Guide About Iran
Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran) is situated in the Middle East. It was geographically known as Persia until as recently as the twentieth century. In the North it is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan (not to be confused with its own Iranian Azerbaijan region), Armenia, Nakhchivan and Turkmenistan. To the West lie Turkey and Iraq. Its southern boundaries extend to the scenic shores of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. It is adjacent to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the East. Its Capital city is Tehran. There are 31 Provinces, 324 counties (shahrestans), 89 cities in Iran. Persian (Farsi) is spoken by the majority of Iranians. A large percentage of millennial Iranians speak moderate to advanced English. Tourist information is available in English at many hotels and cultural attractions. The Perso-Arabic alphabet is the national standard. However, some signs, menus and general information are posted in English.
Islam is the national religion but small numbers of Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews are still active throughout the country.
The official currency of Iran is the Iranian rial. Toman is also used by local people. You only need to omit a zero from the right side of the money's numbers to change it from rial to toman. Please note that you cannot use your credit cards in Iran.
USD, Euros, GBP and other currencies can be exchanged for rial throughout Iran. But since some governmental policies about foreign currencies have changed it's recommended to change money in exchange stores to get a better rate.
According to the IATA, any amount exceeding 10,000 USD must be declared upon arrival as is standard when entering most countries.
Day to day expenses such as dining and transportation are surprisingly affordable compared to Western economies. Accommodation rates may vary according to location, amenities and level of service provided.
The climate of Iran is as diverse as its topography ranging from mild and wet subtropical rainforest on the Caspian coast to the Mediterranean climate of Shiraz; very cold mountains of the Zagros and Alborz to the hot dry deserts of Lut and Kavir Buzurg; semi-desert of Tehran to dry coastal climate on the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman coasts.
Summers in the North are usually temperate with high temperatures averaging about 27 oC. Winters are generally mild in the South with average low temperatures around 13 oC. Summers are hot and sometimes humid, pending on the region.
Iran’s diverse climate allows for an amazing array of leisure and adventure activities. Skiing and extreme snow sports, scuba diving and snorkeling, ecotourism and safari are all within a short distance of each other almost year.