IRAN MIDDLE EAST SOLO

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

March 14, 2017
A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

Last summer I decided to travel solo to Iran. I took the flight from Istanbul to Shiraz, a city located in the South. As soon as I got in the plane I was very scared. I didn’t know what to do or how to react. As we were landing every woman in the plane started covering their head so I just copied every single move a woman did. I used a scarf to cover my hair and that was enough. Later I discovered a lot of beautiful and colorful hiyabs and bought several of them to cover my hair. In this post I share my experiences traveling solo in Iran and also a guide to all the places you should add to your Iran itinerary.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

PLANNING A TRIP TO IRAN

When I was planning my trip my family and friends thought I was crazy. It was my first time in such an exotic country and it was the first time I had to cover my whole body. I didn’t know how to prepare and there was not a lot of travel information available about travelling alone as a girl in Iran. But during my 13 days spent in Iran I did meet other women traveling alone.

Most of the people think Iran is not a safe place to travel and even confuse Iran with Iraq. From my point of view, having spent time in the country, Iran is the best option in the Middle East for a woman to travel alone. People will stare at you because they are curious and for them it is not common to see a girl from any other country travelling alone. But people are very kind and hospitable and don’t have bad intentions.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

TRAVELING AROUND IRAN DURING RAMADAM

Iran is a Muslim country. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day, say several prayers and then break their fast with a special evening meal. The dates for Ramadan are based on the Islamic lunar calendar and depend on the traditional sighting of the crescent moon by eye. I traveled around Iran during Ramadam and it was quite an experience. Unfortunately I didn’t eat as many traditional dishes as I wanted, because during the day everything is closed and you are not allowed to eat or drink anything in public during the day. This can be tough because the temperature is extremely hot, but it is a good way to explore and understand even better the culture of the place you are visiting.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

Traveling around Iran is safe and easy. You can always take a bus or taxi without a problem. Buses provide a seat reservation and the driver will rearrange the passengers so that no woman sits next to an unknown man. So get ready to change your seat several times in a journey. Accommodation in Iran is easy to find. I always booked a hotel or hostel before arriving to each destination. But nowadays Coach Surfing is becoming very popular and it is the best way to find accommodation with local hosts and discover nearby events.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRANHOW TO DRESS IN IRAN

How to dress is the most controversial part of solo female travel in Iran. You need to have you hair and body covered every time you are outside in the public even in the common areas of the hotel. You have to cover your hair, arms and legs, but your feet can be bare. There were days when it was challenging to wear all these clothes when it was really hot outside, but still a great experience. Try not to use tight clothes. You can wear any color it doesn’t need to always be black.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRANPLACES TO VISIT IN IRAN

1) SHIRAZ

Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran and is known as the city of flowers. The city’s beautiful gardens are renowned worldwide and visitors always leave this city with beautiful memories. When in Shiraz, Perspolis is a must see site.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN Persepolis was once the richest city on Earth and was founded more than two and a half thousand years ago. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a uniques archeological site, which is also classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The best way to get there is to share a taxi or book a tour with your hotel. Not only tourists, but also locals plan to visit the famous ruins so it won’t be difficult to find company when going there.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

I had the opportunity to spent two days with a Qashqai family. The Qashqai are a nomadic tribe in Iran of Turkic ethnic origins. They mainly live around the city of Shiraz. For centuries, they have been renowned across Iran for their pile carpets and have always claimed a very specific identity. The hotel where I stayed in Shiraz, Niayesh Boutique Hotel, helped me to contact the Qashqai family. It was an incredible experience to live with them. I played with the children, helped to cook dinner and slept overnight in a tent.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRANA GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN2) ESFAHAN

Esfahan is one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the world. The city has many marvels of Persian architecture and it is so beautiful that it has been nicknamed “Nimeh Jahan”, which means “half of the world”, saying that if you see Esfahan, you have already seen half of the beauties of the world. The stunning mosques and palaces of Esfahan are among the most beautiful and interesting in the world. You can also walk along the several ancient bridges. However, as a result of a drought, there is usually no water in the river. The Vank Cathedral is a popular destination. The interior is covered with fine paintings and gilded carvings.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRANBetween Esfahan and Kashan, there is a town called Abyaneh. To get there I took a taxi from Esfahan. Characterized by a peculiar reddish hue, the village is one of the oldest in Iran. The houses in Abyaneh are built of mud and straw are stepped into the hillside. Its culture, traditions, costumes and dialect are unlike anywhere else in Iran. Women wear colorful headscarves. As everywhere else in Iran, the people are wonderfully friendly and welcoming. My driver´s name is Dariush he was so kind by taking me there and showing me around. When in Esfahan or Kashan, contact him as I am sure he would love to take you around.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRANA GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN3) KASHAN

Finding the sites in Kashan is easy due to many dual language signs across the city. Kashan is famous because of its historical houses. These houses are some 18th and 19th century buildings recently restored. There are even some that have been carefully converted to hotels where you can stay during your time in Kashan. A great place to stay is Kamalalmolk Traditional Guest House. It is located in the heart of the city and the owner was so hospitable. Don’t forget to drink some rose water while you are there.

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN4) TEHRAN

I finished my trip in Tehran. It is a big and chaotic city but it deserves at least a few days of your itinerary. Getting around Tehran is not as easy as other cities. That is why I recommend you to stay in a well located hotel where you can walk everywhere or take the metro. I stayed in Hotel Makazi one of the most popular hotels among tourists. They will help you with any information you need. Some of the places you can’t miss in Tehran are the Azadi Tower, the National Museum of Iran, the Golestan Palace and of course the Grand Bazaar. You can find almost anything in Bazar and it is the perfect place to buy some souvenirs.

Vank-Cathedral-In-Esfahan-Iran

Have you visited Iran? Please share you own tips with our readers in the comments below. Read Next > Conquering Stigmas: Travelling Solo Through The Silk Road 

By We Are Travel Girls Contributor Alessia Ramponi
Connect with Alessia Instagram

A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN IRAN

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18 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous March 14, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Hi there, i am planning a solo female trip to Iran and didnt know where to start or if I really safe. I feel a new level of confidence and motivation to visit now after reading about your experience. Your courage to explore unknown places, off the beaten path places is
    inspirational! Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls March 14, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, glad that this post has helped and inspired you to visit Iran.

    • Reply Alessia Ramponi May 17, 2017 at 12:41 am

      Hello! Thank you very much. Feel free to contact me in case of any doubts.

  • Reply Tessa Torrente March 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    wow. Iran is low on my list for many reasons but this had made me really want to visit…

    xo
    tessa
    http://travelwheretonext.com

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls March 14, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Tessa! Glad you liked the post! Iran is getting higher and higher on my list too because of stories like this! X, Vanessa

  • Reply Mckenzie March 15, 2017 at 5:30 am

    I love your post! Iran has been on my list for a while now because I’ve taken Iranian history classes at university and it excites me to see solo women going there! Iran has such a rich history and culture and I can’t wait to go. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls March 15, 2017 at 7:12 am

      Thank you much for reading and commenting McKenzie. Pleased to hear that you enjoyed this post and are planning your own trip to Iran. We loved this post from contributor Alessia, showing that women can travel solo in Iran! Becky

    • Reply Alessia Ramponi May 17, 2017 at 12:42 am

      Thank you. I really hope you can travel to Iran soon, Im sure you will love it!

  • Reply Naga March 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I am glad to see that stereotype images on different countries are broken by stories like this. Thanks to Alessia for letting us know the rich history of Iran. More travel stories like this will help us to discover that the rich diversity of cultures can unite as humans.

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls March 16, 2017 at 12:17 am

      Thank you for reading and commenting Nesa! We try to share stories, like Alessia’s to help show travellers that they can get away from the most popular destinations and visit countries rich in culture like Iran. Pleased to hear that you enjoyed this post. X, Becky

  • Reply Martina Praxmarer March 17, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for the post. It is very inspiring.
    I am going to travel to Iran in only three weeks and will stay for 17 days. I dont know what to expact yet but I am really excited. Looking forward to the different culture and the religion.

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls March 18, 2017 at 1:38 am

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting Martina. Excited to hear that you will also be visiting Iran, we really look forward to seeing your pictures. If you have any further information and tips to share about the country, we would love for you to submit an article or add more comments here for our readers. Thank you! X, Becky

  • Reply Fanny March 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I plan to go to Iran this summer from Paris, where I live ! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I feel better and know it is a good decision 🙂

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls March 21, 2017 at 12:19 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Fanny. Pleased to hear you enjoyed this post, have a wonderful time in Iran. XO, Becky

    • Reply Alessia Ramponi May 17, 2017 at 12:43 am

      It is going to be one of the best decisions in your life. Enjoy <3

  • Reply A GUIDE TO SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN UZBEKISTAN | We Are Travel Girls May 29, 2017 at 10:56 am

    […] I hope you found this post helpful in planning your solo trip to Uzbekistan. For more information don’t hesitate to contact me or visit Uzbekistan Tourism Official Website. Read Next > A Guide To Solo Female Travel In Iran […]

  • Reply Eve June 16, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing this post. I have tried solo trips in Indo China countries. Been wanting to visit Iran since not many people are keen to go with me, I really wanna do a solo trip. This gives me some confidence in planning for a solo trip perhaps mid of October 2017.

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls June 17, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      So pleased to hear that you enjoyed this post Eve and it has given you some confidence and inspiration for your own solo trip! XO, Becky

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