You want to travel to Iran? Are you crazy? Why are you willing to visit Iran? Inevitable questions when you tell someone Persia is your next destination. Obviously I had no clue either about what to expect and which kind of things to do in Iran. The Western orientated media always shows you the negative side about this country and I wanted to find out myself what it was like. On the internet I saw some cool places to visit in Iran, which made me eager to explore it myself.
There a lot of influences that make you decide what you are going to do and where you are going. Plans change constantly while travelling! Unfortunately I got pretty sick in Esfahan, which made me stay there a couple nights longer. New years eve was coming closer and I wanted to spend that night with friends in Dubai, so I only had a couple days left. Where to go? Was it gonna be Shiraz or Yazd?
In a country without any bars and where alcohol is forbidden it is still pretty easy to find a little party and get drunk! ‘In Iran everything is possible’ is what the locals say. You just gotta have some good leads!
Is it Esfahan or Isfahan? I asked around in town and got different answers. But however it’s spelled it’s a famous city with a history that goes back a long time. Esfahan is Iran’s number 1 tourist destination and I was about to find out why.
The moment you enter Esfahan you immediately see why this city has way more appeal than any other Iranian city. It simply feels a bit more organized with its long tree-lined boulevard and it doesn’t seem to be as chaotic as other cities.
There are a couple essential criteria, which make a city a perfect stop for travellers. Obviously there must be some top sights that lure you in the first place. Second vital thing is fairly priced accommodation options and third a laid-back city vibe. In Kashan I found it all!
On our second day I travelled down South to the city of Qom. It’s not in everyone’s itinerary as the fast growing city is not really appealing. Though I think you should consider a stop here and head to the Hazrat-e Masumeh. I am still not really sure what it exactly is, but the guidebooks say it’s a shrine.
Arriving in Tehran started with a horrific taxi ride from the international airport to the city center. I was offered a pick-up from the hostel in Tehran and looking back I was glad I paid the €25. I have seen bad traffic, lack of respect and crazy things happening on the road throughout Asia, but Iran will definitely end up high in a list of insane traffic around the world.
Choosing my next destination was fairly easy as Iran was on my bucketlist for a long time. To be honest Dubai or Abu Dhabi is not a real Middle East experience anymore so I was excited to find it Iran. The fact though that most countries in this region have strict visa policies was always holding me back, but then I read about the visa on arrival in Iran and I immediately made up my mind to travel to this Islamic Republic.
Excitement is still the keyword for expressing my feelings at the moment. I’m on board the Emirates flight from Dubai to Tehran, the capital of Iran. First of all I am excited to visit a new country, which will be number 76 on my long list.