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Frequently Asked Questions
Iran is an amazing country in the Middle East with most of its population believed to be Muslim. This is the land of one of the most important civilizations in the world, the Persian Empire which dates back to 4200 BC with the Susa Civilization. In 322 BC Alexander the Great took charge of this area and begin a ruling through Dynasties. Between 651 C.E. and 750 C.E, the Persian civilization and the Islamic Empire started to govern Iran in a joint agreement. However, by 1979 the Islamic Revolution happened and Iran was declared the Islamic Republic we know today. Although the Muslim religion might not seems as open as other religions, Iranians are very friendly to foreigners and tourists. You should visit Iran soon but check on the new entry requirements such as the Health Declaration Form. Due to the spread of COVID-19, Iran as many other countries around the world is handling this issue by demanding medical forms for international visitors. We will explain the most important places to visit in Iran, as well as the guidelines to enter the country safely.
From the Persian period, Persepolis is the most well-known archaeological site in Iran. This massive construction is based on an eclectic architecture that showed the power of the Persian domain and it was built during the 6th century BC. The kings Darius, Xerxes, and Antexerxes were in charge of this unique site. The Persian empire was one of the largest ancient civilizations in the world, going from Eastern Europe to India. For this reason, Persopolis is a great piece of history for humanity. This powerful civilization came to an end with Alexander the Great, who after his conquest, burnt down Persepolis, leaving the remains we know today.
One of the most popular attractions in Iran is Esfahan. This city has seen kings, sultans, and Muslin caliphs pass through. Walking around the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can view mosques and fabulous palaces. We are sure you will visit Tehran, Iran’s capital, where you will see the contrast between modern landscapes with ancient historical monuments. You must go to the Grand Bazaar and the National Museum which will give you the perfect combination between lively culture and history. Tabriz is another site worth the visit, especially if you like shopping. This is the place to purchase the famous Persian carpets and enjoy some teahouse hammams. According to the Bible, Tabriz’s location is where paradise begins. Besides, Shiraz is an important place for poetry and wine. Vineyards are famous in this area and this is a site for pilgrimage as several mosques are placed around the city. Also, the lovely gardens make it perfect for a romantic gateway. Furthermore, Mashhad is a sacred city for Iran and the second-largest in the country. Here you get to visit incredible religious complexes, but be sure to not travel during Muslim holidays as the city will be packed. Still, it is worth a visit to get some carpets and saffron.
Another precious destination is Chogha Zanbil which dates back to the 13th century. This is the first Iranian site in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The unique architecture made out of bricks with cuneiform inscriptions attracts history saviors and international archaeologists. Another historical monument is Babak Castle which sits on top of a mountain with a height of 2,300-2,600 meters with no visible path to reach it. Once the home of a Khurramite leader, if you want to visit this site you are into a great challenge but worth it.
Apart from history and religion, Iran also offers natural sites for tourists like the Valley of the Stars. Located in Qeshm Island, this unique place shows incredible gorges and canyons shaped through centuries by erosion. If you start walking around this area, you will see the majestic atmosphere. Another beautiful sight is the Anzali Lagoon that offers a great experience through birdwatching and the lotuses emerging through the water.
Iran is an Islamic country which means they have very specific rules for their lifestyle. Religion is extremely important and Muslims pray three times every day. Don’t feel bad if a prayer interrupts your meeting with an Iranian, this is very common. Friday is a holy day so expect businesses to be closed that day and even Thursdays. Plan your visit around the other days of the week. Family is very important for Iranians but you should be careful not to ask questions about someone’s wife or female relatives, as this could be taken as disrespect. In general terms, men and women socialize separately and it is not well seen if women show physical affection in public. Even smiling in public to a person from the opposite gender could be grounds of disrespect. Still, don’t take this as people being too serious it is just part of their religion. When meeting someone saying the word ‘salaam’ which means ‘peace’ is polite. Also, punctuality is a must and in general, attire should be conservative. As well, don’t confuse Persians with Arabs, these are two different cultures and it remains important for Iranians.
We have displayed the most memorable sites around Iran but there is plenty more to explore. As we explained, Iran gathers so many great ancient civilizations and a mixture of beliefs that make every city a melting pot of cultural heritage. Currently, Iran and the world is going through a pandemic that has left us with most frontiers closed. Still, iVisa.com works closely to bring you the latest updates for your travel documents, as we believe your desire to visit new places shouldn’t stop. If you are set to visit Iran, then you need to follow the new health guidelines that are a direct response to COVID-19 spread. This involves getting a Health Declaration Form that should be done before arrival to Iran. This declaration includes a COVID-19 molecular test that should be performed a maximum of 96 hours before arrival and have a negative result to get your Iran’s entry. As well, once you have clearance to enter Iran you must undertake a 14-day self-isolation period. The Medical Form will also require your contact details because the Iranian government needs to keep strict control of all visitors. Remember that all these procedures have the objective to preserve your safety and keep the coronavirus pandemic controlled in Iran. After you comply with all these rules, you can visit Iran freely and continue your journey through this fantastic country. Continue by applying to your Health Declaration Form with iVisa.com as Iran is waiting for you.