Welcome to Iran! – Isfahan

by Simon Wentzel

Visiting Iran

This could be another trip report about one of my flight adventures. But there is a lot more to explore in Iran. 

What you read or hear from western media does not reflect reality in Iran – in many ways. Iranians are among the friendliest and most welcoming people you will ever meet. Their hospitality has become well recognized by backpackers and couch surfers from other countries. It is also one of the safest places to go. 

I visited Iran twice with a group of aviation enthusiasts. Our focus was on flying some old and special airplanes. But we also visited some beautiful places in Iran, that I would like to share with you. 

Iran is getting more and more attention as a tourist destination. It has become very easy to obtain a visa. Most nationalities will get a visa on their arrival for up to 60 days. Excluded are Canada, United Kingdom and the United States, special rules apply for them. 

For most visitors to Iran the Imam Khomeini Intl. Airport will be the port of entry. It offers connections to Amsterdam, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Vienna, Rome, Moscow and also to Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok in Asia. There are also flights to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha. 

Domestic flights will fly from Mehrabad Airport, which is much closer to the city and easier to reach. Mehrabad Airport also features a small hotel with only a dozen rooms. It is hidden in a building right next to the tower, behind terminal 2. It is a very good option if you want to fly out of Mehrabad Airport and avoid the traffic in the morning. I will post some details later.

When you plan a first visit to Iran there should be at least the following cities on your list: Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Yazd. That should be a good start for your first journey. Of course you can add more places to that list. 

 

Isfahan

It is hard to name a highlight city. But Isfahan is truly a major highlight, when visiting Iran.

Take a walk with me through the city center of Isfahan. Starting at Chehel Sotoun Palace, followed by the famous Naqsh-e Jahan Square, also called “Imam Square”, which is surrounded by a large indoor and outdoor bazaar, selling pottery, artwork and candy on one side and daily goods on the other side. 

And you will be surprised by very fair pricing, for both the attractions and the bazaar. One box of candy will cost you only a few Euros. Souvenirs are also fair priced, as most visitors are still Iranian and no foreigners.

 

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