Tips for Tourists
Its Better Don’t show public displays of affection
That means no kissing, hugging, or putting your arm around your loved one in public. While holding hands is sometimes seen, it’s not common.
Its Better Don’t bring or drink alcohol
Alcohol is forbidden in Iran, don’t try to bring it into the country. And for the duration of your stay, there’s no drinking in public.
Its Better Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet
A self-explanatory one, but the toilet paper is pretty thick and will quickly get stuck in the pipes. Unless you want to risk an overflowing toilet, you must throw the toilet paper in the wastebasket.
Its Better Don’t shake hands with members of the opposite sex in public
While some people may return a lukewarm handshake so as not to offend you, others won’t be so considerate, which can result in some major embarrassment. Exchange greetings, but keep your hands to your side. If you’re taking pictures with an Iranian of the opposite gender, don’t put your arm around them.
Its Better Don’t wear shoes indoors
If someone invites you to their home, make sure you take your shoes off before entering. Iranians wear house slippers indoors and are sure to offer you a pair too. You’re welcome to take them or decline and walk around barefoot or in socks.
Its Better Don’t take photos of government buildings
This one is taken very seriously and one you don’t want to break. Keep your camera out of sight around government buildings, military sites, or any other place where you see a “no photography” sign.
Its Better Don’t give the thumbs up
Most Iranians are aware of the positive meaning of thumbs up in many other countries, and foreigners are usually given the benefit of the doubt, especially if it’s given with a smile. But to be on the safe side, don’t give the thumbs up.
Its Better Don’t blow your nose around company
Blowing your nose in front of a group of people is considered rude. Take a minute to excuse yourself and head to the bathroom.
Its Better Don’t take photos of people
Most Iranians won’t appreciate it if you sneak a picture of them, mostly because they don’t want to end up unwillingly on social media. In some establishments, you may even be politely requested not to take a picture as a courtesy to other guests. But if you really want a snapshot, just ask for permission first.
Its Better Don’t ride in an unmarked taxi
In theory, any car can be a taxi in Iran, and it’s normal for Iranians to hitch a ride in unofficial taxis. As a visitor, take only marked taxis, and if you get one off the street, be sure to negotiate the price before you get in. In Tehran or Shiraz, if you’re using a ride-sharing app like Snapp or Tap30, you’ll be fine as the driver’s information is all listed.