Iran is a land of wonders. From the great Caspian sea to the shores of the Persian Gulf, Iran has many undiscovered and fascinating historical, social, and natural sites luring tourists from around the globe to the cradle of civilization. One wonder, however, that really needs digging up and unveiling is how to book a hotel or a hustle in Iran, especially with all the sanctions imposed on Iran making travels to Iran more frustrating for tourists.
If you Google how to book a hotel in Iran or Tehran rows of different results will pop up in front of you making you think that booking a room in Iran isn’t a hard thing to do. But the truth is, again due to sanctions, you can’t even make any prepayment plans with a hotel or a hostel because international credit cards and online payment services like PayPal don’t work with the Iranian government and all transaction flows in or out of the country are blocked. To twist the knife, online booking websites like Booking.com or priceline.com won’t give you a break either. To them, Iran is a dry barren land with nobody living in it in expect some myths and stories. So, what’s the solution to booking a Iran hotels problem? How can you actually be sure you have accommodation before you arrive in Iran?
Book a hotel in Iran through websites
As mentioned above, during your slightly successful Google research on how to book a hotel in Iran, you might come across some Iranian websites providing accommodation and lodging services. What they actually do is to reserve a room for you anywhere in Iran, instead of booking one like every other website, and take care of everything else until you arrive. As for the payment, everything is just straightforward. You can pay for the reservation after you check-in and see that if the reserved room is up to your standards or not. Pretty easy, right? For even more convenience, hotels accept currencies like Dollar or Euro, so don’t change all your money when you enter Iran and keep some of it in your pocket. But why do hotels don’t mind getting paid in other currencies?
Well, right now USD and EUR dominate the domestic currency market in Iran with a soaring steep, automatically converting the current market into a total mess. So, as you can see, taking Rials (Iran’s official currency) comes at high risk for business owners dealing with tourists and foreigners.
The thing to remember is that this kind of reservation can be canceled at any time by any side. It’s a verbal agreement and sometimes they can go terribly wrong. For this reason, we recommend checking with the website one last time before you get on a plane to Iran. Having an Iranian friend or reading review tourism websites like Tripadvisor can help you too.
Book a hotel in Iran through travel agencies
If you find it hard to do everything on your own, then you should dump it all on Iranian tourism agencies. The way they help you book a hotel in Iran is pretty simple and straightforward. For example, you go onto the website like 1stquest.com, put the city you want to travel to and the duration of your stay in the assigned search boxed and with no sweat you’re presented with a long list of hotels and hostels. 1stquest sets different filters and price ranges for different types of travel styles.
This way you don’t need to worry about your reservation getting canceled by the website, you can get a clear image of a hotel, and read users comments and reviews.
Book a hotel in Iran through calls or emails
Talk about nostalgia, right? It’s probably a decade from the last time you sent an email to a hotel for a room. As fun as it sounds, sending an email takes a lot of time which in today’s world nobody wants to spare, especially if the receiver is a hotel in Iran. Let’s just put it this way, Iranian hotels don’t do well with emails. Based on the reviews given by Tripadvisor users, it takes hotels at least two days to respond to an email, luxury amount of time a tourist on the clock can’t spare. We suggest that for a quick answer, you pick up the phone and just call the hotel.
Usually, accommodation centers in Iran work around the clock and even in the night hours, they have somebody ready to answer calls. However, to be on the safe side and successfully book a hotel in Iran via phone, try calling during morning or evening hours which are the busiest time of day. FYI, Iran’s time zone is +3:30 GMT.
Booking counter at Iran’s international airports
Most of the gigantic international airports in Iran have booking counters straight outside the gates ready to help you book a hotel in Iran. It is really a relief seeing one these boards at the airport for you no longer need to worry about a lodging spot. This is a viable option for tourists who didn’t have time to plan their trip to Iran and just want to get it over with. Some of the big names have permanent counters at airports like Tehran’s Imam Khomeini’s international airport and are ready to book you a room in a matter of minutes but keep in mind that these disks are closed after hours and also, don’t expect to find a specific counter for hostels or guesthouses in Iran.
Hospitality services like Couchsurfing
This is not a solution of how to book a hotel in Iran per se but it can surely come in handy for tourists with tight schedules. Although applications like Airbnb doesn’t recognize Iran as a country suitable for its services and thus having too few Iranian users but Couchsurfing is growing by the day in Iran. Couchsurfing is immensely popular and widely used in Iran to find free accommodations for incoming tourists. If you browse Couchsurfing for information about Iran, it might shock you finding so many Iranian users active on the app. Iranians registered in this app can help you find and book a hotel in Iran and often they will stay in touch until you have a roof over your head. With Couchsurfing and its exceptional Iranian users, finding a hotel in Iran is easy peasy. However, it’s understandable if some tourists put less faith in free social hospitality applications like this one.
Also Read : FAQs answered about booking hotel in Iran.
Ask the taxi drivers!
Iranian people are genuinely nice and welcoming people, even the taxi drivers Being the rip of we all know them to be, they still do their best so you could have a good time. So if you are out of other options, you can just ask them.
It doesn’t matter if you arrive in night or day, at a land border or at an airport, these taxi drivers will always have an answer for your accommodation problem and do absolutely everything in their power so you find and book a hotel. Most of the times, they know a nearby hotel or somebody who knows somebody else who is a hotel owner and might even give you a discount on the room. Keep in mind that this is your last option when all other hope is lost. However, many tourists traveling independently and without any previous knowledge of the country, put their faith in the taxi drivers to help them book a hotel in Iran. This may sound like a hard way but even asking Iranian taxi drivers for hotel recommendation is a pleasant experience you will never forget.