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Iran Travel Guide

Iran — Transportation

Iran Taxis and Car Rental

A cheap and convenient way to get around the city, taxis are readily available in Tehran, but visitors should be ready to battle the traffic snarl-ups in Iran's capital. Hailing a cab can be somewhat complicated in bad traffic, with most drivers wanting to know where you are going before letting you in. Your best bet is to head to one of the many squares in the city, where cabs congregate. Locals tend to share taxis, but this can be somewhat tricky for visitors. The only taxi you can pre-arrange is Airport Seir o Safar Company (+98-21-88-79-87-77), which offers airport transfers.

Self-driving is an option for those wanting to explore the Iranian countryside. Visitors are required to have an International Driver's License, which has a translation in Persian. There are a handful of international rental companies in Tehran such as Europcar; otherwise, there are local options. For most visitors, it makes sense to rent a vehicle with a driver when heading outside of the capital for safety reasons.

Iran Trains and Buses

The most convenient way to explore Iran's capital is by the metro system. This is the only way to beat the terrible traffic, but many locals have caught on to this fact, so rush hour can still see trains become crowded. The metro links to most areas of the city, with trains running every 10 to 15 minutes.

The other way to explore Tehran, as well as the countryside, is by bus. However, there are few signs in English and even route numbers are written in Arabic numerals so services may be difficult to navigate. Ask your hotel to help if you are planning to use the bus.

Visitors will find that Iran has a good long-distance bus network, with modern, air-conditioned coaches. There are two classes, first and second. Tickets are cheap and visitors should opt for first class, which can be bought in advance at the terminal. The only drawback is the 50 mph speed limit for buses, which of course reduces accidents.

Iran has a surprisingly reliable long-distance train network under the Raja system, which is a good option for exploring areas outside of Tehran. Quicker than the bus, there are three main lines: east-west, south and central. Those wanting to book a sleeping car should buy tickets in advance at the station, which can be purchased up to a month prior to travel.

Visitors should note that the metro, trains and buses have women-only sections and honor this system. Women may also have to wait in separate lines, so look around and see what the locals are doing. There are day passes available that cover both the bus and metro in Tehran, which are worthwhile if you are planning to make more than two trips in a single day.

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