Iran touristguide

By: Masoud and friends

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Tuesday, 24-Feb-2009 23:22 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cities of Iran / Tehran / Get around

Metro_Tehran
Taxi_Tehran
BRT_Tehran
Get around Tehran:
Getting around traffic-clogged, sprawling Tehran is a true test of patience. While taxis are your best bet, they are pricier here than the rest of the country. A large local bus network will also take you almost anywhere you need to go, as long you can make sense of the routes and Persian line numbers. The true star of Tehran's transport system however, is the brand new metro.

1-By bus:
Tehran has an expansive but confusing bus network. Tickets (IR 200) can be bought from booths beside the bus stops. Since bus numbers, route descriptions and other information is in Persian, your best bet is to look confused at a bus terminal; a local will surely stop to help. Each bus line has a certain and almost invariable path but only people know exactly which bus stations exist for a certain road. You shouldn't expect a map or guides even in Persian showing the bus network or bus stations. Even asking the bus driver wouldn't be a great help for you to find your way either. If you get in a bus and looking for a certain station to alight, ask one to help you - you will find many people wish to help you to find your way, most of the time!

2-BRT (Bus Rapid Transportation):
The BRT buses are colored in red. BRTs has special lines and travels very quickly from Azadi square (west of Tehran) directly to the East (Terminal-e-Shargh). Tickets (IR 200) can be bought from booths beside the bus stops. In high-traffic hours (7AM to 9AM & 4PM to 8PM) it is the best to travel West-East-West part of your way. BRT has too many stations near main streets. Although you may not find an empty seat on the bus because of the crowds, people give their place to you if they know you are a tourist! The women and men sits and queues are separate.

3-By metro:
Tehran's new metro system is comprised of three lines that will whisk you quickly from one end of the city to the other without having to deal with the noise, pollution and chaos of Tehrani traffic.

There are currently four lines (numbered strangely 1, 2, 4 and 5) but the two most useful are lines 1 (north to south) and 2 (east to west) which connect at the central Imam Khomeini station. All stations have signs in both Farsi and English. Trains run every ten minutes (25 minutes on holidays) from around 6:30AM until 10PM every day.

Tickets (IR 2000) are valid for two trips (including change of lines) and can be bought from ticket booths at every station. The Tehran metro is segregated, with two women-only carriages at one end of the train. Despite this, some women choose to travel in the men's part of the train, usually accompanied by a man.

4-By taxi:
As with the rest of the country private and shared taxis are abound in Tehran, although you may find flagging down a shared taxi more difficult amid the traffic and chaos, while private taxis are more expensive than in the smaller cities. If you want to get around by shared taxi, your best bet is to hop from square to square, as drivers will be reluctant to pick you up if your shouted destination deviates too far from their route. In each square you will find certain places where the private taxis are lined up in a queue and drivers call for passengers to a destination. (mostly happening during the times when the number of waiting taxis exceeds the number of passengers). In this case, they would wait until the car gets full of passengers (mostly one people at front and 3 people at back, excluding the driver). Otherwise the people have to line up in a queue waiting for the taxis to come. This is the case during rush hours (approximately 7AM to 8AM and 5PM to 8PM). All these depend upon finding their regular station in the square. You can also ask them to alight sooner than your destination wherever you like but you have to pay their total fee up to destination. The cost of such a ride from Azadi square to Vanak Square is around 5,000 Rls (500 Tomans) for each person. Most drivers are very poor at English though.

5-Motorcycle taxis:
Motorcycle taxis are a Tehran specialty and offer a way to weave quickly through the city's traffic-clogged streets. You'll see plenty of these drivers standing at the side of the road calling "motor" at all who pass by. Keep in mind motor taxi operators can see, even more suicidal than the average Tehran driver when driving. Agree on a price before you take off and expect to pay slightly less than chartering a private taxi.

Masoud
(Wikipedia)


Tuesday, 17-Feb-2009 22:45 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cities of Iran / Tehran / Understanding of Tehran

Tehran_Highw
Tehran
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Understanding of Tehran:
Tehran is a cosmopolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, warm friendly people. It deserves at least a few days of your Iranian itinerary.

The city can be roughly divided into two different parts - north and south. The northern districts of Tehran are more prosperous, modern, cosmopolitan and expensive while southern parts (also called the 'downtown') is less attractive but cheaper.

At the time of the Zand dynasty, it was a little town that was significant from a strategic point of view. The first of the Qajar kings, Agha Mohammed Khan, named Tehran as the country's capital in 1778, and most of its growth started during the reign of a subsequent Qajar monarch, Fath-Ali Shah. The castle which Agha Mohammed Khan had built was to contain the new majestic buildings.

At the same time, the city's populace was redoubled. Due to the increasing significance of the city, gates, squares and mosques were built and it was at the time of Nassereddin Shah that the city's master sketch was prepared and modern streets were constructed. Later, huge central squares like Toopkhaneh square (now Imam Khomeini) and quite a few military buildings were built. Event though the the Qajar dynasty was in a period of decline, Tehran soon took the shape of a modern city. The structure of large government buildings, new streets, recreation centers, urban service organizations, and academic and methodical centers were started, even as most of the old gates and buildings were destroyed and the city's old architectural fabric replaced by a contemporary one.

Tehran has also earned itself the rather unenviable reputation as a smog-filled, traffic-clogged and featureless sprawl of concrete bursting at the seams with 14 million residents. But you can also find an endless number of nice and cosy places in and around the city - if you know where to look. Tehran is also a city of parks and possesses more than 800 of them, all well-kept. The city is nearly a mile high above sea level and as a result is cooler than other cities in the middle east. Summer temperatures are around 32°C or about 90-95°F. The air tends to be very dry.

A combination of factors make Tehran a pleasant place to visit: The dry climate which is constantly cool (at least in the evenings), the proximity of the mountains, the parks and gardens where flowers blossom all through the year, the alleys of trees in the avenues or even smaller streets, and even the water that runs down from the upper city along deep and wide gutters which look like small rivers during spring. The Alborz range on the north of Tehran, which hosts the highest peak in Iran, provides fantastic conditions for ski lovers in the winter. In winter, the mountain hotels and ski-clubs at Shemshak, and Dizine are full several days a week. Some specialist skiers consider the snow value in northern Tehran to be one of the most excellent in the world.

Masoud
(Wikipedia)


Thursday, 22-Jan-2009 23:35 Email | Share | | Bookmark
How Get in Iran(by:1-plane2-train3-bus4-boat):

Iranair
Irantrain
Iranbus
How Get in Iran(by:1-plane 2-train 3-car 4-bus 5-boat):

1-By plane:

Most overseas travelers from Europe will arrive at Mehrabad airport in Tehran
By now most flights from the Middle East, Central and South Asia land at the new Imam Khomeini International Airport based 37km southwest of Tehran and it is planned to move all international flights to this airport within the next few years.
There are 70 smaller regional airports, for example those in Shiraz ,Mashhad ,Isfahan , and these have daily flights to many international destinations.
Dubai has scheduled flights to many Iranian cities, including Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Kerman, Lar, Mashhad, Tabriz, Kish Island, Bandar Abbas, Bushher, Zahedan, and is therefore worth considering traveling to Iran from. Flights are operated by Iran Air, Emirates (for Tehran), Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air and other Iranian companies. Fares are relatively cheap on Iranian carriers, ranging from $100 to $250 for a return trip depending on your destination and time of booking.
Iran Air and Mahan Air connect Tehran with some of the major European cities as well as destinations in Asia and Middle East. European companies landing in Tehran include British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot and Air France. Here are some of the Middle-Eastern airlines: Saudi Arabian Airlines, Emirates, Syrian Airlines and Egypt Air. So finding a flight to Iran should not be hard. Connections are also easily available via Manama, Bahrain using Gulf Air (Bahrain's national carrier). Additionally, Qatar airlines offers several flights to Iran and provides non-stop service to Doha from Washington DC (IAD).
Due to economic sanctions it is strongly recommended against traveling on Iranian based airlines. Lack of spare parts, inadequate training and inability to purchase new aircraft has left the fleet of all airlines in poor shape. Iran Air and Mahan Air have been safe with no serious incidents. Although service and flying skill on Iranian pilots are fairly well known
, BMI, Emirates and Gulf Air are much better options.
There are no direct flights from U.S.A at present due to sanctions, but you could travel via either Europe or Dubai. Non-stop flights from Dubai via JFK, IAD and Houston are good bets. Visitors from Australia or New Zealand should consider traveling via Dubai. You can also use direct flight from caracas in Venezuela to Tehran via Damascus by Venezuela´s flag carrier Conviasa.

2-by rail:

Turkey:
The Istanbul service runs weekly via Ankara, includes a ferry over Lake Van, crosses the Iranian border then stops at Tabriz before arriving in Tehran. The journey takes 69 hours (3 nights traveling). Services leave Istanbul Wednesday evening (arriving Saturday evening) and Tehran Thursday evening (arriving Sunday evening). The train includes couchettes and a dining car
The Tabriz-Van service (different from Istanbul service) is a weekly train between Van and Tabriz.

Syria:
The Syria service does not cross Iraq, stopping at Aleppo before crossing the Turkish border, heading to Lake Van and running along a similar route to the Istanbul service This journey takes 54 hours (2 nights traveling) leaving Damascus Monday mornings (arriving Tehran Wednesday evening) and leaving Tehran at the same time (Monday) with corresponding arrival in Damascus (Wednesday evening). Couchettes are available between Lake Van and Tehran, but need to be specially booked for the Syrian leg between Damascus and Lake Van otherwise reclining seats are available. The journy costs around $60 for couchettes the whole way, and $45 for the reclining seat and couchette combination.

Afghanistan:
The Mashad-Herat railway which is under construction right now is completed untill the city of Khaf near Afkhanistan border.

Iraq:
The Khorramshar-Basra railway will be completed in a few months which will connect Iranian railways to Iraq.
There will be specially train routes for Iranians going to pilgrim in Najaf and Karbala , There is another project that will be completed later going through Kermanshah to khanaqin in Iraq

Pakistan:
The Quetta-Zahedan line connects Pakistan and Iran by rail. There is no connection of Zahedan railwaywith the rest of the Iranian Railway system, this means that you must take bus or other transportation from Zahedan to Bam which has railway. The railway from Bam (Kerman) is being expanded to reach Zahedan and will probably be finished in 2009. A train leaves every 1th and 15th of each month from Quetta to Zahedan and the journey takes 11 hours and costs about €8.

Azerbaijan:
The Nakhchivan-Tabriz service connects Nakhjevan-(city) with Tabriz and crosses from the Jolfa border The route used to be a part of Tehran-Moscow railway line which is closed right now due to Azerbaijan-Armenia conflicts.
There is a railway from Baku to the border city of Astara From there you can walk through the border to Iran.

Turkmenistan:
There is a daily service between Mashad-sarakhs border everyday. The train does not go more because of gauge change. At the other side of the border there is train to Merv and Ashgabat.

3-by car:

Many people drive to Iran via Turkey. This requires a Carnet De Passage unless you wish to pay import tax. A Carnet can be aquired from your local drivers association (such as the RAC in the UK). An international driver's license is highly recommend with translation into Farsi very beneficial.

4- By Bus:

Armenia:
From Armenia here are daily, modern buses from Yerevan to Tabriz and even further to Tehran. Otherwise the only Iran/Armenia land border at Nuduz/Agarak is very badly served by puplic transport. On the Armenian side you can get as far as Meghri by one Marschrutka a day from Yerevan. In both directions the Marshrutka leaves quiet early in the morning. Kaplan and Karajan are more frequently served by marschrutkas but it is a long and mountainous (and therefore expensive) stretch to the border from there. From Meghri it is around 8 km to the border and hitching or a taxi is the only option. On the iranian side the closest puplic transport can be found around 50km to the west in Jolfa so a taxi (around 10-15$) again is the only (commercial) choice. Expect to be asked a lot for all taxi rides, so hard bargaining is essential. Make clear (or pretend) that you have other choices (hitchhiking) to get fair prices. The border is not busy at all, so when hitching you have to maily stick with the truck drivers and russian or farsi helps a lot here. Consider for yourself whether this is a safe option.

Turkey:
You can find Seir-o-Safar agencies in Istanbul ,Antalia and Ankara to buy cheap bus tickets for Tehran. A one-way ticket between Istanbul or Ankara and Tehran costs US$ 35.00.
Dogubeyazit/Bazergan This Turkey/Iran border crossing is easily (and fast) done by puplic transport. Take a bus to Dogubeyazit and a frequent minibus (ca. 5YTL, 15 minutes) to the border. Cross the border stretch per pedes, take the customs taxi (give the driver some 1000 Rial bakschis) to the next village and take a taxi (3-4$) to the bus terminal in Bazergan . There could also be buses to Bazergan , but the taxi drivers approaching you at the border are not the right people to ask for that. From there you can easily get buses to major destinations in Iran. Check the security situation in the region, due to the unsolved PKK confkict. Make sure you get a clear idea about exchange rates if you want to change YTL or Rial as the official bank at the border does not exchange these currencies and you have to deal with the plentyful black market.
There are also buses from Van to Urmia crossing from Esendere-Sero border. The buses cost 13 Euro and it takes more than 6 hours to finish the 300-kilometer path. That's because of poor roads in the Turkish side and also too many check stops at the Turkish side (more than 5) because security reasons concerning P.K.K.

Pakistan:
You can also (depending on the political situation) enter from Pakistan via the border crossing between Taftan (on the Pakistani side) and zahedan (on the Iranian side)as long as you have a valid visa for Iran.
You can NOT get a visa on the border. Overnight buses leave from Quetta arriving in Taftan in the early morning, from there you can either hire a taxi to the border or walk a couple of kilometers. Once across the border (which can take some time on the Iranian side, you need to organise transport to Zahedan (the local town) where buses depart for destinations in Eastern Iran such as Bam , Kerman and Yazd.

Iraq:
There are daily buses from Arbil to Urmia.

Afghanistan:
There are daily buses between Heart and Mashhad . The buses go through Dogharoun Border. The road has been reported safe.

Turkmenistan:
A bus service also runs between Ashgabad and Mashhad.



5- By boat:

There are some scheduled services from Baku to Bandar Anzali on the Caspian Sea and from cities on the Persian Gulf to cities on the Iranian coast. They are usually of low quality.
Starting in late 2007 and 2008; high quality semi-luxurious ferry service started between Kish Island and Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This service is of nominal fee (@ $50 USD) and the journey across one of the busiest stretches of water is sure to entertain. It is not currently known what the Customs and Entry Visa process is like using this service however as the boats do not enter via the airport. While the entry/exit process at the airport is fairly well established, it is unknown if the process is as well managed when entering via the docks. It is likely to be more chaotic and it is not know whether visas are issued on the spot as is the case at the airport.
There are also ferries from Bandar Abbas to Dubai and Sharja in UAE, and also ferries from Bushehr to Qatar ,Kuwait and Bahrain.

Masoud
(wikipedia)



Wednesday, 21-Jan-2009 11:27 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Iran visa

Visa
visa
Iran visa:

1-Iran airport visa:
In 2006 the rules for obtaining a tourist visa changed and it has become much easier for nationals of many countries to get in to Iran by obtaining a visa at the airportand.

Visa are issued at the Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad airports in Tehran, and also the airports at Mashad, Shiraz, Tabriz and Isfahan

The visa is valid for up to one week or two weeks and costs US$50.
It is generally not possible to get an extension ,There is a large stamp on it which specifically states "non-extendable".

Visas are only issued at the airport for holders of ordinary passports from the states below:

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark,Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia,, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam

E_visa:Tourists can now receive their e-visa in less than 72 hours following confirmation of their application. Foreigners can access the Iranian Foreign Ministry website at www.electronicvisa.ir .
After filling the application form and entering the required details, the user will be given a reference code to pursue his/her application. Once approved, applicants can choose to receive their visa either at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport or at an official travel agency in their home country.

2.Tourist visa:
But If you wish to stay for longer than of the time of this visa , or you are not resident of one of the countries listed above, you will need to apply for a Tourist Visa before you arrive in Iran.
Although it has become easier to get a Tourist Visa in recent years, whether the process takes one day or one month depends largely on your nationality and the staff of the embassy you are applying to. Your best bet is to apply to the Iranian embassy in your own country at least three months before your departure, but it is possible to obtain one while traveling in other countries, with varying degrees of difficulty.

3-Extend iran visa:Extending a tourist visa is very easy and can be done in most cities. The lonely planet advices not to do this in Tehran as it is very time consuming. This is no longer the case and the process of extending a visa in Tehran can be done in just one hour (including tea offerings and being the object of curiosity in the office). Extending a visa a second time requires the passport to be sent to a department in Tehran (no matter where you extend your visa from) and thus takes longer time than doing this the first time.

-Except:
1-Us citizen:US citizens can apply for a visa at the Iranian Interest Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC (For a downloadable form, go to http://daftar.org ). However, Americans must work in advance with an Iranian travel agency to set up a guided itinerary; only then can that travel agency apply for a visa authorization number from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once approved, the authorization number is transmitted to the interest section. At that point the applicant can then apply for the visa. Turnaround times can be as short as a week, but the interest section does not reliably answer emails or phone calls; a DC-based visa processing company can be a surer bet to expedite the process.

2-Women:Women need to make sure they are wearing the Hijab or a head scarf in their submitted passport-sized photos.

3-As a notable exception, the beach resort of Kish Island, easily accessible from Dubai, does not require advance visas for visits of up to 14 days.

Masoud
(wikipedia)


Monday, 19-Jan-2009 11:11 Email | Share | | Bookmark
begining of touristguide

Touristguide
Hello evryone around world:
Very welcome to Iran

At touristguide weblog , i and my friends put information and pictures of iran that help tourist who want to travel to iran .

Masoud&friends


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