US sanctions since the spring of 2018 are stabbing the Iranian currency which is in free fall. Good news for the foreigner visting the country but certainly not for the Iranian people who is suffering ...
The currency of Iran is the rial (IRR). However in everyday life Iranians prefer to use the term "toman" which means 10 rials. The value of the rial experiencing a steady decline, the lowest prices are expressed in hundreds of rials. 10,000 rials worth about one U.S. dollar.
Because financial and economic blockade of Iran from USA and Europe, it is not possible to obtain cash from an Iranian bank. The country is well endowed at banks, ATMs are floras, but for the exclusive use of owners of an Iranian bank account.
The ordinary tourist should carry on him all the money he needs for his journey. There are iranian banknotes of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 500,000 and 1,000,000 rials (the latter two are actually "cheques").
The most usefulnote is 10,000 rials note. Coins are 100, 250, 500, 1000 rials. The dinars (cents) disappeared in inflation.
The price is several zeroes, Iranians speak thus toman (a pepsi costs 300 toman, ie 3000 rials). But they use more and more the term "Khomeini" to a multiple of 10,000 (20,000 rials = 2 khomeini). Note that in the new notes of one million and half a million, the sum is wrote in multiples of 10,000: one million is 100 "Khomeini" ...
July 2012 : iranian central bank devalues rial rate by...
On the black market US dollar rate is close to euro official value...
|rials for one euro and one dollar last 12 month
There are twenty bus companies (called "taavonis"), numbered 1 to 17, with three last names (Safar, Peyma, Asre Iran). The companies specialize in certain destinations, but they are more the same, so there is strong competition. They are stationed in major stations on the outskirts of cities (Tehran has four).
There is always a bus leaving within the hour where desired. It's very cheap.
There are two types of bus: "Mahmooly" and "Volvo" (volvo is generic, may be Mercedes or Scannia). The "volvo" have western style comfort, air conditioning, comfortable seats and snacks available on board. Mahmooly buses are hardier, they are old "volvo" (cheaper price).
Iran has a poorly developed rail network, only four lines from Tehran, and one more connecting north-east to the Persian Gulf. But the trains are generally comfortable and in good condition. To buy tickets go to travel agencies rather than in stations (computer reservation). It is very cheap.
link to an unofficial website of Iranian railways
Very cheap, it's the best way to go from one city to another if you have few time. Advance booking is essential, it is a very popular mode of transport.
link to IranAir
The Tehran metro is modern and clean, permanent expansion. Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan are also building underground trains. Tehran is a haven of peace, and allows to recover from his emotions experienced in crossing the street surface.
link to Tehran subway official site
Taxi, collective taxi and motorcycle taxi
Taxis are very cheap in many cities (discuss the price before getting anyway).
In addition to conventional taxis, there are shuttle taxis, more or less identifiable, honking pedestrians by slowing down without stopping and to which you have to shout your destination: if they go to there they stop.
In Tehran motorcycle taxis go through the city in record time, but you need bravery.
To connect towns and villages nearby there are Savaris, shared taxis leaving when full.
It is often more convenient than bus.
Iranians use three calendars: Persian, Muslim and Gregorian. Civilian life follows the 365 days Persian solar calendar beginning on March 21. Religious life follows the 354-355 days Islamic lunar calendar. The Gregorian calendar is used to trade with foreigners (tourism, trading, information). The visa and entry stamp in the country have persian date. Newspapers are with three dates.LINK TO A 2015 ILLUSTRATED PERSIAN CALENDAR
Iranian time is GMT+3h30mn. When noon in London, it is 15h30 in Tehran.