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How Much Does Iran Travel Cost? What Is Iran’s Currency?

One of the most important questions tourists ask when they decide to travel to Iran.

Time to read:  

14 mins

Last Updated: 

26/05/2024

Imagine you’ve booked an Iran tour and you are planning to visit it for 2 weeks. First off, understanding the currency helps you plan your budget effectively for the entire time of the trip, so you can make the most of your trip without overspending. Plus, knowing the exchange rates ensures you get a fair deal when converting your cash. It also comes in handy during transactions, so you can avoid any confusion or scams.

Therefore, this blog post aims to encourage you to invest a little time in familiarizing yourself with Iranian currency before your trip—it’ll pay off!

 

 

Iran Currency

In Iran, similar to many other countries, there is one official currency. However, Iranians commonly use a different currency for their day-to-day transactions, making the use of alternative currencies widespread among the population.

So, in Iran, the official currency is the Rial, but the currency commonly used among the people is the Toman. Let’s explore how you can become acquainted with both.

Iranian Rial

Iranian currency name is the rial. Iranian banknotes all have their values written on them in Iranian rial.

50000-Iranian-Rials
Back and forth of a 50,000 Rials Iranian banknote

 

To give you a better sense of how Iran’s currency works, let’s review some grocery item prices in rial:

Note: Kindly note that at the time of writing this article, the Iran exchange rate in the free market is 1 USD = 660,000, Rial and that is the exchange rate used throughout this article. Due to the fluctuation in Iran’s currency, there’s no guarantee how long this price will hold. So please, take into consideration that the current exchange rate might be different, so check the latest exchange rate and update the prices for yourself.

Item Price in rial
1 bottle of Pepsi coke (1.5 liters) 900,000
1 jar of a pickle (590 grams) 900,000
1 bar of dark chocolate (335 grams) 700,000
1 carton of milk (1 liter) 400,000

As you can see, it’s pretty straightforward. And because Iranian banknotes have the prices written on them in both Persian and English numerals, there shouldn’t be any problems.

Now, let’s get to other currencies people use.

 

 

Iranian Toman

The Iranian toman is a currency widely embraced by the Iranian people. While not officially recognized as Iran’s currency, the toman holds such cultural significance that even most online stores price their products in toman rather than rial. However, it’s important to note that official systems such as banks and exchange offices primarily operate in rial.

Essentially, the Iranian toman is the Iranian rial without one zero. It’s as simple as that.

So, if we were to write the table above for Toman, it would be like this:

Item Price in toman
1 bottle of Pepsi coke (1.5 liters) 90,000
1 jar of a pickle (590 grams) 90,000
1 bar of dark chocolate (335 grams) 70,000
1 carton of milk (1 liter) 40,000

As you can see, one zero has been removed.

It’s important to learn to deal with tomans because even though the official Iranian currency is rial, almost no one tells you the price of anything in rials. Everybody uses tomans.

There’s one more aspect of Iran’s currency that’s worth noting. Because both the toman and rial involve dealing with a lot of zeroes, Persian speakers have devised an alternative way of discussing prices.

People will omit another three zeroes in their conversations and tell you the price like that. For example, if something is 70000 rials, the store clerk won’t tell you it’s 7000 tomans; he’ll tell you it’s 7 tomans. (Or hold up 7 fingers).

So, let’s go through the table above one last time:

Item Price in toman (used in conversation)
1 bottle of Pepsi coke (1.5 liters) 90
1 jar of a pickle (590 grams) 90
1 bar of dark chocolate (335 grams) 70
1 carton of milk (1 liter) 40

So if you were to buy that dark chocolate in a store, the store clerk would say something like this: “That would be 70.” Which means 70000 tomans or 700000 rials.

We know that these might seem a little confusing right now, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. And if after all you ever felt like you don’t know what you’re doing, just ask people to tell you the prices in rials. Also, almost all of the products in an Iranian supermarket have the prices written on them in rial.

To get a better sense of Iran’s currency, let’s take a look at one of the Iranian banknotes.

20000-Iranian-Rials

You can see that it’s 20000 rials,

2000-Toman

Or 2 tomans!

Visa and MasterCard in Iran

Many travelers to Iran encounter a significant issue due to a lack of information—they arrive with insufficient funds, unaware that none of the international credit cards are usable in Iran.

Iran’s banking system includes ATMs, which are commonly used for transactions by the majority of people. However, due to sanctions, only debit cards issued by Iranian banks are functional within the country.

It’s advisable to bring all the money you anticipate needing in cash when traveling to Iran, as cash is the preferred currency for transactions. Additionally, the most widely accepted currencies for exchange in Iran are USD and euros.

We understand! No one wants to be lugging around a bunch of cash, especially when you’re exploring as a foreign tourist.

So, we’ve got solutions to help you dodge the hassle of carrying heaps of cash.

Buy your tour from Iranamze

When you arrive, Iranamaze has you covered with a sweet perk: a free Iranian local debit card just for you. It’s your ticket to hassle-free transactions at ATMs and local spots, so you can dive right into your Iran adventure without missing a bea

 

Mah card and DaricPay

Mahcard and Daricpay are specially crafted debit cards tailored for travelers keen on exploring Iran. With these cards, you can easily withdraw cash from ATMs or breeze through store purchases during your Iranian adventure.

 

Mahcard
Mahcard is a kind of debit card designed for tourists who want to visit Iran.

For details on how the card operates and the process involved, hop over to their website. They’ve got all the info you need to get started.

Here’s the kicker: if, by the end of your journey, there’s still some cash left on your card, no worries! They’ve got your back. Someone will swing by to refund the remaining balance—easy peasy.

Please note, that Iranamaze isn’t benefiting financially from mentioning these two service providers. Our goal is simply to arm you with information so you can weigh your options and make the decision that’s right for you. Each service has its own pros and cons, so it’s not a recommendation per se. Ultimately, if you prefer to stick with cash, that’s totally fine too—we’re here to support whatever choice you make.

Currency Exchange Offices

Currency exchange offices in Iran are simple and hassle-free spots where you can swap your cash. With fixed rates in place, there’s no need for negotiation, making them the top pick for currency exchange among travelers.

Given the significant fluctuations in currency rates, it’s wise to stay informed about the moment exchange rates from reliable sources such as bonbast.com

The following are a couple of tips about exchanging money in Iran:

  1. Exchange rates displayed on Google are often inaccurate for Iran, typically undervaluing the currency compared to actual rates. To get a more accurate representation of your money’s worth, rely on trustworthy sources like bonbast.com

  2. You can search for “exchange” on Google Maps to find the nearest exchange offices. Please remember to take your passport with you because some of exchanges ask for a passport to give you services.
  3. Don’t trust individuals wandering around exchange centers to change your money. If somebody comes up to you at the Imam Khomeini airport and asks to change your money for you, don’t do it. As a foreigner, you’re most likely to get ripped off.

And that’s all there is to it.

While you can exchange your money upon arrival at international airports or banks, their exchange rates typically fall 10-20% lower than those offered by exchange offices, making them less favorable options. Instead, currency exchange shops in major cities are recommended for the best rates. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of these shops:

Tehran Money Exchange

The Ferdosi St. in Tehran is the center of money exchange shops. They exchange your currency for the daily announced value which is far more than the government price. Also, there are many shops of this kind all over the city. You can google them based on your residence location.

Pooya exchange: Enqelab Square, North Karegar –  02188968433

Tehran exchange: Sadeghiyeh, Sattarkhan St. – 02144215134

Isfahan Money Exchange

Like Tehran, it is possible to exchange money almost everywhere in Isfahan. But, Sepah St. Maybe an easy-to-reach location. It is near Naqshe-Jahan Square and you surely pay a visit there through your itinerary.

Avval Money Exchange: Tohid St. – 03136291010

Shiraz Money Exchange

Besides the airport exchange shop, Zand St. near Shohada Square is also where several exchange shops are located.

Jahanbani Money Exchange: Mollasadra Intersection, Pars Jewelry Market – 07132360291

Yazd Money Exchange

Imam Khomeini St. and near Yazd’s Fire Temple are two money exchange centers.

Amiran Exchange: located in Dad Hotel, Imam Khomeini St.- 03536275615

Tabriz Money Exchange

Tabriz Grand Bazaar is not just a place for buying precious carpets. One of its sub-bazaars, Amir Bazaar, is the center of money exchange in this city. The exchange shops are centered there.

Kashan Money Exchange

Kashan is not a big city. There are numerous exchange shops most of them are near Kashan old bazaar.

Kerman Money Exchange

Dor Exchange: Emam Jome St. – 0912 093 4454

Sharifi exchange: one of three exchange shops between Tohid Sq and Dr. Shari’ati St. – 0343222 3502

Iran Travel Cost

But, there remains that big question: how much money do you need to bring with you to Iran? Besides tour costs that you can check from our website (and other websites), some things are either not included in tour costs or just happen to pop up when you’re in the country.

Therefore, we have divided these costs into three categories: meals, sightseeing, and souvenirs. Let’s go through them one by one.

Meals

baghali-polo-ba-goosht
Iran has delicious foods that have a high variety of prices

 

Iran is renowned not only for its ancient history but also for its delectable and vibrant cuisine. Just ask anyone who’s visited—they’ll rave about it. But how much does dining out contribute to the overall cost of traveling in Iran?

Prices of meals in restaurants can vary from 3 to 1o euros (for one person). How much it costs depends on

  1. The kind of restaurant you’re in. Is it a luxury one? Is it located in an upscale neighborhood?
  2. The kind of food you order. Fast food, or big meal? meat course or vegetable? traditional meal or an international one?

You may wonder what we mean by “traditional restaurants”. Well, we’re talking about the restaurants that serve local Persian food. Persian food mainly consists of rice with a side dish. The most expensive Iranian meals in Iran are those made with beef; such as Kebab.

It’s interesting to note that Iranians abstain from consuming pork, meaning the beef in your dishes typically comes from sheep and cows.

Pro tip: Traditional dishes in Iran often come in generous portions, so if you’re not feeling overly hungry or you’re traveling with a companion, consider sharing a dish to save on costs.

Sightseeing

Tourist-Women-Persepolis-Shiraz
Iran has many places of interest such as Persepolis, and you have to buy a ticket to see each one

 

If you’re a history and art enthusiast, brace yourself for an exhilarating ride! because Iran boasts an abundance of museums, monuments, and ancient structures that may leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed—in the best way possible.

Did you know that Iran is

Hypothetically, if you visit about 5 monuments each day and the average cost for their entrance fee is 200,000 rials, you would have to pay approximately 1,000,000 rials or 100,000 tomans or about 8 USD for sightseeing every day.

What should you do then? You can’t possibly visit all the gardens, buildings, and museums in the limited time you have. You can:

  1. Prepare in advance. Choose which museums and historical sites you are going to visit before you travel. This way, you know how much money you need to work into your Iran travel budget for sightseeing.
  2. Take a tour. Tour leaders are the best guides. They have been to every one of these places and based on their experience, they know which ones a foreign tourist would enjoy the most.

Iranian Souvenirs’ Costs

There are many souvenirs you can get for your family and friends, but for the sake of this article, we have covered the two most popular souvenirs amongst foreign tourists: Persian carpets and rugs and Iranian sweets.

Carpet and Rugs

Carpet-Tehran-Bazaar
Iran is one of the largest exporters of carpets in the world, which many tourists prepare for souvenirs.

 

Iran is famous for its Persian carpets and rugs, amongst other things. One of the things many tourists love to buy as souvenirs is a Persian carpet.

Many factors set the price of Iranian carpets and rugs; such as size, color, style, and origin, whether it’s handmade or not, and a lot of other things. That’s why carpet prices can vary from 1,000 USD to 20000 USD.

Iranian Sweets

Isfahan-Sweets-Gaz
Gaz is one of the Iranian sweets that you can buy as a souvenir

Other popular Iranian souvenirs are Iranian sweets. They are delicious and almost every city has its unique kind of sweet.

Check out the table below for different Iranian sweets you can buy and their prices.

Products Price in rial Price in USD
Persian nougat Gazz (400 grams) 1200,000 5
Persian Baklava (980 grams) 1700,000 7
Rock Sugar (20 pieces) 400,000 2

Please note that there are so many other sweets that you can buy as souvenirs in Iran. Also, Iran is one of the major dried fruit and nut exporters in the world. Many people come to Iran and see a lot of stuff they might have liked to buy if they had brought more money. Don’t be one of those people! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Tipping in Iran

Tipping is not that common in Iran. But people are not offended by it, rather they appreciate it. Of course, if you’re staying at a 4 or 5-star hotel, then you may as well tip the doorman and the hotel porter. Because they will be expecting it.

Also, if you’re couch surfing, bring a little gift or souvenir from your hometown for the host or buy some sweets on your way there. It is not mandatory, but it’s an Iranian custom to thank your host with a little something.

Conclusion

Iran’s currency has lost its value due to the sanctions. This means a bad economy for the Iranian people but relatively cheap travel for foreign tourists. Iran is a country of culture, art, and history and is worth every penny you spend on it.

So how much money do you need to bring with you on a 5-day trip to Iran? Assuming you’ve booked a tour and the accommodation, breakfast, and transportation costs are included in the tour cost:

  1. If you’re a low-budget traveler, 80 USD should be enough.
  2. If you spend moderately, bring about 140 USD.
  3. If you’re planning on a luxury trip, prepare to spend more than 250 USD.

If you have any questions or doubts about Iran’s currency or your travel costs, leave a comment down below. In IranAmaze we’re always happy to help.

Happy traveling!

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