For all our trip in Iran we hired a private driver which resulted to be also an excellent guide. We practically did about 3000 kilometers in 8 days.
The driver cost was 85€ per day and he has been worth every cent.
His name is Ali and his email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Road Trip
Airport is new but definity small, probbaly other terminals will be built in the future. It is about 60 kilometers from the city.
Be ready for long and slow lines at passport check, they are really slow, we spent there more than one hour with no more than 20 people before us.
Taxi from the airport to the city center is about 30€.
Getting around some parts of Tehran is fast and convenient, if it is an area served by the metro. There are only two lines so far (2008) and I have heard that more lines will be added in the future... works for some are already being on their way. Thumbs up.
I found the metro efficient, clean, safe and - the first day I took it, free as well. It was the first day of Norooz, the Iranian New Year, and at the ticket office we were told that no one had to pay. Somehow this metro rminded me of the metro in Moscow: every station I travelled to had its beautiful art piece for people to admire. Beautiful art, actually. Thumbs up a second time.
Train, Mashhad - Tehran
Train leaves Tehran to Mashhad 12 times in a day & vise versa.
~6:45 am to ~22:50 (it's not constant for every day)
Best one is Ghazal trains costs 215,000 IR, 12hours.
& Sabz Trains costs 199,500 IR, 12hours.
Pardis Trains leves every morning 6:45, costs 197,000 IR, 7:30hours.
in the year 2007/86
Mashhad Railway Station located at head of Azadi st. north of Imam Reza Shrine
Main stops are Neyshapor, Shahrod & Semnan
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
The Metro is a very modern network connecting the whole of Tehran along 3 lines. Tickets are easy to buy at the ticket window and you’re off. You can buy tickets for single round trips, 10 journeys and 1,3 and 7 days. Trains start running at 5:30 am and close at 11pm. The trains run every 2 to 10 minutes depending on peak periods. The stations and platforms are clean and modern. The first trains only started running in 1999. Its nice and cool down here so you can escape the heat, move around quickly and the prices are very cheap. Enjoy.
The signs for the Metro are bright yellow (pictured) and look like a picture of a car window.
METRO FOR WOMEN
Ladies please make sure you read this. The Metro is segregated. You must ride in the train cars marked for women. Small children can go with you, but young boys ride in the Men’s cars. These cars get very packed, but do not attempt to ride in the Men’s cars. That’s is a big no-no. If you haven’t guessed yet, the Women’s cars are the ones at the very back. I don’t make the rules, just report on them.
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Flying Heathrow to Imam Khomeini Tehran
My flight was booked through Persian Voyages, who were my travel company. I had to pay for the flight separately (£420), which was then deducted from the cost of my tour.
Flights are Tuesday/ Thurs/Sat and Sundays from Heathrow T3
I flew with Iranair - I understand British Airways also fly this route. I've since found that there are now direct flights from Manchester (Which will be more convenient for me, when I decide to go to Iran in the future)
Waiting to board my flight at 17.15, I was aware that I was possibly the only English passenger. I wasn't sure whether I should be wearing my hejab. I'd bought a black cotton scarf in my hand luggage. ( I'd understood that I only needed to put it on before leaving the plane), but as every female had their hair covered, I followed suit.
Looking back now, I'm laughing at how afraid I was not to show any hair. (It wasn't too long into my trip that I learnt that black scarves are considered a bit of a 'No - No' too - a bit too fundamental!).
The flight was quite interesting, though I did feel quite conspicuous, I'm not used to being stared at by so many people, something that I got used to by the end of my trip.
I tried communicating with my neighbour, but her English was as good as my Farsi!
Entertainment was an Iranian film - a Kramer v Kramer type story.
My meal was quite tasty - Kebab and Rice - Great I thought, - one of Iran's typical meals! - Little did I realise how quickly I would get bored with this dish, particularly when eating it some days for my lunch AND Evening meal!
Getting ready to land, I felt a bit apprehensive - please don't let my scarf fall off!, mentally checking that I hadn't got anything unsuitable in my luggage - I hadn't even dared bring a magazine with me, as I couldn't find any with a 'suitable' cover' etc etc.
At passport control, there were separate lines for men and women, and nationals and foreigners. Unsurprisingly, I joined the shortest queue, and didn't have to wait too long, before it was my turn.
My passport/Visa was checked briefly, and returned with a smile and a 'Thank You'! I didn't have to wait long for my luggage, I was surprised at how easy this had been, and how 'non - threatening' .
I was straight out into the Arrivals Hall, (which was crowded), and luckily spotted my guide holding up a card with my name.
We had a bit of a wait, as we had to queue for the lift to the car park, but eventually we found our driver, and we were speeding off towards Tehran. I was enjoying the sights, and that I had arrived in another new place in the early hours. (I love arriving in new places, when it's still dark)
My return journey was an early morning flight, Majid had collected me from my hotel around 0500, and had thoughtfully brought a flask of tea for me! He also did a detour to the Azadi Tower, Tehrans landmark monument, as I hadn't had chance to see it during my trip.
This time, I was seated next to a young woman (who spoke English) and her 18 month old son (who was adorable - and I don't usually like to be sat near babies! (pic 3 )
I had been feeling quite sorry for myself, having a long coach journey from Heathrow to Sheffield after this flight. She was having to connect with a flight to Canada, then had a car journey!!!!!I didn't envy her, especially having luggage and a pushchair.
Address -No.221,Second Floor, Public Relations, Support Services BLd., IranAir H.Q. ,Mehrabad Airport, Tehran, Iran
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Trans Asia Express to Istanbul
I took this train to Istanbul. It cost me IR689 000 (Nov 2008). It was a nightmare to buy the tickets. Only selected travel agents (how would I know which one ???) sell the tickets. I went to 3 travel agencies in Tehran but all three didn't sell the tickets. I went to Tehran Rah Ahan (R'way station), but they only sell the ticket on the departure date (how if the ticket sold out ???). Finally, after searching at another 3 travel agencies in Esfahan, and almost give up, I found an agency who sell the tickets. And yet (what a bad luck !!!), the server was down, and after waiting for 2 hours at the agency and still no tickets, they told us that they will send the tickets to our hotel (extra payment for the svc of course). Luckily, we got it when we reached our hotel. The journey took 69 hours (10 hours late) but the Iranian train was more comfortable compared to the Turkish train, and also a lot faster. Even though I had to go through lots of hassles to get the tickets, and even though it was a long slow journey, I didn't regret it at all. The view from Mus to Elazig and Malatya (Turkey) was unforgetable.
- Budget Travel
Train from Qazvin to Tehren
I took a morning train at 9am from Qazvin to Tehreh. The trip was 2 hours, whilst bus may take up to 3 hours. It was 2nd class and costs IR6,000 (May 08). The train is double deck and it is like the communter trains in other countires. It is comfortable with air-con.
Taxi fare from Hotel Iran to Qazvin to train station (2KM) costs IR10,000 (May 2008), although it could be cheaper.
Upon arrival in Tehren train station, a taxi to Fedosi St, Bank melli area costs IR25,000-30,000 (May 2008).
Air Iran from Tehren to Kerman
1st day arrival early morning at Tehren, I went to Air2000 travel agent at 9am. Thinking to fly to Ahvas, but seats full for next 2 days. Then I had to reorganise my travel itinerary for the next 14 days by starting out at Kerman, and that's is, there was a seat to Kerman from Tehren at 3:30pm. So I took it and just spent few hours in Tehren before heading to domestic airport.
Air ticket is IR457,000 (May 2008). Taxi costs IR40,000 (May 2008) from Ferdesi square to domestic airport.
See more pics for the snack you can expect from Iran Air.
Train- From Tehren to Zanjan
I took the first class train from Tehren to Zanjan. It tooks about 3:40 hours. The depature for the train I took was 6:10am. It is nice and very comfortable. It even serves free breakfast, see more pics. But the cost is IR37,000 (May 2008), compared to usual IR11,000 in 2nd class.
Train - From Esfahan to Tehren
I took overnight sleeper in 6 pax compartment from Esfanhan to Tehren, the other direction is available. It cost IR55,000. The train departed from 21:40pm and arrived at Tehren 5:00am. It is smoke free so it is quite comfortable.
There are 3 level in each side. I shared with 5 other men and they let me chose for which level. I chose the top level. The train serviceman provided clean bedsheet and blanket sheet and blanket is available in inidivudal carrying bag.
I observed that the Iranian people, even men, are well disciplined and tidy. They put up their bedsheet nicely and unpacked the blanket. At about 4:00am, when the train made announcement, they all woke up and folded the blanket nicely back to the inidividual carrying bag. Then folded 2 bedsheets nicely and put back to the plastic bag provided and returned back to the train servicemen. How could I not follow??
Taxi- Tehren city to IKA airport
If you choose to ask for your hotel to arrange a taxi to IKA, the price will be IR150,000 to IR200,000, depending how much the hotel eats in the commission. If you call airport taxi (see business card attached), it will be IR150,000, same as what one will pay from IKA to city. But this is a difference. Hotel arranged taxi is the "white" color one, meaning, old, ncomfortable, and can't go fast on highway. The airport taxi is the "yellow" one which is newer and faster and comfortable. The choice is yours.
Taxi- IKA to Tehren City centre
The IKIA (Imam Khomeini International Airport) is located around 35km from the city center. The taxi outside the arrival hall operates as cartel such that the taxi fare is standard among any taxi you try to approach. It costs IR150,000 (May 08). If you approach taxi outside the queue, other taxi drviers will shout and at the end, you still go back to the taxi you are directed.
tehran two airports
We flew to Tehran by Alitalia (a totally irrelevant fact) early in the morning, and the same day in the early evening we had an Iran Air flight to Yazd. International flights land at Imam Khomeini Airport, about 45-90 minutes from the city centre (intending for it the Golestan Palace) depending on the traffic.
Domestic flights leave from Merhabad Airport, which by taxi is about 20-40 minutes from the Golestan Palace. Note that the two airports are no-way near each other, nor are they linked - making it impossible to catch any connecting flight, unless it is roughly 5-6 hours later from the moment you land. All in all, it's best to spend one day in Tehran before taking off to your next destination.