Money Matters – Costs of backpacking in Iran

Money Matters – Costs of backpacking in Iran

Esfahan, Iran Costs Copyright Bunch of Backpackers

Iran is incredibly easy on the wallet since the costs of food, accommodation and transportation are low. The only thing that is (relatively) expensive are entrance fees. Iran is an amazing country to visit and at this moment, still fairly off-the-beaten path. It has majestic mountains, endless deserts, superb mosque’s and incredibly welcoming people! All you need for a beautiful travel adventure! So, how much does it cost to travel in Iran? Find my expenses and costs of backpacking in Iran below!

This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.  

COSTS 24-DAY IRAN TRIP*: 525 EURO (592 USD)
DAILY TRAVEL EXPENSES IRAN: 21,90 EURO (24,70 USD)

*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day. Including all tours, domestic flights, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights and visa costs.

Newly weds in traditional clothing! Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers
Newly weds in traditional clothing! Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers

EXAMPLES OF PRICES IN IRAN:

These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.

Standard Iran expenses

One night in a hostel dormitory: 8,8 – 13,3 euro (10 – 15 USD)
A short 10-minute taxi ride: 1,3 euro (1,5 USD)
Lunch / dinner in a cafe or restaurant: 5 euro (5,6 USD)
Entrance fees: often around 5 euro (5,6 USD)
Small water: 0,13 euro (0,15 USD)
Return metro ticket Tehran: 0,28 euro (0,31 USD)

Notable Iran expenses

VIP bus Tehran – Esfahan (6 hours): 5,4 euro (6,0 USD)
6-hour tour around Yazd with private taxi: 12 euro (13,6 USD) per person
National Museum of Iran: 8,5 euro (9,5 USD)
Train Yazd – Kashan (3h): 7,4 euro (8,3 USD)

 

Traveling Iran was part of my Silk Road adventure! Read more about this trip here!

Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers

Costs of my hostels and guesthouses in Iran

Pars Hotel in Tabriz (single): 300.000 rial or 7,7 euro (8,7 USD)
Mehman Pazir Kenareh in Rasht (single): 450.000 rial or 11,5 euro (13 USD)
Khaksar Hotel in Qazvin (single): 600.000 rial or 15,4 euro (17,4 USD)
Koorsaran Hotel in Gazor Khan/Alamut (dorm): 300.000 rial or 7.7 euro (8.7 USD)
Khazar Sea Hotel in Tehran (single): 300.000 rial or 7.7 euro (8.7 USD)
Amir Kabir Hostel in Esfahan (single): 500.00 rial or 12,8 euro (14,4 USD)
Amir Kabir Hostel in Esfahan (dorm): 300.00 rial or 7,7 euro (8,7 USD)
Tak-Taku Guesthouse in Toudeshk (single): 800.000 rial (inc meals) or 22,7 euro (25,6 USD)
Orient Hotel in Yazd (single): 750.000 rial or 21,2 euro (24 USD)
Orient Hotel in Yazd (roof): 350.000 rial or 9,9 euro (11 USD)
Eshan Hotel in Kashan (dorm): 500.000 rial or 12,8 euro (14,4 USD)
Morvarid Hotel in Qom (single): 600.000 rial or 15,4 euro (17,4 USD)
Firouzeh Hotel in Tehran (single): 680.000 or 19,3 euro (21,7 USD)

Most have shared bathroom/toilet. In some cases, breakfast was included. I also slept a few nights for free at people’s houses or outside!

Check out the article with all my favorite IRAN hostels! 

The big toman/rial confusion!

This is important to know before going to Iran! The official currency of Iran is in rial. However, prices are usually quoted in toman. So, when a taxi driver says 7… He means 70.000 toman or 700.000 rial. It’s very easy, and I promise you’ll get the hang of it on the first day! In hostels/guesthouses, the rates are sometimes quoted in USD. Always ask the price in rial as well.

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1000-year-old Kharanaq village. Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers
Bring plenty of cash!

Unfortunately, at this moment it’s still pretty much impossible to get money in Iran. This means no bank transfer and no ATM to use. Therefore, it’s important to bring enough travel money plus some emergency money. The exchange rate in Iran is much better than the international exchange rates quoted on for example xe.com Thus, change euro’s in rials when you’re there!

If you do get into problems and you run out of money in Iran, then these are your options:

  • Borrow money from other travelers (you’ll need VPN to transfer the money though… so download a VPN app like Vypr before you go)
  • Buy a carpet and ask for extra cash money (20% commission. so hardly a solution)
  • Visit all banks. An Italian couple somehow managed to get cash with their credit card, so there may be some possibilities.
  • Try the reception desk at the Firouzeh Hotel in Tehran (more likely to help you when you’re actually staying there).

In this post I used the current exhange rate in Iran: 1 euro: 39.000 rial (june 2016)
Not included: the 700 USD that was stolen from my backpack :(

Some details on this trip

About the backpacker: Manouk, the Netherlands, 30 years
Destination and travel period: Iran in June 2016
Visited places: Tabriz, Rasht/Masuleh, Qazvin, Gazor Khan/Alamut, Tehran, Esfahan, Yazd, Toudeshk, Golshan (family stay), Kashan en Qom.
Type of trip: Solo, independently
Accommodation*: budget (mainly hostels and guesthouses)
Transportation*: budget (cheapest available mode of transportation)
Food*: superbudget (local restaurants/markets, I traveled during the Ramazan, so often bought simple food at a market or was invited to eat at a family)
Currency rate: 1 euro = 39.000 rial (unofficial currency rate)

*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury

Nomadic girl from the Zagros mountains in her most beautiful clothes. Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers
Nomadic girl from the Zagros mountains in her most beautiful clothes. Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers
Esfahan bridge. Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers
Esfahan bridge. Iran 2016. Photo by Bunch of Backpackers
Alamut, Iran 2016. By Bunch of Backpackers.
Alamut, Iran 2016. By Bunch of Backpackers.
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Iran 2016. By Bunch of Backpackers.

Have you been to Iran? Can you relate to these travel costs?

Meet 'travel mastermind' Manouk: a 29-year-old sassy girl from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. With BoB she inspires you to explore the world, meet the unexpected and follow your dreams. Happy travels!

7 COMMENTS

  1. So cool! Iran is high on my places to visit and it’s good to see a cost breakdown like this! You did it really budget though, I just spoke to a friend who spent 80 euro per day. She stayed in hotels with her dad, but it’s quite a steep difference! So it’s good to see it can also be cheaper!

    How did you experience solo female travel in Iran?

    • Hi Dominique, yes, definitely! I think if you budget around 30 euro’s per day you’re well on the safe side. Solo female travel in Iran was fairly easy, I did have a few incidents of sexual harassment, but I never felt in danger or a real treat. I would advice to be careful with hitchhiking. I will soon write more about this! I would def recommend going solo to Iran :) It’s a real adventure!

  2. Yes I can relate to these prices and sentiments…. I’ve recently written a post detailing how much we as a couple spent in our 2 months in Iran earlier this year. Costs in Rial and New Zealand dollars (1 NZD = 0.66 Euro) are outlined for transport, food, activities, health etc. We were on a budget, couchsurfed lots but when we paid for accommodation we paid for private rooms (rarely shared a bathroom). Here’s the link http://kiwioutthere.com/?p=1440

  3. We (two women) visited in 2015 and we spent around 50 Euro per day for both of us. Pretty much the same. We found entrance fees a bit high for some sights….

    • Hi Natasha, yes :), and when you’re with two you’ll also save on accommodation and taxi’s! Entrance fees were sometimes crazy high (and 10x as much as the local entrance fee)!

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