Iranian Transport

Iranian transport is of high quality and very affordable. The very cheap buses do not travel to few places. The train network is limited but comfortable and reasonably priced and travel by air is very cheap. Especially by international standards (in face one of the cheapest in the world) the ticket prices are always fixed and you do not have benefits of early bookings.

International Transportation:

Air

Many international visitors to Iran arrive by air, with Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran having excellent worldwide connections including to destinations such as London, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Istanbul, Dubai, Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok and New Delhi.

For anyone on a tight deadline, affordable domestic air services are a blessing. The major national carrier Iran Air, and its semi-private competitors (Iran Aseman Airline –Aseman meaning “sky” in Persian ,Mahan air, Kish air ,etc.)Link Tehran with most regional capitals and offer inter-regional flights for no more than US $60 their services are frequent, reliable and sage are definitely worth considering skipping the large distances within Iran.

Ticket buying is available at airports or travel agents dotted through the major cities. Book early during the summer months of August and September since finding seats at short notice is virtually impossible. You can also find domestic tickets in some Iran air offices abroad (Dubai for instance), but expect to pay a little more due to the change rate applied. Domestic tickets for other companies have to be bought inside Iran.

Mehrabad International Airport airline companies operating flights to Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport include Lufthansa, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, KLM, Emirates, Gulf Air, Etihad and British Airways as well as domestic airlines such as Iran Air, Mahan Air and Caspian Airlines.

Facilities at the airport include outlets for dining and refreshments, basic passenger services and limited transport options for getting into the city. Arriving passengers can choose from taking a taxi or a bus into the city, or alternatively, those with pre-booked accommodation can arrange to be met by a hotel representative. The airport is situated only a short drive from the centre of the city.

Railway Network

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 and Kerman.

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 Farsi; trains are probably the safest, most reliable and easiest way to travel around the country. As an added benefit, you will get to meet the people, sample food and see other tourists.

Two international train routes are available to Iran; one is from Istanbul (Turkey) to Tehran, with a once weekly departure (72 hours) and the other is from Damascus (Syria) to Tehran, again a once weekly departure (64 hours). Journeys are long, but prices are reasonable and most overnight services offer sleeping cars that have a capacity for four people.

Car

Iran can be reached by car from various neighboring countries, although drivers are encouraged to research their journey well in advance as the security situation at border crossings can change without warning.
Visitors are not advised to travel overland to Iran from Pakistan and anyone who must travel in this area should exercise extreme caution. We advise that you only travel on main roads and avoid travelling at night if you intending on reaching Iran by car via an international border. The border areas with Afghanistan and Iraq are considered insecure and visitors are strongly advised to avoid travel in these areas. Visitors wanting to access Iran by road frequently use the border with Turkey.

Foreigners arriving in Iran with their own car will need to 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.

Sea

Although it is possible to arrive in Iran by using a sea route across the Persian Gulf, this method of arrival is rarely used nowadays, with air travel being considered much more convenient.

Bus 

Travelling by bus from Turkey to Iran is feasible, although journey times can be very lengthy. Prices of bus tickets are cheap and there are various levels of comfort available, with first class coaches offering reclining seats, air conditioning and free water. SimaSadar International Bus Company operates services along this route.

 Domestic Transport:

Air

Flying is the most convenient way to cover long distances in Iran, with domestic flights being surprisingly affordable. As a vast country, travelling by air from one city to another will allow you to fit more into your trip. There are four airline companies serving the most significant cities. Tickets should be booked well in advance if you want to take advantage of the more affordable flights on offer.

Train

The railway network in Iran is not very extensive; however, it is possible to travel from Tehran to the Turkish border, with the capital being the epicenter of all train travel. In addition, Tehran has an easy-to-use subway system that can take you from one part of the city to another for a nominal fee.

Bus

The Iranian domestic bus network is extensive and thanks to the low cost of fuel, very cheap. The government has limited buses to 80 km/h.

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 you trip, while second-class services are more frequent. Given the affordability of first class tickets, there is little financial incentive to opt for the second classer vices, especially in summer.

Local bus services: You can buy tickets from the bus terminals or ticket of faces up to a week in advance, but you shouldn’t  have a problem  finding a seat if you turn up the terminal  an hour or so before your  intended departure time. Most cities operate comprehensive.

 Taxi

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

Official shared local taxis or Savari, identifiable by some kind of orange paint marking, also ply the major roads of most cities. Their usually run straight lines between major squares and landmarks, and their set rates are dictated by the local governments. Hailing one of these taxis is an art you will soon master.

Stand on the side of the 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 will slow down enough for you to negotiate the details. If you are in a hurry, you can rent the taxi privately.

Just shout the best (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 five 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 a little more depending on your bargaining skills.

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 (Iran Aseman Airline –Aseman meaning “sky” in Persian ,Mahan air, Kish air ,etc.)Link Tehran with most regional capitals and offer inter-regional flights for no more than US $60 their services are frequent, reliable and sage are definitely worth considering skipping the large distances within Iran.

Ticket buying is available at airports or travel agents dotted through the major cities. Book early during the summer months of August and September since finding seats at short notice is virtually impossible. You can also find domestic tickets in some Iran air offices abroad (Dubai for instance), but expect to pay a little more due to the change rate applied. Domestic tickets for other companies have to be bought inside Iran.

Car

A large road network and low fuel costs of historically made Iran an attractive country for exploring with your own car. However a recent government fuel taxi on foreigners entering Iran by private car has somewhat dimmed the allure.

Travelling by car can be a good way of covering long distances in Iran, with road signs available in English everywhere. However, visitors should be aware that some areas of the country are unsafe and should seek advice before embarking on any road trips. Roads in the urban centers can be very chaotic, with a high level of accidents, making it essential that you exercise great caution if you choose to drive in Iran.