Knowing if a country is safe to travel at any given time, is very important information that every passenger should have.
Tourists traveling to Iran in 2020 have a lot of questions and concerns about stability, security, and tranquility in this country. Foreign travelers who have little knowledge of Iran and its people, express doubt about safety and peace before deciding to visit the land.
You should know Iran’s tourism industry welcomes citizens of all countries with open arms, except for the unfortunate fact that Israeli citizens can’t come to Iran, plus citizens of countries that don’t have an embassy in Iran such as the US, UK, and Canada need an arranged tour to visit here.
At this point, having honest information for travelers is the utmost urgent and critical, without any sugar-coating!
How True Is the Media News About Iran?
Iran is a vast land with a great and mysterious ancient history and culture, gorgeous and untouched landscapes, and humble and hospitable people that have welcomed foreign tourists from all over the world for many years.
Many may not be aware of the fact that Iran is a land of very diverse traditions and ethnicities. The people of this region have extremely powerful and deep-rooted traditions, customs, cuisine, clothing, heritage, and passions, and contrary to what the mass media says about Iran, this is a peaceful and not at all chaotic country.
It may be hard to imagine for those who listen to media news, but Iran is one of the safest and least risky countries for tourists and experience has shown that this security is not easily compromised
So while the mass media often warn the world of the danger of war and military attacks against Iran, in reality, in recent decades, Iran has not witnessed any attacks or wars and no military operations have been carried out in this land.
Iran Travel Risk Map 2020
According to International SOS, as the world’s largest medical and travel security services firm, “travel risk map 2020” shows that traveling to Iran is as safe as other major tourist destinations with a record of more than 39.5 million foreign visitors in 2018!
Launched by global risk experts International SOS in collaboration with Control Risks, the travel risk map 2020 indicates the danger level in different countries based on 4 important factors threatening travelers. In this risk map factors such as violence, security, and emergency services, the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters, and the efficiency of the transport infrastructure are taken into consideration.
Political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest, and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence), violent and petty crime, the robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters are the matters discussed in these reports and by checking the website you will see despite all defamation, it is still very safe to travel to Iran.
Tips to Ensure Your Safety in Iran
Although we have said that Iran is a safe and secure country to travel to, some may still have concerns and a few hypotheses circulating about security risks in Iran, which is good to address them.
Given that in 2020, security tensions have risen not only in Iran but almost in the whole world, especially the Middle East, it is not bad to notify some of these probable risks, and give you little tips to avoid any possible trouble in your trip:
Don’t Bring Your Drone with You
Some tourists like to bring their drones with them and create documentary videos of the landscapes they are visiting and this has become very common recently. But having a drone with you in Iran can get tourists in trouble especially because of security protocols and the suspicious act of spy filming governmental bases with flying objects.
Have Only Copies of Your Documents While Sightseeing
If you want to go around, especially crowded places like a bazaar, always have a copy of your documents with you and do not bring the original documents to prevent them from being lost.
If you need to show your documents to someone, such as the police, a copy of the documents will suffice and you will rarely need to provide the original documents.
Do not Participate in Political Activities
If you are not a political journalist, if you have nothing to do with the military and government organizations of Iran, if you do not film and photograph street demonstrations and other political events in Iran, no problem would follow you in Iran territories and it is absolutely safe to travel to Iran for you.
Many tourists before coming here, imagine a terrible Islamic military-ruled country (mostly because what they see in media) but when they set foot on Iran soil and a little after their arrival, they realize that Iran is a calm and easy country to explore. It goes without saying, if you respect Iran’s rules and traditions of its people, you will have a wonderful experience on your trip and you do not have to worry about anything.
Don’t push the boundaries and you will see what a glorious and beautiful land you have traveled to.
Read more: Persian Fairytale
Fake Cops and How to Deal with Them
Unfortunately, in the past, in some cases, it has been seen that some con artists disguise themselves as police, thus extorting money from foreign tourists who may already have been suspicious about Iranian police.
Of course, this trick has become old and now tourists are less deceived by it, also the police have largely dealt with them.
If you encounter any of these cases, call the real police in Iran immediately (110) or ask for help from pedestrians. Their documents are probably fake and never give your bag containing money, camera, and other valuables to any of them, neither to any passerby or stranger.
Always remember that the real police in Iran are very friendly with tourists, they rarely inspect foreign travelers or cause them trouble. They have a special police car and dressed accordingly. If you ever encounter the police, always ask them to contact the embassy.
Recently, in the city of Isfahan, in the historical square of Imam Khomeini, a tourism police station has been set up, which is also mentioned on the UNESCO website. And on this site, tourists are asked to go to this station for possible problems. Many believe that similar stations should be set up in other cities to ensure travelers safety.
No Alcohol and Drugs
Although finding alcohol and drugs in Iran has recently become very easy and many tourists have written about it in their diary about Iran, but we recommend, as a precaution that you avoid such entertainments during your trip to Iran. Because alcohol consumption and drug use are considered a crime in Iran and you may get caught which is not a big deal actually, but the bigger problem is using alcohol made by unprofessional which could be dangerous and sometimes even deadly. So for being on the safe side, avoid alcoholic beverages and drugs on your trip.
Is Nightlife Safe in Iran?
In Iran, like any other country, traveling to remote areas and villages can be associated with the risk of getting lost, encountering thieves or wrong people, especially at night. But in big and crowded cities of Iran such as Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan, nightlife has become an important part of the tourism industry and you can have a great time around the city, in markets, coffee shops, restaurants, and even historical sites.
Besides, in recent years, due to the growth of tourism in different parts of cities, and the presence of tourists, many areas that were previously considered insecure have become common hangouts for foreign travelers and have gained considerable security.
So with a little caution and finding good companions, you and your fellow travelers can enjoy an exceptional trip to Iran, especially on Friday nights.
Is Iran Safe to Travel Solo Female?
Maintaining security for female tourists has now become one of the most important parts of any country’s tourism industry.
In recent years, Iran has witnessed a significant presence of solo female travelers, either through tours or separate trips. Of course, this does not mean that traveling alone is not dangerous for both men or women, but it can be said that Iranians compete with other countries in receiving foreign female tourists. And if you read the articles published by women bloggers about traveling to Iran, you will come to the conclusion that many women in Iran have a sense of security and peace of mind about their trip and in their writing never reflect a sense of fear of safety or security dissatisfaction about locals, Persian communities and their residence.
Read more: My Journey to Iran
Iran, like other countries, has lost its tourism revenue due to the pandemic. According to the statistics of domestic tourism in Iran, in the first three months of spring, about 13 thousand and 700 billion Toman (official currency of Iran) should have been spent in the tourism industry, and it seems that this year, this sector has lost more than 90% of their income.
Accommodation, hotels, the airline industry, travel companies, and unemployment are thousands of damages suffered by the tourism industry during the COVID19 pandemic. On the other hand, tourism experts believe that the tourism industry should prepare itself for the post- COVID19 period.
While the second wave of the corona has now begun in Iran and it is not yet safe to travel to this country, or to any other places for that matter, the experience of previous years has shown that this situation is not permanent and after the end of the current situation, the doors will open to a significant tourist population and the tourism industry should be ready for that.
Travel rules to Iran announced: According to the instructions announced a few days ago, Iran will not issue a tourist visa until further notice, and a health certificate is required for other travelers. These regulations came into force on 1 August 2020.
As you’ve seen in the news, the COVID19 vaccine has been discovered and the vaccine is expected to be available by the end of the year.
Read more: Despite COVID-19, I loved Iran
Emergency Numbers in Iran
These are the contact numbers of some emergency services in Iran and it could be useful to have them in your cellphone as a precaution:
Local Police Control Center: 110
Emergency Clinical Services: 115
Fire and Rescue Team: 125
Iranian Red Crescent Society: 112 (handy for professional hikers or trekkers)
Unfortunately, the operators do not speak English, but you can always get help from someone who speaks Persian or a local companion to talk on the phone or at least learn some essential Persian words just in case.