It’s fairly straightforward to sort out your Iranian visa before you arrive, you will need an authorisation code (get it here).
I got my first Iranian visa at the embassy in Istanbul; it was a simple enough procedure – I turned up with a couple of passport photos and the authorisation code, more information below, and filled in some forms. It’s recommended to bring records of your trip details: this often includes the name of at least one hotel which you could feasibly be staying at.
It is useful to have the telephone number and name of somebody within the country.
The airport immigration may make a few phone calls to validate your local contact or they may let you sail through; reports are mixed. 4) Pay the Visa Charge at the next counter, it’s around €75 for Europeans or €50 if you have an MFA Code. Patiently answer any questions about why you are visiting Iran.
It costs about 18 dollars to catch a taxi into town although a recent initiative has been launched to offer ride-shares for 10 dollars per person.
There is a subway line planned but not yet completed.
Officially British, Canadian and American tourists cannot get a visa on arrival and can only travel the country with a guide.
With visas on arrival now available for most countries, Iran is fast opening up to foreign travellers.
I’ve spent a total of three months in Iran over two trips, I’ve hitchhiked across the whole country, explored mountains and islands, deserts and forests.
I arrived into Iran overland from Turkey, hitchhiking to the Iranian border and then catching a bus on the other side.
There are long-distance bus services that will take you all the way from Tbilisi in Georgia to Tabriz in Iran and services via Armenia and Turkey as well. For backpackers without the luxury of time, the best way to get into Iran is to catch a cheap flight to Tehran.