Iran definitely has four seasons, not just throughout the year, but even throughout the country on the same day! In December, January and February, the weather can be quite cold in the normal tourist destinations of Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan for example, getting down to single digits during the day and even below zero at night. On the other hand, in July, expect to experience temperatures above 40 throughout much of the country.
With that being said, the mountainous areas can be cold even in summer, and the Caspian coast is a popular destination to get away from the extreme heat and experience more moderate Mediterranean style summer weather.
The only constants are in the very south along the coast in places like Bandar Abbas, which is generally very warm for most of the year, except when it’s unbearably hot in the middle of summer.
Clothing is a very important factor to take into consideration in Iran. Women need to make sure they have loose fitting relatively conservative clothing and head scarves. Wearing a head scarf is compulsory whenever you’re outside and many hotels will expect you to wear one whenever you’re outside your room. Women can wear trousers and shirts, but the shirts must be long sleeve and the trousers should be loose fitting and all the way to the ankles, so no ¾ length. If you are travelling between April and October, it’s more than likely you’re going to be in hot weather, so light breathable materials are a must.
Men obviously have a much easier time in Iran, however men cannot wear shorts, so leave your shorts at home and only bring trousers. Men can have short sleeve shirts or tshirts, however no tank tops or singlets.
In winter for most parts of the country, a warm jumper or light jacket will normally suffice, unless you’re extremely sensitive to even mild weather. Unless of course you’re planning on going to the higher mountains or skiing of course.
In Iran, the cities are normal cities with paved footpaths and sidewalks, so any shoes will suffice, however if you’re planning on exploring ruins or going to rural areas, bring sturdy shoes.
In winter however it can rain quite a lot and many streets don’t have great drainage meaning they can become quite wet and the normally dusty streets turn muddy, so best to bring good wet weather shoes if travelling between November and March.
There will be a fair amount of walking when you’re in Iran as you’ll be wanting to see everything, but mostly on flat, paved surfaces, so as long as you’re comfortable you don’t need to worry about anything specific. There are a few times when you might be walking over dusty, sandy or rocky ground but nothing that can’t be done in your normal trainers, flip flops or sandals.
Chances are you’ll be travelling between cities on transport, so if you’re on a tour, buses will be dropping you off at the front door of your hotel, so there is really no problem with large suitcases.
If you do happen to be backpacking, be prepared to walk long distances as train stations and bus stations are not normally near the centre of towns as the towns and cities of Iran are quite old and these transportation hubs are new additions further out.
On our tours, you’ll be transported between your accommodations by buses or cars, depending on group size, with plenty of space for luggage, so you can really bring whatever kind of bags you like. You won’t need to carry your own luggage very far at a time – just cars to lobby to room and back, and it doesn’t need to be compact to fit into small areas. Hard suitcases, soft suitcases, wheels, no wheels, backpack, whatever you like is fine.
Pharmacies are everywhere in pretty much everywhere in Iran and most normal medicines are available. Not only that but pharmacists in Iran are very likely to speak English since they’re highly educated. Prices are also very reasonable for normal medications.
You need to bring cash to Iran. It’s a must. Withdrawing money from banks is not an option due to economic sanctions. Your credit cards will not work and you won’t be able to get money out of ATMs. Make sure you bring enough to pay for whatever your tour costs, transport, accommodation and any personal spending money you may need. If you run out of money while you’re in Iran you’re pretty much stuck.
Not exactly something you need to pack, but it’s something you might want to think about. Many websites and social media platforms are blocked in Iran and as such you’ll need a Virtual Private Network in order to access them. You can easily download these on to your computer or phone. Free VPNs work but are slow while there are some great paid VPNs out there.