Why You Should NOT Be Afraid To Travel To Iran

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Over the past few months, if I had gotten a dollar every time I was asked ‘but weren’t you scared’ when discussing my travels in Iran, I could probably afford to fly back there for a return trip!

I am not exaggerating.

Iran definitely has a bad reputation – one which it really doesn’t deserve.

It is an amazing country and an amazingly safe one to visit, so without further ado, here are a handful of reasons why you should NOT be afraid to visit Iran.

Iranian people are some of the friendliest and kindest people in the world

I know that people say that about people from all over the world, but when it comes to Iranian people, it is just undeniably true!

Whenever I passed school kids in Iran, they would react in one of three ways.

One – they would blush, giggle, laugh and/or smile. Two – they would shout ‘welcome to our country’. Three – they would shout out ‘we love you, we love you!’ – not a reaction I have gotten anywhere else in the world.

Just about anywhere I went I was greeted with a friendly ‘salam!’ and I was offered tea and food more than in any other country I have ever visited! It has been said that you could travel through Iran for free – relying solely on the hospitality of locals, and I believe it, without a shadow of a doubt.

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Violent crime is rare

Statistically speaking, you are significantly less likely to be the victim of violent crime than you would be in the US. The murder rate is almost about 1/6th of what it is in the US, and even when taking into consideration the fact that Iran has a population approximately 4 times smaller the US, the US still has a significantly higher murder rate per million people (39% higher to be precise) – furthermore, you are a whopping 12 times less likely to experience gun violence in Iran than you are in the US.

Wear the hijab and men will (almost always) be respectful

Apart from one dickhead wolf whistler in Shiraz (dude, no, just no) I experienced no other sexual harassment. I found men in Iran to be friendly and respectful, which is a lot more than I can say about many other places in the world!

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Iranian people love to see foreigners in their country

Iranian people aren’t thick – they know exactly how their country is portrayed through western media – so when they see foreign travellers roaming through their streets, they know that those foreigners haven’t been brainwashed by news sources that in my humble opinion, are bordering on fascist.

Basically, they can pretty safely assume that the foreigners visiting their country aren’t racist, islamophobic or assholes (I might be projecting my own opinions on that last one there) – which makes them very happy when they see such foreign visitors!

Tourism is bigger than you’d expect

Tourism isn’t big by any stretch of the imagination, but it is bigger than most people would think. There are a tonne of travel agents, comfortable boutique hotels and numerous easy to use modes of transportation – so the place is very well set up for travellers from all walks of life.

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You will feel safer in Iran than a lot of other places

As a female who travels solo the vast majority of the time, I have learned to have my guard up at all times. In some countries I would feel nervy walking around alone in the middle of the night. Hell, in some countries I would be on guard when walking through back alleyways in broad daylight!

But not in Iran.

I never once felt on edge or nervy during my travels through Iran.

Not once. Not even for a second. Not even for a millisecond!

That is pretty fricking amazing.

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…and last, but definitely not least…

IRAN IS NOTHING LIKE YOU SEE ON THE NEWS!

I feel like I made this point quite clear above, but a little reiteration never hurt!

Now go forth and fearlessly travel to Iran!

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

40 thoughts on “Why You Should NOT Be Afraid To Travel To Iran

  1. People equate the political turmoil and the adversarial relationship with the US as an indication that Iran is somehow unsafe… which is not the same! The politics are complicated, but that doesn’t make the people evil!

  2. This is wonderful. I have just read Agatha Christie’s autobiography and she travelled a lot to Iran in the 20s and 30s and loved it. Glad to note it is still a great place to visit 🙂

  3. I have heard these same comments from other travelers that have adventured in Iran. It is a shame my country, USA, is on the list of no visa’s. This is a place I would enjoy experiencing. Happy adventures.

  4. Thank you for sharing this information about this beautiful place! I have met quite a few Iranian immigrants in the US and they are lovely people. Maybe one day the warmongers will stop creating reasons for us to hate and fear one another!

  5. After reading your posts on Iran, I had an amazing experience with a Muslim woman from Saudi Arabia who inspired my most recent post, your words manifested in an afternoon I will never forget. Thank you for always sharing the good or bad equally, no matter where you go!

  6. What a beautiful post! Coming from South Africa where we are always questioned about safety I appreciate this. A country has so much to offer but its reputation gets in the way. Iran looks like a wonderful experience and I would love to see it one day x

    1. SA is one of my favourite countries! I got heavily questioned about the safety of it, but much like Iran, I found it to be much safer and much more hospitable than people give it credit for!

  7. Great post. I met an Iranian student on a flight from Qatar to Auckland recently…extremely friendly and caring guy…I had very similar thoughts about how western media and the like want us to perceive Iran and its people…garbage what we are spoonfed. There are dangerous people everywhere, and the worst ones are those who claim they are righteous…

    1. I wholeheartedly agree Graham – western media really does spew out a lot of bullshit and negativity – it certainly contributes to how much hatred there is in the world 😦

  8. Thanks for writing this. I have Never been to Iean but i met many Iranians in USA and Canada. They are really nice and friendly. I believe to really get to know a country, we have to experience it firsthand. I have received same concerns before my travel to Mexico and Colombia, but nothing is bad as the news media made out to be.

      1. I am heading over to Sogamoso tomorrow. It is three hours bus ride from Bogota and it has no tourists that is what I read, but whoever visited there just love it. It has the nation’s largest lake Lake Tota and close to Mongui, the most beautiful town in Boyaca. Hope you get to visit there when you travel to Colombia!

    1. I hate to say it Stephanie – but that fear is completely unfounded and most likely a result of exposure to biased media.

      Iran is a very safe country for all women, and having blonde hair wouldn’t make any difference. I met many other solo female travellers – many of which were young and pretty blondes – they all felt very safe and had no issues at all.

  9. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts about your time in Iran and you have definitely changed my perception of the country. It’s now a place I would consider visiting so thanks

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