One of the questions foreign visitors to Iran usually have is; how to book accommodation in Iran?! Because of the absence of some popular international booking websites such as Booking.com. And sanctions on international transactions, travelers often feel confused and uncertain about booking their accommodation in Iran. Luckily it’s not at all difficult to book your accommodation in Iran. In fact, there are plenty of options possible!
This blog post covers everything you need to know to book your accommodation in Iran; from different types of accommodation to the booking and payment process. So that after this blog post you can book your accommodation with confidence and ease.
When it comes to accommodation, Iran is a paradise for travelers. With accommodation available in every price range, everybody coming to the country is able to find a suitable place to stay within their budget. Moreover, with a lot of places build inside traditional homes. It’s not at all hard to find yourself a mesmerizing place full of color and tradition. Also, people looking for top-notch luxury, or a real local experience doesn’t have to look far; luxurious hotels, guesthouses, and homestays are widely available. Below a list of different types of accommodation in Iran;
With luxury hotels available all over Iran, it’s not difficult to find yourself a top-notch suite in no-time. A simple search in Google will lead you straight to the latest blog posts and lists with the fanciest, luxurious and glamorous hotels in Iran. Book your room directly through the official website or use the booking options through travel agencies to book your suite.
People looking for regular hotels and hostels have lots of options in Iran. Which-ever city you are planning to visit, be sure to find affordable accommodation. Different from what some people expect; there are hostels in Iran. Some even with mixed dormitories! (for those who wondered) A quick search on www.hostelworld.com, www.hostelsiniran.com, and Tripadvisor.com show you plenty of options that suit different budgets.
Looking for a more local experience? Home-stays and guesthouses are a great way to experience Iranian culture. Find them on Google or through this website where people rent out rooms and accommodation against fair rates. Don’t miss out on the home-cooked meals which often can be booked complementary. They are for sure the tastiest meals you will get in Iran.
Eager to get even closer to the Iranian culture? Couch surfing allows you to literally live with Iranians in their home for free. Cook meals together, exchange about cultures and learn about the best places to see from a local perspective. Different from what some people think couch surfing is not just a free place to sleep, but a cultural exchange between people and nationalities. If you’re not interested in socializing with your host it’s better to search for another type of accommodation. But if you do want to interact and exchange Couchsurfing in Iran is an excellent option. Find your host easily at www.couchsurfing.com.
One important note; according to the Iranian immigration police, you should officially report your stay at the immigration office in the city you are Couchsurfing in. It’s not at all a problem for Iranians to host a foreigner, but for safety reasons, the immigration officers want to be informed about it. Although most people don’t bother to register, it can be done easily with a phone call to the nearest immigration office.
To read more about visa’s and the locations of immigration offices check this blog post about visa extension in Iran.
Another mesmerizing way to experience Iran is by staying in Eco-lodges. I’ve spent a few nights in Eco lodges myself and together with the traditional homes and Couchsurfing, they are by far the most inspiring and culturally interesting experience. Often made from natural materials, the Eco-lodges are great for sustainable tourism. Besides that; sleeping traditional-style on thick mats on the floor gives a lot of insight in the traditional way of living. Add the locally hand-made decorations such as carpets and wall-art and you’ve found yourself a unique and truly mesmerizing home away from home. To find the Eco-lodges; again Google is your best friend.
Booking accommodation in Iran is actually fairly simple, but it can take up some time. Basically, there are five ways to book your accommodation;
This goes for the number of websites that offer direct online booking options. For example; some of the websites mentioned in this article provide online booking services. Because every website has their own policies it’s best to check the procedure with the website you’re using.
Most accommodations in Iran can be contacted by email. Simply send them an email with your reservation request. While most companies will reply within a day or two, it is a smart thing to catch up with them if you don’t hear back after a couple of days.
Additionally, some accommodations offer direct booking on their website; simply fill in the reservation form and wait for their confirmation by email.
If not all accommodations in Iran can be booked directly over the phone. This option is obviously most convenient if you’ve already arrived in Iran and your plans are flexible. Get yourself an Iranian sim-card and just call the provider to make your booking. If you’re in the unlucky situation that the provider doesn’t speak English be sure to ask help from your current hotel or newly made Iranians friends.
While some travel agencies take care of your whole trip, including accommodation, sightseeing, and visa procedures. There are also travel agencies who offer hotel booking as a separate service. They usually offer a wide selection of medium and luxury hotels, as well as guesthouses or Eco-lodges on request.
The main reason why booking accommodation in Iran is a bit more complicated compared to other countries is that international transactions are sanctioned by the UN. This basically means that Visa, MasterCard, and international bank cards don’t work in Iran. Making it fairly impossible to offer (internet) transactions to foreign pass holders. Therefore by far most of the accommodations should be paid in cash upon arrival.
That being said, some websites, including a couple of privately owned and foreign companies do offer international payments. For example, some travel agencies and luxurious booking websites. Other websites, such as a couple of the ones mentioned above, only require you to pay a booking fee or deposit upfront.
If you want to learn more about money and payment in Iran; check this blog post about foreign currency. And learn how to manage your money in Iran. As well as how the MahCard gives you access to the banking system in Iran.
That’s it! Five different types of accommodation that provide different experiences in Iran; From top-notch luxury hotels to mid and low-range hotels and hostels. From cultural homestay experiences to mesmerizing Eco-lodges. You now know how to find these accommodations in Iran as well as how to book and to pay for them.
As you can see, lots of accommodations can just be found with a simple search in google. Nothing difficult about that 😊!
Did you have any trouble booking and paying for your accommodation in Iran?