This question has so many occurrences and Google that I decided to write this article in order to help you clear things up. It would be unfortunate to run out of money after a few days in a country where you cannot use your credit card. In this article, I’ll try to detail the cost of life in Iran for a tourist considering a different type of travelers.
The first thing is that all that you read till now on the internet is probably obsolete. Iran’s economy faces a galloping inflation that reached a high of 34,7% between March 2013 and March 2014. This means that if you read at travel guides published in 2014, all prices are below the current average. We’ll try to keep this article up-to-date and to follow the exchange rate volatility.
At this very moment, with the drop in the value of the Iranian Rial, Iran is a very affordable destination.
As 1 euro was around 3600 tomans a few months ago and is now exchanged around 4000 (unofficial rate) if you spend 1000 euros for your holidays means you’ll save 100 euros. Nothing crazy, but enough to buy the next carpet that is will look sensational in your living room.
For more information about the money in Iran check out our article Iran travel guide: Currency and cell-phone.
“Choose your profile”
Traveling on budget? This is your chance! As soon as you agree to live like a local, Iran is a really good country to travel on budget. In all cities, you’ll easily find cheap hotels and restaurants. This will help you to save some of your precious bucks.
Hitchhiking is a concept that most Iranian don’t know and your effort to explain it will be vain. Transportations are pretty cheap. A bus ride from Tehran to Shiraz will cost you around 60 000 tomans (15$). A night in a hostel (Mosaferkhane) will be around 5$ a night.
We consider that you’ll spend about 10$ a night for your hotel (single-bed in a cheap hotel in the center of the city) and around 15$ for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then consider that you’ll visit about 3 attractions a day, which means about 10$ more. If we consider that you use taxi as a mean of transportation, then you’ll need maybe 5$ more. Means you need around 40$ a day to travel as a backpacker in Iran. Thus, this budget is a little overestimated and means you’ll visit all attractions and you do not stint yourself.
Read also: Iran Travel Guide: Transportation by Bus
Night in a hostel (mosaferkhane): less than 20 000 tomans (6$)
Night in a cheap hotel in the center of Tehran: around 20$.
A bus ride from Tehran to Shiraz: around 60 000 tomans (15$)
A lunch in a local restaurant: around 15 000 toman (4$) per person.
Tickets for most of the museums and touristic sites: between 3 and 7$ (10$ for the most expensive like the Niavaran Palace in Tehran).
A straight taxi ride (shared taxi) in Tehran : 1000 toman (0,3$)
A falafel sandwich: 1$
A small bottle of water: 500 tomans (0,15$)
A bus ticket: 600 toman (0,15$)
Globally, consider that you’ll need around 25$ a day to travel on budget.
You are allergic to dorms and traveling go hand in hand with pleasure, then consider that this budget will be more suitable for you. For this budget, we consider that you live almost like you are probably living in your country. You eat in restaurants and not only fast-foods.
We consider that you’ll spend around 60$ a night for your hotel (double-bed in a 3 stars hotel) and around 30$ for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Then consider you’ll visit an average of 3 attractions a day, which means around 10$ more. If we consider that you use taxis as a mean of transportation, then you’ll need maybe 10$ more.
A private taxi in Tehran: at least 10 000 tomans (3$)
Straight (khati): 2 000 toman (less than 1$)
A taxi ride from the airport: 60 000 tomans (18$)
A flight ticket between Tehran and Shiraz: 70$
A half-day trip from Shiraz to Persepolis by taxi/driver-cum-guide: US$35/45
A double-bed room in a 2 stars hotel (Tehran): around 150 000 toman (40$)
A double-bed room in a 2 stars hotel (Other cities): around 130 000 toman (35$)
A double-bed room in a 3 stars hotel (Tehran): around 250 000 toman (70$)
A double-bed room in a 3 stars hotel (Other cities): around 230 000 toman (65$)
A meal in a traditional restaurant (midrange): 20 000 tomans (6$)
Globally consider that you’ll need around 80$/day to travel on a midrange basis.
Top-end or luxurious trip
Crave a little luxury? Consider that you’ll spend around 100$ a night for your hotel and around 50$ a day for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then we consider you’ll visit an average of 3 attractions a day, which means about 10$ more. If we consider that you use taxi as a mean of moving, then you’ll need maybe 10$ more (private taxi).
A private-guide with a car: 100$/day per person.
A double-bed room in a 4 starts hotel (Tehran): around 360 000 toman (100$)
A double-bed room in a 4 stars hotel: around 250 000 toman (70$)
Means you need around 170$ a day for a first-class trip to Iran. Thus, this budget is an average and if you plan to do all kind of activities consider it as a minimum.
Experience says that you will always spend more than expected. Calculate a budget and then add at least 25% more.
Do you have a plan to visit Iran? Apply for your Iran Visa, Just for € 29, Now!
NOTE (June 2018): Recently, there was a dramatic decrease in Rial rate, so all the prices in this article are out of date! Wait for new prices, please!
By Antoine Molliere