Why Visiting Iran NOW is the Best Travel Decision You’ve Made!

Just as the tone of Western media has slightly shifted, visa regulations in Iran have eased and more agencies are adding Iran packages to their lists, Iran has finally come to the spotlight. After many years of isolation and too much negative media coverage, recent visitors seem to come back with a different story. One that’s in stark contrast with everything they had thought.

For years, visits to attractions meant you have the whole place to yourself. No waiting, no lines and no photobombed pictures. Today, still on certain periods of the year, small lines seem to be gradually forming behind ticket booths. Hotels are going under major renovations to reciprocate for their long abandoned and dust gathered rooms and google is finally showing some empathy in handing out the right information on Iran.

What everyone seems to be really enjoying about Iran is not necessarily the shimmering architecture or the list of word heritage sites. Today’s travellers seek exoticness. Whether it be in culture, food or people. And Iran is hitting the jackpot for now.

While everyone leaves with unforgettable memories to share back home, there’s a slight uncertainty and worry that occupies everyone’s thoughts. Will Iran be like how it was when they return? Will the features of home to us Iranians change as we tend to share it with outsiders? The answer is rather easy. No matter how professionally and delicately we handle this sudden boost of tourists, Iran will change. And it will change fast. Whether we like it or not.

So why is it important to travel to Iran now and not in 5 years?

#1 It won’t be as cheap

Iran was never dirt cheap anyway. It’s really just been the price of food and transportation that would fit it in the list of budget destinations, but the already rise of entrance fees is proving that it won’t be as affordable in years to come. The economical pressures haven’t been helping either. For years Iranians have been surviving devastating inflations and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop any time soon.

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#2 It won’t be so untouched

As more and more people talk about their experience in Iran, it’s getting more frequent to hear of places in the country even unknown to Iranians themselves. The variety in Iran is so huge that every little corner can be a new surprise. For now it takes us a trip to a less popular province to find untouched and unique places. But once everyone else knows about the secret, it won’t be so untouched, will it?

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A surreal village called Pamenar which we discovered in the province of Khuzestan.

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The view though! At Filband.

#3 You won’t go back home as a hero

Nowadays as soon as your family and friends hear of your crazy decision of going to Iran they suddenly get super conscious. They try everything in their hands to change your mind and bid you farewell as if you’re never going to return. Once you’re back, you’re the hero who has survived the war. You’re the ambitious one with wanderlust who broke the conventions. All the cool kids in the block want to be your friend. You’ve proven yourself well and you’ve made them proud. But let’s fast forward to a few years later when perhaps Iran will be just another India. It sounds all fascinating, but people are just going to wish you luck and perhaps ask for some cheap saffron for souvenir. There won’t be any pressure, no convincing and no worries but no one will be waiting for you with flower crowns once you’re back home.

#4 It won’t be so exotic

I don’t think any tourist leaves Iran without a picture with a woman in chador. Somehow they all want to prove that they got to see the women in ‘Not without my daughter’, took a picture with her and it was actually fine. But soon enough, your new profile picture with a woman in hijab or with the Imam mosque as the backdrop won’t be getting as many oohs and aahs. Perhaps it’s a bit exaggerating to say it will be another Eiffel tower picture, but it’s definitely not going to receive all the attention.

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Sipping on tea with Arabic rituals in a Mozif. Can it get any more exotic???

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At Shuhtar’s historical hydraulic system which seems more like a Game of Thrones movie set!

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Checking into our rooms at the Caravanserai in the middle of nowhere!

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Visiting a Zoorkhaneh in Yazd!

#5 The famous hospitality might have faded

These days it’s typical that if you’ve got the social skills, you’ll probably get invited to dinners out of nowhere. Free tea is offered as if they were samples and Iranians treat you like you’re a superstar. But once everywhere is flooded with tourists, chances your ticket to Iran with come with a VIP card won’t be that high. The long lived culture of hospitality will obviously continue to exist, you just won’t be the shiny star anymore.

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Spoilt in Khuzestan!

You need to get to Iran NOW. Before it gets over crowded, over explored. Before modernization takes away the authenticity and before the sweet taste of money makes you look like cash rather than a guest before the local eye. Before too many street vendors push you into buying cheap Chinese replicas of national monuments and before we get warnings of pickpocketing in public transportation.

You just need to visit Iran now! Before everyone else does.

This post was originally written by myself for Marcopolo Iran Touring Company

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  • Patrick Duclos

    Your last point is something I had thought about recently and it’s one which makes me feel (along with your first and second points) like Iran as a destination will slip away from my hands in the coming years. I can’t go NOW because my personal finances don’t allow me to go pretty much anywhere. Assuming that this will change in the future, I’m afraid that your “predictions” will probably already be a reality by then. I understand your point and I share it from a distance! As for your point #3…well, I can only roll my eyes thinking that some people travel only to brag about it after; as far as I’m concerned these aren’t a) real tourists and b) people I would NOT like to hang around with! And point #4 talks about “exoticness”, but that is only reflected in someone’s ignorance, so I’m not sure that will fade as quickly and “ruin” the “Iran Experience”. The world’s a big place and has no lack of surprises; they can even be found wherever you are! 🙂

    Keep on posting! Always interesting to read what you have to say!

    Khodafez Matin jaan!

    • I do really hope you make it to here as soon as possible. Hopefully by then Canadians will be able to enjoy it freely and without limitations. 😉

  • I’ve been interested in visiting Iran for a long time. I had some Persian friends when I lived in Sweden, and I’ve heard so much about the hospitality of Iranian people. This is the thing I’m more scared that might change fast, the hospitality of people.
    Thanks for sharing Matin 🙂

    • I think Iranian hospitality is so deeply routed within the culture that won’t fade away that easily. However it could change into a different manner. 😉

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