My wife and I, 75 year old US citizens, plan visit to Iran in Oct and will travel with tour most of the time. While in Tehran we wonder if we will be comfortable/safe walking about on our own, shop and dine, without concerns about confrontations. We also would enjoy a hike above Darband, but wonder about the safety of travel without a local guide. Thanks to anyone who might have advice. Alan and Marylee, Sacramento CA
Dear Alan & Marylee
From what I could see during my trip there, Tehran is safe & you should be good on your own. The Iranians are very hospitable and friendly.
However, like all new places, I would suggest that you finish your exploring while it is daylight.
Iranians speak English but it is broken & quite accented, so that may need a little getting used to, to be able to understand what is being communicated.
Enjoy your trip and all the best
My experience is that Tehran is pretty safe the only problem you will face is the language Barrier but it can be easily overcome..October is a good time weather wise however take some precautions due to high air pollution and also try to bargain to get the better prices ... Good luck and I hope you enjoy your trip ...
Darband as Tehran is absolutely safe day / night. It has totally different atmosphere, I didn't hear even someone shouting or speaking with high notes. They respect especially seniors. It comes from their culture.
Just avoid a political demonstrations, that's all.
In respect of language - it might be a problem, 6 years isolation affected the Iranian ability to explain in English. Almost none of drivers knows English, however they try to help you as long as possible. I would recommend you use the reception desk - they have usually own taxi services (not expensive) and they can explain the driver in Farsi where you go. If it is a short trip (say one hour meeting) then makes senses to agree return too. 20 minutes drive costs app $10 in local currency. In restaurants and cafes you can find more English speaking, but please speak slowly.
You will be completely safe in Tehran . No need to be worry, Darband is a hiking area with a lot of traditional Resturants . During day and nights time you can enjoy the atmospher of this place . Also you can go there by yourself no need to local guide . Line one of metro will be good choice ,
For my humble experience (I use to be there for business) there's a negative advertising about this country that doesn't represent the reality.
Iranian are really friendly people, and I think you'll enjoy Darband, but I suggest you to ask support to local guide for hiking. From there you can reach 4000m in a short time!
I'm half-iranian, but don't look it at all. I've never had any issues, people are very friendly and they are the first to understand that the views of the government do not necessarily reflect those of it's people. Most are eager to show that they are not as they are depicted.
As for getting around, the metro is the fastest if you can figure out the schedules, taxis are a good bet, just sit back and close your eyes. Don't try to drive, it's a full-contact sport.
And Darband is very touristy and safe to walk around
Hi Alan. I am from the UK and while it is true that our governments are not flavour of the month with the Iranian Authorities, you will not find any problems with the Iranian people. All of my contacts with Iranian authorities were very positive experiences. I spent a month not attached to a tour and found only kindness and courtesy and hospitality. I felt very safe. The danger is from the traffic if trying to cross roads! There appear to be no rules at all. Would recommend the Lonely Planet phrase book. Food is great. Sites are amazing and the people will bend themselves backwards to help you. Hope you have a great time.
Sorry for my late reply.
Iranians are incredibly hospitable and you have nothing to fear. You would be quite safe. They are generally thrilled to have foreign visitors and American especially. It's their chance to show you they are not their government.
Having said that, they do tend to charge tourists a little more... It's an unfortunate fact but it's mostly that they realise it's still cheap based on your home country currency and they are still suffering economically from the long years of sanctions so really more out of necessity.
Personally, where ever I experience this, I try to look at it as being able to make a positive contribution to the everyday people rather than taking it personally. In Iran, you can alway do some friendly bargaining... They do come down in price
Hope this helps and have a wonderful trip
I am Shahram living in Tehran.
I reviewed the answers above and they are mostly right.
It is safe in Tehran and big cities in Iran however you should be careful while facing the strangers (the same rule all over the world).
I work in a company in which we usually have foreigner guests from Europe, Africa and Asia, they mostly love the atmosphere of Darband especially at night.
You are welcome and enjoy your trip.
If you wish you may reach me for further questions by: rezapur.s@gmail
Thanks JeJe, appreciate response. We've heard so much about increased tensions and surveillance of US citizens over the past two years that walking about Tehran unaccompanied by local guide sounds sketchy. And we do look forward to our trip. Alan
I cannot see any problems - except for the distances - in Tehran. People in Tehran are used to foreigners and mostly ignore them. But those who do notice you are friendly and curious - you can look forward to your trip! :o)
Thank you all for your responses. I/we sure appreciate the advise and will heed in all respects.
Interesting, though, we are recently advised by our trip organizer that there are recent increases in security concerning US citizens. An example is our restriction from using the available taxi service from airport to hotel in Tehran. The contact in Tehran states that she must do the transfers since she is responsible for our "safety" and her charge is over $110! Seems high considering the posted rate of around $10. Does anyone have any recent information or experience in this area? It feels a bit like the local guide is offering a steep price and asking for payment in advance.
Again, thank you for your good responses. Alan
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