Frequently asked questions about Iran

  1. Can I as a non-Muslim bring alcohol into Iran?
  2. Can i pre-book extra nights and transfers?
  3. Is a visa necessary for Iran?
  4. Is bottled water available everywhere in Iran?
  5. Is Iran safe?
  6. What about photography in Iran?
  7. What are the restrictions on clothing for men/women?
  8. What is the attitude toward westerners?
  9. What is the best time to travel?
  10. What is the recommended currency for Iran?

1. Can I as a non-Muslim bring alcohol into Iran?
No it is strictly forbidden to enter the country with alcohol.
2. Can i pre-book extra nights and transfers?
Please contact us about the possibility of adding extra nights to your booking (on request).
3. Is a visa necessary for Iran?
Yes, a visa is necessary for travel in Iran. Due to the relative complexity of the visa procedure Shoestring will assist in the initial part of the process. Please send us a scan of your passport (I.D page containing your photo). This should be high quality, in colour, a JPG file and less than 60 KB. We will also send you an information request form which should be carefully completed and returned to us. Your exact profession is required in the form. (For American, Canadian and British citizens: If you are retired please mention the name of the last company that you worked for and your position there). For American citizens a C.V is also required. Please note: Your passport should not contain any stamp from Israel or any indication that you were there otherwise your visa application will be refused.

After approximately 10 days (or 25 days for American, Canadian and British citizens) we will provide you with a visa reference number.

The second part of the process is your application for the visa. You should either apply for the visa through your nearest Iranian embassy or through an agency such as CIBT. The visa reference number will form part of your application and is valid for 1 month. After your visa has been stamped into your passport you will have 3 months validity in which to enter Iran.

4. Is bottled water available everywhere in Iran?
Yes, in principle you can get mineral water everywhere.
5. Is Iran safe?
Iran is a very safe travel destination. Teheran and Isfahan are exceptions however as these big cities are seeing an increasing number of thefts being reported. Just remain vigilant and take precautions such as leaving your passport in custody of the reception of your hotel and just keep a copy of your passport with you.
It is recommended to check with your foreign office for up to date advice.
6. What about photography in Iran?
Within the sanctuaries of Mashad and Qom you must not take photographs and you should also check first in Kurdistan.

7. What are the restrictions on clothing for men/women?
Female participants should wear a headscarf in public and a long tunic or jacket over trousers, in muted colours. Body Shapes should not be accentuated. The only place where the headscarf is allowed to be removed is in the hotel room. Recently, men have been prohibited from wearing t-shirts or blouses with short sleeves. Shorts are also prohibited.
8. What is the attitude toward westerners?
Iranians are a friendly and hospitable people and pleased that you are interested in their country. Many times you will be invited for a chat and a cup of tea.
9. What is the best time to travel?
Spring and autumn are the best periods to visit Iran.
10. What is the recommended currency for Iran?
The Iranian currency is the rial. 1 Euro is approximately 33,000 rial (early 2016).Iran has no ATM-machines and credit cards are accepted almost nowhere. You can exchange dollars and euros at banks or exchange offices.