The way the media across the world has painted the picture of Iran is not the real Iran. Let me tell you as the native of this country: it’s all wrong. I want to show you a fresh new view of Iran, in case you would like to travel there next time. So, read this and book your ticket!
#1. First of all, Iran is not a desert. It’s not Saudi Arabia nor Iraq. It’s simply a country with a dynamic capital city of Tehran. The population speaks Farsi, of course with some knowledge of Arabic and even better knowledge of English.
#2. Did someone just ask if they are riding camels in Tehran?
#3. No tents! There is a big city life in some cities like Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz… they live in apartments and villas, even luxurious ones.
#4. You don’t need to spend your night in a tent either. There are perfect hotels from 5-star ones to even small hostels for tourists. Actually Iranian people have a very high hospitality level that is embedded in their culture. You can try to find a friend there and spend the night in an Iranian household. Mostly they know English on at least a beginner level, or higher.
#5. Hungry? Aside from the traditional dishes, there is a variety of Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other European restaurants in Tehran.
#6. People? The young generation is really modern and adores fashion. They follow the European fashion trends very closely.
#7. As a country with a high population — 75 million — there are many different kinds of people out there. There is a variety of beliefs and religious point of view present. Some people really stand out against the crowd:
Some like to be different like this:
#8.YES, NO CLUBS IN IRAN, but people still party hard. Tehran is a city where underground parties are booming. Some underground house parties are as sophisticated as western clubs. There is everything present: DJ’s, flash-lights, pools, etc.
#9. Iran is a country with four climate zones, where you can go skiing :
#10. The seaside is also astonishing. You can relax or swim here. Ladies, you can swim in bikinies on private beaches such as your friend’s villa or where you are staying (not hotels!). In public beahces, you need to follow the Islamic rules — I don’t think anyone enjoys swimming with a scarf on…
#11. Try camping in different places in a beautiful four-season country of Iran.
#12. If you are interested in historical places, Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC.
#13. Architectural buildings and mosques are other places you shouldn’t miss while visitng Iran:
#14. Nowruz marks the first day of spring, Iranian new year which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. The moment sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and families gather together to observe the rituals.
#15. Wildlife of Iran is astonishing. Don’t forget about the Persian tigers at the local zoo!
#16. Want to buy some clothes or just have a shopping tour? Go right ahead.
#17. There are magical arts, paintings and sculptures reminiscent of ancient Persian Kingdom.
#18. Don’t forget to treat yourself with some pistachios!
#19. Traditional restaurants need to be your must-visit:
#20. Oh, also, do you like shisha?
#21. Drinks? Well, Alcohol is not allowed by law, but there are some people called “SAGHI” who can get you some booze for your private use. Iranians who like to drink just give them a call and the illegal stuff is right at your door. But don’t get carried away: it’s still illegal!
I couldn’t have put it more eloquently than the Humans of New York photographer and author who traveled to Tehran to create his Humans of Iran series: “The country is beautiful, the history is rich, and the people are eager to demonstrate their almost-sacred commitment to hospitality. Americans are especially loved. This was noted in every travel account that I read, and I can confirm the fact. You will be smiled at, waved at, invited to meals, and asked to deliver personal messages to Jennifer Lopez. American music, movies, and media are thoroughly consumed by the people of Iran. Like all countries, there are many different viewpoints, but the vast majority of people will associate you with a culture they admire and respect.
Iran’s government is not its people. You can greatly enjoy a country while at the same time disagreeing with its government. Travel is not advocacy of ideology or policy. Travel is travel, and it’s the single greatest contributor to understanding between cultures.”
These are just a few facts out of thousands that you need to know about the country that is being largely portraited wrong in the mainstream media. Iran has much more to offer than you might have given it credit for.
Have fun during your travels and KHOSH BEGZARE!