Iran is a wonderful country filled with history, beautiful scenery, fine arts and is a great place to visit. Like with any country you visit however, you are expected to use your common sense and follow the laws of the land. Here are some common do's and don'ts to help make it a stress free, fun filled holiday.
1) Do learn a little Farsi. A simple "Salaam" (Hello) and "Mamnoon" (Thank you) goes a long way with Iranian people.
2) Observe Iran's Dress Code - Women MUST wear a scarf at all times, but showing some hair is permissible and it's quite natural to see moderate Iranians with their scarves pulled back a little. Wear light clothes in the hot summer, but be respectful. Women are expected to wear nothing too tight, short or revealing, three quarter sleeves are acceptable, (except in religious cities and sights). Men are ok to wear normal daily attire, apart from shorts and sleeveless tops. There should also be no images of a sexual nature displayed on your clothes.
3) Ensure you have enough money to cover your entire trip, as you won't be able to use your foreign bank cards in Iran.
4) Do try the wonderful variety of local fruit, juice, smoothies and bastani (ice-cream), to help cool you down in the hotter months of the year.
5) Remove your shoes when entering mosques.
6) Do enjoy the signature food from varying regions. Tehran is famous for its Ghormeh Sabzi (meat and vegetable Stew) whilst Mashhad is the place to go for kebabs and shaslik (lambs chops).
7) When greeting someone remember to only shake the hand of the person of the same sex. Iranians may kiss each other on the cheek as a sign of affection, so don't be alarmed if you see this.
8) Tip - It's polite and part of Iranian culture.
1) Don't speak against the supreme leader or government, as there are harsh punishments if you do.
2) Don't bring alcohol or drugs in to the country, as the penalty is severe.
3) Don't display public signs of affection, as Iran is a muslim country.
4) Don't ever give the thumbs up in Iran, as it is considered swearing and a sign of disrespect.
5) Don't take photos of any buildings which have forbidden photography signs.
6) Don't sit next to the opposite sex on buses, as it is segregated, it is permissible in taxis however.
7) Don't take photos inside holy shrines, until you have had permission from the staff there.
8) Don't take photo of people without asking permission.
9) Don't connect to your bank account from Iran, as there's a possibility your bank will freeze your account. Ensure you notify your bank first before travelling to Iran.