“I didn’t expect it to be this modern!”, “A big city just like Paris or London”, “It was lively and energetic”. These are just a few quotes visitors to Iran express on their arrival in Tehran. As the capital, it is almost always the first Iran destination in Iran tours. About two or three days in each tour is designated to visit Tehran. It is a city with modern and standard civil facilities, security capacities, an advanced health care system, proper communication infrastructures, and internet access. So, being in Tehran means complete peace of mind for any foreign traveler. But, how is it going in the rest of Iran?
How Developed Is Iran?
Let’s go a little deeper inside Iran’s society. Iran has 31 provinces. Each province has a capital of its own that is called the center of the province. Usually, it is the main and biggest city of this division. Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashad, and Tabriz are the most famous among these centers. Then, there are smaller cities, towns, and villages. The smaller it gets, the more local and authentic is life in these locations. So, while there are these modern and big cities, there are also villages that still have preserved their traditional lifestyle in the 21st century.
Yet, this does not mean they have to live in a Bedouin way. Civil infrastructures such as clean water, electricity, communication and internet access, as well as transportation, are provided for a large fraction of people. Iran has done a lot in the path of development. What were they?
Iran Roads Infrastructures
According to WorldData, the main traffic and transport routes are in good condition. Of course, they are yet to reach the level of the leading industrial nations. In terms of the length of its rail network, Iran ranks 79th in the world with 0.10 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 8,484 kilometers long. For the airports in Iran, alone at Imam Khomeini International Airport operates 21 airlines to and from 43 destinations. The biggest national airline is IranAir out of a total of 6.
Safety in Iran
Due to the permanent patrol of police and security guards on the streets and public places, the security rate is high. CCTV cameras are the security eyes all over the cities, buildings, malls, and marts. The roads are watched by the traffic police 24/7. Moreover, the crime rate in Iran is lower than in many touristy countries. There is no risk of getting kidnapped all of a sudden or else. The must-be-observed principles for safely traveling in Iran is the same as the other countries in the world.
Not being alone in empty places, taking care of cash and belongings, and so on are among these common rules. By the way, the Iranians are caring people. They feel responsible towards others, especially the passengers and visitors. This attitude multiples when the tourist is a solo female. Everybody is ready to help out with any probable problem. Anyway, in case you feel distressed or frightened, just ask a trusted person like a shopkeeper for help. Also, the Police Department’s phone number is 110.
Communications and Internet Facilities
Telecommunications facilities have been in Iran for more than 50 years. By the end of the 90s, the cell phone emerged in Iran. And, from the early 2000s, internet access increased day by day. Right now many regions and cities of Iran are under 5G coverage. In unoccupied locations like deserts or jungles, 4G, 3G, or LTE are available. More than 90% of Iranians have access to cell phones. Foreign visitors can purchase a sim card on their arrival for calls and the internet. Besides, hotels and hostels provide their travelers with Wi-Fi. Due to some political issues, some sites and apps are blocked in Iran. So, if you need to have access to your Facebook, YouTube, or Tik Tok, you must install a VPN on your cell phone. WhatsApp and Instagram are available.
UNICEF has rated Iran’s primary health care as “excellent”. In 2016, Bloomberg News ranked Iran as the 30th most efficient healthcare system. That was ahead of the United States and Brazil. Also, about 90% of Iranians have some form of health care insurance. Generally, the health status of Iranians has improved over the last two decades. People in cities and villages have access to health services. Iran has been a pioneer in the vaccination system in the region for a century. During the Covid-19 pandemic, along with importing vaccines, the domestic scientific institutions made vaccines, as well. Thus, As a tourist you can make sure you get proper health care services if needed.
Literacy in Iran
Compared to countries at similar levels of development, Iran is a very educated society. According to UNESCO in 2015, in comparison to its Arab neighbors, Iran’s literacy rate has been 78 percent. By 2021, this rate for adult literacy reached up to about 96 percent. Both men and women can enter university and study to the highest degrees. Many public and private education facilities are available in Iran.
By the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the education centers were closed. So, online education infrastructures found their place little by little.
Iran, A 2nd World Country
Iran is considered a developing country. So, right now, it is a 2nd world country. This country has been under heavy international sanctions for about 40 years. Considering the issue, it tried to keep on the development road. In some areas, Iran has done well. And in some fields, it has a long way to go. The reasonable traveling capacities as well as unique hospitable people have made Iran a favorable destination for holidays. The low value of Iranian money means traveling to Iran is absolutely affordable. By this means, we guess Iran can be among the top 10 of any traveling destination list.