Can you drink alcohol in Iran
Travel time & route: 26 days, Tabriz - Ardabil - Bandar Anzali - Qazvin - Kashan - Isfahan - Tehran - Shahrood - Mashhad - Sarakhs
Entry requirements: Visa requirement! The cost of entering the country by motorcycle is around € 100 per visa. Do not bring any alcohol or drugs with you. Beware of drugs containing morphine such as codeine! If you have your own vehicle, you have to take out Iranian car insurance for one year, no matter how long you travel. Cost: $ 100!
Entry procedure: Absolutely stress free. Our suitcases weren't searched, we had to fill out a few documents, get the Iranian insurance and were guided through the whole process by an English-speaking Iranian. Such helpers then ask for a tip at the end. It is worth it and is appropriate, as it will take about an hour or two for you!
Price level: Inexpensive. Hotel rooms cost roughly the same as hotel rooms in Europe. Allow around € 35 for a double room. Hostels are significantly cheaper with an average of just under € 7 per person. The food is significantly cheaper than in Europe with just under € 5 per dish in the restaurant. For those on a budget, there is 20 € a day to survive. You can comfortably make ends meet with 45 € a day.
Infrastructure & traffic: The main roads are very well developed, side roads are mostly good or acceptable. The traffic overland is quite manageable and calm, in cities absolutely chaotic and in Tehran insane.
bless you: Carry and take Perenterol with you to prevent food poisoning and diarrhea. Take medication for acute diarrhea with you, e.g. loperamide, top up WHO solutions for electrolytes. Ibuprofen against fever. Beware of sun and heat!
Eat: Well the Iranian cuisine. We found half very, very tasty and the other help took some getting used to. After all, you can find good things here if you try a little!
Security: Even though we were arrested and interrogated on our last day (read here), Iran is by far the country where we have felt safest by far. If you adhere to the (strict) Islamic rules in public life, you can be almost 100 percent sure that nobody will steal from you, assault you, rap you or otherwise kill you. The police are extremely friendly and helpful and we saw nothing of the corruption that is often invoked.
Country and people: We were in Iran for almost four weeks and are astonished ourselves: we only met one person who we didn't find very friendly and that was a gas station attendant who didn't smile. But that's it. Otherwise, the Iranians are the most hospitable, polite, pleasant and relaxed people that we have met on our world tour so far. Even if public life is very boring, since according to the domineering gentleman in a turban everything is “haram” (“sin”) that is fun - including dancing, singing, music, drinking, laughing - it looks different behind closed doors . There is even alcohol in almost every private household, even if we could do without it. The Iranians themselves are very liberal at home, cosmopolitan, surprisingly little religious or very moderate. We have also made some lifelong friends here and would come back anytime, even if Elli is rightly a bit annoyed to have to wear long clothes and a headscarf at 40 degrees in the shade J! The landscape is tropical green and humid in the north around the Caspian Sea, mountainous and temperate in the northwest and desert from Tehran downwards. It gets a bit boring there over time. Some of the cities are exceptionally beautiful with great Islamic architecture!
You have to see: Tabris with its Shah Palace in the city reservoir, Ardabil with its 5000m mountains - a paradise for mountaineers and hikers, Isfahan, Shiraz and Yazd due to the ancient Persian architecture, Shahrood with its border between dense forest and desert and Mashhad with its ancient mosques and statues.
Conclusion: The Persians are the friendliest and overall the greatest people we have met. So much welcoming culture and friendliness towards strangers is unprecedented on our trip to date. In addition, the Iranians are quite clean compared to many other countries and often invite us to their homes straight from the street. The hospitality that we encounter is second to none. However, the religious rules of the regime are annoying in public life! Still: full travel recommendation and please, please do not believe the media or people who have never been there when they say it is dangerous in Iran. On the contrary, it is much safer than some European cities - if you stick to the rules, which you should always do as a guest!
9/10 travel points!
You can find all photos from our time in Iran here
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