Ask Me Anything About Travel to Iran

Robert Schrader
Oct 26, 2017

I'm Robert Schrader, creator of travel blog Leave Your Daily Hell, and I recently added an exciting—but misunderstood—country to the 80+ I've visited: Iran! Lots of people are talking about Iran these days, and many of them are talking smack, but I can offer both personal and political insights that are rooted in experience. Ask me anything about Iran, travel or otherwise!

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What culture and traits in Iran is the most famous?

Oct 27, 10:10AM EDT0

I would say the most ubiquitous culture there is Shia Islam, which is the dominant religion. I was lucky enough to arrive on a holiday called Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of one of this religion's prophets, and I was surprised to see how prominently these traditions are celebrated in public life in Iran.

Oct 28, 7:35AM EDT0

what will be thw total expenditure?(approx)

Oct 25, 6:25AM EDT0

The cost of travel in Iran depends on a few factors, but the country is generally very cheap. If you don't need to take a tour (i.e. you're from a country other than the US, Canada or UK), you can easily travel in Iran on less than 50 euro per person, per day.

Oct 26, 9:01PM EDT0

What are the biggest dangers for me if I visit?

Oct 24, 8:53PM EDT0

Iran has one of the highest levels of personal safety anywhere in the world—I would almost compare it to Japan on that front. I never witnessed or heard of any crime, and never felt like I could be victimized.

At the same time, harsh penalties do exist for misconduct. As a woman, you're legally required to wear the Islamic hijab at all times while in public. And punishments against members of the LGBT community (of which I am a member) can be severe, i.e. if you're "caught in the act."

Oct 26, 9:03PM EDT0

How many visitors come every year on average?

Oct 24, 6:45PM EDT0

The last full year for which official statistics are available is 2013, when 4.76 million foreign visitors entered the Islamic Republic. One can safely assume this number increases year over year, however, which means that at least 5 million foreign tourists per year visit Iran.

Oct 26, 9:05PM EDT0

Is it expensive to visit?

Oct 24, 2:53AM EDT0

Not at all! Iran is one of the most affordable countries in the world. Unless you need to take a tour (I'm American and did; Brits and Canadians are also required to travel on a tour), you can easily get by on 50 euro per person, per day.

Oct 26, 9:05PM EDT0

Can you suggest the best attractions to see whilst there?

Oct 22, 12:19PM EDT0

Absolutely! I'll list them by city—

Tehran: Azadi Tower, Roof of Tehran Viewpoint

Isfahan: Imam Square and Shah Mosque

Mesr Desert: Farazadh and Garmeh

Yazd: Towers of Silence, Fire Temple, Jameh Mosque

Shiraz: Nasir ol-Molk Mosque (pictured below)

Tabriz: Kandovan Village and Blue Mosque

Last edited @ Oct 26, 9:09PM EDT.
Oct 26, 9:08PM EDT0

What's the best time of year to visit?

Oct 22, 2:36AM EDT0

Iran has pretty harsh weather, with very cold winter and extremely hot summers. The two months with the most pleasant weather are April and October, but these are also the busiest months for tourism, so prices will be higher and attractions will be more crowded.

Oct 26, 9:08PM EDT0

How many times have you been to Iran?

Oct 21, 2:37PM EDT0

My recent trip was actually my first! You can read my detailed impressions here.

Oct 26, 9:09PM EDT0

What is your favorite place to travel?

Oct 21, 8:49AM EDT0

In Iran, Isfahan was the most impressive and beautiful. In general, however, I think Japan is my favorite country in the world.

Oct 26, 9:10PM EDT0

Do you know where I can eat?

Oct 21, 12:34AM EDT0

You can eat almost anywhere! Seriously, I don't think I had a single bad meal in all of Iran. Restaurants are everywhere and food is cheap and delicous.

Oct 26, 9:11PM EDT0

Where are you from?

Oct 20, 12:56PM EDT0

I'm from the United States, but currently live in Bangkok, Thailand.

Oct 26, 9:11PM EDT0

What would you like to open up an agency in the future?

Oct 20, 4:50AM EDT0

That's a good question, as I'm not sure what the value of traditional travel agents will be in the future. I do offer my own Travel Coaching service, wherein I consult travelers on their itineraries, but I'm not sure the overhead cost of operating a proper agency would be worthwhile.

Oct 26, 9:12PM EDT0

How much experience do you have booking travel and excursions to this area?

Oct 20, 4:24AM EDT0

I've been creating worldwide travel itineraries for nearly six years, via my Travel Coaching service.

Oct 26, 9:13PM EDT0

I heard Iran is actually very safe to travel to. What are your thoughts on this?

Oct 19, 3:49PM EDT0

Yes! Iran has one of the highests levels of personal safety in the world, and a very low (almost non-existent!) level of crime! On the other hand, laws are very harsh and punishments very severe, particularly for women (you're required by law to wear the Islamic hijab) and LGBT people, who can face imprisonment or even death.

Oct 26, 9:14PM EDT0

Do you have a Facebook page or blog I can follow?

Oct 19, 2:19PM EDT0
Oct 26, 9:16PM EDT0

What advice would you give travellers when choosing a travel agency?

Oct 19, 1:29PM EDT0

Read online reviews critically and carefully. One very bad review isn't necessarily indicative of a problem, just as glowing reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. If you really can't make up your mind, ask the agency if you can speak with previous travelers personally. If they really want your business, they'll make it happen!

Oct 26, 9:17PM EDT0

What are the common questions people ask about a trip to Iran?

Oct 19, 12:42PM EDT0

1) Is it safe?

2) How much does it cost?

3) Where should I go?

4) When should I go? 

(I've answered all of these here, so please scroll up and down to see my responses!)

Oct 26, 9:18PM EDT0

You mentioned being required to have a guide while in Iran. Was that a travel requirement?  I love the middle east and the people.  What are the genuine safety concerns and would a woman need to have a male travel companion, not in regard to safety, but their traditions. 

Oct 19, 11:51AM EDT0

I am American, so if was a requirement for me to have a guide. Currently, citiziens of the US, UK and Canada are required to have a guide due to relations between Iran and our countries.

As far as safety is concerned, the level of personal security in Iran is very high, and crime is almost non-existent. On the other hand, laws are very harsh, and penalties for breaking them are severe. Women can face jail time for repeatedly ignore the Islamic hijab and other modesty laws, while gays can face the same (or worse) if they're caught "in the act" under certain circumstances.

As far as traveling with a man, it's not necessary or even customary as it is in other Muslim countries. The hijab notwithstanding, Iranian women are extremely independent and highly respected, which extends to foreign women as well. If anything, I'd say I saw more women friends traveling together than with males.

Oct 26, 9:21PM EDT0

Do you have any pictures to share with us?

Oct 19, 4:24AM EDT0

I'm currently posting my Iran content to my blog; click here to see all of it. I have a big photo post coming up in a couple of weeks, stay tuned!

Oct 26, 9:22PM EDT0

Whats the hottest month to visit?

Oct 19, 2:45AM EDT0

It's hard to say which is the very hottest, but I wouldn't recommend visiting Iran after April or before September.

Oct 26, 9:22PM EDT0
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