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Transport and Driving in Iran

 

While transport infrastructure in Iran may not be up to the standards one would expect to find in Europe or North America, getting around Iran is fairly cheap and can be done comfortably.

 

The train network is limited, but rail travel is still faster and more comfortable than buses. However, when travelling to more remote destinations in Iran buses may be the only viable option. Domestic flights are by far the fastest way of travelling long distances.

 

Although good road networks do exist in Iran, driving conditions are chaotic and road safety is a major concern.Expats are advised to avoid driving themselves if possible.

 

Public transport in Iran

When it comes to travelling in Iran, expats have only a handful of options available to choose from. All modes of public transport in Iran are affordable, so the best choice often depends on a person's destination. The bus network covers a wider range of places, but trains are considerably faster.

 

Buses in Iran

The domestic bus network in Iran is extensive and because of the low cost of fuel, travelling by bus is very cheap. The downside is that it's very slow, especially because of strictly enforced speed limits.

Coaches and busesCoaches and buses

 

 

 

There is little difference between bus companies. First class buses tend to be air-conditioned, while second class services are more frequent. There is very little difference in price between the services so there is little financial incentive to opt for second class, especially in summer.

 

Expats can buy bus tickets at terminals and ticket offices. During peak season it is best to book ahead of time but in most instances, one should be able to purchase a ticket by turning up at the terminal an hour before departure.

 

Trains in Iran

The rail network in Iran is limited but trains are a more comfortable and faster mode of transport than the country’s speed-limited buses. Some routes offer sleeper berths for overnight travel.

 

Tickets can be bought from train stations up to a month before the date of departure, and it is wise to book at least a couple of days in advance during the peak domestic holiday months. First class tickets cost roughly twice the comparable bus fare.

Trains in Iran are frequently delayed.

 

Taxis in Iran

Within Iranian cities travelling by taxi is a good option and thanks to low fuel prices fares are usually affordable. Between cities there is an option of using shared taxis, known as savari taxis, which can often be found close to bus terminals and train stations. These are usually faster than trains or buses. Prices are negotiable and depend on how many people are using the vehicle. Expats can hire one of these shared taxis privately, which is a good option if there is a group travelling to the same destination.

 

Domestic flights in Iran

Affordable domestic air services are blessing for those who need to travel long distances in Iran. The major national airline Iran air as well as a number of smaller carriers such as Iran Aseman, Mahan air and Kish air, connect the Iranian capital, Tehran with most major regional hubs.

 

Services are frequent, reliable and reasonably priced so definitely an option worth considering for those who want to save time. While some planes are old, flying still remains the safest way to get around in Iran especially considering the high rates of accidents on Iran’s roads. 

 

Tickets can be bought at the airport or through a travel agent. During the summer months of August and September flights tend to get booked up so its best to make reservations ahead of time.

 

Driving in Iran

The country's road network and low fuel costs may have made driving in Iran an attractive option, but expats should take the challenges into consideration before buying or renting their own vehicle.

 

Traffic in Iranian cities can be chaotic and local drivers are known to ignore basic rules of the road. Drivers will often be seen breaking the speed limits and, despite laws requiring all passengers to wear seat belts, very few do which partly accounts for the high death toll on Iranian roads.

 

Motorcycles are often overloaded with passengers without helmets, which proves to be another safety concern. 

 

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