Public Transportation in Iran
Welcome to Iran. Now that you have passed through the borders of the country, you need to know how to move from one city to another. On this page, we will briefly introduce to you the overall points to bear in mind and ways to use to go about the country. If you have bought a tour package service, reading this page will not indeed help you that much. However, if you are one of those travelers who wish to travel to Iran without a tour and you plan your trips independently, then reading this page will be certainly quite helpful for you.
In Iran, you can move from one city to another in three main ways: road transport, railway transport, and airway transport. If you pay attention to the map of Iran and its geographical situation, you will notice that regarding the location of the seas of the country and the fact that it is located on the dry belt around the world, it does not have rivers suitable for shipping and there is no water transport available in it.
Airway Transport in Iran
In Iran, many cities have airports that can be used for travelling purposes.
The advantage: you can save time and spend less time on the way and thus have an opportunity to spend more time on visiting more attractions and more cities.
Disadvantage: you need to pay more. The airway transports in Iran are considered the most expensive ones.
Where to buy a ticket: you can get a ticket at all the airports in Iran. In addition, you can book a flight through the travel agencies in operation in the area of domestic flights. The simpler solution, however, is to refer to the websites where one can book a flight online. On such websites, you will be easily capable of purchasing a ticket. The advantage of booking a flight in this way is to be benefited from the discounts of the near-flight sale also known as last-minute flights. Moreover, you will be able to compare the prices with one another and choose the one that is the most convenient for you given your situation. Of course, this is only possible if you have a tourist credit card of Iran. From websites like Ali'baba, etick or Apochi where these flights are booked, you can buy a ticket online for domestic flights.
important point: in Iran, the fee of domestic flights, quite similar to other countries all around the world, is rather variable and depends on the flight hour, airline, the distance to the destination, national and religious occasions, and also the peak of holidays and travelling at the time. For instance, the price of booking a flight to Mashhad can fluctuate between 107 thousand tomans to 630 thousand tomans. The highest price, that is, 630 thousand tomans, is when it is the New Year's holidays or Nowruz in Iran and many Iranians tend to celebrate the New Year in Imam Reza shrine.
Road Transport in Iran
Road transport between the cities of Iran takes place in two ways: by bus and taxi. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to Iran's transportation system, keep in mind that in this country, there are buses commuting from the center of each province to that of the others. Inter-urban buses of Iran are divided to two types, VIP and economy or ordinary. Some major bus terminals have buses to smaller towns too and not just to the centers of other provinces. However, in each province, there are buses commuting to all of its cities. The rule in general, in Iran, is that if there is no direct ticket available to the destination from a certain departure point, then you will be able to easily travel from any province to its neighboring province.
of course, mini-buses commute on shorter ways and between smaller towns, which, given their lower standards in comparison with that of UNWTO, we don't recommend you using them unless you are precisely after experiencing such new phenomena in order to get the most vicarious feeling out of being around your host society and/or want to economize your trip most. Keep in mind that the fee of the mini-buses is way cheaper than of the buses. In addition, there are inter-urban buses, too, that can be experienced if you want to travel from one town to other while visiting Iran. In Iran, there are exclusive taxis moving from any major city to another from almost all big cities of the country. They are quite safe and working under the supervision of taxi-riding organization of Iran. They are more expensive than the buses. For instance, Tehran-Tabriz path will cost you 100 thousand tomans if you travel with these taxis, while a VIP bus in the same path will cost you 45 thousand tomans.
Advantage: road transport is less costly than airway transport and also has got the benefit of enjoying the natural landscapes along the way.
Disadvantage: the possibility of the occurrence of unexpected accidents is considerably higher in comparison with other ways of transportation.
Where to buy ticket: for using inter-urban taxis, you cannot buy a ticker. You need to go to the terminal in person and take a taxi. The fee of such trips must be paid to the driver himself.
To take a bus, you can buy a ticket. The tickets can be purchased through the bus-riding corporations found in terminals. You can refer to the terminals and purchase a ticket directly. this way of getting a ticket is especially less risky at times when demand for them is lower, say, on weekdays and in winter etc. while it is the peak of travelling demands, we naturally don't recommend you use this option since there are plenty of passengers and it is possible that you don't find any ticket left to buy. The other way to travel is using the online websites that sell such tickets. By referring to these websites, you can determine the departure point, destination, and the date of your trip and thus be offered various options on the basis of your departure time, then you will be able to choose the most convenient one and head to the terminal with no worries. Such websites as safar 724, Payaneh , and mrbilit are for the online sale of bus tickets.
Important point: the online websites for ticket-sale are in Farsi language. Thus, either you should use Google translator or someone you know or in general anyone who could do the service for you in order to be able to use the website to buy a ticket properly. Iranians are quite fond of the tourists and would do this for you with pleasure. Do not forget that it is necessary to have a tourist credit card to be able to book a ticket via these websites.
Railway Transport in Iran
In Iran, the majority of cities are connected with one another through the railway. The trains, here, have various ranks and rates and take passengers from one city to another. The North-South Railway of Iran, on which the historical bridge of Veresk is located, has got a global fame since it had a key role to play in WWII. Moreover, it might be interesting for you to know that such train stations as Savad'kouh, Gadook, Dow'gol, Versek, Sorkh'Aabaad, Tir'Taashm and MIr'Javeh are registered as national heritages of Iran.
The advantages: you will enjoy more comfort using railway means of transport in comparison with buses or taxis and you will be able to lie down and rest on the bed and use sanitary services and restaurants. Usually, the railway paths in Iran are quite beautiful and you will be able to enjoy some of the purest and most intriguing natural landscapes of the country. Moreover, trains are considered to be the safest means of transport.
Disadvantage: you will spend more time on the way.
Where to buy a ticket: you can go to the train stations and purchase the ticket directly. You can also book a ticket via online websites used for the same purpose; to do this, of course, you need to ask for the help of a Farsi-speaker since their language is Farsi and also you need to have a tourist credit card. Websites such as Ali'Baba, Samtick, Payaneh, and Raja you can get an online train ticket.
To get more information about the railway tracks and the departure time of the trains in Iran, you can refer to raja website. This website belong to railway organization of Islamic republic of Iran and is considered as the biggest reference of railway transportation in the country.
Urban Public Transport
Complaining about the high fees of transport is actually often one of the main concerns of the tourists to most countries. Yet, we can bring you the good news that in Iran you will certainly not ne faced with such a problem. The transport fee in Iran is quite reasonable and far less than the global average and this is one of those issues that can give you some peace of mind about your travel expenses. In Iran, public transport is divided into a number of groups. Keep in mind that certain types of public transport are not available in Iran such as, say, tram and electric bus. Subway train, too, is only available in a number of major cities. Bus and taxi, however, are the most common types of public means of transport in Iran.
Bus in Iran
Major cities of Iran, such as Tabriz, Mashhad, and Tehran are facilitated with two distinct types of inter-urban bus systems. one of them is the ordinary buses that drive on roads and streets that have a lesser traffic intensity while the other one are the express buses that take the paths that are highly trafficked yet through the their own exclusive ways and have their own semi-mechanized specially established stations. The bus tickets can be purchased through relevant stalls or through the subway stations. It would suffice to purchase one of these tickets in certain major cities like Tehran where there is the possibility of getting electro-tickets and then hold them on the electric ticket-reading machine installed by the entrance door of the bus so that it opens the gate for you and charges your ticket. In Tehran, subway and bus tickets are the same.
Keep in mind that in Iranian buses, men and women enter and exit through separate gates. In other words, there is gender segregation in the buses which has taken place for more security and comfort of women. Thus, be careful not to lose your companion in there. Moreover, given the existence of traffic issues in major cities of Iran, do not count that much on the order and regularity of the commuting times of the inter-urban buses. It is possible that the traffic turn out quite heavy and thus you do not get to your destination in time. It might be interesting to know that, in smaller towns, there is no inter-urban bus. In most of the cities of Mazandaran province, such bus system is not in operation and most of the public transport issues are on the shoulders of taxis. In order to have a better perspective of the bus fees in Iran, you need to know that using the express bus service in Tehran for one times costs you about 500 tomans.
Taxi in Iran
In Iran, taxi is quite reasonable. Thus, a high number of citizens prefer to use taxi for commuting in the cities and towns. Taxis of Iran always move with four passengers, one sitting in front, three more at the back. Most of them are equipped with taxi-meter which means that you will be charged on the basis of the distance you cover by the taxi. However, there are other taxis that charge you on the basis of the tariffs established and defined by the taxi-riding organization of Iran and often take passengers from one point to another one in a regular pattern. If you wish to be the only passenger in the taxi, you need to pay more to take the taxi for yourself exclusively. In order to have a better perspective of the taxi fees in Iran, you need to know that the taxi fee from Tehran's Azadi square to Inqilab square in the same city is 2 thousand tomans.
Van Taxi in Iran
Vans, too, are a sort of taxi which are used as public means of transport in Tehran and some other major cities. The only difference is that they start their trip with 10 passengers. There is almost no or little difference between the fee of the ordinary taxis and vans, yet you need to wait for some minutes more until they are fully loaded and ready to hit the road.
Online Taxi in Iran
In Iran, there are two online taxi service companies, that is, Snapp and Tap30, which are considered the largest ones in their own kind. Some cities including Tabriz, Mashhad, Yazd, Shiraz and the like have their own online taxi services with an application other than the two just mentioned. You need to download and install the applications relevant to these online taxi services on your smartphone and use them to call for a taxi. In order to become more familiar with these application and the cities in which you can use their online services see the "Iran Essential Apps" part in this website. Keep in mind that if your urban trip is postponed until the hours other than the peak of traffic in that city or its rush hour, you will be charged less. In order to have a better perspective about the online taxi fees in Iran, you better know that the fee of them from Mehr'aabaad airport in Tehran to saint Serkis church in Karim'khan Boulevard in the same city is 16 thousand tomans.
Wireless Taxis in Iran
There is a kind of taxi in Iran known as wireless taxi. It is in this way that you dial number 133 which can vary in some cities, and declare your departure point and then the taxi will come to you and take you to your destination. In cities that are under the coverage of some online taxi services like Snapp and Tap30 and other sorts of online taxi services - for instance, in some cities other such services with different names are available and in operation - these wireless taxis are understandably less referred to and might not be as active at all. However, in smaller towns, they might prove to be useful for you. They are usually less expensive than the online taxis and their fee is calculated according to a taxi-meter.
Subway in Iran
Only some major cities of Iran are facilitated with subway system. Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Karaj, and Shiraz are some of the cities in which subway system is in operation. Many more cities of the country, too, will be facilitated with the subway system in near future. Keep in mind that in Tehran, the subway tracks are connected with Mehr'aabaad airport, Imam Khomeini International Airport, and also the terminals of west and south of Tehran, plus that of Argentina Square. In order to have a better perspective of the subway fees in Iran, you need to know that an one-way ticket in Tehran is 800 Tomans.
Bicycle in Iran
In some cities of Iran, there are bicycle houses available too. You can refer to them and rent a bike and when you got to your destination, give the bicycle back to the nearest bicycle house. Since there aren't enough infrastructure for riding bicycle in Iran, say, cycling lanes and the like, this means of transport is not that popular. In Tehran, Kashan, Kish, Yazd, and some other cities, however, you can find bicycle houses. The fee of its rental will end up at about 5000 Tomans.