Iran is remembered as one of the safest countries among tourists who have experienced traveling to Iran before. Iran is a fairly safe country, and its people are really warm and friendly to foreigners; they are voluntarily ready to help you in any probable difficulty. Now, try to ignore wrong preconceptions about Iran’s atmosphere and safety, and take the routine precautions (which should be observed in all countries, even the safest ones) to experience a memorable tripe in Iran.
Safe and safer:
The safety in Iran is acceptable, even for cyclists and backpackers. However, it does not mean that travelers can put aside usual precautions. Some considerable notes will be provided for you. Follow them for a safer trip.
- Some crimes like theft and pickpocketing are common almost all around the world, and Iran is no exception (although they rarely happen in Iran). You will be safe if observing the simple precautions for instance:
- Keep your valuables (like your passport, camera, or money) with you everywhere.
- Watch out for your precious objects in crowded places including buses, bazaars, and metro.
- Due to the tirelessly effort of Iranian police officers and military forces, no serious problem in term of safety exists in Iran. The police are kind to foreigners, and no way do they hassle them.
Note: there are some booths or kiosks in some cities such as Shiraz and Mashhad in which the tourist polices exist. They are there to help the tourists solve their problems or answer their questions.
In some situations, the police may ask you to show your passport. First be sure they are genuine, then, cooperate with them by showing your passport.
A tip: to make sure they are genuine, you can respectfully ask them to show you their ID card.
Note: try to have some photocopies of your passport and Iranian visa with you everywhere. When you do not have your passport with you (for instance, when you have just left it in your hotel for inspector checking), they will come in handy.
Take care about taking photos of military areas or governmental installations. There are many sensitive areas (for example Iran’s borders, Tehran metro stations, military facilities, harbors, etc.) that photographing them is strictly forbidden. If you unintentionally take photo of them and triggered the attention of the police, stay calm and immediately apologize; emphasize that you are a tourist, and explain that you did not take them on purpose; do not argue under any circumstances in these situations.
Note: It is strongly advised to avoid travelling:
- Within 80 Km of the Iran-Afghanistan and Iran-Pakistan border.
- Within 15 Km of the Iran-Iraq border.
Emergency services, such as police control and Ambulance services, are extensive in Iran. Try to keep their numbers in your mind:
Police control center: 110 (there exist English-speaking operators)
Fire and rescue team: 112 (there may be English-speaking operators)
Health related issues:
Safety is not only defined only as Life-safety. Some other aspects such as health and money are also important.
- Tap water is completely safe to drink in the whole country. However, in some provinces (like Yazd, Qom, Boushehr, and Hormozgan) some impurity is found in it, and it may be a little tasty. ‘Ab-e Madani’ (bottled mineral water), however, is widely available in sites, kiosks, shops, etc. You can use them when you are not sure about the safety of tap water.
Note: water coolers are provided in many streets and sites. They supply cold drinking water.
- What puts you most likely in danger in Iran is crossing the streets! Unfortunately, driving in Iran is unpredictable and almost no one pays any attention to crossing rules. It is recommended to cross the street like Iranian people (pay attention to them, and act exactly like them) or ask one of them to pass the street with you. In such cases, be sure you are far from the approaching traffic. You can pass through the safe footbridges, either.