Comments on: Traveling to Iran as Americans: All You Need to Know travel wide, live deep Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:43:52 +0000 hourly 1 By: Shahireh Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:01:59 +0000 @ James
1) it highly depends on you. Both have disadvantages and advantages. For bus trip: it is considerably cheap ($30 to $35 per person), passport checking is very quick at the border (Bazargan land border is open round- the clock), you are not worried about the delay (normally trains in Iran have about 2 to 5 hrs delay in some destinations. Zanjan-Tabriz is very freaky one. Last time, my tourists arrived on Sunday afternoon at Ankara instead of Saturday morning). Despite these, roads are not very safe in Turkey. Pickpocketing is very common where buses stop midway. The food served in local cafes not have good quality and restrooms are not very hygenic. For train trip: It is not very expensive ($67 to $70). you are more comfortable. Each compartment have room for 4 people. Train crew are very kind and their English is not very bad. The food has good quality. The train passes through Iranian and Turkish villages and lots of natural perespectives. In spite of these, traveling with train is suffocating. Firstly, the train has long stops for passport check. Mainly because it arrives with delay and the border is closed. Then, passport checking takes a long time. Some times, you have to stay out in cold nights of Turkey for more than 2 hrs (take a small blanket if you go with the train). Also, you have to change trains at Van station and have a three hours free boat trip on Van lake (it is a nice place but train arrives at 3 am and you see nothing in darkness). You have to carry your luggages and bages yourself to the boat and again to Turkish train. The food served in Iranian train is very cheap but in the Turkish one, prices are three times more (we usually take cans and fastfoods for the Turkish part). The turkish train has no delay (however, I heard due to constructions on rails, there had been a few delays). Personally, I prefer to have a flight to Istanbul ($140 per person). It is more quick and more safe considering the nowdays situation of ISIS near Turkey borders).

2. Yes, Ankara-Istanbul buses leave every 15 mins and takes 6-7 hrs (40 TL-80 TL per person)

3. If there is more question, dont hesitate to ask :)

By: Audrey Scott Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:58:24 +0000 James, we took the train from Tabriz (overnight from Tehran) to Istanbul and would recommend that option over the bus as it’s more comfortable (and more fun). Here’s our story from our experience:

By: sepideh Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:54:44 +0000 @James
I have used non of them, so I can’t tell you which one is better for sure. But I think train is much more comfortable.
train: about 180$ to 65$
bus: about 50$

By: James Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:59:12 +0000 Thanks Shahireh and Sepideh,

Which one has better views for this long journey or is a better trip overall , train or bus?? and what are their charges separately ? Does it worth sitting in the bus for 40 hours or taking a train for 60 hours? I am assuming they both are around $40-50.

@Shahireh, you mean local bus from Ankara to Istanbul ? If yes, buses must be leaving pretty frequently throughout the day, right?

On a side note, has anyone stayed in Paris or Frankfurt for a day due to change of planes timing last for 15-20 hours. If so, are there any day long good trip guide that could be taken right outside the airport

By: sepideh Tue, 28 Jul 2015 05:17:43 +0000 hi James,
The train leaves Tehran for Ankara every Wednesday at 22:15.

By: Shahireh Tue, 28 Jul 2015 01:15:02 +0000 @ James The train leaves Tehran every wednesday around 22:15 and arrives at Ankara on Saturday around 10:22. I think you can go to Istanbul by local buses. Royal Safar Iranian also offers 37 hrs cheap bus trips from Tehran to Istanbul. I hope it helps :)

By: James Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:46:15 +0000 Hey Guys, do you know what day the train departs from Tehran to Turkey and where in Turkey does it ends. Ankara or Istanbul? or do we have choice to pick?


By: Audrey Scott Sun, 26 Jul 2015 07:40:11 +0000 Hi Sandy,
Just wanted to add another comment that came in on email regarding this from Ray:

“As an American, you will find many Iranians interested in speaking with you. Some people may be very curious about you, as there aren’t many black people in Iran. Iranians are traditionally very hospitable and I’m sure you would be accepted as a foreign visitor.”

As for people speaking English, we found that many young people spoke some English, as well as older people who went to school before the 1979 Revolution. In fact, we met people who had done their university and even military training in the U.S. in the 1970s.

Hope this information helps and makes you more comfortable with the idea of visiting Iran. If you have other questions, let us know.

By: Faezeh Sat, 25 Jul 2015 16:44:00 +0000 Hi Sandy,

Great to see you are interested in Iran.
Of course you will be accepted in Iran. We are so friendly and welcoming. We love American and European.

I am an 30 years old Iranian woman living in Tehran. Please contact me at when you are in Tehran and need any help.
Remember not many Iranian know English! You may count on Youngesters more.

Hope to have a wonderful time in Iran.

By: Norma Lee Sat, 25 Jul 2015 09:38:47 +0000 Sandy,

This is a total non-issue.

Obtaining a Visa depends on your reasons for visiting the country, career and citizenship. As an American, you will need a gude…contact me ..happy to help you out.