Iran Do’s and Dont’s

If you are going to Iran, make sure that you know the dos and don’ts beforehand. It’s quite challenging to adjust from one country to another especially if you are alone. What you can do right here is to know what are the things you should do and not do. Practice in Iran and in your country may be different. What’s acceptable in your culture might not be acceptable in Iran. You will know the exact difference once you have spent time in Iran. Remember that the dos and don’ts are just basic. You don’t need to make things complicated. Just follow the rules and you will definitely do good in another good.

Also Read: Philippine Embassy in Tehran, Iran

In this article, we will share with you the dos and don’ts in Iran. You may use this as a guide when you go to that country. These things are the basic practices in Iran. Many expats have been following these practices since they are common in the country. What you need to do is to follow the same if you want to live peacefully in a new country. You also need to know how to behave through small gestures. You don’t need to know all the laws but you have to be aware of the basics. So, here are the dos and don’ts in Iran.

dos and donts in iran

Table of Contents

How to Behave in Iran

There’s no fixed formula on how you can behave in Iran. But, you may use this list of dos and don’ts to know what is acceptable and not in the country. To behave in Iran, you must know the basics. There are no complicated rules. Just make sure that you follow the simple guidelines.


The dos in Iran are the simple things, gestures, or actions that you can freely do in the country. If you know the basic rules, you can survive in the country.

  • Give tips. It’s customary to give tips in Iran. If you visit a restaurant, make sure to give tips to the waiters and waitresses. If you go to a salon, leave some tips to the hairdressers. If you visit a café, give tips as well.
  • Observe the country’s dress code. This is one way you can show that you are respecting their country and the way how the locals dress as well. Wear a scarf at all times if you are a woman. Showing your hair is fine as there are moderate Iranians in the country. You should also wear clothes that are not too revealing. You may wear casual clothing but remember to wear decent ones when you are visiting holy places.
  • Bring enough money when you go to Iran. Whether it’s for a long-term trip or for a short-term, you need sufficient money to cover your trip. You can’t use your foreign bank cards when you are in Iran.
  • Enjoy the local food from different regions in Iran. When you have a chance to roam around Iran, make sure to try their local food. They are good. If you haven’t tried any of this Iranian food, this is the best time to try them now.
  • Take off your shoes when entering mosques. This is one way you can show your respect for their religion.
  • Shake hands with the same sex. You don’t shake hands with the opposite sex when you are in Iran and greeting them. Be careful with your gestures with the opposite sex as this might cause misunderstandings.

Don’ts in Iran

There are also things that you can’t do in Iran. You have to avoid these things so you won’t look rude to the locals. Also, there are things you can’t do because they are illegal in Iran. Make sure to follow these don’ts and as well as the laws in Iran.

  • Don’t speak anything bad against the government or its leaders. You need to respect the government when you are in Iran. This is one way you will survive in the country even if they have different laws and rules.
  • Don’t try to bring alcohol or drugs in the country. Even buying alcohol in Iran needs a permit. So, if you are going to consume alcohol while you stay here, you need to have a permit or at least do it privately. If you are caught drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, you will receive serious penalties.
  • Don’t give thumbs up in Iran. If other countries consider thumbs up as praise, it’s considered as cursing in Iran. It’s disrespectful to use this gesture in Iran. So, better avoid it.
  • Don’t take photos without permission. Photos of people and government buildings here are so private that you need to ask for consent before taking them.
  • Don’t sit next to the opposite sex when you are using public transportation. Men and women are separated in Iran. To be safe, sit with same-sex persons when you are riding a bus or a train.

Tips when traveling to Iran

There are a lot of restrictions when you travel to Iran. Despite that, many OFWs are still here working and living. If you are going to Iran for work, make sure that you have everything planned—your working visa, accommodation, employer, and so on. This is so you can avoid major troubles when you go to Iran. Also, the dos and don’ts we listed here are very helpful for new expats. They lay down the basic principles in terms of acceptable and not acceptable actions in Iran.

Of course, don’t forget to learn the laws. The laws are very important in Iran. Make sure to research the traffic rules, working visa laws, residence laws, and other laws related to your employment. Sometimes, the laws in Iran are pretty basic. However, there are big changes as well. For example, when consuming or buying alcohol in the country, you need permits. This is not applicable to countries in Asia or America. They are very strict in a public display of affection as well. If you can do these actions in your country, PDA is not permitted in Iran.

Leave a Comment