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The Best Memorabilia In Iran                                                            Enjoy your Journey With Us



:: Frequently Asked Question About Travelling to Iran:

We try to be as succinct and accurate as possible. You are encouraged to contact us with any specific question that you might have on your mind.

::Iranian psyche or lets say WHO ARE THEY ?

The most surprising people yet charming and warm. Sometimes a little too much warm, they like to talk to you and invite you to their house for a tea, dinner.  It happens a lot that  tourists end up staying in their host house overnight too.  It is very safe and acceptable to stay with an Iranian family for a couple of days in your are invited.

They are tolerant and in love to talk politics and more than often you end up hearing things that you don't believe in, such as O how much they love Madonna or Barak ! but usually they don't like American foreign policy toward their country, Don't take it as a sign of love to their rulers!!

They are proud to be who they are and in love with western icons mostly music and movies fascinates them. You will see tons of magazines with articles about the latest Hollywood movies , which ironically are banned at general movie theaters but you certain wont have hard time to find them being sold in stores and on street.

Younger generation is curios about west more than their parents and wanted to know more about where you are coming from. Don't be a stranger and don't hesitate to respond to a lively and friendly chat. That short chat can go a long way. You see would see a new Iran under the skin of city.

:: Lifestyle

Mostly Urban. nowadays you can see Mercedes, BMW, and sometimes Lamborghini and Ferraris roaring in the street in the crazy traffic jams among dilapidated old cars.  The rift between classes are becoming wider and wider. the more well offs are are of folks close to power or those that have connection outside of country. Remember that there are about 4 to 7 million Iranians living outside of the country with considerable number in  American and Europe. Again and unfortunately,  based on IMF about 160,000 highly educated Iranian leave country each year to find a better life in Abroad.

Education is valued . Literary is more than 80% and English is thought throughout high school and university. So you wont have hard time to find English speakers.

Unfortunately drug is a problem, specially since Afghanistan , #1 in drug production on in the world is right next door.

football is the most popular sport .

:: Media

 There are lots of magazines out there. Iran-Daily is one of major English newspapers. check www.Iran-daily.com for daily updates. Satellite receivers are so abundant , although illegal from the government point of view.

:: Religion

Mostly Shia , which is a more liberal branch of Islam. There are less than half a million Christian and Jews in Iran. Main cities have Churches and Synagogues that you can go and pray, if you need.

:: Women in Iran
Women in Iran constitute the majority of students in universities (around 60% and above). they are perhaps the most progressive and yet suppressed part of society . they are a major factor for gradual political changes in the recent years with their own way of defying the rules and setting new precedents . Iranian women , yet, have to wear full or semi full Hijab which is to mean covering the body , hair and skin . But you will be totally surprised when you see what they really wear. Check our picture gallery for some more insight.
:: What to take home as gift
perhaps a nice carpet. prices are very good and mostly 5 to 10 times less that what you otherwise be paying back home in a gallery. in average you can get a really nice silk carpet for about 300 to 500 $. Kilims are about 20 to 50$ and wool one are in between.
:: Movie theaters
Mostly showing Iranian movies , but you can find ones that show movies in English. You can find the latest bootleg Hollywood movies on street and watch them in your hotel room.
:: Foods
Mostly heavy meals . less variety than what you would see in Paris!, yet very tasty . Don't look for Vegetarian foods. There are small number of places that serve them. just ask the restaurant to take out the meat for you. There are great Salads that you should try. Pizza parlors and sandwich places are all over the place. foods would cost you around 2$ for a a good meal . no tips are expected.
:: Alcohol
There are alcohol and wine produced moonlighting!. Shiraz used to be famous for its red wine. That is where Shiraz wine started and ended up in Australia and France. But you would be much better off to not try any, unless you are a really curios kind of guy!.
:: Accommodation:
There are variety of accommodations in Iran. Expect for a few ,most cities don't have 5 star hotels, nor you would find them real deal five star!, So if you really are not a limitless budget, 4 and 3 star hotels are as good as 5 stars. fares are different but you always can try to haggle for a 10 to 20% discount based on season. Worst time to try to book a hotel in Iran is during Iranian new year which is 20 march through 2 April. So avoid it if you can or try to book way in advance , since fares would increase 100% or more in some places such as shiraz, Isfahan and kish. Guesthouses are actually pretty decent and affordable. 1 and 2 star hotels are perhaps the best deals that you can find. Chekc out hotel lists for more info or just write to us and get back to you with our set of recommendations based on your budget and preference.
Money Exchange in IRAN :
The Iranian official currency is Rial. Rials are available in coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 250 Rls.) and notes (100, 200, 500, 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, and 10.000 Rls.). Coins are only marked in Persian script and numerals, but one side of the notes is printed in English. It is possible to exchange money already at the airport, no matter at what time. The exchange rates may change quite often, but it is possible to find out the exchange rates at any bank, but only special banks do exchange money. It is possible to exchange US Dollars at the banks, but it might be more difficult to exchange other currencies (as German Marks or English Pounds) in all the banks. Lately, the exchange of foreign currencies has been allowed, and there are exchange shops available in most big cities. The exchange rates of these shops are usually higher than the official rate. The following currencies can be easily exchanged at any Exchange Shop: US Dollars, German Marks, British Pounds, French Francs, and Japanese Yen. There are also other currencies available. In some places, it is possible to pay by credit cards. Master Card and Visa are accepted.
Local Transport in IRAN :
There are taxis available for journeys through the cities. There are no taximeters in most of the taxis. It is advisable to agree on a fare beforehand. The majority of the taxi drivers speak only Farsi but they do understand English for the main landmarks and hotels, and these are generally used to give directions. There is often a surcharge for taxis operating from the hotel. Taxis from the airport are a little more expensive than street taxis, but at the end of a long journey it is probably worth the extra to have no destination misunderstandings. Fares from Tehran Mehrabad Airport are fixes, and taxis can be hired at the taxi stand at the airport. For traveling between the cities one can use taxis, public buses, the railway or the aircraft. It is advisable to use rather the bus than the taxis. For traveling by railway or the plane, the tickets have to be arranged beforehand, as there might be no ticket available just before departure. 
Credit Cards in IRAN :
MasterCard and Visa are accepted in most 5 star hotels and in some shops.
Electricity in IRAN :
The power supply through out the country is 220 volts 50 cycles AC. The power socket outlets are generally 2 round circles, in which a plug with two pins can be inserted. There are adapters available, which let you use other plugs with more pins. Athena Tour and Travel Agency will offer you any adapters you need to use your electrical devices. Please let us know before your arrival.
Driving in IRAN :
European and American international driving licenses are accepted by the police. Roads throughout Iran are in good condition and signed both in Farsi and English. Women are allowed to drive within Iran. Speed limits are well signed, and sometimes strictly enforced by friendly but inflexible police.

Iran visa FAQ

Please consider that most of the question have been answered in other sections and if you have further questions please ask us through the "contact us" page. Below we have answered some the most frequently questions.

1. Do all nationalities need a visa to visit Iran?

Every foreign visitor is required visa to enter Iran except the following:
nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey for stays of up to 3 months. Nationals of Israel will be refused entry under all circumstances.

2. Are all nationalities able to get the visa to visit Iran?

Except Isreali passport holders all nationalities are able to get the visa stamp to visit Iran.

3. Are all nationalities allowed to visit Iran on their own after they get their visa?

Except American citizens all other citizens can visit Iran on their own.

4. Is it possible to apply for the visa without any itinerary?

It is strongly recommended to plan your trip and get your visa based on that so that you wont face any problem while in Iran.

5. Is it necessary to book any service before getting the visa?

No booking is needed to get your Iran visa.

6. Is there any limitation or requirement on alone female travelers in getting the visa?

No limitation is set for a female traveler to get her visa to visit Iran.


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