Tami Khramtchenko of Travel The Unknown discusses travel safety in Iran.
‘How safe is Iran?’ is probably the question I hear most often at the office. ‘I really want to go to Iran, but I’m nervous about the current situation’ comes as a close second. I understand people’s initial concerns – a lot of the things we read in the news have carried a negative tone towards Iran. It is a shame, because the reality is that Iran is in fact a very safe country. Crime rates are low, terrorism is non-existent and the local people are more than friendly. Other common concerns for first-time visitors are getting around, money safety and being a female traveler.
First of all, I want to mention a little-known fact: according to Nation Master, crime levels in Iran are actually lower than in the US! Acts of terrorism have by-passed the country, and Iran is one of the most stable nations in the Middle East. At Travel the Unknown, we have our ear to the ground and are in constant contact with our wonderful team in Iran so that we are always sure of the situation. Having travelled to Iran and seen it firsthand, I can certainly say that I have no concerns about its safety.
Having run tours to Iran now for many years, the most common thing we hear from travelers after they return from their trip is how friendly the locals were and how safe they felt. Persians are famous for their hospitality and their welcoming nature. Walking down the street, you’ll frequently hear genuine exclamations of ‘Welcome to my country!’ I’ve never experienced anything similar, and it took a few days to get used to. There is also nothing to worry about in getting around the cities, as your guide will be there for you throughout the journey.
As Iran is cut off from the international financial markets and credit/debit cards are not accepted, travelers need to bring cash. Some people are concerned about bringing substantial amounts of cash with them, but in our years of running tours to Iran there haven’t been issues with money safety. If needed, hotels can provide safe deposit boxes or you can use a lockable suitcase to ease your worries.
Iranian men are courteous and Iranian women are very warm. They have been known to help adjust female traveller’s head scarves if they see one struggling with it in public spaces, which is such a nice gesture! (Read more about the female dress code in my other post. Walking down the street, you can often see women walking around alone, even at night time, which is a great indicator of street safety.
I hope I’ve been able to address your specific concerns about Iran. After all, it’s a very safe and welcoming country, and I can highly recommend it anyone even remotely interested in visiting it. I know your experience of the country will be a very positive one!