You decide to visit Iran. You do the research, choose your destination cities, book your flight ticket and hotel or hostel room, pack your stuff, take a cab, and go to the airport. Some hours later you get off the plane and start your exciting adventure in Iran. To continue your adventure enthusiasm is not the only thing you need. First of all, you’re going to need to get your money exchanged. For this very first task, you need some information. Where to exchange my money? What is the exchange rate in Iran? Which services are possible for me to use? What is Iran’s currency? In what values are the banknotes and coins published? Do I need to exchange my money in my home country? These are some common questions. We try to explain the answers to these questions in the following article about the exchange rate in Iran and everything related to it.
The first thing you need to know so you would be able to exchange money is Iran’s currency. Iran’s currency is Rial with the currency code of IRR and the symbol of ريال. The government publishes the banknotes in the values of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000, 500000, and 1000000 Rials and the coins in the values of 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 Rials.
All these banknotes and coins are published based on Rial but people do the daily economic chores with Toman. Toman is an unofficial currency which equals ten Rials. For example, if you have a banknote with the number of 10000 Rials on it, you can use it to buy a product with the value of 1000 Toman. So in exchange shops and bank jobs, you are going to use Rials, but in restaurants and markets and hotels you are going to use Toman. Just remember whenever you get confused put your hand on the last zero of the banknote or coin that you are holding, and you will see the value of it in Toman.
There are two different exchange rates in Iran: 1. The official government rate and 2. The market rate. The official government rate is always lower than the market rate. So if you want to get more Rials, try finding the market exchange shops. In fact, there are two kinds of exchange shops. The first type of exchange shops is the one that works as a part of a bank. These shops mostly work with the government rate. The second type of exchange shops is independent shops that work with the free market rate.
The best way to find out the exchange rate in Iran is by surfing the internet. There are many websites which provide daily exchange rates, considering the daily changes in these rates. You can use Iran’s central bank’s website to have direct access to the rates. You can also check out other Iranian currency authority websites or the XE International currency authority websites. Another way is checking out the electronic billboards that every exchange shop have right at its door.
One important thing in getting the right exchange rate in Iran is knowing where to exchange your money. First of all, do not forget that the one and only place to exchange your money is a licensed exchange shop. As we mentioned earlier try finding shops that work with the free market rate. Most licensed exchange shops in Tehran have a branch in the Ferdowsi street and around the Ferdowsi square. It’s better to exchange your money outside of the airport or your hotel so that you would be completely certain of the exchange rate offered to you. Remember to take your passport or ID card to exchange your money because most exchange shops ask for these types of identity documents.
One other way for exchanging your money knowing that you have the right exchange rate in Iran is using reliable online services such as Mahcard. Mahcard is an Iranian debit card which you pay for from your home country and when you get to Iran Mahcard agents hand it to you in your hotel or hostel. In fact, you pay for the card and the money in it with your country’s currency but when you get the card the money in it is exchanged by the company to Iran’s currency. At last, remember that some restaurants and shops might accept dollar or euro but it’s better to have exchanged money.
Every trip has its threats and risks. To be a smart traveller you should be aware of these risks and be prepared for them. One of these risks is carrying cash. So when you exchange your money, you need to be more careful. Remember to exchange your money little by little and keep the rest in your hotel’s safe. For this purpose try to locate a licensed exchange shop close to your hotel or hostel so that you would be able to exchange your money whenever you want to. Also, try to have some exchanged cash somewhere hidden for emergency cases. These are some general tips that you need to know about every trip and every exchange experience.