Western tourists often consider Iran as a tourist unfriendly country. However, contrary to this image, Iranians are ready to welcome westerners to this Islamic country.
People of all nationalities, except Israelis, are welcome in Iran. You will not get a visa to Iran, even if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport. Several international airlines operate between the Iranian cities and major cities of the world. There are two international airports in Tehran. International airports are also present in other Iranian cities, such as Esfahan, Kish, Bander Abbas and Shiraz.
Iran is a strict Islamic nation. Women travelers should cover their heads with a headscarf. Consumption of pork and alcohol is not allowed in the country. Instead of traveling alone in Iran, it is preferable to be a part of organized tours conducted by reputed travel agencies.
Despite Tehran’s prominence as the capital of Iran, this is not the major attraction of the country. Visitors might not appreciate the traffic snarls and the uncontrolled urbanization of this city. However, its vibrant life, museums, art galleries, shops and restaurants have much to offer.
The motorcycle taxi is an exciting conveyance, which you can opt, for touring the city. Visit the impressive Golestan Palace and the dazzling National Jewels Museum. The mountain trail between Park-e-Jamshidiyeh and Darband is the place to relax and have a picnic. You can also ski on the slopes of Shemshak and Dizin.
However, to see the real beauty of ancient Iran, you should visit Esfahan. It takes about 7 ½ hours to arrive in Esfahan from Tehran by train. This UNESCO world heritage site is spotted with lovely Islamic buildings adorned with blue ceramic tiles. The Imam Square traditional marketplace, the gardens, walks and bridges of Esfahan are worth visiting.
Shiraz with its lovely vineyards is a city over 2000 years old. This city of Persian poets has some lovely mosques and gardens. Alborz Mountains is popular among mountaineers and skiers. It has some skiing resorts and picturesque walking trails.