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Name: Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Location: Isfahan, Iran
Naqsh-e Jahan Square, is a square situated at the center of Isfahan, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is 160 metres wide by 560 metres long. The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and at the northern side Qeysarie Gate opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today, Namaaz-e Jom'eh (the Muslim Friday prayer) is held in the Shah Mosque.

In 1598, when Shah Abbas decided to move the capital of his empire from the north-western city of Qazvin to the central city of Isfahan, he initiated what would become one of the greatest programmes in Persian history; the complete remaking of the city. The chief architect of this colossal task of urban planning was Shaykh Baha, who focused the programme on two key features of Shah Abbas's master plan: the Chahar Bagh avenue and the Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naqsh-e_Jahan_Square
Name: Allahverdi Khan Bridge
Location: Isfahan, Iran
The Allahverdi Khan Bridge, popularly known as Si-o-se-pol, is the largest of the eleven historical bridges on the Zayanderud, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau, in Isfahan, Iran. The bridge was built in the early 17th century to serve as both a bridge and a dam. It is a popular recreational gathering place, and is one of the most famous examples of Iran's Safavid architecture.

Si-o-se-pol was built between 1599 and 1602, under the reign of Abbas I, the fifth Safavid king (shah) of Iran. It was constructed under the supervision of Allahverdi Khan Undiladze, the commander-in-chief of the armies, who was of Georgian origin, and was also named after him. The bridge served particularly as a connection between the mansions of the elite, as well as a link to the city's vital Armenian neighborhood of New Julfa.

The bridge has a total length of 297.76 metres. It is a vaulted arch bridge consisting of two superimposed rows of 33 arches, from whence its popular name of Si-o-se-pol comes, and is made of stone. The interior of Si-o-se-pol had originally been decorated with paintings.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Si-o-se-pol
Name: Azadi Tower
Location: Tehran, Iran
The Azadi Tower is a monument located on Azadi Square in Tehran, Iran. It is one of the landmarks of Tehran, marking the west entrance to the city, and is part of the Azadi Cultural Complex, which also includes a museum underground.

The tower is about 45 metres (148 ft) tall and is completely clad in cut marble. It was commissioned by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, to mark the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State of Iran. Built with white marble from Isfahan Province, the monument includes 8,000 blocks of stone. The stones were all located and supplied by Ghanbar Rahimi, who was well known for his extensive knowledge of quarries, often known as the Soltān-e Sang-e Irān ("Iran's Sultan of Stone").

After winning a competition, architect Hossein Amanat was tasked to design the tower. His ideas were based upon classical and post-classical Iranian architecture, popular influences on art in the 1960s following the White Revolution. Iran's increasing wealth sparked modernization programs and sent the art industry into a renaissance-like period.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadi_Tower
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO IRAN.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Persian
Currency: Iran Rial (IRR)
Time zone: IRST (Iran Standard Time) (UTC +3:30) / IRDT (Iran Daylight Time) (UTC +4:30)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +98
Local / up-to-date weather in Tehran (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Iran travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Iran, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO IRAN.

The rial, denoted by the symbol “﷼” or “IR” (ISO code: IRR) is the currency of Iran. Wikivoyage articles will use rials to denote the currency.

Coins, which are rarely if ever used, are issued in values of 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000 rials. Banknotes are produced in 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 denominations and banknotes called “Iran Cheques” are produced in 500,000 and 1,000,000 denominations.

While the official exchange rate in May 2019 was 42,100 rials to US$1, the rate offered on the black market was 150,000 rials to US$1. Be sure to understand the risks of black market trading if you decide to exchange money this way.

In March 2019, the exchange offices at Tehran Airport were offering the best rates in that city: 151,000-153,000 rials for €1; 170,000-173,000 rials for £1; 139,000 rials for US$1 (dollar rate as of 26 Apr 2019) – at the airport, first floor (departures).

Toman:

Confusion with the currency is standard for a visitor, not just because of the large numbers but because of the shorthand routinely used. Prices of goods may be verbally communicated or written in toman (تومان) (sometimes denoted “T”) instead of in rial. One toman is equal to ten rials. There are no toman notes – prices are quoted as such just as a shortcut. If it is not obvious, be sure to clarify in which currency the price is quoted.

Debit card and ATM:

ATMs and merchants in Iran generally do not accept foreign (non-Iranian) cards due to the sanctions, so bring all the money you might need in cash, preferably in US dollars or euros. Debit cards and credit cards issued by an Iranian bank are widely accepted in most places, and most of stores and ticket offices have a point-of-sale machine, without any commission. If you don’t want to carry a lot of cash, and feel panic about so many zeros in the prices, you can apply for a tourism debit card. Iranian banks cannot issue a debit card or tourism debit card to a foreign without a resident card. You should choose a tourism card company which cooperates with a bank to get a debit card.

  • Daripay: You can receive your card at Imam Khomeini International Airport or any hotels in Tehran. You can convert your euros or dollars in some large cities of Iran, they will send a clerk to you hotel for that. The currency rate is based on the average price of black market which is much better than the official rate.
  • Mah Card: You can receive your card at Imam Khomeini International Airport or any hotels in Tehran. You can only convert your euros or dollars in Tehran, they will send a clerk to you hotel for that. The currency rate is based on the average price of black market which is much better than the official rate.

Another way to prevent having your money stolen is going to the nearest bank and getting a gift card (Kart-e Hadiyeh کارت هدیه). They are exactly like ordinary ATM debit cards, but once they get empty, they cannot be recharged. The two first ways are more recommended. A list of permitted Iranian banks can be found here. Most of banks now don’t sell the gift card, although there is such restriction as for debit cards that requires a resident card for foreigners to buy gift cards.

Exchanging money:

Bills in good condition and large bills (US$100 or €100) tend to be preferred at currency exchange offices. Small denominations can be useful for small purchases before you get to an exchange office, although many exchange shops will not exchange small bills. On arrival at Tehran International Airport, the maximum amount that may be exchanged at night is to €50 per person.

The best places to exchange money are the private exchange offices (sarāfi) scattered around most large cities and major tourist centres. Their rates are usually 20% better than the official rate offered by the banks, they are far quicker and don’t require any paperwork, and unlike their black market colleagues, they can be traced later on if something goes wrong. Exchange offices can be found in major cities, their opening times are usually Sunday to Thursday from 08:00 to 16:00. Most are closed on Fridays and on holidays. There is little point in risking the use of black market moneychangers who loiter outside of major banks and only offer marginally better rates than the banks.

A list of licensed sarraafis of the whole country, in Persian (Farsi), can be found here. This list includes phone numbers, addresses, license numbers and dates.

The most widely-accepted currencies are US dollar and euros. Other major currencies such as the British pound, Australian or Canadian dollars and Japanese yen are accepted at a lot of money changers. Non-major currencies usually cannot be exchanged. US$100 and large euro unfolded notes tend to attract the best exchange rate, and you may be quoted lower rates or turned down for any old or ripped notes or small denomination notes.

Foreign credit cards are only accepted by select stores with foreign bank accounts such as Persian rugs stores but they will almost always charge an additional fee for paying by credit card rather than with cash. Most of these stores will be happy to forward you some cash on your credit card at the same time as your purchase. If you are desperate for cash, you can also try asking these shops to extend you the same favour without buying a rug or souvenir, but expect to pay a fee of around 10%.

Travellers’ cheques: Cashing travellers’ cheques can be hit-or-miss and it is advised not to rely on travellers’ cheques issued by American or European companies.

Prepaid debit cards can be bought at Iranian banks and serve as a good alternative to carrying a large wad of cash around the country. Make sure that the card you buy has ATM withdrawal privileges and be aware of the daily withdrawal limit. The ATM network in Iran is subject to outages so make sure that you withdraw the entire balance well before you leave the country.

Large Iranian banks, like Bank-e Melli-ye Iran (BMI, National Bank of Iran), Bank -e- Sepah, Bank Mellat, Bank-e Saaderaat-e Iran (BSI), Bank-e Paasaargad and Bank-e Saamaan (Saamaan Bank), and Beank-e Paarsiaan all have branches outside the country that can be found at their websites. You can open a bank account abroad before arrival. This might be possible even in some European countries. You can find the addresses of these banks’ websites using famous search engines; then you need to click the link to the English section of their sites which is usually shown using the word English or the abbreviation En.

Iranian transport is of high quality, and is very affordable. There are few places the very cheap buses don’t travel to, the train network is limited but comfortable and reasonably priced and travel by air is not expensive. The ticket prices are always fixed and you don’t have benefits of early bookings.

However, train stations and bus terminals are often located on the outskirts of their cities. As an extreme example, Shiraz Station is located farther away from the city center than Shiraz International Airport. Since city transport is notably underdeveloped, the cost of an intercity trip could mostly consist of taxi fares.

BY PLANE:

For anyone on a tight deadline, affordable domestic air services are a blessing. The major national carrier Iran Air, and its semi-private competitors such as Iran Aseman Airlines – Aseman meaning “sky” in Persian, Mahan Air and Kish Air link Tehran with most regional capitals and offer inter-regional flights for no more than US$60.

Their services are frequent, reliable and are definitely worth considering to skip the large distances within Iran. Planes are aging (although improved relations with Europe in recent decades has led to many orders and some deliveries of new planes), and maintenance and safety procedures are sometimes well below western standards, but it still remains the safest way to get around Iran, given the huge death toll on the roads.

Tupolev Tu-154 and other Russian planes aren’t used by some carriers and they change with MD82 or 83. However, the odds are you will board a Shah-era B727 or some more recent Fokker, ATR, Airbus A310 or even A320 if you’re lucky. Busy domestic routes were sometimes flown by B747SP, and the extra boarding and run-up time are worth the thrill of flying in one of the last of these shortened Jumbos still operated in the world. Saha Air, another internal Iranian airline, was also the last operator of the Boeing 707 in scheduled commercial passenger service. However, time has caught up with these aging machines, and they are no longer in service. If you insist on flying, try getting some of the new planes leased from Russia, or the newer Airbus ones.

Tickets can be bought at airports or travel agents dotted through the most major cities. Book early during the summer months of August and September since finding seats at short notice is virtually impossible. It is possible to pay extra to get onto a booked flight by bribing someone or paying them to take their seat on the plane. Some flights will auction off the last few seats to the highest bidder. For westerners, the conversion makes it easy to outbid everyone.

You can also find domestic tickets in some Iran Air offices abroad, such as in Dubai. Expect to pay a little more due to the exchange rate applied. Domestic tickets for other companies must be bought inside Iran.

If you are from a “western” country, some agencies are reluctant to let you book a domestic flight.

BY BUS:

The Iranian domestic bus network is extensive and thanks to the low cost of fuel, very cheap. In fact the only drawback is speed: the government has limited buses to 80 km/h to combat lead-footed bus drivers so long haul trips such as Shiraz to Mashhad can take up to 20 hours.

There is little difference between the various bus companies, and most offer two classes: ‘lux’ or ‘Mercedes’ (2nd class) and ‘super’ or ‘Volvo’ (1st class). First class buses are air-conditioned and you will be provided with a small snack during your trip, while second class services are more frequent. Given the affordability of first class tickets (for example 70,000 rials from Esfehan to Shiraz), there’s little financial incentive to choose the second class services, especially in summer.

Buses start (and usually end) their journeys at sprawling bus stations, called “terminal” (ترمینال) in Farsi. On important routes such as Tehran–Esfahan they don’t stop along the route except at toll booths and rest areas. This probably shouldn’t discourage you from leaving a bus before its destination because most travellers would take a taxi from the terminal anyway.

You can buy tickets from the bus terminals or ticket offices up to a week in advance, but you shouldn’t have a problem finding a seat if you turn up to the terminal an hour or so before your intended departure time.

Most cities operate comprehensive local bus services, but given the low cost of taxis and the difficulties of reading Persian-language signs (which, unlike road signs, do not have English counterparts) and route numbers, they are of little use to the casual travellers. If you’re cash strapped and brave enough to try, however, remember that the buses are segregated. Men enter via the front or rear door and hand their ticket to the driver before taking a seat in the front half of the bus. Women and children should hand their ticket to the driver via the front doors (without actually getting on) before entering via the rear door to take a seat at the back. Tickets, usually around 500 rials, are sold from booths near most bus stops. Private buses accept cash instead of tickets. There is also rechargeable credit ticket cards accepted in buses and metro stations (in Tehran, paper tickets are not accepted in buses).

BY TRAIN:

Raja Passenger Trains is the passenger rail system. Travelling by train through Iran is generally more comfortable and faster than speed-limited buses. Sleeper berths in overnight trains are especially good value as they allow you to get a good night’s sleep while saving on a night’s accommodation.

The rail network is comprised of three main trunks. The first stretches east to west across the north of the country linking the Turkish and Turkmenistan borders via Tabriz, Tehran and Mashhad. The second and third extend south of Tehran but split at Qom. One line connects to the Persian Gulf via Ahvaz and Arak, while the other traverses the country’s centre linking Kashan, Yazd, Kerman and Bandar Abbas.

Departures along mainlines are frequent. 6 to 7 daily trains leave Tehran for Kerman and Yazd, with additional three bound for Yazd and Bandar Abbas. Mashhad and Tehran are linked by some ten direct overnight trains, not counting services to Karaj, Qom, Kashan, etc. Direct services between main lines are rare, if any. For example, Esfahan and Yazd are connected by one train running every second day.

There are high-speed trains from Tehran to Mashhad and Bandar Abbas called Pardis. Another high-speed line connecting Tehran, Imam Khomeini Airport, Qom and Esfahan is under construction as of 2016.

Tickets can be bought from train stations up to one month before the date of departure, and it is wise to book at least a couple of days in advance during the peak domestic holiday months. First class tickets cost roughly twice the comparable bus fare.

Known as a “ghatar” in Persian; trains are probably the cheapest, safest, most reliable and easiest way to travel around the country. As an added benefit; you’ll get to meet the people, sample food and see other tourists. You also avoid all the checkpoints you will encounter driving on the road. Trains are frequently delayed so leave plenty of time between destinations.

By metro (subway):

  • Tehran has 5 metro lines. One of these is essentially a suburban line going to Karaj and beyond.
  • Mashhad has 1 underground line. It runs from Vakil Abad to Ghadir. Two further lines are to be added in the near future.
  • Shiraz has one metro line.
  • Isfahan has one metro line that connects Terminal-e Kaveh with northern parts of the city.

BY TAXI:

Low fuel costs have made inter-city travel by taxi a great value option in Iran. When travelling between cities up to 250 km apart, you may be able to hire one of the shared savāri taxis that loiter around bus terminals and train stations. taxis are faster than buses and Taxis will only leave when four paying passengers have been found, so if you’re in a hurry you can offer to pay for an extra seat.

Official shared local taxis or Savari, also ply the major roads of most cities. The taxis are generally yellow, and on busy routes there are green vans with a capacity of 11 passengers. They offer a lower fare for each passenger. They usually run straight lines between major squares and landmarks, and their set rates between 2,000-10,000 rials are dictated by the local governments.

Hailing one of these taxis is an art you’ll soon master. Stand on the side of the road with traffic flowing in your intended direction and flag down a passing cab. It will slow down fractionally, giving you about one second to shout your destination–pick a major nearby landmark instead of the full address–through the open passenger window. If the driver is interested, he’ll slow down enough for you to negotiate the details or simply accepts your route.

If you’re in a hurry, you can rent the taxi privately. Just shout the destination followed by the phrase dar bast (literally ‘closed door’) and the driver will almost be sure to stop. Negotiate the price before departure, but since you are paying for all the empty seats expect to pay four times the normal shared taxi fare.

You can also rent these taxis by the hour to visit a number of sites, but you can expect to pay from 40,000-70,000 rials/hr, depending on your bargaining skills.

Most of the taxis have “taximeters” but only ‘closed door’ green taxis use it.

There are several popular ride hailing services available in the major cities similar to Uber. Snapp and Tap30 are the major applications which can be installed on iOS and Android devices for free. You can pay in cash or if you have an Iranian debit card, you may pay in the app as well.

BY CAR:

A large road network and low fuel costs (10,000 rials/L for Iranians in Oct 2017) have historically made Iran an attractive country for exploring with your own car. However a government fuel tax on foreigners entering Iran by private car has somewhat dimmed the allure.

Foreigners arriving in Iran with their own car must have a Carnet de passage and a valid international drivers’ license. Petrol stations can be found on the outskirts of all cities and towns and in car-filled Iran, a mechanic is never far away.

Do not underestimate the sheer chaos of Iran’s traffic. The often ignored road rules state that you must drive on the right unless overtaking and give way to traffic coming on to a roundabout. Drivers frequently top 160 km/h (100 mph) on intercity highways. Laws requiring car occupants to wear seat belts for rear passengers are not always complied with.

Motorcycles are sometimes seen transporting up to five people, without helmets.

Avoid large rocks in the middle of highway. These are often placed there in an attempt to burst your tires. Afterward, a passerby will offer to replace your tire for US$50. This is of course a scam that occurs mostly at nighttime but has diminished due to aggressive policing.

You can also rent a car, usually for US$20-50 a day. Insurance and legal liability may make you think twice about renting a car, especially considering the fact that renting a car with a driver usually costs the same.

People are not allowed to carry their pet even in their private car and will receive driving penalties if caught by the Police.

Iranian roads and major streets usually feature traffic enforcement cameras.

EAT:

Meal times in Iran vary considerably from those in Europe and the US. Lunch can be served from 12:00-15:00. and dinner is often eaten after 20:00. These and other social occasions in Iran are often long, drawn-out affairs conducted in a relatively relaxed tempo, often involving pastries, fruit and possibly nuts. As it is considered rude to refuse what is served, visitors should accept the items offered, even if they do not intend to consume them.

The importation and consumption of alcohol is strictly banned throughout the majority of Iran, but is tolerated in a few rural and poorly regulated areas. Penalties are severe. Registered religious minorities, however, are allowed to manufacture and consume small quantities of alcohol, but not to sell, export or import it. Pork and pork products are forbidden and, like alcohol, their import is illegal, though in practice shops serving the Christian community are allowed to sell pork with no major issues.

The good news for travellers is that Iranian cuisine is superb. A wide range of influences from Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, Europe and the Middle East have created a diverse, relatively healthy range of dishes that focus on fresh produce and aromatic herbs. The bad news, however, is that Iranians prefer to eat at home, rather than in restaurants, so decent eateries are scarce and stick to a repetitive selection of dishes (mainly kebabs). An invitation to an Iranian home for dinner will be a definite highlight of your stay. When visiting an Iranian household for the first time or on a special occasion it is customary for Iranians to bring a small gift. Flowers, sweets or pastries are popular gift choices.

Traditional cuisine:

Iranian cuisine is related to the cuisines of neighbouring Middle Eastern and South Asian countries but is in important ways highly distinctive.

Fragrant rice (برنج, berenj) is the staple of Iranian food. Boiled and then steamed, it is often coloured with saffron or flavoured with a variety of spices. When served plain as an accompaniment it is known as chelo (چلو). The two most common meat and chelo combinations are kebab variations (chelo kabāb, چلو کباب) or rotisserie chicken (chelo morgh, چلو مرغ). Flavoured rice, known as polo, is often served as a main course or as an accompaniment to a meat dish. Examples include shirin polo flavoured with orange zest, young cherries and honey glazed carrots, the broad-bean and herb heavy bāghli polo and sabzi polo laced with parsley, dill and mint.

The rice and kebab dish chelo kabāb (چلو کباب) and its half-dozen variations are the most common (and often the only) items on Iranian restaurant menus. A grilled skewer of meat is served on a bed of fluffy rice, and accompanied by an array of condiments. You can add butter, grilled tomatoes and a sour spice known as somāgh to your rice, while some restaurants also provide a raw egg yolk. Raw onion and fresh basil are used to clear your palate between mouthfuls. Variations in kabāb dishes come from the meats they are served with. You will commonly see:

  • Kabāb koobideh (كباب كوبيده) – a kebab of minced beef, shredded onion and spices.
  • Kabāb barg (كباب برگ) – pieces of lamb sometimes marinated in lemon juice and shredded onion.
  • Joojeh kabāb (جوجه كباب) – a skewer of chicken pieces sometimes marinated in lemon juice and saffron.
  • Kabāb bakhtiāri (كباب ب‍ختیارِی) – great for the indecisive eater, this is a skewer of alternating chicken and lamb pieces.

At home people most often eat rice with a thick stew (khoresht, خورشت) containing a modest amount of meat. There are dozens of khoresht variations such as the sweet and sour fessenjān made from ground walnuts and pomegranate syrup, most popular ghormeh-sabzi is based on fresh herbs, dried limes and kidney beans, gheimeh flavoured with split-peas and often garnished with French fries.

Hearty Iranian soups (āsh, آش) are meals in themselves. The most popular is the vegetarian āsh reshteh (آش رشته) made from herbs, chickpeas and thick noodles, and garnished with kashk (which looks like yoghurt but is another thing) and fried onions.

Flat bread (nān, نان) is another pillar of Iranian food. It is served at breakfast with herbs, feta cheese and a variety of jams, or as an accompaniment to meals. Sangak (سنگك) is a dimpled variety cooked on a pebbled oven while lavāsh (لواش) is a thin and bland staple.

International cuisine:

There are several good international restaurants which offer Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French food as well as vegetarian menus in Tehran and other major cities.

Fast food and snacks:

Most food outlets in Iran are either kabābis or fast food outlets serving a standard fare of burgers, sandwiches, felafels or pizza (پیتزا). A burger and a soft drink at a snack shop will fill you up at lunchtime for around 40,000 rials, while pizzas start at 50,000 rials.

Many teahouses (see Drink below) also serve traditional snacks and light meals. The most common of these is ābgusht (آبگوشت) a hot pot made from lamb, chickpeas and dried limes that is also known as dizi, also the name of the dish in which its served. You will be given a bowl (the dizi) containing the ābgusht and another, smaller one. Drain the broth into the smaller bowl and eat it like a soup with the bread provided. Then pound the remaining meat and vegetables into a paste with the pestle provided and eat with even more bread, pieces raw onion and wads of fresh herbs.

Sweets and desserts:

The never-ending demand for dentists in Iran lies testament to the country’s obsession with sweets and pastries, known collectively as shirini (شیرینی).

Iranian baghlava tends to be harder and more crystalline than its Turkish equivalent while the pistachio noughat called gaz (گز) is an Isfahan speciality. Sohan is a rich pistachio brittle popular in Qom, and freshly-baked pastries are often taken as gifts to people’s houses. Lavāshak fruit leathers are delicious fruit leathers made from dried plums.

Honey-saffron and pistachio are just two local flavours of ice cream, while fāloodeh (فالوده) is a deliciously refreshing sorbet made from rosewater and vermicelli noodles made from starch, served with lashings of lemon juice.

Special needs:

Given that most travellers are stuck eating kebabs for much of their trip, vegetarians will have a particularly difficult time in Iran. Most snack shops sell falafels (فلافل) and garden salads (sālād-e-fassl, سالاد فصل) and greengrocers are common. Most āsh varieties are meat-free and filling, as are most variations of kookoo (کوکو), the Iranian take on the frittata. Also some restaurants make spaghetti with soya (soy). You can find pizzas like vegetarian pizza (Pitzā Sabzijāt, پیتزا سبزیجات) or cheese pizza (Pitzā Panir, پیتزا پنیر) or mushroom pizza (Pitzā Ghārch, پیتزا قارچ) almost everywhere and Margherita pizza in some restaurants which all are meat-free. The phrases man giaah-khaar hastam (I am vegetarian) and bedoon-e goosht (without meat) will come in handy.

It’s a safe bet that most food in Iran is halal (حلال, ḥalāl, halaal) and will conform with Islamic dietary laws as specified in the Qur’an, the exceptions being some shops in districts with large Christian communities. However, those seeking a strict kosher diet may have to concentrate their efforts in the districts with higher numbers of Jewish inhabitants. If in Tehran look in areas such as older parts in the south of the city, like Udlajan or the Yusef Abad neighbourhood.

DRINK:

Black Tea (chāi, چای) is the national drink of Iran. It is served strong and with crystallised or cubed sugar (ghand, قند) which is held artfully between the teeth while tea is sipped through. You can try asking for milk in your tea, but expect nothing but strange looks or a big delay in return. Tea houses (chāi khāneh, چای خانه) are a favourite local haunt for men (and less commonly families) to drink tea and puff away on a water pipe.

Coffee (ghahveh, قهوه) is not as popular as tea. Where available, it is served Turkish style, French coffee or espresso. Imported instant coffee (nescāfe, نسكافه) and instant Cappuccino are available also. Coffee shops (called “coffeeshop” in Persian, versus “ghaveh-khane” (literally, coffee house) which instead means a tea house) are more popular in affluent and young areas.

Fruit juices (āb miveh, آب ميوه) are available from shops and street vendors. Also available are cherry cordial (sharbat ālbāloo, شربت آلبالو) and banana milkshakes (shir moz, شير موز).

Soft drinks are widely available. International products such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and their brand names including 7Up, Sprite and Fanta have sold alongside local brands such as Zam Zam Cola ( زم زم كولا , Zam Zam Kola). The local cola has a taste not unlike “Coca-Cola Original” or “Pepsi Original”. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s concentrates entered Iran via Irish subsidiaries and circumvented the US trade embargoes. Zam Zam was launched in 1954 as a subsidiary of the Pepsi Cola company. As an intriguing outcome of the Iranian cola wars the real coke was generally sold in plastic bottles and the non-genuine coke, using a substitute syrup devised to overcome earlier Clinton-era U.S. embargoes, was distributed in the real thing bottles that the then syrup-less bottler was left stuck with at the time.

Doogh (دوغ) is a sour drink made from yoghurt, salt, and water (sometimes gaseous) and sometimes flavoured with mint or other plants. It takes some getting used to, but will rehydrate you quickly in the heat of Iran’s summer. It is the same as Turkish Ayran. It can be purchased at almost any establishment and is often consumed in the afternoon while eating kababs. It comes in two main varieties fizzy (gaz-daar) and non-fizzy (bigaz).

Alcohol is illegal to drink for Muslims only, and if seen by police may be met with punishment. Therefore, you will rarely find places in Iran that openly sells alcohol. However it is legal for non-Muslims to produce alcohol for their consumption. Drinking is, however, common among some people, especially during parties and weddings, and is officially tolerated for use among the small Christian and Jewish communities but only for religious purposes (e.g., wine for holy communion). There is no legal drinking/purchasing age for non-Muslims. The Iranian Government allows non-Muslims to bring alcoholic beverages into the country.

Accommodations in Iran range from luxurious, if a little weary, five star hotels (هتل) in major cities to the small, cheap mosāferkhaneh (مسافرخانه) and mehmānpazir (مهماﻧپذیر) guesthouses that are littered about most centres. Moreover, staff in mosāferkhuneh often are so happy to provide room for non-Iranians, as these facilities have a recommendation from local governments to serve all tourists. For longer stays, villas with all facilities (including central air conditioning, pool and Internet connection) can be rented in Tehran and all other major cities at reasonable prices.

A man and woman cannot share the same hotel room unless they can prove their relationship (as a married couple or siblings). Foreign tourists are usually excepted from this law.

Also, you can find traditional hotels in central Iran including Isfahan, Shiraz and in particular Yazd.

While the shops offer a wide selection of quality goods, local items can be bought in the many bazaars. Purchases include hand-carved, inlaid woodwork, painted and molded copper, carpets, rugs, silks, leather goods, mats, tablecloths, gold, silver, glass, and ceramics. There are restrictions on which items may be taken out of the country and many countries restrict the amount of goods you can bring in due to sanctions.

Bargain ruthlessly when buying handcrafts, rugs or big ticket items and modestly when hailing private taxis. In most other aspects of life prices are fixed.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Iran
TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Location: Isfahan, Iran
Naqsh-e Jahan Square, is a square situated at the center of Isfahan, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is 160 metres wide by 560 metres long. The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and at the northern side Qeysarie Gate opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today, Namaaz-e Jom'eh (the Muslim Friday prayer) is held in the Shah Mosque.

In 1598, when Shah Abbas decided to move the capital of his empire from the north-western city of Qazvin to the central city of Isfahan, he initiated what would become one of the greatest programmes in Persian history; the complete remaking of the city. The chief architect of this colossal task of urban planning was Shaykh Baha, who focused the programme on two key features of Shah Abbas's master plan: the Chahar Bagh avenue and the Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naqsh-e_Jahan_Square
Name: Allahverdi Khan Bridge
Location: Isfahan, Iran
The Allahverdi Khan Bridge, popularly known as Si-o-se-pol, is the largest of the eleven historical bridges on the Zayanderud, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau, in Isfahan, Iran. The bridge was built in the early 17th century to serve as both a bridge and a dam. It is a popular recreational gathering place, and is one of the most famous examples of Iran's Safavid architecture.

Si-o-se-pol was built between 1599 and 1602, under the reign of Abbas I, the fifth Safavid king (shah) of Iran. It was constructed under the supervision of Allahverdi Khan Undiladze, the commander-in-chief of the armies, who was of Georgian origin, and was also named after him. The bridge served particularly as a connection between the mansions of the elite, as well as a link to the city's vital Armenian neighborhood of New Julfa.

The bridge has a total length of 297.76 metres. It is a vaulted arch bridge consisting of two superimposed rows of 33 arches, from whence its popular name of Si-o-se-pol comes, and is made of stone. The interior of Si-o-se-pol had originally been decorated with paintings.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Si-o-se-pol
Name: Azadi Tower
Location: Tehran, Iran
The Azadi Tower is a monument located on Azadi Square in Tehran, Iran. It is one of the landmarks of Tehran, marking the west entrance to the city, and is part of the Azadi Cultural Complex, which also includes a museum underground.

The tower is about 45 metres (148 ft) tall and is completely clad in cut marble. It was commissioned by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, to mark the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State of Iran. Built with white marble from Isfahan Province, the monument includes 8,000 blocks of stone. The stones were all located and supplied by Ghanbar Rahimi, who was well known for his extensive knowledge of quarries, often known as the Soltān-e Sang-e Irān ("Iran's Sultan of Stone").

After winning a competition, architect Hossein Amanat was tasked to design the tower. His ideas were based upon classical and post-classical Iranian architecture, popular influences on art in the 1960s following the White Revolution. Iran's increasing wealth sparked modernization programs and sent the art industry into a renaissance-like period.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadi_Tower
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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