Iran

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visa:Iran


Transport

Hitchhiking out of Tabriz south towards Hamadan and Kurdish region.

Public transport in Iran is very cheap. Normally long distances are so far cheaper than local public transportotion in most european cities.

The concept of (free) hitchhiking is mostly unknown to the majority of Iranian people. The only exception might be youngsters (or elders) who had traveled, hosted or met westerners.

If you decide to go for it though, it can be one of the best experience you'll ever have. You will be surprised by the extreme kindness and hospitality of this people (you can even hitchhike taxis inside cities by chance..).

Be aware of; do NOT thumb, it is extremely vulgar (equivalent of western middle finger..) and simply not understood; and talk to people before enter the car, be sure they accept to take you without money ("Khoob ai bedoona pool?"). A minimal farsi is definitely required if you want to hitch and not having bad surprises.

While Fede was hitchhiking out of Tehran with a panel saying "no taxis, no shared taxis, no buses" he had been approached by a very kind man who tried to explain him that "there are no trains nor planes here, where are you going? Esfahan? The airport is that way...".

Companies

Accommodation

Even though hotels are generally cheaper than Europe and Turkey they are still not so cheap as India or South East Asia.

Iranian hospitality will surely surprise you. Almost anyone will welcome you at their house, old, young, men, women, no matter who, iranians have a deep sense of hospitality and will treat you as a king wihtout either have the possibility to spend a cent. Food, sleep transport, even if they earn in one day less than what you can easily earn in one hour in Europe they will insist to invite and pay you everything; up to the local bus drivers and internet cafes holders..

Meet fellow travellers on hospitality exchange networks: Trustroots, BeWelcome

Food

It is extremely cheap in Iran. With the equivalent of 1€ you can eat good (at cheap places, not fancy restaurants) for the whole day. A five star restaurant on the top of a skyscraper in Tehran won´t cost you more than 5€...guaranteed!!

You will also be invited nearly anywhere to eat for free by whoever..

Connectivity

Wi-fi is really not much spread but you will find many cheap internet cafes, which sometimes will also insist in inviting you and not letting you pay.

Busking

Not probably a good idea.. At least in the western style and vision of it.

The currency first of all is that cheap that an average good iranian working day pays around a low/average european working hour, which can mean, a good european busking 15minutes..having this in mind is not really comfortable saying you have no money..

It is not clear whether busking is forbidden or allowed by law, but for sure it is not something very common and might easily call unwanted attentions.

You won't probably have much troubles with police being a foreigner, though could be better avoid it.

Better keep your music, juggling or any street gift for the dozens of kind host who will invite you.

Visa

Your passport should not contain evidence of visiting Israel.

Iran has a visa-on-arrival program for several countries, but only when arriving in an airport.

If you want to apply for the visa in Turkey, as many people do, on the silk road, there are consulates in Ankara, Istanbul and Erzurum. But according to many people who have done that, it can be a huge loss of time, waiting weeks, and sometimes being refused (even if you have already paid!).

Get a visa in Trabzon, Turkey

WARNING: As of March 2015, this information is probably not up-to-date anymore. You'll probably also need the MFA code in Trabzon now!

Tip: There is an Iranian consulate in Trabzon, north-east of Turkey, where it's possible to get a visa without any problems (nor much questions), usually within the same working day, sometimes 3 hours, sometimes 3 days according to the mood of employees.

It works for most of EU passport holders: French, Belgian, German, Italian and most probably plenty of others.

The particularity of this consulate is that, contrary to the usual formal procedure they do not require the code normally necessary at iranianvisa. They ONLY want 2 photos, 60€ (in 2012 were 75, 50 plus 25 of express procedure), 2 forms to be filled in and... That is ALL. (No application number, no letter of recommandation, no hotel reservation...) If they ask for your itinerary, you can sketch an approximate route between the biggest cities, Tabriz, Tehran, etc. If they ask you how you will travel, just tell you go in those city then take a plane back or to the next country you already have a visa.

Your passport should not contain evidence of a visit to Israel.

Cities

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