When is the best time to travel to Iran?
When deciding when to go to Iran you must first work out where you’d like to go. Temperatures can vary wildly: when it’s -5°C in Tabriz it might be 35°C in Bandar Abbas, but for most people spring and autumn are the
most pleasant times to visit. At other times, the seasons have advantages and disadvantages depending on where you are. For example, the most agreeable time to visit the Persian Gulf coast is during winter, when the humidity is low and temperatures mainly in the 20s. At this time, however, the more elevated northwest and northeast can be freezing, with mountain roads impassable due to snow. Except on the Persian Gulf coast, winter nights can be bitterly cold, but we think the days (often clear and about 15°C in much of the country) are more pleasant than the summer heat.
And when we say ‘heat’, we mean it. Between May and October temperatures often rise into the 40s, and in the deserts, southern provinces and along the Gulf coast, very little is done between noon and 4pm or 5pm. For women, who need to wear head coverings whenever they’re outside, summer can be particularly trying.
Visa on arrival at Iran land borders?
It is possible to get visa on arrival at Iranian land borders, despite what many people will tell you. My brother and I did it in January 2016 and there was no hassle whatsoever (with New Zealand passports).
We were a bit worried, and we’d run into a lot of people who told us to go to an embassy in Tbilisi or Ankara to get our visas in advance, but a long series of events led to us throwing caution to the wind and giving the visa on arrival a bash.
You have to arrive between 10am and 5pm, and the guards at the first visa checking station might seem a bit surprised, simply because not many people arrive without a pre-made visa (also the guards on the Armenian side tried to tell us we couldn’t go into Iran without a pre-organised visa, but they let us through with a knowing raise of the eyebrows). However, they’ll pass you on to the visa issuing guy, who knows all the rules and is not in the least bit surprised that you’ve turned up wanting a visa on arrival. In our case this guy spoke great English and was very helpful. The process took an hour or so, but the guy filled out all the forms for us and gave us a cup of tea while we waited. He even gave us his phone number in case we needed any help or advice while we were in Iran. It cost 100 Euros (payable in Armenian dram or Iranian rial as well), which as I understand is cheaper than most of the agencies that take you through the process of getting a serial number and a visa in advance. The visa is valid for 30 days and extendable by 15 days.
As I understand it, nationals of any of these countries should be able to get visa on arrival at a land border (usually coming in from Armenia or Turkey): Albania, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore , Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland , Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Just make sure to do a bit of research and follow the rules. ie: wear a headscarf when arriving if you’re a woman, make sure there is no Israel visa in your passport, etc.
Source: Trip Advisor
Hijab and Men’s dress code?
Islamic republic of Iran has regulated hijab compulsory for Iranians and all foreigners who enter the country. Regardless of their religion, foreigners are expected to have hijab. Very simply said the notion of hijab is to cover a woman’s beauty from whom is not close enough to see the beauties. This means covering your body skin except your face, hands and feet up to the ankles should be covered and your clothes should not be tight. But don’t be scared, it’s not that tough or strict. A normal long sleeved cotton loose blouse that covers your hips and doesn’t have an open neck line is completely fine. A pair of non-tight pants that covers your legs and ankles is fine. You can wear long, non-tight skirts also, but since you have to be careful of your skin not showing while sitting and standing, we recommend trousers. Your hair should also be covered; as long as you have a scarf on your head it’s acceptable. You don’t have to tie your scarf; you can just keep it hanging on your head.
Although it may seem very inconvenient in spring and summer, it can be very suitable for the strong sun throughout the day. Please try to bring cotton or non-plastic fabrics cloths, if you’re traveling to Iran in warmer seasons, we would recommend light colors which are cooler. Especially for the scarf try not to bring slippery fabric, since it may fall on your shoulders frequently and become annoying.
For the men shorts are not acceptable, please bring trousers that cover your legs up to your ankles. Choose shirts and blouses that have sleeves, short sleeve are okay but sleeveless is not okay. We recommend cotton non-plastic fabric with light colors.
What about security concerns of travelling to Iran?
From the U.S. State Department:
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran. Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. …
U.S. citizens should also review the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Iran and stay up to date by bookmarking the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. You may follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well; however, both Twitter and Facebook are filtered in Iran and will not be accessible without a virtual private network (VPN). If you don’t have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).