If you’ve ever wondered if you should travel to Iran, the answer is YES! This historic and breathtaking country should definitely be on your travel bucket list. There are plenty of things to see and do in Iran and foreign tourists will invariably receive a warm and friendly welcome from locals. You’ll be greeted by smiling faces everywhere you turn, making your trip even more memorable.

Marvel at Iran’s majestic architecture, which is world-renowned and UNESCO recognized. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll fall in love with its amazing cuisine filled with exotic tastes your taste buds will adore. You’ll want to bring home all of its whimsical and delightful crafts that each province is known for, to remember for all time. Iran one of the world’s oldest civilizations, so emerges yourself in all the history that surrounds you since Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations.

Iran is ethnically and culturally diverse, with each city and province having its own unique culture, cuisine, language, dress and music. But it’s the country’s natural beauty that will leave you with beautiful memories. Iran is actually thought of as a desert country, but there are also lush green forests with plunging waterfalls, plenty of hot springs and more. Despite what you’ve been told or what you read in the media, it’s perfectly safe to travel to Iran. The country is welcoming and wonderful and deserves a trip at least once in your lifetime. So if you’re thinking of finally booking a trip to Iran,

nature of Iran

Iran’s nature| Photo by Farzad Mohsenvand on Unsplash

here are a few things you’ll want to know before planning the trip:

Generally, Traveling to Iran Requires a Visa

If you plan on traveling to Iran, you’ll need a visa to visit. You can obtain one from one of the Iranian diplomatic missions. However, if you from a country on their exempt country list, you can enter the country without one. Also, some countries are also eligible for an Iran visa on arrival, which means you can apply for a visa as soon as you land in Iran. secure your visa with only 19 EUR. Although a visa upon arrival is easier than having to go to the country’s embassy in your home, it is also risky since you might not be granted a visa and therefore can’t enter the country. However, obtaining an Iran visa this way is actually one of the easiest ways to visit the country if you are from the list of countries allowed to do this.

visa to Iran

Iran visa

What Nationalities Can Enter Iran without a Visa?

So now that you know you can enter Iran with a visa upon arrival or no visa at all, you might be wondering what countries are allowed to do this. Citizens of the following countries can visit Iran visa-free:

  • Armenia for 90 days within 180 days of each visit
  • Azerbaijan for 30 days
  • Bolivia for 30 days
  • Egypt for 30 days
  • Georgia for 45 days
  • Lebanon for 30 days
  • Malaysia for 15 days
  • Oman for 30 days
  • Syria for 90 days within 180 days of each visit (but only if arriving by air straight from Damascus)
  • Turkey for 90 days
  • Venezuela for 15 days

Iran visa

What’s the Process for Visa-Free Nationals?

If you hail from a visa-free country, all you need is a valid passport from your country of origin. However, it must not have a stamp from a visit to Israel (or exit stamps at the relevant Egyptian or Jordanian border crossings into Israel). If you do have one, you won’t be allowed in the country. This is because the Iranian government might think you’re a spy or work the media.

Do Visa-Free Nationals Need Insurance to Enter Iran?

If you hail from a visa-free country, you do not need to get insurance to enter Iran. You will need it if you are going to get a visa on arrival or go the traditional route of securing a visa at an Iranian embassy near you.

Are There Any Visa-Free Zones in Iran?

There are a few free trade zones in Iran, which are a subgroup of special zones that have their own customs regulations, many of which having advantages for trade. These zones are positioned on Iran borders and are authentic locations with their own attractions. These regions are ideal for travelers since you don’t need a visa for entry unless you’re on their no-country list. Free zones in Iran include:

  • Kish Island
  • Qeshm
  • Chabahar
  • Aras
  • Anzali
  • Arvand
  • Maku
Iran free zones

Free zones of Iran| Photo by Iran parter

Kish Island is one of the world’s most beautiful islands and is a highly visited vacation destination in the Middle East. Qeshm is the biggest island in the Persian Gulf region and is also a gorgeous vacation destination for many. Accessing Kish and Qeshm is easy given many international airports to offer frequent flights to the islands, while the other free zones are best accessible by land. You can enter these zones for stays up to 14 days. But it’s good to know that if you exit these free zones, you’ll need a visa.

If you are not eligible for visa-free…

If you’re not on the visa-free list of countries, you can still visit Iran using a visa upon arrival, which you can get at numerous airports in the country. But you’ll have to apply for it before you land electronically and bring certain paperwork to get approved. However, a visa on arrival will not be given to citizens from the following countries and they must obtain a visa in advance through a travel agency like 1stQuest: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, United Kingdom, United States, India, Israel

Passport holders from the list must get an Iranian visa at an embassy or consulate, or get their Iran visa online through 1stQuest.  before they arrive in Iran or they won’t be granted access into the country. However, those from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada must have a government-approved guide with them at all times since independent travel has been banned for these citizens due to the closure of Iranian foreign missions. Here is a complete guide for applying for Iran visa: A Start-To-Finish Guide to Fill out Iran Visa Application Form

Iran visa

Iran visa

Traveling to Iran might take a bit of work if you’re not from a country on their visa-free list. However, even if you can’t obtain a visa on arrival, you can still apply for a visa to make your dream trip to Iran a reality. Don’t let the process scare you because it’s not complicated at all. The process is actually only time-consuming. The entire process can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to complete, which means you’ll need to allow yourself plenty of time before you book any trip or make arrangements to visit Iran. You’ll also have to factor in cost since it does cost money to obtain an Iranian visa. Iranian visas require a two-step process and it will differ depending on your nationality. Here you can get more information about Iran visa requirements: What are Iran visa requirements?

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