Why I Went There?
Iran was always near the top of the list of countries I wanted to visit. It seemed like an exotic and prohibited place (as someone who lives in the US), in addition to having a lot of history.
Where Did I Go?
I landed in Masshad mainly to check out the Iman Reza Shrine. From there I took a night train to Yazd, from where I made a day trip to Kharanaq, Chak Chak, And Meybod. I then used Shiraz as a base for trips to historic Persepolis and Firuzabad. Heading north, I stopped at beautiful Isfahan, then Kashan (with day trip to Abyaneh and Fin) before finally arriving at Tehran, where I ended my trip.
My Other Blog Posts on Iran
Mashhad, My First Destination in Exotic Iran
Riding The Night Train From Mashhad to Yazd in Iran
Exploring The Desert Town of Yazd
Day Trip to Kharanaq, Chak Chak, And Meybod
Mosques And Bazaars of Shiraz
Persepolis And The Tombs of Naqsh-e Rustam
Exploring The Ancient Castles and Temples of Firuzabad, Iran
Isfahan, The Most Beautiful City I Visited in Iran
Ancient Town of Abyaneh, And Beautiful Fin Garden
Desert Oasis Town of Kashan
Tehran, My Last Stop in Iran
Total Days: 24
Total Expenses: 1,220 USD
Average: 51 USD/day
I stayed only in private rooms. In general, things are cheap in Iran, although I must have saved some money by not eating lunch every day. It was Ramadan during my entire stay there, and it was very hard to find restaurants that were open during the day.
The black-market exchange rate when I was there was 1 USD to 34,000 rials.
Some sample prices:
Dinner: 4.50-7 USD
Decent hotel room: 20-30 USD a night
Taxi ride around town: 2-4 USD
Entrance fee to sites: 2-6 USD
How Is It Like to Backpack in Iran?
Logistically, it was easy. Many hotels/hostels that cater to tourists can help you book train or bus tickets, or arrange taxis for day trips. The buses and trains I took were modern and on time.
I was a little scared before going, expecting a police state where you are being watched everywhere. In reality, I didn’t see one single police officer in many of the smaller cities. Maybe they are undercover, but I felt pretty safe and relaxed overall.
Hostel dorm beds are not as prevalent as in some other countries, but you can still find them in the bigger cities. On the other hand, decent private rooms are not very expensive.
Because of embargoes, your foreign credit or debit cards will probably not work in the country. You’ll need to bring all of your spending money in cash when entering Iran.
Even in some of the more decent hotels, they only had squat toilets instead of western ones. Work on those leg muscles before going!
Iran now holds a special place in my heart. It’s exotic, beautiful, full of history, its people are extremely welcoming and friendly, and it’s one of the countries I want to go back the most.