Traveling is the manifestation of a person’s willingness to explore the unknown. It’s an act of enthusiasm through which you’ll be mesmerized by various languages, cultures, foods, and ethnicities.
Yes, traveling is all fun and games until you start thinking about accommodation and a place to stay. When it comes to “accommodation”, there are basically three groups of people. People who go for familiar options such as Airbnb, people who willingly apply to stay with locals (at some point they may also choose to stay in hostels). The third group, however, are people who would rather stay in a hotel. Not to mention that this group often do not have financial concerns and limitations. Choosing where to stay while on a trip, may particularly seem more dramatic and challenging in two conditions.
Firstly, is the time when you’re aware of your financial limitations and don’t have many options to maneuver around. Secondly, when you’re visiting a country, outside of EU for instance and things may not seem as straightforward as in your own country. Your destination might be a country of which you have only heard on the news, owning a different culture, currency and basically traveling there is more like diving into the unknown.
In countries with special political and geographical conditions, namely Iran, things may not run as smoothly as you are used to. Not only that, but they may go around quite differently. Which may or may not come as a surprise. We can go on and on about the first world and third world countries’ differences. But the instructions to get you through those differences are our main focus rather than the differences themselves.
In this very article, we will be discussing accommodation in Iran. So sit tight, cause we’re ready to take off!
Let’s say you’ve already decided to travel to Iran and your main concern at this point is figuring out where to stay. Following paragraphs will cover the first two groups of the three groups we mentioned earlier in the second paragraph. These groups basically consist of travelers who either have a strict financial plan, are low on budget or rather not spend too much money on something they may regret later. So we’ll be cruising through these options, starting from good old Airbnb. At the end of this article, we’ll be giving you one extra information regarding accommodation. That’ll be your Bonus for hanging with us until the end of this article! (winks)
Us, citizens of this world, generally go for the most familiar choice at hand. That is to say, it is admittedly more simple, convenient and less complicated. Speaking of convenience, Airbnb is a globally famous corporation based in the US, which has been operating as an online hospitality service since 2008. Either you’re a tourist going on a vacation, a business traveler or someone who’s moving to another city, looking for a place to stay until finding your permanent residence, Airbnb suits your primary needs. Meanwhile, this service is available in pretty much every country in the world, some countries have been excluded from this service. If you try accessing Airbnb from Iran, this is the message you will receive:
The message states that :
“Airbnb is unavailable in your location.
Error code: 451
Airbnb is required to comply with US sanctions laws that restrict the use of our site in certain jurisdictions. Because of this, our services are not available in Crimea, Iran, Syria, and North Korea.”
So the message is quite loud and clear. And if you try searching for residences in Iran from your home country or any other country for that matter this will be your search result:
The lifting of sanctions on Iran was thought to be some kind of an endorsement to a better future. Notwithstanding these agreements, Iran continued to be banned from many international services in broad daylight.
With regards to the first picture, you can safely conclude that Airbnb is no longer an option when traveling to Iran. But what are the alternatives?
Aside from the fact that our main reason to travel differs from one another, but part of our journey through various countries serves the purpose of acquainting us with various cultures, ethnicities, languages and their local cuisines. People who travel with this objective rather stay with locals to get in touch with their daily living routines on a deeper, more personal level. Which is why they find themselves a “host”. They either find their hosts through their friends in the country they’re traveling to or manage to find them through some websites and applications.
There’s this pretty popular platform called Couchsurfing, which has been around since the early 2000s. Couchsurfing is a website (application) through which travelers find their hosts in various cities of various countries. Via its powerful search engine, you are provided with the opportunity to browse through various hosts based on your preferences. It is not only reliable but on top of that, you won’t have to spend a dime. So it’s like shooting two birds with one stone. Even if you encounter problems of any sort, you can always contact their customer support.
It would be kind of shocking if you haven’t already heard about this popular application, as its growing popularity and reliability has drawn more attention to itself, especially in the past couple of years. Although this hospitality and social networking service have been around for like, 16 years, it’s been quite a few years since it has been introduced to the Iranian people and its booming popularity tripled in a matter of months. It practically became an open door to global communication to the Iranians. Not only that, but it turned out to be a revolutionary opening to get in touch with the people of Iran on a closer and a whole new level.
Your host can either be an Iranian family or a single person who’s willing to host you for whatever time you have agreed on. So by finding your host(s) in Iranian cities, you’ll not only get to live with the locals, taste Persian home cooked meal, and meet with their friends and family, you might even earn a free tour around the popular places of each city. And all of this will be at no or low cost. Making new friends in a whole new culture is admittedly the best outcome of this whole experience. It’s absolutely priceless!
There are three types of people who choose to stay in a hostel. One who’s low on budget and doesn’t necessarily find it a catchy idea to stay with a local person and family. The second group is usually people who have been unable to find a host in some of the cities. This is actually quite natural, especially when the request is short notice. And group three consists of fellow travelers who are trying both options or just testing both possibilities. Hostels might not be the best alternative to Couchsurfing in terms of convenience and comfort, but it’s better than nothing. Right?
In these cases, one starts to look for hostels online and contacting them via email or phone number. Considering the fact that Tehran is probably your first destination when you first arrive in Iran, we recommend you to put your hostel booking a priority. Whilst in Iran, you can take care of your future bookings one step or two steps at a time. Providing you’re traveling during a high season in Iran, you might want to take one thing into account. That is, during these notably crowded tourist seasons you may not find a proper place on short notice. That being the case it’d be best if you do your booking way in advance. Rest assured that not only you won’t be disappointed, but your journey won’t be spoiled whatsoever.
To name a few of numerous hostels in Iran we can recommend the following hostels:
Ecolodge, as it’s obvious from the name itself, is referred to an eco-friendly tourist attraction. This type of accommodation is specifically designed and programmed to have less impact on its surrounding environment. This objective makes ecolodges environmentally sustainable accommodations. This environmentally responsible lodging perfectly fits people who are willing to not only take a positive step towards nature but to utilize facilities supporting their approach.
Good news is, currently Iran is home to some of the best eco-lodges in which you’ll get to experience local life like in no other accommodation facility. In ecolodges such as Nartitee, you’ll have the opportunity to get a closer look at village life, their traditions, and beliefs. Taking part in their ceremonies, rituals and daily chores will practically be one of your life’s unique experiences and encounters. It’ll be an unforgettable experience in which you’ll be familiarized with Iranians various ancient traditions and lifestyles. For someone whose main traveling purpose is more of a cultural journey, such accommodation facilities satisfies their initial traveling objective.
Below are some of the most famous and well-known ecolodges of Iran: