Get out there, talk to people, and Iran WILL be unforgettable and maybe even life-changing.
In a lot of ways, visiting Iran is like a Cuban cigar…it’s a big deal mostly for Americans. There are Western tourists (mostly Germans, French, Italian, Brits, and Dutch). In fact, the Lonely Planet guidebook to Iran sells reasonably well and just came out in a new edition.
Once, while stuck in a Tehran traffic jam, the man in the next car asked my driver to roll down his window. He passed over a bouquet of flowers and said, “Give this to the foreigner in your back seat and apologize for our traffic.” And when Iran does open up for tourism, experiences like this lead me to believe that its people will be the biggest draw.
Need help? Just ask! Iranians are MOST helpful to tourists, so don’t be afraid to ask whenever you need help. It might require plenty of sign/body language and some locals can speak English in big cities.
It won’t take long before Iranians give you a warm welcome, ask where you are from or even invite you to dinner or tea. They are just as keen to show you they are the exact opposite of how they are portrayed, as you should be showing them that the western world doesn’t hate them.
Etienne Simonnin has shared his experience from Iran about people by posting: “Just came back from a wonderful trip to Iran and I must say that I loved it. Most of the people are very curious, enthusiatic about the idea of meeting people with a different culture. And above all, Iranian people are very kind, warm and hospitality means a lot to them. Discovering Iran is not only visiting places with amazing monuments, it is making a trip into the past and meeting beautiful people with whom it is possible to talk about everything.
I really intend to go back. Iran has a lot to offer :)”