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Solo Guide to the Most Beautiful Places in Iran

With so many beautiful places in Iran, the country is famous among travelers for having the friendliest people on earth. Can you think of a better combination? In this solo guide to the best places to visit in Iran, I’m sharing why Iran is the perfect destination for solo travel.

In Iran, you’ll be looked after by the locals no matter where you go. Prepare to get invites for dinner, lunch, and social activities—and gain many new friends on Instagram! If you haven’t practiced much Persian yet, get ready to use Google Translate, accompanied by loud laughs.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Most Beautiful Places in Iran

Iran is a vast country, and there are many incredible Iran places to visit. Here are some of my favorite Iran highlights you shouldn’t miss on your solo vacation in Iran.

There are many fun and unique things to do in Isfahan—spend at least three days in the city to enjoy your time there at a leisurely pace. The most attractive mosques you shouldn’t miss are the , , and . The latter two are situated on Isfahan’s main square, Naqsh-e Jahan, while Jameh Mosque is connected to the square through the bazaar.

You should also see the two old bridges in the city that cross the dried-up river that once flowed through Isfahan. They’re especially spectacular at night when illuminated. If you visit at night, observe the local guys singing and dancing under the bridge. You can also go hiking for incredible views of the foggy city.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Iran ToursClick here to check out the top Iran tours
Best Iran Accommodation:
Best Iran Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Iran

and the

The Solo Guide to Iran Things to do in Iran solo

You won’t run out of things to do in Kashan for at least three to four days, making this ancient city the best place to visit in Iran for history. There are many traditional houses where you can travel back in time and get a feel of how wealthy families lived back in the day. Also, the bathhouse is a spectacular architectural wonder. Aside from mosques and the bazaar, I also recommend going on different excursions and day trips from the city.

Visit the , the biggest remaining garden in Iran. Situated a few kilometers outside of Kashan, you’ll find one of the world’s largest underground cities, Noushabad—next to it are the remains of Noushabad Castle.

For a day trip, you should also take a desert tour of the Maranjab desert, including the and Caravanserai. This tour is quite expensive as the company charges a fixed price for the car, so I suggest asking other hotel guests if they want to share or ask your hosts if they know anyone who arranges trips and has a spare seat.

Garmeh Desert Oasis

The Solo Guide to Iran Things to do in Iran solo

A delightful oasis in the , is often considered the best place to visit in Iran by locals and foreigners. For years, the little town was deserted as all inhabitants moved to the cities for work—before a local decided to move back and build a guest house. This provided many jobs, and the locals started moving back as they could earn an income and support their families.

Today, Ateshooni Guest House is a popular getaway. The owner plays music in the evenings in the common area—he’s multitalented and plays everything from drums and old pots to the didgeridoo. While there, he played with two friends, and it was magical.

Garmeh is small, so you only need a few hours to explore the old paths, lost gardens, small springs, and mountain views. Next to the guest house, you’ll find the ruins of an old mansion, which are excellent to walk through.

Unfortunately, large parts of it are used as landfills—rubbish aside, it’s an incredible place to walk through rooms and halls of the once wealthy. The owner’s children have been fighting over what to do with it since inheriting the property.

However, most travelers end up in Garmeh mainly to experience the desert. The guest house offers day and overnight tours where you sleep under the stars. Go to the salt river and enjoy delicious food served with hot tea in the desert. It’s truly magical, but the price is one downside for a solo traveler.

The desert tour is expensive if you go alone—if you’re on a budget, you should try to find other guests who want to take the tour with you. Call the guest house before you go to Garmeh and ask if anyone wants to share with you so you can plan your trip accordingly.

is a small, traditional village between Kashan and Isfahan in the mountains. Also known as the red village, this is one of the most beautiful places in Iran, where you can see hillsides covered in red clay houses—the deep red color results from the soil’s high levels of iron oxide. Go up the hill to a ruined fortress for iconic views of the village. The walk is lovely, and you’ll pass several abandoned cave houses, which are fascinating.

As one of the oldest places to visit in Iran, situated 2235 meters above sea level, this is popular for Iranians and foreigners. The villagers have preserved the traditional language, customs, and clothing from before Islamic times. Be respectful towards the locals and remember to ask before taking photos of old ladies in traditional clothing.

NOTE: There is a large area near where photographs are strictly prohibited. If you travel independently by car, don’t stop anywhere on your way to the village, as this could land you in jail. Better be safe than sorry!

Of course, one of the most beautiful places in Iran to visit is the capital of , offering a mix of modern cafes and colorful palaces against the breathtaking backdrop of the . It’s worth spending a few days there. Get lost in the Grand Bazaar, explore the scents of spices and the tastes of dried fruit and nuts, gaze at dusty rugs, and chat with people. Climb the Milad Tower for the city’s best views, though the Azadi Tower also has excellent views. Visit the to learn about the wealthy Qajar era.

For a taste of nature, head north to Darband and take the chair lift up the mountain to go hiking for an hour or two. Remember to turn around for a glimpse of Tehran through the smog below you. On the way back down, you can stroll around the charming Darband village and try some delicious street food.

Tehran has an efficient metro system, so you can easily visit the city’s main attractions.

Iran Places to Visit After Dark

As an Islamic state, alcohol is against the law in Iran, so you won’t find any nightclubs around. However, teahouses are busy in the evenings—if you’re invited to one in Isfahan or Tehran at night with a local, go for it!

These places are usually far from the city center and hard to find alone. One of the best ways to meet new people is to hang out at the hostel, chat with other travelers or hosts, and drink tea. That said, there’s a lot of energy in certain parts of Iran’s major cities—the Armenian quarter in Isfahan is bustling with nightlife.

How to Get From the Airport to Downtown Iran

Whether you fly into Tehran Airport or Isfahan Airport, getting to the city from the airport is easy.

Tehran Airport to Downtown

From Airport, you can travel by taxi (for a fixed price), Snapp (the equivalent of Uber, which you need an app for), or metro.

You’ll need to change metro lines at the end stop from the airport (about 30 minutes away) and take the red line for about an hour to reach the city center. There are female-only and mixed-gender options, and asking for help and directions is easy. Iranians are friendly and helpful, especially if they see that you’re traveling alone.

Isfahan Airport to Downtown

Use a taxi or order a Snapp to reach downtown Isfahan from the airport. You’ll need an activated Iranian SIM card to download and use Snapp on your phone.

Iranian Public Transport

Getting around in Iran is easy and generally very safe, even as a solo female. There’s a good bus service between the larger cities and reliable options for smaller places. Check the bus schedule and book your ticket in advance for places like Garmeh, where there’s only one daily bus.

Men and women are not allowed to sit next to each other on the buses—on the local buses, women sit in the back and men in front. While long-distance buses have seat reservations, you don’t have to worry, as men and women are seated separately. You can pay extra for a VIP bus with extra legroom, which is worth the cost. There’s also an excellent Iranian train network between big cities.

Another good option is to get a private driver. They don’t charge much, and it’s an excellent way to meet locals (though not all drivers speak English that well).

While traffic in Iran is known for being scary, I found it similar to other places in Asia, Africa, and South America. You probably won’t have many safety concerns if you’ve traveled a lot to different continents. I’ve learned that wherever you are in the world, they have their own driving system. So, trust the locals—they know what they’re doing, believe it or not.

Best Accommodations for a Vacation in Iran

The Solo Guide to Iran Things to do in Iran solo

There are many friendly guest houses in Iran, and even if there aren’t many other travelers, the hosts will usually do anything they can to make solo travelers feel welcome and cared for. Prepare for long talks, endless cups of tea, and fantastic food.

In Tehran, hostels that stuck out to me as friendly were the HI Tehran Hostel, See You In Iran Hostel, and Heritage Hostel. The first was especially great for a female traveler since you can remove your hijab inside.

In Isfahan, I recommend Anar Guest House. The girls that run this hostel are super friendly, and if they don’t have other plans, they’ll even take you out at night to explore Isfahan nightlife like a local. They also have a homestay with their parents where you’ll be served a traditional Iranian breakfast.

Iran Safety Tips

Iran is a generally safe country—I didn’t feel unsafe once there, even after dark. That said, you should still be careful. As a solo female, be aware of men approaching you and be selective of who you spend time with.

I had no uncomfortable experiences other than a few men who started talking and walking with me, but I never felt threatened. After saying, “Thank you, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you. Have a good night,” they smiled and headed in the opposite direction.

You should always watch your stuff in big cities and exercise common sense.

Iran Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Beautiful Places to Visit in Iran: Final Thoughts

With so many beautiful places to visit in Iran, the country guarantees an unforgettable travel experience. Talk to the locals, don’t rush, say yes if invited for lunch or tea (if it feels right), and make room for Google Translate conversations. Slow down instead of ticking places off your bucket list because the true experience lies in the people of this spectacular corner of the globe!

The Solo Guide to Iran

Author Bio

Linn Haglund is an avid traveler, originally from Norway. She traveled for years after finishing her degree in Tourism and Communication but has settled in southern Spain for the last six years. Throughout the years of traveling and living abroad, Linn has felt the negatives of tourism close up. This has made her truly passionate about using tourism for good, and she founded the travel blog Brainy Backpackers to help other travelers responsibly explore this wonderful planet.

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram