Backpacking In Tehran

in Iran

Iran’s turbulent political past and present is often what foreigners focus on, and is what makes many travelers overlook visiting the country. Although it may require a bit more work and effort to go backpacking in Iran than to most other countries, it is well worth the extra bit of work.

Visa

Obtaining a visa to Iran may be considered one of the hardest steps in your trip. The United States government and the Iranian government do not have diplomatic relations each other, so the United States cannot take responsibility of its citizens who travel to Iran. The Swiss embassy in Tehran has agreed to help American citizens, so be sure to inform them of your travel plans to Iran.
In order to obtain a visa, the United States State Department directs US citizens to contact the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy, since there is no Iranian Embassy in Washington. Keep in mind that those who have a stamp from Israel in their passport, or are applying for a visa with an Israeli passport, will be denied a visa.

Dress Code

Once you get a visa, the rest of your planning and traveling will be smoother sailing. Once you pass into Iranian airspace and territory, what you wear is important. Although Tehran is one of the most progressive cities in Iran, a dress code is still followed and adhered to. This is equally as important for men as it is for women. It is taboo and considered unacceptable for men to wear shorts and short sleeve shirts in public. Doing so will draw much unwanted attention and may cause some trouble with Iranian authorities.

golestan palace

The dress code for women traveling to Iran is to cover up. Women should cover their hair, legs, and arms, and dress conservatively while in public. They should also avoid tight clothing and shirts should be long. Just pay attention to what the locals are generally wearing, and if you loosely follow their example you should be good to go.

Golestan Palace

The Golestan Palace, (meaning Palace of Flowers), served as the residence of several shahs of Iran. Parts of the palace are about 400 years old, and it has been frequently renovated and restored to bring it to its current state as the oldest historic monument in Tehran.

From 1925 to 1945, many of the palace buildings were destroyed on the orders of Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty, because he believed that the centuries old aspect of the palace should not hinder the expansion of the modern city of Tehran. Despite this, the Golestan Palace and gardens have been turned into a museum depicting the lavish history of Iranian royals.

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