
                        16:10
                        17:30
                        18:50
                        20:10 (Last Train)
Reach Tehran
Azadi Tower- Tehran -photo by alireza heydarifard


photo by mohammad hossein mohebi

Recently for Iran tourism sector improvement , the visa process gets easier as you can get Visa on arrival for 30 days stays validity. Also it can be issued as a paper sticker or stamp if you concern getting trouble for your future USA visa you can ask for a sticker on your passport. We suggest you apply for the online visa to avoid any problem in advance. Over 65 countries can take Visa on Arrival. You need one Blank page for entry sticker or stamp. Entering Iran doesn’t need any vaccinations.

So first of all i will tell you whatever you need to know about… 

VISA ON ARRIVAL

on arrival visa
On arrival visa

You can just get your visa on arrival in these international airports there is no visa on arrival on land borders: 
(if you are crossing land borders apply for E- visa,)

  • Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport
  • Tehran Mehrabad Airport
  • Shiraz Airport
  • Esfahan Airport
  • Mashad Airport
  • Tabriz  Airport

You need Valid passport, at least 6 months validity until departure.

Your travel itinerary  , your first few nights hotel reservation  in a known hotel or hostel. Ask your hotel or hostel to give a confirmation letter. Have it printed with yourself.

Medical and travel insurance for the period of your travel in Iran. Make sure write” Islamic Republic of Iran “ in the insurance form.

Passport photo.

Proof of funds that you can spend in your trip. Showing cash worth around 1000 USD $ is enough.

You need to pay visa fee  in cash, only Euros or USD.

How much does the Iran visa costs? It is 75 Euros for all nationalities , only for Australians  the cost is 145 Euros.  but check it before your arrival.

Sometimes they don’t ask for any proof, sometimes they ask. So it is better to have those items with you in a printed paper, not on phone.

SO Important. Notice if your passport is from USA,UK  or Canada you must be on a tour with a licensed agency and the agency can help you with  your visa, you can not get a visa on arrival or individually an E-Visa.

Visa Duration is for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days easily, for an extension you should visit the immigration office in Iran.

So next option for getting visa is the….

Iran E- Visa  or Electronic Visa

Photo by Iman soleymani zadeh

There is a from that if you apply before your arrival it speed up your process. Sometimes it takes 3 hours or more to get you visa on arrival so it is better to do your visa application before coming to iran. iT is so easy to apply.

Follow these steps to get Online Visa:

  1. Fill the Online Visa Application form.
  2. Upload a recent color photo. photo requirements 
  3. Upload the first two pages of your passport. For passport requirements
  4. There will be confirmation email, so check your mailbox.
  5. There is a payment link in your confirmation email, to pay the visa fee.

submitting your online visa application is the FIRST STEP. Some visa applicants will need to attend a visa interview in the consulate, and  some applicants may qualify for a visa without interview. You should wait until your application pass all required processing during  10 business days. You may check your application status .

Also you will receive emails if your status change. 

Good Luck. and if you had any questions do not hesitate to ask IranDestina team

Iran Flag
Iran Flag



Iran got 54 mountain summits with prominence of 1500 m or greater. lets introduce three highest peaks :

 

Mount Damavand : 5,610 m height.

I am an active volcano , I am the highest peak in Iran , and surprisingly highest volcano in Asia.  Besides my physical elevation, I have a special elevation in Persian mythology and folklore. Here is how Iranian Poet  Mohammad Taghi Bahar call me :

 

Oh white giant with feet in chains

Oh dome of the world, Oh Mount Damāvand

Mount Damavand
Mount Damavand

 

If you travel to Iran you can see me on the 10,000 rials Banknote, of course, these days it is not worth a lot, but it’s on my peak talent resume.

There are many ways to reach my summit, I guess 16 paths. Some of the paths need rock climbing .some are easier.

 

During you climbing you may see my high frozen waterfall which is eventually an ice-fall about 12 m tall on the elevation of 5100m, they say it is highest fall in Iran and the middle east.

 

If you want to visit me you can contact with IranDestina team, they can help you to catch this awesome experience.

 

Sabalan : 4811 m height

I am the second highest mountain in Iran. I got a beautiful permanent crater lake at my summit, some visitors found some of the volcanic rock formations which look likes animals, birds and insects. Here what you see? an Eagle maybe!

eagle Rock
Eagle Rock

I have a ski resort called Alvares and Sarein spa .in the region Plenty of mineral water springs attracts tourists, and Nomads live near my hillside.

Sabalan with Bike
Sabalan Lake by Reza Seyedi

As Damavand i have my mythical stories as well.  Some say i was the place of Zoroaster meditated for some years. For that, I am a sacred place in Zoroastrianism.

Nomad believes that if my summit snow melt this is the end of world, you can connect such believe to global warming that is happening, that’s why today we are talking about sustainable mountains.

Sabalan peak
Photographer Reza Seyedi

 

 

Alam-kuh : 4805 m height.

I got the bronze medal and stood on the 3rd highest peak of Iran. There were two German brothers Bornmuller who stood on my summit after 6 months exploration in the Alborz in 1902.

Alam kuh
Alam kuh

I got the most difficult mountaineering in Iran. Thus I attract European climbing teams and they got root’s name like, German Flank which is a rocky ridge to the summit. And Polish 48.

Do you know about Yalda?

The night of  Yalda is the last day of fall and it is the longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere. In Yalda night there is a special ceremony in Iran. In most parts of Iran, the extended family gather around and enjoy their time together with a lot of foods and snacks. If I could call this night with another name that would surely be the “delicious night”!

Yalda watermelon
Photo by Roman Davayposmotrim on Unsplash

There are many varieties of fruits, pastry, and nuts. Everyone is talking about this night weeks before and they are deciding where to gather and what to cook. Pomegranates and watermelons are the special fruits for this time. Although the watermelons are most of the time white because of the season. 🙂  parents usually give newlyweds presents on this night. children are happy that they can stay awake until late at night and enjoy their time with the family and sweets!

Wait a minute!

After writing this blog post, I started to share it on social media, and I suddenly remembered I didn’t mention anything
other than food. I obviously forget the cultural part of Yalda night, because I am so foody that I missed the most important part of this special night, reading poems!
At this night we read Hafez, Khayyam, and Ferdousi poems together, we also tell our fortune with reading Hafez poems by chance and dear Hafez speak to us and advice us what to do in the future.
After that, I got a really nice comment on my post which I will bring here.

Yalda is the longest night of the year. Yalda is also a girls name (maybe with thick long black hair).
The family gathers together, mostly at grandparents place, so they fight and survive the “darkness” together. The elderly entertain by telling stories (keep everyone busy so they forget the presence of the darkness) and feed the family with some summer fruits (saved for months in a cool place) reminding their flock of longer days ahead.
We Iranians celebrate by constantly using our profound symbols of life and creation.

Okay, now I feel much better, but I will definitely add more things on this blog as soon as I remember or if any of you remind me more traditions for this wonderful night!

Do you want to celebrate Yalda with us?

This year, Irandestina group as a tourism event organizer invites all travelers who are in Tehran to celebrate Yalda night together. This ceremony will be held in Baccara Cafe with one of the most creative team and local food and beverages. We celebrate Yalda in Baccara Cafe for happiness, poetry, live Persian traditional music, Yalda snacks, Siah Bazi performance, etc.

Let's celebrate Yalda
Let’s celebrate Yalda

Join us and experience Yalda like a local.

Reserving contact:

[email protected]

Whatsapp
+989194194872

Tajrish Bazaar is located at the north side of Tehran in Shemiranat County, near northern hills and Imamzadeh Saleh. In the past Shemiranat was apart from the urban part. Because of the mountains, the temperature in Tajrish square is lower than other parts of Tehran and in summer you can enjoy the weather. Tajrish bazaar is a small sample of Tehran bazaar and you can spend at least a day in this area.

Tajrish Bazaar
Tajrish Bazaar

I personally like Tajrish and the bazaar because of its atmosphere. The bazaar consists of a vegetable market that has a great vibe and it is colorful. Everyone is looking for something and sometimes you stuck in people traffic. Local people really like this place and people from all over Tehran go there to shop or just enjoy the colorful shops.

Tajrish Bazaar
Colorful vegtables

Whenever I go there I should buy something, I cannot resist the smell and image. You hear sellers trying to advertise their products and they smile at you. There is almost everything in the Bazaar and you will not come back home without finding what you need.

Tajrish Bazaar
Homemade olive pickles

For tourists and photographers, it is a nice place to shoot photos, especially in the early morning, both because of the light and because it is less crowded.

You can spend at least one day in this area, there is also lots of attractions nearby.

Like:

  • Imamzadeh Saleh
  • Darband mountains and village
  • Saad abad palace
    Niavaran palace

    Tajrish bazaar is close to Tajrish metro station and you can reach there easily.

Tajrish Bazaar
Colorful peppers

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Fresh vegetables

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Fresh vegetables shop

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Homemade figs

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Bazaar to Immamzadeh Saleh

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Colorful dried fruits

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Tajrish Bazaar

 

Tajrish Bazaar
colorful pickles

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Copper shop

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Iranian Saffron

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Saffron art

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Handmade art

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Street food

 

Tajrish Bazaar
Street food

In Bam, you can go on a Date in a special Date during a year and eat Dates That are produced in Bam. I don’t know why English lacks words, just kidding:))) for your Information I should say the quality of Dates from Bam is so good that it is mostly exported out of Iran. they are named “Mazafati Date”.

Palm trees
Arts with palm tree

The beautiful Palm trees that make them are around the Arg-e Bam oasis that are on the World Heritage list you can find more information on Unesco, this heritage is called “Bam and its Cultural Landscape.

palm trees bam Iran
Palm trees Bam

What are Arg-e Bam special features:

fortified medieval town
built in vernacular technique using mud layers (Chineh)
being in the crossroads of important trade routes( silk road)
known for the production of silk and cotton clothing
underground irrigation canals (called “qanāts”)

Arg e Bam
Arg e Bam

Beside archaeological values, you may remember Bam for the devastating earthquake happened in 2003, unfortunately, 26,200 people died in that disaster. Hopefully, Bam has been rebuilt. So it’s IranDestina’s recommendation to visit this medieval town and its green landscape, ring of Palm trees in heart of the desert.

A trip to Iran, we had been planning for a couple of years and it was noticeable that everyone comes home with the same stories: what a very versatile country, what a delicious food and especially the people. Nowhere in the world are people as sweet and hospitable as in Iran.
In May 2017 we went to Iran for two weeks and the fun is, our anecdotes are exactly as predicted. It is indeed a beautiful country, it has a lot to offer for the interested traveler. You will find culture, nature, ancient history treasures, fine hostels and hotels, great food and indeed: the dearest people you can imagine.

iranian picnic
Iranian picnic

We have our two weeks filled with a route that many tourists follow: from Tehran by bus to Kashan, then to Yazd by train, then by bus to Shiraz, by taxi to Esfahan (with a break in Persopolis) and if last one bus ride from Esfahan back to Tehran. Those cities are all different and give you different experiences. Yazd is in the desert and the center looks like 1000 in a night.
In Iran, much (everything) is very good to arrange on the spot. The only thing we had in preparation was a visa, a hostel for the first nights, and cash to change, (think of 1000 Euro pp for two weeks and this was more than enough). That was it and that was enough. In every hostel where we were, we asked the owner if we could call and the overnight stays were fixed very quickly. In any case, everyone is willing to help you and a train or bus ticket has always been bought. Also, count on people wants to have a chat with you. There are more tourists coming to Iran for a number of years, especially to the tourist spots like Esfahan, Shiraz, and Yazd, but also rely on the fact that you are approached by students and people who want to practice their English.

iran persepolis
Persepolis

An Iranian SIM card is therefore useful for this kind of phone calls. We kept in touch with Mera and Ali, and they tipped us which hostel was nice, where the bus station in Tehran was and what you should try.
The food is an experience in itself! In hostels and hotels, you often get a delicious varied breakfast, with bread and especially a lot of fruit. And tea, liters of tea! On the bus and train, you usually receive a box of refreshments for your journey after boarding. (Do you see this doing the NS? If you are traveling from Utrecht to Amsterdam in rush hour, we were amazed!). And then, of course, you have the delicious restaurants with kebabs and all kinds of stews with greetings. Vegetarian food is certainly possible, but you can count on it that meat is served in most meals. (and so nicely seasoned).

Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace

I can only recommend you to go. It’s a bit more hassle than an all inclusive holiday in Spain, but those who love backpacking and traveling around are really recommended!
There are a few things that are useful to know in advance. For example, you can apply for a visa at the embassy in The Hague, or if you prefer not to do it yourself via a visa agency. You can also buy a visa at customs in Iran, but there was a line with us. Do what you want, of course, but it seems nice to go through the passport control on arrival.
Well, then you only have to enjoy it. Expect a lot to be addressed, school children want to take a picture with you or want to interview you in front of the camera, and many people want to practice their English with you.
My advice: just go and enjoy everything!

Greetings, Erik and Bianca

Een reis naar Iran, we waren het al een paar jaar van plan en het viel op dat iedereen met dezelfde verhalen thuiskomt: wat een bijzonder veelzijdig land, wat een heerlijk eten en vooral de mensen. Nergens ter wereld zijn de mensen zo lief en gastvrij als in Iran.

In mei 2017 gingen we voor twee weken naar Iran en het leuke is, onze anekdotes zijn precies zoals voorspeld. Het is inderdaad een prachtig land, het heeft superveel te bieden voor de geïnteresseerde reiziger. Je vind er cultuur, natuur, oude geschiedenisschatten, fijne hostels en hotels, heerlijk eten en inderdaad: de allerliefste mensen die je kunt voorstellen.

iranian picnic
Iranian picnic

Wij hebben onze twee weken gevuld met een route die veel toeristen volgen: van Tehran met de bus naar Kashan, toen naar Yazd met de trein, vervolgens met de bus naar Shiraz, met een taxi naar Esfahan (met een pauze in Persopolis) en als laatste nog een busrit van Esfahan terug naar Tehran. Die steden zijn allemaal anders en geven je verschillende ervaringen. Yazd ligt in de woestijn en het centrum lijkt op en stadje van 1000 in een nacht.

In Iran is veel (alles) heel goed ter plekke te regelen. Het enige wat wij als voorbereiding hadden was een visum, een hostel voor de eerste nachten, en cash om te kunnen wisselen, (denk aan 1000 Euro pp voor twee weken en dit was ruim voldoende). Dat was het en dat was ook genoeg. In elk hostel waar we waren vroegen we de eigenaar of we mochten bellen en zo waren de overnachtingen heel snel gefixt. Sowieso is iedereen bereid je te helpen en een trein of busticket was altijd zo gekocht. Reken er ook op dat mensen graag een praatje met je willen maken. Er komen sinds een aantal jaren meer toeristen naar Iran, zeker naar de toeristische plekken als Esfahan, Shiraz en Yazd, maar reken er ook daar op dat je aangesproken wordt door scholieren en mensen die hun Engels willen oefenen.

iran persepolis
Persepolis

Een Iraanse simkaart is dus handig voor dit soort telefoontjes. Wij hielden contact met Mera en Ali, en zij hebben ons getipt welk hostel fijn was, waar het busstation in Tehran was en wat je moet proeven.

Het eten is een ervaring op zich! In hostels en hotels krijg je vaak een heerlijk gevarieerd ontbijt, met brood en vooral veel fruit. En thee, liters thee! In de bus en trein ontvang je na het instappen doorgaans een doosje met versnaperingen voor je reis. (zie je dit de NS doen? Als je van Utrecht naar Amsterdam reist in de spits? Wij stonden versteld!). En dan heb je natuurlijk de heerlijke restaurants met kebabs en allerlei stoofpotjes met groeten. Vegetarisch eten kan zeker, maar reken er op dat in de meeste maaltijden vlees zit. (en zooo lekker gekruid).

Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace

Ik kan je alleen maar aanraden om te gaan. Het is iets meer gedoe dan een all inclusive vakantie in Spanje, maar wie van backpacken en rondreizen houdt is het echt een aanrader!

Er zijn een paar dingen die handig zijn om van te voren te weten. Zo kun je een visum aanvragen bij de ambassade in Den Haag , of als je dat liever niet zelf doet via een visumbureau. Je kunt ook bij de douane in Iran een visum kopen, maar daar stond bij ons een rij. Doe wat je wil natuurlijk, maar mij lijkt het fijn om bij aankomst lekker snel door de paspoortcontrole te gaan.

Tja, dan hoef je er dus alleen nog maar van te genieten. Verwacht veel aangesproken te worden, schoolkinderen willen met je op de foto, of willen je interviewen voor de camera, en veel mensen willen hun Engels met je oefenen.

Mijn advies: gewoon gaan en alles lekker beleven!

Groetjes, Erik en Bianca

Everything began with the wishes of my childhood. That’s when I decided to be a travel writer. I wished to travel and write about unknowns, different lives, different cultures, and diverse nature. As I grew up, many of these aspirations were lost during the days.

Maryam Mousavi

I did not become a writer then I studied at the Bachelor of Engineering in Chemistry. For years I worked at the insurance company, cinema, newspapers, and magazines, but I never had the full satisfaction. In 2009, I met a man who marries me three years later. We have a 1-year old son. My husband helped me determine my career path further. He advised me to see the journey professionally.

MeraGood Damavand
Our Family

After that, I became a cultural and natural tour leader. I studied Master of tourism management. Then I met my traveler friends in university who are my colleagues today. In these years I have searched in the tourism industry and see what I like most. I chose sustainable tourism development. I work voluntarily and non-voluntarily in various activities in this field. It is pleasant for me to be active in any field of tourism that boosts local communities’ economic, environmental, peace and friendship and any positive developments in the world. Tourism is a way for me to make my dreams true.
MeraGood

Today I am a traveler mom. We started traveling with my husband since my son was only 50 days old. This way will continue. Irandestina is a way for me to achieve all this journey and experience and peace together.

P.S. My child’s name is “Damavand”. Damavand is the highest peak in Iran.

Mount Damavand MeraGood
Mount Damavand

Hi, My name is Shamim!

Shamim means Scent of a flower. It has been more than a quarter century living in this area called “the earth”. I am happy that I know how to take life easy, so I can go on a trip in less than an hour. In my experience, unplanned trips lead to be the most awesome trip ever in your life. So I grab these kinds of opportunities.

Beside personal attitudes toward the universe, I think traveling is the best way to maintain peace among countries because in our limited perspective provided by media we think we are superior or different from other nations but when we travel we find only similarities, we find love and passion, culture and art. so that is the most sustainable way to travel to different countries, to understand the world deeper.

Babak Castle
Babak Castle – Kaleybar  photo: @Cherishka

IranDestina fulfills my thirst to help Travelers (for me they are adventurers) who travel to Iran, one of the most hospitable places on the earth, to visit Persian empire heritages and to meet Iranian Islamic Art, culture and most important meet people and make unforgettable memories. It is my personal invitation, only let me know how can I help to make your visit happen. I will show you around, or only answer your questions….