While other countries are also in the list, the Iranian embassy announced that India citizens can now span the length and breadth of the country starting February 4.
The move underscores the strengthening of bilateral ties between India and Iran, fostering greater opportunities for cultural exchange and tourism. Now marvelling at the ancient wonders of Persepolis, savouring the aromatic delights of Iranian cuisine, or meandering through bustling bazaars is made easy as Indian travellers can put their wanderlust into action skipping the logistical hassle of applying for visa, waiting for the clearances and other miscellaneous bits.
There are, however, four conditions that travellers must keep in mind before planning a trip to the Middle Eastern gem:
Under this new policy, Indian citizens can enter Iran without a visa and a regular passport once every six months, enjoying a maximum stay of 15 days per visit. However, it's crucial to note that this 15-day period cannot be extended.
The second important part of the move is that the visa waiver exclusively applies to those entering Iran for tourism purposes.
As a third rule, Indians seeking longer stays or multiple entries within a six-month period, or other types of visas, obtaining the necessary documentation from Iranian authorities in India remains mandatory.
The fourth and last condition of the visa waiver is that it applies only to the tourists entering the country through airways.
If you plan to stay in Iran for more than 15 days, visit the country more than once within six months, travelling by a different mode than airways, or have other purposes than travelling, then you will need a proper visa to visit the country.
You can apply for a tourist visa through the Iranian Embassy or Consulate in India or online via the e-visa system. It's advisable to apply well in advance of your planned travel dates. Additionally, Indian travellers may need to obtain a travel authorization code through a registered travel agency in Iran before applying for a visa.
For a tourist visa which is valid for 90 days, you will have to spend INR 6,500. The waiting time for this visa format is 6-7 days. On the other hand, the business visa will cost you INR 7,500 with a validity of 30 days. The processing time for this visa is 9-10 days.
It is important to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in Iran. We highly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance that covers any medical emergencies, cancellations, or other unexpected situations. Although credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in Iran, we suggest carrying enough cash in the local currency (Iranian Rial) for smaller purchases and emergencies. If you are taking any medication, please make sure to carry an ample supply along with your prescriptions, as certain medications may not be readily available in Iran.
Travellers who plan to visit Iran have a range of options to fit their budget. These options include the Super Luxury package, which costs INR 4,15,000 (USD 5,000) and provides premium 5-star hotels, chauffeur-driven cars, gourmet meals, and private guided tours. The Luxury package, priced at INR 2,49,000 (USD 3,000), offers 5-star accommodations, luxury transportation, fine dining, and guided tours. The Normal package costs INR 1,25,000 (USD 1,500) and includes mid-range hotels, local transportation, and standard meals. For those on a tight budget, the Economic package is priced at INR 66,380 (USD 800) and offers budget-friendly options such as hostels or budget hotels, public transportation, and street food or self-catering. Additionally, the With Tour package costs INR 1,65,970 (USD 2,000) and provides an all-inclusive package with guided tours, accommodations, meals, and transportation, catering to travellers seeking a hassle-free experience. Keep in mind that entrance fees to historical sites, museums, and other attractions may add to your overall expenses.
If you are planning to travel to Iran, it's important to know that it's an Islamic country with conservative dress codes. Therefore, it's recommended to pack modest clothing that covers your arms, legs, and neckline. Women should also wear a headscarf when in public places.
As you will likely be doing a fair amount of walking, comfortable shoes are essential, particularly when exploring historical sites and bazaars.
Iran has four distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit the country is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. It is important to note that weather conditions can vary significantly between different regions of Iran due to its diverse geography.
In Iran, consuming alcohol is strictly prohibited according to Islamic law. There are no bars or liquor stores, and if found publicly intoxicated, you can face severe penalties. However, Iranians are famous for their warm hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. So, don't be surprised if you are welcomed warmly and offered tea or sweets in many situations.
The official language of Iran is Persian (Farsi), but English is also spoken, particularly in tourist areas. Knowing some basic Persian phrases can enhance your travel experience and ease communication with locals.